Ryan Seacrest proves he’s a better actor than Hayden Christensen as the top 24 cry their way into the semifinals

The second and final Hollywood episode of American Idol 7 began with Hayden Christensen and Ryan Seacrest sitting atop the Sphinx’s head, but the scene was noteworthy because our host proved himself to be a better actor than Hayden “Darth Vader” Christensen. Ryan seemed much more natural and real as they playacted to introduce the episode and promote Hayden’s movie Jumper.

That sequence managed to land two product placements–for the movie and for Coca-Cola (Hayden was holding a Coke can)–and the season’s first gay joke, as Ryan said, “Thanks man. I really owe you for this. I tell you what, after the show, why don’t you come back to the house? I’ve got some tapes of me hosting the Emmys.” Hayden did his jumping/teleporting thing to get away–apparently because Ryan was coming on to him or perhaps because he was just afraid of being upstaged for a few more seconds–and Ryan said, “I guess that means I’ll see him there.”

After that introduction, the top 50 each took their elevator ride to judgment, walking across a ballroom to face the judges. Many of them, whether they got rejected or accepted, pretty much cried their way to and from the chair. The judges did their best to fake out contestants, but that’s getting so transparent and obvious now it only worked on the contestants because they were so emotionally wrecked.

Anyway, the show now has its already spoiled top 24 contestants, who will compete starting next week, when the show goes to three nights a week. They women are Joanne Borgella, Kristy Lee Cook, Amy Davis, Asia’h Epperson, Alex Lushington, Kady Malloy, Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado, Amanda Overmyer, Carly Smithson, Alaina Whitaker, and Brooke White.

The men are David Archuleta, Colton Berry, Robbie Carrico, Jason Castro, David Cook, Chikeze Eze, Garrett Haley, David Hernandez, Michael Johns, Luke Menard, Danny Noriega, and Jason Yeager.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.