On the last episode, American Idol took two hours of your precious life (or at least mine) to select 14 contestants worthy of being in the Top 24. Today they will choose ten contestants in just one hour, and we can all move on with our lives a little faster.
As you may recall, despite having two hours to wrap things up, Idol opted to leave us with a cliffhanger where Adam Brock was figuratively dangling over a cliff, although it would have been far more interesting if he was actually hanging over a cliff instead of blubbering about his love of singing. Not that there's anything wrong with really loving singing, but it does not make scintillating television. The judges encourage the public humiliation by dragging out the process to ridiculous lengths. Steven Tyler finally admits that he loves "to watch a man cry," and woefully admits that Adam is on to the Top 24.
Next is Jeremy Rosado, who made the judges (as well as all the caged puppies across the land) cry by singing that Sarah McLachlan song (oh, you know the one). But it's his last performance that Jennifer Lopez deems "transcendental," telling him there is no way they don't want him in the Top 24. Shannon Magrane, the 16-year old daughter of the MLB, is really regretting forgetting the lyrics way back in group rounds. This doesn't stop her from getting through to the live rounds, though, especially because she gave Jennifer Lopez "goosies," which is way less dirty than it sounds. They don't even drag it out. Mostly because her dad is waiting in the wings, and Steven Tyler is pretty sure the guy still wants to kick his ass for hitting on his daughter.
Scott Dangerfield has a name straight out of Top Gun, but a sweater so ugly that even Bill Cosby would think twice before wearing it. It looks like a couch that has been getting its price marked down on Craigslist for two weeks. Be right back – going to create a Kickstarter to buy him a new sweater. Oh wait, he didn't make it to the live show. Guess he can go on home, and his real friends will tell him that he needs to burn that ugly sweater with fire. Following Scott's dismissal, we get a tear-filled parade of people we've never seen getting sent home with nary so much as a chyron with their names on it.
Skyler Laine gets her moment in the sun, and Randy Jackson even takes time to compliment her dress, which is either the death knell or just a time killer. It's a time killer! She's through after she promises Steven she will get in touch with her inner rocker, a feat that in Steven's world surely involves Spandex-wrapping your liver. Also in the Top 24 is Hallie Day, so don't expect her back in treatment any time soon, okay? Country crooner Chase Likens is in, as well as Aaron Marcellus, a decision for which J.Lo takes all the credit. Next, repeat contestant Deandre Brackensick, with his White Lion-meets-Richard Simmons hair (which deserves its own Tumblr), wows the judges with his falsetto. His perseverance pays off.
Jermaine Jones is the gentle giant with some serious mama issues to sort out, if he ever wants to date a gentle giantess. For example, saying this about your mother – "I call her my beautiful and she calls me her handsome" – will never, ever get you a girlfriend. Jermaine has been crying his eyes out (and drowning a Smurf village while he's at it) in the waiting room, because of his concern about disappointing his mother. The judges give him the bad news: He's not ready for this year's competition. The gentle giant cries on J. Lo's green-sequined shoulder as Randy Jackson pats his back. Eventually J. Lo starts crying, too. Probably because Jermaine is crushing her.
Three girls are left in the waiting room, but there's only one space left for girls in the Top 24. Hollie Cavanagh beats out Shelby Tweten and Ariel Sprague. The other two girls start hyperventilating, testing the limits of their waterproof mascara. Hollie does an admirable job of not gloating and humbly leads Ariel and Shelby out to the comforting arms of their families.
Finally, it's a faceoff between 17-year-old David Leathers Jr. and 15-year old Eben Franckewitz, which, in my humble opinion, is bullshit. Is Idol trying to make people hate them? I think this is the third time I've said that so far this season. These two are friends, but there are no friends in the Idol Thunderdome. (Also, I wouldn't be too surprised if Tina Turner came out and sang.) And then David Leathers Jr is sent home. The judges blame his overconfidence while chiding Eben for his lack of confidence. As David tries to hold his little breaking heart together, Eben high-kicks in the background. Eben runs into his parents' arms, while David makes his father proud by stiff-upper-lipping and telling America that Eben is a great guy.
As the Top 24 are introduced, they make all the contestants dance, just in case they aren't humiliated enough. Then, in the most entertaining part of the whole show so far, Steven strips into his skull-and-crossbones-emblazoned britches and swims in the crocodile-infested moat.
Last episode: Final Countdown