a. bucket. of. words.

by Cherszy (@cherszy)

Meet Your Top 24 – Who Will Be the Next American Idol?

Ashley Sullivan is now Ashley Suraiva after getting wed in the same place where Britney Spears got married during the Las Vegas Beatles challenge. However, unfortunately for her, she can only bring home one good news as she didn’t make the cut to this season’s Top 24 in American Idol.

So, who are going to the next round of season 10 without Ashley? Who will you be watching and voting for this year?

Who are YOUR top 24?

Top 12 Guys

1. Paul McDonald

He’s got that sweet, calm voice that rocks you to the tune of good music. He sounds a bit like Keith Urban, don’t you think? Like a younger version of the famous country star?

A really strong contender, I believe. He has this beautiful unique voice that is not too screechy and not too deep. It’s soft but strong, and that kind of power is going to be difficult to beat.

His performance of “Blackbird” with Kendra Chantelle during the Vegas round was just breathtaking! Hoping to see more of his talent in the next rounds.

2. Casey Abrams

He is one of the most talented musicians out there. Not only can he sing with much emotions, but he can also accompany his powerful voice with a good tune from a couple of instruments, such as the melodica and the cello.

Casey Abrams is one contestant that’s always fun to watch because he brings with him so much passion and talent. His solo performance during Hollywood Week of “Georgia on My Mind” is worth the claps.

So what else can this Austin Idol bring to the stage? Find out in the next episodes of American Idol.

3. Scotty McCreery

This 16-year old first caught our attention with his uber deep voice in the Milwaukee auditions where he sang Josh Turner’s “Your Man”. Well, not a lot of guys can pull off a super deep voice and make it sound sexy like Scotty, so with that charm, he became an early favorite of both the judges and mine.

Although it wasn’t always rainbow-colored roads for Scotty as he struggled during his solo performance for Hollywood Week where he picked out a song he didn’t know the lyrics to. Uh-oh! However, he managed to redeem himself during the last performance before the judges made their decision.

As much as he is an artist potential, he might have problems with singing songs that are not under the country song category, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he’ll pull through that.

4. Clint Jun Gamboa

Looks like someone’s not gonna be locked up in a karaoke bar for the rest of his life as a host for his career as this 26-year old surpassed each challenge in the auditions with flying colors. Always brimming with confidence, Clint has always impressed the judges, just as how his “Georgia on My Mind” performance was really electrifying.

However, that doesn’t mean he’s all nice and fluffy as he has proved to have a horrible personality, kicking Jaycee Badeaux out of their group during group performance in Hollywood Week.

Great voice, poor character – will he stay long in the competition?

5. Stefano Langone

With a bright smile and a buff body, this Washington native proves that he has more beautiful things to offer to the world, including a lovely voice that can serenade any listener and that can amaze anyone with its wide range of pitch, despite his accident that almost cost him his walking ability.

His audition piece of “I Heard It From The Grapevine” in San Francisco was just a teaser of how beautiful his voice really is, and I, for one, would really like to hear more from this 22-year old.

Celebrity material? Looks like it, but he’s got to prove that he’s here to win it all the way. Definitely rooting for this cutie! Will you?

6. Robbie Rosen

Always singing the classics and making such great renditions out of them, Robbie has certainly turned heads with his voice. His performances of both the Beatles’ “Yesterday” in the New Jersey auditions and Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” were just plain beautiful.

J. Lo loves him, and I guess it’s because he’s got what it takes to be a true singing sensation. He’s one of those contestants who has been really consistent up until now in the different challenges, and that shows how flexible he is.

Will he be able to capture every American’s heart as the show goes on ’til the end? Will he be as consistent? Make sure to catch him in the next episodes.

7. Jovany Barreto

He’s got the abs, alright, but he proves that he’s not just a man with muscles but also a man with a voice. He caught us off-guard with his performance of a Spanish song in his New Orleans audition.

However, this Latino hit some hard wall during the group performances as his group struggled with their song and choreography, sending two of their groupmates home.

