Season 16 of “American Idol” is in full swing now that the Top 24 contestants have been announced on the ABC reality TV competition. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan chose the semi-finalists during an emotional episode on April 2. Next week the remaining contenders will each perform twice: one solo performance and one celebrity duet. After that only 14 artists will advance to the live shows. Watch our video above to see what Gold Derby’s Marcus James Dixon and Denton Davidson think of Season 16 so far. Who has the best shot to win it all? And what were some of the most shocking eliminations?
Of the 12 remaining female contestants, Davidson believes Jurnee has what it takes to go the distance. Her rendition of “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman” was one of the highlights of the season and her stage presence is top notch.
Dixon’s top choice among the women goes to Amelia Hammer Harris, whose father was a hit songwriter. Davidson agrees, stating, “Amelia is so cool and she has her own style going on. She’s not the big belter like so many people who win the show, but she’s so unique she can put her own spin on things.”
On the men’s side, Davidson is most impressed by Michael J. Woodard. “He’s got a fun personality. He sings unconventional songs. In the last round he sang a song from ‘Cabaret’ and nobody expected it. I think he just makes fun choices and he has a great personality.” Dixon agrees, stating, “When Michael sang ‘Maybe This Time’ that was probably my favorite song of the whole season so far.”
Dixon thinks there is another top contender for the title, adding “My favorite audition of all was Marcio Donaldson. When I was watching the audition I was starting to tear up. I was hoping he was a good singer and now he’s in the Top 24.”
What about other notable contestants this season like Catie Turner and Ada Vox? “I couldn’t tell if her personality was real or not,” Davidson admits regarding Catie. “I didn’t know if it was an act but as the season progressed it [became apparent] she’s real. But her quirkiness could actually overshadow the fact that she’s a really good singer.”
Dixon is impressed by Ada, who performs in drag. “Every time she performs she just blows me away,” he states. Davidson agrees that Ada has a great voice, but warns “I don’t want them to push Ada to perform as a male just to say it is his ‘authentic self.’ No pop star goes on stage as their authentic self. It’s a stage show so to say you can’t be a drag queen and be your authentic self is ridiculous to me.”