American Idol Vegas Round (Part 2) Recap: Men of a Certain Range [Updated]

idol season 12 top 40 guysIf American Idol wanted to find its Season 12 winner via personal ad, the copy would probably read something like this:

TOP-RATED REALITY SHOW ISO BIG-VOICED DIVA | Been dreaming for six years now about discovering America’s next great female artist — though not the “current” type that looks and sounds like she spontaneously sprouted from the dark, moist corner of a dumpster. (Sorry, wannabe Ke$has!) Turn-ons include girl-next-door charm, working-class backstories and the ability to crush a glory note like The Rock slamming his fist down on an empty Diet Coke can. Turn-offs include pale-skinned males who’ve ever plucked a guitar, bass, violin, eyebrow or even a chicken. In fact, if you’ve got a penis, go to The Voice. Go directly to The Voice. Do not pass the SwayBot pit and do not collect 200,000 text votes. Willingness to share our affections with 11 prior winners a must. Reply to

And yet while The House That Kelly Clarkson Built continues the quest to find itself a new queen, the situation hasn’t gotten desperate enough for Fox to make Season 12 a ladies-only kinda party. To which I say thank goodness.

Oh, sure, the last five seasons of Idol have found me rooting for Carly Smithson, Allison Iraheta, Crystal Bowersox, Haley Reinhart/Pia Toscano and Skylar Laine, but would I really want my iPod to exist without the sounds of David Cook, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Joshua Ledet, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai, Phillip Phillips, Michael Johns, Paul McDonald and Stefano Langone? (Don’t try to pretend “I’m on a Roll” isn’t one of your guilty pleasures, too.)

At the end of the day, Idol is all about giving power to the people, letting the American public overthrow the major-label cabal that gives us musical gruel like that Spears duet and tries to convince us it’s chocolate mousse. So bring on the guys — all 20 of ’em — and let them throw it down, I say! (And, hey, it’s not as if rootsy blues rocker Phillip Phillips, earnest country kid Scotty McCreery and pop-rock troubadour Kris Allen are really anything alike — aside from their Y chromosomes and pale complexions.)

Tonight’s two-hour Idol installment — which whittled the first 10 Season 12 men down to five (the remaining 10 will perform next Thursday and also be cut by half) — was weird and wonderful (and yet also totally confounding), with Nicki Minaj threatening to marry one contestant’s vibrato, make babies with another, and cradle a third male contestant in her arms (sibling-style).

Look, I understand that Idol is a TV show as much as it is a singing competition. I accept that successful musical artists need to have personality and personal charisma as much as they need to hit their notes. And I love that Nicki and Keith (and even Mariah and — heaven help me — Randy) were all able to articulate their myriad reasons for digging some singers while not responding to others tonight. I just get a little skittish when the cuteness of contestants’ faces or the adorkableness of their shtick starts trumping other folks who hands-down outsang ’em, ya know what I mean?

Anyhow, let’s cut to the set list for the second “sudden death” episode of Idol‘s 12th season — along with my letter grades for every performance:

Paul Jolley: Keith Urban’s “Tonight I Want to Cry” | Nicki’s mind might work in mysterious ways, but her ear continues to be a righteous organ. I loved how she picked up on the way Paul’s tone was “a little sweeter to the ear” in earlier rounds than it was when he took the Vegas stage with the big Idol band. Indeed, there was a strained quality — weepy, even? — whenever Paul reached for a glory note on “Tonight I Want to Cry,” and perhaps that’s what had Jimmy Iovine describing the performance as too theatrical. I know some readers have tabbed Paul as Season 12’s great male hope, but to me, his performances still read too amateurish, too eleventh-place. Remember, when the power moves to the hands of speed-dialing crazies, it’s better to be fantastic or catastrophic than it is to be just aiight. Grade: B-

Johnny Keyser: Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” | “Get ready for some blue-eyed soul, America!” Johnny declared in his intro package, his seduction techniques as cheesy as a block of Wisconsin cheddar. Yet while the Season 11 Vegas evictee had been pretty underwhelming in his earlier rounds this season, I thought that after an opening verse that was less dynamic than your average GPS robo-dude, the latter two-thirds of “I Wont Give Up” were in tune and reasonably pleasing. The weird side-part in Johnny’s hair was a little too Ken Doll to have been anything other than an act of sabotage by the Idol styling team (as directed by Uncle Nigel), and he seemed to struggle a little to keep up with the rapid-fire cadence of the bridge, but as Keith declared when Mr. Keyser had finished, “That was…good?!” Grade: B-

J’DA: Adele’s “Rumour Has It” | “I applaud your originality,” said Keith to the contestant who rocked more makeup and glitter than your average RuPaul’s Drag Race contender, and yet also sported enough stubble to be deemed acceptable by The CW’s standards and practices department. J’DA’s vocal wasn’t terrible, though — especially when you add dramatic floor writhing and post-performance snap-tasticness to the equation. Sure, J’DA probably should’ve avoided covering one of the most universally lauded voices of his generation, but if I had to choose one of the night’s “spectacle” performers to advance, I’d have chosen him over Charlie. (Uh-huh, I went there.) Grade: B-

Kevin Harris: Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” | It was strange to hear Randy had bestowed the nickname “Buttah” on Kevin, considering the appealing graininess he displayed on the verses of Bryan Adams’ hokey soundtrack hits. Yet while Nicki was spot-on that Kevin was the first male contestant to offer up a Grade A vocal in Vegas, she also pointed out his fatal flaw: A low-key personality that might not “pop” with the at-home audience. Then again, to be fair, Kevin didn’t exactly have time to build a connection with the Idoloonie Nation in the 3.6 seconds of screentime he scored prior to Vegas. But methinks his real fatal flaw was the excessive restraint he used while sticking mostly to the song’s well-worn melody. Mariah huffed that she didn’t care for the song choice when she knew Kevin was capable of “taking a note and bringing it 56 places.” Which made me want to scream, “Oh grrrrrl, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.” [Insert your own joke about Mariah’s role in getting Glitter to the big screen here.] Grade: B

Chris Watson: Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” | Is it wrong that I was so distracted by Chris’ giant headkerchief with monstrous side bow that I had to use the “seven-second jumpback” button on my DVR to start the performance over again? I mean, that thing had enough fabric to dress every model in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue — with a little left over to make a set of two rhinestone-studded dishtowels and a tea cosy. Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, Chris’s vocal. I mean, the guy has an above-average set of pipes, but his arrangement of Otis Redding’s R&B classic was as vacant as the Bates Motel after a special visit from “Mother.” Nicki’s whole bit about heating pain and soul and struggle in Chris’ voice left me a little confounded — unless she was trying to say dude was giving off a cruise-ship kinda vibe and then got sidetracked by visions of that stranded Carnival Triumph and its mortifying bathroom situaysh. Grade: C+

