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'American Idol' Recap: The Top 30 Is Set...Almost

February 14th, 2014 7:06am EST | Andrew Payne By: Andrew Payne

American Idol Top 30

Last night's 'Idol' started with an anti-climax and ended with an even bigger one.

On Wednesday's episode, a cliffhanger ended the show as CJ and Caleb awaited the fate of their little singing battle. Both were good enough to go through, so this proved to be a surprise no matter who the judges selected.

Except, the judges didn't make a choice: they selected both of them to go through, a conclusion that made the first season of 'The Killing' seem satisfying.

After that non-resolution, the show went on as normal with hopefuls being kicked out and kicked through in turn, until the final moment when two singers whose names aren't really worth mentioning since neither are going to win, were told they're going to have their fates decided by America in the least substantial vote this side of a student council election.

So vote away, America! Choose either the boring dude in the ball cap or the boring dude in the fedora. It's not really saying much when the contestants' head gear is the only thing really telling them apart.

As for me, I'm more concerned with who actually had their fates sealed on last night's show. So let's conclude our game of Should They Have Stayed, or Should They Have Gone...

Marrialle Sellars

After having a panic attack induced by counting contestants in the holding room, Marrialle approached the judges thinking the odds were against her and she was doomed.

After seeing her solo performance, it's easy to see why she was so fearful: An absolute dud of a 'Wrecking Ball', Marrialle was super flat and had no real power behind her voice - just a boring and off-key performance. There's no reason to think Marrialle has much of a shot on this show and certainly won't fool anybody into thinking she's a good singer.

Should Have Gone, but she Stayed

Jena Ascuitto

Nobody could quite get Jena's name right - apparently it's pronounced like Gina, rather than the one-letter-away Jenna - even if that makes no sense.

After seeing her solo performance, though, it's very clear nobody is going to forget Jena's name. A subtly brilliant piano piece with the soul of Carole King and edge of Fiona Apple, Jena is very unique in this competition and another performer capable of delivering truly memorable performances beyond the normal pop belting that dominates this competition.

Should Have Stayed, and she Stayed

Caleb Johnson

If Caleb was as good as he thinks he is, then his vocals would probably cure all disease, or be able to power a city with clean energy for the next decade - that's how cocky this long-haired throwback is.

It's hard to understand the reason for Caleb's extreme confidence has he's really not much more than a Ronnie Van Zandt imitation in a third-rate tribute band. Maybe called Lynyrd's Innyrds. That may work for karaoke classic rock, but not on this show.

Should Have Gone, but he Stayed

Ethan Harris

This is the little pipsqueak wiener kid with no voice and certain to be the front man of the new group Friendzone where they will end up looking on as their groupies hook up with other guys and text them about how mean the guy is.

The kid's got no confidence, no stage presence and absolutely no ability to sing. It's like watching a mouse try to fight a lion

Should Have Gone, but he Stayed

Briston Maroney

Briston, whose parents apparently forgot to move their finger down one row to type x instead of s on his Birth Certificate, is the purest example of why fifteen-year-olds have no place on this competition.

Sure, the kid's got talent - he can play and sing, he's got a little bit of a voice, but he's still just pretending to be a singer. It's just impossible to be that young and be ready for this show. Harry said it perfectly as he recounted being a frustrated fourteen-year-old who wanted to break through, but just wasn't ready yet.

That's what Briston is - very talented, but not nearly ready.

Should Have Gone, but he Stayed

Kenzie Hall

A bundle of nerves and tears, Kenzie could barely take the agony of awaiting her fate from the judges. It must be because she's sixteen, because there was no other reason for her to be nervous. After that Macklemore performance in Hollywood Week, she should have gotten a bye through to the live shows and not had to put up with any of this nonsense.

Should Have Stayed, and she Stayed

Savion Wright

Walking into the judges' room with your guitar is pretentious enough, but actually strumming the ukulele on your short walk should be grounds for immediate dismissal - that didn't stop Savion from being insufferable in that moment though. Three cheers for having no self awareness.

If you like your music sung by somebody who can't really sing or play, but makes up for it by having a quirky style and over-embellishing every syllable, then Savion is your top choice. If you just like actual musicians with talent, you'd probably move on.

Should Have Gone, and he's Gone

So there we have it. The top thirty...kinda. Check back next week as the show goes live for a full breakdown of all the performances.

Photo Credits: FOX


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