The nail-biting Top 24 results show began with the Season 10 slogan, "Every superstar begins with a dream" and shots of the auditions along with our semifinalists' "winning" (Thanks, Charlie Sheen) moments. They had one shot to win over America, and tonight we'd find out who America chose for the Top 10.
Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler were brought out on stage to deafening applause. Steven was wearing a hot pink ruffled shirt and bedazzled sneakers. The stairs of doom were back, but Ryan Seacrest successfully traversed them.
In this show we'd witness the largest cut we've seen at this stage of the competition. I wasn't sure if I was ready for that, but I guess there's no choice. Forty million votes came in over the two nights, and many of those votes were cast right here on AmericanIdol.com/Vote. The Top 24 took their seats and they looked really nervous. The top 10 vote-getters would be announced, and then the judges would decide from the 14 left who they want to hear sing again for the wild card.
There was no group performance. Sometimes I think a group performance with 24 people is a safety hazard, with uncoordinated singers trying to gallivant diagonally across the stage. After a recap of Tuesday night's show, Ryan chatted with the contestants. What a way to increase the suspense! We saw footage and outtakes of the Top 12 guys being interviewed, and it was really cute and I enjoyed getting their candid thoughts.
For the first time this season, dim the lights here we go. My stomach dropped a little; I'm totally invested in this season. Scotty McCreery and Robbie Rosen were up first. Ryan recapped each performance again, and asked them some questions. These two teens are living their dreams and they answered Ryan's questions well. Scotty was the first person sent to the Top 10, and his loved ones were very emotional. Robbie wasn't voted into the top, but he may get the chance to sing again tonight for the wild card.
Clint Jun Gamboa, Jordan Dorsey, and Jovany Barreto joined Ryan on the stage. Clint was very emotional, and I loved how Jordan put his arms around Clint and Jovany. Clint and Jordan have not made it into the Top 10. The show got Jovany's hopes up, but then revealed that he's not in the Top 10 either. Four guys down...just like that! Only 4 more spots for 7 remaining guys.
Next it was time for the ladies. Pia Toscano and Lauren Alaina were brought to the stage first. Both had solid performances the night before. Pia was breathing hard and both girls looked emotional. Ryan shared that Lauren was in the Top 10 and she hugged her fellow teen Thia over at the stools before joining teen Scotty on the couches of safety. But wait! Pia was also in the Top 10!
Ta-Tynisa Wilson and Julie Zorrilla were up next, but unfortunately neither girl was voted into the Top 5 spots for the female singer. Kendra Chantelle, Ashthon Jones, and Karen Rodriguez were invited to join Ryan. He revealed that Ashthon did not make the Top 10. There was one spot for either Karen or Kendra, and it was Karen who was an American Idol finalist.
Tim Halperin, Casey Abrams, and Jacob Lusk were up next. Ryan gave the update that Jacob is in the top. Casey and Tim seemed extremely genuinely happy for Jacob. Between Casey and Tim, one would be in and one would go back to the stools. Casey made it to the Top 10. He got a lot of hugs on the way to the couches.
Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia, and Lauren Turner were brought to the stage. Everyone was crying, and Ryan read that Naima was not in Top 10. Thia also made it to the Top 10, but Lauren didn't. Thia's alphabet sweater and jean shorts with black bike shorts underneath didn't make her look any older.
Brett Loewenstern and Paul McDonald were up next. The self-described "frosted cookie" did more hair tossing during the results, and Paul was wearing that rose embroidered white jacket again. Paul was the guy moving on to the Top 10.
Haley Reinhart and Rachel Zevita were welcomed next to Ryan. Only one would make it to the Top 10, and it was Haley. She's come a long way since getting cut in Chicago last year.
The guys did the math and realized that either James Durbin or Stefano Langone would make it to the Top 10. These San Francisco auditioners have been roommates since Hollywood, so it was bittersweet when James found out he was advancing.
Before the live show, all 24 semifinalists rehearsed with the band, and Jennifer revealed that the judges selected six contestants to sing for the wild card: three guys and three girls. Ashthon Jones was selected to sing first. She sang Jennifer Hudson's "And I'm Telling You" which was appropriate for this occasion. She got right up in the judges faces and pointed at each of them with a "YOU and YOU and YOU, you're gonna love me." Ashthon sounded really good, and after that performance I believed that she's not going. She was very emotional as the judges critiqued her.
Stefano Langone was selected by his girl Jennifer Lopez to sing. He said I'm singing "I Need You Now," and I thought Lady Antebellum was a bizarre choice, until he mentioned Smokie Norful. I thought this was better than his Bruno Mars performance. Jennifer was bouncing in her chair and the judges seemed pleased. Jennifer said she was more nervous than ever and there was no way to get this group of contestants wrong. Steven called him a gilded lily.
Next up, Kendra Chantelle sang "Georgia On My Mind," by Ray Charles. It started really deep and then she hit her sweet spot in her upper register. Randy said the same thing and loved how she hit "all kinds of notes up there."
The second guy was Jovany Barreto. He dedicated "Angel" by John Secada to the one he once loved. With tears in his eyes he took the microphone and sang in both English and Spanish. Hey, it worked for Karen this week! Jennifer told Jovany he did all he could do. That made me think they're sending Stefano through, but I'm probably reading into this.
Naima Adedapo was the last girl selected. Ryan brought Ta-Tynisa, Julie, Lauren T., and Rachel to the stage for America to say goodbye. This is so tough. Naima is doing "For All We Know" by Donny Hathaway. At the end of her song she broke down crying.
The last guy selected was Robbie Rosen. Ryan brought Brett, Tim, Jordan, and Clint down to say goodbye. Brett asked to give the judges hugs. Robbie selected Elton John's "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."
The six were brought back out, but we wouldn't find anything out until after the break, naturally. But, after the break was Jennifer Lopez's music video for "On The Floor" followed by another break. Randy said Ashthon is moving on and she couldn't believe it. After asking if it was her, she screamed and ran over to the Top 10. Jennifer said they're sending two more through, and one of them was Stefano, who had a warm reuniting moment with James. Rounding out the Top 13 was Naima, and her husband celebrated like crazy in the aisles of the audience.
Congratulations to the finalists: James, Jacob, Karen, Naima, Casey, Haley, Ashthon, Paul, Stefano, Lauren, Scotty, Thia, and Pia!
That episode felt more like an event than just an ordinary TV show. I'm exhausted. See you back here Wednesday for the live performance show. What do you think of your Top 13?! Share your thoughts in the Idol forums.