Devin Velez: Beyoncé’s “Listen” | Of all the guys who performed this week, I’d say Devin has the best shot at making it to the finale, because A) he’s got a really beautiful singing voice; B) he’s brimming with quiet magnetism; and C) his main rival Curtis continues to come across as a massive tool. To my ears, “Listen” was maybe 10 percent too big and too sophisticated a number for Devin (at this stage of his career). The kid nailed every note, but he lacked just a little of the anger and budding empowerment Beyoncé uses to punctuate certain phrases in the original Dreamgirls version. Nevertheless, Devin’s seamless transition from English to Spanish was a deft touch, and brought out yet another astute, unflinching bit of feedback from Nicki: Devin’s a nice-looking kid with warmth in his eyes, and his bilingual delivery makes him more marketable. Nothin’ wrong with that! Grade: B+

Elijah Liu: Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon” | Like Devin, Elijah is also a nice-looking kid with warmth in his eyes, but I’m going to end the comparisons there before my computer CTRL+ALT+DELs itself in protest. You see, my trusty laptop was in the room for Elijah’s Bruno Mars cover, and we agreed it had all the heft and substance of a store-brand marshmallow. The kid’s falsetto was barely audible over the Idol background singers, the entire section of “ahhh-ahhhs” was unquestionably flat, and there was a juvenile quality to his tone and phrasing that made me certain he’d be the first singer cut from the Top 10. But nope, quite the opposite happened. “You look like a freakin’ pop star,” contributed Keith. “So relevant and now.” Nicki — daring/desiring to be different — declared that she’d sign Elijah to a major-label deal today, on account of his sweet face and general marketability. “I like that you’re Mexican and Chinese,” added Mariah, “that’s a great combination.” (Good thing Elijah’s parents had the foresight to procreate in a way that appeals to Ms. Carey; she should dedicate “We Belong Together” to them at her next concert.) Only Randy made sense (kinda), lamenting the lack of “moments” in the vocal. And when I have to type the words “Randy made sense” (in that order), it’s time to wrap up the paragraph and consider a pint glass full of gin. Grade: C-

Charlie Askew: Elton John’s “Rocket Man” | Question: Were the judges actually being serious with their feedback about Charlie’s “fearlessness” and originality? Because what I saw was a teenage boy with visibly shaking hands stumbling his way through an Elton John classic and hitting maybe 60 percent of his notes in the process. When Charlie finally got off his knees and stood, his vocal improved, but then he went in for some ad-libs that kerplunked with the awkwardness of a giraffe collapsing on a skating rink. If that wasn’t painful enough, we then had to put up with Charlie “cutely” interrupting the judges and firing up the audience, the better to turn critique time into a victory lap. (Note, he really didn’t want to hear Randy’s astute assessment that “it was a bit stage school” and that apparently his fellow panelists just wanted to forget the quality of singing and make it all about the performances.) Okay, so Charlie had scored a big victory for weirdness in front of 17 million viewers. He’s just a kid! He was just having a quirky-good time! But it’s not going to be so cute in three or four weeks’ time when the ladies of The View and The Talk and half of the country are asking “Who the hell is voting for Charlie Askew and why is he lasting over contestants with better voices?!” I’ve felt it since Charlie’s audition: He’s got a sweet, unique tone to his voice, but I don’t think he’s ready for this jelly. Ready or not, though, here he comes. Grade: C-

Jimmy Smith: Radney Foster’s “Raining on Sunday” | I’m pretty sure Jimmy was just under the melody from the very start of his performance to the bitter end. I’d write more about the whole sad spectacle, but every time I try to recall the details, the Lunesta butterfly tempts me with her siren call, “Sleep, my child, sleep!” Grade: C

Curtis Finch, Jr.: Luther Vandross’ version of “Superstar” | I know Curtis is going to draw comparisons to Season 10’s Jacob Lusk and Season 11’s Joshua Ledet because he’s a flashy black guy with roots in Gospel music, but I say “Bzzzt!” to that. To me, Curtis has got a slicker, more ’70s soulster vibe than those fellas: Plus, he’s more of a stylized, intellectual vocalist than someone who’s singing directly from the gut. Take that falsetto run near the end of the performance: You can’t tell me Curtis hadn’t planned exactly where to insert it, and hadn’t practiced 100 times or more exactly how he was going to deliver it. But that’s not saying I didn’t enjoy the old-fashioned Vegas-iness of Curtis’ cover. I mean, the dude is really good, and he knows hot to transport you to a certain time and space. It’s just his personality that’s gonna do him in long before we’ve boiled the Season 12 soup down to the Top 5. I can’t be the only one who watches Curtis on stage and sees him thinking, “I’m good…I know I’m good…but I’m gonna pretend I don’t know how good I am…even though every facial expression and movement I make tells you that I know I’m good — maybe even better than I actually am.” Props to Nicki, then, for telling the guy to quit the humble act. “You know damn well you’re goin’ thru!” Amen, Sister Minaj! Grade: A-

Put through to the Top 20 by the judges: Curtis, Elijah, Paul, Charlie, Devin
Eliminated by the judges: Jimmy, Kevin, JDA, Chris, Johnny

Favorite Ridiculous Moments
* Mariah saying she agreed with Randy about Paul Jolley’s performance, then adding she felt a little differently than “other people on the panel.” Is it possible she can make it to May without uttering the word “Nicki” (AKA she whom the lamb shall not name?).

* Randy critiquing Johnny Keyser with this gem: “For me, it felt a little bit kind of just an okay performance, for me.” Well spoken as always, Dawg!

* Keith howling “Baby?!” and Nicki roaring with laughter after Randy used the word to start his critique for Chris Watson.

* The absurd theater that was the Tie-Break. I mean, the judges called in Jimmy Iovine to break some kind of mythical tie, but only presented him with one contestant: Paul Jolley. Without a second singer in the mix, Jimmy wasn’t breaking any tie at all? I mean, he didn’t know if the judges had settled on a Top 4 and were debating between Paul and Devin or Paul and Johnny or Paul and Charlie or Paul and Chris? I’d have had more respect if each of the judges had selected their own favorite from the pool of 10 to advance, then called Nigel Lythgoe out from behind the wings and said, “Okay, Overlord, tell us which one you need to round out the cast!”

