And The Semifinalists Are Finally Revealed (Mostly)

So after what seems like years of bland auditions, people fainting in Hollywood and the Peggi Blu & Heejun Han comedy team, we have finally reached the (hopefully) entertaining portion of American Idol’s eleventh season. Yes, the top 24 has been revealed after three hours of the least glamorous catwalks ever. (For the purpose of this blog, I am going to pretend like there was no twist and we won’t be subjected to the overwrought, atonal screechings of yet another guy next week. Horrible decision, Idol team. Don’t you want a girl to win ever again? Look at how awesome Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are doing right now with their I-am-woman-hear-me-roar songs. [Ignore how poorly Jordin did with her literal “I Am Woman” hear me roar song. {Woo! Parenthetical statements that go on forever!}])

Anyway, between my shoddy live streams and complete disinterest in the first half of this season, my grasp on this crop of contestants is way worse than it has been in past years. I also have no interest in catching up on everyone because the little I have heard from them has been pretty unspectacular. I have faith, though, that they’ll all be way better in the live rounds and I will have someone to root for. (I already lost my early favorite, Jessica Phillips, this season, so maybe the next person I pick will have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the top 10.)

Here are my abbreviated thoughts on the top 24 based entirely off what I can remember about them from just their picture/name.

Aaron Marcellus – I vaguely recall him as one of those dudes who at some point sang on stage with Reed Grimm. As such, I dislike him. That said, he’s black and I’m super racially discriminatory when it comes to music so I have high hopes for him.

Adam Brock – You know what the world did not need? Another Danny Gokey. One was way more than enough, Idol. I don’t know if it’s just his face or his voice and his personality too, but my brain throws up all sorts of red flags whenever Adam is on screen. He just oozes all sorts of goopy schmaltz that leaves you feeling unclean.

Baylie Brown – I honestly have no idea how someone as attractive as Baylie is still toiling around the American Idol auditions five years after her first audition. Simon Cowell is rarely correct about anything that actually has to do with music, but he initially told Baylie something like “your voice will be better in a few years and you’re commercial with a capital C” and he was actually right. Her voice is way stronger than it was in Season 6 and she just looks like a pop/country star.

Brielle Von Hugel – Her mother is the devil and as such she’s spawn of Satan.

Chelsea Sorrell – I remember thinking her voice was pretty at some point.

Creighton Fraker – He has zero chance of getting through to the top 12, right? RIGHT? RIGHT? There are enough guys I passionately dislike that I know are making it to the finals, so I’m not going to bother myself with Creighton who should be easy cannon fodder. RIGHT?

Chase Likens – … who?

Colton Dixon – Colton Dixon looks like a skunk and has a passion for singing Daughtry songs. Yet he’s not my least favorite contestant. This is either a testament to how great Colton is (he’s not) or to how truly aggravating most of the guys are (they are). Really, if he shaved his head and got an entirely new musical identity, I would have no problem with Colton.

Deandre Brackensick – He also needs to do something about his hair, though it’s not nearly as offensive as Colton’s. He walks the line between completely unobjectionable and totally grating. I have a feeling he will cross that line when I have to hear his voice for a full 2 minutes straight.

Eben Franckewitz – The greatest thing he’s given me so far is the hilarious clip where he’s fist-pumping behind a totally crushed David Leathers Jr. Totally appropriate.

Elise Testone – I distinctly recall enjoying something she did at some point. But as pleasant as I find most of the blondes this year, I also find them horrifically interchangeable. It’s been a while since we’ve truly had this many interchangeable blonds.

Erika Van Pelt – This Mobile DJ, however, is not part of the interchangeable blonds. I’ve really loved Erika since her audition and she’s one of the few contestants who hasn’t once made me cringe. I find her extremely rare trait of sticking to the melody truly inspired.

Haley Johnsen – Interchangeable blonde!

Heejun Han – I don’t think I can properly describe my love for Heejun in text. He deserves more. He deserves song. Heejun, I promise to dedicate a song to you before the season is over. For all the water you mostly sweat.

Hallie Day – Interchangeable blonde!

Hollie Cavanagh – Okay, so are there really three blondes named Haley, Hallie and Hollie? Do they just do this to screw with us? Hollie is lucky she was a standout of S10’s Hollywood week, so she’s memorable from that. I sort of enjoy her and her crocodile tears during her audition last year were delicious.

Jen Hirsh – She has a gigantic voice and demolished “Georgia On My Mind.” You can take demolished to be a good or a bad thing. Jen auditioned in Season 9 with “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead.” No joke. Google that shit.

Jeremy Rosado – His voice is smooth and he seems like a totally nice guy. So… clearly he’s the best male contestant this year. *sigh*

Jessica Sanchez – Blew off the roof during Vegas group performances and then showed off even more spectacular vocal abilities in her final showing. Plus she’s been around the Youtube block and so I don’t see how she isn’t a lock for the top 12.

Joshua Ledet – The audition they showed for him was horrific. I am afraid of his voice.

Phillip Phillips – Okay, so I greatly dislike Phillip Phillips, but I think he is a fine dude. His personality doesn’t make me want to die. His voice, however, does. Why does he always have to sound like he’s passing a kidney stone? I love “Nice & Slow” a lot. It takes a lot of work to make me dislike it. Phillip Phillips put in that work. (Also I refuse to call him “Phil Phillips” because Phillip Phillips is way better.)

Reed Grim

Shannon Magrane – Interchangeable blonde!

Skylar Laine – She’s sort of country, right? Honestly I think I had an opinion of her but I don’t remember it, which clearly bodes well for her.


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