Spunky belter Alexis Grace, country-soul crooner Michael Sarver and hoarse howler Danny Gokey advanced to the season eight finals of American Idol last night, meaning Rock Daily favorite Anoop Desai and the duchess of drama Tatiana Del Toro didn't make the cut — they'll both be likely candidates for the Wild Card round, along with screen-time-starved Ricky Braddy. The show wasn't clear as to which male singer received the most votes, and which made the Top Three with the third-most votes overall.
Twenty-four million votes were cast Tuesday night after the first 12 semifinal performances, which means perhaps the same number were watching on Wednesday and pondering the heavy questions: does Gokey have an eyeglass sponsor, or is he picking up new frames at some kind of Vision Depot every night? Why did Idol producers only air a blip of the pretty awesome footage of Carrie Underwood and David Cook covering Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way"? (The pair performed at the recent opening of the American Idol Experience at Walt Disney World, where all seven Idol winners gathered together for the first time ever.) Come to think of it, how come there's never been a Mac-themed Idol week?
Wednesday night also brought the first painfully awkward group number of the season, a less-than-spirited cover of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" that sounded like Simon Cowell's worst karaoke nightmare (note that the camera never cut to him during the song). Producers also packed in a reminder that past Idol hopefuls continue to live after they're voted off, showcasing a duet between last season's rock-ish contestants Carly Smithson and Michael Johns.
As for the top singers of the night, all three had lots of screen time playing up their difficult backstories during early episodes: young mom Grace, roughneck Sarver and widowed Gokey make for heart-tugging TV, don't they? How long until we find out whether Idol votes are counted the same way Florida ballots were during the 2000 election? Yes, we welcome your conspiracy theories here at Rock Daily. Share them in the comments.