American Idol Recap: Boys Do Cry [Updated]

devin velez idolIf God is an American Idol fan — and that’s a big “if,” considering where Jennifer Hudson, Ricky Braddy and Pia Toscano have finished over the years — then perhaps Nicki Minaj is the insane, mumbly-mouthed angel sent (ejected?) from above, here to drop harsh truths and a wacky kind of honesty that have been missing from the show for far too long.

Certainly, Nicki’s anti-sob story, pro-weirdness, “give us one minute of professionalism” stance injected much-needed energy into Night 2 of Season 12’s gender-segregated Hollywood Week, following a Wednesday night telecast that all too often blared like a giant neon sign proclaiming, “Sorry About the Guys! (But Next Week We’ll Have Some Really Awesome Female Singers Who Could Give Us a Kelly- or Carrie-Style Sales Boost”).

Which isn’t to say Nicki is always on-point — just look to Mariah Carey’s Clenched Jaw of Barely Suppressed Rage (TM) for confirmation — but at least you get the sense that Ms. Minaj is saying what’s on her crazy mind, rather than waiting for a producer to feed her an opinion from underneath the judges’ table. And during a quick, one-hour rundown that focused on a selection of the Final 43 guys’ solo performances, which were used to narrow their ranks down to just 28 singers, Nicki’s bon mots made for good TV.

Speaking of good TV, let’s break down the good, the bad and the inexplicably booted from tonight’s episode. As I often do on Thursdays — when I’ve got double recap duty on Idol and Glee — I’m gonna keep things to a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less (whenever possible):

Through to the Top 28
Paul Jolley, “Blown Away” | Can’t say I was blown away by the fashion in which Paul pushed his vocal on this Carrie Underwood ditty, even if I appreciated the risky song choice. [Side note: Was there anything more in tune than Nicki’s post-performance smackdown about being “really irritated” by Paul taking the stage on the brink of tears and with a decided lack of confidence? “Give us one minute of professionalism!” she grumbled, and then added he needed to take his insecurities off his face. Might I suggest he also consider hanging up that white pants/white v-neck/light gray vest combo from the Miami Vice collection? Just a thought.]

Lazaro Arbos, “Edge of Glory” | We only got a snippet and it sounded perfectly fine. Just don’t expect me to get out of my chair or anything, okay?

Curtis Finch Jr., “Jar of Hearts” | Big voice, but the face-pulling and vocal draaahhhmmaa seem as organic as a box of Cap’n Crunch. I’m already exhausted by this gent and we’re not even at the live shows.

Devin Velez, “What a Wonderful World” (pictured) | Tried to pack a few too many runs in the opening lines, but once he settled into the melody, he unveiled a voice full of character and nuance. Hate to use the phrase (thanks to Fox’s other singing competish) but the kid has the X factor.

Gurpreet Singh Sarin, “Georgia on My Mind” | Only heard a snippet, but his “Jah-jah” pronunciation of “Georgia” negated his solid grasp of pitch. Let’s call this round a draw.

Cortez Shaw, “Sunny” | He’s a clear and present danger when he doesn’t try to do too much with his clear and polished pipes (as was the case here). Never hurts a contestant to be unfeasibly handsome, either, does it?

Jimmy Smith, “Landslide” | An excellent example of how to play around with a classic melody without disrespecting it. Plus, Jimmy has the rare ability to stretch his upper register without sounding in any way strained.

Nick Boddington, “Stars” | His voice is as clear and bright as his piercing blue eyes. Loved the raw emotion he brought (both vocally and at the keyboards), even if his falsetto ending was possibly a wee bit sharp.

Charlie Askew, “Somebody That I Used to Know” |“There was a girl, there always is…,” explained the suddenly not-so-awkward teen as he introduced his one-song mini concert. He’s got a voice full of character and a distinctive tone, but his occasional flat notes make me worry about a live-show collapse. [Side note: Mariah’s request that Charlie “please migrate forward” was a nice shout-out to her own 2008 single.]

Burnell Taylor, “Jar of Hearts” | Winner of this week’s “Jar of Hearts” showdown. Sounds better belting than he does in more tender moments, but has some quiet star power, too.

Marvin Calderon, “Jar of Hearts” | Just got a brief snippet, but his enunciation came off a bit too clipped for a big pop ballad.

Also advancing (though not shown): Adam Sanders, Johnny Keyser, Vincent Powell, JDA (in a wacky sheer black veil, after being asked by Mariah to “sashay forward”) and Mathenee Treco.

Matheus Fernandes, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” | “I’m 22 years old, not 10,” said the diminutive former Glee Project contestant as he took the stage for a wobbly-then-scream-y Kelly Clarkson cover. Nicki, however, was not having it. In a speech that should be made every year to Hollywood Week hopefuls, she told Matheus that an intriguing backstory can easily “go from inspiring to you wanting a pity party,” and that he needed to merely “be you, be great” and not make constant references to his height. Preach it, Sister Minaj!

