The show opens with Hayden Christiansen (??!?) and Ryan Seacrest sitting in front of a green screen pretending to be in Egypt. I don’t get it. Oh, OK. Hayden is pimping his new FOX show, Jumpers. Get off my Tee Vee, now, please. Thank you.
The Top 50 start the day with breakfast. Who could eat under these circumstances? Micheal Johns has a plate full of food!
Next, we see fake footage of Randy, Paula and Simon making “last minute” cisions. Right.
It’s 9 am in Pasadena, and the final eliminations begin. If you’re wondering, the final elimination episode hasn’t changed one bit. Since Season 4, when the format was changed radically, the contestants gather in a holding room on the first floor of the Pasadena Civic Center. They are called up one-by-one to the judges chambers on the second floor. The cameras follow them up the elevator and down the hall to the judges seated at a table, where the contestants learn their fate.
Starting off with…
Ronald Hodge – NO – Who? One of the poor souls who make it all the way to the Top 50 with absolutely no camera time to show for it. Poor guy. We see a clip of him butchering “Only You”, which makes it worse. In the elevator he says, “This is probably the worst
f**king bleep day of my life.”
Nina Shaw – NO – Remember her from Dallas? She’s from Kelly Clarkson’s hometown and had an uneven, but interesting first audition. At least she got a little screen time during the initial auditions.
Mycale Guyton – NO – Never saw her, never knew her.
Lisa Aukerman – NO – Ditto.
Carly Smithson – YES – Carly says that if it’s a no, she may not continue singing, because “you get so hurt in this industry.” Seated in front of the judges, Paula begins babbling her typical nonsense to Carly. Carly starts to cry. Paula made somebody cry! Paula finally tells her that she made it. “You tortured her!” hisses Simon. What? Nice little twist on Simon and Paula’s good cop/bad cop routine. Nevertheless, the pimping continues for Carly, as we see extensive clips of her auditions, and her sobbing in the holding room afterward.
David Cook – YES – After clips of Simon telling David that he’ll be lost without his guitar, Paula tells him that he’s made it through. “I don’t have to go get a job!” David exclaims as he leaves the building. Well. Not at the moment.
Amanda Overmeyer – YES – We hear her sing “Light My Fire” during Hollywood as she walks to the judges table. “We talked it over and we were worried about whether or not this is the right place for you…and…we’ve decided yes, ” says Paula. “Thank you very much, ” says Amanda, as if somebody had just offered her a sandwich. She’s either confident, or took a handful of Valiums with her breakfast that morning.
Brandon Greene – NO – He’s the rocker who auditioned in Dallas who collects his own peeled fingernails? I’m pretty happy I’m not going to have to hear more about that. We see a clip of him in Hollywood with a guitar singing “Love the One You’re With.” Not every dude with a guitar was going to make it through. Brandon is a casualty.
Amanda Hawkins – NO – She sings “I’m the Only One” in her brief clip. I hope she enjoys her 2 minutes of fame. That’s more than some got.
Buck Smith – NO – He’s the guy who forgot the words to “Stuck in the Middle of You” in Hollywood. We see a tiny clip here of him singing “Dock of the Bay”. His raspy vocals might have struck a cord with the audience if we’d heard more.
David Archuleta – YES – “Is this any place for someone like David Archuleta?” asks Ryan. Because, you know, he’s only 16!!??! Ugh. David explains that he’s always doubted his own talent, and that he thought people were only nice to him because “he was little.” Like literally? Simon says, “I thought your first audition was very good, I thought your last audition wasn’t as good as your first one.” Hm. I thought the opposite. Despite Simon’s reservations, he tells David that it was a unanimous decision. He’s through to the next round.
Kristy Lee Cook – YES – We learn that Kristy Lee was FORCED to sing for her life in Hollywood, after stinking it up on her first day. We see her playing it safe in her second shot, repeating her a cappella performance of “Amazing Grace”. Paula reminds her that she fell apart in Hollywood. Randy says it’s about being consistent. Oh, hell, you know they are going to let her through. Paula says, “The truth is…you made it.”
Brooke White – YES – Oh, so it turns out she “stalled” at one point during her first audition in Hollywood. We didn’t see THAT part in Tuesday’s Hollywood footage. Editing–it’s a powerful tool! As she makes her way to the judges, she starts falling apart in the elevator. Simon says, “I think it’s safe to assume at this stage, that if we say no, it’s pretty much over.” If she doesn’t make the cut her career is over? WTF? Randy, saver of careers says, “Some days I hate having to say this…you’re going to be seeing a lot more of us. You made it.”
Danny Noriega – YES – As Danny heads up the elevator, we see him and his tics performing in Hollywood. “You made it Danny, ” says Randy.
And now…it’s the parade of the cannon fodder!
Jason Castro – YES – Randy: “The answer is Yes, Yes, Yes!!!”
Luke Menard – YES – Simon: “Luke, you made it.”
Alex Lushington – YES – Randy: “You made it baby.” I think we know more about her grandma, at this point.
Good luck in the Top 24, guys. With little to no camera time, you’re going to need it.