With his sweet smile, six pack abs, and a voice to wow, will he be able to capture your hearts all the way and be the first Latin American Idol?

8. Tim Halperin

Back in his audition in Los Angeles, Tim did not only (probably) made J. Lo fall in love with his voice, but he made most, if not all, of us fall in love with that soft, sweet tune he produced for Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved”. Too bad he can only reciprocate that love for J. Lo, but just a piece of advice: never ever ask a girl her age. Wrong move, dude. Wrong move.

Well, at least that didn’t cost you her vote.

But, his most outstanding performance was when he performed the Beatles’ “Something” with fellow Top 24 contestant Julie Zorrilla in the Vegas round. He really moved us with his voice back there. Good job! Like what J. Lo said: love him!

Can he give us more of his voice? Will he be able produce something more powerful to beat the rest of the bunch?

9. Jordan Dorsey

Switching teams during the group challenge in Hollywood Week may have been the right move for Jordan, but with such a lousy attitude, it may not exactly gain him much support from the American crowd. Showing arrogance by turning down those who want to be part of their group just because he didn’t like their vibes and leaving his original group (4-40) behind to find another group (4 plus 1) in the last minute is not exactly what we would like to find in an artist.

As much as his rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” during his New Orleans audition was hair-raising, I feel that he did not show consistency with that first impression as he was a little less brilliant in his succeeding performances. There just wasn’t much to amaze at. You know, he was okay, just like that.

The question is: will Jordan be able to step up in the next rounds of challenges and give another hair-raising moment in Idol?

10. James Durbin

We’ve heard the power of James’ voice round after round, and undoubtedly, he’s one of the stronger contenders around. We were first struck with his strong, explosive voice in his San Francisco audition where he left us in awe of his high-pitched voice after he sang Led Zeppelin’s “You Shook Me”.

Of course, like the other contestants on the show, James and his team did not do exactly that great in group round in Hollywood week, but luckily for him, the rawness of his voice saved him from eliminations.

Yet, I still can’t help but worry for this guy even with his voice being such a great investment to start with. I don’t think he should rely too much on that screechy voice because it might sound a little too painful over time, especially if he uses it in every round.  He just has to sing from his heart and not necessarily accompany every song with a very high pitch.

James Durbin’s voice is rare, but will such exoticness be enough to get him the top spot? Follow his journey in the next few weeks to find out.

11. Brett Loewenstern

I’m not the biggest fan of this 16-year old’s voice, but I think he’s probably one of the contestants who sings with a heart. He’s got this aura in him that makes you feel he sings genuinely. His audition piece, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was not that moving (like how Jonathan Groff sang it) although it sounded like he meant the song, like he was inspired by it. You know what I mean?

Although not the strongest of the bunch right now, I don’t think we should close our doors to what else he can bring to the table. He’s got the talent, and he just needs to step up a little bit more to beat the rest of the top 24 and be the champion.

Can he prove to the judges and to the whole America that ‘he’s got this’ and he is the next American Idol? Well, bring it on Brett!

12. Jacob Lusk

He started out not being the most notable guy on the show, but when he performed “God Bless the Child” during the solo round of Hollywood week, he blew us all away. It was truly breathtaking and it is, up to this moment, the best solo performance by anyone on the show! He was that good! He moved me to tears, really. Jacob Lusk has proven himself to be much more than what meets the eye. He has so much passion hidden within him that he is able to express them in a very genuine and moving manner in his performances.

This 23-year old is brilliant, and he will go far. He is a very strong contender and I’m sure he has already captured the hearts of many people all over the world.

Can Jacob Lusk continue being the sensational contestant that he already is until American Idol comes to a close? Will he be the next American idol? I sure hope so, and I guess, it is obvious that I’ll be rooting for this guy all the way.

Top 12 Gals

1. Rachel Zevita

After getting cut on the first day in Hollywood week last season 6, Rachel’s back to prove a point: she can be the next big singer in town. Well, she certainly is on her way to do just that, now that she’s part of the top 24.

