American Idol Season 9: Hollywood Week 2

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

So, here's what I think goes down in the series of events leading up to the mishmash of scenes we're shown over this week's two episodes: after the cuts from group round, each contestant sang one more song for the judges -- seemingly from a rather short list of choices, including, most prominently, "Man in the Mirror," "I'm Yours," "Bubbly" and "Hot 'n Cold." Then the judges deliberated and picked their Top 48-ish. And then, just to mess with all of us and make the show stretch out into three totally unnecessary hours over two totally unnecessary nights, they did the following:

  • Separated the 71 contestants into 3 holding rooms of 24-ish each
  • Tortured them with silence for a few hours while they deliberated
  • Cut one of the rooms

But NONE of this matters, despite the gravitas (and inaccuracy) of Ryan's voiceover -- which contains many very serious phrases such as "hangs in the balance" and "baptism of fire" and "this is the final judgment" -- because then they make every contestant come into the theatre and sit in the Chair of Doom to learn their fate with regard to the Top 24: oui ou non? Like as far as I can tell there is nothing in between one decision and the other decision except that the judges rewatch all their footage. Very strange.

So basically those of us who watched this wasted 3 hours of our weeks that could have been spent ogling cute speedskaters, snowboarders and curlers (BELIEVE IT). Who planned this nonsense?

HOWEVER, for all my complaining, I am happy to inform you that the Top 24 is one mostly of satisfaction. And here they are:

  • Michael "Big Mike" Lynche, whose final performance ("I'm Yours") was incredibly mediocre but overall I like, and I think America will embrace him.
  • Didi Benami, who is awesome and one of my favourites; I won't lie, the dead best friend story makes me CRY and CRY.
  • Katelyn Epperly, who looks much better with her hair all big than tucked up under a hat.
  • Casey James, on whom both Kara and I have ridiculous crushes now. The eyes! The voice! The hair! The guitar! The voice! THE EYES! Kara: "He's not cute at all." Randy even gives Kara a hug to show her how she popped her leg when she hugged Casey. (I would like to note that the first time I watched this, when Kara hugged Casey, I yelled at my roommates, "SHE LOVES HIM. SHE JUST DID A LEG POP.")
  • Aaron Kelly, tiny little high school student who's got pipes but is no David Archuleta in the star-quality department.
  • Lee Dewyze, who's got my whole household in an uproar with his hottie-boom-bottie-ness. Again with the eyes. (He needs to lose his chin swatch though.) He seems... Canadian. (This is just about the highest compliment I can pay someone.)
  • Todrick Hall, who made up that song about the judges for his original audition.
  • Janell Wheeler, whom I've loved since that jaw-dropping "American Boy" cover, but who flubbed her last performance of "Love Story" quite badly.
  • Tyler Grady, he of the white man fro.
  • Lacey Brown, who was passed over in favour of Megan Joy last year, and whose cover of "What a Wonderful World" is played over the next three announcements.
  • Ashley Rodriguez, whom I know nothing about.
  • Alex Lambert, who, yes, shares a last name with you-know-who, but who also was saddled with the horror of Mary Powers in the group round.
  • Joe Muñoz, whom we've barely seen up to this point. Can you say "cannon fodder"?
  • Crystal Bowersox, who thought only 3 million people watched this show. Ok, I like her, only... there is this nasal thing in her voice, and it makes me cringe-y at times. But I get her vibe, and I dig it.
  • Katie Stevens, the 17-year-old with the grandma who has Alzheimer's. She is adorable and a wonderful singer and I covet her vest.
  • Lilly Scott, of the platinum grey hair but otherwise really fascinating and cute style.
  • Paige Miles, whom I've never seen before.
  • Siobhan Magnus, the cute girl who wears rags.
  • Michelle Delamor, whom I've also never heard of before.
  • Jermaine Sellers, who is the other Jermaine from the one who got kicked off. (Yup.)
  • John Park, the cute, tall Asian guy with the really low voice.
  • Haeley Vaughn, who annoys the CRAP outta me.
  • Andrew Garcia, who deserves this more than any of the rest of them. Top 2. I'm calling it right now.

And uh... That's 12 girls and only 11 guys, but in the end credits where they all do a little dance for us (some more adorably than others), we're told that Tim Urban is also in the top 12 guys, so. Who knows.

People of note that we say goodbye to (I'm not bothering with the whole room that got cut):

  • Shelby Dressel, the ridiculously beautiful girl with the facial paralysis (the judges are very encouraging and want her to come back again; I concur).
  • Jessica Furney, who argues so much with the judges about it that I can't even talk about it anymore except for this sentence that I am hating even as I type it.
  • Angela Martin, which was a big surprise to me because they kept trying to sell us on how awesome she supposedly is. She is devastated and the judges and Ryan are so sad for her and supportive of her that I wonder why they didn't pick her.
  • Tori Kelly, which is for the best as she probably wasn't quiiiiiiite good enough to make the Top 12, even if she is so scorching hot that it makes me feel a little confused. She could come back in a year or two and do much better.
  • Thaddeus Johnson, who is a monster good singer but very young, very self-impressed, and with the most excitable stage mother ever invented. The judges love him and tell him he didn't do anything wrong, but he's devastated. Because apparently he can never try out for the show again? I don't understand these people.
  • Maddie Penrose, with the big colourful "glasses."
  • Some other people whose faces look familiar but whose name I know not. Am I supposed to know and remember everybody's name already? Sometimes the way Ryan rattles them off at me, I feel like he expects me to.

Next week: 3 nights of American Idol. Because we are expected not to have lives outside this show, I guess.

Tags: recap, american idol

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