Top 12 Guys

The Top 12 Guys perform tonight. Here’s a handy guide so you can play along as you watch. Enjoy.

A J Tabaldo – Age: 22
Hometown: Santa Maria, CA
Audition City: Los Angeles
AI page, AI Video
MySpace  MySpace Music  

AJ works at a UPS facility in
Santa Maria CA.   He’s a Filipino-American.   He describes himself as “a mixture of Filipino and Portuguese with Spanish, French, Italian and Chinese blood.”  Season 6 is AJ’s 5th shot at Idol.   He had  no screen time during the auditions and finals.  That, coupled with the fact that his vocals are light-weight and he exudes no discernable personality, means  AJ will likely not advance to the Top 12.   Really, when your other talents include cutting your own hair and wiggling your ears, well…can you say  cannon fodder?

 

Blake Lewis – Age: 25
Hometown: Bothell, WA
Audition City: Seattle, WA
AI Page, AI Video
bshorty.com, kickshaw, My Space

Blake’s  mom and grandfather were both professional singers.  In the 8th grade, Blake toured with the Columbia Boys Choir throughout Europe.   He taught himself to “beatbox” in high school.   Some of his favorite artists are Bjork, Fiona Apple, Imogene Heap, Jason Mraz, Prince Michael Jackson and Sting. He’s been singing since the age of 5. His original music which can be downloaded from bshorty.com is a mix of R&B and jazz.   So far, besides his original audition “Crazy” we haven’t heard much singing from Blake.   He’s an incredible beat boxer, has an interesting, quirky personality and great taste in music.   How far he advances will depend on whether the voice plus personality can carry him through.   He’s definitely one to watch.

 

Brandon Rogers – Age: 28
Hometown: North Hollywood, CA
Audition City: Los Angeles
AI Page, AI Video
CD Baby Page

Brandon plays  classical piano. His mom is a songwriter and he loves  country music. Beyonce and Stevie Wonder are his favorite artists. Brandon has worked as a back-up singer and vocal coach.   He’s got charisma to spare.   He performed a fine, R&B twist  on the song “Always on my Mind” for his initial audition.   If Brandon keeps the momentum started with his excellent audition when he hits the Idol stage, he’ll definitely be a contender.

 

Chris Richardson – Age: 22
Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
Audition City: New York
AI Page, AI Video

This is Chris’s third shot  at Idol. He was born in Belgium to a military family and works as a  supervisor at a  Hooter’s restaurant.   He describes his singing style as “Rock and Soul”.   He auditioned with “A Song For You”.  He loves old school singers like James Brown and Donny Hathaway.   Chris has yet to show much vocal strength on the show.   His final Hollywood audition was a melismatic mess.  He’s great eye-candy, however, and could be the favorite of ‘tweens everywhere.   If he can’t step it up vocally, however, he’ll have a hard time earning a spot in the Top 12.

 

Chris Sligh – Age: 28
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Audition City: Birmingham
AI Page, AI Video
“Know” video, Half Past Forever
Half Past Forever MySpace

Chris is the son of Christian missionaries.  He spent 10 years living with his family in Germany. He writes, records and performs with his band, Half Past Forever.   They have an album coming out soon.   Some of his favorite artists: Freddie Mercury, Ben Folds, Adam Duritz, Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crowe and Imogene Heap. Chris has  distinguished himself from the pack with a quirky, witty sense of humor and  a  sweet tenor with a bit of a rasp that cuts  right to the emotion of  a song.   Chris auditioned twice before, and with each audition he learned a little bit more about the process.   I get the sense that he knows how to play the game and will play it well.   Unless there is an upset, expect Chris to make the Top 12.

 

Jared Cotter – Age: 25
Hometown: Kew Gardens, NY
Audition City: New York
AI Page, AI Video
CD Baby page

Jared has a degree in business management and was encouraged to try out for Idol by his mother.   His favorite artists are John Legend, Stevie Wonder and Corinne Bailey Rae.   So far, he’s had very little screen time.   But he does have some song samples up on CD baby.   His style is smooth R&B, but it’s very nondescript.  He’ll have to show some personality and vocal prowess in order to move on to the Top 12.   At this point, that’s a tall order.

