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'American Idol': A cheat sheet to the top 24


It took a near breakdown from judge Jennifer Lopez and lots of crocodile tears from ousted hopefuls, but “American Idol” has finally settled on its top 24 contestants.

Though the crop includes a diverse breadth of talent -- from country and soul crooners, to powerhouse divas -- it goes without saying the show remains, at its truest form, a competition to find a pop star. 

Now that the judges have made their final decisions before the fate of the contestants is handed over to America, we wanted to make some snap judgments of our own.

After hearing so many voices come through the double doors hoping to go before the judges, it became easier to pull vocal references from some of today’s pop stars (using the word "pop star" incredibly loosely here) and shove the new class into a music box (Hey, a major label is going to do it when they sign any of them, so why don’t we just save them some time?)

On the off chance any of our readers don't plan to watch “Idol” for the rest of the season (or ever), or you don’t start your “Idol” experience until the live shows begin next week, here’s a quick cheat sheet so you know exactly what you're getting -- vocally -- from the contestants. 

After the jump, check out the entire line up of contestants – and whose vocal style each resembled based on what they offered on the show thus far:


Name: Casey Abrams
Age: 20
Sounds Like: Taylor Hicks



Name: Jovany Barreto
Age: 23
Sounds Like: Marc Anthony



Name: Jordan Dorsey
Age: 21
Sounds Like: John Legend



Name: James Durbin
Age: 22
Sounds Like: Adam Lambert



Name: Clint Jun Gamboa
Age: 26
Sounds Like: Bruno Mars



Name: Tim Halperin
Age: 23
Sounds Like: The Fray's Issac Slade



Name: Stefano Langone
Age: 21
Sounds Like: Stevie Wonder



Name: Brett Loewenstern
Age: 17
Sounds Like: Clay Aiken



Name: Jacob Lusk
Age: 23
Sounds Like: Phil Perry or Luther Vandross



Name: Scott McCreery
Age: 17
Sounds Like: Trace Adkins



Name: Paul McDonald
Age: 26
Sounds Like: Jason Mraz



Name: Robbie Rosen
Age: 17
Sounds Like: Jon B



Name: Naima Adedapo
Age: 26
Sounds Like: Goapele



Name: Lauren Alaina
Age: 16
Sounds Like: LeAnn Rimes



Name: Kendra Chantelle
Age: 27
Sounds Like: Sara Bareilles



Name: Ashthon Jones
Age: 24
Sounds Like: Melanie Fiona



Name: Thia Megia
Age: 16
Sounds Like: Norah Jones



Name: Haley Reinhart
Age: 20
Sounds Like: Duffy



Name: Karen Rodriguez
Age: 21
Sounds Like: Jennifer Lopez 



Name: Pia Toscano
Age: 22
Sounds Like: Christina Aguilera



Name: Lauren Turner
Age: 24
Sounds Like: Katy Perry



Name: Tatynisa Wilson
Age: 20
Sounds Like: Keyshia Cole



Name: Julie Zorrilla
Age: 20
Sounds Like: "Glee's" Lea Michele



Name: Rachel Zevita
Age: 23
Sounds Like: Pink

Feel free to argue your picks. Hear someone else in any of them? Think they are incomparable? Sound off below. 

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy



(Top) Top 24: top row from left, Kendra Chantelle, Jovani Barreto, Lauren Turner, Casey Abrams, Tatynisa Wilson, James Durbin, Karen Rodriguez, Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina, Thia Megia, Scott McCreery, Brett Loewenstern, Pia Toscano and Jordan Dorsey. Bottom row from left,: Rachel Zevita, Stefano Langone, Paul McDonald, Julie Zorrilla, Tim Halperin, Haley Reinhart, Clint Jun Gamboa, Robbie Rosen, Naima Adedapo and Ashthon Jones.

All photos: Michael Becker / Fox

Comments () | Archives (27)

Scott McCreery = Josh Turner, NOT T Adkins. HELLO.

Whoever made the comparisons to who each of these idol pics sound like must have been drunk or high.

Gerrick my old nemesis - Casey sounds like Taylor Hicks? What?

Definitely a very talented group this year. Maybe the most talented year thus far?

Also really nice to see some of the contestants that can accompany themselves well.

