Amandaovermyer_americanidolThe Top 24 for the seventh season of American Idol were announced on Wednesday (Feb. 13) night’s show. Click through to follow every filler-tastic second of drama…

8:00 p.m. ET. 20th Century Fox spent a ridiculous amount of money on Jumper and with the buzz somewhere between chilly and frigid, Wednesday’s Idol episode begins with that film’s star Hayden Christensen and Ryan Seacrest sitting on the Sphinx of Giza and plugging the benefits of corporate synergy. Poor Hayden. It’s hard for a man who has read George Lucas’ dialogue and co-starred in a Jessica Alba movie to look embarrassed, but he succeeds.

8:02 p.m. Meanwhile, jumping back to Hollywood last month, the Top 50 performers are getting nervous as allegedly last minute decisions are being made and the judges point at unseen pictures and make vague and cryptic statements in defense of anonymous people.

8:03 p.m. The list is complete, but Simon has been coached to be disappointed by some of the choices. Do we really need Ryan to explain the process couched in the idea that fans and contestants all know what the process is? Maybe mixing up the process would have been a better idea.

8:04 p.m. Ronald Hodge is the first upstairs. We’ve never seen him for a single second to this point. What are the odds that he’s going through? Shockingly, his untelevised journey is over. Several people in the room are surprised by his elimination, or perhaps that he was on the show in the first place. Ditto with Nina Shaw. And Mycale Guyton. And Lisa Aukerman. Who? Who? Who?

8:06 p.m. How many times do the producers think we need to see Carly Smithson audition? That’s three times now. We get the point. Her crazy-eyed reaction to Simon’s criticism could be a problem later on. She’s been a ringer this whole time — overcoming mostly the adversity of visa problems and dog allergies — so it’s hard to be anything other than blase that she’s the first person put through to the Top 24, even if Paula prolongs the tension and reduces her to tears with some blather about long journeys and up-and-down performances.

8:13 p.m. Every fashion and grooming decision David Cook makes irks me, so I don’t get why he’s the first guy in the Top 24, with his pink tie and bald-spot-covering hair flop.

8:15 p.m. The judges are worried whether or not this is the right place for Amanda Overmyer. I have no doubts. She’s through. Go Amanda!

8:16 p.m. Brandon Green, Amanda Hawkins and Buck Smith are all rejected. Poor Brandon. At least he’ll always have his finger nails to keep him comfy. What do Amanda and Buck have? Very little American Idol screentime, I can tell you that much. It’s not too late to start collecting discarded pieces of your body, kids.

8:17 p.m. Accompanied by sentimental music and his own feelings of being overlooked (the editors are doing a worse-than-usual job of covering up their favorites), David Archuleta is on to the Top 24 and what I expect will be a long run.

8:18 p.m. Wait. That was only four minutes of programming between commercials. Oh look. Jumper‘s coming out tomorrow at a theater near me.

8:19 p.m. Wait. That’s the second Jumper commercial this break.

8:23 p.m. After having straightened hair for the Hollywood rounds, Kristy Lee Cook is back to curls again. The cage-fighting cutie with the lengthy professional resume has to listen to a lecture on consistency ("Oh yeah. Definitely."), but she’s put through. Brooke White is happy for her, which must mean that she’s up next, crying in the corner and shaking. There are a lot of basketcases this year, aren’t there? Lithium should get a sponsorship slot and give everybody some happy pills. There’s interesting footage of Brooke bungling her Hollywood piano playing, which is odd since last night’s show made it look like a triumph. After Randy teases her fragile ego, Brooke’s put through.

Jasoncastro_americanidol78:27 p.m. There’s no such teasing for Danny Noriega. Or Luke Menard. And Jason Castro. All three are through, though who the heck are Luke and Jason and who’s going to break it to them that the odds of winning the show without an iota of audition-level screentime are slim to none. At least we saw Alexandrea Lushington’s audition. And Ramiele Malubay’s through too, though somebody has to coach Paula on how to pronounce her name. Is it OK if we just call her Jasmine Trias Version 2.0 and be done with it?

8:34 p.m. Shaun Barrowes can’t believe that he’s been eliminated, but if you didn’t know Shaun Barrowes like I don’t know Shaun Barrowes, you’d have seen this coming. Lorena Pinot’s told she nearly made it, which probably makes this hurt even more. Drew Poppelreiter’s glad he’ll home for turkey season.

8:36 p.m. Aussie Ringer Michael Johns is through, which bodes well for a future influx of professionals from Down Under. Is Yahoo Serious over the age limit, because I’d love to see him add an American Idol win to his dated title of Young Einstein.

8:37 p.m. Syesha Mercado will live to scream (and experience heart palpitations) again. Paula’s way of telling Syesha that her result is hidden inside her name is confusing. She’s like "Esh? Is that good?" Despite the fact that his name doesn’t contain any embedded clues, Robbie Carrico gets through. Between making Top 24 and hooking up with Britney Spears back when that wasn’t a disgusting though, he’s had an OK life.

8:43 p.m. In a rush, Garrett Haley, Kady Malloy, Chikezie Eze, Amy Davis, Alaina Whitaker and Jason Yeager are put through. Add Garrett Haley and Jason Yeager to the list of people whose voices we haven’t heard at all.

8:44 p.m. I feel horrible about Asia’H Epperson losing her father, but I also feel horrible about the way the Idol producers are exploiting her personal tragedy. Are they going to bring it up every week? Because she’s going through, along with David Hernandez, who didn’t have Simon’s support. I predict he’s gone Week One.

8:46 p.m. This is the latest most important day in Josiah Leming’s life. He thinks they’re going to put him through. But what’s going to happen to him if he doesn’t? At least he isn’t crying as the judges tell him he needs to learn who he is as an artist. The tears come as he hits the elevator. Imagine how he’d feel if he could hear the onslaught of synthesized strings being played over his demise. He gets an embrace from Designated Hugger Cardin McKinney (that girl loves the camera).

8:54 p.m. It’s That Time Of The Season again. We’re down to two girls and two guys with only two remaining slots. For the guys, it’s Colton Berry and Kyle Ensley. Well, we’ve barely seen Colton and Kyle is dreadful, so it’s hard to get emotionally invested in this choice. Colton is on to the Top 24. Weirdly, Simon tells Kyle that he wanted the future governor in the Top 24 and that he disagreed with the decision. Leave it to Simon to find a way to make both of them feel awful.

Cardinmckinney_2408:57 p.m. For the gals, it’s DH Cardin and Joanne Borgella, both beautiful disappointments, more models than viable singing candidates from what we’ve seen this season. I’m not sure what they based their choice on, but Joanne is the last member of the Top 24. Cardin hugs her and looks pretty for the camera.

9:02 p.m. Happy dancing time.

9:03 p.m. A footnote for you conspiracy theorists: We saw the auditions for all 12 of the Top 12 Women. We only saw auditions for six of the men and even after Hollywood, four of them haven’t received any solo screentime at all. I can’t say if this is the most talented season yet, but it’s the most attractive Top 24 to date.

What’d you think of the episode?

For all of our Idol coverage and a closer look at the Top 24, check out Zap2it’s Guide to American Idol.

Posted by:Daniel Fienberg