Julie Zorrilla in American Idol Top 24

Evidently, Julie Zorrilla not only has a lock on cute dresses and shoes, but she now holds the distinction of being one of only twelve girls in the the American Idol Top 24. When we last checked in with Zorrilla, she sailed through Hollywood week with her take on "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles.

This week, in Las Vegas on the set of the Cirque du Soleil show, LOVE, the telegenic Denver School of the Arts alumni dueted on "Something" by the Beatles with Tim Halperin -- another very promising contender -- and with her final solo audition, she made a big enough impression on the judges to make it into the Top 24. But not before enduring an exhortation from Jennifer Lopez about pouring more emotion into her performances.

"You know, we want people to get up there, and we want to feel something," JLo declared. "I think sometimes in some of your performances, it lacked a little bit of depth and emotion."

"Just that connection with the lyric and that connection with the listener, you get something here," added Randy Jackson, motioning to his chest, "as opposed to just something here," pointing to his head.

"At the end of the day," JLo concluded, "you just want people to feel something when you're up there. Right? That's what we all want to do as performers."

With that, Zorrilla then provided one of the more amusing moments of the competition thus far. Upon getting the nod, a positively giddy Zorrilla made her way into the lobby, where she gave Ryan Seacrest a bear hug and then proceeded to pick him up off his feet, only to lose her balance moments later, ending up with her struggling to regain his footing.

As much as the judges have gotten wrong so far this season -- witness the inexplicable endorsement of that irritating twit James Durbin in lieu of viable contenders like Colton Dixon -- they've made some valid points regarding Zorrilla. While she does indeed appear to have boundless potential, she has yet to fully showcase her range and really connect with a song. Hopefully, she takes their feedback into consideration.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera