Season 7 Top 50 Who Didn’t Make the Top 24 Cut Are Eligible for American Idol Season 8

The cool kids at Idol Forums are already busy getting ready for the new Idol season. You know what that means….the SPOILERS are coming! YAY.

So check it out! Contestants from the Top 50 of Season 7 who did not make the cut for that Season’s Top 24 are eligible to try out again for Season 8. That is, if they haven’t aged out (Shaun Barrows) or gotten signed (Josiah Leming). In the past, contestants who made the Top 32/40/44/50 were not eligible to audition for Idol again.

Giant props to Idol Maniac for finding the following tidbit from the American Idol 2009 Audition Rules ETA: corrected so the link takes you to the AI Official Rules.:

You are ineligible to participate if you progressed in any previous season of American Idol ® to any of the following levels:
— Season 1 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ top 30 contestants
— Season 2 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ top 32 contestants
— Season 3 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ top 36 contestants
— Season 4 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ top 44 contestants
— Season 5 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ top 44 contestants
— Season 6 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ top 40 contestants
— Season 7 à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ top 24 contestants

Notice that the rules for previous seasons have NOT been changed. Seems to me that TPTB felt a few good ones got away last season, don’t you think?

So, expect peeps like Drew Poppelreiter, Kyle Ensley, Neyshia Go, Samantha Sidley, Colton Swon, Brandon Green and Cardin McKinney at the auditions again this year.

And expect at least a few of them to make Season 8’s Top 24…I wonder who TPTB have their eye on?

Which rejected Season 7 Top 50 contestants would YOU like to see make the Season 8 Top 24? My vote goes to Kyle Ensley

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  • Sarah

    I liked several of the season 7 top 24 that didn’t make the cut – namely, Colton Swon, Drew Poppelreiter, Brandon Green, Cardin McKinney, and Kyle Ensley. I’d LOVE to see any of them back for season 8.

    Maybe Simon wants Kyle back, since he seemed to be a huge proponent of him making top 24 this season?? :)

  • purplesmile

    I want to see Cardin McKinney try again and make it this time. :)

  • itsalleternal

    That seems to make sense, although IMO it is very much unfair that it only applies to Season 7 (either the rule should have stayed in place or extended to all seasons).

    I really liked most of those mentioned as well. There were also a few cut in Hollywood week I liked, but they were never an issue.

    Known top 50 contestants still ineligible for other reasons: Buck Smith, Josiah Leming, Lorena Pinot, Natashia Blach and Shaun Barrowes.

  • spritely

    I’m not remembering any of those performances (of the ones mj mentioned) except for Kyle. Do you think they mostly belong in the pre-David Cook era or the post-David Cook era? Singers only/ singer-songwriters? Instruments, no instruments? Rock, non-rock?

  • itsalleternal

    Maybe last season should have had a larger semi-finals field? But then again there was enough fodder that it would be easy to switch them around…

  • IGetCranked

    Oh I loved Brandon Green (fingernails aside)!!! I also liked Drew and Colton even though I’m not much of a country fan. I hope we see them again.

    Spritely, Brandon was kinda indie rock (if I remember correctly) and Colton and Drew were country. I know the other names but can’t remember them very well w/o seeing them again.

  • mj

    Colton and Brandon play instruments. Both had a lot of buzz prior to officially being named to the top 50.

  • spritely

    This is interesting! So far, it’s sounding like a combo of post-Cook and post-Underwood.

  • Sarah


    Colton Swon

    Brandon Green

    Drew Poppelreiter

    (Brandon and Drew are both from Mississippi, and having lived there for 13 years, I’d LOVE to see a Mississippi artist actually get somewhere on AI)

    Cardin McKinney

  • mj

    Cardin had a huge fan base during the spoiler period last year based on her web stuff. Lots of peeps were disappointed when she didn’t make the top

  • Bouffe

    Canadian Idol has been allowing contestants to return even if they got on the Top 20 last year. I think the cut off is Top 12, but I am not sure.

    I think it’s great AI changed the rules, although they should have done it for the previous years, too.

  • Jul

    Oh that’s awesome!! I would love to see Cardin or Brandon try out again. :D

  • IGetCranked

    Hmm I just looked on Brandon’s myspace and he is going to do a show with Colton and Whitaker ( Alaina and Kady).

