So, we’ve had more than a couple of the tops (insert gay giggle here) exposed so far but tonight’s the final cut as the drama quotient goes up and you just KNOW they’re gonna start pitting similar looks and song-styles against one another as they get down to the wire. So far, I’ve been pretty iffy about how much I’m pro the chosen leading ladies and gents, but hopefully I’ll manage to find a couple faves by the end of tonight. Personally, I do not need to love em’ all, rather have two or three pics that I ride like a mule all the way to the top while I make fun of all the others that fall along the way. Hmmm, I’m beginning to think that everyone’s right and I’m not such a good person…

Tonight’s episode has some more final, unreleased performances and a butt load of tears from both the XX and XY chromosomal kids (and possibly one XXY, sorry Deandre). So, sit back and watch as your hopefuls either get crushed for the last time this season or make it through to the infamous Top 12 Girls and Boys showdowns.

As we left yesterday’s “cliff hanger” with the clearly-going-to-make-it-through-despite-my-letter-writing-campaign Adam Brock crying into his 1920s handkerchief, we open today show with his 120th mention of his newborn as he attempts to trick the judges and the viewers into ignoring his annoying and persnickety personality. Wearing my high school teacher’s “cool guy you can talk to” outfit, he cries for his life even though you and I just know he’s already been chosen for one of those oh-so famous Top 12 spots. As Steven Tyler weirdly announces that he: “Loves to see a man cry”, Adam hears his inevitable yes and OMFG pulls out yet another reference- and this time picture- of his daughter. Christ, we get it: a few mentions here or there is just fine but this guy has not been on screen more than 5 seconds without turning it into “if you vote me off this baby might not have food…” Blech.

Next up is someone I never really gave much credit or credence to but DAMN if his final performance was brilliant. Jeremy Rosado- who looks eerily like the closeted guy footballer from “Glee”, no?- is featured with his swan song before the final judgment and blows the judges (hell, and me) very clearly away. Showing just why I love the boy singers, he belts out a perfectly pitched top note that makes his judgement a breeze as Lopez doesn’t even fake drama and declares they’d love to have him in the final rounds. I’m gonna start watching out for him for sure.

Lyrically-challenged Shannon Magraneis up next. With some varied performances, the pretty 16-year old does very well and impresses the judges with her final song. A little too hard on the “crouch to the ground while you crunch your voice” move for me, she can at least pull off a well-put together outfit and for a gay guy that means a lot ha. She’s definitely a wild card going into the “hot seat” but as Seacrest starts to interview the parents you know she’s a sure thing. Hell, this is the girl that Tyler supes awkwardly hit on in front of her famous father and I doubt the franchise wants to deal with a lawsuit so let’s let the sweet blond through. Oh, and she’s a good singer too ;)

Scott Dangerfield takes the stage and Idol informs us this is his second time around as they start up his final song. FIRST, we need to talk about this kid’s look however. A feathered haircut that looks out of Napoleon Dynamite’s town and a sweater and khaki combo that seems more appropriate on Bill Cosby, you have to wonder how small this kid’s city is. Or if time machines really do exist?? But, we don’t have to worry about it too much as Lopez tells him pretty quickly that it just wasn’t there this year and sends him home.

Next to walk the judgment mile is Schyler Dixon who does not have much hope for herself as another country girl contender has already heard her yes. One of the hospitalized competitors, Schyler hasn’t had the easiest ride thus far but pulls off a pretty decent final audition though the pessimist side to her doesn’t hold much faith in her chances. I’m not gonna call this one because as much as I agree you don’t really need two country girls as it overlaps so much, the voters love love love em’. Annnnnd she hears a yes and actually turns super adorable as she declares she’d love to jump into the pool surrounding them but “are y’all kiddin’ me? My momma would kill me!!” It was a super genuine and sweet moment that gave me a glimmer of hope I might turn my disinterested shoulder around to give this girl a second chance!

Some quick yes’s follow (not a good sign when the producers edit your moment of glory down to an insert btw) as giant blond Hallie Day, cute n’ freckled (who??) Chase Likens and returning geek sheek Aaron Marcellus all get sent on through.

