Wow, folks – I’m not even going to lie. This one was intense. I’m going to skip the rest of my usual spiel and jump right in. Ready? Here we go!
America Votes: Your Top Ten American Idol Contestants Revealed
This is what we knew about last night’s episode from the start. There would be some tough cuts made as America votes for their favorite contestants for the first time. Ryan announced at the top of the show, however, that wild card slots would be available once America’s chosen top ten were announced. It seemed there wasn’t a real plan in place as even the judges didn’t know how many wild cards they’d hand out. First up, though, the results of America’s first vote.
After a lot of blah, blah, blah and a few clip packages, the first two contestants were called forward. It was a tense moment as I loved both of these kids from the start. Robbie and Scotty both looked fairly confident but also nervous. Scotty was sent to sit on the big ‘Top Ten’ couch all alone. Robbie was sent back to await a potential shot at a wild card.
With Scotty safe and Robbie in jeopardy, Jovany, Jordan and Clint stepped forward to learn whether America put them in the top ten. I felt horrible for Clint. He looked like he was having a anxiety attack and he had reason to be a little nervous. After booting Jacee out of his group, Clint didn’t really do anything to try to make himself look better in the eyes of America and, yes, Clint – that matters. People have to like you if they’re going to vote for you. The same goes Jordan, although all three dudes had ego to spare. In what was the cruelest moment of the night, Jovany was made to sweat it out with Jordan and Clint getting their nos first, undoubtedly leaving Jovany to think he was a yes. He wasn’t. Come on, producers. That was just mean.
When Lauren Alaina and Pia Toscano were called to the stage together, I knew Scotty would have two lovely ladies sitting on the couch with him before Seacrest even started talking. If anyone thought either of these girls was going home, you haven’t been watching the show so far or even the clip packages in the episode. Even so, poor Pia was made to think she was going home – not that Lauren believed it for a second, telling Pia “You too!” before she went to the couch. Lauren – and everyone in the audience, I’m sure – was right and both sailed through to the top ten.
With Lauren Alaina and Pia Toscano taking two of the five spots in the top ten for the girls, it was pretty obvious some bad news was coming. I was sad to see Julie go, but wasn’t terribly surprised. Her first performance in front of America just wasn’t good. The saddest part of Julie’s departure is knowing she had the talent to go so much further. Ta-tynsia has talent, but I’ve never been overly impressed with her. I was far more heartbroken about Julie.
This one was a no brainer for me. Ashthon all the way, right? Wrong. Ashthon was the first cut of the three, followed by Kendra leaving only Karen to go through to the top ten. I was shocked. I liked Karen over Kendra but I liked Ashton over them both. She had more charisma and more stage presence. America and I definitely disagreed on this one. I do like Karen though – just not more than Ashthon.
Taking a step away from the girls for a moment, we head back over to the boys with Jacob, Casey and Tim taking the stage. It would’ve been impossible to make this one dramatic. It was pretty obvious Jacob and Casey were going through. The only real question here was whether or not Tim would be joining them. When Jacob was given his yes and we were told either Tim or Casey was going through and not both, it was obvious to everyone – except maybe Casey – that Tim was the no.
I don’t even want to write this one. I was screaming-at-the-TV angry at America. Naima and Lauren got cut? I love Thia and I think she earned her spot but Karen over Naima and Lauren T? Nope. Wrong. The shot of Randy’s expression after Naima was cut said it all. Boo!
When it came down to Paul and Brett I almost wept. I love Brett. I want to hug him and give him smooches. He’s so cute. That said… ugh, I had to root for Paul on this one. Brett Loewenstern is a rock star, but I don’t think he was quite ready for Idol yet. Not sure how it works – is he able to come back after making it to the live show? If so, he really should. He’s only young and there are big things in his future. So I rooted for Paul and he made it through. Still felt bad about Brett though.
When Haley and Rachel stepped forward to find out who would take the last girl’s spot in the top ten, it was pretty obvious it was going to be Haley after Rachel’s performance Wednesday night. That said, it didn’t feel right. Haley is talented, but did Haley really deserve it more than Rachel overall? Did she deserve it more than Naima, Ashthon or Lauren T? Once again America and I disagreed. I was hoping Rachel would at least get the chance to try for a wild card spot. Wednesday night aside, she earned it throughout the competition.