    Ummm he looks great in his pictures. I didn’t remember him being.. hot?? I’ll not complain though. :biggrin_wp:

  • gingerly

    Oh thatà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s awesome!! I would love to see Cardin or Brandon try out again. :D

    I can’t remember Hollywood week or auditions (except for a select few). I went back and listened to those Sarah was nice enough to link to and those are the two who impressed me the most. Drew has a very nice voice but he sounds almost identical to at least one country singer (and I don’t know the name because I don’t do much country). Colton sounds to me exactly like Simon said in his audition. The only issue I have with Brandon is that the songs he posted (while I liked most of them) didn’t seem to me to have any continuity and I didn’t get a feel of who he would be as a musician.

    It’s all good though. I’m so old I wouldn’t even remember who auditioned last year :cheese1_ee: I’m hoping it’s not Tetiana though.

  • Sarah

    Ummm he looks great in his pictures. I didnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t remember him being.. hot?? Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll not complain though.

    You were blinded by the grossness of the fingernails. ;) He IS a cutie pie though.

    ETA: Gingerly, I think those are the only ones from the contestants who didn’t make it that I have on my myspace friends list. But, in mj’s post, she’s got her original posts with the top 50 linked, and there’s tons of info and links there. :)

  • spritely

    Sarah, thanks! I listened to all of them and liked all of them a lot, although I have to admit that Cardin has a particular style that irritates me a little, but that’s just me. I can hear that she’s really good. Maybe a touch Leona?

    Hearing them do their own stuff sure makes me wish the contestants didn’t get stuck with such old music, although I think in the long run it worked to DC’s benefit this year, because it was a showcase for his musical range.

    ETA: I guess I don’t really know if what I heard is their own stuff. But I’m guessing it’s at least newer than “Cracklin’ Rosie.” :)

  • Jolene

    So this only applies to season 7? There was a girl, I think Tammy Gosnell was her name (might be mistaken) who auditioned either season 6 or 5 (You can tell I wasn’t an avid viewer back then), and I was realy upset when she didn’t make it. Singer-songwriter vibe, sort of Brooke White-ish.
    But – if I understand it correctly, this changes nothing for her and others from previous seasons. Oh well.

    One guy I do wonder about re: auditions this year is actually Andrew Cook. I wonder if he’ll go ahead and audition like he said, and I wonder where he’ll end up, now that he has a “story” that AI will surely love to exploit.
    Have there been siblings auditioning in past seasons (in following years, not like Sanjaya and his sister)?

  • hoodathunk

    Fantasia’s brother auditioned (maybe during season six? Unfortunately he did not share his sister’s talent.

  • Frogpond

    I believe that Chris Sligh’s brother ,as well as Fantasia’s brother both tried out this past season .

  • Frogpond

    i would like to see Kyle and Drew try again

  • purplesmile

    There was a girl, I think Tammy Gosnell was her name (might be mistaken) who auditioned either season 6 or 5 (You can tell I wasnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t an avid viewer back then), and I was realy upset when she didnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t make it.

    Tami Gosnell had quite a few fans here back in Season 6, too, Jolene. I was one. :)

  • Lisa

    I look forward to Colton and would Brandon but don’t think I can get past that crusty old bag of fingernail clippings. Tooooo much info. Don’t care for Cardin, Kyle has a nice voice, a bit Clay like in appearance. Colton & Kyle are both here in Oklahoma, wonder if I can find out if they are going to try out? hmmmmmm I would rather see *new* talent, would hate to miss another David Cook.

    What AI needs to revamp is the try outs. I have heard of many extremely talented and *nice looking* folks simply turned away in favor of people set up for the *bad auditions*. Why not give more of the truly talented a chance?

    What does AI not have in a winner? Male Country singer. Oh, and country is not my thang.

  • Sarah

    Revamping auditions is a lose-lose, imo. They have such huge numbers show up in each city that there has to be a way to quickly cut the numbers, or auditions would take weeks in each city. Plus, the other side to that is that first and foremost, they’re casting a television show, so they’re looking for personalities in addition to singing. So, you have to stand out, in addition to being good looking and a good singer.