However, Rachel isn’t exactly the most consistent and the most confident contestant we’ve seen in Idol this year. Neither does she have the strongest voice in the pack as seen in her audition piece “Hallelujah”. She always seems to establish a different singing identity every time, and for her to stay on this competition, she should find that soon. I know she’s got the talent; she just needs to find her inner singing soul where she can grab inspiration from.

Will this flower be able to grow over time, just like what Steven Tyler hypothesizes? Will she be able to find her identity as a singer soon enough to get her to the top?

2. Thia Megia

One of the youngest in the batch but definitely not the weakest contestant. At 15 years old, Thia showed great potential as a singer as she was quite consistent with her performances. Not that the vocal teacher back in the Vegas round were all smiles during her practice though.

Nevertheless, this Filipina never failed to amaze me with her vocals, especially in her performance of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up”. Sent me chills down my spine. Really beautiful voice back there. I guess J. Lo’s right: Thia’s a natural.

Can she impress America further? Can she prove that at 15, she can conquer American Idol with her voice?

3. Kendra Chantelle

We heard how she moved us with her performance of “Georgia On My Mind” during the solo round of Hollywood Week, and we can’t wait to hear more of her beautiful voice in the next challenges.

She may not be the most controversial girl Idol this year, but the way she sings and moves on that stage seems so effortless that it feels like she was born to do this. Remember her duet with Paul McDonald for “Blackbird” during the Beatles challenge? That was just awesome! They produced a beautiful harmony that even the Beatles would be proud to hear.

We’re definitely keeping an eye on this gal because as early as now, she has shown some Idol potential. Will she make it all the way to the finals and emerge as the next American Idol? Can she prove me right that she’s a great singer in the making? Only the next few episodes can tell.

4. Naima Adedapo

Definitely one of the best and most interesting voices I’ve heard in Idol this year, wouldn’t you agree? Naima (love the uniqueness of the name) has this lovely and powerful kick to her voice that I just couldn’t seem to fully describe. It’s just very interesting and very fun to listen to.

This 25-year old mom impressed us as early as her Milwaukee auditions where she sang Donny Hathaway’s “For All We Know” with such a beautiful melody. And she just keeps on getting better in the next rounds!

Naima’s voice is as colorful as she dresses, and by that, I mean, she’s full of life when she sings. I, for one, can see that she sings from the heart. And like J. Lo, Randy, and Steven, I also like her a lot.

She joined American Idol to change her life, but how far can her dream reach? Can her vibrant voice be the lever to a great singing career? Will she be your next Idol?

5. Haley Reinhart

Like Rachel, Haley is not a new face on Idol as she tried out last year in Chicago but got eliminated early on the show. This year, she’s trying her luck again by showcasing more of the strong side of her voice. And she has clearly grown more as a singer this time.

However, Haley almost didn’t make it during the group round of Hollywood Week where she fumbled through the lyrics. Good for her that she was able to redeem herself in her solo performance of “God Bless The Child” where she gave it her all. I must admit that I’m not exactly her biggest fan, but that solo performance was amazing as it is.

But, can Haley beat it out until the end? Can she make herself not stumble again through the lyrics as the show continues? Will she be able to show that this second chance was worth giving her to?

6. Karen Rodriguez

Best MySpace audition? You bet! Karen Rodriguez just blows us away with each of her performances!

After a rough day for the judges in the Los Angeles auditions, here comes the 21-year old New Yorker who swept them off their feet with her “You Give Good Love” performance. The range is impressive, and her confidence is oozing all over the place. This girl is definitely made for music.

Her duet with fellow Top 24 contestant, Pia Toscano, for the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” during the Vegas round was equally great. Very strong contender we’ve got here – very consistent throughout the auditions and really shows great artist potential.

Will she be your first Latina Idol? Will she continue to show the same power and confidence in the next challenges? Looks like she can, that’s why she’s one of my top bets in this competition.

7. Pia Toscano

Joining Karen in my top bets is Pia Toscano, her duet partner back in the Vegas round. This gal has a performer in her blood, I would say. Whenever she sings, you know you’re listening to nothing less than good music.

