Here's the blow-by-blow:
For the first round of eliminations, each of the 71 contestants was given the opportunity to perform for the judges with a full band. We saw snippets of these song stylings in flashback after the contestants were divided into three groups and herded into three rooms to wait out the verdict.
Single mom Crystal Bowersox slung her acoustic guitar over her shoulder and tooted a decent harmonica while giving a rootsy, earnest performance of one Sheryl Crow's best songs, "If It Makes You Happy." That's a tough song to sing, and the girl totally did it justice. As per usual, the performance was immediately followed by the requisite close-ups of her hanging her head and fretting about her fate.
The other single mom, rocker Mary Powers, strode confidently into her big moment by saying, "This song is cake. I think I've done enough for the top 24" -- referring to her smooth rendition of Katy Perry's "Hot & Cold." Powers' 8-year old daughter gave her mom's performance exuberant applause, but it was Simon's comment afterward that raised my eyebrows: "She's interesting. Because she's older." I thought they raised the age limit to 29 to be more inclusive of "older" talent, but I digress.
Not only were there a few parents on the "Idol" front lines; quite a few moms were also in tow to cheer on their offspring. Sixteen-year-old Aaron Kelly did a nice job crooning "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan -- not without giving a shout-out to his adoptive mother, his aunt. Another young 'un, Haeley Vaughn, also brought her mom, who said she was "so proud" that her daughter has gotten this far. However, it was Thaddeus Johnson's mom who scored her very own montage in tribute to the outbursts of joy she exhibited as her talented son eased through each cut in the elimination process (including this one).
Here's the evening's shocker: Powers was among those sent packing in room 2, while those in rooms 1 and 3 (including Kelly, Vaughn, Bowersox and new daddy Mike Lynche) made the first cut. In order to select the final 24, the judges then sequestered themselves with tapes of each remaining contestant's previous performances. Only a portion of the results were revealed last night.
Lynche was the very first to receive his verdict. He admitted to the judges that he was "freaking out." After questioning Lynche's belief that he could "actually do this," Simon put him out of his misery by saying, "This is a very good day. It's unanimous." Lynche smiled and said, "This is for my wife, Christa, and baby daughter, Leila Rose. Daddy's going to take care of you."
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel serves as momlogic's East Coast Editor. She has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications, and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|