'American Idol' starts to reveal its top 24 semifinalists tonight, in a change from every other season -- cause Fox has to uphold its tradition of randomly messing with the show, without fixing what its real problems are (how some contestants never get shown and thus can't build a following, generally horrible guest judges, forcing kids to sing bad songs from before they were born....)
UPDATE: Seven people made it through tonight, here's how I've got them ranked going into the men's and the women's semifinalists; we'll live-blog Wednesday night of course when they reveal the other 17 semifinalists:
1) Todrick Hall; he's mad creative, has a lot of natural talent and a fun vibe;
2) Didi Benomie, whose best friend died, has a ton of heart and high likeability; and a great voice.
3) Aaron Kelly, the Backstreet Boyish teen who lacks experience but is super-sincere, there's a nice quality to him that I think will get him a good fan base;
4) Michael Lynche, whose wife just had a baby; maybe a bit too much exposure, but he has a big personality and a big voice;
5) Lee Dewyze, who has a great tone to his voice and who reminds me of Kris Allen for some reason;
6) Casey James, the guy who took his shirt off but who has an interesting voice and potentially lots of charisma;
7) Katelyn Epperly, whose dad walked out on them; not sure how charismatic she is, but she has a good look and lots of drive.
In a good segment Ryan takes us through the day briefly, but instead of showing more of the interesting behind-the-scene footage, they show the judges looking at a bunch of Polaroids, shaking their heads. Cause that's, you know, riveting.
They split them into three rooms; Casey James, Tim Urban, Andrew Garcia are in one; i.e. the winners. Hope Johnson and some others in room two; i.e. see ya room. Jessica Furney, Angela Martin, others in room three; i.e. who knows. Angela's nerves are shot, she's not enjoying waiting.
Jermaine Purforey and Casey sing a bit next, they're both good, I prob liked Casey a bit more. Jermaine is in room two. 71 contestants, about to start cutting them to 24.....