By Gina Carbone
So not only is season nine of “American Idol” weak on talent, the voters are weak on talent judgment.
Earlier tonight, we whittled the top 24 down to the top 20 — 10 guys and 10 girls.
So are Lacey Brown and Haeley Vaughn, despite Tuesday night performances that were both called “terrible.”
The two girls that “Idol” voters sent home:
• Janell Wheeler, 24, Orlando, Florida — pretty blonde who sang “What About Love”
• Ashley Rodriguez, 22, Chelsea, Mass.— Berklee student and one of my faves from the Boston auditions, who sang “Happy”
The two guys that “Idol” voters sent home:
• Joe Muñoz, 20, Huntington Park, California— not surprised, he had tepid support and lacked star power, even after doing a decent job with “You and I Both”
• Tyler Grady, 20, Nazareth, Pennsylvania— This surprised me. I thought Disco Stu was a lock to keep going, just based on his “I’m cool” vibe.
I’m proud of the teenage girls of America for not voting for him (and instead voting for Dreamboat Casey James), but I do think Tyler had more potential than Tim or even Jermaine Sellers.
Tyler’s “American Woman” was indulgent, but the judges had been gushing over his 1970s style from day one, so he played it up.
He’s right: Their mix-it-up advice came too late.
So here are our top 10 men and women, ranked in order of my preference:
TOP 10 GUYS
1. Lee DeWyze, 23, Mount Prospect, Illinois (dark horse)
2. Casey James, 27, Fort Worth, Texas (he really did give his best performance Wednesday night, and that’s when it counted most)
3. Andrew Garcia, 24, Moreno Valley, California (I still believe he can do something worthy of his male frontrunner status)
4. Alex Lambert, 19, North Richland Hills, Texas (I can barely tell him from the others, but he has those pipes; the mullet may grow on me)
5. John Park, 21, Evanston, Illinois (stupid song choice Wednesday, but he has potential)
6. Michael Lynche, 26, Astoria, N.Y. (Big Mike is overconfident, but he has chops)
7. Todrick Hall, 24, Arlington, Texas (Had the tough first-song position and was unfairly criticized for trying to be creative)
8. Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, Pennsylvania (Barely know who this is)
9. Jermaine Sellers, 26, Joliet, Illinois (Not seeing a lot here beyond good looks)
10. Tim Urban, 20, Duncanville, Texas (Sweet kid, but should be gone already)
TOP 10 GIRLS
1. Lilly Scott, 20, Littleton, Colo. (Too edgy for “Idol”? I like her)
2. Katelyn Epperly, 19, West Des Moines, Iowa (She’s growing on me)
3. Didi Benami, 23, Hollywood, Calif. (Unfairly criticized Tuesday)
4. Katie Stevens, 17, Middlebury, Conn. (Did not put her best foot forward Tuesday, but she has frontrunner potential, so she gets another shot)
5. Siobhan Magnus, 19, Barnstable, Mass. (I am curious to hear more)
6. Michelle Delamor, 22, Miami, Fla. (Gorgeous, but needs a really good song choice)
7. Crystal Bowersox, 24, Elliston, Ohio (No more coffeehouse stuff, please)
8. Paige Miles, 24, Cypress, Texas (or Naples, Fla.) (Good voice, needs something distinctive)
9. Haeley Vaughn, 16, Fort Collins, Colo. (So cute, but soooo painful Tuesday)
10. Lacey Brown, 24, Amarillo, Texas (Should’ve gone by now)