Nicholas Mathis, “Locked Out of Heaven” | Things began falling apart when the burly father of two dropped to his knees mid-performance. Still, Keith’s comment about waking up on tour busses at 3 a.m. in tears and wondering how you got there, was a great piece of advice about how to compartmentalize on stage, as well as a surprisingly candid confession of the perils of being a professional musician.

Papa Peachez, “You and I” | I wasn’t quite sure why Nicki was so offended by Papa’s Lady Gaga song choice, but his lazy delivery made him sound like he was halfway through a ride on the Lunesta Butterfly. “I’m completely sure that flame [Papa exhibited in his audition] is now completely burned out,” said Nicki, dripping with disappointment at the collapse of her spirit animal contestant.

Michah Johnson, “I Told You So” | Micah brought so much conviction and honesty — as well as a rich, buttery tone — to the Randy Travis track that I was certain he’d advance with unanimous agreement from the judges. Mariah, though, seemed to imply that the “interesting” song choice and straightforward, melisma-free delivery was problematic. (Wait, don’t we like unexpected song choices? And what’s wrong with straightforward? I need Jessica Fletcher to come solve this mystery!) Micah, for his part, took the elimination with grace and style. “It’s tough to get cut, but I’ve been through a lot worse,” he mused. Shall I start the petition to get him back for Season 13, or do you want to take it on? Discuss!

Ousted without any performance clips/explanation: Gabe Brown, Sanni M’mairura and — what in the name of editing hell is this all about? — Nate Tao! [Side note: I’ll never understand why Uncle Nigel thinks it’s okay to kick an audition round front-runner to the curb without showing us any video footage of said singer’s fall from glory. I mean, cut 30 seconds of Randy speaking and help us understand what happened to Nate. Come ON!]

Anyhow, with that gripe expressed, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Night 2 of American Idol Season 12 Hollywood Week? Is Nicki making the show more entertaining? And did any of tonight’s singers sound like potential winners to you? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. karenb says:

    Whatt??? No Nate?!

    • BarbL says:

      He was let go :^(

    • teatime says:

      There is no excuse for this! Nate should not have been cut with no explanation. He was one of my favorites. He always gave a solid performance.

      • By “always” you mean the one song we saw him sing, right?

        • teatime says:

          We heard his audition, we heard several seconds of his a cappella at the start of Hollywood week, and we heard him in his group. His group was one of the few good groups where everyone sounded good and there did not seem to be any drama. He had a good voice and didn’t over sing. I did not get the vibe that we would just sing a bunch of sappy songs, either. So he is one I was looking forward to hearing again.

      • Joy says:

        I sometimes wonder whether maybe the producers are actually doing some contestants a favor by not showing/explaining what happens. Let us remember just the good moments, not the one off night when they blew a crucial performance… If they have plenty of other schmucks to keep the audience entertained, maybe they decide to go easy on somebody they genuinely like by just saying “He got cut” and omitting any unflattering details.

    • Merissa says:

      yeah they gave a 5-second snippet saying “Nate went home”…I can’t believe they didn’t even show his elimination in front of the judges or say why he went home…so mad!!

      • Tedatbent says:

        So true. I gasped when they announced he was leaving. Perhaps this is all part of Uncle Nigel’s plan? So confused by all the changes and if I hear Ryan say “and in an unexpected twist” one more time, I will vomit. Slow down Nigel. A little change is good. This much change sends a message that AI was on life support last year and we all know that isn’t true.

        • Jerry says:

          How does an “unexpected twist” not be shown? Unexpected twists are the basis of good tv. Not showing him made about as much sense as getting rid of him.

      • Tom22 says:

        It’s odd to me to me too that they didn’t show a bit of him. Certainly they could have felt the “buzz” for him in the last week and, for a final edit before showing, dug up something a bit off and juxtoposed it with a quote that “The judges felt some contestants would really benefit from another year of training” “come back next year dawg!” lol even if it wasn’t truly said after the performance they depicted.

    • The Beach says:

      .Randy (ugh) said they were taking into consideration past performances. If that was indeed the case how did Nate get cut and that Jimi Hendrix dude who stunk up the place last night get through?

    • duranmom says:

      Michael, can you find Nate and have him on Idology? We all love him, we’d love to hear what happened. I had him pegged for top 20 at least.

  2. It was a better night than last night, but I am still not entirely pumped up about this group of guys. 2 of my favorites in Nate and Micah were eliminated, while people like Charlie and Johnny Keyser are still around. I just feel this group of guys will stay at this rate. I do hope a few more of these guys will step it up though. I am really liking Nick, Devin and Burnell. I think Curtis has a great voice but is just a little too theatrical and over the type. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

    • Ty says:

      I wonder why they are not showing any of keysers solo performances so far? I wonder if he will be unceremoniously cut next round in that 8 guys cut down. He might have had great performances to counterbalance the group, we just don’t know. That said about half the people here would probably not care, they just don’t like him, no matter how good or bad he does. Period. Such embittered creatures, they can hold grudges though.

    • Barbara says:

      I agree Nate and Micah were two of my favorites and some of the others they kept keep me a break, I thought this year was different. The reason for cutting Micah did not make sense he was totally awesome. I am really disappointed.

