The top 12 guys performed tonight. It was a rough night overall, just like it was for the girls. However, I think the guys came out on top. They had the two extremes--bad and really good--whereas the girls just had a bunch of mediocre performances.
Also, here's the deal with rumors of a Top 24 guy being replaced. Chris Golightly made the top 24, but apparently had signed a record deal and was therefore not eligible for the competition. He is denying that his contract was in existence as of his acceptance on to the show, but for whatever reason, Chris was replaced by Tim Urban in the Top 24.
Todrick Hall sang “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. He had a very interesting, funky take on the song. It didn't show off his voice very well, and the vocals were shaky. The second half of the song improved, but the arrangement was too risky. Ellen said Todrick is a great performer with good stage presence, and she liked that he took a chance, but the performance was rough. Randy said Todrick is talented, but he changed the song too much; it was a hit song for a reason. Kara agreed with Randy by saying that Todrick is a strong enough singer that he didn't need to change the song up so much, but she gave him props for creativity. Simon said Todrick looked like a dancer trying to sing, rather than a singer who can also dance. He said the arrangement didn't improve the song, and it was verging on stupid. (Harsh!)
Aaron Kelly sang “Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascall Flatts. I thought it was a very smart song choice for him. His falsetto was a little weak, and he missed a few notes, but overall it was a good performance. Simon said Aaron lacks confidence and needs to take control of the song, but it was a good performance. Kara said she's excited to see Aaron improve throughout the show. She said he's a naturally good singer and the pop/country genre was a good choice for him. Randy said Aaron had a few pitchy moments, but he's a big fan. Ellen said she loves Aaron's humilty; he should gain confidence without changing who he is.
Jermaine Sellers sang “Get Here” by Oleta Adams. He has a very soft and sincere voice, but the vocals were all over the place. He was flat for most of the song, and the final note took forever to settle into the key. Ellen said Jermaine was performing instead of connecting. She thought he pushed his vocals and went off key. Randy said it was a weird song choice. He sees Jermaine doing more Maxwell or Ne-Yo. He said Jermaine tried to do too much vocally when he should have just sung the melody. Kara said the song was too old-fashioned, and Jermaine needs to make his runs meaningful. Simon said Jermaine oversang the song to the point of screaming. He said it was over the top and believes Jermaine blew his opportunity.
Tim Urban sang “Apologize” by OneRepublic. I was really rooting for Tim. Apparently someone left before the Top 24 was announced, so Tim made received a call from the producer asking him to join them. I love his voice, but tonight was not good. It was a terrible song choice. Tim doesn't have the falsetto to sing OneRepublic. Simon believes the judges made the right decision in not putting Tim through at first. He said the vocals were weak and just plain not good enough for this competition. Kara said the music overpowered him; he should have used his guitar. However, she thinks he's cute, likable, and current. Randy said it was the wrong song choice because Tim doesn't have the falsetto for it. Ellen said Tim is adorable and people will want to vote for him, but he's got to step it up.
Joe Munoz sang “You and I Both” by Jason Mraz. I didn't remember this guy, but I thought he did really well. I thought it was a good song choice, and he has a cute smile and a nice stage presence. Ellen said Joe looked comfortable on stage. Randy said it was not a perfect song choice, but he thinks Joe has a great voice. Kara said it was a surprising song choice and said it was the best performance thus far. Simon said the performance was okay, but it was safe, forgettable, and he believes Joe lacks star potential. (No photo available.)
