'American Idol': Week 1 Elimination

American Idol Season 9 Top 24 contestants
American Idol Season 9 Top 24 contestants

We tuned in on Thursday night biting our nails, hoping that former Prospect High School student and Mount Prospect resident Lee DeWyze would make it to the next round. We also wanted to see how our predictions panned out. And here’s what we found…
Top 24 Performance of “American Boy” by Estelle
Emmy: The Top 24 performed last night, and I was surprised at how well they did as a group. Only a few weeks earlier most everyone showed that working in a group was one of the hardest things to do. The girls started off singing “American Boy,” and the guys soon followed. Big Mike’s voice stood out in his performance with two other guys.
But poor Lee DeWyze was stuck in the back for some reason. You couldn’t really see him because he isn’t as tall as the others. So instead of Big Mike in the front, “Idol” should have Lee in the front. Besides, Lee has natural talent. He hasn’t had any singing lessons.
Overall, the performance was pretty good. Not the best, but that’s because everyone is still new to the competition and are kind of mellow and not taking risks.
Maddie: The group numbers are never my favorite part of the results; usually, I just sit impatiently as the group performs and wait anxiously to find out if my favorite is safe or heading home. Tonight was no exception, but the Top 24 did well with “American Boy,” and it was a good way to fill the time between finding out our bottom four for this week.
One thing that I noticed, though, was that the choreography was awkward; there were just too many people on too small of a stage. I guess that won’t be a problem soon enough when four more are gone.
First Girls’ Elimination:
Janell Wheeler, the first girl eliminated out of the Top 24
Janell Wheeler, the first girl eliminated out of the Top 24

E: As for the girl eliminations, I am beyond mad that Haeley Beatles-Ruining Vaughn isn’t gone. Same with Katelynn Epperly, who I have nicknamed “Hooker” because of her outfit on Tuesday night.
But I am satisfied with Janell leaving. She didn’t deserve to be there since she ruined a Taylor Swift song. She will NEVER live that down with me. She had no star potential and reminded me of someone who should be a secretary at a large office.
M: When it came down between Katie Stevens and our now-booted blonde, I knew that if Katie went home, I’d probably throw something at the TV. If Katie goes back to performing like she did in Hollywood, I see her as a definite member of the Top 12 — maybe even the finale — whereas Janell, well, lost my respect when she pretended to be Taylor Swift in Hollywood and failed miserably. But thankfully, my TV was spared because America made the right choice, and “Idol” was rid of one of its four blonde girls.
Allison Iraheta Performance, “Scars”
Allsion Iraheta
Allsion Iraheta

E: Allsion Iraheta performed after the break. I love Allison. Her album, “Just Like You,” is just spectacular. I was so excited to see her there singing “Scars.” “Scars” is a song that Allison performs with great emotion.
Her outfit was something else, though. Her black dress with the wing-looking fabric sticking out in the back made her look like a bird who was thinking about flying away. Her heels were high, but that’s just the fashion trend nowadays. Really, really high heels.
But I know one thing is for sure: She was glad that she didn’t have to face the judges on her performance.
M: I was glad to see Allison back to the “Idol” stage. She was one of my favorites last season, and I’m happy that she had at least some success since being sent home after the Top 4. She was only 16 after all, and it’s got to be hard for someone that age to pick up again after being kicked off the public radar.
But here she was. I hadn’t heard Allison’s new album, but I enjoyed her song and her performance overall. Her fashion choice was interesting, to say the least — bold high heels, an outrageous black dress and her usual fire-colored hair — but it worked, especially with the dyed blue and purple stripes in her already bright hair. I may be a natural ginger myself, but I could never pull that off the way she did!
Second Girls’ Elimination:
Ashley Rodriguez
Ashley Rodriguez

E: I was glad that Ashley Rodriguez went home. She was a snotty little thing and seemed super mad when she was sent home. I have no sympathy for someone who is fuming after being kicked off when her performance was not stellar. It seemed as if she was trying to do her best when she was singing, showing people that they made the wrong choice. But unfortunatly, it only made her singing worse because she was singing with anger. The song’s name is “Happy,” Ashley. Not “Anger.”
M: At first, I felt at least a little bit of pity for Ashley when Ryan announced that she was leaving the competition after only one show, but all that evaporated when she opened her mouth and demanded to sing her song. She looked, as my eighth grade sister Grace pointed out, like she wanted to punch someone in the face.
And I can’t sympathize for someone who can only respond to an elimination with anger — it shows cockiness. And so my other sister, a fourth grader, then commented, “She won’t ever get a boyfriend. He won’t want to get punched in the face.”
Well, I don’t know about a boyfriend, but she certainly didn’t get any votes.
Joe Munoz
Joe Munoz

