American Idol Top 30 Announcement Recap: Side-Eye at the Not-Quite-OK Corral [Updated]
It seems like only yesterday that Candice Glover was singing her victory rendition of “I Am Beautiful” while trying not to get confetti in her mouth, nose and eyes. (Feel free to throw a Gospel hand if that memory inevitably moves you to the brink of tears. And don’t you dare leave me hangin’ misty-eyed all by my lonesome, fellow Idoloonies!)
And yet here we are, nine months later, with a mere 31 contestants left in the running to win Season 13 of American Idol. Time flies when you’re
having fun yelling “What in the name of what?” at your TV screen.
Yes indeed, that sound you hear is the first needle screeching across Harry Connick Jr, J.Lo and Keith Urban’s fairly pristine record thus far on the Season 13 panel. Briston Maroney, Ethan Harris and Jordan Brisbane over David Oliver Willis and Savion Wright? For serious real? And how the heck did Sarina Joi Crowe get booted on the basis of that terrific rendition of “Wrecking Ball,” while Marrialle Sellars’ version was notably inferior? I thought Harry said he wanted this year to be an unpredictable dogfight!
We all know what happened, of course. This was the episode where exec producer Per Blankens & Co. began to suggest possible story arcs that will be turned into grating hashtags at the lower left hand of our screens between now and late May.
“We are the ‘Bama Boys!” shouted CJ Harris, Casey Thrasher and Dexter Roberts — three talented fellas linked by their state of origin. Jen Asciutto is being positioned as the “sleeper” — even though her original ballad was so hauntingly beautiful that it seems kind of ludicrous not to send her directly to the Top 13 (without passing “Go” and without collecting any objectionable tips from in-house mentor Randy Jackson).
When you’re a storyteller, though — which all reality TV producers are, in the end — Rule No. 1 is “Edit, edit, edit.” In a conference room somewhere in Los Angeles, you just know there was a lengthy discussion about creating the correct ratio of true contenders to absolute cannon fodder. And somewhere in that vortex of fuzzy math and lack of faith in the voting public, Savion and David and Sarina (and Sandie Lee — who sounded quite good in the 11 seconds of singing we got to hear this season) got cut.
It’s easy to blame the judges — but deep down, that just feels like shooting the highly paid, incredibly good-looking messengers. Out of Sight notwithstanding, J.Lo’s not such a great actress that her face didn’t betray the fact that some of tonight’s decisions didn’t sit quite right with her.
But outrage is a longstanding part of the Idol process — along with elation, sadness, befuddlement, couch-dancing and speed-dialing. And so we wake in the morning and we step outside, we take a deep breath… and realize we’re accidentally quoting 4 Non-Blondes to try to come to terms with our emotions. Gack!
Shall we sweve abruptly and get to the facts? Yes!
Women Sent Through to the Top 31 on Thursday’s Episode
Men Sent Through to the Top 31 on Thursday’s episode