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of the first half of the American Idol Top 20 guys? What did you think of the judges’ feedback in a live setting and how did you feel about their decisions? Who was your favorite? Did Kevin get robbed? 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. Sam says:

    I like that Charlie got through. Since my dear Papa Peachez was ripped from me, I need a good weird pale waify looking kid to do something different.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      His vocal was undoubtably shaky tonight, but I do find Charlie endearing, maybe because I too am socially awkward and have a lot of weird friends like him. I think his slogan ought to be “Shun the Non-Believer,” like Charlie the Unicorn (look it up on YouTube). He is a unique unicorn that many people don’t believe in.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Charlie gave the performance I enjoyed most tonight, and I say that knowing his vocal was far from perfect. He was such a strange mix of nervous and confident, his voice twittering unexpectedly one moment and then swerving into an exciting run the next. And he did have a couple of rock star-ish moves I appreciated. He was memorable, and I’ll take that over some of the other guys tonight.
      Having said that, his backtalk afterward was irritating, and I doubt he’s going to get good enough fast enough to make it for the long haul. He’s definitely someone who should have been given another year to germinate, so he and Shubha Vedula could have come back to rock our worlds for Idol S13. Oh, well. At least he’ll probably entertain me a couple of times before being cut.

    • The Beach says:

      I’m sorry but weird and wacky only go so far unless you have the vocal chops to back it up.

    • Tom22 says:

      I thought Charlies performance was on pitch.. I mean, I don’t have a perfect ear but I felt like he was hitting the notes he was trying to hit.

      His voice was a bit thin.. not quite enough for the song.. but then I went and listened to Elton Johns original album recording of that and EJ had sung it in a much more simple way than the power ballad I hear in my mind.

      Anyway.. I liked it. I would have only sent three through. Charlie, Devin, and ? wait.. …guess only those too but I think I can enjoy Elijah singing .. he was personable enough and had a nice enough voice at places that I don’t mind hearing him again.. I dodn’t really want to ssee the others again.. especially Curtis who’s sort of not as charming as he things he is and not really loving the world around him but a bit bitter about things. It comes across in his interpretation.. “love” just reads hollow to me when it comes out of his mouth. even with my eyes closed.

      Anyway.. always room for differences in opinion.

    • Mel says:

      I miss Papa Peachez. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Thank God Papa Peachez was sent packing because he probably would have ended up in the Top 10 as well the way this season is going!

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      Oh hi Nicki Minaj, you look amazing on TV and I love your work.

  2. It felt like almost every guy up there was told that there vocals were off, but they were a nice guy and very personable or entertaining. I hate agreeing with Randy, but this show, opposed to X Factor, is about the vocal, and only Devin and Curtis brought that tonight. It was a struggle to pull out 5 great guys tonight. Paul, Charlie and Elijah are good, but should they be one of the remaining Top 10 guys? Doubt it. The talent of guys just isn’t deep enough, so I guess they get lucky. Pretty boring episode tonight.
    -Also, I think Charlie’s shtick is gonna get old real fast.

    • tim says:

      Ummm, its already gotten old — could not stand the talking back to the judges like they were having a conversation and hated how he just got the audience going.

      • pylvrym says:


      • Leah says:

        Now, I do not wish to offend anyone, but I honestly believe that Charlie most likely has some form of Autism that causes him to do things that, on national television, are not “socially acceptable,” like interrupting the judges. He behaves a lot like most of the kids I know that are Autistic. Granted, I do not want him to make it all the way to the end at the expense of Devin, Candice, or any of my other favorites. However, I find that it is easiest to simply let Charlie be Charlie, and instead of cringing every time he does something irritating, just say “Oh, Charlie. You really are something.”

        • Trouty Mouth says:

          Please don’t use your own diagnosis of Charlie to justify his on-stage behaviour. I myself have autism and I don’t use it as an excuse.

          • Count Boozy von Drunkaton. says:

            Aside from their very unprofessional diagnosis of Charlie, I think they have a point. Also, just because you don’t justify your behavior with autism doesn’t mean that other people don’t do it for you. “Oh, don’t mind Trouty Mouth. Trouty Mouth is autistic.”

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Yeah, I’m literally sick to my stomach to say it but Randy was the only judge making sense most of the time tonight (Mariah to a lesser degree). Ugh, man can’t believe I had to say that. Bah.

      • The Beach says:

        I feel your pain. I can’t believe I actually agreed a lot with Randy Jackson both last night and tonight. I’m looking up because I’m sure the sky is falling.

      • WendyT says:

        Yes! How weird it felt to agree with Randy most of the night, but I did.

      • Chris says:

        Agreeing with Randy was the most upsetting thing about last night’s show so I’m glad I wasn’t the only one. Interestingly, if you go by Randy’s comments, there wouldn’t have been five singers selected because he didn’t like that many and neither did I. There were at least two ladies who went home Wednesday who were better than most of the guys.

      • Joline says:

        Randy is the only one who has been around and seen it all. Remember watching the first season of Idol (or any singing competition)? You were shocked at how great everybody was! So much undiscovered talent out there! Now, over the years, and five reality shows later, Randy knows that the bar needs to be at the highest level for these kids to succeed in the real world. Nicki, Keith and Mariah probably never followed these types of competition series before and don’t know most of these singers are a dime a dozen.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Interesting observation, Joline. thanks!

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          I could buy that only how to explain his ‘judging’ the past two seasons then?
          Was this the real Randy back and the past two seasons were just him agreeing to sell out and be saddled up with scripts? Or vice-versa and they finally scripted him or they changed the script for him (something about the way he laughed and rolled his eyes whenever Undone was mentioned last week makes me wonder)? Was it just a freak planetary alignment for last night alone?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I’m going with sun spots. ;-)
            Seriously, these guys were awful! Do you ever remember a time, even when Randy was crazy, even with scripted shows, that everyone was this awful?
            I agree with some folks here – when Paul Jolley is standing in the confetti shower everyone is going to feel really stupid.

    • Matt says:

      I’ve always argued what Keith said, the shows about finding an idol, which can be about more than just the voice.

      I’m confused by the Jimmy tie breaker thing. How would it have worked if Paul had gotten cut? Shouldn’t it have been two contestants and Jimmy had to pick between them? Me smells an Uncle Nigel setup.

      • deedee says:

        Yeah, the tie-breaker made zero sense. It doesn’t compute. But what the heck – just one more clue that every last bit of this show is scripted for fake drama.

      • C says:

        The “tiebreaker” was to break a tie between the judges, not a tie between two contestants. Two of the judges wanted a contestant, two of them didn’t….Jimmy was the one to decide whether or not that contestant went on. This is why they should have an odd number of judges instead of four.

        • Alienate says:

          Duh! But, never mind, you just don’t get the math.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          But there had to be more to it than that, otherwise you’d end up with either four (maybe not a bad idea ;) ) or six. And they needed five to go through.

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            If they had decided on four then Paul would’ve made five or four but since they could end up with four there had to be that other guy who was actually going up against. If they had already decided on five then he would’ve left it at five or jumped it six and they would have had to accept going with six but that seems far-fetched so it had to be him vs one of the five.