 

Nicholas Pedro – Age: 25
Hometown: Taunton, MA
Audition City: New York
AI Page, AI Video

Nicholas is from  the Boston area.   He’s not getting nearly the publicity that hometown gal Ayla Brown received.   The local papers are just now  noticing that they’ve got a horse in the race.   Nick’s hook is that he  abruptly quit  last season during the Hollywood Rounds.   Now he is back to redeem himself.   Advancing to the Top 12 will be tough, because he’s had very little screen time so far, and his final Hollywood performance  was less than stellar.
 

 

Paul Kim – Age: 25
Hometown: Saratoga, CA
Audition City: Los Angeles
AI Page, AI Video

Paul is a “pool maintenance technician” by trade.   Yes, he’s a “pool boy”. Ha. He also doesn’t like to wear shoes.  He was  once signed to EMI Korea.  His favorite artists are Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, India Arie and Alicia Keyes.   Unfortunately, the music he had up on his myspace page has been taken down.   His recordings are actually very good.   His vocal performances on Idol so far, not so much.   He’s got a tendency to overuse the vocal runs, which really distracts from his warm vocal tone.   He’s had plenty of screen time and has a good shot at making the Top 12 unless he fails to bring his A game to the Idol stage.

 

Phil Stacey – Age: 29
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Audition City: Memphis
AI Page, AI Video

Phil is a pastor’s kid. He plays piano, guitar bass and drums.   He’s currently in the Navy.   His favorite artists are Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Paul McCartney and Sheryl Crow.  Lucky Phil had a great audition backstory–his wife gave birth to a baby girl on the day he auditioned.   Phil has had plenty of screen time.   While his initial audition was not impressive, his final Hollywood audition showed promise.   If he’s able to shine on the Idol stage, he should have no problem making the Top 12.
 

Rudy Cardenas – Age: 28
Hometown: North Hollywood, CA
Audition City: Seattle
AI Page, AI Video
m-pact

Rudy was born in Venezuela. He plays the  saxophone and piano. He’s  a member of the a’capella  group, m-pact. His favorite artists are Freddie Murcury, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefen and Ella Fitzgerald. Rudy  sang “Georgia” for his final  Hollywood audition.   He oversang a bit, but his vocals show promise.   He was a member of the Chris Sligh, Blake Lewis and Tommy Lowe quartet who did such a fabulous job  performing “How Deep is Your Love” during the Hollywood Rounds.   He’s definitely got a shot for a spot on the Top 12 if  he can wow us on the Idol stage.  

 

 

Sanjaya Malakar – Age: 17
Hometown: Federal Way, WA
Audition City: Seattle
AI Page, AI Video

Sanjaya comes from a family of singers–including his sister–who also auditioned, but was cut in the rooms in Hollywood.   He spent four years in Hawaii performing with the Hawaii Children’s Theater.   His favorite artists are Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Lauren Hill and Susan Tedeschi.   He’s a sweet kid with a sweet voice, and I’m afraid he’s going to get eaten alive.   His shyness, and lack of experience may keep him from performing well in the semis.   However, he could advance based on an already strong fanbase who find him quite endearing.   I see John Stevens part Deux.   That ain’t gonna be pretty.
 

 

Sundance Head – Age: 28
Hometown: Porter, TX
Audition City: Memphis
AI Page, AI Video

Sundance is the son of Roy Head who had a #2 song in 1965, “Treat Her Right” (No, that’s not a typo. It really only went to #2).   Sundance plays guitar and piano and  grew up singing and playing music. Sundance impressed the judges with his powerful voice, but appeared to completely blow it during the Hollywood Rounds.   It’s hard to say how things will go for Sundance.   TPTB seem to be giving him the villain edit, and he could wind up being the contestant we love to hate.   However, a spectacular performance  during the semis  could redeem him.   Either way, Sundance is being molded into a compelling character.   It’s hard to imagine him not making the Top 12.

About mj santilli 34998 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!