American Idol 2012: The Standouts – So Far

This week we will learn the American Idol 2012 Top 24. And while there’s 42 contestants competing for the spot, there are several who stand out as musts. Keep in mind this list is all my personal opinion and I hope you’ll share yours, but I’ve put together some names that I would like to see as part of the Top 24 and probably the Top 12.

Colton Dixon. I liked this guy last season before he was cut at the Top 24, and I think he’s grown even more as an artist since then. I love that he’s a true musician, but also has that “manufatured” look. I’m surprised he hasn’t already made it without American Idol’s help.

Jen Hirsh. Could she be the powerhouse female singer for Season 11? If she keeps up what she’s been doing so far, I think that could happen. She’s had a pretty flawless run so far from Hollywood Week to the Vegas Round.

Heejun Han. I want this guy around for his personality alone. He’s hilarious. And he can sing.

Skyler Laine. Carrie Underwood and Lauren Alaina did it, can she? Will Skyler and her Reba-sound make it all the way? I hope she goes far. I love her twang.

Reed Grimm. This guy’s already been called the “Casey Abrams of Season 11” so will it be so? We saw him, on the fly, nail a performance behind the drums. And when he’s not drumming, he’s hamming up the stage. More Reed please.

So those are my standouts for now. What are yours? Once again, the guys are standing out a bit more than the girls. And that can be attributed to editing. It seems like we’ve had a lot of focus on the guys. I guess maybe Idol is finally embracing the fact that most of the fans are girls and women.






  1. The voices are good but nearly none are original… When people start to compare contestants to others like ex-contestants or artists, it shows that he/she is actually not original… You compare Skylar to Reba, Reed to Casey, this makes me feel that they are not a breath of fresh air. As to Colton, I just don’t find him very alluring as a performer… I get bored of him easily… Heejun is very fun :))

    • well said.  there are no big standouts that make you sit up and take notice, like an adam lambert, the most original contestant ever.  there are certain voices that willl always stand out and be recognizable – elvis, jagger, lambert, whitney, barbra.  where are these in this crop of hopefuls??

  2. Yes, but how many artists are really that original.  Being a visual artist myself, you must know that for everything you do, something must have come first for you to be able to do what you do.  This is the same thing in music.

    I think that the judges have been making pretty great decisions so far with who they are letting go.  I think the talent is amazing so far this year. 

    However, I do find Colton to be completely forgetable as far as his singing voice.  In his case, I don’t think singing Daughtry or David Cook songs are a good thing.  He will probably go far though because he already has a following from last year.

    Reed is great, but has the potential to get annoying and come across as arrogant or “just over it”. 

    Jen Hirsh is amazing, and I hope she goes real far in this competition. 

    Creighton is another favorite of mine.  I also hope he goes far.

    Jessica Sanchez is pretty amazing, and especially since she is only 16.

    I like Shannon Magrane, but I don’t know if she is quite as strong as some other contestants.

    Elise Testone is amazing, but she potentially could give off that same “just over it” attitude.

    Haley Johnson made me take notice with her final note in her Vegas group performance.

    I really like Philip as well, but I cannot believe no one has yet mentioned his uncanny similarities to Dave Matthews.

    Deandre I think is another one to watch.  I think they did the right thing by making him wait another year.  I think he is so much better this year.

    I want to see more of Baylie Brown as well…I’m glad she came back.

    I don’t think Skyler is as good as they are making her out to be.  Although, I think she is more suited to sing more of the older country like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.  Reba is not a good comparison for me. I thought she sounded better singing the 50’s music during the Vegas week than the The Band Perry song in Hollywood week.  

    Since I’m from Baltimore, MD, I do hope Hallie Day goes far as well. She has a great voice.

    Erika Van Pelt has a lot more to show as well.

    Eben is another one that keeps surprising me.  Maybe not the best voice, but he really is a performer.  I’m surprised I like him.

    Hejuun is good, but I can take him or leave him.  I can really see why people like him so far.

    Adam Brock is also good, but…something doesn’t sit well with me.  He reminds me a lot of Danny Gokey, but Danny to me is more likeable. Adam also reminds me of “Blue Eyed Soul”.

    Joshua Ledet also keeps surprising me.  He is good!!

    ***I’m still waiting for them to show Hollie Cavanagh!!  We better see her this week.  I want her to possibly win this season, and I’m worried that she may not have the following as she is THE ONLY ONE of the projected top 24 that has not been shown singing at all thus far this season.

    I hope they do the wild cards again this year!!  I’m getting more and more excited about this year.  These singers are so much better than the other singing shows in my honest opinion.


    • Re Holly: I know, right?  We saw her a little bit on group night, but other than that, no times.  Although, we did get introduced to Siobhan Magnus on the Top 24 reveal night, so…

      • Kris, at this point, we have to be patient.  I promise that, at this point, nobody will be put into the Top 24 without seeing at least 1 performance of them.  And, I’ve noticed that they gradually introduce us to all of the Top 24.  Like last season.  We met Lauren A. during auditions, but only met Ta-Tynisa during Vegas round!

