Sixty-four American Idol contestants have made it past the grueling “Genre” and “Duets” auditions in Hollywood, and now the time has come for the “Showstoppers” round where Lionel, Luke, and Katy will pare it down to the top twenty-four, who will then begin performing for the viewers at home beginning next week. I was relieved to finally see a live band again along with a live Katy and Luke, but Lionel had to zoom it in because he was reportedly in quarantine for possible exposure to Covid. Speaking of the pandemic; while AI should be commended for forging ahead under such
politically motivated restrictive circumstances. I was particularly pleased and just wasn’t down with another season of lame performances from the contestant’s crappy apartments and/or parent’s bedrooms.
Season 19 of American Idol is shaping up to be a good one, but looking ahead I feel like the show is in need of some serious changes, beginning with an entirely new format. First and foremost, I would change the age qualifications from the current 15-29, to 18-28. Raising the age minumum to 18 would alleviate the burden of the “accompanying minor” limitations, but also, there’s just something creepy about kids working in the (often times dirty) music business. This leads to my second proposal. I would finally allow American Idol to go full on "reality TV", and instead of featuring weeks of pointless preliminary auditions and the tiresome sad sack backstories (on people whom we don’t even know), open the season with the previously chosen top 40 or so, all vying for one of the 24 bunks in a “Bachelor-like” mansion somewhere in the Hollywood Hills. Thirdly, they need to recast Ryan Seacrest, and probably bring on new panel of judges as well.
Back to the present; the following contestants have made the cuts so far, but we will have to wait until tonight’s episode to find out not only if last night’s Alanis Sophia and Casey Bishop made it, and also who rounds out the remaining top 24.
Alyssa Wray Jason Warrior
Jason Warrior Andrea Valles
Chayce Beckham Caleb Kennedy
Wyatt Pike Cassandra Coleman
Beane Hannah Everhart
Before closing, I have to give honorable mention to Alex Miller, 17, from Lancaster, KY. While it was evident from the (exasperated) look on Luke’s face that he felt like Alex defied him, I really thought he would make it through; especially considering the amount of camera time he got. Also, I thought his (twangy) rendition of Merle Haggard’s Silver Wings was extraordinary and memorable. Apparently Luke re-thought his position and realized that you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy, because after sending him home, Luke surprised Alex with a future appearance at the coveted Grand Old Opry stage!