Tyler Grady sang “American Woman” by The Guess Who. Of course. What else would he sing? I thought this was a terrible performance--the worst of the night. Tyler screamed the chorus, his voice cracked throughout the song, and his vocals were flat most of the time. Simon said people will remember Tyler's performance, but for the wrong reason. He said Tyler is trying to be a cliche rock star and called the performance unnatural and predictable. Kara said Tyler didn't add anything original to the song. Ellen said Tyler was lacking charisma and excitement. I would just like to point out that none of the judges ever said anything about his vocals. This is a singing competition. I expected them to tear him to pieces after they nearly made Tim cry. Tyler's performance was way worse, and all they talked about was his stupid 70's obsession. [rant over]
Lee Dewyze sang “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. Lee played guitar and kept things simple for the most part. He changed the chorus up to show off his range, but the ending notes of each line went flat. Overall I liked what he was trying to do, but "Chasing Cars" is such a simple and beautiful song on it's own; I'm not sure he needed to do much with it. I really liked the ending, however. Ellen said it was a good song choice except Lee sounded like he was screaming in parts. She loves his tone of voice and said he has a distinct sound. Randy didn't like the song choice. He would have preferred a Kings of Leon song (which I think would have been awesome). Kara said the song has a small range, but by changing the melody Lee made it almost unrecognizable. She would have preferred Bad Company. Simon said it was the best performance of the night. He thinks Lee is authentic and a naturally good singer who can find a song and turn it into his own.
John Park sang “God Bless the Child” by Chicago. His voice surprises me every time. He's a bass, which is interesting. Basses don't tend to do very well in this competition because the pop market is geared toward tenors. I could not understand any of the words in the first verse. The chorus improved though, so I think the verses were just a bit too low for John. Simon said that Joe doesn't have the voice for that song. He said the vocals were flat and the performance was pointless and lacked emotion. Kara said John has a big voice, but he made no connection with the audience or the song. She said he sounded like a lounge singer. Randy said the runs in the bridge were good, but it was a bad song choice. Ellen liked the performance but said the song didn't show America who John is as an artist.
Michael Lynche sang “This Love” by Maroon 5. I'm really glad "Big Mike" is still on the show despite the controversy with his dad and the confidentiality agreement. Mike played guitar for this one. I thought it was a little choppy during the verses. It's hard to hear anyone but Adam Levine sing this song. Overall I thought it was a decent vocal, but he's capable of better. Ellen loves Mike's personality. She said there were a few pitch problems but thought it was a great song choice. Randy said Mike brought the energy up in the room with a fun performance. Kara said the performance was good but not great. She thinks Mike chose a comfortable song. Simon said the performance sounded like an opening act. He said Mike has a big heart, but he delivered little tonight.
Alex Lambert sang “Wonderful World” by James Morrison. I really like his voice. Alex took a while to settle into the song, but the chorus was good. I definitely want to hear more from him. Simon said it was the most uncomfortable performance of the night. He said Alex has a good voice, but he was too nervous. Kara said she loves Alex's thick, rich tone and thinks he has great potential in this competition. Ellen gave Alex props for holding on to the mullet. [I really wanted to cut his hair for him.] She compared him to an unripe banana by saying he just need to ripen more and gain confidence in himself.
Casey James sang “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. Finally, a great song choice. I love Casey. He played guitar and kept things simple. Casey has a great voice; he doesn't need gimmicks. This was my favorite performance of the night. Kara said it was a little pitchy, but Casey has heart and soul. She also said, "You're eye candy, but you're also ear candy." Randy said it was a great song choice and that he likes Casey's swagger. Simon said Casey chose the right song and said Casey is sincere and likable. He said it was Casey's best performance so far.
Andrew Garcia sang “Sugar, We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy. This is definitely the first time anyone has sung FOB on American Idol. I thought it was a brave song choice and arrangement. I enjoyed it, but I think he should have taken it down a half step. I love Andrew's voice though, and I'm excited to see him grow as an artist. Simon said he was disappointed. He thought the performance was too serious and not original enough. Kara liked that Andrew took a risk, but she said the rendition was just strange. Randy agreed with Kara and said Andrew tried too hard. Ellen said she's a big fan of Andrew's, but she wants to see more personality.
My favorites of the night were Casey, Lee, and Joe.
I think Tyler and John are going home.
The results show is tomorrow night. I probably won't be able to watch the results until Friday morning because I'm going to see Jason Castro tomorrow night. However, Kris Allen will be on the show performing live and premiering footage from his trip to Haiti, and Alison Iraheta will also be performing on the show.
All photos from www.americanidol.com.