Deandre Brackensick ā€“ “This Womanā€™s Work”

Next up we get juxtaposed with overly featured Deandre Brackensick who wows the judges past any point that we’d question if he’s going to make it or not. And yet, they overplay his dramatic “will they/won’t they moment” as we see how much Nigel Lythgoe wants this boy (that’s a boy right?) to stay. Speaking of androgyny, I am soooo not approving of this kid’s Kenny G hairstyle and while I always hope making it to the Top 24 will mean a new, revamped look for the singers, more often than not those awkward haircuts, clothing choices and funky jewelery are what viewers remember and look for and therefore make it to the live shows, ugh.

Jermaine Jones is up next as every euphemism for you-know-what is used to describe this boy is laughably passed as something the bible thumpers (and not just another guy) can get behind: momma’s boy, gentle giant, soulful and sweet and handsome man (the last one’s his mom’s ;) Then we see his final performance which once again I can’t quite get excited over as his voice just booms too much to effectively sustain and hit a real range. As a result, the judges don’t waste too much time before telling the giant he’s not right this time around. A sweet moment between mom and son follow and you actually believe for a second Lopez is caring for these kids up there as she wipes away a tear of her own.

Then, BAM, we get the showdowns. Long-time fans of the show know this is always how the path towards the Top 24s ends as they pit similar talents against one another to up the drama. Battling the sweet, young thangs against one another we have Ariel Sprague,Shelby Tweten, and Hollie Cavanagh. Curiously the only final song we get to see is Hollie’s and we have to wonder if that isn’t a clear nod in her direction as she pulls it off brilliantly hitting that long sustained, final note. All girls are suppose to have an equal chance here but the way these edits are done, there’s really no question as the judges announce it’s (pretend to wait for it) Hollie who gets the last female spot. A bit cruelly, the girls come around the corner to saddened and excited parents who struggle to get to their crying daughter and Seacrest attempts to congratulate and console at the same time. Let’s not do a threefer again next year, ok Idol?

Final showdown is between the two smallest kids of the bunch: the (ugh) self-declared “playboy” David Leathers Jr and Bieber wannabe Eben Franckewitz. David’s final performance smartly goes to what the judges have likely wanted to hear from him since the start: some Jackson 5, but the beat seems to allude him and he sounds struggled as he can’t quite keep up with the musical accompaniment. Eben looks like a frozen spelling bee contestant in his final moments as he barely manages to remember all the words and squeak out the final note. Honestly, I’ve never liked either of them and based on their last audition, I don’t believe the lot of em’ should get through this far at all. However, Idol loooooves to match up competitors and make us choose “which is better”… HEY! They’re BOTH not good enough!!! But, I’m not in charge and the winner is: Eben. Honestly, I do slightly prefer unwarranted modesty over blown conceit so for that reason alone I’m barely approving of this choice: at least it’s one less cross-wearing, Jesus-thanking singer to contend with come live show!

SO, the final selection is:

Top 12 Guys

  • Adam Brock
  • Phil Phillips
  • Eben Franckewitz
  • Joshua Ledet
  • Reed Grimm
  • Aaron Marcellus
  • Colton Dixon
  • Heejun Han
  • Chase Likens
  • Deandre Branckensick
  • Creighton Fraker
  • Jeremy Rosado

Top 12 Girls

  • Shannon Magrane
  • Brielle von Hugel
  • Jennifer Hirsh
  • Hallie Day
  • Jessica Sanchez
  • Erika Van Pelt
  • Baylie Brown
  • Chelsea Sorrell
  • Haley Johnsen
  • Hollie Cavanagh
  • Elise Testone
  • Skylar Laine

OH!! And guess what, Idol decided to give one four boys a second chance at the Top 12 (now 13):

  • Jermaine Jones
  • Richie Law
  • Johnny Keyser
  • David Leathers Jr.

I’m sorry, but HANDS DOWN I’m predicting that the phoenix rising out of this bunch is gonna be heartthrob Johnny Keyser who got kicked out around group time and didn’t even make it as far as the Top considerations like the rest of them. You just know some executive producer’s daughter asked for this kid to make it through as her sweet 16 pressie from daddy and that’s how he’s made it back out of nowhere. That or some gay male letter writing campaign as so far there’s no real eye candy whatsoever for this show to pimp to screaming tweens everywhere. Or, feel free to prove me completely wrong Idol, and give Jermaine that extra shot at the title. Puh-leaseeee!

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