    • Jerry says:

      Curtis – nice voice but a bit too Jacob Lusky-like for my taste (not to mention his comments in the group .. I like my singers with heart, not that cold. Thought it was ironic he was all “it’s about me, kick out the other guy in my group already” in the group round, then introduces himself in the solo round with “I wanna reach everyone’s hearts” or whatever that exact quote was. Too hypocrital and cold for me. Don’t mind if he goes sooner than later.)

      • Elaine says:

        Totally agree about Curtis. And Nate eliminated? WTF? He wowed me in his audition and in the group round. Where’s the petition for me to sign?

  3. Nick Boddington. Devin Velez.

    That’s all there is to say.

    The only two guys who stand a chance this year. They’re totally setting it up for a girl to win this year, and I certainly don’t mind it.

  4. deb says:

    Do not understand cutting Micah. Had to be the most mystifying move of the episode. Why???

    • Bill says:

      Totally agree! He has such a comfortable way both personality and voice. I am wondering if they’ll have one of those surprise twists where someone eliminated is given a chance to come back. Maybe? Possibly? Nate too … but we really don’t know what his performance was like.

    • Badjuggler says:

      Might have been the stupid Biblical name.

  5. Oh yeah, and since when are “socially awkward teens” in two-year relationships and exchange one-liners and one-two punches with A-listers like it’s nobody’s business? Yes, Charlie Askew is weird and quirky, but I’m calling BS on that whole awkward teen shtick.

    • marie says:

      I thought it was a stroke of brilliance, that intro (and evidently so did Nicki).

    • BarbL says:

      I think you might be on to something, but it’s all about perception–our perception might not be how he actually saw himself.

    • teatime says:

      I thought his intro was a shtick. It was the first time I liked Charlie. But I don’t think he has staying power. He might be one who would do better to come back another season when he is older.

      • Tom22 says:

        I saw it as fun tongue-in-cheek schtick too but I’m noticing more and more people today can pick up on stuff like that … they think people are being rude when they’re being funny (nikki very often) . They sure didn’t get where is was a sign of endearment when san franscisco fands booed Tommy Lasorda when being presented a military honor.

        People don’t remember the word play and jocularity, that presided for so long …. such a huge percentage of performers had vaudville roots… and others just picked up on those around them.

        The “it’s always a girl” wasn’t that Humphrey boggart line or something ?

        I can’t believe people thought he was doing anything more than being funny making up a story !

        If I thought he wasn’t joking and playing a sob story I’d have hated it !

    • The Ween says:

      My daughter has mild Asperger’s, and I recognize a lot of Charlie’s traits as being similar to hers. My daughter is just a *little* different, just enough that you know she is working hard to “be normal,” but can’t quite pull it off. It makes her a really interesting person, and I find Charlie interesting, authentic, and delightful.

    • Amy says:

      Right on that.

      • Amy says:

        oops. This site is wonky..sometimes replies post under the exact comment, sometimes at the end…I meant “Right” to Marin’s comment of “BS on the awkward teen schtick.” I agree…his boldness tonight caught me off guard & was a stroke of Idol genius (read “more BS”) to play it up one way then out comes more personality. They are, after all, building the narrative and drama of the true star …Idol, the tv. show! That said…re: Charlie…yes, quirky and interesting…I still like him and want to see where it goes..

  6. RodMod says:

    Devin. Devin. Devin! And Cortez, Cortez, Cortez! (Among a few others!)

    • RodMod says:

      Oh yeah, I forgot to include Nick! I’m so glad he’s back!

    • Ty says:

      I’m with you on Devin, he seems like the best pure singer. He was a bit heavy on the runs, but they were inside the line of still sounding pleasant, and he does not power belt every note for it’s own sake (looking at Cortez here, and Marvin).

      And speaking of Marvin, THAT is a guy (unlike Keyser whose audience hatred is overblown) who I find sleazy. He was in a group with Joshua ledet last year, and he probably saw his solo performance of Jar of hearts and though “I” can do that too !!!!!!!

      If Mariah and company only had Joshuas rendition to compare it to they would realize it was a pale shadow.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Am I the only one that thinks Cortez Shaw is the male reincarnation of Whitney Houston?

  7. Diane says:

    I thought Micah was flat at times. I like to listen sometimes and not look at them, kinda like the voice, and he was a little off. If you don’t get caught up in the story, he just wasn’t that special.

  8. Vetle says:

    Nate getting cute. *sad*

    Nick Boddington NAAAAILED it. Wow. He was great. I did miss the first three performances. Worth checking out?

  9. MB says:

    I thought this episode was so much better than last night. I was really impressed with Nick Bodington, Charlie Askew, Devin Velez and Cortez Shaw. I was shocked they eliminated Micah Johnson. I thought he was great and worthy of top 40. I wonder if there is more to that story. Out of these guys I think Nick Bodington has a good shot at being in the finals. His voice and tone was incredible and he is my favorite out of the guys.

