Tonight was a huge improvement over last night’s show. We at least got to see some promising male talent. Although, it’s still clear that the producers DO NOT WANT another guitar playing pop rocker to win American Idol. Most of these guys are R&B singers, or country. The closest thing to a pop rocker is Johnny Keyser and he’s either being shown in a bad light or hidden from view.
Could any of these guys win American Idol? Charlie Askew has the kind of off-center appeal that has the potential to attract both mommies who want to take care of him and alterna-teens who relate to his appealing weirdness. If that kid makes the Top 10, he could go deep.
And speaking of mommies? Lazaro Arbos is not only a good singer, but his ability to pull at the heart strings could take him far. He’s just got to be careful not to rely on the backstory too much. At the moment, he’s a bit of a sad sack. He has to stop crying and acquire a little swag., who is also a fine singer.
Paul Jolley, Nick Boddington, Devin Velez and to a lesser extent, Jimmy Smith are appealing singers. Like Lazaro, Paul has to stop crying. Out of the 3, Nick has it going on–the voice, the confidence, plus he’s a cutie. However, if good looking crooner, Johnny Keyser, makes it to the voting rounds, all bets are off
That leaves the question–can an African American male ever win Idol again? If Curtis Finch Jr. continues his arrogant ways, he’s toast regardless. Could Cortez Shaw or Burnell Taylor–fine singers–go the distance. It would be nice if there were a fundamental change in the voting demo this year, but I won’t hold my breath.
I hope the awesomeness that s the American Idol 12 judging panel isn’t just an editing room created mirage. Remember when we loved Steven, Jennifer and Randy in the beginning of Season 10? Here’s hoping Nicki and Keith don’t get bored or scared once the live shows begin. Nicki in particular continues to shine in her role as judge. Once again, she called out contestants who needed it. Once again, lecturing Papa Peachez about his non-committal attitude, flat out telling Paul Jolley that revealing his nerves was unprofessional. and then totally calling out Matheus Fernandes for milking his backstory. I don’t believe an Idol judge has EVER done that. She’s also a champion of artists, even if they aren’t marching to the beat of a conventional drum. She’s wonderful.
Next week? We’ll see what the girls bring!
I’ll be live blogging Part 2 of the American Idol 12 Hollywood Rounds right here. The guys take the stage for last chance solos with the band.
The remaining contestants work with the vocal coaches and sing with the Idol band. They can also choose to play an instrument.
Paul Jolley – “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood – He’s struggling to keep it together. His voice is shaking–he’s that nervous. Mariah suggests that he take a breath. He’s close to tears before he even begins. Once he starts his performance, his nerves leave him, and he sounds awesome. He posses a strong, theatrical voice with a tinge of country. Nicki says she was irritated by his defeated attitude when he took the stage. She’s looking for professionalism. She’s tough, but she’s right. You never let them see you sweat. Lack of confidence does not impress. Fake it til you make it, kids.
Lazaro Arbos “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga – That was very good, confident even. And for once, he didn’t break down and cry.
Curtis Finch Jr. – “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri – His goal is to reach and touch the hearts of people. Dude is a real Diva. But not in a good way. Curtis is annoyingly full of himself. And although he sings beautifully, his attitude is going to kill him if he gets to the voting stage. I have a feeling Nigel knows this very very well.
Eight contestants at a time. No waiting, no rooms. Lazaro Arbos, Curtis Finch and Paul Jolley, are all through. The rest of the row are heading home.
Devin Velez – “It’s a Wonderful World” – Says he’s not nervous at all. He’s focused, as his performance proves. Devin sings beautifully. Nice, smooth R&B vocals. Keith says he was born to sing.
Gurpreet Singh Sarin – “Georgia” – The Turbinator! Oh he’s strumming a guitar. Indian Guy With Guitar? He’s not great, but he’s interesting.
