The Final Countdown: Meet Your AMERICAN IDOL Top 24


People will talk about all that’s coming to an end this season on ‘American Idol’, but this one is really personal.

You see, the one thing about ‘Idol’ that’s truly unique to me is the Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale of Favoritism. Five Years Ago, Molly DeWolf Swenson strolled into her ‘Idol’ audition in a fit of beauty that remains unparalleled on this show or really many others. She delivered a performance of an Otis Redding classic with smooth easy soul and flashed and even easier sense of humor that instantly had me smitten.

And from that moment she became, and remains, my favorite ‘American Idol’ contestant of all time. We’ve been in a very committed phony relationship ever since and her legacy lives on in these recaps through the Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale of Favoritism – where I push objective analysis to the side for one column and tell you who I’m rooting for this season.

So, here they are, on a scale of one-to-ten – this year’s contestants ranked from 1-10 on the Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale of Favoritism. Remember, nobody can ever score a perfect ten, let’s see who comes closest…


Amelia Eisenhauer
Amelia showed up with a samurai sword to her audition and wielded it incredibly clumsily. In other words, she’s a fifteen-year-old poseur with a banjo-playing brother who dresses like one of the Germans in “Hogan’s Heroes” for some reason.
Not exactly what sets off the Scale.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 3/10


Avalon Young
I don’t know what to make of Avalon. One minute she’s an indie chick with an acoustic guitar, the next she’s dropping a beanie on her head and going full hip-hop in Hollywood. In other words, she’s versatile which should help her out a lot going forward. I like her because I think we could get a new version of Avalon every week.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7/10


Emily Brooke
I got sick of these blonde teenage country singers who have absolutely no range or versatility about 8 years ago. I don’t know why they keep passing them through to the top 24, but I don’t want to see them.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 3/10


Gianna Isabella
She’s got an insane Stage Mom who may have a meltdown at any time, so I really dig that and hope to see her attack a judge at some point. The issue with Gianna is that she’s been on like nine different TV Talent Shows before. The thing that makes ‘Idol’ so great is that everybody on the show is supposed to be a newcomer, I can’t really get behind a Talent Show Veteran like Gianna.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 4/10


Jeneve Rose Mitchell
Look, if I have to hear one more time about how Jeneve is a “country girl” who lives “off the grid”, it’s going to be enough to make me want to disconnect from all forms of media just so I never again have to hear about Mitchell’s life spent off the grid. Mostly because it’s annoying, but party because I don’t believe it at all. If she was truly off the grid, how did her family ever hear about ‘Idol’ to begin with? Did the Pony Express bring them a post card about this great new show? And how did Mitchell know all the words to the latest pop tunes? Do the bands’ stagecoaches just happen to break down on her farm and they play their hits?
Ugh. Spare me.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 2/10


Jenn Blosil
The easy and clear winner this year is J-Blo. Not only has she given the most stunning performances so far on the show, but she’s weird and quirky and actually IS weird and quirky. After years of Crystal Bowersoxes and Joey Cooks trying to pretend that they’re quirky just because they have dyed hair or smell like patchouli, we finally get a girl who is totally weird and totally comfortable with being weird. Plus she sings the hell out of any tune she takes on. She’s my favorite contestant this year.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 8/10


Jenna Renae
Much like Gianna, Jenna’s gone deep on talent shows before. Unlike Gianna, Jenna doesn’t have a nutzo stage mom. She’s like Gianna but missing something. Like a syllable.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 2/10


La’Porhsa Renae
Her hair alone would get her a positive rating. I mean it already has its own senator, so why not a positive rating on the scale? She gets further props for somehow being at the center of all drama at Hollywood Week despite not being directly involved in any of it. Something tells me that the longer she sticks around as the epitome of class, the more everybody will degenerate into drama-filled wolverines around her. She’s like the obelisk in “2001”.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7/10


