American Idol 11 – Final Judgement Pt 1 – Recap and Videos

The American Idol 11 Top 42 will sing for ONE LAST TIME in front of the judges at the Wynn Theater in Las Vegas in order to hopefully secure a spot in the Top 24.

I’ll be live blogging tonight at Entertainment Weekly. Do join me there if you’d like! I’ll be back here as soon as the episode ends on the East Coast to post videos, polls and a full recap!

Fourteen of the Top 24 were revealed tonight.  The other 10 contestants will be announced in tomorrow night’s 1 hour show.

First of all–The judges’ attempts at reality show fake out is pretty pathetic.  When they’re drawing out the reveal, you know the person has made it.

Speaking of drawing out the reveal. A three hour green mile? REALLY?  It’s bad enough that I know the spoilers, but even if I did not, I’d still be bored.  The should have split it up into singing one day, reveal the next. There’s too much going on at once here–I’d rather hear longer solos than the rehash.  At least we’ll meet each of the Top 24 and get a bit of an introduction. I do feel like I’ve gotten to know the contestants pretty well so far.

Next week, it’s two nights of performances (Tuesday and Wednesday)  with sudden death eliminations and wild cards on Thursday. Should be exciting!

Entertainment Weekly Live Blog


Looks like reveals will begin tonight!


Jen Hirsh – “Baby I Love You” – Top 24

Jen had a good Hollywood week. She got a standing ovation for her performance of “Georgia on My Mind” I like her, but she does have a tendency to over sing at times.  The judges didn’t like her final performance as much.  Randy says he has seen her better. “We’re your friends–kind of.”  Well, that’s a ringing endorsement.  Except, she made the Top 24.

Creighton Fraker – “New York State of Mind” – Top 24

Argh. I don’t get what the judges see in this guy.  He TOTALLY oversings. We get a bit of his back story–he only met his birth father recently, and it turns out he’s a heavy-metal musician.

Lauren Gray – “I Would Rather Go Blind –  CUT

I’m sure there are many who are disappointed that Lauren didn’t make the cut. I am not particularly–I don’t feel she’s got much in the way of dynamics. Everything she sings is LOUD.  The judges’ told her to come back, which sounds like a kiss off. But you never know–there are several second chancers in this year’s crop.

Joshua LedetTop 24

Wow. Joshua Ledet’s audition was ridiculous. And I don’t mean that in a good way. I liked him a lot in Hollywood, and now, I’m wondering if he’ll be another Jacob Lusk–a gospel singer who has no idea how to dial it back.  We’ll see.  He really commands the stage when he performs, which is half the battle.

Blaire Sieber, Naomi Gilles CUT

Blaire, Naomi–we hardly knew ye. Buh bye.

Haley JohnsenTop 24

Haley hasn’t had much screen time. I wonder why? Because she’s pretty awesome. The girls are so good this year, I can’t imagine that one will not be my favorite.

Neco Starr -“Lady In My Life –  CUT

Clayton Farhat, River St. James, Caleb JohnsonCUT

Bye. Bye. and BYE.   Neco’s song was so old-fashioned, I can’t figure out how he thought that would work for him.

Elise Testone – “This is a man’s World ” – Top 24

Yay! Elise! Another favorite girl. She’s got a really unique sound and a lot of passion. And she seems to have a load of personality. She may wind up being my fav girl.

Reed Grimm – “It Don’t Mean a Thing If it Ain’t Got that Swing” – Top 24

Reed gets on my last nerve with his “quirky charm”, but there is NO denying his musicality. The dude is really talented.  I just find his personality a bit too precious by half.  His last performance, accompanying himself on a drum, was impressive.

Erika Van Pelt –  – Top 24

Wait…maybe Erika will be my favorite girl. I love her husky alto.  Jennifer didn’t like her last performance–she didn’t like the song. And I have to say, I agree.  But I’m still looking forward to seeing what she can do on the Idol stage.

Chelsea Sorrell – “I Told You So” – Top 24

Chelsea totally spaced and forgot words on her final performance. But Steven told her to stop and start over. She seemed to get it right the second time.  There are so many great female voices in the competition, I think she’ll have trouble standing out.

Baylie Brown “Here Comes Goodbye” – Top 24

Baylie’s got a really great country sound. I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t make the Top 12.  Steven doesn’t think she’s very consistent. Or maybe she’s just saying that for the drama.  “This doesn’t make me very happy to say,” says Steven, “It makes me ecstatic.” Sheesh.  So Baylie gets redemption after getting cut in Hollywood 5 years ago.

Richie (Cowboy) Law – “Ring Of Fire” – CUT

Oh my gosh. There’s no words for Richie’s performance of “Ring of Fire”. It’s really really bizarre. The last note is really…odd.   Bad singing aside, I’m happy to see this asshat finally get cut.

Heejun Han – “New York State of Mind” – Top 24

Heejun works with special needs kids! They helped him get out of a bad depression. Sniff.  Heejun is witty, and adorable and he cries when he’s emotional. He’s going to have a TON of fangirls. I might be one of them. Shhhh.  Yeah, I know the singing has issues (he really needs to work on his diction) but I’ll be voting for him anyway.

Ryan: So, you say you’re sweating Heejun.
Heejun: Yeah.
Ryan: What are you sweating?
Heejun: Mostly water.


Jessica Sanchez – “The Prayer” – Top 24

Jessica Sanchez already has a fanbase brewing. She does have a strong voice that’s mature beyond her 16 years.   She’s one of those kids who have been singing all their lives.  Things could get interesting with her.

Phillip Phillips – “Nice and Slow” – Top 24

Mr. I Gargle Rocks and Can’t Really Sing without My Guitar. I’m underwhelmed at this point. When he hits the Idol stage without his guitar, or has to traverse different genres, he’s going to have a hard time.

Colton Dixon – “Fix You” – Top 24

First. What the heck is up with that hair.  I find Colton to be inconsistent. Sometimes he sounds great, but too often he’s off pitch and shouty.  He accompanied himself on piano for his last performance.

Brielle Von Huegel – “Killing Me Softly” – Top 24

The bitch edit Brielle got in Hollywood has already done her in. It doesn’t matter how well she sings on the Idol stage.  The producers show her stage mom being obnoxious one more time, lest we forget.  Brielle is actually pretty good–it’s too bad.

Adam Brock – “You Don’t Know Me” –  I just can’t bring myself to care about his guy.  Having said that, I think he’s got the potential to do well. He’s got a throwback soul style that tends to be popular with Idol viewers.  He cried a lot during his reveal.  Which is why the producers chose to use it as a cliffhanger for next week. CLIFFHANGER!

About mj santilli 34998 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!