-American Idol 2012 Top 24 Announced, Lists, Photos, Some Predictions

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So I have watched with half an eye the home town auditions, the Hollywood round, the angst of the top 24 notifications up to the top 13 announced last night before this writing-3/2/12.

The Top 13 American Idol Finalists for 2012 are:

Colton Dixon
Deandre Brackensick
Elise Testone
Erika Van Pelt
Heejun Han
Hollie Cavanaugh
Jeremy Rosada
Jermaine Jones
Jessica Sanchez
Joshua Ledet
Phillip Phillips
Shannon Magrane
Skylar Laine

I did have some thoughts on the many singing competitions currently running, their technique, their foibles, their genres.

Whatever will happen in the future, as there are only so many terrific singers on the planet, for now and for the past ten years prior, it is Fox's American Idol that has captured the nation's attention. Indeed many American Idol winners have went on to great fame, a quick list that would include Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and quite a few others. Some snipe that there are many AI winners who go nowhere (what's the latest on Taylor Hicks?) but that's a silly argument. The successful amongst the AI winners/finalists outshine those who've faded to oblivion quite handily.

Since this is AI's 11th year, there are now quite a few AI alumni who, per the rules I must assume, have re-entered the competition. A couple of those former top placers in AI made the top 24, at least one is now in the top 13.

Which brings up this strange thing with 13 finalists. For some reason hyped all over the place, there was a contender that the judges felt deserved a place in the top tier with the chance to possibly win. That person is Jermaine Jones and he was announced as being in the "top 13" so we begin the couple of months of weekly AI eliminations with 13 contenders instead of 12.

Yes, I do have some thoughts and opinions on the final 13. We will leave Jermaine out of the opinions because however this came down, I did not get a chance to hear him perform.

Colton Dixon has some sort of skunk like hairstyle, he sings quite well. My notes indicate he seems to be "the next Adam Lambert". Colton's sister also entered the AI competition and she did survive a few eliminations. Only Colton made it through to the top 24, and on to the top 13.

Deandre Brackensick has a head full of gorgeous curls. Deandre did not initially make the top 13 but got to move up via the judge's pick as a wild card.

Elise Testone plays the piano and is considered a real contender.

Erika Van Pelt got into the top 13 as a judge's wild card pick. Erika's mistake via a lot of pundits is that she jumped in too quick to try to be the next Adele. The judges praised her performance however and she won their admiration again to move up to the top 13.

Heejun Han is of Chinese descent and besides singing, Heejun considers himself quite the comedian. I didn't get any sense that the judges were all that impressed with Heejun but he made the top ten on his own. I don't see him winning this thing, not even the top five, but I do think he'll add some personality to this year's contest.

Hollie Cavanaugh is a contender who was in the competition before. She is a sweet young thing, has a nice voice and an all American look about her that could seduce American viewers.

Jeremy Rosada has a fine voice but it's not all that outstanding and he doesn't have the look of a star. For now I don't think he'll last long but I reserve the right to change my opinion based on future performances.

Jessica Sanchez, my goodness, the judges love her, lots of Bloggers love her, she gets the on air audience screaming paroxysms of joy. Jessica pulled the old sore vocal cords routine but told Ryan that she rested up and thought she could pull it off. I'm 62 years old, I sing but only in a choir, nowhere near a solo performer. In all my life I've never had sore vocal chords, indeed I wonder how one gets such a thing. Sure the voice gets tired but by me this ploy, pulled out at least once an AI season, is a way of garnering audience admiration. The judges gave the very young Jessica a standing ovation and otherwise carried on way beyond her talent, as I see it, of course. Still, Jessica's one to keep a close eyeball on. I think she'll definitely be in that top five.

Joshua Ledet sang, amazingly, a Jennifer Hudson song as the way to introduce himself to America. Jeremy is a black fellow. Just on a hunch here, this seems to me that it might be a year to have a black singer win this competition. If so, I think Jeremy is just the choice.

Phillip Phillips is another judge favorite who made it through handily into the top ten on the first ballot. I didn't much like but the fans went nuts and the judges adore. Look for this guy to be a real contender, top five most definitely, top two maybe, real chance to win.

Shannon Magrane is my personal favorite. First, she sang one of my all-time favorite songs-"Go Light Your Candle", a Christian song, also my favorite music genre. Shannon is only 16, she's very pretty, and after a top two last year of country singers, she could be just the ticket to be a real contender.

Skylar Laine is the contender I refer to as the next Reba McIntyre. She's got a real nice growl to her voice, she's just a young 19 and she performs her heart out. The thing going against Skylar as I see it, and it's minor I suppose, but again, the top two last year were country/western singers and this might not be an ideal year for this genre.

So that's the initial wrap up. It's a good group, talented, young, performers all.

We'll be keeping up on the show weekly so come back and read the critique of one humble Blogger, read by two, maybe three, people.

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