Olivia Rox
Olivia Rox is yet another talent show veteran, having made a deep run on ‘America’s Got Talent’ a few years ago. She’s a really poised singer for her age, but that probably comes from the fact that she’s done this so much before. Ugh. Enough of these talent show vets already.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 5/10


Shelbie Z
First of all, get a last name. Second of all, stop being the most irritating pseudo-diva in the history of television. Third, don’t look like you’re about to melt into a fit of histrionics every time you attempt to sing. I’m tired of you already. Plus, you already went Double Heart – that’s practically using steroids.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 1/10


Sonika Vaid
This girl has a great voice, but not much memorable about her other than her Anthony Davis-ish eyebrows which they will probably ditch once she gets into the ‘American Idol’ makeover process. I am looking forward to her blowing the roof off of something pretty soon though.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 6/10


Tristan McIntosh
Gotta love the story with Tristan’s military mom showing up surprisingly at her audition and accompanying her throughout Hollywood Week. Not much else to say there, just totally heartwarming with Tristan.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 6/10


Stephany Negrete
There’s nothing about Stephany that isn’t totally boring. It’s like watching the speaker box at a drive-thru sing. She’s got a good voice, but it’s so good it’s boring – nothing unique about her at all. She deserves the most boring grade.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 5/10


Adam Lasher
This guy is awesome. Last year he looked like David Foster Wallace while he sang “Wicked Game” in Hollywood week, now he shows up looking like Sherman McCoy’s lawyer without sacrificing a shred of his groove and musical style. It’s like he’s his own evil twin. I love it.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7/10


Dalton Rapattoni
So I guess this guy is trying to be the blonde Adam Lambert or possibly a vampire from ‘Twilight’, but either way, he’s about 5 years past his target date of being cool. I’m sure there’s going to be some subset of teeny-bopper girls that find him appealing, but that is definitely not my demo.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 3/10


James Dawson VIII
I’ve never seen this guy before in my life, but he looks like a roadie for Megadeth and comes from a line of fathers audacious enough to continue on the same unremarkable name for an EIGHTH time, so I’m definitely intrigued.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7/10


Jordan Sasser
There are a lot of pros for this guy. He’s a North Carolina boy which appeals to my native Tarheel heart. His wife got really really mad when he passed the audition and she did not. Like no support whatsoever as she bawled about how unfair it was. I love that drama. So there’s a lot good with Sasser.
But he has a man bun.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 4/10


Kory Wheeler
Look at his picture. What the hell is he looking at?
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 3/10


Lee Jean
I know there’s a lot of things I can say about his musical ability and personality, but I just like this guy for being one of ‘Idol’s’ best-ever entrants to the all-name team. I mean his parents actually had the sense of humor to nearly name him Lee Jeans. If his middle name is Vy, I bump him up one more point.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 7/10


Manny Torres
This guy has a lot of fun charisma and energy, but he also tucked his jeans into Mack Truck worker boots for some reason during his showcase performance. I have to question his judgment going forward.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 5/10


Thomas Stringfellow
I hate this kid’s face. I hate every bit of his terrible guitar playing, terrible singing, stupid high school teen girl wooing nonsense persona right down to a last name that should be reserved for mythical creatures in English children’s tales. He can’t leave soon enough, but something tells me I’ll have to put up with his stupid hair for awhile.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 2/10


Trent Harmon
There’s very little to like about Trent Harmon on the surface. He sings like a weirdo indie rock/90s pop kid hybrid and moves around the stage like one of those windsock dummies they put in front of car dealerships. Throw that in a package wrapped in scarves, and you have something other than enjoyable for me.
Except, the kid has frigging Mono. How can I not root for that a little bit?
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 5/10


CJ Johnson
This guy is incredibly white guy with guitar interchangeable.
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 3/10


Mackenzie Bourg
In fact he’s so interchangeable, you don’t even realize that I switched these two guys’ pictures. Or did I?
Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale: 3/10
Check back tomorrow for the first real performance recap of the season!

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