AMERICAN IDOL Season 9: 7 of Top 24 Revealed

AP/FOX, Michael Becker

I watched this two-hour show in about 40 minutes because it was so annoyingly full of filler. Yes, I know that’s how they always do it, but this ep seemed more padded than usual. A hundred twenty minutes weren’t enough for them to reveal all the top 24 contestants? It’s like James Cameron thinking he needed almost 3 hours to give us a nature video!

Let’s get right to the point here. The first 7 singers through to the next round are: (SPOILERS!!)

  1. “Big Mike” Lynche, first-time father whose wife gave birth during Hollywood week. He’s a good singer but his smugness kinda turns me off.
  2. Didi Benami, Lauren Holly lookalike who gets intensely emotional with every song. LOVE her but I hope she can keep her nerves and tears in check during live competition. It’s only going to get tougher from here.
  3. Katelyn Epperly, pretty with wild, fabulous hair but nothing about her voice makes her stand out for me right now.
  4. Casey James, blond Zach Braff-y dude who was sexually harassed by female judges during his original audition (they made him take off his shirt). So unnecessary since his voice is quite good.
  5. Aaron Kelly, kid who was adopted by aunt because his parents couldn’t take care of him and his brother. Seems really sweet, has a decent voice, but I don’t think he’s ready for the big time. He forgot the lyrics multiple times during Hollywood week.
  6. Lee Dewyze, guy with the HUGE voice, probably the strongest male in the top 24 so far.
  7. Todrick Hall, with the striking eyes who made Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” his own.

Wednesday night, the judges will reveal the rest of the semi-finalists: 10 more girls, 7 guys. My guesses for some of the females: Ashley Rodriguez (she’s ready to go pro right now), Haeley Vaughn (little guitar-playing girl with a voice bigger than her body), Angela Martin (smooth operator), and Crystal Bowersox (Janis lives!). If Bowersox doesn’t make it, look out your window for flying pigs.

Among the guys, I can only think of Andrew Garcia being worthy. No one else has really made an impression on me. Doesn’t matter; the Idol will be female this year.

Do you have favorites yet? What did you think of Jessica Furney’s begging? Are you glad Mary Powers is gone? (UPDATE: Here’s the full list of the top 24.)



  • Reply
    February 17, 2010 at 10:45 am

    SO Happy Mary Powers is gone!!!! Even if she made it through no one would vote for her since she acted like a spoiled child in every shot they had of her. If Bowersocks doesn’t make it my apartment will be upset…what an awesome last name!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      Powers’s ego was intolerable to me. Too bad, because she can sing. And Bowersox is IN!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    How the F*CK did Aaron Kelly make it through? What happened to forgetting the lyrics being an automatic out? I get his troubled back story and all, but remember the girl who begged Simon to give her another chance by saying, “We’ve (meaning her group) been through such hardship.”? Simon shut her down by responding, “You haven’t been though any hardship. You were given 12 hours to learn a song. That’s not hardship.”

    Guess they are short on guys this year.

    And, yes, I was glad to see Mary Powers go, too. Anyone who has watched this show at all knows how it all works and she hung herself. Some credit should be put on the editors for making her look like a egomaniac on camera, but she didn’t have to provide the footage for them to do so.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      I agree Aaron Kelly’s sad backstory shouldn’t influence the judges, but I don’t think you can compare his situation to the girl who claimed “hardship” because she had to learn a song overnight.

      I’d bet the editors played up the bitchy angle on Powers but, like you said, she did it to herself by behaving that way.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    You are right, PCN, the show seems to be full of even more fluff than usual. But that was to be expected since they became such a ratings juggernaut and guilty pleasure.

    I don’t miss Paula, but I do wish the producers would straighten out the soap opera-like delivery Kara seems to be using this year. Whenever she speaks it seems as though she should have the same cheesy background music so many soaps employ under their “actors” dialogue. It’s starting to really get on my nerves. LOVING ELLEN though. I think she affects the way Simon responds to the talent in that he finally realizes he is no longer the wittiest person in the room.

    The most annoying thing about last night (other than Kara) was the lack of any actual performances. Don’t they realize that this is why the show is so popular in the first place?

    Alright, I’m done…. Oh, no, I’m not. I WANT TO PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE FOR THINKING ADAM LAMBERT WAS WORTH CHEERING FOR. Adam has proved to be much less than I hoped. Maybe his ego got the best of him? Maybe he bought into his own hype before he developed anything to back it up? I don’t know. I promise to be more selective this time around.

    Now I’m done.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      I liked Kara last year because I thought she was more knowledgeable (and coherent) than Paula, but this year, she’s become annoying. I’m enjoying Ellen, too.

      I was not an Adam Lambert fan and haven’t changed my tune.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Ugh….Just glad the audition process crap is over. I think there is a pretty strong group here this year, but the way the auditions were edited really annoyed the heck out of me. I don’t know why FOX or the producers think we need that long of a “Coming Up” snippet. Even in fast forward mode, it seems as long as the commercial breaks.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm

      I hate the “Coming Up” clips, too. Why not just let it come up after the commercials?

  • Reply
    February 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I am so glad for this fill-in. I just couldn’t take it any more and actually skipped last night’s show. I am ready for the contest to begin! Enough, already! I agree with your picks from the names I recall. I need the final to be set before I can even begin to remember names!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      If you can’t remember all the names, just remember this one: Crystal Bowersox!

      • Reply
        February 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm

        Oh, I DO know her…YES!!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    February 18, 2010 at 12:16 am

    They made that poor guy take off his shirt? Ladies, really!!!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    February 18, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Oh, NICE!! I love your new ‘edit/delete’ feature after comment submission, PCN. Great idea!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      February 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Not only did they make him take off his shirt, they made him take his hair down because he had it in a ponytail. And then they oohed and ahhed over him as if he wasn’t even in the room. Embarrassing. If the male judges did that to a young female contestant, people would be up in arms.

      I’m glad you like the edit option!

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