American Idol 7 girls also disappoint the judges

“The level of talent is higher.” “…the best top 24 in Idol history.” No matter how often Ryan Seacrest repeats things like this on American Idol 7, they’re just not coming true.

For the second night of the semi-final round, the top 24 mostly failed to impress, although the women did better as a group than the men. While the judges liked just three guys on Tuesday, they were happy with five of the female contestants: Alaina Whitaker, Amanda Overmyer, Asia’h Epperson, Ramiele Malubay, and Syesha Mercado.

While he was critiquing Joanne Borgella, Simon said something that was clearly directed at all of the top 24. “It was very, very substandard. I don’t accept this thing about nerves at this point,” he said. “Every one of you’s got a head start to become a star through this show. If you don’t grab hold of it now, then I don’t think you deserve to win this show. Sorry.”

Randy and Paula were both happy with Alexandrea Lushington and Carly Smithson, who Simon did not like, dissing her by saying, “there’s so much hype about you.” Earlier, the show finally admitted that Carly Smithson produced an album. In her clip package, she said, “When I was 15 years old, I was signed to a major label here in Los Angels. My first record came out when I was 17, and finally the record company actually imploded and they don’t exist anymore, so I kind of got left. So I definitely feel that trying out for American Idol is like a second chance for me.” There was a clear break in her discussion before the “and finally,” so the editors and producers cut something out, perhaps just for time.

At the end, Simon said that there are “three, maybe four great girls,” and Randy said that “season seven is turning out to be the year of the young ones,” as the younger contestants are outperforming the older ones. The most amusing exchange of the night was when Ryan, perhaps forgetting that he was supposed to keep insisting the top 24 are the best ever until we believe it, blamed the judges for the suckiness. “Didn’t you put these people through?” he asked. “Then obviously they’re capable of better,” Simon said, and Ryan replied, “But you’re somewhat at fault for this.” After tonight, he can start to blame viewers.

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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.