With the start of the Top 24 Solos and All Star Duets round, American Idol season 19 voting has begun! What’s more, production has settled into the studio space for the rest of the season. The seemingly huge studio gives cast and crew plenty of room for social distancing in the age of COVID-19 restrictions. And the biggest change of all so far–LIVE audiences are back. Only 50 fans were seated in the studio, in separate household pods. And, while it was likely sweetened, the clapping wasn’t canned.
However, the sound editing was weird. At strange times, the sound would switch from specific microphones to a mic recording the entire studio. Sometimes that works. For instance, during a stage rehearsal, having bits of room sound edited in adds atmosphere. But during a recorded for live taping? It’s jarring.
But other than that, it’s awesome having the contestants, judges and live audiences back together again. And voting! Fans didn’t vote at the semifinal stage for seasons 15, 16, or 17. American Idol brought Top 20 voting back last season. But unfortunately, it worked against the show after the pandemic hit. If only American Idol had all the judges rounds taped before March…ah well. This season, voting at the Top 24 stage gets a big thumbs up from me.
Performances! Previously, the Top 20/24 solos and duets were a two week deal. Cramming 24 performances into a two hour episode was too much. The solos were SHORT. Too short. The contestants didn’t always choose their songs wisely, either. Overall, the duets served as better showcases for the singers.
Great performances: Grace Kinstler owned the stage. Willie Spence is Ruben Studdard 2.0. Alyssa Wray’s spunk is infectious. Cassandra Coleman is a gem and an angel. LOVE HER. Wyatt Pike came alive in his duet (SONG CHOICE DUDE). Andrea Valles, with little screen time, gave it her all tonight. But it still may not be enough. Cecil Ray is simply not ready for the big stage. Time to go home to his daughter. Graham DeFranco continues to underwhelm me, but the judges seem to love him.
What say you? VOTE for your favorite solo, your favorite duet nd GRADE the episode.
American Idol 2021 POLLS: Solos & All Star Duets Part 1: VOTE VOTE VOTE
American Idol 2021 Favorite Top 24 pt 1 SOLO
American Idol 2021 Favorite Top 24 pt 1 DUET
American Idol 2021 Grade the Episode