When we last left off, Jennifer Lopez was very emotional over the dismissal of Chris Medina, as were many of you. But don't be too sad, Chris released a single called "What Are Words" with 19 Recordings/Interscope. After a brief break, Jennifer was feeling better and ready to dole out more results. For what it's worth, I think the judges did a great job with doling out their decisions. They gave positive feedback and told the contestants what they needed to work on.
MySpace auditioner Karen Rodriguez is a Jennifer Lopez fan who auditioned with a unique version of Jennifer's "If You Had My Love" and performed a Spanish song by Selena for her final Sing For Your Life solo. She was gutsy to perform so many songs that are close to Jennifer's heart. It worked--Karen's in the Top 24! It only takes one upload to change the rest of your life.
Robbie Rosen performed "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" for his final song. Steven Tyler said that Robbie sang his tushy off, and this teen made it to the semifinals! Jennifer told Robbie, "Honestly, you're one of the best singers we have." Randy loves how unassuming Robbie is, and Jennifer and Randy collectively called him brilliant and a genius. That'll look good on his college applications!
Ta-Tynisa Wilson struggled with her final solo in Hollywood. She wants this more than anything, and that drive paired with a better Sing For Your Life performance placed Ta-Ty in the Top 24.
Brittany Mazur and Jimmie Allen only got a little bit of air time throughout the auditions process, and unfortunately we won't be seeing more from them on Season 10.
Would there be two MySpace auditioners in the Top 24? Yes, Tim Halperin's original song performed on the keys impressed the judges. He's here to stay in Hollywood.
Tim's Vegas partner was fellow pianist Julie Zorrilla. Much like Tim, Julie played an original song on the piano when she sang for her life. She walked confidently down the green mile to the judges. I love her collection of fun, colorful dresses and killer heels. She carries herself like a polished star already. The judges said they want more of a connection with her and her performances. I thought she connected well with Tim in Vegas. The judges must've agreed--Julie's in the semifinals. She exploded out the double doors and this pint-sized singer picked up Ryan Seacrest! Even though Ryan is not very tall, it was too much for little Julie and she fell backwards while Ryan came tumbling down with her. That's not something you see every day.
After a commercial break, Ryan recovered from his spill and sat in the Red Room with the cowboys. John Wayne Schulz said "This is American Idol," and he and Ryan joked around a bit. Then Scotty said "American Idol" in his signature deep voice. Ryan awesomely sang Scotty's Idol anthem, "Baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low." Would this town be big enough for the both of them? Scotty's final solo with his guitar showcased his deep vocals, and it was good to see him strum along. Although he didn't sing Josh Turner's "Your Man," he sang Josh Turner's "Long Black Train." Once again Jennifer said Scotty made a Bronx girl love country music. Scotty revealed that he is a quarter Puerto Rican, and Jennifer said that must be where his soul comes from. When he met with the judges to find out his fate, Scotty apologized once again for not speaking up sooner during the Jacee group night situation. Randy talked about Scotty's authenticity before revealing he's in the Top 24...more Josh Turner to come! Unfortunately, this town wasn't big enough for both cowboys. The judges told John Wayne Schulz that he's great but not quite ready. He's happy he carried out his mom's wish for him to audition, and John Wayne rode off into the sunset.
Jovany Barreto still had tags on his dapper ivory suit. Maybe if he didn't continue on the road to stardom he'd have to return the blazer. He is the guy who doesn't like to keep his shirt on. The bilingual singer impressed the judges, so he can tear the tags off his suit and get comfortable for a while. He's moving on in the competition.
Lauren Turner is a housekeeper in New Orleans. She's got a big voice but we didn't see much of her until group night and Vegas Week. Randy said that Hollywood Week was up and down for Lauren, but she did enough to make it to the Top 24. Lauren and Randy celebrated with a "Who Dat" and bonded over their Louisiana roots. When Lauren broke the news to her love ones in the hallway, one of them fainted and I got scared. He fake fainted, but he had Ryan and me going!
Tiwan Strong and Erin Kelly were eliminated. I was hoping to see that Tiwan's family member successfully recovered from her leg cramp, but she wasn't present. We only saw a split second of Erin during Vegas Week. She was very upset about her elimination and said, "I'm going back to reality because this was nothing but a dream."
Rachel Zevita was the next to find out her fate and she was hiding from Ryan. She didn't want to go, but Ryan eased her by talking about how he's seen her grow up since Season 6. With feathers on her shoes and a Kate Middleton type of hat on, Rachel walked down the green mile as her grandma and mom waited with Ryan, and grandma said Ryan was too skinny. Rachel put aside her opera roots and sang Lady Gaga for her Sing For Your Life performance. She's tough on herself and said her final solo was the first time she was proud of herself. As Jennifer told Rachel she's been a fan of her since her Season 6 audition, Rachel's little feathered heels dangled above the floor. Jennifer reminded Rachel to keep it sincere and to stop worrying about what everyone else wants from her because she's off to the voting rounds! Rachel couldn't believe she made it and psyched her family out. She hugged her mom and grandma hugged and thanked Ryan. Moms and grandmas love them some Ryan!
We only saw a little bit of Kendra Chantelle in Hollywood and she did a good job in Vegas with "Blackbird." For her Sing For Your Life solo, she reprised her Nashville audition song, "Fallin'," and showed how much she's improved. The judges move Kendra on to the next round and as she hugged the contestants in celebration, Ryan jumped up and down on the tire table.
