Monday, February 22, 2010

Top 24 on American Idol: Who are your favorites?

At the end of American Idol's Hollywood Week judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara Dioguardi, and Ellen Degeneres made their final choices of which 12 women and 12 men made the top 24 for season 9. You can see videos, photos, and Q&A info about season 9 contestants on American Idol's website. You can also check out Entertainment Weekly writer Michael Slezak's assessment of the contestants at I recommend visiting EW's American Idol site for recaps and Michael Slezak and Kristen Baldwin's Idolatry video segments.

Did your favorites make it? A couple of my early picks were gone the first day, but I was happy that several of my favorites were told they would continue. I am rooting for local singers Jermaine Sellers (Joliet), John Park (Evanston), and Lee Dewyze (Mount Prospect). We haven't heard any more singing from John Park since his Chicago audition footage weeks ago, which probably has hindered him from gaining more fans. Jermaine Sellers got slightly more airtime during Hollywood Week, but I think his take on "One of Us," at his audition in Atlanta, remains his best performance. And after briefly showing snippets of Lee Dewyze during his audition footage and group performances in Hollywood, he received a chunk of airtime performing the Fray's "You Found Me" on guitar. What may have helped him stand out from other contestants, though, was his enthusiastic I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-to-me response after he was told by the judges he made the top 24.

I was also happy to see that Andrew Garcia (he performed an awesome acoustic rendition of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up"), Didi Benami (she sang a Kara Dioguardi-penned song on guitar), Crystal Bowersox (she sang "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" on guitar and harmonica), and Lacey Brown (she sang a unique interpretation of "Over the Rainbow") made the top 24.

The top 12 women perform Tuesday night at 7 PM; the top 12 men perform Wednesday night at 7 PM.