    But if they, say, limit the number of auditioners, who’s to say that the next Kelly Clarkson isn’t toward the back of the line? Not everyone can get there early (this is a particularly HOT button issue for me, since I couldn’t get to season 6 auditions early on the day of the line up because of work, and seats – and therefore audition order – are assigned based on when you first check in on lineup day. Then I was told on the day of auditions that I had a great voice and probably would have made it had I auditioned earlier in the day, but that particular judge had already put so many great people through.).

    I could see a Jason/Brooke type artist making it far this year. They kinda tested the waters on it in season 7, and seemed to get a pretty good reception, overall. I wouldn’t be surprised. And yeah, a male country singer.

  • purplesmile

    What does AI not have in a winner?

    A Latin sensation? Isn’t that interesting, too, about auditions in Puerto Rico?

  • Sarah

    Yeah, I thought about that too, purps. It will probably need to be a viable crossover artist though.

    That’s another thing they’ve tested the waters on. Mario Vasquez certainly had to screw up their “research.” ;)

  • meme

    I would love to see our nerdy politican Kyle back for another season.

  • janerazor

    Who would I love to see on AI again? Joey Catalano, the weight-loss guy who sang “Sunday Morning” for his audition and then had a migraine during Hollywood Week. I just loved his voice.

    I would also like to see…I think her name was Denise Martin? Single mom of a special needs kid? She sang “Lovely Day” during Hollywood Week, and I remember thinking she sounded great.

    Other than that, I’ll chime in for Brandon Greene.

  • skylight1219

    Simon was really pulling for Kyle,but, guess Paula and Randy overrode him for Colton Berry. Bad choice!

    I, too, think it’s time for a country male artist to win AI. And, quite possibly, in season 9, we’ll see a folkie win.

  • Sarah

    Simon was really pulling for Kyle,but, guess Paula and Randy overrode him for Colton Berry. Bad choice!

    I’m thinking it wasn’t *just* Randy and Paula. I’d be willing to say that the producers probably pulled some weight there too, considering that Colton Berry was pretty much designated cannon fodder – he couldn’t take anything away from whoever TCO was.

  • wfowfowfo

    I’m kinda puzzled by the Kyle love… was he really that good? I kinda put him in the amateur pile with someome like Ramiele. He’s kinda goofie and awkard — and I think he’d just get thrown under the first bus that came down the road.

    No tomatoes please — I’m a mom of two boys very much like him, so it’s not that I don’t like his type. But I really didn’t see him cut out for the high pressure of the show at all. I couldn’t figure out why Simon wanted him — just to pull the rug out from under him? He did have a great personality.

    I’d rather see new people than the old ones again – it would be really fun to see Andrew Cook make it.

    Maybe they should just have a Sib’s of the Idols special..

  • BootStar

    Heck, I’d like to see Andrew Cook AND Andy Skib audition. I know Skib has a lot going on right now but it’s really a crapshoot. The AI “deal with the devil”might be worth it to him. And he’s so cute and personable and has a lot of experience performing a la David Cook (even though he’s only 22), why not have a whole Friends of DC round in addition to Sibs of the Idols? (Only half-kidding here.)

    I love the whole singer-songwriter/alt-folkie vibe. That’s why I’m loving Canadian Idol so much. (Thank you, MJ, for that!) That’s actually my preferred genre of music to listen to. While I wasn’t a huge fan of either Brooke or Jason (mainly because I think they both had rather limited ranges vocally, although I think with training Jason will grow a lot), there are a lot of great singers out there who fit this profile and are among my favorites: Amos Lee, Joshua James, Brandi Carlile, A Fine Frenzy. They’re all young and extremely marketable types. Can’t imagine there aren’t a lot more like them beating the bushes like David Cook did all those years.

  • sumidol

    The only names I remember were Kyle and Colton. I liked Kyle but I thought he might appear more like chicken little from another season and Colton was a bland pasty blonde, I think he is the one I am remembering, not much personality. There had to have been good reasons for them not to have made it further. So, other than that I dont have much of a opinion on this subject I guess

  • gingerly

    Amos Lee, Joshua James, Brandi Carlile, A Fine Frenzy. Theyà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re all young and extremely marketable types.

