After a grueling week in Hollywood, it was time to find out who made the Top 24. Who would be joining Didi Benami, Lee Dewyze, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Katelyn Epperly, Todrick Hall, and Casey James in next Thursday's group number?
Janell Wheeler wants this so bad. Unfortunately, she was sick, lost her voice, and had a poor song choice for her last solo in Hollywood. She doesn't want to return to her job as a wine sales rep in Florida. Ellen tricked Janell and dragged out the final verdict, but then revealed that Janell made it to the Top 24. She was so excited that when she greeted Ryan she said, "If I were bikini girl, I'd kiss you right now." Ryan didn't seem to mind this offer!
It has been a while since Tyler Grady fell out of a tree, and it looks like he's recovered well. The 20 year old late 60s - early 70s rocker sang Daughtry's "Home" for his final solo, which seemed like a weird choice. Also, Daughtry is a tremendously successful Idol finalist so I would refrain from singing a Daughtry song. Tyler showed a good sense of humor when he turned to the judges after his solo and made it clear that despite singing the lyrics of "Home," Tyler does not want to go back home. As Tyler sat with the judges to find out if he made it, they brought up his 70s vibe, but as he did in his initial audition, he subtly told them it's more of a 60s thing he has going on. He mentioned that he watches old concerts to inspire his dance moves. Kara asked Tyler if he'll bring those moves on to the show, and Tyler said, "What ever kind of moves you want, I'll show you." The contestants are cracking me up this season! Well, Tyler will be showing his 70s, or 60s, moves next week during the live shows!
Lacey Brown made it all the way to this point last year and it came down to her or Megan Joy for that specific spot in the semifinals. We all know how that story ended! Simon said the girls are tougher this year, but Lacey made it. They played her final solo, "What A Wonderful World," in the background as we see Ashley Rodriguez, Alex Lambert, and Joe Munoz celebrate their way to the Top 24.
In an interview with the producers for the show, Crystal Bowersox mentioned that she is nervous because 3 million people watch this show. Then the producer corrected her and said that actually it's 30 million, which made Crystal even more nervous. When she met with the judges to find out her fate, Simon and Crystal agreed that this isn't the natural platform for an artist with Crystal's style, but Crystal said she wants this so bad. The judges all agreed to send her through, which means she'll get the opportunity to sing in front of around 30 million viewers. Crystal was thrilled and showed a picture of her baby, "Little T," to the judges, and Little Tony greeted her with tears in his eyes when she exited the theatre.
If this were a multiple choice test, I would begin to doubt myself after getting the same response over and over, but we see another success as teen Katie Stevens makes it to the Top 24. However, we saw a string of eliminations as Nicci Nix, Maddie Penrose, JB Ahfua, Jareb Liewer, and Lauren Daigle left the Kodak Theatre with tears streaming down their faces.
Angela Martin has experienced many highs and lows in her life and during Hollywood Week. She said it best when she stated, "You can't control what life brings, but you got to keep going and hope for the best." Angela is already crying as she heads down the auditorium. Kara shares the seat with Angela and holds her hands and tells her how brave she is. Angela will need that courage, as she won't be continuing on in the competition. Pass the tissues over here, please.
Lilly Scott started off strong in Hollywood but her final solo was a little bit of a mess. However, this unique songbird is in the Top 24. Simon told Paige Miles she's better than she even knows, and Paige is in the Top 24 with Siobhan Magnus, Michelle Delamor, Jermaine Sellers, John Park, and Tim Urban.
There was one spot remaining for the girls, and it was either for Tori Kelly or Haeley Vaughn. Both teenagers were strong throughout Hollywood week, but pop-country singer Haeley got the final spot. The good news is that Tori is eligible for over a decade to try again.
The final seat in the Top 24 was either for Andrew Garcia or Thaddeus Johnson, who both had strong performances and loyal family members supporting them on this journey. Thaddeus enters the theatre first, and Simon said he didn't make it. He didn't do anything wrong, but it was a tough decision with only 12 spots for the guys. Thaddeus was devastated. He cried in the bathroom as his supportive mom comforted him. Like Tori, Thaddeus has over a decade left of being eligible to try out so there is a silver lining. But for a boy who has been waiting half his life for this opportunity, I can't imagine how awful he must have felt.
Meanwhile, Andrew Garcia had no idea Thaddeus was cut. He sat with the judges and they talked about how they love how he changes up songs. Andrew is the final member of the Top 24. He breaks down and cries and said, "I'm usually a cool guy!" Hey Andrew, cool guys cry.
So there it is, your Top 24. We got to watch them dance as they were introduced one by one, and a few have smooth moves, but most are quite hilarious with two left feet. Bring on the group choreography!