The Wildcard Round – Idol Mixes it Up

There has been so much confusion around the wildcard round, I thought I’d do my part to clear up what I can.

Check out the American Idol schedule for the next few weeks HERE.

Tuesday at 8/7c pm is the live two hour performance episode featuring Group 3 of the Top 36.   The 3 contestants moving straight to the Top 12 (girl and boy with the highest votes, plus the next highest vote getter of either gender) will be revealed during Wednesday’s live 1 hour results show at 8/7c pm.

Then, on Thursday at 8/7c pm, 8 or 9 remaining contestants will be called back for the live 1 hour wildcard show.   This is where it gets confusing.   MTV confirmed some details with the producers:

  • Each judge can pick two contestants from those remaining in the Top 36. There will be 8 or 9 contestants competing in the round.
  • Those chosen for the wildcard will perform a song on the show.   (There’s no clarification whether the contestants can sing a brand-new song or not.)
  • The judges will vote on each contestant at some point during the hour, with Simon breaking the ties–same rules as the audition phase.
  • By the end of Thursday’s show, three singers from the group will be chosen by the judges to round out the Top 12–added to the 9 contestants already voted through by viewers.
  • The LA Times has confirmed that the Top 12 will NOT have to be gender balanced.

Speculation ahead: If the singers can perform brand new songs–and really, with many of them criticized for picking the wrong song, it’s pointless to dole out second chances only to have them crap the bed with the same damn song–the round will likely have the 8/9 contestants performing   either be a’cappella or maybe with Michael Orland accompanying them on piano.   There just wouldn’t be time for the kids to rehearse new tunes with the band.

Reasonable scenario: The kids perform their songs, the judges meet for a big pow-wow afterward (the cameras spying on some of the proceedings), the three advancing to the Top 12 are announced at the end of the show.

My picks for wildcard after the jump…what are yours?

My personal picks for the wildcard round so far would be: Anoop Desai, Ricky Braddy, Jesse Langseth, Mishavonna Henson or Megan Corkrey. I wouldn’t be opposed to giving Matt Giraud a second chance. I kinda hope Nick Mitchell/Normund Gentle gets picked for that 9th spot, just for the entertainment value.

I believe the judges will pick: Anoop Desai because votewise, he just missed getting in, he’s so damn likable plus he adds diversity to the group. Megan Corkrey, because the judges keep yammering on about how commercial she is. Tatiana Del Toro–maybe–because she had a decent vocal and they won’t be able to resist the dramz.

They’ll surely give buzzworthy contestant, Matt Giruad, an opportunity to redeem his Group 2 trainwreck (everybody loves a triumphant comeback!).   And maybe Ricky Braddy.   Because, how could they deny his fantastic vocals? Well they could–Lisa Leuchner was denied a wildcard spot Season 3, despite being hailed the best vocalist of the season by Randy–there is precedent.

I also think Ann Marie Boskovich–an early judges favorite–and Jesse Langseth (I hope!) may have a shot. Stephen Fowler also is a possibility–he faltered in the semis, but showed some serious vocal chops in Hollywood. He could be a comeback story, as well as add to the group’s diversity. If the judges are looking for a male contry singer–Brent Keith from group 1 would be the way to go.

Who would you like to see advance to the wildcard?   Who do you think the judges will advance? Discuss!

About mj santilli 34830 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!