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Final Judgment

Last night's episode of American Idol continued where the previous episode left off, with judge Jennifer Lopez in tears after delivering bad news to one of this season's hopefuls, with fellow judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson comforting her. Would she be strong enough to continue giving the results to the top 40, who were being whittled down to the top 24?



Of course, after a short break, J. Lo did find the strength to continue, and the rest of the top 24 were revealed.

First, Karen Rodriguez, who had auditioned via Facebook, got her news. For her final song before the judges, she wore a black evening gown and sang a song in Spanish. As she walked the Green Mile to her final judgment, she wore a black long-sleeved scoop shirt with a short skirt. J. Lo told her, "I've been a fan from the very beginning." She noted that, during Hollywood Week, Karen "kind of disappeared in then middle... then showed what you were made of." She concluded, "You had me at 'If You Had My Love'." Karen is in the top 24. [Karen's results]

Next to hear his fate was teenager Robbie Rosen, who fought a childhood disability. He did "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" for his final song, wearing a white T-shirt, black military style jacket, and jeans. He's been consistently good throughout the audition process and his last song was no exception. To the final judgment he wore a brown T-shirt, black leather jackets, and jeans. Steven told him, "You sang your ass off." (He's going to have to watch the cursing during the live shows!) He added that he was "positively sure... that you made it through to the top 24." [Robbie's results]

Tatynisa Wilson had had a rough week in Hollywood. Her final performance of "Unbreak My Heart," wearing a salmon-colored dress, was pretty rough, as well. In the decision chair, she wore a gray dress with black geometric figures with black high heels. Randy noted that Tatynisa was probably disappointed with her Hollywood performance. J. Lo added, "This show, it's about not having a bad day. You have to give us all that you know you have inside you." Just when you thought they were giving her the good-bye kiss, Steven said, "We saw that in you." She's in the top 24. [Tatynisa's results]

We learned that Brittany Mazur and Jimmie Allen had been cut.

Tim Halperin, who charmed J. Lo in L.A., accompanied himself on piano for his final performance, an original song. He wore a white button down shirt, tie, and a black vest. The song itself was pretty mellow. For the results, he wore a white T-shirt, black jacket, and had a whistle around his neck. Steven asked him, "Tell me how you're feeling." Tim conceded that his first audition "wasn't my strongest" but he'd tried to pick songs "to show the artist I am." Randy told him, "We looked at your overall journey." J. Lo said she's "always been a fan" and thought he'd gotten stronger. He's in! [Tim's results]

Fashion plate Julie Zorrilla was wearing a really cute minidress with a pouffy skirt. Her parents had emigrated from Colombia. For her final performance, she wore a green patterned dress and accompanied herself on the piano, showing off strong vocals. J. Lo told her that some of her performances lacked depth and emotion. Randy agreed about the lack of connection. Still, she made it into the top 24. [Julie's results]

Country singer Scott McCreery had a rough time in Hollywood, messing up his lyrics for one performance and finding himself in the middle of controversy when his group cut 15-year-old Jacee Badeaux from his group at the last minute. For his last song, he sang a country song with guitar, wearing just a simple button-down brown shirt. In the decision chair, Scott apologized again for Jacee: "I wasn't the man I should have been. I didn't stand up." Randy praised his authenticity" and told him, "We're big fans. Guess what that means? Congratulations!" [Scott's results]

However, there wasn't room enough for two country singers, and it was the end of the line for John Wayne Schulz, who wore a yellow oxford shirt, jeans, and a black hat to get the news and took it in stride.

I had been having trouble placing shipbuilder Jovany Barreto until they showed the clip of him taking off his shirt at his audition. For his last song, he sounded good, especially strong in his upper register, as he wore a charcoal suit with black shirt. To get his news, he wore a putty-colored suit with a black shirt. J. Lo told him that they'd been agonizing over the decision, but "luckily for you, that doesn't matter, because you're in the top 24." [Jovanny's results]

Lauren Turner, a housecleaner, did "Steal Away" for her final song, showing off a big, bluesy voice and wearing a black shirt with black pants. For the final news, she wore a teal shirt, charcoal miniskirt, and black leggings. Randy told her, "We were blown away by the big voice" but that in Hollywood, it was up and down. "You made it!" She then delivered the results to the holding room, and her boyfriend pretended to faint. [Lauren's performance]

After that, we learned that Tiwan Strong and Erin Kelly had been cut.