      • I am not ready to announce my favorite yet. I still haven’t seen enough. I saw one clip of about 5 seconds in Holly Wood that made me start paying attention to this contestant but that is not nearly enough to base a decision on. I want to see at least one more performance before I say, “Yeah this is the winner.” I will let you all know. 

    • Ditto what Kris said… I’m actually excited about the live shows this year… it’s gonna be somethn pretty awesome!!

      • Also, remember live shows and taped shows are completely different.  With taped shows, they may cut out parts of the performances, so we don’t really see a full performance.  During live shows, we do.  Live shows will be fun!  

    • I actually posted in another thread that Phillips is a combo of Dave Matthews and Joe Cocker 🙂

  3. Joshua L., Jen, Jessica, and maybe Creighton for me. I agree that Skylar and Colton are over-promoted for what they bring. And I too would love to see Heejun stay around for awhile. There are others who might emerge, and I am waiting to see Hollie again to see how she matches up. I am sad tha tthose who don’t follow Idol closely don’t even know she exists. It’s a good group. It should be a good season.

    • reed is like the black gurl last season who boasted she has something that others don’t! freak reed! If you watched the whole show… u will know that reed is a drum player and him playing the drum and bragging he’s got something nobody does… duh! looseerrr! It’s STAGED that he was supposed to sing acapella and that he does not know it was not allowed during that PART of competition! so, darn nanny sand and drummed and boy! he certainly fooled a lot of viewers on that performance!!!

      • He does have something the others don’t, all around talent. I love what he did with that song the other night, the group may have sang it with him but it was his style and his work. The judges knew that. 

  4. I think Reed is an arrogant ass.  He isn’t quirky or interesting to watch, more like annoying and full of himself.  I almost couldn’t watch him during the group round in Vegas, hamming it up to the cameras like he has already been crowned this year’s American Idol.  I could do with a lot less of him but I have an awful feeling that the judge’s are taken with him and his antics.

    • That guy has the most talent of them all, he’s fantastic. I like his Jazz sound. He’ll get my vote! 

    • Reed is NOT arrogant in any way.  I know him personally and is actually a very nice guy.  Very down to earth and is not acting it up at all he is him and is GREAT!  VOTE REED!

    • I think he is the best I have heard in a long, long time. I do not mean just on this show, either. I would pay to hear this man sing. I cannot say the same of many on this show this year – or even the years past. However, I understand that our man is not going to make the cut to 12.

  5. I want to hear more from Chelsea Sorrell…watched some of her you tube videos and group song on Idol “Be My Little Baby”, I thought she was REALLY GOOD!!! She’s also a very pretty girl! LOOK HER UP!!!

  6. One other person I forgot to mention is Brielle…I was excited to see her back this year.  I had no idea she was such a B***H…and apparently just like her mother.  Contestants should learn from years past that even if you have a good voice…if you are not so nice or a little bitchy towards others, you will not go far at all once you make it to the live rounds. I’m very disappointed.  Plus, she is quite full of herself.

    • Look.  Lets compare Brielle, Richie, and Clint J-G from last year.

      Brielle: bossy and full of herself.  insults people.  no comment from her group.

      Richie: my way or the highway.  aggrivated her whole group.

      Clint: kicked out a fan favorite. 

      Who’s the worst?

      • I’m not really sure who is the worst.  Those were three that came to mind for me.  Richie is annoying and a bit of “know it all”, but doesn’t bother me as much as Brielle and Clint.  I don’t love Brielle’s voice, but Clint had a great voice. 

        What I also thought was great, was that after Clint gave a great performance in the top 24 round, American did not vote him in.  At that point, the judges knew that he was not likeable, and did not even give him another chance as a wild card.  I’m afraid that Brielle is probably going to have the same fate. 

  7. As far as voice and singing ability goes, there is no contest. J. Jones is the best. However, as I have read where he did not make the final 24, it is clear that the judges are tone deaf. Admittedly, people have different taste and most people in the US these days prefer male singers to have high, squeaky voices that sound like girls rather than rich, strong, baritone manly voices. However, Jones’ voice is so good that I cannot believe that anyone could find 12 male voices in any group better than his.

    • Just because he does not make the final cut, that does not mean he is not a great singer or that the judges do not think he is a great singer.  We have not seen all of his performances, including his last one.  That is just how this show and the business works.

      I love his voice too, being a bass myself…we can only hope he doesn’t give up and comes back next year.

    • And also, remember, there are ONLY 12 spots per gender.   We have seen great voices go home: Gabi Carruba, Schyler Dixon, Johnny Keyser.  Maybe the judges wanted to let his voice mature a bit.

      Plus, I noticed that he has a tiny lisp.  Maybe that would make his songs harder to understand and the judges didn’t want that.  We don’t know; we weren’t there.

      • Well, also, we didn’t see so much of Schyler.  We say her twice: auditions, and Vegas.  Obviously, to make it as far as she did, you have to have a pretty good voice.

    • Oh, one more thing.  We won’t know until Thursday night if this list is really accurate.  Last year, they changed the list 2 days before the Top 24 reveal.  So, you never know.

