And the top 24 are…
Letting the contestants play instruments was a stroke of brilliance. Not only did it help us see the true performers who are really comfortable up there on stage, but it broke the monotony of Hollywood Week and – thank GOODNESS – meant that we didn’t have to have any more group auditions with pimple-faced-stress-pups forgetting the words to “Baby Love” by the Supremes.
Carly Smithson (a.k.a. Girl with Irish Accent and Half-Sleeve Tattoo)
Carly certainly did better in her audition than at Hollywood, but you can tell that she can actually sing. I just wish she didn’t sound like she was forcing out that voice. Dude and what’s with the blue tongue? A little too much rehearsal chloroseptic?
David Cook (a.k.a. Slightly Balding Rocker Trying for the Green Day Hairstyle)
I like this guy, he is really comfortable singing. I agree with Simon, though — he might be less comfortable when he doesn’t have a guitar with him.
Amanda Overmyer (a.k.a. Skunk Stripe Janis-ette with Surprisingly Good Voice)
This girl really surprised us. When they did the pre-story on her during auditions, I was so already over her with the crazy blonde bits and the no-helmet-wearing-idiocy on the motorcycle. I was waiting for her to be some kind of screechy twit. We were really surprised by the power of her voice, although we’re not sure she can keep up that rocker’s rasp throughout the whole competition.
David Archuleta (a.k.a. Cherub Face, Cherub Voice)
This kid is just too nice and cute!! A surprisingly strong voice for such a young kid. And he’s just too polite.
Kristy Lee Cook (a.k.a. Who the Hell is this Blonde Chick We’ve Never Seen Before?)
I’ve got no analysis here. Don’t remember seeing her before, but she clearly has the cute adorable look.
Brooke White (a.k.a. Blonde Wavy Hair Big Earrings Nanny Who’s Never Seen an R Movie)
She tensed up during the first Hollywood performance, very distracted by playing the piano. But she does have a good voice and seems honestly very sweet. Interesting to see how her nerves stack up over the next week or two!!
Danny Noriega (a.k.a. Good Voice and Slightly Fey)
Good voice but a bit over-the-top with the mannerisms. Can’t wait to see where we go from here. I predict the judges will get annoyed with him.
Jason Castro (a.k.a. Rastafari-ish)
Uh. Commentary pending.
Luke Menard (a.k.a. Chandler Bong)
Never heard him before. But he kinda looks like a doper, we decided.
Alexandra Lushington (a.k.a. Random Contestant Number Four)
I’d make fun of her since I have no singing commentary, but with a last name like Lushington she’s probably already had a tough go of it. We’ll let her off the hook.
Ramiela Malubay (a.k.a. Tiniest Filipino Singer Ever)
She does have a big voice, especially for such a tiny person!
Michael Johns (a.k.a. OMG is he Really Going to Sing Freddy Freaking Mercury?!)
This guy is good. Our early pick for winner. Amazing. Seen here modeling his action wear.
Syesha Mercado (a.k.a. Scarf Girl Who Got Hoarse)
She does have a good voice.
Robbie Carrico (a.k.a. Didn’t That Look Go Out With Bret Michaels?)
This guy has a much better voice than you’d think. Not blown away yet, but he could surprise.
Garrett Haley (a.k.a. “Harold” Stern)
Never heard of him. I guess we will though.
Kady Malloy (a.k.a. Cute, Blonde, Whatever)
I never realized how many of the contestants I’d never heard of at this point in the competition. Now I do. Alas, Kady, I’m already forgetting you. Go ahead. Prove me wrong.
Chikezie Eze (a.k.a. The Search Engines Will Never Find This Dude Because Who Will Know How To Spell This?! But Trust Me This is the Spelling)
I think I remember his original audition. Sounded good I think.
Amy Davis (a.k.a. Auditioning for the next Tim Burton Flick)
La la la. Someday maybe I’ll have something to say about her. But for now: she’s pale. I’ve never heard of her. There, I’m done.
Alaina Whitaker (a.k.a. Witness Protection Program)
Okay, message to all the hopefuls. Do not put your hands over your mouth. We cannot get a good picture of you. There, I’ve said it. See what you made me do?
Jason Yeager (a.k.a. Host of Talk Soup)
Are you still here? I’m not sure I am. He was one enthusiastic dude when they told him. That’s cool.
Asai’h Epperson (a.k.a. Another Search Engine Nightmare)
Don’t parents know by now to pick a unique name but not one that’s hard to Google? Seriously, though, she’s decent singer but I’m not moved at all. And she has the whole Mary J Blige 2000-crunches-a-day put-together “look” down way too pat for me. Shrug. Yawn. Is there any lasagna left in the fridge?
Colton Berry (a.k.a. Ennh)
Don’t really remember him from before. I don’t think he should’ve gotten in over Kyle the Geeky Governor. That stinks!!!
Joanne Borgella (a.k.a. Plus Size Model)
I like her. I’m glad she made it.
Oh my god I cannot believe he didn’t make it!!!
Josiah Leming (a.k.a. Sad Quavery Tennessee Boy Who Lived in his Car)
He’s really something. I cannot believe he didn’t make it. I know he was rough and even a little disingenous, but geez, he had promise. I hope someone signs him, he’s really good. So sad, nobody even there to console him when he came out. That’s a shame. He’s a talented kid. Somebody sign him!! He’s just as sad and a better singer than Bright Eyes.