  10. marie says:

    Nick Boddington and Charlie Askew really impressed me tonight; I heard flashes of greatness in there from both of them (and in young Charlie, also hints of some pretty impressive showmanship too). No one else impressed new much, but I wonder about some of the guts we didn’t see: I’d have enjoyed a two-hour show tonight (sorry, not a Glee fan). Much better show than last night’s. I didn’t miss the Rooms of Doom at all – I applaud this format change. LOVE how you can clearly see Keith and Mariah enjoying certain performances, and Nicki has been a delightful surprise so far. Looking forward to next week!

  11. Teeny Bikini says:

    Sad about Micah. He chose the wrong song. Love Nikki. All of her comments were on point – I started cringing when that dude brought up his height – a.g.a.i.n. I mean really. I loved Nikki’s toughness. It is just one minute. Keep it together for sixty friggin’ seconds. That was good advice. You can’t always expect people to give you second chances – when you get a once in a lifetime chance “work like the rent is due tomorrow. Anyway, Nikki made the show for me. Oh yes, lovin’ the diversity of the cast. It’s about time.

    • marie says:

      Mariah: “JDA, sashay forward…”
      LOVE IT!

    • dan says:

      I didn’t think I would like Nikki, but it was great when she called out Mattheus from the Glee Project and called him out for trying to milk his height. I can’t believe she literally said it. It’s making me want to watch every episode of Idol.

      • Dargi says:

        Thanks goodness I can use my DVR so that I can fast forward every time she makes her rude and inane comments. Many of my friends have stopped watching because of Nicki but I won’t let her ruin the show for me.

        • iamraven07 says:

          SERIOUSLY?!? Nicki Minaj is a revelation! She’s the speaker of truth. She’s the delightful judge I thought would be a disaster. Minaj deserves a salary raise! She’s that awesome!

          • Julie says:

            Isn’t she just! I thought she would be horrendous but she has been open, honest, straight and direct – all that has been missing since Cowell (who turned into a pantomime dame anyway) left. I really, really hope she is like that on the ‘live’ shows and not a massive disappointment like Steven Tyler turned out to be. Really like Keith Urban too, Mariah Carey I’m neither here or there about and Randy, well, what to say – he’s still there (seems to have dropped his cachphrases a little, is this because Keith and Nicki actually give their opinions in in a pretty coherent way?).

        • Tom22 says:

          I know many of these people wouldn’t get things like traditions of a “roast” where friends get up and make fun of a friends traits as an honor to them… probably wouldn’t get Don Rickles one bit. Probably don’t remember Zsa Zsa Gabor who had persona’s that they exaggerated. (well Lady Gaga continues the tradition at least, with Miachel Jackson and Madona in between, who I guess are now considered freaks rather than Entertainers playing a role whenever they’re in public to ….guess what. Entertain!

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        I know. Right?! They finally figured it out. The public “wants” to hear their “real” opinions. Oh darn, I think I’m gonna watch the whole season. I can’t believe I just wrote that… ;)

        • Curly says:

          I cant believe I am saying this either, but I may need to watch the whole season because of Nikki! I really don’t know her music & she is going for most insane appearance, but I so appreciate her blunt honesty. As soon as boys Hollywood days were over, I had a realization that she is the new Simon Cowell. I think her uncomfortable honesty is exactly why many of us liked Simon & what this show needed! They are paying Mariah way too much for all the nothing she provides to the show- she should split her pay with Nikki, since Nikki is earning it.

      • chris says:

        Exactly what I came here to say. I was expecting to dislike Nikki but I am really starting to like her. That pity party comment was awesome.

    • Mark says:

      Micah made me cry. I was shocked he didn’t go through.

  12. Adina says:

    So sad Nate was cut. He was my favorite guy this year, and with no solo at all! Argh!!

  13. deedee says:

    In the battle of Guys With Speech Impediment, I would have gone with Micah over Lazaro any day. Micah is just a better singer. Plus, he’s a good guy with a great attitude, and was a pleasure to watch. I’m stunned they let him go. Maybe he’ll have a Candace Glover-style comeback next season!

  14. Callum says:

    I really liked Nick, Charlie, and Gurpreet. I think that they are each different in their own way, and I really hope they make it to the finals. I think that Paul didn’t measure up to Carrie Underwood, and the fact that he sang her song and didn’t do spectacular might just have him cut. Personally, I can’t stand Curtis partly because he’s over-dramatic when singing. I also didn’t get what made the 3 guys sing “Jar of Hearts.” What suddenly made it so popular?

    • deedee says:

      Jar of Hearts is probably on the list of songs, and since Joshua did it last year and went so far in the competition, it’s a natural choice this year.

      • MB says:

        also Josh Kracik nailed it in the first season of XFactor. It was the first time I heard a guy sing it and it is one of my favorites that I still listen too.

  15. Puster Bosey says:

    Yep, gonna be a girl winner this year. Feel it in my bones. There are some above average male singers, but there will be 2-3 ladies who will blow them out of the water. I’m betting on Janelle Arthur, a TN lassie who reminds me sometimes of LeeAnn Rimes when she was younger, and sometimes of Carrie Underwood. She has the voice, the personna, and the experience having performed at the Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge TN for 8 yrs. Actually saw her there when she was a few years younger and she even impressed me then. This may work in her favor as I think AI needs another Carrie Underwood. Another good possibility will be Kree Harrison, and she is already in Nashville. Very talented with lots of experience.