Rachel Zevita, who had made it to Hollywood before, was waiting for the news with her mother and grandmother, wearing a quirky outfit with vintage touches: a black lace shirt, old-fashioned hat, silver bedazzled tie, and black pants. For her last performance, she wore a black blouse, black leggings, and rhinestone necklace. She showed off powerful vocals on "I'll Never Love Again." ` They fake her out, with Randy saying there were some good moments and some "not sure moments" and Steven telling her, "We're sorry to tell you... you're coming through." [Rachel's results]

Kendra Chantelle, for her final performance, sang her Nashville audition song, "I Keep Falling In and Out of Love with You," wearing a dark purple tunic, black leggings, and thigh-high black boots. As she waited for the news, she wore a white shirt dress with a wide black belt. Steven told her, "We're a little concerned. Twenty-four people, and they have to be beyond good." Randy added it's "an amazing accomplishment just to get this far." Steven built her up again, tell her that all along the way, "you've done the right thing." She delivered the news to the holding room, saying that the judges told her, "There's a lot of people that have to be cut..." but she's not one of them. [Kendra's results]

For music teacher Jordan Dorsey's final song, he did "So High," wearing a white button-down shirt, gray tie, and charcoal vest and dress pants. Of course, he'd been highlighted in an unflattering way during Group Day, when he'd been having other contestants audition for him to be in his group. For the final judgment, he wore a cobalt blue button-down with a gray vest that said "Truth" on the back. Randy schooled him for his auditioning of other contestants and told him that "some people might have felt dissed." J. Lo said, "There's 24 spots, at the end of the day, and a bunch of people are being cut..." but not him. He's in. [Jordan's results]

Lauren Alaina was wearing a sort of showgirl outfit consisting of a purple, puffy, glittery dress with matching purple and pink bedazzled cowboy boots which looks amazingly like an outfit I had for my Marie Osmond doll when I was little. For her final performance, "Unchained Melody," she wore a black and white top, a black shrug, and jeans. Steven told her, "I don't know how you're going to handle it, since you're going through, girl." Immediately, she hugged him, then the others. [Lauren's results]

For his last performance, Stefano Langone, who had survived a bad car accident, did an original song, "Come Home," accompanying himself on the piano, wearing a black shirt, simple silver cross, and dark jeans. It was much better than most of his Hollywood Week performances. To get his results, he wore a black T-shirt with red and blue design, black Members Only jacket, jeans, and red sneakers. J. Lo told him that "someone has to go home... at the end, we really feel we'd love to have you in our top 24." [Stefano's results]

For Jackie Wilson's final performance, she did "Because of You" and forgot the words. J. Lo told her that, during Hollywood Week, she'd started out strong and fizzled out toward the end. "I hate to tell you, you didn't make it this time." Jackie wanted to know why, and Randy told her "Consistency is everything." [NO VIDEO AVAILABLE]

Jacob Lusk, according to host Ryan Seacrest, has been coasting on his big voice (translation: oversinging). His last performance no exception, as he embellished the heck out of "Song for You" in a rose-colored shirt with skinny black tie. To get his results, he wore an eggshell blue shirt with a salmon tie. J. Lo asked him, "How are you, Sweetpea?" Randy gushed, "Your performance of 'God Bless the Child' is the single best on Idol ever." (Wow. Really?) Randy continued, "For that alone, we are happy that you are in our top 24." Jacob started stomping his feet and celebrating. He's guaranteed to be good television, too, which doesn't hurt. [Jacob's results]

Pia Toscano wore a short black dress with long sleeves for her final performance, a pop ballad where she gave it her all. For her walk down the Green Mile, she wore a short black dress with no sleeves. J. Lo told her, "We're going to keep this short and sweet. You made it into the top 24. We're very happy to have you." [Pia's results]

James Durbin, who has Asperberger's (a form of autism) and Tourette's syndrome, wanted to show he had control when he sang for his life, singing "A Change is Gonna Come" in a blue plaid short-sleeved shirt, vest, blue bandana and fingerless gloves. Becaues of his fondness for high sustained notes, he compared himself to Adam Lambert. Again in his final performance, he hit some really high notes, which I found screechy. Steven joked, "I'll have what he's having." On the Green Mile, he was wearing a black hat with a brim (which he removed), a leather coat over a hoodie, and a T-shirt, with a handkerchief hanging out of his back pocket. Steven joked that James had let him down when he did "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" because he "did it better than I did it." He continued, "I think you're going to go on to great heights. Welcome to the 24." [James' results]

