idol top 24 picks 'American Idol' Top 24: Favorites, dark horses and most likely to have a meltdownThe “American Idol” Top 24 is here! Fans, get your voting fingers ready. Before the guys take the stage Tuesday night (March 1), Zap2it thought we should offer some of our picks and predictions from our very own Tierney Bricker and Andrea Reiher.

Favorite Guy

Tierney: Paul McDonald. I don’t know why producers decided to hide Paul in the “Idol” dungeon throughout the audition process, but I guess I should just be grateful they eventually let him out, right? Paul has worked his way through, not relying on a sob story or crazy antics — just his unique (so overused, but true here) and distinctive voice. I don’t think there’s ever been a contestant more prepared for the “Idol” machine — and fame in general — than Paul.

Andrea: Scotty McCreery. Talk about a true downhome, old-school country voice. Plus, this year they are supposedly not going to be shoe-horning the Idols into various genres. As we saw in the Hollywood/Vegas rounds, Scotty pwns country music but struggles a bit in other genres. I’m excited to see him grow as a contestant. PS: Casey Abrams is my no. 2 favorite guy. He is uber-talented and very original.

Favorite Girl

Tierney: Before going to the Top 24 tapings, I would have said Lauren Alaina just because she’s kind of been shoved down my throat ever since the season began and she at least has the talent to back it up. After going to the tapings? Pia Toscano is my favorite, hands down. Her performance gave me chills and will go down as one of the show’s best ever. Yes, you read that right: best ever.

Andrea: Not having seen the tapings (lucky Tierney), my favorite girl has to be Julie Zorilla. She is polished, pretty and a pianist. That being said, she’s got just a touch of the Rachel Berry thing happening, so she’s going to have to watch that.

Dark Horse Guy

Tierney: Robbie Rosen. I’m getting nervous he might get lost in the great Top 24 shuffle. If he does advance to the finals (which I sincerely hope he does), I think he has the potential to go all the way. He needs to be careful because song choice could be his kryptonite.

Andrea: Paul McDonald. Tierney’s seen him live already, but the rest of us have barely seen him at all. He’ll need a big first performance to get to the finals, but then I think he’ll be one to watch out for. He won’t give crazy blow-your-mind performances, but he’ll quietly wow all the way to the end, much like Kris Allen did.

Dark Horse Girl

Tierney: Haley Reinhart. I love, love, love her voice and believe she has the potential to go far in the competition, despite the fact that she’s currently being overshadowed by other (more showy) contestants.

Andrea: Karen Rodriguez. We’ve seen snippets of her here and there, but she hasn’t had a big standout moment yet. I think she’s due to really bust out. She’s super cute, has a big voice and I want to touch her wild red/brown hair.

Most Likely to Go Home Too Early

Tierney: I have a bad feeling Kendra Chantelle will be sent home far too soon just because she’s kind of boring. She doesn’t have a flashy personality or insanely sad story. Her voice is lovely, beyond lovely, but she doesn’t command the stage like some of her competition.

Andrea: Asthton Jones. This lovely lady has not only not been shown much by the editing, but she has a similar look to Tatynisa Wilson, which could confuse voters. Plus, Asthton is not a pretty blonde girl. I talked about the ethnic cleansing that sometimes happens on “Idol” and I’m fearful Asthton will fall victim to it.

Most Likely to Annoy Us All the Way to the Finals

Tierney: We are proably going to fight over this, readers, but I’m going with Lauren Alaina. I find her exhausting and frankly, I’m already tired of her making moon-eyes at Steven Tyler. I do love her voice, but do I love it enough to look past her schtick? We shall see.

Andrea: My first choice is Clint Jun Gamboa, who has already been annoying me since he first came on the scene. He’s a Mean Girl and his affected, too-many-runs way of singing bugs. He may not make the finals, but he’ll go far and will annoy me all the way. My runner-up is Lauren Alaina, whose voice I adore, but whose schtick (like Tierney said) is grating.

Most likely to Have an Epic Meltdown

Tierney: All of these contestants seem reasonably sane, so this is a hard choice. I’ll go with Jacob Lusk, just because he seems to be a bit of a diva — in a good way, of course.

Andrea: I don’t think the contestants have quite the sanity Tierney gives them credit for, plus the “Idol” machine is designed to break you. Look at poor Brooke White. She was, like, relieved to get voted off. But I think the no. 1 choice to have an epic meltdown is Jordan Dorsey. We already saw his bonkers multiple personalities in Hollywood Week, plus he’s a total Diva and not in a good way like Jacob. Meltdown city.

The “American Idol” semi-finals starts Tuesday night (March 1) at 8 p.m. ET on FOX and continues on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."