First Guys’ Elimination:
E: As for the boys, I was right about Joe going home. I’m not going to miss him like I would some guys like Lee or Tyler.
M: Poor, innocent Joe: the casualty of screaming girls. When it was between him and Tim Urban — who, I had been informed by no less than five of my peers, was just “great” because he was just SO “hot” — I knew that Joe had no shot at making it through to the Top 20. I had a feeling that it was going to happen, but I’m still disappointed that it did; Joe, while maybe not the most exciting of the contestants, does have talent — at least more than Tim Urban, anyway, who might just match the Jo-Bros‘ obsession with nasal singing, skinny jeans and hair straighteners enough to join the band.
Idol Gives Back with Kris Allen
E: Last season’s American Idol, Kris Allen, was there. He was talking with Ryan about Idol giving back for Haiti.
Then he performed a Beatles song.
Lilly handled her Beatles song well the other night, but it wasn’t the best. Haeley totally ruined “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which pushed me over the edge on Beatles songs on “American Idol.”
Thankfully, Kris Allen didn’t ruin one of my favorite Beatles songs, “Let It Be.”
Still, a note to all of you people: Beatles songs plus “American Idol” equals BAD. If any of you ever go on “American Idol,” don’t sing a Beatles song! No one can better the Beatles. Not even the Beatles impersonators, the British Invasion, at Epcot in Walt Disney World. The Beatles are musical legends. Period.
M: Kris Allen’s performance to introduce the “Idol Gives Back” effort for this season — Haiti — was, not surprisingly, solid. He did the Beatles justice, and not for the first time; even after he got negative reviews for doing “Come Together” during last season’s rock week, I thought then — and still do now — that Kris is just a Beatles kind of guy. Stellar, as per usual.
Second Guys’ Elimination:
Tyler Grady
Tyler Grady

E: I am SO disappointed in you, America! So very disappointed! Why in the world did you send crazy, 70s-obsessed Tyler Grady home? I was SO looking forward to seeing some of his crazy antics as the season moves on (like showing up to rehearsal in a bathrobe). But now I won’t because you sent him home. I didn’t just vote for Lee DeWyze. I put some votes in for Tyler, too, so I am incredibly disappointed. I want “That 70s Guy” to hang around for a longer time. He totally had potential.
Why couldn’t we have sent Alex Lambert and his mullet home? I don’t care if his last name is the same as the former “Idol” contestant Adam Lambert. And I definitely don’t care if some of you people think he’s hot, because he most definitely is NOT HOT!
Tyler Grady, you will be missed so much. As Kara said during Hollywood week, “I don’t know what planet you’re on. But I want to be on that planet.” So do I, Kara, but apparently America didn’t.
FOX also had to be an idiot because they cut off Tyler Grady because their time slot was up, leaving me disappointed for the night. Until I watched my favorite “Office” episode.
M: Tyler! Why, oh why, oh why?
OK, so maybe I know why. Tyler wasn’t exactly the most talented member of the Top 24, but his rendition of “American Woman,” 70s obsession and apparent preference for attending rehearsals in boots and a bathrobe had me hoping that he’d be back for another week. I’d prefer that it be him than Alex, though (my comment on what he would look like without the mullet still stands).
I guess America ultimately decided to let Tyler know that we’re not still stuck in the 70s — wow, what a shocker there.
Who to watch for next week…
E: For next week, the people to pay attention to are: Crystal Bowersox and Katie Stevens, for the girls; and for the guys, Lee DeWyze and Andrew Garcia. They all have tons of potential to become the next American Idol.
Lee Dewyze
Lee Dewyze

M:  1. Lee DeWyze
2. Katie Stevens
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This girl’s got something in her that just hasn’t shone through yet, and when it does, we’ll all be blown away.
3. Andrew Garcia
As a fan of Andrew’s unique style, I’m looking forward to seeing if he redeems himself for the judges, even though I don’t actually think that he needs to redeem himself from his last performance at all.
4. Lilly Scott
Lilly’s had a strong showing so far, and if she and her platinum-blonde do keep it up, she’ll be sticking around for weeks and weeks.
5. Crystal Bowersox
Hey, this girl can play the guitar AND the harmonica — and still manage to sing at the same time. The harmonica, OK? Try and tell me that she’s not worth watching.
6. Alex Lambert
Let’s see if Alex takes Ellen’s comments to heart and somehow finds a way to “ripen” between now and next week. And hey, while he’s at it, maybe he’ll finally get a haircut!
– Emmy Lindfors and Maddie Conway