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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled iAmerican Idol/i: Top 24
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Tonight's episode wasn't a great one if you're a lover of suspense, as the approximate formula for who made the top 24 versus who didn't seemed to be "who's had camera time already" vs "who didn't." There were a few exceptions of course, the #1 being Josiah the Boy Who Lives In His Car. You'd think a kid who lives in his car would maybe have a stiffer upper lip when it came to something like not making the cut for American Idol but maybe that car is just really comfy or something.

Otherwise, the judges painstakingly tortured the contestants who made it through with some obviously rehearsed mind games along the lines of "We're sorry to tell you this…but you're going to be seeing a lot more of us." Oh you guys! You're such jokers. I wish they had the balls to do that to the losers. "I've got some good news for you…you get to sleep in your own bed tonight!"

A few thoughts on the people who made it through:

-David Cook, the fella with the guitar who sang Bryan Adams, needs to lose at least one of the following: the wardrobe (does a vest now indicate "I'm a non-threatening rocker!"), the hair or the soul patch.

-Simon was right about David Hernandez—there is not much between him and the other genial and talented but bland guys (see: bald-headed Phil from last season), so he'll need to step it up.

-Not surprisingly, both the Irish lass and the Aussie boy made it through, which makes me wonder if we're going to see some Presidential debates about immigrants barging in and stealing singing gigs from Americans.

-Then of course there were the people who made it through who for whatever reason we know nothing about, who I mostly know by their hair, like the guy with the dreadlocks and that fellow Garrett whose hair looks like Leif Garrett's…wait a minute.

It seemed like they saved the strangest-looking boys and the blandest-seeming girls for the end. I was surprised that Simon thought Kyle should have made it through, as I think it would be pretty evident that he'd be a total fish out of water once he made it to the live round: his debate-team getup wouldn't translate in front of a live audience and a makeover would just be wrong. He seemed like a nice kid though. Joanne, I think, brings nothing new to the competition that we haven't seen before. And incidentally, being a plus-sized model is not a liability—you still get paid for your good looks, so shut up.

So finally—finally!—next week we get to the live competition and the audience voteoffs. I hope Brooke White can hold it together through that stage because she barely seemed to survive tonight's episode.

Grade: B

Stray observations:

—The people who don't make it who cry "Now I don't know what to do with my life!" fail to elicit much sympathy from me. I wonder if they do the same thing after they scratch a losing lotto ticket.

—Adding to the controversy of contestants who already have music careers, now there's this.

—Judging by the amount of brushing off I witnessed during the little dance party at the end of the episode, the contestants seem to come with a lot of dirt on their shoulders. Now are those the kind of kids we want entertaining us on American Idol?

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