And we thought last night was the biggest night. Now this one really is the biggest night so far of the American Idol season. It’s the night we finally find out the final 24! And last night, Ryan Seacrest promised us that it would be the most emotional yet. I bet it might even be the most dramatic rose ceremony ever!
Here we are back at that hotel with the lonely elevator that opens to the long, empty penthouse. The three judges are pouring over the fifty finalists, trying to narrow it down to the the final 24. At 9:00 AM, the judges have finally made their decisions, and they’re waiting for the contestants to get there. Simon Cowell isn’t very happy about the choices, some of which he must have been forced into.
First up to face Simon, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul is Ronald Hodge. We haven’t seen him before. Randy tells him it’s been a long, hard journey for him, with some issues going on in Hollywood. He reminds him it’s tough decision time, then tells them it’s a no for him, but he should go get some more experience. In the elevator back down, Ronald calls it the worst day of his life, and everyone downstairs seems shocked. Nina Shaw hears no as well, as does Mycale Guyton, and Lisa Aukerman.
Carly Smithson is possibly going to be the first one through. She never failed to amaze everyone, and for gosh sakes the girl wore a mask at home for a week to avoid her dog’s allergens. Good God, she was one of the blue-tongued ones on the last day in Hollywood. She is definitely nervous, and Paula tells her it’s tough, and they look at everything, like personalities, how they present themselves, and San Diego wasn’t her shinning glory, but Hollywood gave her some nice moments, but she began to doubt herself. Simon tells Paula Carly isn’t interested in listening to them. Paula continues, saying she knows who she is as an artist, a beautiful singer, and she is going to be in the final 24. She is encouraged to let all the nerves go. Paula gives her a big hug, and Simon gives her a hug and a kiss. Everyone has their fingers crossed for her and celebrates at the news she made it.
David Cook will perhaps be the first guy to make it through. Paula doesn’t even draw it out this time. He’s through. Everyone is excited. While we’re on rockers, will Amanda Overmyer make it through? The rock ‘n roller, a Harley-riding nurse, hears from Paula that they talked it over trying to decide whether this was the right place for her, and she just calmly says thank you when she hears yes. We have more rockers walking in through the door, but they can’t all be making it through. Brandon Geen, Amanda Hawkins, and Buck Smith all hear no.
David Archuleta with the paralyzed vocal chord is the next in. Simon tells him the first audition was very good, but the last wasn’t as good as the first one. He adds they took into account he is only 16, and the fact that they need to spend extra time with the younger ones. It was unanimous for him … with good news. He’s in, which we all figured. He tells them it was worth the wait, and wishes them a good day.
Kristy Lee Cook, the kickboxer that lives in a log cabin, after saving herself with another version of Amazing Grace, is in to see the judges for her … judgement. She tells Paula she’s feeling pretty good. If she gets a chance, she knows she’ll do better. Paula reminds her how she fell apart in Hollywood, and I’m sure Kristy was grateful to be reminded of that. Randy reminds her it’s about being consistent, and Paula tells her the truth is she made it. Kristy asks for permission for a hug, and gets one from Paula. The first to hug Kristy outside of this room is Brooke White.
Brooke White, the nanny who hasn’t seen R rated movies, talks of being a bundle of nerves, waiting to hear what the judges will say after she knows they didn’t like her on the first day of Hollywood. She talks about not realizing it before, but she really, really wants this. She’s clutching her arms tightly as she walks into the long empty room, and she tells them she’s great today, through tears already. Paula asks what’s going through her head, and Brooke says it’s kind of a big change, as well as the possibility of a no as far as music goes. Simon tells her if they say no at this stage, it’s pretty much over, and Randy tells her some days he hates saying this, but they’ll be seeing a lot more of her. She cries all the way out, saying, “This is so awesome!”
Danny Noriega asks the camera in the elevator if his hair is okay. One young guy made it already, will another? Yes, another does. And Jason Castro, Luke Menard, and Alexandrea Lushington, all make it through, too. They’re warned to let it out in the elevator and they do. They let it out downstairs with their friends and family as well.
Ramiele Malubay says she doesn’t get a lot of chances like this. She’s cold and nervous today, with Paula noting the big voice that came out of that teeny little body. She’s happy to say on behalf of all of them that she made it. Ramiele sweetly says thank you and walks out, telling Ryan, “I did it!” Her family is there to greet her, as she’s one more step closer to being the first Asian Idol.
Shaun Barrowes hears the bad news that he didn’t make it. Lorena Pino doesn’t make it either, but seems like she’ll be okay with that. Drew Poppelreiter is happy he won’t have to miss turkey season. Wahoo! Natashia Blach gets to go home to her family so that’s a good thing for her.
Michael Johns has a sit down with Ryan and seems pretty confident. He can’t even think of anything he’d have done differently had he been given that chance. Once in the elevator the cool slips off the cucumber. Paula tells him it’s an emotional one, and they don’t like to say no to people. Simon let’s him no it was unanimous …. yes. He’s excited, to say the least. This was another we figured would make it, and most of us wool Dave been shocked had he not made it.