        • deedee says:

          Try to work it out in your head, C. There cannot be a tie between judges on one contestant when all other contestants were already figured out. If Jimmy had said “no” to Paul, would they have put only 4 guys through and cut 6 guys (including Paul)? Or would they have reversed their decision on one of the contestants they all agreed to cut? Which of course, makes no sense because why would they reinstate a contestant who was already cut by majority vote, when they have Paul in front of them who is “tied”? They would simply put Paul through and not insult the intelligence of their audience with logically impossible silliness.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            If they had cut Paul wouldn’t Charlie, Jimmy, and Johnny automatically have gone through? Weren’t they the only ones left?

          • deedee says:

            But DET, the judges said at the outset that they had only ONE disputed contestant that needed arbitration. That means they knew the fate of everybody else in the group of 10. It simply doesn’t compute unless they were also in doubt about another contestant in the group. If everybody else’s fate was accounted for – except Paul – and Jimmy Iovine decided against Paul, then they would have had to cut 6 and keep 4.
            This stunt could only work if they were undecided about 2 guys, while only presenting Jimmy with the decision about Paul alone. If Jimmy decided FOR Paul, then the other unnamed guy would have been cut. If Jimmy decided AGAINST Paul, then the other guy would have been put through. This is the only way it could work.

            But, yeah, if they had not made any final decisions about them all, and were selecting on the fly, then if Jimmy Iovine decided against Paul, the rest of the guys would automatically go through. But that’s not how they set it up.

            ARGH! It drives me crazy that they do this kind of sh*t. >:-[

    • ' says:

      First, I barely watched the performances, since I just needed to pass most of it, that is how bad this was. I might get Devin, and… Yeah, that was it. Every single other, including the man with good tecnic and no personality, at least, not one that I can like. I’d rather give those 4 seats for four girls.
      Second. I can’t hear Randy and Mariah anymore, she’s reminding me too much of J-lo. I’m just listening Keith and Nicki and passing the rest, and I’m preety sure I’m not missing anything. Can those two sign forever on Idol?

  3. forrest says:

    Please tell me Charlie is cannon fodder for early elimination. Why, Why, Why was he put through?????

    • The Beach says:

      I realize Johnny Keyser is not very popular on this board but no way he should have been cut tonight considering the competition.

      • Ty says:

        I’m a big Johnny backer, but I thought he could have done way better based off what we heard last season and some of his youtube videos. I would have put him through over Charlie, but he seems like he lost something this year. He started off weak tonight, then later in the song you could tell he has a nice voice and tone, but Last year he sang stuff that showed he had a strong voice and tone and good taste in song choices, and that was missing tonight.

        I don’t care for Curtis at all, I think he is a weaker Joshua Ledet, with more of the lusky stank attitude in him – over the top affected persona. People bitched about Johnny Keyser left and right, but Curtis is pretty openly annoying on a personal level (something Johnny never seemed to display with people he interacted with aside from the girl who collapsed).

        Glad Devin got through, I think he is the best singer in the group. Kind of glad Paul Jolly got through just because I think he is f*cking beautiful. That guy is extremely nice looking in a bring home to meet the parents sort of way (not the one night stand kind of good looks – more date material).

        I kind of liked the performance of mexican/asian dude, we’ll see if that holds up. Don’t care about Charlie, his antics do nothing for me and while he sounds ok, he does not sound pleasant enough for me to want to keep hearing him.

      • ninergrl6 says:

        Charlie staying over Johnny is a travesty. Johnny wasn’t spectacular but he was IN TUNE. You can’t say that about Charlie (or Elijah for that matter).

        • Rico says:

          I think this is where being a television show comes into play. AI wants contestants that viewers can root for, and Charlie is much easier to root for than Johnny. Granted, it could lead to someone lasting much longer than they should (see, Sanjaya), but neither Charlie, nor Johnny, are going to win the whole thing, so it’s better to have the awkward loner that many viewers can relate to than the good-looking dude that’s kind of a jerk.

          • Ty says:

            Charlie has already gotten old though, people underestimate the depths to which southern white girls/women will sink if the contestant is male and white. They might start to think he is “cute”

            No objective assessment would determine that, but these women can’t be trusted. Remember Sanjaya. Charlie could become that.

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            Oh believe me, Charlie IS this year’s Sanjaya. No doubt about it.

      • rio says:

        I agree. Something about his personality seems to annoy people, but I like singers who deliver a song clearly and simply. I don’t need theatrics. Two judges praised his “masculinity. ” That struck me as code.

      • Boate says:

        I hate Johnny Keyser for all his lies, his lack of concern for unconscious bandmates and his creepy hangover eyes, but I have to agree with you. Aside from Nigel casting the show’s demographic for his Cola overlords, there is no damn way that teen weenis and the token Latino (its fair to call him that when the show and scripted judges constantly referred to race race race tonight) should have gone through over anyone.

        Bloated billionaire Simon Fuller needs to fire every brit hack that runs this thing, clean out every trace of Randy and Mariah from the judges panel with a power washer and start season 13 afresh. I’m sick of this show’s unbalanced dishonesty. It could be so good, but each year the production craps itself. I’m just happy the ratings are falling. They’ll blame Nicky and JDA and crappy Kez Ban for chasing away the housewife demographic, but we all know its because their contrived show is stale and cannot be fixed by the current crew.

      • Mary says:

        I would of put through Devin and maybe Paul only and hope that next weeks ten were better, if not go with more females and maybe they will get their female winner. Nigel and Ken are making a joke of this show, sorry it is not the AI I love to watch.

  4. dj says:

    It was one of the weirdest nights ever on Idol, and it left me wondering if these were really the best guys they saw this year. I’m starting to wonder if they are stacking the deck in favor of a female winner by picking guys who don’t measure up.

    • Jenny says:

      I thought the exact same thing. I just don’t believe that these were the best.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Um… I am not a conspiracy theorist – but really? Those guys were the “best.” It makes me think they purposely put through the worst guys so a girl could win. I know that’s crazy, but how could the guys be that awful.

        • Tiff says:

          Word to this. The guys were unbelievably terrible tonight, with the exception of Devin and Curtis. They cut that awesome dude Paul (the one that Randy called an accountant) without even letting us know why. There were tons of other guys who were better in their auditions than some of the guys tonight. I can’t believe that this is the best. I know they want a girl to win, but MAN. This is not the way to do it.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I think the accountant dude’s name was Nate Tao?

          • Holly says:

            I wouldn’t even call this a “conspiracy.” This is the biggest in-your-face manipulation I have ever seen! I cringe to think of the male talent that must have been left on the cutting room floor. 8 of the 10 guys tonight were awful, and the 2 remaining do not have the kind of chops needed to win this thing.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            LOL, Holly. You’re correct – conspiracies at least make an ATTEMPT to be sneaky!

    • Owen says:


    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Seemed like it. That said, the sad thing is, even with the decked so stacked, the girls probably still are only at even odds to even have a chance to win and ones not also from the South may still be goners :(.

