The decisions, in the order delivered, after the jump. You can see my assessment of the contestants in two previous posts.
(Summary to date: Top 10 includes Country Scotty McCreery, Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, Paul McDonald, James Durbin, Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, Pia Toscano, Karen Rodriguez and Thia Megia. Already I don't like it. Paul, really? Haley? Please.)
Wild cards: Ashthon Jones, Naima Adedapo, Stefano Langone.
I am starting somewhat late. It has been a crazy week, the DVR is bursting and I wanted to get in some fun viewing before laboring over this. So I just watched this week's "Chicago Code," a show that is getting better and better, and am now "Idol"-ing.
Ryan calls this the largest cut ever at this stage of the competition. And 40 million votes -- over two nights -- which show how popular this group of singers is. I don't buy it. Buy am curious who is staying.
Individual introductions which, with 24 people, take some time. But the trained seals in the audience manage to maintain enthusiasm. Top 10 based on vote. Judges will announce who will sing again for the judges to decide the wild-card spots. "The pressure is on," says Ryan, and Randy. Yak yak yak. It's "drama like you've never seen before," says Ryan, who is able to utter such nonsense without irony.
Guys recap, then chat. Video from interviews about their performances, walking red carpet (which is blue) and other stuff. Very long. More chatting with the guys.
First result: Scotty McCreery and Robbie Rosen are summoned to center stage. More talking. And more talking. Scotty is Top 10. Robbie is not. Has to wait for wild-card round.
Clint Jun Gamboa, Jordan Dorsey, Jovany Barreto are summoned. Clint's in tears and nothing has been announced yet. And Jordan says if he had it to do over again, he'd pick a John Legend song instead of "OMG." Jovany is happy to be here. Yes, that's the best he had.
Clint and Jordan are not top 10. Neither is Jovany.
Women recap. Chat with Ryan. Their video.
Pia Toscano and Lauren Alaina. Gosh, shouldn't they both be Top 10? Lauren is Top 10 -- and so is Pia.
Ta-Tynisa Wilson and Julie Zorrillo. My guess: Neither is Top 10. And neither is.
Kendra Chantelle, Ashthon Jones, Karen Rodriguez. Ashthon not top 10. Karen is, Kendra not.
Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, Tim Halperin. Jacob is Top 10. So is Casey. Tim not.
Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia and Lauren Turner. Naima not Top 10. Thia in. Lauren T not.
Brett Loewenstern, Paul McDonald. Paul is Top 10, Brett not. Oh, crap. Not that I like Brett. But I really don't like Paul.
Haley Reinhart, Rachel Zevita. And I don't like either! Haley's Top 10, Rachel not.
James Durbin, Stefano Langone. I would put the Durbin in Top 10 of those two. And the nation agrees.
Wild card round. Singers can pick any song from competition so far. Six have been chosen for the slots, three men, three women.
First: Ashthon. Picks "And I Am Telling You" -- going, as she says, for some Jennifer Hudson. Voice isn't strong enough for this song, but she makes the most of what she has -- and her stage presence is so good. Total command stylistically, even when the vocal is iffy. Judges comment: Steven thought she brought it like she brought it before. Jennifer felt her passion. Randy still loves the attitude.
Next: Stefano. "I Need You Now." For the most part, he seems to be a nice singer and little more than that. He's trying so hard, I can see all his dental work. Lots of it. Stefano starts to leave before judges talk. Randy says he did the song justice. Jennifer says she doesn't shake like this when she performs; he did really well. Steven says he gilded the lily of his own passion.
After a break, Ryan notes that we don't know how many of the six are going to be picked. After all those promos promising a Top 12? Oh, "Idol," love the way you lie.
Kendra. "Georgia on My Mind." Starts a couple of lines in, and I can't say I'm impressed. Even the chorus, which should be cake for any singer, isn't that great. She goes for a big note at the end, but it squeaks. Unimpressed. Randy says she rocked it at the end. Must be running long, because he's the only judge to talk.
Jovany. Goes back to a song that got him Top 24. No idea what it is. A consistently strong performance, and I'm not a fan of the guy's most recent work. Although I know at least one person who'd put him through based purely on abs shots. Jennifer only judge to comment, saying he did all he could do. Not exactly an endorsement.
Naima. The last woman in wild card. So the other four women done. Pleased if only because it's the end for irritating Rachel. "For All We Know." Rocky start. Brief recovery, then gone again. I think she should have been Top 10, but she's not making a great case for a wild card. She's in tears. I am sure she knows that went badly. Steven says she brought it to him.
Last wild card: Robbie Rosen. The end for Brett, Tim, Jordan and Clint. Hmm. Something of a surprise there. "Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word." Very teen idol. And much better than last night. One of the better wild-card guys. Randy calls this the toughest night ever.
Wild card choices: The judges have not made a decision. Conveniently, that lets them run Lopez's new video. Memorable lines: I'm like"Inception," I play with your brain. Back it up like a Tonka truck. Neither of which is in the part Jennifer sings. I salute you, Pibull!
And now the w/c picks? After the break. Still the cruelest show on TV.
Now? Now? Randy chooses Ashthon.
Two more, so a top 13. Stefano gets picked by Jennifer.
Steven welcomes Naima.