The 71 remaining contestants took the stage for the last time with a full band backing them up and without any feedback from the judges. The judges spent hours reviewing notes and sorting through Polaroid photos of the contestants to narrow the field to 46. Meanwhile, the contestants sat anxiously waiting in three separate rooms. To add to the mystery of who was going through and who was going home, some early season favorites were in each room. Casey James waited in room one while Hope Johnson waited in room two, and Angela Martin patiently sat in room three.
Ellen DeGeneres delivered the good news to room one that they were all through to the next round. The cheers and screams coming from room one was a clear sign to the other rooms that everyone in the room was moving on to the next round. Simon delivered the bad news to room two that it was the end of the road. Room three also received good news and at the end of the day 46 contestants remained.
This season Idol is using the Kodak Theater as the venue to select the top 24 contestants. After reviewing all of the taped performances for each contestant, the judges began delivering the news to each contestant while the others sat nervously waiting in a holding room. I’m not sure if this was any less painful than making the ride an elevator to the top floor to meet with the judges to learn their fate. So, let’s meet the first seven of the top 24 contestants for this season.
Michael Lynche, otherwise known as “Big Mike,” is a 26-year-old new father who coached his wife through labor as America watched. Didi Benami, 22, wowed the judges during Hollywood week performing Kara Dioguardi’s Terrified. Katelyn Epperly, 19, was a standout in Chicago performing Duffy’s Syrup and Honey. Casey James, 27, survived a serious motorcycle accident six years ago and impressed the judges with his voice and won a few extra points from the female judges by taking off his shirt.
Aaron Kelly, an adorable 16-year-old, could prove to be this season’s David Archuletta or even better. Lee DeWyze, 23, auditioned in Chicago performing Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone. Todrick Hall, 24, appeared with former Idol winner, Fantasia Barino, in the Color Purple.
Tune into Idol on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. (EST) to meet the remaining 10 female contestants and the seven guy contestants. It’s shaping up to be a great season.