    • Tess says:

      Boy will it be a sad shock for them then when one of these lousy fellas gets the confetti shower come May…
      I don’t think it helps to stack the deck with terrible male talent to try to elevate the ladies. In the end, they think putting someone like Charlie through because he’s endearing but not great means people won’t vote for him – but plenty of people have said they love him in spite of his lousy vocals, so what happens to the show if he wins? They can’t fault the viewers for picking him if they gave viewers the opportunity in the first place!

      • Lois Benton says:

        “Boy will it be a sad shock for them then when one of these lousy fellas gets the confetti shower come May.” That’s funny. I suppose it’s sad, but true. But funny. I laughed. And I laughed so hard that I had to replay it a few times when Nicki told Jimmy Country Whoever that he was so boring that she had been thinking about something else that happened earlier that day. Jimmy, I don’t know what his name is and I’m too lazy to look it up, was the worst performance of the night, off-key from the first note. BTW, I do love Charlie. I won’t vote for him if he’s terrible, but I think he’s got real potential.

        • Boate says:

          Potential to be what? A mouthy little terd? His voice is too weak for anything grander than a highschool musical. If you like your artists autotuned, overdubbed and backing-traced to the hilt, I can see why you like the forced eccentricity of young Chas,

          But the rest of us that enjoy singers singing, we’ll be off somewhere else while you clap for your needy attention-craver.

    • Name That Tune says:

      I’ve been convinced since they cut the first WGWG during the NY auditions that the plan is to give us only noncaucasion males or viable females to vote for. Besides Charlie & Paul, I believe the only WG left is Nick. It’s a testament to TPTB’s conviction to this plan that Jimmy I had to be the deciding vote for Paul – who has been one of the best voices in the entire competition. That Johnny K got cut in favor of Charlie is a shame but at least Mariah & Nikki acknowledged the threat he posed as the one WG who could garner a good number of votes because of his looks.

    • deedee says:

      Argh, yes, it was sheer pain. Even my favourite, Jimmy Smith, totally croaked. They were all awful. And if there were some decent vocals tonight, well, they got swallowed up by the awful, and I didn’t even notice them.
      The only one with any hint of charisma was Elijah Liu, but a great singer he’s not. Then you have Curtis Finch, who CAN sing, but who belongs in a Motown tribute group wearing matching white bedazzled bell-bottom jumpsuits.
      Now that my Jimmy’s gone after a really anemic performance, I have nothing left. Oh, there’s Candice, yes. For now. :(

    • Gary says:

      I felt like i had missed an episode or two when the revealed the guys.. My thoughts were the same; they really want a girl to win this season. Also love how Idol is now trying to stay relevant and mirroring The Voice & XFactor by doing an audience. Feels like the end is near Idol.

  5. forwarddad says:

    Michael what does ISO mean?
    Liked Devin the best. Just as Keith said he sang simple and liked how he transitioned so easily to Spanish..

    I just love Keith.

    • Hamish says:

      ISO = “In Search Of”.

    • deedee says:

      Devin was the best tonight, but I don’t find he has much star power. He needs charisma and sex appeal to match the voice, otherwise he’s just another good singer.

      • The Beach says:

        Exactly…he kinda reminds me of the early Clay Aiken pre-makeover.

      • Name That Tune says:

        If they want a girl to win (and they do) putting forth bland males will get you there.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          Unless it just gets us instead a Baby Lock Them Doors corny, one note, every performance is the same old boring exact same, never close to a single performance of the night winner- only this time the one note is both off-key and with horrible tone, instead of perfectly on-key and with great tone. ;)

          I do slightly fear this. Hopefully the deck is not so stacked at this point that that will happen and they will just have to put a fork in it all.

          I even more fear that a winning female singer from the North/Westcoast who doesn’t sing country will remain the world’s most endangered species in the world that is A.I. But baby steps, baby steps.

          • Mel says:

            I think not pimping female favorites endlessly and letting dark horses like Kree rise up would be the only way to help a woman win. We don’t like to vote for who TPTB tell us to, which is why Kris Allen beat Adam Lambert and baby lock them doors beat Lauren Alaina.

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            Yeah that would help, just let things play out as they play out and not give totally different edits to different contestants and not use totally different and not offer up at times 100% contradictory judging to contestants back to back to try to fight for some script.
            Haley would’ve easily made the finale had they not bashed her to bits and pimped Lauren a ton (although I think Scotty was the one who actually didn’t belong there and they let him slide on a lot of things they used to get on contenders in past seasons, so they under the cover pimped him in a sense too).
            Instead of letting that amazing story naturally build they kept trying to stick to the pre-planned script and got left with a boring all country finale (at least for those not into country, an looking at the ratings they did get hurt by that) with a bland winner and sizable minority of viewers left with ill feelings towards the show. They had always manipulated but that season they just jumped the shark and even did it mean and nasty ways too.
            Scotty likely would’ve won even if they had let Haley get to the finale though. Although maybe if they had given her full support and called him out on things…. maybe??? The voting was said to be something like Scotty’s votes = sum total of all other contestants combined at times though. But then again they did let him slide on some corny stuff and never once asked him to try to change up for a given night’s genre like they used to. I honestly couldn’t tell a single performance of his from any week apart from any other week. I thought the other singers matched the level of the stars they were paired with better too.
            Anyway what they really should’ve done is just never gotten into any games to begin with and maybe they wouldn’t have driven away so many that they need to get totally desperate now to try to give many types even the remotest chance to ever win. It seems they’ve already driven away too much of the viewing segment that would let say someone like Elise of last season at least make it past top six.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            hey, HTGRWHOM, I’m missing Baby Lock Them Doors Scotty McCreery right now. As least we knew he was a male!

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            Angela Miller is “Baby Lock Them Doors”. Ever noticed that aside from her group performance and her original song, she hasn’t done anything other than Jessie J?

        • Mary says:

          I think it will backfire and we will end up with a dud. I am hoping one of these guys will at least come through for entertainment purposes but I am not holding my breath for it.

  6. Pat says:

    Charlie and Elijah were awful and are fodder. Johnny was a vote threat. I was amazed they let Paul through if Plan: “Who Runs the World? GIRLS” is in effect.

    Devin and Curtis are the only vocalists that could make the Top 8 without the show looking like a complete joke.

    • Name That Tune says:

      He got through because of Jimmy I. But there are those who have functioning Gaydar that think he appeals to the guys. Personally I think he’s a nice guy, has a great voice & reminds me of my little brother. But I tend to vote for talent not sex appeal so none of that would influence my vote.

    • Ty says:

      I think Paul might be gay, and when the time comes girls break towards the straight guy not the gay guy (i.e. kris allen over Adam Lambert). Women/girls who are enamored with those guys like PP like to think that he is all sweet and that they might have a chance with him. With a gay guy they know it’s a non starter from the beginning, and so there is less love for them. People will deny this, they will deny there are plenty of people out there that are that shallow. They are wrong.