Matheus Fernandes – “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson – Holy sh*t What the eff was that? He screamed and over emoted his way through that. KELLY CLARKSON IS SOBBING. . He claims that he has never sung with a live band before. O rly? Did he learn nothing WHEN HE WAS A CONTESTANT ON THE GLEE PROJECT TWO YEARS AGO? Nicki accuses Matheus of milking his sob story, which is totally awesome, by the way. GO NICKI CALL OUT THE FAKERS.
Adam Sanders, Cortez Shaw, Devin Velez and Gurpreet advance. Matheus Fernandes is eliminated. THANK JEEBUS. His crybaby act got old pretty fast. And for those who did not watch his season of the Glee Project. Yes, he managed to be insufferable in that competition as well.
Cortez Shaw - “Sonny” – More big R&B vocals. Not shouty and shrill this time. A big improvement over his a cappella solo.
Nicholas Mathis – “Locked Out of Heaven” – He was a member of the Couch Potatoes group. Dude, a living embodiment of Rerun, can sing, but he’s trying way too hard here. He gets down on his knees to emote unconvincingly, which is totally unnecessary. Keith felt like Nicholas was chasing the song rather than the dream. Nicholas begs him for another chance. Keith is non-committal. He walks off the stage distraught. Nicholas is so not ready for this jelly.
Jimmy Smith – “Landslide” – The judges questioned his star power yesterday during the group round. After that performance, which was a perfectly nice country-influenced rendition of the Fleetwood Mac classic, I can see why. Zzz.
Papa Peachez - “You And I” – Oh Papa. “A lot of people who try out for American Idol are more or less puppets,” he sniffs, “I’ve got my own thing going on.” Yeah, a thing that’s not very impressive. Papa has an interesting tone, but it’s languid and sloppy. He needs some vocal lessons. Or maybe he’s got to work harder, as Nicki advises. She continues to be disappointed in Papa. She hated the song choice. She tells him that flame she first saw is now completely extinguished. Papa is a little surprised. Or clueless.
Nicholas Mathis and Papa Peaches are eliminated. Jimmy Smith, Johnny Keyser and Vincent Powell advance. Papa bitches that he just DOES NOT LIKE SINGING COVERS. Then why the hell did you try out for Idol? Poor Nicholas literally has a meltdown outside the venue.
Nick Boddington – “Stars” – He plays keyboard. Nick has an absolutely beautiful tenor voice. He sings like an angel. What a range! Keith says he nailed it. Fun Fact: Nick was a member of the awesome group, Groovesauce, last season with Reed Grimm, Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, and Jen Hirsh.
Charlie Askew – “Somebody I Used to Know” – He intros the song with a personal story about how he recently broke up with a girl. “I don’t want to be somebody that she used to know,” he says before he launches into the song. This dude is strange and wonderful at the same time. He’s oversinging here, but he’s definitely got potential. And IT. Nicki confesses that she’s obsessed. “Baby I could say the same thing,” says Charlie. Ha! Nicki declares that Charlie became an artist today. “I glorify weirdness,” says Charlie. Nicki, truly smitten says, “I’m going to eat him.”
There was dissension amongst the judges, says Mariah. JDA (wearing a black veil over his face!) Charlie Askew, Nick Boddington, and Mathenee Treco advance!
Next, a montage of Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon singing “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri. Apparently quite a few chose this song. Both advance to the Top 28.
Micah Johnson – “I Told You So” by Randy Travis – Micah is the guy who had the botched tonsillectomy that left him with a speech impediment. This is a very beautiful, spare performance of this country classic. Oh Mariah misses the runs. *MASSIVE EYE ROLL*. She’s so wrong here.
Micah is eliminated. HE WAS ROBBED. If he was cut because he didn’t add runs to a perfectly lovely song, I’m going to cut a bitch. Sometimes less is more, a philosophy Mariah obviously does not understand. He leaves with a good attitude.
Gabe Brown, Sanni M’Mairura and Nate Tao are eliminated.
The 28 guys who survived the last round are called back onto the stage. It’s twist time. The judges reveal that 8 more will be cut on the following Thursday. And WE won’t find who made the Top 20 guys.