Live posting as the contestants are announced tonight ...
My live post is below. Here's the top 24.
Guys: Chikezie Eze, Danny Noriega, Jason Yeager, David Cook, David Hernandez, Luke Menard, Michael Johns, Jason Castro, Robbie Carrico, Colton Berry, David Archuleta, Garrett Haley.
Women: Kristy Lee Cook, Amanda Overmyer, Alexandrea Lushington, Joanne Borgella, Brooke White, Syesha Mercado, Alaina Whitaker, Asia'h Epperson, Amy Davis, Kady Malloy, Carly Smithson, Ramiele Malubay.
As regular "Idol" followers know, that list has a lot of ringers of various sorts -- major-label push, TV contest winners, so on. I've noted my concerns before. Here I will simply say that there are also a lot of very good singers there, male and female, and things should be very entertaining next week. And now the live post:
And the first contestant is ... Barack Obama! Oh, never mind. Campaign ad. We're getting a lot of those from both sides.
Ryan opens in a promotional bit for "Jumper," with Hayden Christensen helping Ryan jump. Then credits. Unlike last night, when an apparent glitch between Fox and Channel 8 bedeviled the beginning of the telecast, it's working tonight.
Ryan tries to build suspense over footage of the judges making their final choices. "Some heavy disappointment is on the way" for half the remaining 50, Ryan says. "The list is complete but Cowell is not happy with some of the choices." (We saw at least one indication of that in last night's promo.)
Ryan demonstrates the elevator-and-walk
First up: Ronald Hodge. Tape of him singing "Only You" in Hollywood. It's a no, says Randy.
Nina Shaw, also a no. Ditto for Mycale Guyton, Lisa Aukerman.
Yet another account of Carly Smithson. ADMIT THAT SHE'S A PROFESSIONAL, DOGGONIT.
Clips both from audition and from Hollywood. Lot of time being spent if they're dumping her. Crying. Long Paula monologue. Simon demands that she get the word. And ... she's top 24, of course. Simon tells Paula "you tortured her."
And so to a break.
David Cook (reddish-haired guitar guy), Top 24.
Biker Nurse (Amanda Overmyer), Top 24. Yay!
Clips of people I don't remember seeing in the Hollywood round. Brandon Green, Amanda Hawkins, Buck Smith, all no.
David Archuleta, the big-voiced 16-year-old who won on "Star Search," Top 24.
And then another break. Four in, 20 to go.
Kristy Lee Cook ("Amazing Grace" singer), Top 24.
Brooke White, Top 24.
Danny Noriega (cute moptop), Top 24. Also Jason Castro, Luke Menard, Alexandrea Lushington.
Ramiele Malubay (little woman, big voice), Top 24.
Break. 11 in so far. Checking the Cavs score: They lead by 9.
Shaun Barrowes, no. Lorena Pinot, no. Drew Poppelreiter, no. Natasha Block (?), no.
Michael Johns ("Bohemian Rhapsody," Aussie), Top 24.
Syesha Mercado (lost voice, but still sang monster "Chain of Fools"), Top 24.
Robbie Carrico (rocker, former boy-band-type singer), Top 24. Maybe now we can hear more about him dating Britney Spears.
Break. Cavs by 8. 10 would-be Idols to go.
Garrett Haley, Kady Malloy, the splendidly named Chikezie Eze, Amy Davis, Alaina Whitaker, Jason Yeager, all in, rapid-fire. Saving time for some drama.
Asia'h Epperson (good singer, dad died before audition), Top 24.
David Hernandez ("Love the One You're With," more Luther than Stills), not a unanimous decision, Top 24. Simon was against him, says he will have to work harder to win.
The emotional Josiah Leming (dismissed the band) admits overconfidence in Hollywood. Doesn't make it. Encouragement from Randy and Paula, Simon calls "nice kid," but shattered by not getting through. Long footage of him crying and being consoled by other contestants.
Break. Four contestants left -- two men, two women -- for the last two spots. Cavs lead down to 2.
Two guys: Kyle Ensley (Buddy Holly look, "You Raise Me Up") and Colton Berry. Colton gets top 24. Simon says that he wholeheartedly disagrees, and that Kyle should have gone top 24, thereby assuring that Kyle will get singing gigs for the foreseeable future.
Joanne Borgella (Mo'nique pageant winner) and Cardin McKinney (twig). Joanne makes top 24.
Clips. Ryan sums up, intros the groups.