At this point, there were only two spots left for the guys. Casey Abrams, waiting for results, said that, no matter what happened, he was looking forward to hugging J. Lo. For his last performance, accompanying himself with a standup bass, he declared, "I'm here to prove that people like me can be sexy." He gave a smoky performance of "Why Don't You Do Right?", wearing a black shirt, chocolate brown suit jacket, and pewter tie. In the decision chair, he wore a beat-up gray sweater and brown pants. Randy told him, "In the history of this show, I don't think we've ever had a musician as talented as yourself. It's like three people in one... So dude, welcome to the top 24." Casey stood up and flipped the chair, which fell off the stage. He hugged the judges and then said about the chair, "I'll get that. I'll pay for it, I swear. I love you guys so much." Of course, he left the chair behind, perhaps forgetting about it or perhaps at the insistence of the producers. [Casey's results]

Then it was down to the last two girls, Thia Megia and Jessica Cunningham. Thia's last performance was "You Raise Me Up," wearing a gray tunic, colorful scarf, leggings, and an oversized shirt. For her final song, Jessica did "We Can Work it Out." Both girls went in to see the judges together, Thia wearing a pink pouffy skirt with a matching flower at her waist, and Jessica dressed all in black. Jessica told Ryan, "You are the undertaker right now to me." It was her seventh time trying out for the show. It's her birthday, she told the judges, so they could feel even worse if they cut her (!). Oh, and she turned "a quarter of a century" (wah!). J. Lo remarked that Jessica is "our rocker" and Thia is "our 15-year-old phenom." She added, "You've both done great, both had moments where you were a little bit shaky." J. Lo said, "As tough as it is, we're going to ask Thia to stay, and Jessica, it's the end of the road this time.". In a follow-up interview, Jessica gave the judges two middle fingers up for "ruining" her birthday. Whoa. Can you say sour grapes? [Thia and Jessica's results]

Finally, the last three guys, Brett Loewenstern, Jacee Badeaux, Colton Dixon, went in together for their results. For his last performance, Jacee sang very sweetly, if a bit hesitanttly, in jeans, a blue shirt, a jacket and scarf. Brett sang one of his own songs, "Bullet Vest," wearing a red and black striped shirt, black military jacket and black pants. The song had kind of a tuneless melody. Colton's last performance involved accompanying himself on piano, wearing a black shirt and a tie. He sounded very smooth. Randy told them it had been a "tough, tough, crazy day for us." J. Lo said the three of them are "So talented, special, unique." Steven summed up that Jacee had "had a hard time. Brett, your story touched a note. Colton, you're just crazy good." J. Lo reminded the three, "You're so young you can come back as many times as you want... so we hope that happens." Randy announced, "So the person going through out of the three of you ... is Brett. Colton and Jacee, really sorry. Love you guys." J. Lo hugged Jacee, saying, "Oh, sweetie. You have magic in that voice. See what happens, OK?" The three walked back down the Green Mile, holding hands. Brett looked so sad about the results (don't forget: he's the one who saved Jacee on Group Day by inviting him to join his group). Brett had some final words for his fellow contestants, "It doesn't matter out of all three who made it. We're all shining stars. To be in the top 40 out of hundreds and thousands of people, we've got to give ourselves a round of applause." Such a sweet kid; I'm looking forward to seeing how he dos. [Brett, Jacee and Colton's results]

Next week, American Idol will air on three nights: the girls will perform on Tuesday, the guys on Wednesday, and the results will be announced on Thursday.

Moral:
When there's this much talent, not all the viewer favorites can move on.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
lettucebun
Feb. 26th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
I really appreciate your recap! I'm really looking forward to next week. Casey Abrams is my favorite so far - such a wonderful voice!
alycewilson
Feb. 27th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it. Casey is one of my favorites, too.
fourzoas
Feb. 27th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
I don't think I can remember an audition period on Idol that I've enjoyed this much!
alycewilson
Feb. 27th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
It has been fun! Looking forward to the live performances.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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