American Idol Review: It's The Final Countdown
Let's quickly clarify how this is going to work: America has voted through five girls and five guys. Six contestants will be asked to sing again, and from those six, the judges will choose three.
Got it? On to the finalists!
We're focusing on the guys first. Chase Likens, Jeremy Rosado and Phillip Phillips are called to center stage.
Except instead of telling us which of them is going on and which of them is going home, we get commentary from Jimmy Iovine. Who sounds like he's hocking "As Seen On TV" products. He wants to sign Phillip immediately. Smart man, Jimmy.
Jeremy's the first to be eliminated. Chase is also NOT sticking around. Phillip Phillips is our first guy to the Top 10. And my 15 year old self squealed a little in excitement.
Now it's the girl's turn. Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Hallie Day, and Brielle Von Hugel join Ryan on the floor. Brielle Von Hugel is the first girl heading to the couches. She's out. Hallie Day joins her.
Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cavanagh have both made it to the Top 10.
Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, and Adam Brock are on the chopping block next. Jimmy Iovine says he's really ready to work with Joshua but thinks perhaps Adam's having an identity crisis as "White Chocolate." He's just as confused by Heejun's self-deprecating and wacky sense of humor as the rest of us.
Joshua Ledet's joining Phillip on the bar stools. He's in the Top 10. Heejun Han joins them both. Adam's out.
Baylie Brown, Skylar Laine, Chelsea Sorrell, and Shannon Magrane make their way down from the couches. Poor Shannon started crying because "she's gone through so much" and "she doesn't want to quit now" and "she doesn't want it to end." She's 16. She's got a whole lot of life ahead of her if this doesn't work out. Baylie said the one thing she'd do if she had her performance to do over was "sing on key." Well said, Baylie. Well said.
Shannon Magrane's in the Top 10, so now the country girls remain. Ryan asks if there's room in the competition for more than one of them. Randy says there's definitely room for more than one, but only one of them really stood out. And that one is Skylar Laine. She heads to the stools to join the rest of the Top 10.
Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker, and Reed Grimm line up to learn their fates. Jimmy calls Reed "kitschy" and says He Aaron Marcellus's performance was "a bit Don Cheadle." He said Creighton "has an interesting voice" and he "didn't love him."
I wanted to high five him. The judges seemed irritated that he was telling the truth. First to be announced? Aaron. He's out. Creighton's also out. And so is Reed.
Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Haley Johnsen, and Jen Hirsh hit the floor.
Jimmy says there's too many Adele wannabes on TV right now who have "vocal pyrotechnics... masquerading as soul." And again, I want to high five him. To be Adele, you have to actually, physically BE Adele, not just imitate her because you admire her and like her music.
One of these girls will take the final female spot in the Top 10. It won't be Haley. Or Erika. Jen and Elise are left and they sang the same song last night. Elise Testone did it better and she's moving on.
Deandre Brackensick, Eben Franckewitz, Colton Dixon, and Jermaine Jones are the last remaining contestants. Two of them will round out the Top 10.
Jimmy says he could listen to an entire album of Jermaine's singing. I think I could only listen to an entire album of Jermaine's if I put it on mute. Jimmy also says the rules need to be changed because Eben's not ready yet but he'd like to see him come back later. Except he can't. But I agree with him that Eben's not ready. His advice to Colton? Colton needs to pace himself and not pull out all the stops this soon.
Deandre's the first of this group to get the axe. Colton Dixon's made the Top 10. Finally. Joining him is Jermaine Jones to finalize the Top 10. Randy and J.Lo looked shocked, but isn't this what they wanted in bringing him back?
Six contestants are going to sing again and three of them will be chosen as judges' picks.
Jen Hirsh is singing first. Or shouting. I think I didn't hear what the judges heard. They thought she did better than last night, but I thought she over sang it. I like her and I think she can sing, but I don't know if that was enough to save her, even if I want to save her.
The judges are giving Jeremy Rosado a second chance and he's singing Carrie Underwood's "I Know You Won't." Based on the title alone, I'd say not the good juju I'd want to try to give myself, what with the power of positive thinking and all. He shows his big, squishy heart in the performance and has J.Lo in tears by the end. I think he might've just solidified his spot in the Top 13.
Brielle Von Hugel's given another chance and she chooses to sing Adele's "Someone Like You." Horribly. HORRIBLY. Steven and Randy both felt like it wasn't great. But y'all, this is her life. It's what she does all day, every day. We just don't understand. Except we DO understand. That performance was the nail in her Idol coffin.
The next contestant to get another chance is Deandre Brackensick. He sings "Georgia On My Mind" and actually doesn't overdo it on the falsetto showing some range with his bottom notes. His hairography still bugs me and I really, really want him to just keep it in a ponytail or cut it off.
Erika Van Pelt gets another shot and says she'll be singing Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory." Immediately I think "this is the perfect song for her!" She struggles with the lower notes and doesn't have the same range as the other girls in the competition, but THAT was how you sing to stay. That is what she should've done last night.
The final contestant receiving one last chance is Reed Grimm. That means it's the end of the road for Hallie Day and Adam Brock, to name two.
Reed sings "Use Me" by Bill Withers. Or he scats it. Or maybe he forgot his lyrics and scatted to cover up the fact that he forgot. I really can't be sure. Randy says he's truly unique and I agree. I like Reed and think he's an entertaining performer, but I don't know if that was enough to save him.
The first wild card pick goes to Erika Van Pelt. J.Lo's pick? Jeremy Rosado. And he runs to hug the judges. Steven's choice goes to Deandre Brackensick.
And that's our Top 13
Next week the guys are taking on Stevie Wonder while the girls are paying tribute to the late Whitney Houston. Did America and the judges get it right? Who do you think should've stayed? Did anyone get to stay that you think should've gone home?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.