      • Kelly says:

        Exactly! Paul is clearly gay and isn’t masculine enough for the female voting block who dominates this show. As someone said above, they are stacking the deck with minorities of all stripes to get their desired female winner. Last thing they want in there is a masculine white male heart throb because whoever it is WILL win over a female and they know it.

      • tired of the meme says:

        This is the reason why we have this travesty in the first place. This whole wgwg meme is getting so old. Everyone taste is different and maybe people voted for Kris and PP because they like their music. Out of the last four winners I think PP is the only one who has a limited voice, but obviously he is doing great so I guess it doesn’t matter. I agree it would be nice to have variety in who wins but not at the expense of making AI a joke. All you people who keeps about wgwg you can thank yourself for Nigel and Ken manipulations.

        • Faze Craze says:

          Agree. I voted for Kris Allen over Adam because I liked his voice and his style of music. Not because I cared who may or may not be gay or who was cute. I actually voted for Allison until she was senselessly eliminated.

  7. james says:

    Charlie is an awful choice, so is Ellijah. Sorry to see johnny cut again! Just happy that Paul Jolley and devin made it through

  8. CDoga says:

    I was underwhelmed by the guys performances although there weren’t any major trainwrecks like Kamaria last night. Elijah and Charlie were definitely among the worst of the night with Elijah beyond boring. There was nothing redeeming about his performance. It’s baffling how the two of them were advanced. I also see Charlie outstaying his welcome as he came off less endearing and quirky and more annoying…At least JDA had splits from the knee down and flawless makeup. I’d rather see him continue

  9. marie says:

    As much as he annoyed me Tuesday night, I have to give it up to Curtis strictly on the vocal; beautiful voice and a lot of style (I personally did not think he was oversinging). Devin, who up to now has not made an impression on me, was also excellent. Those two, I think, were the best pure voices we heard tonight.
    I’m happy Charlie went through because he seems to really be such a natural onstage. Face it, that’s far from one of the stronger voices on the show. But there is just something so damn entertaining about that kid…
    … as there is about JDA. I really wish they had kept him on. Another one who is really at home in the spotlight. I hope to see him performing again some day.
    I’m indifferent to Paul – I just can’t warm up to him; he does nothing for me.

  10. Laura says:

    I love love love Charlie. He might not have had the best night tonight, but he definitely has shown in previous performances that he has chops. Is he weird? Yes. Is he memorable? Hell to the yes. I didn’t remember anyone who performed before Charlie except for JDA… (and probably for the same reason). So many of them were just boring dullards to me. And Curtis, while he definitely has the best voice of the men, would rather shove it in your face like a fluffy cream pie on your birthday than entertain you. Curtis, I’m glad that you can sing, but entertain me. Don’t smother me. Also I don’t believe your humble shtick so

    • forrest says:

      okay. this is the response i was looking for to explain why charlie was given a green light to proceed to the ‘real’ live shows. I appreciate your response. I may not agree with it, but it provides an answer to my question earlier.

    • The Beach says:

      I had to laugh at the “cream pie” comment because every time I see Curtis I wish I had one in my hand…to throw.

  11. Owen says:

    You know, I was bored tonight by all the “good” singers. The only ones who excited me at all were the “performers”…

    • Boate says:

      Then go away and wait for X-Factor’s next and final season to return. This show used to be for vocalists. Now its casted trash to appeal to a lower common denominator.

      • Beanergirl says:

        You know what – as a long-time AI viewer, I disagree. Nobody wants the X-Factor for sure. But, a few of AI’s best vocalists have also been excellent entertainers – Lambert, Iraheta, etc. There is a place for someone that offers both. That being said, in such a lackluster group of men – I found that I would prefer to see J’DA and – to a certain degree – Charlie again vs. some interminably dull contestant with so-so pipes and good chances of just boring me to death over the next 2-8 weeks. Given equally so-so vocalists, I’ll go ahead and take a tiny bit of extra entertainment and be okay with it.

    • Mel says:

      I LOVED J’DA. He’s more of an X Factor UK character a la Rylan but with a much better voice. Plus I think he would actually work to get better every week.

  12. Billy says:

    I have a strong feeling that if Nigel isn’t careful and tries to pimp too many girls at one time Paul Jolley will be taking home the title of this year…

  13. Stacy says:

    So happy Charlie got through! If he can get a handle on those nerves, I think he’ll really shine. He’s much more self aware and, I think, much more of a genuine performer than my dear departed Brett Lowenstern (nope, still not over it) who had a similar weird ginger kid vibe.

    I would love to swap out J’Da for Paul. Paul is pretty but also pretty dull.

    And Elijah is fine. Couldn’t help but notice how they said marketable like 12 times in his critique. I would have gladly taken Chris in his place, but I’m not sorry he got through.

  14. Mel31602 says:

    Honestly everyone not named Devin or Curtis was so mediocre that I really didn’t care much who else got through. I too probably would have kept Kevin and Johnny over Elijah and Charlie but the latter two are more marketable (Charlie bc of his awkwardness and Elijah bc of his Justin Bieber-ness). Also I wonder who the judges would’ve put through if Jimmy had said no to Paul

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think if Jimmy had said “no” to Paul the judges would have put Johnny Keyser through. honestly, I think Johnny Keyser should have gone through instead of Paul anyway.

      • The Beach says:

        ^^This + 1,000

      • deedee says:

        This doesn’t make any sense. We were led to believe that they were not deadlocked on any other contestant, which means that majority agreed that Johnny was going home. How could Paul have been the ONLY tied vote? If all the rest were settled, that means 5 were already settled to be kicked off, which leaves 5 going through. That means if Paul was not among the 5 being kicked off, then he HAD to be put through.
        The only way there could have been a tie is if there was a tie between 2 contestants. That would make sense – and let Jimmy arbitrate between 2 deadlocked guys. What they did tonight with Paul was fake.

        • The Beach says:

          Excellent point, deedee.

        • Lorelaisquared says:

          The only thing I can think of that makes sense and keeps it legit is that they must have brought Jimmy in while they were deliberating and he probably did decide between 2 contestants but to keep the drama the way they wanted they only announced one on stage. I think it’s dumb though. Personally they should have just had the tie be the last two and let Jimmy call it there. It would have made way more sense that way.

          • Mary says:

            I am thinking the judges couldn’t pick 5 guys based on last night performances so Jimmy had to decide on the 5th person going through. They probably left it up to Jimmy since he has to sign them if he wins. I personally think the judges were thinking wtf, I don’t think they were this bad were they.

      • Alan Dvorkis says:

        There is no doubt Johnny should have made it. His voice has flashes of brilliance. The way Nicki and Mariah talked, I would believe he is marketable too? Sad.

  15. denise says:

    You were too generous with your grades. This episode blew!

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Agreed. Most were C’s and D’s. Devin who was the best was a B+ at best.