  16. darcy's evil twin says:

    I haven’t watched the DVR yet (had a meeting tonight) but THREE freakin’ contestants sang “Jar of Hearts”?
    Wow. Can’t wait to watch my recording.

  17. Dan says:

    Surprised Nate was sent home. They should have at least showed us why he was sent home. I am PRAYING hot tub guy gets eliminated. I can’t wait for next week. Was Kez Ban in her pajamas telling someone to get out in the short clip they showed for next week shows. That is a bad sign… I AM OBSESSED WITH AZURE SKY!

  18. Trouty Mouth says:

    I have a theory that Matheus wasn’t allowed to mention TGP because it was a show on another network. Two out of four judges (Nicki and Mariah) have had songs covered on Glee, and the other two probably haven’t been living under a rock and are most likely aware that there was a show called The Glee Project.

    • The Beach says:

      Did I hear wrong or did Matteus say he was afraid because this was the first time he had ever sung with a band? If so, not true. He sang with one several times on The Glee Project.

      • Trouty Mouth says:

        Yeah, because he was in the bottom a couple times and had to sing for Ryan and they always have a band when they sing for Ryan.

      • Love The Voice says:

        I thought the exact same thing! Unless the band on The Glee Project isn’t really playing….

        • Trouty Mouth says:

          Matheus posted something on his Facebook about that. Apparently the Glee Project band isn’t real.

          • Tom22 says:

            LOL that is very funny. The whole thing was comic as in a Melodrama.. whining, grabbing his gutt.. may as well have feinted and had Harpo Marx come and wave air in his face with a hanky to revive him.

            There’s a joke in there somewhere about the Karoeke machine on glee .

  19. J says:

    So happy about Charlie Askew. Definitely a fan of his.

    As for Micah and Nate leaving: WHY?! These two were sooo good. Ugh.

  20. EVPandHC says:

    Micah is this year’s Candice. :(

    • bbl says:

      Well, in a way. I think the difference is that this year we have at least 2 artists with a similar sound as Micah (or that could pull it off), while Candice didn’t really have any contemporaries (I don’t remember any other black soul singers besides Adam Brock).

  21. EVPandHC says:

    And once again, Michael Slezak, you show that you are never willing to give teenagers a chance. Never. Not even Charlie Askew who was amazing.

    • American Idolit says:

      Clearly you don’t know who Alison Iraheta is dumby. That was one teenage horse Slezak backed the whole time.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        You get a Made Me Laugh. :-)

      • EVPandHC says:

        Oops. I forgot about her.

      • Eli says:

        Actually he didn’t until the voting rounds began, that’s when he finally noticed her.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Which was also when I noticed her – it was when she sang Michael Jackson’s “Give in to Me”. I still remember watching the program on DVR – my husband came downstairs and I told him he HAD to watch this girl!

        • Actually he was all in her corner when she did Alone, which was pretty much the first time any of us saw her. He was also a big fan of Skylar last year, also a teenager. Fan of Fantasia who was 19 when she won, as well as Haley who was 19 when she was on the show as well. EVPandHC you need to study your Idology history.

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            Plus he seemed to support Jessica last season. He still gave constructive criticism to her, but he did that with everyone.

      • Tom22 says:

        How can a teenager sing about sex and love lost ? Shouldn’t let them sing songs about those things (which is about 95% of the music book) until they’ve had a handful or relationships.

        Nothing sicker than a 13 year old on X-factor singing sultry songs.

        Songs have meaning.. a song with nice notes and no getting behind the role..and making it seem like the words are the intimate thoughts of the performer…

        its worthless… its not artistry.. its just an excersise in learning how to sing. How can it be believable.. well unless you’re also young and don’t know those things from a perspective of an adult. They might sound like you imagine a 25 year old or 35 year old writing the song felt.

        I will say though, that a kid can twist the songs to meaning and sing them in a way that is more applicable to them. Jordin Sparks sung the song “i who have nothing” as an innocent …. in a way that didn’t really need to imply a love triangle.

        If the teens on the shows pretended that the passion was for ice-cream or something instead of sex which they hadn’t had any or much of… it might be easier to get behind them than if they were trying to sound like adults singing about sex or long time love lost etc. (the heartbreak of a 16 year old might be very real, but it is also very different than the heartbreak of 24 year old … not in pain but in the words and thoughts involved in the parts you miss.

  22. bbl says:

    Nick and Cortez were standouts for me, I can picture either of them going far this season. I was rather surprised with Charlie, I didn’t think he had that performance in him. Nicki was in a mood, and it’s so refreshing to hear one of these judges not only say the kinds of things I think and read on blogs like this, but be believably sincere about it. Kudos, bring on the girls!

  23. deedee says:

    Can we hope that Nigel changes his mind about the Wildcard, and at the last minute brings back Nate and Micah?