Ramielle Malubay – YES – Paula says, “You made it.” “Thank yeww!” chirps Ramielle, once again, channeling her (unfortunate) role model, Jasmine Trias. “Sweet little thing, isn’t she?” says Simon. The little girl with the big voice makes the cut.
Shaun Barrows – NO – He’s the piano player from Hollywood who sang Billy Joel. Simon says, “We’ve made a decision, and it’s bad news. You haven’t made it.”
Lorena Pinot – NO – Simon: “Lorena, you haven’t made it.” “Almost, ” adds Randy. I’m sure knowing that helps. Not.
Drew Poppelreiter – NO – Best line of the night: “Well there’s one good thing about this, ” says Drew, “I don’t miss turkey season.” Har. Such a hayseed. I really think he’s sincere.
Natasha Blach – NO – After she’s cut, she takes off with her super-hot husband and cute kid. She doesn’t look too disappointed.
Michael Johns – YES – Michael says there isn’t anything he would have done differently during the competition. “It’s an emotional one here, ” says Paula. “We don’t like having to say no to people.” “This was unanimous, ” Simon says gravely. “Yes, you are through, ” says Paula. “That is RIDICULOUS, ” says Michael. Some Aussie slang I’m not aware of? “Now a whole new set of problems start, ” he says. True, dat.
Syesha Mercado – YES – We see Syesha lose her voice during the first days of Hollywood, then make a triumphant return on the last day. What a trouper! Paula says, “I’m curious, how do you spell your name?” I really hope, we are seeing the permanent return of wacky Paula, ’cause this is good stuff. Paula closes her eyes, “What word is inside of your name?” Syesha is all WTF? Until she gets it. Oh Paula, You are so funny!
Robbie Carrico – YES – “Did this rocker prove himself in Hollywood?” asks Ryan as we listen to Robbie “rock out” with Bryan Adams. I think that answers the question, don’t you? “It wasn’t unanimous, Robbie, ” says Simon, “But Randy and myself decided to put you through.” That Simon is such a kidder.
More cannon fodder for your pleasure. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it…
Garett Haley – YES – Ryan says, “The judges make quick work of Garett Haley.” They sure do. Who the hell is he?
Kady Malloy – YES – Randy, “You’re going to be seeing a lot more of us.” I dunno, her initial audition aired way back in January. Does anyone remember who she is? Just to refresh your memory–She’s the blond from Dallas who does an amazing Carrie Underwood impression. Yeah.
Chikezie Eze – YES – “You made it, you made it, you made it” sings Paula. Not for long, at this rate.
Amy Davis – YES – Simon says yes to her boobs (she’s the sexy part Japanese, model/singer, who auditioned in Dallas). One would assume, since she was only flashed on the screen for a few seconds.
Alaina Whitiker – YES – Blond cannon fodder.
Jason Yeager – YES – Randy says, “You made it baby.” Jason, “Are you serious?” Ryan, putting himself in charge of creating good Tee Vee, makes Jason cry.
Asia’H Epperson – YES – Asia’H retells the horrible story about her dad passing away a few days before her initial audition. We see Asia’H ripping it up during her Hollywood audition. For dad. Paula says, “We are happy to say you’re on board…for an amazing ride!” Oh, that Paula!
David Hernandez – YES – “It wasn’t unanimous, I must say, ” admits Randy. We see Paula and Randy enjoying David’s performance of “Love the One You’re With” in Hollywood. “We fought hard over this decision…but it’s a yes, congratulations.” Then, Simon admits that he didn’t say yes. He tells David he’s going to have to work a heck of a lot harder to even have a remote chance of winning. Perhaps David is too “Broadway” for Simon.
Josiah Leming – NO – Josiah says, in his odd half-Southern half-British accent, that this day is probably the most important of his life. They recap his final performance in Hollywood, where he ditched the band, went solo, then crashed and burned. He thinks he’s made the cut. I’m thinking he proved he can’t work with people, and he’s too fragile to handle pressure. I’d be surprised if they put him through. And they don’t. Randy says it’s a no. Josiah slowly falls apart. By the time he makes it to the holding room, he’s pretty emotional. It’s a little heartbreaking. I really like this kid. He has tons of potential as a songwriter and performer. Idol is not the place for him. I’m hoping this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Josiah.
Colton Berry – YES – and Kyle Ensley – NO – Aw. I kinda like Kyle Ensley. He was inconsistent, and probably would have outstayed his welcome, but his adorable geekitude is endearing. Simon, interestingly, admits that he fought to keep Kyle in the competition. “You’re not the best singer, but I really think you have something that people would have enjoyed.” Simon must be disappointed that his potential whipping boy is out of the race. Heh. Colton? Well, we haven’t seen much of him so far. Time will tell.
Cardin McKinney – NO – and Joanne Borgella – YES – Cardin and Joanne are pitted against each other on looks and race. Will it be the pretty, thin white girl, or the overweight black girl? What do you think? Joanne is put through. It’s interesting, that with all the advance buzz about Cardin, we hardly saw her during the competition. Hm.
We haven’t seen the entire Top 50. I spot Colton Swon, Marsha Hancock, Neyshia Go and some other random people who are never mentioned… Hollywood is not America!
And now, it’s time for the annual Top 24 Dork Dance! Hooray! It means the competition has truly begun…
I’m ready! Are you?