It took two hours.
On Thursday (Feb. 23), "American Idol" will knock out the remaining 10 singers in the Top 24 in what is sure to be a relatively brisk hour.
Then, next week, "Idol" will finally begin the business of seeing if America cares enough to vote for a winner this season.
Click through to learn the identities of No.15-24...
8:00 p.m. ET. If you'll recall, we left Wednesday night's show with a bit of a cliffhanger. Adam Brock was sitting in The Chair, but the judges had yet to tell the bearded crooner whether he's going to be reunited with his family or be allowed to sing for the approval of teenage girls and their limited texting plans.
8:01 p.m. Adam Brock is still crying as the episode begins. He's still blowing his nose and insisting that this is all he's ever wanted. I don't want to tell Adam that "I have to sing" is actually four words and not three. After all of that tsouris, ADAM BROCK is in our Top 24 and J-Lo is crying along with him. Adam makes sure the judges can see his camera-phone and, I suppose, his daughter.
8:04 p.m. Up next is Jeremy Rosado, who I would have eliminated three or four times by now. Jeremy's been smart enough to team up with Ariel Sprague, David Leathers Jr. and Eben Franckewitz, who are all better than he is. But somehow, the judges gave him an enthusiastic standing ovation for his final solo. J-Lo tells Jeremy that they watched him "vividly" during Hollywood Week. They like that he supports his fellow contestants. She also calls his solo "transcendental." For no good reason, JEREMY ROSADO is in the Top 24.
8:11 p.m. Sorry, "Idol." I refuse to repeat which Vegas show's stage you're using.
8:11 p.m. Now it's time for Shannon Magrane, who I respect because her dad was an ERA king. I can only say so many times that she's way too raw and she should polish up for a year or two. Her final solo got J-Lo's ultimate seal of approval: GOOSIES! You can't send somebody who gave J-Lo "goosies" home. You just can't do it. You also can't send somebody home who could beat up all three judges and Shannon Magrane definitely can and if she didn't want to, Joe Magrane would love the chance to throttle Steven Tyler. Anyway, though, SHANNON MAGRANE is in the Top 24 and I guess she'll get to learn on-the-job.
8:14 p.m. Oh gosh. I forgot that Scott Dangerfield had been a contestant last season and that he'd had to drop out for some reason that I didn't care about. He's from last year, but his sweater is from 1987 and his hair is from 1984. J-Lo felt something for Scott last season, but this season, she didn't. Scotty Dangerfield is heading back to wherever it is that he and his sweater came from.
8:17 p.m. Wait. Between David Leathers and Eben, only ONE is making it through? That's crazy-talk, "Idol."
8:21 p.m. Oh no. Several contestants I don't recognize at all got sent home.
8:22 p.m. Reba-wannabe Skylar Laine is about to find out if two's company, Ryan Promises. In her last solo, Skylar growled a lot. Is anybody going to point out that if Tracey Ullman did a character who was a 17-year-old country singer, that character would be Skylar Lane? Steven Tyler wants to see more rock-n-roll from her. We'll get a chance to see her try, because SKYLAR LAINE is in the Top 24.
8:25 p.m. HALLIE DAY is in the Top 24. But she doesn't get a clip package. CHASE LIKENS and AARON MARCELLOUS are in the Top 24. They don't get clip packages either.
8:30 p.m. We're on to uber-cheesy, Harlequin Romance coverboy (no, not really) Deandre Brackensick, who scalped Kenny G and stole his flowing mane. Deandre loves falsetto and J-Lo loves DEANDRE BRACKENSICK, who makes the Top 24.
8:33 p.m. Deep-voiced Jermaine Jones brought his mother with him to this moment of truth. Jermaine has faith. But will faith be enough? If they ever do a musical of "The Green Mile," I'd cast Jermaine Jones in the John Coffey role. I can imagine the awesome songs about God curing urinary tract infections and reincarnated mice. Jermaine is very emotional backstage. He's crying and talking about how much he deserves this. "I think that I'm good enough," Jermaine says. Randy tells Jermaine that he's different, but that he's had up and down performances. Ryan and Jermaine's mom are praying out in the alcove. But will their prayers be answered?
8:41 p.m. Having sold some products, we're back to Jermaine. Randy thinks he has a talent, but he needs a little more work, so he didn't make the Top 24. Jermaine cries and hugs everybody. Jermaine's mom is sad for him, but she reassures him that he's still great. "I thought I'd become a singer in this business to break peoples' hearts in a good way," Steven Tyler says. Farewell, sweet gentle giant.
8:43 p.m. The last spot for the Girls is down to Hollie Cavanagh, Ariel Sprague and Shelby Tweten. If you ask me, this is a no-brainer for Ariel. Nobody asked me. Nobody ever asks me. Hollie's also very good. She'd be my second choice from this group. The last spot in the Top 24 goes to... HOLLIE CAVANAGH. Everybody cries. Everybody hugs. Hollie does a terrific job of not getting too high around the two vanquished foes. Ryan reassures Ariel and Shelby that they should still be proud. "Walk out of here with your heads high," Ryan instructs them.
8:48 p.m. What is this twist that will cause Randy Jackson to be all "OH MY GOD"?!? I'm intrigued.
8:52 p.m. David Leathers Jr. versus Eben Franckewitz. How can the judges possibly make this decision? I hope that Eben makes it. If he doesn't make it, he has nothing. David will always be able to steal somebody's girlfriend, so he's got that going for him. J-Lo calls them "two little angels." Randy calls them their "two little youngins." The last guy in the Top 24 is... EBEN FRANCKEWITZ.
8:59 p.m. The Boys are performing on Tuesday. The Girls on Wednesday.
8:59 p.m. HAPPY DANCING!
9:00 p.m. WHAT?!? The guys decided to reinstate another guy. For absolutely no reason. So it's going to be a Top 25, with 13 guys. The returning boy will be either David Leathers Jr, Johnny Keyser, Jermaine Jones or Richie Law. Ugh. They saw it worked for "The X Factor" so now we're gonna get our male version of Melanie Amaro? Lame.
What'd you think of the last 10 people in the Top 24-or-25? Did the judges make the right choice?
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