I have fallen back in love with this show and it,s concept.We are back to the emphasis on the Talent instead of the Judges (as it should be) and finally some real talent.I am surprise at how few African Americans are in the 24,and only 1 out of the 4 chosen is really talented....And I totally disagree that Casey sounds anything like Taylor Hicks,he may not be marketable but this kid has a real unusual style and will go far....

Good luck to you all

I think Scott McCreery sounds like Josh Turner not Trace Adkins.

I agree with Paul. McCreery is NOT Adkins. Haha. What were you thinking? It's an obvious one....JOSH TURNER!!! Not even a close one to mistake the two.

Funny how it just turned out that two black men and two black women just happened to be the best singers of all the contestants. Kind of works out well for the network considering the demographics of the population. It will be interesting to see who steps forward as the gay, Muslim, feminist, planned parenthood and Atheist representative.

pretty stupid comparisons. p
aul sounds like james blunt btw

These comparisons are lazy and inaccuarate; and no, they are not a matter of opinion.

Comparing Thia Megia to Nora Jones? Sells Thia short.
Paul MacDonald to Jazon Mraz? Are you kidding? They're two completely different genres
Jacob Lusk to Luther Vandross? Racist.
Casey to Taylor Hicks? Undermines Casey's unique talent (and it's a bad comparison)
Even the comparison of Baretto to Marc Anthony is "ethnically motivated" at best. Listen to them side by side. Very different voices, Ricky Martin is a way better comparison.
Julie Zorilla LOOKS like glee's Lea Michelle, but she doesn't SOUND like her. She's a better singer.

I can't believe that you can write these comparisons and get paid to write about music.

which one is the domestic terrorists daughter?

Don't bother watching this season just look at the final results of the top three.

Tim Halperin
Paul McDonald
and possibly
Pia Toscano

This is based on the results of the last 3 seasons. The pretty boy with no Voice and Pia as runner up. Anyone want to Bet!!!!

The real talent on this show ended with Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry, except for Crystal Bowersox last year.

I guess I'm old - I thought that country kid sounded like Randy Travis - who I always thought sounded like Merle Haggard. Any Chance Okie from Muskogee makes his song list?

uh oh, not the race card. smh.

"Jacob Lusk to Luther Vandross? Racist." -- click on the writers name. he is black. also phil perry is black but you didnt know that because you rushed to the first judgment you had.

"Even the comparison of Baretto to Marc Anthony is "ethnically motivated" at best. Listen to them side by side. Very different voices, Ricky Martin is a way better comparison." -- isn't ricky martin latino? marc anthony sings in the same tone as baretto....

stefano isn't black but he was compared to stevie wonder...is that racist?

bruno mars is black and hawaiian, clint isn't....is that racist.

lets really stop with that mess. its stupid.

Casay Abrams is a very talented musician, but neither he nor his voice comes even close to being as big as Taylor Hicks. He will never fill up and own the stage like Taylor.

Don't know where my comment went but I'll make it shorter.
Comparing Casey to Hicks is elevating Casey way to high. Talented but can not own a stage like Hicks. Silly.

I thought Paul McDonald sounded an awful lot like Kenny Loggins - in a good way!

julie zarilla can really project- but i like thia more...looking forward to clint, james, and scott, but tim has a special quality.

Slowing weeding the diversity out. Wont watch again. (White America's Idol)


I think that there are 2 guys that are on the show that should not have made it over Chris Medina. Yes Chris had the story that touched us all...but the man could sing too. It looked like he had a lot of potential. He is a singer, song writer and musician...he could have done so well had they given him a chance. BAD FORM JUDGES! BAD FORM! You made an exception once before for a singer who was less talented that Chris the one year you had 13 boys. I think you need to redeem yourselfs and have 13 guys again.

Jay c or chris medina shouldve been in d tp 24

Scott does not sound like Trace... he's Josh Turner (who actually sing "Your Man")... so excited country's represented this year!

Are you CRAZY?! Brett Loewenstern does not sound like Clay Aiken in the least. Brett Loewenstern sounds like Paolo Nutini or Adam Levine of Maroon 5. Clint Gamboa wishes he sounds like Bruno Mars. Casey Abrams is WAY more talented and current than Taylor Hicks.
I agree with Wawa!!

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