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Idol Worship: Partying with the Top 13

Well Thursday was plenty eventful in our little corner of Idol world. We started  the evening by watching the East Coast feed of the show so that we could get up to speed on who sang what and, of course, who made it through. Applying the last brush of makeup, we heard the news: 13 contestants! Anoop Dogg is back in the hizzle! We thought back to a conversation we had with Randy Jackson a few months back. When we learned that Idol was premiering a week earlier, he joked that they'd probably end it a week later, too (presumably, to pump the show's ratings muscle for as long as possible). Turns out, he was right. Think the judges are getting paid overtime? We doubt it. Or maybe they'll pull an Apprentice and eliminate two people at once. We wouldn't necessarily discourage that twist, in the interest of saving our Memorial Day weekend. But we digress...

Back to our night. We headed over to the Top 12, er, Top 13 party at LA hotspot Area and, not surprisingly, arrived late, so we missed talking to Paula Abdul and Jack and Sharon Osbourne on the red carpet (which was its usual blue). While waiting for the Top 13 to appear, we kibitzed with our pals Justin Guarini and Kimberly Caldwell, and even managed to down a cosmo. Still, it was a long wait. Like, hours. So we chatted a bit with some parents — namely Jasmine's, Allison's and Scott's — and finally, one by one, the contestants made their way down the never-ending line of reporters to our end of the carpet.

In a way, the party was like a blind date. In our minds, we've already built up some of these people so much — honing in on their individual attributes and flaws and imagining personalities that may or may not be on point. And now that we've met them in person, what have we learned? Let's put it this way: Matt Giraud and Alexis Grace can pretty much do no wrong — they were charming, bubbly and adorable in every way. Adam Lambert impressed by name-dropping T-Rex. Michael Sarver surprised us with his easygoing, good-natured vibe. And Megan Corkrey's fun was contagious as she tore up the dance floor with Danny Gokey (and she's even prettier in real life). A few folks fell flat (ahem, Kris Allen), some clearly had more media experience than others (Adam), most cited Kelly Clarkson as the former Idol they most admire, but none had any idea she was appearing on the show next week (those Fox people really keep them in the dark, huh?). Snippets of these conversations after the jump, we'll post the full interviews in the coming days.

Adam Lambert on his dream theme night: "My wish theme would be glam rock night. I'd probably try to stretch into Bowie, maybe a little T-Rex, maybe Sweet..."

Jorge Nunez on getting a shout-out from Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony: "They sent a text to Ryan Seacrest saying that they were really proud of me and that I brought tears to their eyes. That was the best part of this experience so far."

Michael Sarver on feeling like a celebrity: "I remember right after I got through, I got handed a bottle of water with a straw and kinda went, 'What?!' They treat us well all the time, but at this point, they really turn it on with the encouragement and pumping us up and preparing us for this life." 

Alexis Grace on being compared to Kelly Clarkson: "Wow, what a compliment. It was crazy. I hope maybe I can live up to it and do her proud." 

Anoop Desai on the moment he was announced the 13th contestant: "It's one of the only times in my life when I could feel my heart resonating throughout my entire body. It was amazing. It's zero to hero in, like, three seconds."

Matt Giraud on possibly performing a Justin Timberlake song: "I have definitely thought about busting out some JT at some point. Maybe 'What Goes Around, Comes Around?' That would be the one."

Jasmine Murray on what she's been doing since her Top 36 elimination: "Just practicing here in LA, because we didn't really have time to go home. For the wildcard, we all had to have something ready just in case. I wanted this so bad and to have it is amazing."

Allison Iraheta on her dream theme night: "I'm hoping for a classic rock theme night or something like that where I could bring some of myself into the competiton. I really wanna do 'Barracuda.' I love Heart."

Kris Allan on whether former Idols should be mentors: "I think it would be awesome because they know exactly how this thing goes on. I'd love to actually meet those people and hear about what they went through."

Danny Gokey on having broad musical knowledge: "I honestly don't. I have to really get on my game, I'm serious. Growing up, I didn't go to concerts, I was always in church. So I know my gospel, but I'm trying to branch out."

March 6, 2009 in American Idol | Permalink

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