Rants from an American Idol Addict – The Making of the Top 24

For wading through the audition rounds and time spent in Hollywood and Las Vegas, we now get the top 24.  These lucky souls will be part of the live, semi-final round that gets audience votes.  After seeing some of the judges’ favorites since the first round auditions, I’m cringing a tad bit.

Who Makes the Top 24?


  • Jen Hirsh – Still don’t get it.  She over sings like a maniac.  No, Randy, she’s not “one of the best singers this season.”  My irritation radar has flown.  Watch them take Reed Grimm.  Triple ugh.
  • Haley Johnsen – Who?  Yeah, she’s going to be a sacrificial lamb placeholder who didn’t get much airtime early on, thus will not have enough fans to vote her through.  Enough of those are needed to guarantee they get the finalists they want for ratings.
  • Elise Testone – Okay.  I’m alright with this choice.  She did justice to “This is a Man’s World.”
  • Erika Van Pelt – Yes!  She was one I’ve been watching from first audition.  Great voice. *doing slow shimmy*
  • Chelsea Sorrell – Hello lamb.
  • Baylie Brown – This one was a given.  They’ve loved her since first audition.  I wanted to see more of her, but haven’t been as impressed in the later rounds.  Steven flags his concerns about her consistency too.
  • Jessica Sanchez – Another fab singer.  She was a highlight during her group performances.  Beautiful tone.  Honest, emotional singing.  Great range.  And she’s just a teenager.
  • Brielle Von Hugel – Oh great.  We are in for stage mama drama with this one.
  • Shannon Magrane – I’m sure Steven is happy to gawk more, to the agony of her father.  Another one that over sings.  I would love to just be able to hear her and not all the forced notes.
  • Skylar Laine – Maybe I don’t understand the country music aesthetic, but she comes across as too screamy and forced to me.  She has a much more edgy vibe than Baylie.
  • Hallie Day – We get a drive-by “you made it” voice over from Ryan for her with no final solo shown.  She’s been a judges’ fave from the beginning, but I haven’t liked her song choices or performances.
  • Hollie Cavanaugh – Ooo.  I think we might have a sleeper here.  She is good and I love the power and range of her voice.


  • Creighton Fraker – His voice is so stylized, that he’s love it or hate it.  Can’t say I love nasal singers.  Glad he’s bonding with his birth father though.
  • Joshua Ledet – Another stylized choice.  Joshua has more of a church singer vibe to his voice versus Creighton’s pop-rock style.
  • Reed Grimm – They replay his self-created drama of having to switch songs because he didn’t follow the rules.  And his manic drum playing.  Ryan calls him a “colorful character.”  He’s one they want for quirk factor.  No, Randy, he’s not “mad talented.”  Randy is being put into my poo-poo corner.

    Heejun Han

  • Heejun Han – Heh.  I hope his wicked sarcastic humor holds out.  He’s a good singer, though I’m not really seeing him as a winner.  Sometimes it feels like he’s lacking confidence in his performances.
  • Phillip Phillips – Meh.
  • Colton Dixon – One word: overrated.
  • Adam Brock – He’s okay.  I’m waiting for a breakout performance.  I also yearn for him to stop crying.  Heh.
  • Jeremy Rosado – He’s okay.  Pretty tone.
  • Chase Likens – Drive-by celebration with no final solo shown.
  • Aaron Marcellus -Drive-by celebration with no final solo shown.
  • Deandre Brackensick – He sang “This Woman’s Work” for his final solo, a la Maxwell’s version.  And carried the falsetto with no struggles.  Sold.  He’s on my fave list.
  • Eben Franckewitz – Okay, but to me his voice isn’t ready yet.


  • Is it bad form for the contestants to say they won’t come back and try again?  I get it.  Why come back to be heartbroken again and be passed over for less-talented, but more animated characters?  Like, say, Travis Orlando was.  Great news is that Travis says he’s returning to school to get his GED.
  • Stop calling it final judgement, Ryan.
  • So glad they didn’t opt for casting evil cowboy Richie Law.  I totally think he was putting on that attitude.
  • I’m not rocking and rolling over most of the top 12 guys.  I’m hoping for some to breakout and change my mind.
  • It is obvious which contestants are being pushed forward a bit more.  They show the final auditions before the judges for some, yet nothing for others.
  • There will be a “surprise twist” where the judges reinstate a guy for a top 13 guys.  Of the choices, I hope they reinstate eye-candy Jeremy Keyser.  Since he didn’t make it to the final solos though, not sure what his chances are.  Just don’t let it be cowboy Richie.

Next week the fun of the live rounds begins with the ladies on Tuesday, the guys on Wednesday and results for all on Thursday.  Make sure you pop back over and catch my thoughts.  In case you missed Monday’s post where I spotlight author Steena Holmes, please check it out.  There are great writing tips, a thrilling excerpt, music (squee! Idol‘s own Adam Lambert) and even a book giveaway!  Retweet that post and you get an extra shot at the prize.  🙂

So who will you be voting for in the semi-finals?  What do you think of the girls versus guys this season?  Do you think the judges got it right?  

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21 Responses to Rants from an American Idol Addict – The Making of the Top 24

  1. I totally stopped watching (way too much going on) but I love that you put this list together.. 😀
    Good job..

  2. Thanks, Darlene! It feels like we are finally cranking and getting good. I’m hoping for some “WOW” performances next week.

  3. Me too, Darlene. Way too much over the top drama this week … or do they need to have a different approach? I’m glad you are paying attention Barb and giving us the lowdown. I’ll start paying attention next week.

    • I was just thinking that last night, Patricia, while watching the footage of Adam Brock crying and telling about his singing dream. Way too much. They could have edited all that out. I would also like them to end the repeated fake outs by the judges, but know that part is needed to amp the “who is in, who is out” drama. And also pitting the contestants left in the holding room against each other as if it really came down to a choice between them. Love Idol, but this is how they make me rant. Heh. 🙂

  4. Laura Best says:

    Love reading your thoughts on Idol!! Great stuff.

  5. I am playing catch up this week and LOVE your idol update! Woot woot!

    • Natalie, you didn’t miss much with the drawn out decision footage. I’m going to see if I can watch some of the final solos in their entirety either on the Idol site or YouTube, since they didn’t show them all to us. Next week, I’m psyched for full on singing. 🙂

  6. Ali Dent says:

    You do a great job with Idol.

  7. Yay on being an Idol addict.

  8. Hunter says:

    Hello Barbara, I’m just visiting from the 4th Writer’s Platform Building, and I’ve tagged you with eleven questions you may care to answer.
    Find the questions at my post here – https://hunterswritings.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/tagged-and-tagging/#more-443

    And then pass the tag on.

  9. you pay alot of attention to Idol. wow. I am impressed. I won’t bother to watch it – I’ll just read your reviews. I do like the voice, but it’s very different.

  10. Here i am watching the girls on Idol, Barb. The girls are doing a great job. I’ll look forward to your review

    • I’m with you, Louise. I think the girls have far more talent than the boys this season. I hope the really singers make it through versus the pumped up personalities. And I’m glad Randy admitted they were too soft on critiquing the boys. They were.

  11. Pingback: Rants from an Idol Addict – Finding the Finalists and a Wild Card Wander | Barbara McDowell's Blog

  12. Pingback: Rants from American Idol Addict: California Sleeping Top 4 Review and Some Predictions | Barbara McDowell's Blog

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