Weeks of audition episodes, Hollywood tears and drama, and looooong waits have come to this: On Wednesday night, American Idol introduced its semifinalists for season eight. This year, 36 contestants are moving on to the next round, and here they are:
Got all that? To see the names of the semifinalists, plus a big controversy and some of my observations on the top 36, just read more.
First things first: the names!
Alexis Grace, Allison Iraheta, Ann Marie Boskovich, Arianna Afsar, Casey Carlson, Felicia Barton, Jackie Tohn, Jasmine Murray, Jeanine Vailes, Jesse Langseth, Kendall Beard, Kristen McNamara, Lil Rounds, Megan Corkrey, Mishavonna Henson, Stevie Wright, Tatiana Del Toro, Taylor Vaifauna
Adam Lambert, Alexander Wagner-Trugman, Anoop Desai, Brent Keith, Danny Gokey, Jorge Nunez, Ju'Not Joyner, Kai Kalama, Kris Allen, Matt Breitzke, Matt Giraud, Michael Sarver, Nathaniel Marshall, Nick Mitchell, Ricky Braddy, Scott MacIntyre, Stephen Fowler, Von Smith
Now, if you watched the show on Wednesday, you might notice something a little different: On the show, Joanna Pacitti went through. Well, Fox's press release (issued after the West Coast broadcast) included this line: "It has been determined that Joanna Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition. American Idol contestant Felicia Barton has replaced Ms. Pacitti as part of the Top 36.
Anyway, I've got a few thoughts about this group and about Wednesday's show as a whole, so read on:
* Let's talk about Tatiana and Nick "Norman Gentle" Mitchell. Are they legitimate contenders? Sacrifices to Vote for the Worst? Is there any way Tatiana gets through her round, or will voters be too annoyed to dial her number?
* Meanwhile, which singers are you sad not to see here? Jamar is probably my No. 1 overall; I would have loved to watch him and Danny fight their way through Idol together.
* Wait, Von Smith blamed his parents for his song choice? Is he not an adult? He's 22!
* How long until someone literally has a heart attack at one of those patented Idol fakeouts? "The result isn't great . . . it's fantastic"? So mean.
* What did you think of the sing-off format? Do you think the right people made it through based on those last-minute songs?