Who’s making the American Idol Top 24? These 12 guys should (No spoilers)

The last guy to try out for American Idol trying to be the last guy left.

The last guy to try out for American Idol trying to be the last guy left.

It’s scary trying to pick 12 of the final 17 guys.

The fear has little to do with the talent. There’s a clear Top 4, five other names I feel real good about and that’s when things get tough. It’s not the talent – it’s the edit.

There are two guys on the list we only saw during Group Night. There’s three others we saw audition and didn’t see again until we saw them celebrating in their room when told they made the Top 51. There’s a reason for all of that and that has me thinking there’s going to be a real, real tough cut Thursday.

So here we go. Read the list with little to no fear of spoilers. There’s one name in my locks list I saw made the Top 24 but it’s the only one I know for sure. The rest of them are how I feel the show will go.

My picks are based on the following:
1) Performances
2) Screen Time
3) How show edited them in
4) Show’s production history
5) My personal bias


1) Adam Lasher

When he got cut last year I said it didn’t matter because he was going to win Season 15 and I’m sticking to it only so if it happens I get bragging rights over every entertainment/Idol blogger/writer/reporter in the world and Lasher adds me to his PR staff. Plus he’s a Type 1 diabetic and my wife forces me to root for all peoples with ‘betes. Lotta blood-sugar questions coming if he has a bad performance.

2) Thomas Stringfellow

There was something about his final solo audition that really shot him up my list. He does that thing where his voice intentionally cracks on certain notes and it sounds really good, makes girls swoon and makes moms love the crap out of him. There was a time when I was concerned it was going to be a fight between Thomas and MacKenzie Bourg for one spot in the final 12 but neither of these two have really had a reason why they won’t be Top 8 overall.

3) MacKenzie Bourg

Too polished not to make it. He did an original song – which I hate – for his final audition to get to 51 but with everything he brings to the table there’s no way in hell he doesn’t make Top 12.

4) Dalton Rapattoni

Ranking him fourth might be too low. I could put him second and not feel bad about it. He’s gotten a ton of screen time and rightfully so; he’s a serious contender for Season 15 and if you’re going to tell me there’s 12 guys better than him I’m going to punch you in the mouth.

5) James XIII

Not saying I saw a tweet saying he’s in, but he’s in. I’m perfectly OK with it now because it increases the chances of #StinkFace trending at some point.


6) Andrew Nazarbekian

Massive hit with his attitude during Group Night, but you can’t deny his vocal range. We haven’t heard a guy sing like that since Lambert. He could end up being a casualty of one of the unseen guys getting through, but I like his odds.

7) Jordan Sasser

Getting into Sasser was like getting into booze. Not really, but I went through Seven Stages of Sasser – hate, general dislike, acceptance, approval, like, love, bromance – and now I’m all aboard. He’s gotten a lot of facetime – both on screen and with his daughter after he gets word he advances – so I think it’s Idol’s way of saying he’s in. Either that or their ripping his heart out.

8) Manny Torres

I wasn’t big on Manny Fresh after what I thought was a mediocre initial audition, but dude has brought it each round and he’s showing off a sweater’s worth of chest hair to boot. His versatility makes him a great contestant and it doesn’t hurt that he’s not white because, if you’ll notice, all the guys above him on this list need the SPF 100 on a beach day. Except Andrew (it’s an Armenian thing).

9) CJ Johnson

With the amount of love Keith Urban has shown this guy I don’t think he gets booted. He’s the grinder and the show needs a grinder. He’s actually grasped basic Idol strategy of playing to your strengths and if he gets in the Top 12 he’s my Nick Fradiani darkhorse candidate to win the damn thing.


10) Lee Jean

He fills so many categories it’s hard not to put him there. His talent’s there. He’s not as polished as some of the others, but he’s showing the same things Daniel Seavey did in auditions last season. Idol producers might throw him through and hope he performs a little better when it comes time for the live shows. He also adds something to a predominately white Top 12 (which hurts Christian Eason and Zach Person’s chances), he becomes the third teen (sorry Isaac Cole) and if Strum makes it Idol can push the puppy love angle a little more. Really makes sense to see him make it.

11) Jon Klassen
This is where things get nutty. We’ve seen so little of this guy you can’t go off his talent. Who else haven’t we really seen? Christian Eason, Isaac Cole, Kacye Haynes and Zach Person. One of those five are making it. If Lee is in Isaac and Zach should be out (although with their bluesy background, there’s a chance Isaac and Zach fight for a spot). That leaves Jon, Christian and Kayce for one spot and I think Christian will end up being a quick cut with Jon and Kayce going for one. Since we’ve seen a little of Kacye and his comeback story (ca-caine), he’s catching the heartbreak for Season 15. See? Insanity I have to pick this way.


12) Kory Wheeler

I really don’t want to jinx my man but when I broke this thing down I cut him and then added and then cut and then added before I just stuck with him. The last spot is going to come down to Kory and Trent Harmon and the only reason Trent’s dropped this far in my book is because he’s sick. You can’t carry a sick dude through to the Top 12 based on potential. It’s just not fair. If Trent’s not sick, well, Kory might be in for a rough finish and I’m gonna have to find a new Season 15 Contestant to be my best friend.


Christian Eason – I don’t feel good about it, but in my book it’s a coin flip between him and Jon.
Isaac Cole – Don’t think there’s room for another teenaged WGWG
Kayce Haynes – Might get in as the country guy, but I really see him being the heartbreaking story while Jon gets through. Wouldn’t surprise me to see it go the other way.
Trent Harmon – Health prevented him from being a “Good Bet” guy. Need him in the Top 12 just to watch more awkward dancing.
Zach Person – I loved his original audition. Don’t know how Idol could put him through without showing him since once in Hollywood. Happened to some guy named Lambert, so there’s that.