Both her performances of “Can’t Buy Me Love” from the Beatles challenge and of “Grenade” from the Hollywood week group round were brilliant! So easy to fall in love with that kind of voice as it makes you sway to the tune and feel the intensity of the song.

With her good looks, ability to perform on stage with confidence, and an amazing voice to wow, can Pia prove that she’s the whole package? Is she the artist we’re looking for in this season?

8. Lauren Alaina

First of the two Laurens’ we have in the Top 24, this 15-year old shows us that she can sing better than her age. Her voice may not be as extraordinary, but she sure can sing like crazy. Her performance of “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” which had a double take in the auditions is enough to send one chills.

Always having fun wherever she goes, Laura sure shows that enjoying what you do is a key to success, even in competitions like American Idol as she just makes sure she’s having the time of her life – asking Steven to sing with her during her Nashville audition, just chilling during practice for the group round, and dancing and singing for Steven during group performance on Hollywood Week.

So, will having fun be enough a motivation for Laura to go all the way to the end? Will that truly help get to the top?

9. Ashthon Jones

She can really pull off a high-pitched song beautifully, but I just am not too sure if she has the right amount of power to accompany her voice’s high range. Her performance of Jennifer Hudson’s “I Am Telling You” sounded great; it just didn’t have as much power and passion. She can give more than that, and I’m looking forward to that moment.

Will this competition be able to push her to sing with more firepower? Can she shine more?

10. Lauren Turner

Not a big fan of the second Lauren here, but her voice sure can reach high pitches. Amazing, really!

This 24-year old is undoubtedly one of those who performs quite effortlessly. She’s a natural. It’s just at some times, I don’t feel her own renditions of the songs being sung, such as during the group round where she performed “Forget You”. It was good, but I think it was not that melodic, at least not to my ears.

In the race that continues, will she emerge as the winner? Will this competition turn Lauren Turner’s life around?

11. Tatynisa Wilson

This 20-year old gal is, if I may say, probably the weakest in the batch as her voice does not show brilliance or extraordinariness like the other contestants. It’s quite rather average. I mean it’s good but it’s not exactly American Idol material.

We saw her struggle through her solo performance of “I Hope You Dance” on Hollywood Week as she gave some rather queer alternatives to the lyrics of the song (fuel to eat but always keep your hunger?). She may have luckily surpassed that stage and moved on to the next round, but her performance during the Vegas round of “I Saw Her Standing There” wasn’t exactly that impressive too. Certainly better than her solo but still not enough, I believe, to beat it out with the rest of the Idols.

Will she find redemption soon in her next performances? Can she amaze us all with a breathtaking performance? Can she find her way to the top?

12. Julie Zorrilla

And I’ve saved the best for last! This gal from Colombia certainly has what it takes to be the next Idol! Her voice is just so lovely and soothing. Without a need for a strong power to fuel her voice through, Julie always seems to sing from the heart, like she’s really inspired by something to sing such beautiful songs.

Although mellow in nature, her soft and sweet voice is enough to battle it out with stronger voices in the competition. She sings passionately and definitely has this ability to move anyone with her voice.

Her performances of both “Summertime” during her San Francisco audition and of “Something” in a duet with Tim Halperin deserve nothing but praises. I’m definitely seeing some star quality here, how about you?

Love her voice. Love her personality. And I certainly love how she dresses. Definitely rooting for her throughout the show!

Can she prove to be the best of the best at the end of it all? Can she continue to wow? I believe she can, but the next few challenges are all that stand between her and the title of the next American Idol.

American Idol Season 10

Your Top 24 have been cast, and now it’s up to you, America, to decide their fate. Who will get the boot first and who will stand strong until the end? Whose vocals will sweep you off your feet and get you voting for them in every round?

Who will emerge as America’s favorite at the end of the season?

Who will be your 10th American Idol?

They sing; you vote.

*Which favorite will you be rooting for? Which Idol are you a fan of? I’ve shared mine, how about you share yours too in the comments section below? 🙂

*Catch the first battle of the Top 12 guys in the next episode of American Idol!


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