  24. Billy says:

    I am sooooooo glad matheus was eliminated because the moment he said he never sang with a live band I almost turned off my tv…I’m kinda fine them not disclosing that he was on another show but outright lying is ridiculous…the viewing public is not stupid we’ve seen him singing with a live band…I would not have continued watching if they kept him…

  25. Adrian Arciniega says:

    Where did Devin Velez come from? He came out of nowhere, a la Joshua Ledet. Hmmmmmm…

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      And Jessica Sanchez.
      People have been posting comments about Devin Velez – I thought I’d missed him. But he just hasn’t been on the show!

      • Timmah says:

        Not sold on Devin yet. Too much melisma for my taste.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          And having now heard him sing, I agree.

        • marie says:

          Exactly. As he was singing, I was grumbling, Just sing the melody, kid, they wrote it for a reason…

          I am enjoying Mariah as a judge, but hope the presence of the Queen of Melisma does not signal a season’s worth of melodies twisted and tortured into unnatural shapes…

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Some songs lend themselves to changes in the melody more so than others. “Jar of Hearts” and “It’s a Wonderful World” are a couple of songs that are so beautiful in their simplicity and those melodies should be left alone, IMO.

          • The Beach says:

            You said just what I was thinking but said it so much better than I could have.

        • BarbL says:

          Singers will do that to cover bum notes. Whenever I hear a lot of melisma, I figure the person is having difficulty singing on pitch.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            “Singers will do that to cover bum notes. Whenever I hear a lot of melisma, I figure the person is having difficulty singing on pitch.”

            That’s an assumption, which will sometimes be accurate, but other times not.

            The first definition of melisma is “a group of notes or tones sung on one syllable in plainsong.” Listen to Handel’s Messiah: it’s full of melismas, although not necessarily in plainsong.

        • zaza says:

          I’ve never been a fan of singers who do runs on every single word and there’s something…I don’t know…smug about Devon.

  26. Chuck says:

    Mariah can’t seem to process the idea that a black singer might not want to put “runs” into everything, which is why she was so dismissive of Micah. If you’re not turning one syllable into 10, you’re not really singing, according to her.

  27. teatime says:

    During the show it was confusing that they were reviewing and cutting guys one group at a time. They needed to get down to exactly 20. How do they know how many to cut from each group to end up with exactly 20 at the end of the day? Then it was revealed that 28 were still standing and that number would get cut to 20 next Thursday. So I guess girls’ week includes the girls performing a cappella, and then in groups, and then individually again and getting cut to 20. . . plus the 28 guys getting cut to 20.

  28. djed says:

    Why wasn’t it ever mentioned that Matheus (sp?) was on The Glee Project and performed with a live band on that show?

  29. Timmah says:

    I hate that Micah and Nate got cut while Johnny Keyser is still around. I guess the show needs its villains.

    • The Beach says:

      Didn’t they pronounce his name like “Kaisar” last year but this year it’s like “Keezer”?

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Yes. I commented on the change in pronunciation previously. He’s also gone all West Hollywood with that hair!

        • Owen says:

          i’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is something of the desperate meth addicted hooker to Johnny Keyser…

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Hmm…what’s interesting is he did NOT look like that last season. I thought he was far more attractive last season and I actually liked his singing. I recall we were surprised when he was cut.

    • Ty says:

      And an audience needs its haters who can’t ever let something go, they’ll take the hate all the way to the grave.

  30. teatime says:

    I am absolutely loving Nikki as a judge. I have learned that I need to wait for the live shows to form a solid opinion of a judge. But so far she is fantastic. When I disagree with her opinion I at least understand where she is coming from. I can see her becoming the most ‘important’ judge on this show going forward, similar to how Simon for years was the judge who got the most media attention and who had the most gravitas on the panel.

  31. Tahoe Mike says:

    I was surprised to see Micha go.
    I was glad to see this years P2 go, now I will not be forced to type that name.
    Am I the only one who detects the putrid whiff of Lusky Stank in the air whenever Curtis Finch Jr. starts singing?
    It is time for Lazaro Arbos to go, he is going to end up taking a spot someone else deserves more.
    I am looking forward to seeing the girls! I am still not sure what Idols hang up with having an even number of each sex is about. If the ten best singers they could find in America were all women, then so be it.

    • Callum says:

      Wait, who do you mean by this year’s Phillip?

      • Tahoe Mike says:

        He whose initials were P.P. and whose name I refuse to type. Not a comparison of personalities, voices, or styles, though I didn’t like either of them.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Oh, Papa Peachez. Yes, thank goodness he got sent packing.
          I couldn’t figure out who you were talking about with the P2 reference – I’m not sure there are any guys this season that have enough testosterone to rate a comparison to Phillip Phillips!

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            I actually liked everything about PP (mostly because he reminds me of my friend, but also because he’s apparently friends with Skylar Laine) except the voice.

  32. The Beach says:

    There were so many that made the cut that I have no idea who they are or how well they sang. I would like to have heard that young kid with the shaggy blond hair and the big glasses and I’m dying to know what and how well the drag queen (JDA?) performed that got him through.

