I’m working on a Top 24 guide–with pictures and everything! I’ll be posting a guide to The Top 12 guys and one for the Top 12 girls. Watch for both posts in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, for more on your Top 24, check out americanidol.com for the official Top 24 contestant page and videos.
Entertainment Weekly has handicapped 20 of the contestants into what they call the Power List. The betting odds-makers have also joined the fray. At the moment, Chris Sligh appears to have the edge.
Frankly, I think it’s useless to rank the contestants at this stage of the game. We’ve barely heard some of the them sing. And, until we see what they bring to the Idol stage, it’s hard to know who will stand out, and who has staying power. Last season, at the outset, Ace Young, Mandisa and Lisa Tucker were all considered front runners. And the press was all–Elliott who??? I won’t begin to develop strong opinions on the contestants chances until I see them perform in front of the judges. And then, my predictions will probably still be wrong. Heh.
Now, a few tidbits on the losers.
Something just ain’t right here. Shortly after Denise “crack baby” Jackson’s Minneapolis audition aired, the St. Paul Press ran a profile of the teen that included this statement, “Jackson will return to Los Angeles on Feb. 14 for the semifinals.” I found that really odd, because of course, the contestants sign a very strict confidentiality agreement. No way could Denise disclose that kind of information to the press.
Turns out, there’s a big controversy in Denise’s hometown around a so-called fundraiser held to raise money to send Denise back to Hollywood for the semi-finals:
Jackson, 16, and her manager, Rafael Ragland, 28, were featured in several local TV, newspaper and radio reports on Thursday, rebutting a television news segment on Fox47 that aired an hour after Tuesday’s installment of “Idol.” The report focused on a brief concert Jackson gave on Jan. 30 at Cafe Montmartre, which was billed in a press release sent to several media outlets as a $5-a-head “fundraiser” for a trip Jackson would make to Hollywood for her second round of “American Idol” auditions on Feb. 4.
Making matters more complicated, Denise’s “manager” was under the impression that she was still in the running for a semi-final spot as late as January 31, “She was waiting for a call back after the Hollywood audition, but when the call came, it wasn’t nice…They started snapping on her, saying she was scamming people for the trip to Hollywood.”
Ok, maybe Denise was keeping mum about her status, even to her “manager”. But, how could she even have a “manager” if she was still in the running as a contestant?
The Cafe Montmartre show was put together hastily by an outside promoter, Gary Davis, and the press release was sent out by Cafe Montmartre’s Bessie Cherry, who does booking for the club. Jackson and Ragland weren’t aware of the show until the day it occurred and hadn’t seen the press release, mention of Jackson’s incorrect Hollywood departure date of Feb. 4, or any mention of the concert being a “fundraiser, ” Davis said.
Well, the cafe manager was given that information by somebody. So was the press, who believed she was heading back to Hollywood for the semi-finals. Yeah, something ain’t right.
Jory Steinberg, a preternaturally poised Canadian contestant, was considered by many a front-runner after her polished NYC audition. However, poor Jory fell victim to TPTB’s first SHOCKING SHOCKING boot of the season. She and 5 other girls were the first to audition on the first day of Hollywood. All 6 were cut right there and then, putting fear into the hearts, and throats, of the other female contestants looking on.
Jory tells the Toronto Sun:
“I don’t think it was about me specifically, ” Steinberg told Sun Media yesterday from her home in Santa Monica, Calif. “I think we were sort of sacrificial lambs for that group and we were chosen to be sacrificial lambs to show people ‘this is how high the bar is going to be for Season 6, so if you don’t do this and this and this, you’re are going to be just like these people.’ “
Cowboy Matthew Buckstein, who was eliminated Wednesday from the Top 40, has come up with an idea to stretch his time in the spotlight. He plans to continue competing in the competition–from a karaoke bar in his hometown. Matthew explains on his My Space page:
Ive decided to compete ¦ as the lost contestant. …The lost Idol is what Im calling it.
Here how it gonna break down: Every week, Im going to film myself singing down at the same Karaoke bar Ive been going to for the past seven years; Denver Old Hole down on Leetsdale and Oneida. Ill choose a song in accordance with the rules for that week and Ill have one shot at it just like my once fellow contestants. No second takes, no fancy editing and even though it Karaoke, no words on the screen. If I screw it up, you get to see ¦ just like it was live.
Youll be able to see the video on YouTube and myspace video, and with your help, you can plaster is all over the web. But the voting ¦ the voting will take place on my myspace music page at www.myspace.com/mattbuckstein. Every Tuesday after the live performance show of American Idol airs, I will put up my performance for that week up, along with a vote counter. All you have to do is click on the link to vote. Now just like the show, you can vote as many times as you like. And just like the show, Ill leave the counter up for two hours after the show airs in each city. Vote as many times as you want until the counter comes down.
Now, I wont have any judges to critique me so Im going to rely on all of you for your feedback. I want you to leave comments on my myspace page about that week performance. HONEST OPINONS; good and bad. I wanna here them all (just please keep it clean, this is a family show). If the voting results and the feedback are good in comparison with the show, Ill perform the next week. The first week the results arent sufficient ¦ then Im out. Simple.
A clever, fun idea, if you ask me. Good luck, Matt. I’m keeping an eye on you…
Finally, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer makes a point:
Weeks after the acerbic judge [Simon Cowell] told the world that Seattle has the shallowest talent pool “American Idol” has ever waded through, five singers who auditioned here made it to the talent competition’s semifinals.
That ties Seattle with the number of contestants in the top 24 who originated from New York and Los Angeles. Only Memphis, Tenn., did better in the numbers game, sending six through. Birmingham, Ala., San Antonio and Minneapolis squeezed in one each.
I’m not the least bit surprised. I figured poor Seattle really wasn’t as talent-free as portrayed–just another victim to the whims of reality show scriptwriters attempting to create a compelling story line.