There aren’t too many spots left in the Top 24 of American Idol season 11, yet there are still some big names waiting to hear the news if they made it or not. It was a shock to see Lauren Gray not make it through. I’m guessing they saved at least one big name that didn’t make it through for today. There is bound to be another shock, and I’m bracing for it.
We pick up where we left off last night, with Adam Brock waiting to hear whether he made it or not. It seems the judges are just blowing smoke up his butt and that he’ll be moving on. But the poor guy is being tortured. He says he was looking at a picture of his daughter, and remembering being asked if he took time, money, and resources out of the picture, what he would do. He barely chokes out his answer, “sing.”
Randy Jackson can feel the joy coming from him. Adam says it’s where his joy comes from and how he knows God loves him. Steven Tyler loves to watch a man cry and hates to do this, but Adam is going to have a beautiful life, as he’s going on through. Jennifer Lopez is in tears too. He shows them a picture on his phone of his daughter, and skips on out of there. It starts on a good note. I’ve got Jennifer’s goosebumps.
Next up is Jeremy Rosado. He’s had a group of other young contestants he’s been close to since Hollywood. It’s been amazing to him to have such a tight relationship and family here. In Hollywood he sang Angel, and sang I Know You Won’t for his final performance. J-Lo grabs Steven’s arms as they listen to his ending notes. He’s been dreaming of this since he was 10 years old.
Facing his judgement, J-Lo tells Jeremy they watched him very vividly in Hollywood, and every time she’d look over at other contestants, he’d be giving the standing Os and cheering the others on. She calls him a nice kid. All of who he is came out when he sang his final performance. There’s no way they wouldn’t want him in the top 24. It’s unanimous. He asks if they’re sure.
Shannon Magrane is worried about blowing her lyrics on group night, but knows her rendition of What a Wonderful World saved her butt. For her final performance, Shannon sang The Trouble With Love Is, and gave Jennifer her goosebumps. She hopes the judges find her worthy. Her dad admits everyone told him to ring Steven’s neck for his remark about her at her audition, that she was “Hot, humid, and happenin’.”
Shannon finds the walk down here a little longer than she’d figured it would be. Steven points to a video of her and asks if she can make it to the end. Without an answer, Steven continues, saying they still had to cut down to 24. He’s not going to draw it out, he thought she was an American Idol to begin with. She’s going through. She celebrates and hugs Steven, towering over him in her heels. Steven wonders if her daddy still hates him.
Scott Dangerfield originally made it to Hollywood last year, but had to pull out of competition. He returned this year and made it to Hollywood again. He sang Folsum Prison Blues for his final performance. He’s hoping the judges saw something in him that they want to put on stage for America to see. He’s nervous, but happy, with his performance, and knows there’s stuff he needs to work on. J-Lo tells him it’s no secret she’s been a fan of his since last year. She was so excited to see him again, but she never felt that same thing she felt the first time. But, she’s a fan, and he is of all three of them. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it this time, though.
After others are cut as well, Skylar Lane gets ready to face the judges. She’s not sure about her chances after seeing Chelsea Sorrell make it. She doesn’t think they’ll put two female country singers through. She’s one of them who was stricken by the Hollywood flu bug, but she recovered to stay in the competition. For her final performance, Skylar sang Fancy, and completely throws it out there.
Steven compliments Skylar on her dress, and Randy notes she’s been consistent since day one. They call her a young Reba, which seems to either shock her or upset her. Her final performance is the route she wants to go. Apparently that’s what the judges think she should do too, as she made it through. She wants to jump up and down but knows her mama would kill her. Steven wants her to bring him some crawfish, but she knows that’s more Randy’s territory.
Hallie Day made it through and is so pumped. Chase Likens makes it too and couldn’t be smiling any wider. J-Lo fought for Aaron Marcellus last year, and fought hard again, and this time she won.
Deandre Brackensick heard no last year, but thinks he’s ready this year. He thrilled them with his falsetto in Vegas, as well as in his final performance, This Woman’s Work. The judges seemed to love it and feel it in their soul, as J-Lo says she’d been dying to her him sing that song since she met him. At his final judgement she tells him his confidence and voice has grown. They’d be crazy people not to ask him to be in the top 24. He’s in.
Jermaine Jones is very close with his mom, admitting he’s a Mama’s Boy. She has now flown out here to be with him. He’s kind of nervous and is hoping everything he did altogether was enough. For his final performance, he sang I Believe in You and Me. After all this waiting, he has seen great people go home, and it’s eating away at him. He thinks he’s good enough and wants to give his mom good news.
Randy tells Jermaine he’s probably one of the most different artists they’ve had in awhile. He was great in his initial audition, then had some up and down performances. J-Lo tells him he had some real shining moments, and it’s been a joy for them to watch him. Randy thinks he’s talented, but that he needs a little more work, so he didn’t make it. He cries, and they seem to be doing everything they can to not cry with him. He tells his mom he’s still great. Steven says he thought he became a singer in this business to break people’s hearts in a good way.
There is one girl’s spot left, and three teenage girls, Ariel Sprague, Shelby Tweten, and Hollie Cavanagh. Shelby has always felt the more pressure she was under the better she did. The judges thought Ariel had potential, but might not be ready, from her first audition. Holly sang Change in her final audition, and Randy called it “so good.” Randy tells them to give themselves a big hand for making it this far with all the talent they’ve seen. Steven tells Hollie she’s going through. The other two are going home. All hug each other, Hollie hugs Ariel and tells her, “You’re so talented; I love you.” It’s terrible watching these three walk out and greet their parents as one delivers good news, and the others sad news.
Now, for the one guy’s spot that’s left. There are two teenage guys, David Leathers Jr. and Eben Franckenwitz. David has been a hit with the ladies and judges since his first audition, and Eben was just as confident, but more quiet. They were in the same group on group night, and by Vegas, Eben had somehow borrowed some of David’s swagger. David sang more MIchael Jackson, while Eben sang You Are So Beautiful in their final performances. I like both, but if I have to pick, I think it would be Eben. David calls it an overwhelming feeling to be in this position. Eben wants to sing for the rest of his life and calls this really stressful.
The two boys sit for their final judgement. Ryan Seacrest points out that David has two more years of maturity and experience over Eben. They admit to becoming pretty good friends after Randy asks if they’ve bonded. David calls this one of the greatest things he’s done, and asks who else can say they met the three judges. Eben agrees it’s life-changing, and that he would rather be no other place.
Jennifer tells David he had an amazing first audition, then it got a little rocky, and Steven thinks they both have stuff to work on, one overconfident, the other under-confident. David didn’t make it, and Eben is going through. David is told to work harder and come back. Eben celebrates behind David on the way out. David knows Eben is a great guy and that he deserves it. He’s definitely going to come back next year.
But wait. The judges pulled a Simon Cowell move and felt compelled to reinstate another guy to make a guy’s top 13. It’s either Jermaine Jones, Richie Law, Johnny Keyser, or David Leathers Jr., and we’ll find out next week. Wow, I could see it being Jermaine or David, based on tonight, and probably Jermaine based on their reaction after they said goodbye to him, but it it could easily go to David. Simon made a last minute change, and Melanie Amaro went on to win The X-Factor.
As the audition season officially wraps up, Steven celebrates by stripping down to his underwear, mooning the camera, and jumping into the fountain pool behind them. Might I say he runs like an old man, but dives like an old man. Just saying.