      • Bob says:

        Completely agree: all C’s and D’s, except that I might give “Dock of the Bay” dude an F (for looks, attitude, and sacrilege of a R&B classic) and gospel guy a B- (good tone at times, but not fluid enough), and, yes, a B+ for Devin (too big a song, but clear evidence of potential, and, yeah, I loved the Spanish too).

        • Lyn says:

          Yeah, Otis Redding performed w/ sequins was a scenario I hope I never, ever see again. Devin might have potential with an AI makeover along the way; enjoyed the English AND Spanish.

          • Harvey says:

            I think he could be a real contender as long as he doesn’t go the Karen Rodriquez route. (read: everything I do is because I’m Hispanic, vote for me compadres!)
            I think he’ll make it to the top 10 on the Hispanic vote, so he has a chance.

    • deedee says:

      Totally agree. Inflated grades by Michael tonight.

  16. Chris says:

    Yes, Kevin did get robbed.

    I’ve been watching Idol for many years. I have shaken my head over decisions, wished Randy could be voted off, and in the end just embraced it for what it is. Tonight was a different story. It dripped of idiocy, double standards, and whiplash – train wreck.

    I am happy that Mr. Ivine made the right call and I hope Paul absorbed what he said, because it was right on.

    • marie says:

      Jimmy Iovine’s critique of Paul was spot on, razor-like in its precision. He knows his stuff, Iovine does.

      • Bob says:

        I wish Jimmy could judge all of them. He’s the only person affiliated with the show who seems to know anything about assessing singing. But did anyone else think that his “tiebreaker” made no sense whatsoever? His “aye” to Paul meant that somebody else was going home, yet ostensibly he didn’t know who that unlucky soul might be. Wouldn’t it have made much more sense for him to have chosen between two contestants? Just one more thing that makes me fairly sure the producers orchestrate the whole “competition” right up until the public voting commences.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          It really did make no sense. How can you say you have a tiebreaker for one person when there is a five person limit?? It has to be between two and it makes sense to let Jimmy compare one to the other. I bet it would’ve been Johnny if not Paul.

        • asniech says:

          I thought that exact same thing about the tiebreaker. It made no sense.

        • deedee says:

          LOL, Bob, I wrote exactly the same thing upthread. Every single thing is scripted (until America takes the reins, presumably).

    • The Beach says:

      Nicki Minaj irritated the piss out of me tonight. I found myself gritting my teeth at just about everything she said and did.

      • Ty says:

        Oh come on, I liked reaction from the judges when she said she wanted to have that 18yo kids babies! Those looks of WTF from Mariah when Nicki goes insane are priceless. You are not watching this show the right way.

        • Lana says:

          Totally agree with you Ty. Love those looks and Nicki’s weird thoughts. You could be irratated but if you watch it the right way it is very entertaining. Nicki is a breath of fresh air and so is Keith and Mariah and Randy is sounding a little smarter. I can’t wait for the live shows to see if Nicki can keep this up.

          • Mary says:

            I actually liked Nicki on Wednesday, but sorry she did start getting irritating on her remarks. I was thinking she has low standards or she is another Steven Tyler.

    • Mel says:

      Kevin would be a GREAT over-25 for X Factor. I think he would do well if he didn’t have to compete with 18 year olds.

    • Trouty Mouth says:

      No, Kevin automatically gets an F for singing Bryan Adams.

  17. xx says:

    They were friggin terrible. The only ones worth keeping were Devin and Curtis. The only other one worth watching was JDA, who was amusing if off-pitch.

  18. Annie says:

    I think that you were overly generous with those grades, Michael.

  19. Teeny Bikini says:

    Awful. Just awful. It’s a shame that they *had* to put 5 of them through…

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Yeah, as wrong as it was to put Elijah and Charlie through and even Paul too it’s not like you can really pick anyone else and say they were great. Who else do you actually get excited about? It was like so they put through Fs instead of Ds, it almost doesn’t matter (although I guess Johnny was OK, but even then he didn’t seem like he should be legit top 5 or anything anyway). And for the last chair, in particular, who do you even pick?

  20. Owen says:

    Okay, so it already appears Charlie will be the polarizing contestant of Season Whatever, so let’s break him down. And don’t listen to what Stupid Slezak says, he missed the boat with Charlie from the beginning, even Melinda had to school him on his tin ear when it came to this particularly weird and wonderful contestant. Charlie has a unique and potentially beautiful instrument. I’m not sure how much training he’s had, I’m guessing not a lot. His schtick got in his way tonight, this strange kid is living a dream and it shows (and those of you who can’t empathize and understand and cut him some slack for it have no heart or have never had a dream yourself). I know he doesn’t act “normal” and I know that’s going to stick in some of your collective craws. But within that overreaching performance there were hints of exciting colors to the boy’s voice. Mariah heard it, that’s what she meant by wanting to see what someone could DO with it. Because he is, as he kept interrupting Nicki to say , completely “raw”. And I’m sorry, he was so much more fun to listen to than the supposedly “good singers”, Devin and Curtis. Singing is about joy. And Charlie has joy.

    • marie says:

      Yes, nail on the head, Charlie has joy, and I think that’s part of what I’m responding to. Owen, I’ve also heard what you’re hearing in his voice, those interesting colors (admittedly more last week on “Somebody I Used to Know” than tonight), and yes, I totally get what Mariah meant by her comment.
      I said to my wife as Charlie was singing that I’d like to hear him in a few years, when his voice matures and he hopefully has had some experience. I stand by what I said last week, there is definitely potential there.
      This kid is no Sanjaya, make no mistake.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        I enjoyed Charlie’s performance tonight more than any of the others, but I think your comment about wanting to hear him in a few years is going to be his undoing on this Season of Idol. He’s TOO “raw.” He can’t help from overreaching, while singing and, at least tonight, while being judged, because it’s all too new to him. I think that’s going to wear on people and he’s going to get voted off early, which is a shame because he’s interesting, passionate, and a blast to watch.

    • Scott says:

      Spot on. Watching Charlie is watching someone really enjoying what he’s doing. That’s a pleasure.

    • forrest says:

      Thanks for providing an answer to my question earlier in the thread. We’ll both see what happens from here.

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      He sounded way too often like a bleating high pitched goat though.

    • Name That Tune says:

      That kid has potential but he should have been given a gentle nudge to get a little more experience. He was a bundle of nerves with the shaking hands and the rushed vocals. The problem is that he is self aware but he’s got to get used to being on the stage in front of a crowd. I was laughing during his entire performance and not because he was bad. Once he gets better control of his nerves, he can be quite entertaining. If he’s going to survive his Idol journey, he is going to have to grow up fast.