  33. Lois Benton says:

    Charlie Askew gave the best performance of this show. Go figure. He’s not the best singer, but he’s got the Joshua Ledet factor: He just lives the song. He’s got charisma. He;s got a future in show business. Nick Boddington has a beautiful, beautiful voice. I was annoyed that he got cut last year, in my opinion, just because he has the face of a character actor. (If he can act, he might want to give acting a shot.) The rest of the show featured some really fine voices, including Micah Johnson, although I understand why he was cut. I think he was off-key.

    • Timmah says:

      I love that Charlie understands it’s not just about singing. It’s not about having the best voice, it’s about communicating who you are and where you’ve been through your music and your own unique personality. The successful music artists know that, and I think Charlie does too.

  34. Guitar Blue says:

    Charlie and Nick were the ones who stood-out as having some marketability as singer/performers. Many of the rest were just mediocre or bawlbags that were there for fill anyway. Idol was the #1 show for the night on Wednesday, but still fell about 15% from last week. Maybe the girls can bring a little natural drama and excitement to the show next week.

  35. darcy the slutty twin says:

    OMG Curtis Finch grates on my nerves! What a ham! Johnny Keyser is a douche and does not serve his purpose at all in this show, which is to take off his shirt. Speaking of taking off shirts, how about it, Keith Urban?! Disappointed about Nate Tao leaving. I was starting to have nerdy Asian Guy fantasies about him, mostly involving a tie, eyeglasses and nothing else!

  36. Ty says:

    I just want to say something about Nicki.

    THANK YOU NICKI !!!!!!!! She has really earned her keep, when she told the little guy not to turn this into a pity party, it was so spot on and on the minds of large swaths of the audience. It was Sooooooo refreshing to have someone FINALLY point that out. She was a good addition.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes! And having Keith remind the crying men that this is a tough business and you have to be able to accept that was great too. Watching some of these guys blow up after being sent home was a view into how unprepared they were for the challenge!
      What is with Mariah sitting sideways? Has someone told her that she looks better in profile?

    • Chrissie Kirk says:

      Yep, Nicki might hurt your eyes sometimes with how she looks but what she says is so understandable and spot on that I gotta love her for her judging capabilities and I do. She says what needs to be said and I do not know why viewers are upset with that. Mariah is riding that Lunesta butterfly (side saddle?) that is for sure and reminds me just a tiny bit of floating on a different level Paula. And omg all those big cry babies last night! I kept yelling at the flat screen, “Man up, man up for the luv of god, man up!”

      • Amy says:

        On the Nicki note…I think she just may be Idol’s new (but totally in her own style) Simon. She’s blunt not nasty, and tapped into the raw reality, pulls no punches…shoots from her gut which seems to be on par with a good part of us watching; her instincts seem good. I don’t always agree with her (I did not see “Genius” in P.P….lawdy, NO.) …but I find myself not alone in that I expected her to be a joke and to dislike her…and instead, I actually like watching her & she is often the most articulate and “spot on.”

    • Bill says:

      I also loved the spirit of Nicki’s comment for Matheus. BUT I disagree that he was looking for pity or trying to gain points from his back story. I felt his comment about his height was a way to lighten his own insecurity. Kind of bringing levity to something he is obviously very conscious of. But in either case, pity or insecurity, the spirit of Nicki’s comment was “let go. just be you. be great!” While I am not sure about the song choice, I feel he would have fared better if he wasn’t trying to overcompensate for an insecurity that Nicki was spot on about him needing to vanquish.

  37. darcy's evil twin says:

    Couldn’t sleep so I watched my recording of Idol in the middle of the night. Wow, I was a bit underwhelmed by the girls…oh WAIT, those were GUYS! Well you could have fooled me. More than one of them had an extra “X” chromosome floating around in there someplace.
    I enjoyed Nick Boddington and – surprisingly – Charlie Askew. If I am forced to choose a third contestant I liked I guess it would be Devin Velez but I haven’t heard enough from him so I’m not totally sold. Good grief, where are the men that act and sound like…uh, men? This really makes me miss David Cook, Casey James, and even Baby Lock Them Doors Scotty McCreery. Heck, most of tonight’s contestants even chose songs recorded by women.
    Micah Johnson chose a beautiful song – listen to Carrie Underwood sing “I Told You So” and you’ll be blown away (no pun intended). His phrasing simply wasn’t good and it was emotionally flat. Don’t chose a country ballad if you aren’t a country singer. And speaking of phrasing, the guy that sang “Landslide” was awful. I guess he’s getting by on his looks.
    I’m not sure why Burnell Taylor was sent through. The Turbinator was a disappointment (what little I heard of JAW-jah On My Mind). It would have been interesting to hear Nate Tao and Johnny Keyser sing. And I wonder what JDA sang…maybe Lefty Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil”? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    • zaza says:

      It was kind of amazing how many contestants last night sounded like girls, cried like girls, acted like girls and/or dressed like girls. Can we get ONE guy without a falsetto? Even if one of these guys wins, it seems like Nigel will still have his “girl” winner!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        You get a Made Me Laugh. :-)
        I told my husband today they must be so desperate for a female winner they are even picking guys that sound and act like girls! Initially I didn’t like Gabe Brown one bit but I miss him already.
        I’ve frequently read articles about how our public education system is turning boys into girls because girls are easier to manage. I kind of thought I needed my tin foil hat after reading those articles but now I’m beginning to wonder.