Jordan Dorsey had some drama on Hollywood's Group Night, but he seemed to really impress Jennifer during his final solo. I love when Jennifer gets moved by a contestant and turns her head towards Steven and closes her eyes while mouthing "oooh." He explained his group night actions and the judges moved the music teacher to the semifinals. Only eight more spots to fill...
Lauren Alaina is in a pink and purple dress that looks like a Southern Belle pageant dress. Ryan questioned her "Party Cowgirl" look. Lauren was really nervous when she sat with the judges. She had strong showings throughout the audition process but buckled under the pressure in Las Vegas. She sang "Unchained Meloday" once again for the judges. Once Lauren got to the judges she hugged each of them as her skirt swished about. They like her outfit, and when she sat in the chair, it bounced because it's one of those chairs, but Lauren thought she broke it and laughed about how embarrassing that would've been. She has a good personality and a good voice, and after a little trickery from Steven Tyler, they revealed the good news to Lauren. She called Steven mean for his trickery and then re-hugged all of them. Jennifer compared her to Dolly Parton. Only in terms of personality and fashion in my opinion.
Stefano Langone played the piano and sang an original song for his Sing For Your Life solo. I don't know if it was as strong as his other performances, but it was nice to see this singer-songwriter-musician side of him. He was so nervous he hadn't slept in four days, but he'll sleep like a baby tonight--he's in the Top 24!
Jackie Wilson's final performance of Kelly Clarkson's "Because Of You" wasn't as strong as her Aretha songs, and the judges said it's a no. She asked if there was a way for them to change their minds, but the decision was final. She didn't agree with the judges and her family was ready to party with her when she exited the hanger.
Jacob Lusk has a big voice and a bigger personality. His performance of "God Bless The Child" brought the house down and the judges to their feet. His final song was Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You" and he emoted as he always does. When Jacob met with the judges, Randy called his "God Bless The Child" moment "the single best performance on Idol ever." WOW!! Those are big words. After hearing that it was no surprise that Jacob made the show, but he celebrated like no one else. He scream-sang like Steven Tyler and Ryan could hear him outside the airplane hanger. He danced the whole way back down the green mile and I laughed until I had tears. Ryan and the camera crew ran into the hanger and intercepted his party. Jacob lifted Ryan more successfully than Julie did and he spun him around. Jacob outran Ryan through the doors, which swung back at the host and crew.
Pia Toscano found success on Group Night and in Vegas with her friend Karen who made it to the Top 24. Her defining solo gave me chills. When she sat with the judges she was already crying a little. But if she did the math she'd figure out that there are two spots left and two girls back in the holding room and they'd probably bring them both in and eliminate one. This was true, so Pia made the show!
James Durbin started out strong with his auditions but Hollywood Group Night proved to be a challenge. It took me a while to realize that his final solo was "A Change Is Gonna Come," which Adam Lambert sang towards the end of his Idol journey. He was still able to belt out the notes while leaning all the way back. Steven said, "I'll have what he's having." With a flatter hair 'do that I was digging, James met with the judges and Steven said that he was let down with James' performance of "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" because James sang it better than Steven. The judge then said James is going to great heights, as high as he sings. James is in the Top 24 even though Steven was disappointed that James is taller than he is.
No matter the results, Casey Abrams was looking forward to hugging the judges. The unique singer's final performance included the stand-up bass. He stated, "I'm here to prove that people like me can be sexy." He held the last note until he became pink in the face. When Casey met with the judges Randy said, "I don't think we've ever had a musician as talented as yourself. It's like three people in one." The judges welcomed Casey to the Top 24 and he knocked his chair over like a real rock star, but he offered to pay for it.
There was one spot left for two girls: Thia Megia and Jessica Cunningham. Thia's final solo was "You Raise Me Up." This was Jessica's seventh time auditioning for Idol and she made it this far last season. She's pretty much a professional Idol auditioner. It's practically been her job since she was 18! Dressed like a sexy biker chick, it was her 25th birthday. Unfortunately for Jessica, she didn't make it again this year, but I'd bet she'll be back. Will the eighth time be a charm? That meant little Thia Megia was in the Top 24!
Brett Loewenstern, Jacee Badeaux, and Colton Dixon remained in the holding room. Ryan said there was one spot left, but Brett was pretty sure there were two. After some back and forth, the three contestants walked together to the judges. There was one spot left. We saw each of their final solos: Brett's original song, a compilation of Colton's auditions where we learned he's quite the pianist, and Jacee's take on a Michael Jackson song. As they walked hand-in-hand it was interesting to see how different each singer is from one another. The judges explained that they're all so young and can come back again to audition. Brett Loewenstern was the lucky Idol moving on. Jennifer gave Jacee a long hug and he cried in her arms and she cried too. On a happier note, Jacee will definitely be the coolest kid at school after that hug from Jennifer! Brett could hardly party and he explained, "It doesn't matter out of all three who made it because we're all shinning stars and I give us all a round of applause." Awww!
As always, I loved watching the new semifinalists try and dance. The guys all looked goofy and the girls all looked adorable, but it was Casey's backwards somersalt that was the greatest.
A big congratulations to Brett, Jovany, Jacob, Paul, Clint, Robbie, Stefano, Jordan, Tim, James, Casey, Scotty, Naima, Julie, Karen, Lauren A., Kendra, Ashthon, Rachel, Haley, Thia, Lauren T., Pia, and Tatynisa!
Voting begins with the next show and you can do it right here on AmericanIdol.com!!!