It came down to James and Stefano, roommates since Hollywood week, for the last guy’s spot. James has a huge fan base so I wasn’t surprised he went through, but I was a little surprised Stefano didn’t. I knew there was only one spot, but I was surprised that it came down to these two in the end. In my humble opinion, Stefano has the better voice. I was disappointed he didn’t make it. The show wasn’t over yet though.
I got it wrong with the girls but pretty much right on with the boys. The top ten Idol contestants as chosen by America were:
- Scotty McCreery
- Lauren Alaina
- Pia Toscano
- Karen Rodriguez
- Jacob Lusk
- Casey Abrams
- Thia Megia
- Paul McDonald
- Haley Reinhart
- James Durbin
The Wild Cards
With the results out of the way, Seacrest starts talking wild cards. There are still an undetermined number of wild cards, but we know six cut contestants will ‘Sing for Their Lives’ – three girls and three guys. One by one, the six contestants are called forward and we are treated to some truly amazing performances and some only okay performances. First up, Ashthon Jones.
The confidence, charisma and true talent of this girl has earned her a spot in the competition. When she had the chance to sing for that wild card spot, she went for it – big time. It was everything we want to see from her and more. She should’ve been in the top ten.
Strong, powerful, confident and emotional, Stefano’s last chance performance gave me chills from head to toe. Incredible all around. Absolutely brilliant.
Okay guys – this one made me angry. Kendra is a beautiful girl with a beautiful voice, but she is nowhere near as talented or even charismatic as Lauren Turner or Rachel Zevita. There is nothing memorable about her and her last chance performance proved that. Stupid call, judges. Lauren and Rachel deserved a second chance over Kendra.
Second bad call on the judges part for me. Like Kendra, there is nothing stand out about Jovany. Both Kendra and Jovany are talented, but they don’t bring anything to the table others don’t. Brett, Tim, Clint – all contestants that deserved the second chance more than Jovany.
The only reason I didn’t include Naima in my little rant about Kendra is because I’d already seen the end of the show and knew Naima got the last spot for the girls. She earned it and she used it to its fullest potential. Great performance very fitting of who she is as an artist. She nailed it.
Like Naima, I didn’t mention Robbie in my Jovany rant because I knew he got the last shot for the boys. He performed ‘Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word’ by Elton John and it looked like he had the top ten in tears. It was a beautiful performance and an emotional moment. He lived up to expectations and performed beautifully.
The judges have a hard decision. All six wild card candidates delivered incredible performances – even Kendra and Jovany. They needed a little more time so those poor contestants were made to wait even longer to learn their fate on the show. When all was said and done, though, Ashthon would got the first wild card. I was pretty sure that meant the end of the road for my beloved Naima, but was glad if she lost her spot to anyone it was a stand out like Ashthon. It was then announced there were two more wild cards any my hope was rekindled. Stefano – my pick for the boys, much as I loved Robbie – got the next card and then…
Yay Naima! Still in the game! I hope America smartens up and keeps her around. I love her more than puppies (almost)! Now, for my two cents – Stefano was the clear stand out for the boys and definitely deserved his wild card, but I honestly think the judges couldn’t choose between Naima and Ashthon and decided to put them both through. They’re both incredible talented, beautiful and charismatic, but in different ways. Naima takes the stands and commands the attention of the entire room with little more than her voice, while Ashthon struts it around the stage. Both great girls and both well deserving of another shot.
Before I wrap this up, a final note on the whole wild card thing. A lot of people seem to be saying that Wild Cards are useless as the contestants that are given them probably won’t be able to get the votes they need to continue on. I have two arguments for that – Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken. Both of these past Idol contestants only stayed in the competition because of wild card picks. Jennifer Hudson is now an Academy Award winning actress. Clay… well, he still does stuff too. Don’t count out the wild cards. Only time will tell us the story there.
By the end of last night’s episode we were left with the top thirteen with Ashthon, Stefano and Naima all earning wild card spots. Next week American Idol is back to Wednesday and Thursday night so make sure you come back to for my complete recap of all the American Idol action of Thursday and Friday.
Now, what are your thoughts readers? Did America pick the right top ten? Did the judges pick the right wild cards? Who were you happy to see stay and sad to see go? Is your favorite still in the competition? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!