  38. Wesley says:

    Burnell has always been my favorite guy and glad he sounded great tonight and not uncomfortable like the group rounds. Cortez Shaw is also great and I’m so glad I got to hear his solo. Jimmy Smith has impressed me since the auditions and has seemed to have been flying under the radar, he needs to go far!

  39. Jessica says:

    I was shocked about Micah. Finally a calm relaxed guy who just sang a song and cut. Someone else-such as that rude over dramatized/theatrical Curtis could of been gone and it would of made more sense. No details about Nick was just stupid. Nicki had some great things to say. Of course still love Keith best as judge. Can we chuck out Mariah now? 4 judges aren’t needed for live shows. Also for a bunch of guys that should be professional there were a lot of tears. Really too many tears- maybe without girls, a room full of guys get wimpy or something.

  40. marygrace says:

    Cannot believe I am saying this but I am enjoying Nicki M.

  41. Blinged Up says:

    I had one thought when the show ended last night, and it was exactly the words you wrote about Nate. He was one of my favorites — although I’ve learned it’s just hopeless to pick favorites at this point. But really — what the hell?
    Also, I am shocked — SHOCKED — at how much I am enjoying Nikki Minaj as a judge. Everything worth saying this entire season so far, from the judges, has been from Nikki or Keith. Wow — wasn’t expecting that!
    If I had to pick a favorite right now, (considering also that Nate is gone) it would be Burnell.

  42. Bluesman3535 says:

    The usual mix of good bad and ugly. What’s making idol different and better this year is the judges. Thought I’d not like Nikki, she cracks me up though. Like how Keith laughs mid-song when he likes a performance. Mariah…more entertaining than Jlo, thank you Nikki! Randy’s more lucid too, must be peer pressure.

    Like separating boy and girls. Not sure about idol picking Hollywood week teams, guessits better – more time for singing. Last yearhollywood week was worst episode I history of idol when an episode with virtually no singing aired

  43. Callum says:

    Yeah, I wish we’d seen how Sanni, Gabe, and Nate got kicked off. Those were three of my favorites! They don’t have to even show Randy, he’s not important, the only reason he’s there so they wouldn’t have 2 girls and one guy. They can also cut showing a clip of their audition this year. It’s been less then a month. Anyways, can’t wait for next week. Isabelle possibly singing “Undone” by Hakey Reinhart, Zoanette playing the drums, and of course the usual drama by the girls!

  44. sandi says:

    Loved both Nikki and Keith’s critiques. Mariah couldn’t be more boring. She acts like she is half asleep. Randy is Randy,

  45. darcy the slurry twin says:

    Did any straight man make it ?

  46. Gale says:

    There is something refreshing about Nikki’s critiques. I always got the feeling from JLo and Steven Tyler that they were afraid to say anything remotely controversial because it would hurt their careers. Can’t say that about Miss Minaj. I have to disagree with you Michael about Devin Velez having the X factor. Dude can sing for sure, but I think looks and charm need to be in the mix as well. Same thing for Nick Boddington.

  47. ande says:

    My favorites are:
    lazaro arbos – the latin studderer
    devin velez – the christian
    jimmy smith – the blue eyed/ blond haired country signer
    nick boddington – the bald guy
    burnell taylor – the louisina guy
    I hope all 5 of them make it.

    • Me says:

      The fact that he’s a Christian is a little jarring. I just hope that he doesn’t turn out to be Colton Dixon 2.0 and inspire an incredibly rude, bigoted fandom like the Messengers.

  48. Katie says:

    The fact that Charlie Askew and the Jolly kid got through and Micah and Nate (though we didn’t see Nate sing) didn’t sit well with me.

    I get that in Charlie you get a quirky kid, but his Somebody That I Used to Know was flat out unpleasant, while Micah sounded divine. Micah is the ONLY male contestant who made me smile both while he was giving interviews and singing. I thought his voice was smooth and special, which is more than I could say about some people last night.

    • Jessica says:

      I had that moment listening to him that just made me smile. It was too good to not let some other person go. The only thing i thought was that they really want a girl winner this year-bad enough to let good male singers go.

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      Everything about Charlie is off-putting. The whole “quirky” guy thing got old 2 seasons ago, and his voice is grating.

  49. jazzy says:

    Slezak, you have an assignment from your loyal readers. Find out from your Uncle Nig, WTF happened to Nate. They need to prove to us that his performance was worse than the other 48. That was just wrong.

  50. zaza says:

    I have to say…when they were all assembled on stage at the end of the show, that was a motley looking crew! If I were a teen girl, I would not like a Tumblr photo of any of them!