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American Idol recap: Zoanette Johnson makes Top 20

Zoanette Johnson is a crazy hot mess. So why did I just watch ‘Circle of Life’ five times?

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Zoanette Idol Lion
Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

We’ve got our Top 10 ladies for season 12! The judges have put through nine excellent singers and one polarizing loose cannon who took last night’s Vegas opportunity to embody the spirit of Africa and breathe it back out in a rare form of leopard-print, trashy nail polish-infused fire. Many people would hesitate to call this fire “decipherable,” or “a song,” or “pleasing to the ear.” But love her or hate her, this creature is compelling. And hey, the producers needed there to be a reason for you to tweet at them during the show about how much you disagreed with the judges. So everyone wins! Except most fans.

I relish any reminder to go ahead and re-watch The Lion King on YouTube as part of my job, so I found the whole Zoanette thing very funny. Of course, I have to. It’s a self-preservation thing, you see. Enough seasons filled with bizarre choices have floated by that at this point, if I let myself get offended by Zoanette’s advancement in the place of purer, better-trained vocals, I am going to have a terrible time.

Cheers to season 12! Through despaaaaaaair, and hoooooooooope….


Cristabel Clack — She left a more lasting impression during her Coke-side chat with Seacrest — the worship leader said she’d been personally assured by God that American Idol was where she was supposed to be — than she did with her cover of Alicia Keys’ “No One,” which Randy called “a little sleepy” and Nicki called “out of control.” Mariah Carey took the opportunity to pull a “Can we hear it for the background singers?” (Cristabel herself has worked as one) and obliviously urged Cristabel to “please come back.” She can’t, silly! At 29, she’s about to expire!

Jett Hermano — This I find to be a real shame. We’ve barely seen Jett, 25, who showed some natural musicianship on her piano-driven cover of Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In The World)” and seemed like a genuinely cool person. There was an understated sexiness to the performance that you don’t see much on reality TV, and even if this particular song wasn’t her best….how would we know? I’d have liked the chance to make a more informed decision. No worries, though! The judges would never steer us wrong. I find it annoying that last week Randy told Shubha Vedula he’d have loved if she’d stayed at the piano, but tonight when Jett did exactly that, he complained that he wanted her to get up midway through and “just rock it onstage, wear it out vocally.” No! Why?

NEXT: Poor Rachel Hale!