‘American Idol’ 11 Recap: Wild Card and Top 13 Announced!

‘American Idol’ 11 Recap: Wild Card and Top 13 Announced!

We’ve made it through all of the semifinal performances. We’ve voted. And now it’s time to face the music as our results are revealed. Speaking of votes, over 33 million votes were cast over the two performance nights this week. That averages to about 16.5 million from each night. Technically, that’s low, but since this is the first time voting this season, maybe that’s normal for the semifinals.

Let’s get right into the results. Chase Likens, Phillip Phillips and Jeremy Rosado are up first. While we get a recap of their performances, interspersed throughout the video packages are comments by record executive Jimmy Iovine. If you recall, Jimmy joined the show last year as the in-house mentor. I believe that they essentially hired him because they no longer had a Simon on the judges panel to actually be honest, so he’s the next best thing. Among these first three singers facing the results, Jimmy’s favorite is Phillip. I agree, and he was part of my predictions the other night.

Jeremy is eliminated. So is Chase. That means Phillip Phillips is in the Top 13!

Next up are Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Brielle Von Hugel and Hallie Day. Jimmy’s favorite is Jessica. Again, I agree. Brielle is rightfully cut. So is Hallie. Which means that both Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cavanagh are in the Top 13! I’m three for three.

The third group called to the stage is Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han and Adam Brock. It’s gotta be Joshua, right? Jimmy thinks so, too. The results say that Joshua Ledet and Heejun Han are advancing. Adam’s out. I got one of these right, so I’m now 4/5.

Now we’ve got Chelsea Sorrell, Bailey Brown, Skylar Laine and Shannon Magrane. Jimmy likes Skylar and somewhat Shannon. Both Shannon Magrane and Skylar Laine are here to stay. Chelsea and Bailey are gone. Now I’m 5/7.

Next up, we’ve got Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker and Reed Grimm. Nobody really sticks out to me on this one. Jimmy agrees. And America agrees because all three are eliminated.

The remaining girls are Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Haley Johnsen and Jen Hirsh. It’s gotta be Elise. There’s no way she’ll be cut. Jimmy loves both Erika and Elise. First, Haley is cut. So is Erika. Elise Testone is in the Top 13. Which means Jen is out. I’m now 6/9.

The rest to face the results are Deandra Brackensick, Eben Franckewitz, Colton Dixon and Jermaine Jones. Jimmy’s a fan of Jermaine. There are two spots left, so I think it’ll be Eben and Jermaine. Deandre’s cut. Colton Dixon advances. Jermaine Jones’ also in the Top 13. So Eben’s gone. Now that we know America’s results, I got seven correct out of ten on my predictions. Not too bad, I think.

But wait! There’s still more! We’ve still got one more hour as the judges make their Wild Card picks. They’re going to choose six of the eliminated singers to sing again and each judge will choose one to advance to round out the Top 13. The six Wild Cards to perform are Jen Hirsh, Jeremy Rosado, Brielle Von Hugel, Deandre Brackensick, Erika Van Pelt and Reed Grimm.

1. Jen Hirsh: “Oh Darling”
I’m glad she got a second chance because she deserved it. The start wasn’t the best. But maybe she realized this could be her last shot ever because all of a sudden she was really getting into it and she belted it out to full force. The final note was sharp, though. Since she was my favorite from earlier rounds, I hope we haven’t already seen the best from her.

2. Jeremy Rosado: “I Know You Won’t”
When I heard he was doing Carrie Underwood, I said, uh oh. And it didn’t fit at first. But I loved his tone during the latter half. If he makes it, my worry is that he won’t stand out against the rest.

3. Brielle Von Hugel: “Someone Like You”
Brielle? What? They only have six spots, and they chose to waste one of them with one of the worst singers in the Top 25? Again — what? There were a couple good moments when her rasp came through, but she butchered a beautiful Adele song.

4. Deandre Brackensick: “Georgia on My Mind”
He’s in, for sure. This was not only his best, but the best of the Wild Cards so far. Whenever he pulls out the falsettos, there’s just nothing like it. The judges would be stupid not to put him through.

5. Erika Van Pelt: “The Edge of Glory”
She may have been in the Top 10 if she had performed later in the night during her initial performance this week. Taking on Gaga tonight takes guts and she held nothing back. There were a couple iffy moments, but her powerhouse voice gets me every time. She’s in!

6. Reed Grimm: “Use Me”
He’s definitely a blend of Taylor Hicks and Casey Abrams. But those two were more talented. It’s not that Reed is bad–he’s not –but so far, he hasn’t been my cup of tea. Maybe he’ll grow on me if he makes it.

Favorite Performances: Deandre Brackensick / Erika Van Pelt

Right after these six performed but before the judges made their decision, I made some quick and easy predictions:

Top 13 Predictions:
Deandre Brackensick
Erika Van Pelt
Reed Grimm

It’s time to find out which three will round out the Top 13. Randy’s choice is Erika Van Pelt. Jennifer goes with Jeremy Rosado. Really, Jen? I guess I’m not surprised because when Jeremy performed tonight, she was the only judge to like it. I don’t think he’ll last that long, though. Finally, Steven goes with the majorly obvious and brings back Deandre Brackensick!

Get ready, everyone. Here’s our Top 13: Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, Shannon Magrane, Skyler Laine, Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, Jermaine Jones, Erika Van Pelt, Jeremy Rosado and Deandre Brackensick.

Except for a few like Heejun Han and Jeremy Rosado, I think we’ve got a pretty solid group of finalists this year. I’m excited for the next three months to see how everything shapes up. What’s interesting, though, is that I can’t pick a winner yet. Usually, someone stands out as the frontrunner during the semifinals. But maybe it’ll be another week or two before that happens.

Next week, our Top 13 will peform songs by Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston. Whitney? Really, Idol? Do you really want wannabe singers butchering some of the greatest songs ever just a few weeks after Whitney’s death? Who knows, maybe the girls will blow us away (because some of them do have the powerhouse voices to possibly pull it off).