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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 30 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

Top 5 Moments as ‘American Idol’ Judges Announce the Top 24

There’s something to be said about American Idol‘s swift pace in the age of the short attention span. The show is less than a month into its revival and already we have a fully formed group of 24 semi-finalists, one of which will be crowned the next American Idol just a few weeks from now.

During Idol‘s Sunday and Monday broadcasts this week, the judges made the crucial cuts that would mold that group of two dozen contestants and so, let’s talk about the highlights of both nights, including whether or not the judges made the right choices based on what we saw…

Surprising Stars

On Sunday night, country girl Gabby Barrett gave the judges what they were looking for when she sang Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” and proved her versatility. Her reprisal of Carrie Underwood’s “Church Bells” on Monday night, although shaky, might have just been gravy for the judges. Michael Woodard also had a breakout moment on Sunday with a dynamic version of “Maybe This Time” from the musical Cabaret. He followed it up with an unexpectedly energetic version of Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know” on Monday to seal the deal. Despite being a bit of a wildcard, Dennis Lorenzo rocked Daughtry’s “Home” and crooned on Leon Russell’s classic “A Song For You” to prove his versatility too.

On night two, Adam Saunders brought the drama in drag as Ada Vox when he sang “Creep” by Radiohead and earned himself a spot in the Top 24. Shannon O’Hara pulled double duty, playing piano on Sunday with her version of “Up to the Mountain” by Patty Griffin and playing the acoustic guitar for Monday’s version of “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry herself. Both songs showed Shannon has a soaring, beautiful voice.

Missteps Forgiven

Louisiana boys Laine Hardy and Garrett Jacobs await their fate [Credit: ABC]

Not every contestant finished their Hollywood Week strong. Jonny Brenns, who continues to strive for his father’s approval of his career choice, had some trouble with the high notes on OneRepublic’s “I Lived” but made up for it with his version of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” the next next. Garrett Jacobs got flack from Luke Bryan for his dance moves, but his version of Chris Izaak’s “Wicked Game” and Amii Stewart’s “Knock on Wood” showed two very likable sides of him.

Katy also seemed disappointed in Jurnee‘s take on Ariana Grande’s “One Last Time,” but her girlfriend must have been her lucky charm because her version of Loren Allred’s “Never Enough” on Monday had the judges on their feet before putting her into the Top 24.

Young Talent

Dennis Lorenzo and Marcio Donaldson wonder which of them made the Top 24 [credit: ABC]

A lot of young contestants were told by the judges to come back next year, but others rose to the occasion and found themselves in the Top 24. Layla Spring, 16, earned a spot after giving Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” a country twist; Mara Justine, 15 also made it through after showing off her vocal prowess in Etta James’s classic “Something’s Got a Hold On Me.” Meanwhile country boy Caleb Lee Hutchinson channeled previous winner Scotty McCreery when he sang Josh Turner’s “Your Man” before Monday’s main course of Chris Stapleton’s “I Was Wrong.”

Originality and Personality

There’s definitely something to be said for taking a risk during Hollywood Week, especially if it pays off. For Maddie Poppe, the risk came in the form of singing her original song “Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up” which had Katy crying. For Cade Foehner and Amelia Hammer Harris, this meant giving the same song “Feel It Still” by Portugal the Man two drastically different takes that showed off their rock sensibilities. And for Marcio Donaldson, he gave the judges a gender-bent version of Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)” to mull over. Ultimately, all of them made it through to the Top 24.

For other contestants, personality won the day. Catie Turner showed her’s with another original about a scorned ex before singing Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” before the final judgment. Despite a failing voice, Michelle Sussett gave the judges two vivacious performances with Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” and Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic.” Mohawked pianist Effie Passaro also showed two different sides of herself with Heart’s “Alone” and Garth Brooks’ “The Dance.” It will be interesting to see if personality or originality is enough to win the votes of the Idol audience too!

Tough Cuts

Given that we lost almost as many contestants as advanced, there was sure to be some heartbreak and disappointment. Katy’s crush Trevor Holmes left us after his version of Idol winner Phillips Phillips’ “Home” and Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands” wasn’t enough to justify keeping him. Comeback contestant Thaddeus Johnson was also sent home despite conquering Katy’s “Rise” and Jill Scott’s “Hate On Me” with ease. Vocal coach Brittany Holmes was also sent home after her version of Ed Sheeran’s “Dive” despite earning her golden ticket from the public.

Fan favorite Noah Davis took his final bow when the judges found flaws in his versions of Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” and Lady Gaga’s “You & I.” Louisiana country boy Laine Hardy was also cut after he sang Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Ballad of Curtis Lowe” and Chris Stapleton’s “Fire Away,” but he was told to come back next year. The bubbly Maddie Zahm also said goodbye to the competition when her interpretations of Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain” and Pink’s “What About Us” couldn’t justify keeping her. All in all, it was hard to see some of these contestants go, but hopefully we’ll see some of them again next year!

Next week, the first group of twelve contestants will perform solos on Sunday night, before performing duets with celebrity guests on Monday night before the judges decide which of them to send straight through to the Top 14.

What do you think of the Top 24? Did the judges make the right cuts or would you have decided differently? Let us know in the comments below!

Header Image: ABC
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2 Comments on “Top 5 Moments as ‘American Idol’ Judges Announce the Top 24”

  1. Mir Faugno April 9, 2018 at 9:38 pm #

    I LOVE Effie!!!! She rocks!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 of the Best Moments From the First Round of ‘American Idol’ Top 24 Performances | The Hudsucker - April 10, 2018

    […] last week’s Monday night broadcast of Idol the judges announced the Top 24. This week, we got to see half of them perform solos on Sunday night and then duets with celebrity […]

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