In today's special all-American Idol edition of the Hollywood Prospectus podcast, Grantland experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti discuss Jermaine Jones's abrupt on-air dismissal from the competition, how old it makes them feel that Shannon Magrane was born the same year No Doubt's "Don't Speak" was released, and attempt to project Hollie Cavanagh's eventual career path. There is also a discussion about how Joshua Ledet can fully exorcise the musical demons that so clearly possess him onstage, as well as a rumination on Will.I.Am's mostly useless, but amusingly Brian Fellowsian, guest mentorship. And: Jay gets weirdly hung up on some performers' recent tendency to pronounce their words like Adele, while Mark does a truly horrifying imitation of Ryan Seacrest. Plus: The names Teddy Pendergrass and Al Jarreau are mentioned. See you after the results show!
All season, Grantland Idol experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti will answer five very important questions after each performance episode. They can hardly believe the show's been on for seven straight months, 10 hours per week; it's really flown by.
OK, we're finally at the Main Event. Thirteen left. Who was amazing?
Lisanti: I hate to come out of the gate so strong, but we've got to cut straight to J-Chez. Yesterday she was Mariah Chezzy. Today she's Whitney Chezton. Season after season, "I Will Always Love You" is always held up by the panel of inevitably underwhelmed judges as The One You Don't Dare Sing, the High-Grade Weaponized Whitney you just can't let the kids fuck around with.
Before the Final 13 perform tonight, we wanted to handicap each contestant’s odds to win and compare it to Vegas’s predictions. No need to wait any further, let’s just get right into it. [Ed. note: All wagering analysis is for entertainment purposes only. If you actually put money on this, you have a serious problem. That being said, mortgage your future on Shannon Magrane.]
Kang: Ms. Irrelevant — the sixth girl they let in because they needed to let in a sixth girl and for no other reason. The whole blond girl from Texas thing might have worked, but Hollie’s got an unidentifiable, vaguely British accent going on that should alienate her from the always-vital tween-xenophobe (tweenophobe?) population. As for her singing, if you can’t bust out the song from Mulan with more power than that, you’ve got no business on the Idol stage. The judges gave her credit for not singing any notes out of tune, but isn’t that kind of like congratulating a pitcher who gave up five home runs but didn’t walk anyone? We should call her the Kevin Slowey of American Idol.
After seven mind-numbing weeks of cattle-call auditions, interminable group numbers, and the sudden, shocking onset of a still-unidentified, organ-liquefying plague that left at least 15 unlucky pop-star hopefuls dead and scores more voiding the churning contents of their virus-wracked stomachs into the nearest potted plant, last night American Idol finally made its first round of audience-voted eliminations, thinning the Top 24 to a Top 13. (If you've already forgotten the new mechanics of this season, "America" decided the Top 10, and our esteemed panel of judges selected three additional "wild cards" via a Sing For Your Life performance borrowed from Cowellian upstart The X Factor.) And so, after a two-hour results show so bloated Fox had to cut away its bedroom wall and deliver its piano-sized Craftmatic directly into our DVRs with a construction crane, here are your Top 13:
All season, in-house Grantland Idol experts Jay Caspian Kang and Mark Lisanti will answer five very important questions about each performance episode. Their efforts will eventually end in a well-publicized murder-suicide.
Who was your favorite contestant? (Note: Your “favorite” does not necessarily have to be “talented” or “stand any chance of winning whatsoever.”)