American Idol’s Top 24 – Strongest Group to Compete

AP Jan. 11: Steven Tyler, left, Jennifer Lopez, center, and Randy Jackson, judges on the FOX show 'American Idol' take part in a panel discussion during the FOX Broadcasting Company Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Read more:

I am not sure if it was the return of Nigel Lythgoe as an Executive Producer to the American Idol show or the brilliant selection of Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Tyler as judges  along with veteran, Randy Jackson.  It is probably the combination of all of them, but this year’s American Idol Top 24 is the strongest group of competitors  since the show started ten seasons ago.

American Idol has definitely entered a era with a new step that points to only good news for the mega hit show.  The build up to the top 24 was actually better and allowed the audience to get to know some of the contestants.

I felt emotionally invested in some of them so when elimination came, there were some sadness with some who did not make it.

The judges have the right combination of chemistry, musical expertise and with the Tyler outrageousness  make it a winning formula for both the audience and the contestants. Of course, there is the stabilizing figure of the iconic Ryan Seacrest.

Voting has expanded to include  Face Book  which will only put the show in a more interactive mode with America.

The next few weeks will be interesting as America selects their newest American Idol. I think the playing field is pretty level between the guys and the girls. There are many unique voices and the talent is in abundance.  Who will capture our hearts?

The male semifinalists include Casey Abrams, 20, of Idyllwild, Calif.; Jovany Barreto, 23, Harvey, La.; Jordan Dorsey, 21, Donaldsville, La.; James Durbin, 22, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Clint Jun Gamboa, 26, Long Beach, Calif., and Tim Halperin, 23, Fort Worth, Texas.   Also,  Stefano Langone, 21, Kent, Wash.; Brett Loewenstern, 17, Boca Raton, Fla.; Jacob Lusk, 23, Compton, Calif.; Scotty McCreery, 17, Garner, N.C.; Paul McDonald, 26, Nashville, Tenn., and Robbie Rosen, 17, Merrick, N.Y.

The females semifinalists include Naima Adedapo, 26, Milwaukee, Wisc.; Lauren Alaina, 16, Rossville, Ga.; Kendra Chantelle, 22, Nashville, Tenn.; Ashthon Jones, 24, Nashville, Tenn.; Thia Megia, 16, Mountain House, Calif., and Haley Reinhart, 20, Wheeling, Ill.  Also, Karen Rodriguez, 21, New York; Pia Toscano, 22, Howard Beach, N.Y.; Lauren Turner, 24, Slidell, La.; Tatynisa Wilson, 20, Aurora, Ill.; Julie Zorrilla, 20, Los Angeles and Rachel Zevita, 23, New York.

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