    Love Amos Lee and Brandi Carlile. I think the music they write is the most important thing for singer/songwriters. Unfortunately you can’t get that AI. I actually think the voice is secondary for that genre although these two examples have amazing voices.

  • Rebecamia

    Oh my goodness! I don’t post much, but I had to say how excited I am about this! I would love to see Drew or Joey make it further in the competition. I loved both of them.

  • CRB

    I love Samatha Sidley and I hope she tries out again.

  • Duke

    If Kyle Ensley make the Top 24, I feel he will be Sanjaya Jr. The crappy performances w/ a huge dorky fanbase that puts him way too far in the competition. Ugh, seriously, the kid cant make it in today’s music industry. So whats the best that could happen to him? He does well on Idol. Thats it. Why waste a spot.

  • skylight1219

    Actually, Jason’s range is every bit as good as Cooks, and, Archies. There was a post floating around some time ago which had all the idol’s voice ranges, and, Jasons was 12 1/2, same as Cook and Carly, I think.Someone will correct me if I’m wrong. Brooke only had a 10 point octave. Personally, I don’t care for belters that much. I much prefer to hear the words and the melody.

  • catdog

    What does AI not have in a winner?

    A Latin sensation? Isnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t that interesting, too, about auditions in Puerto Rico?

    Maybe they’re looking for another Ricky Martin! LOL

  • Shook

    Actually- if you check you will see David Cook’s range as 14 steps.
    The only one with more range was Syesha at 14 1/2 steps.
    Both Jason and Archie had 12 1/2 steps while Brooke was the lowest at 10 steps.

    This just ranked the ranges of the songs sung on the show.

  • mj

    This thread is about Season 8…

    It’s NOT about how my-favorite-season-7-contestant has a higher range than YOUR-favorite-season-7-contestant.

    Let’s get back on topic.

  • Preston

    If Kyle Ensley make the Top 24, I feel he will be Sanjaya Jr. The crappy performances w/ a huge dorky fanbase that puts him way too far in the competition. Ugh, seriously, the kid cant make it in todayà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s music industry. So whats the best that could happen to him? He does well on Idol. Thats it. Why waste a spot.

    Exactly how I feel.

    But I’d love to see Samantha Musa and Colton Swon again. And sure, Samantha Sidley and Brandon Green too.

    Just no Kyle… or Drew, for that matter.

  • mj


  • Mesmerized

    i think the site was updated as the season progressed to correct the first impression of the ranges … sorry i cant edit my post so i had to post again :happy_tb:

  • Mesmerized

    sorry mj wont happen again ..

  • mj

    sorry mj wont happen again ..

    That’s OK. I realize you probably didn’t read the whole thread before responding. Just trying to keep the Season 8 threads separate from the S7 threads. Thanks…

  • dodsdmr


  • BootStar

    Sorry, didn’t mean to draw out people on a tangent; was more trying to comment on types of singers AI might be going for Season 8. I can see where they would want to take a closer look at some more (contemporary) country singers and singer-songwriters for variety sake.

    We all liked Kyle Ensley in my family because he was so personable, but honestly I can’t remember his singing for the life of me. I agree with Duke and Preston–what exactly would be the point of sending him on? I really hope TPTB stop with all the cannon fodder contestants (but then that would do away with most of the audition episodes, which would delight me, actually).

    Would it really be such a ratings downer if they just concentrated on the genuine contenders? Seems like allowing a variety of genres to be represented in those who proceed to Hollywood would make for a great season and allow the “marketplace” to decide what it really wants. What a concept!

  • spritely

    I fast forward through the bad auditions anyway. At first I did it because they were painful to watch. Now I do it because they’re boring (am I desensitized?) I ONLY watch the auditions in the hope of catching a glimpse of the good ones. So I’d be really really happy if they loaded S8’s try-outs with good ‘uns, and that includes known good ‘uns from S7.

    I feel the same way about Kyle as a few above do. Charming kid, seems sweet as the dickens, but he’d be cannon fodder, imo.