  8. I was surprised that Johnny Keyser was sent home unless they judged him based on that girl falling out in his group which was certainly no fault of his!

    • So, obviously, there is a lot of conversation as to why Johnny went.  First of all, I don’t think we saw his Vegas round performance.  Something may have gone horribly wrong (or just wrong) that we didn’t see, and the judges kept him because they liked him.

      Secondly, I also watch a show called The Sing Off, which is about A Capella.  On The Sing Off, the judges said that sometimes they cut groups because they think their journey is over.  Maybe that’s what the judges thought about Johnny.

      But we don’t know why the judges cut him, and I don’t think we’ll ever know.

    • I was surprised Johnny didn’t make it either, but again, we did not see all of his performances.  He could have really screwed up one of his auditions.  I do not believe they would have based this decision on that girl falling out in his group audition (considering he made it past that audition).  I really thought she should have made it too.

    • Yeah, I yet again agree with you, Kris.  But, I disagree with you about the girl who fell.  Health before anything else.  I think it was better that they sent her home.

  9. I thought the girl who fell out during the group performance was even better than Simone who actually blacked out and fell off stage.  They really shouldn’t have sent either of them through to the next round if they were not eating properly and taking care of themselves.

  10. reed is like the black gurl last season who boasted she has something that others don’t! freak reed! If you watched the whole show… u will know that reed is a drum player and him playing the drum and bragging he’s got something nobody does… duh! looseerrr! It’s STAGED that he was supposed to sing acapella and that he does not know it was not allowed during that PART of competition! so, darn nanny sand and drummed and boy! he certainly fooled a lot of viewers on that performance!!!

  11. Since i know the top 24…i will make my top 12 right now…Girls: Jen Hirsch, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Erika Van Pelt, Elise Testone and a country girl…i like Skylar Laine better, but i think Baylie Brown has more of a chance…so i’m going with Baylie…Guys: Colton Dixon, Reed Grimm, Creighton Fraker, Philip Philips, Heejan Han…just because if his personality (not so much for his singing, i personally believe there are a lot better guys than him) and Joshua Ledet (or Aaron)…i’m going to go with Joshua because i like him singing-wise better

    • I saw Baylie Brown audition, and I picked her making the top 12.  Then I haven’t seen much of her since.  I hope you are right,  Idid  listened to her group in Las Vegas and she did alright, but definately she wasn’t the best in the group.   I do hope Baylie makes it in the top 12 girls.

    • I think we shouldn’t be making a top 12 but a top 10. Remember, the judges pick the wild cards!

      • but still…there will be a top 12 or top 13…and i think if any of my picks don’t make it, then they will get chosen in the wild card pick…or maybe Hallie or Shannon will get the  spots, but i personally find them boring…they have good voices, but nothing special that stands out and their personality….well, there really isn’t one

      • Well, we haven’t seen Hollie, which is getting all of us nervous, however, remember, we met Siobhan Magnus on Top 24 reveal night in Season 9.  But also, there is something special about Shannon.  Remember how tall she is? 6 feet tall and size 11 shoes!

        Well, regardless, I think it’s better to pick the 10 people we have some control over rather than the 2 or 3 we don’t.

      •  We met Hollie last year and she seems to have a lot of fans, so…she’ll probably be good and Shannon ….her height is indeed something special…singing-wise, she is good…personality wise….well…she is a bit dull

  12. Definitely with Jen Hirsch, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanaugh, Shannon Magrane, Creighton Fraker, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han and Philip Philips. Reed Grimm — good as he is — lost votes when he claimed he is the next American Idol. I hope the group of Jen Hirsch, Nick Boddington, Creighton Fraker and Aaron Marcellus otherwise known as Lady and the Spectacles make albums. I’ll definitely buy their album. 

  13. I liked your top picks but no one has mentioned Chase…..I thought he was very good and someone to keep an eye on….JMHO….

    Pr63……Adam will be appearing with Queen but in Britain….one time only.  I still have faith he will tour with his new CD coming out soon!!!!!!….(they keep changing the date for release). 

    • so i heard.  educated guess says that he’ll tour the new album (they all do) but no idea now when the release date will be.  in any event, if he tours we will go.  hope your little jaunt to laughlin was profitable.  a.c. was good to my husband (as usual) and i made my usual deposit.  on a completely different note, i’m loving “the voice”.  some really exceptional singers and the judges are a hoot.

      • Pr63….Had a great weekend…..My husband made it into the 2nd round but lost in the semi finals…….I took home a profit but have since lost it in Vegas….LOL….
        I, too, am loving the Voice.  Its such a fun show.  No one throwing up or passing out.  All the people not chosen leave with Class.  I don’t know how they do it but its working for me.    Even the people that leave have talent!!!!!!!! 
        I think now that the live shows on Idol are starting, it should get better.  We can only hope!!!!!!

  14. Guys! anyone who noticed about Jessica Sanchez, she is a great singer and have a soulful rendition  of “the prayer” during the solo round in hollywood. i love what she did.

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