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

February 25, 2011 |  7:23 am


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