by Hanh Nguyen
Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr.
American Idol put the remaining contestants out of their misery (so to speak) by selecting the rest of the semifinalists. Sort of. Read the recap for the big twist at the end.
Let’s see who made it to Rush Week:
1. Marialle Sellars The girl who turned toward the camera after her audition to declare that she’ll be the next American Idol is one step closer to her dream. We’re relieved since her solo wasn’t her strongest, but you have to give her credit for heart and determination.
2. Jena Ascuitto Pronounced GEE-nuh not JEN-ah is the so-called “sleeper” contestant, but after that original solo, she could be a frontrunner.
3. Majesty Rose York This girl is just a charmer with the talents to match. Her take on Feist’s “1234″ won us over, so we’re glad the judges saw past her flub in the solo rounds.
4. Brandy Neelly Hooray for the blonde amazon! Her voice is really rich, and she has a light and bubbly personality that’s a joy to watch.
5. Briana Oakley We weren’t fans of her solo (her voice sounded like it was strained to us), but she’s proven herself before and has a unique style that could give her an edge.
6. Kenzie Hall Don’t even play with us, Idol. Her nifty take on Macklemore‘s “Can’t Hold Us” was enough to push her through to the finals as far as we’re concerned. We just hope she can survive Rush Week.
7. Austin Wolfe She killed “Radioactive” both in her audition and in the solo round, making it sound easy each time. She has a very melodious style, and very marketable look as well. Not really a surprise she advanced.
They join last night’s picks: Emily Piriz, Jillian Jensen, Malaya Watson, Bria Anai, Jessica Meuse, M.K. Nobilette, Kristen O’Connor and Andrina Brogden.
1. Casey Thrasher After a sing-off against his pal and fellow Alabama native C.J. Harris, the judges chose him to go through.
2. C.J. Harris Psych out! The judges also allowed this country boy to go through. He was just that good.”I’m so tired of you guys’ tricks, man!” he said after he realized he wasn’t eliminated. So are we. No more, please!
3. Caleb Johnson Apparently, this is the second time in his life that the singer with the big personality messed himself. So we’re so glad it was worth it! His performances are bit over-the-top for our tastes, but he’s different, we’ll give him that.
4. Ethan Harris He has a sweet voice and look, and the singing chops to balance it out.
5. Briston Maroney His quirky voice is not be the most melodic, but he adds a different sound to the competition. He may be a white boy with a guitar, but he’s no cookie-cutter performer.
6. Ben Briley or Neco Starr Ugh, Idol did it again. The last spot in the Top 30 will be determined by viewer votes, so get online or text, America! Or not. We’re kind of protesting these manufactured cliff-hangers. Don’t play their game, America!
They join last night’s picks: Spencer Lloyd, George Lovett, Sam Woolf, Maurice Townsend, Dexter Roberts, Emmanuel Zidor, Jordan Brisbane, Malcolm Allen and Alex Preston.
There you have it: the Top 30 semifinalists who will make it to the live rounds next week, which will also mark the return of Randy Jackson in his debut as mentor.
Do you want Ben or Neco to advance? Are you stunned that Savion Wright didn’t make it? Did the right singers get chosen? Who’s missing?
American Idol returns with Rush Week, airing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.