  • schmanda

    On the one hand, I like the idea of do-overs for people we didn’t see enough of who were passed over for (using S7 as an example) Colton/Garret/Jason Y. cannon fodder, which is sad. OTOH, it seems quite silly that out of, what, 100,000 people, there seem to be the same few dozen that repeatedly hover around making the cut. Whenever I give it much thought, the “r” word comes to mind. :ponder_tb:

    And I dunno, I liked Kyle as a Quirky Horse prospect but, damn, by the looks of it, he’ll do quite alright for himself Idol or no Idol. (Stay in school, kids. And don’t do drugs.)

  • Margaux

    Idol is due for either a bonafide male country star, or a soul-pop, but non r&b/urban girl who can fit into the Colbie Callait, Bareilles, Duffy, and yes Leona Lewis, genre. Simon thought Cardin was too cabaret and theatrical for last year, but musical fashion has changed in her direction, and Carly was more of an old school rocker than TPTB expected. So Cardin may look better now.

    The problem with male country singers and idol is that the judges don’t like country. But they like blonde girls, so the blonde country girls get through. There were a couple nice looking young male country singers in last year’s auditions.

  • primeminister

    I’m not surprised. On IDF, Brandon Green already talked about re-auditioning for Idol when the Season 7 competition just kicked off. He must have been told of the rule change back then.

    I think the rules were changed for the country boys. They had quite a few good ones make the Top 50 this year, but my guess was that Colton Swon was cut because he was too young (18-19). It’s generally hard for teens to be taken seriously post-Idol, with the possible exception of Archie (we shall see).

    So, I want to see Brandon Green, Colton Swon, and Drew back to compete. Cardin has a great sense of humor, but I really DO. NOT. CARE. for her singing. I hope she doesn’t come back.

    Generally, I want more singer/songwriter types who can play instruments. Like Canadian Idol this season.

  • idolbeat

    Chris Watson I would be excited to see again. Too bad Alex Lushington couldn’t sing again!

  • idolbeat

    If you forgot Chris, here he is:

  • pj

    I was never bothered by Brandon’s nails, but that’s the way I roll. I know it turned a lot of peeps off, though,

    Brandon, Drew, Colton… bring it on!

    Yeah, too bad about Alex not getting another chance.

  • idolbeat

    pj, what would be cool would be if they could bring her back as a wild card entry into the top 24. I can dream!

  • arca

    OSU junior Kyle Ensley was recently awarded the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship.

    Wow, that’s very impressive of Kyle – one of only 20 from the whole country. I seriously doubt he’ll give that up to try for idol again– damn, this kid may just grow up to be president : )

  • geekygirl

    Very strange they didn’t make the restriction the same for all seasons, that doesn’t make sense? Why particularly season 4 & 5 are top 44? I would have liked to have seen Matt Buckstein again. Maybe he was a little bit too country for the show but he had a great voice.

    And since I can’t remember anyone outside of the restrictions for the previous seasons, I will go with Kyle and Brandon. Altho Brandon may be then labeled Cook lite, as I think they were quite similar? Or am I thinking of Colton Swoon?

  • idolbeat

    Here is another video of Chris Watson, playing the guitar! I’m really hoping he auditions again.

  • Grammie Kari

    Regarding Tammy Gosnell… although Tammy wasn’t as attractive as Amanda (#11 this past year), she sure could sing better. It just doesn’t make sense. Since AI now allows instruments, they should open up all seasons thus providing an equal opportunity. Now, some of these contestants have established fan bases, but it would be up to the judges to select the TOP 24.

    I also love the singer-songwriter/alt-folkie vibe. Time to get Carole King and James Taylor as mentors on the show. I wish Bob Dylan would allow an entire theme devoted to his music only!

    Honestly, there WILL be one or more Latinos in the Top 12. ;o)

  • dogncatmom

    I wouldn’t get your hopes up about Andrew Cook trying out again. A friend of mine’s daughter ran into Andrew over the weekend (they are friends), and while he mentioned a few things as a future possibility, Idol wasn’t one of them.

  • StevenD

    I think they’re missing in the winner are a female rocker, latin singer, country male, and a folk singer.

    I really hope that Brandon Green and Cardin McKinney come back. I thought he had a great tone to his voice and with her I thought she could be turned into a Star.

    Also I don’t think they have the angle of someone trying out th eyear before coming really close and then ending up and winning this year. Which would make a great backstory for them.