All right, I've been gone for a minute but I'm back at the (season 10) jump-off. And I'm sticking all the way through this time, kiddies. So get ready, cuz here I come...
First of all, RIP Sarah Sellers. You will join the ranks of deserving castoffs cruelly forgotten by the Idol machine, but always remembered fondly by us hardened Idol diehards (whatup, Katelyn Epperly. Still miss you girl).
Second of all, I hate to even say this, because I have been a ridiculous Idol fan for 10 years (my fervor for the show can only be compared to the most intense of sports fans), but I think the end is near. With The X-Factor and The Voice vultures circling, I was promised transparency by my Idol producers for Season 10, but if said "transparency" just means the occasional glimpse at a recording microphone, cameraman or disgruntled P.A., or Ryan Seacrest saying we'll be "losing some of our favorites," then you have another thing coming, Idol. So far, the brand new Idol hasn't been so brand new (save for some seriously upgraded judges-- though only live-round auditions will allow them to prove their musical judging mettle).
Anyway, enough blabbering, and on to what really matters-- the TALENT.
Brett Loewenstern: I have a feeling this plucky red-head will ride a Glee-sized wave all the way through this year's Idol circus. From the moment he opened his (singing) mouth in New Orleans, I saw the stuff of Idol legend. My expert prediction: he's going to blow up, Clay Aiken style. My second expert prediction: he's going to break down, Lindsay Lohan style. If this gay seedling thinks high-school bullies are tough, wait until he meets the world's biggest bully: America.
Rachel Zenita: Great song choice, and thank god the girl wore something more memorable: though fish-netted bra tanks and front-faded jeans do not an Idol make. But sing on, girl. Sing on.
Thia Megia: Stop singing, girl, stop singing. See: Diana DeGarmo, Paris Bennett, Ramiele Malubay, Lisa Tucker and the dozens of other Idol teens who's infectious talent turned straight infectious in a matter of weeks. Also, who told you the homeless rainbow flag look was in this year?
Casey Abrams: Something before that wonky high note must have gone well, because I'm not sure where the yelps and standing ovations are coming from yet...
Victoria Huggins: The bitchy glares you received from your fellow LAX patrons says it all.
Paris Tassin: "Set it off, Paris," uttered J.Lo. And set it off she did. I understand that this Celine Dion juggernaut song reeks of pure irrelevance, but anyone who can get her diva-belt on that tight wins in my book. If you're here Paris, there's nothing I fear.
James Durbin: How many off-pitch notes can you get away with if you insert one Adam Lambert-esque wail at the end of your audition? Unlimited, apparently.
Lauren Alaina: I'm drinking the Kool-Aid on this one, because girl has simply got "it." But whether she has the experience to reign in that superbly massive voice of hers has yet to be seen. I'm praying she can, because anyone who can potentially be a hybrid of Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks is my diva wet dream.
Chris Medina: I'm cashing in for my ticket to hell on this one, but come on. Guy just isn't up to par. And the fact that Randy cut him off before he even got out a third line shows why he has made it through... (wow, I want to punch myself in the face for this one. Because I think even I'd send him through if I were on that judges panel... some backstories speak louder than voices).
Jacee Badeaux: Is he a star? No. Do I want to hear him sing in the live rounds? Yes. Will he ever recover from this experience? Probably not.
Robbie Rosen: This kid seems to be the real deal, potentially. Excited to see more (sans mullet, of course).
Hollie Cavanagh: OK, who else didn't see this one coming? Girl obviously went home and practiced her butt off (in some gold sparkly stilettos, to boot). Within two notes I became a massive fan. This marks my first unyielding and irrational attachment to a contestant (because man, do I love an underdog). Congratulations Hollie, if you ever release some kind of fantastic (or janktastic) album, you'll sell at least one...
Awkward Foursome Roomies: I couldn't care less about any of their relationship drama (or their voices, for that matter). I did love, however, that after Randy's unnecessary and socially-retarded cruelty to boyfriend Nick, J.Lo and Steven rightfully shunned him (damn, can that Jenny throw some shade, or what?). That being said, if anyone deserved the Dawg's brand of "honesty," it's Mr. I-get-by-on-my-looks.
The Encores: You are most likely going to be given 10 seconds (if you're lucky) in front of America to show what kind of artist you want to potentially be, so why on earth would you choose to repeat yourself? Oh, I know why. Your low range can't support any other song? Your insane screaming only sounds good when it's about sexy time? But damn, Jackie Wilson, you rock. Why you gotta deprive my ears of another sweet song, especially when Aretha has dozens of comparably amazing ditties? Shame on you.
Tiffany Rios: Maybe you and Tatiana Del Toro can form some kind of heinous girl-group. I hear Danity Kane has some openings (tell me are you up for the challenge, cuz these girls are damaged)
Molly Dewolf: Now we didn't get to hear you sing, but I got your back, girl. As a fellow ivy-league over-achiever, I know people will hate on you for appearing "privileged" and "spoiled." But no one gets where you are without heaping amounts of hard, hard work, no matter where you come from. And you can sing your pretty little butt off. I've already set my speed dial for you..
And thus concludes my first (but far from last) Idol rant. It's gonna be a long season...