  21. Devin is amazing! Loved his voice and stage presence!

  22. MB says:

    Any guy that was a threat to the girl vote was cut. Only two guys brought it tonight, Devon and Curtis. Johnny and Jimmy were cut because they were cute guy threats. They weren’t great but not worse than some that made it especially Charlie.
    The other thing is is Nicki on drugs. Some of the stuff that comes out of her mouth is totally outrages. How many guys was she obbsessed with tonight and please some of them were horrible. I do appreciate that the judges are truly giving constructive critisim this year. I hope that continues. Nicki is great but she is too off the wall for my taste. Keith is fast becoming my favorite. He is never nasty and gives some great advice. Mariah is better than she was and even Randy gave some decent advice.
    I will be shocked this year if a girl don’t win and not for any other reason than they are on fire compared to the guys. I am sure lots of good guys never made it to the judges especially if they played the guitar and were cute. These guys this season can’t be the cream of all the crop of all the thousands that auditioned.
    I am praying a girl wins this year anyhow because I am truly getting sick of all the whineing.

    • Mel31602 says:

      Well they do have Paul as the one cute white guy but they probably didn’t want more than one which is why Johnny got cut

  23. HTGRWHOM says:

    From what I saw, it seemed like a pretty weak night, only Devin and Curtis brought it much, although Keyser wasn’t bad at all and considering how weak the night was and two or three they put through…. then again he was not top 3 material but perhaps may have been voted top 3 or even 1 so they figured prevent that??
    Jimmy was OKish nothing amazing.
    Everyone else was weak or weaker from what I saw.
    That Elijah moon man guy they put through was just awful.
    That Charlie guy they put through was awful, he sounded like a high pitched goat.
    Paul was pretty bad.
    Although he wasn’t anything amazing by any stretch Keyser deserved to go through considering, well… Elijah/Charlie for starters and Paul too. I mean Elijah and Charlie were awful.
    Some were complaining about Jimmy not making it when Charlie did and maybe a fair point between those two but Jimmy was pretty bad so I don’t seem room for much complaint anyway.
    Maybe it doesn’t matter since it was a weak bunch anyway. But they did seem to put through the two single worst tonight which wasn’t fair at least as far as tonight goes. In the long run perhaps it will prevent a pretty average guy (nobody eliminated was all that amazing and most were pretty poor even if all of them were at least a bit better and in one case much better than two who went through) blocking out someone much better later on though??

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Anyway Devin was best of the night and made it. Johnny was the one who got ripped-off. But he may have been a voting threat and since he wasn’t really a top three vocalist to be honest, I guess they figured they’d try to make it fair for more girls and cut him before he got voted to #3,2 or 1 or something?

      • Mary says:

        I think he got cut because he sucked. I didn’t even realize what the song was till he was half way into it. I think they were right in cutting him.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          I’m not saying he was amazing but the thing is look at the others! Elijah? come on. Charlie? come on. Paul?? If it had been a really solid bunch then yeah maybe you could say that, but look at what the deck we had to deal with.

  24. Betsy says:

    They were not the best bunch of guys and I could not believe all the effusive praise from the judges – except randy who I (gasp!) agreed with most of the time.

    Charlie seemed so nervous I was really worried he was going to pass out or throw up on stage. Couldn’t believe they praised his “fearlessness”… I like him a lot and it was a great song choice but he was not good. Sorry.

  25. Guitar Blue says:

    The guys that performed/entertained – could not sing worth a free beer in a karaoke contest at the bowling alley. —————-The ones who could sing, usually oversang a boring song. The Judges themselves were tiresome to listen to. – and true, they have no good chemistry in the panel, ——————————————–this was a poor nite for idol – even Seacrest seemed to sense it by overselling every little nuance he could.

    Hope there’s some girls next week who can look good, sing and perform all at the same time — and something beyond a slow boring ballad in a pageanty dress..

  26. Marlex says:

    Curtis and Devin definitely had the best vocals the only true threats from tonight’s performances. I liked Charlie’s performance, although his banter with the judges wore thin quick.

    On the other hand, I don’t see why Elijah was sent through. It wasn’t a good vocal at all and his performance was alright at best. I would have sent through Kevin instead. It wasn’t the most inspired song choice, but he had one of the better vocals of the night.

  27. forrest says:

    So how do you balance what Jimmy said, “Oversinging will get you booted.” to Randy’s ” You didn’t bring it tonight, You didn’t do anything with it.” ??? No wonder the contestants don’t improve week to week.

  28. darcy's evil twin says:

    Sweet Baby Jesus, what just happened? That was like a very, very bad version of “A Chorus Line”. I actually agreed with Randy tonight when he threw up his hands and asked, “What is going on here?” Gee, Randy, YOU put these guys through! Don’t kill your parents and then throw yourself on the mercy of the court because you’re an orphan!
    How in the heck did that Asian version of Justin Bieber make it through?
    When Chris Watson was prancing around the stage in that sparkly outfit singing “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”, my normally silent hubby looked up from his paper and declared, “Oh, this is BAD. Very bad. This is sacrilege. I mean, poor Otis Redding is DEAD – he can’t even defend his song!”

    • BarbL says:

      I totally concur with your hubby. “Dock of the Bay” was a song I cut my musical teeth on, and what Chris did was was to set those same teeth on edge. I don’t know what he was thinking.

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Hah, I can’t believe it was a night so bad that it even had the both of us, utter horrors, having to say Randy was the best judge of the night!?!!

    • The Beach says:

      Yep, that Chris head scarf dude should have never made it to or through Hollywood week. He has been consistently awful…even if Miss Minaj thinks he is the most handsome guy she has ever seen…Huh??

  29. Jules says:


    Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery and Kris Allen aren’t anything alike? That’s like saying red and pink are very different colors (true…. until you compare them to blue or brown or green). Let’s put it this way – all of the singers above get played on the same radio stations, are admired by the same demographic, and stay within certain boundaries as artists. They’re the type of guys Americans (vis-a-vis the voting public) idolize, that’s why they’re all American Idols while Adam Lambert, Crystal Bowersox and Joshua Ledet are not. Let’s be real.

    Somebody’s going to write a dissertation on this one day.

    • teatime says:

      Ahem. Phillips, McCreery, and Allen are not played on the same radio stations. Not that that would mean they sound alike anyway. They did win different seasons of the same show. So they do have that in common. They also are 3 contestants not voted for by some of the same vocal non-fans. That does not make them the same.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I beg your pardon? Here is what those three have in common. They are all white. They have brown hair. They are devout Christians. They all won American Idol. They made music that went platinum. They play guitar. They come from the South. They like fried chicken. And I think they all played baseball at some point in their childhood. But their styles? You’re talking apples, oranges, and pears here.

      • Name That Tune says:

        But they appeal to the same voting demographic – adult females from the South with cell phones. The style they sing is the least important quality they have.

        • Mary says:

          I will give you that the demographics do play into it, but what everyone needs to realize kids are not watching this. No matter who they get to judge or as contestants they will still not watch. I beg to differ, the style is an important quality. People vote for what type of music they prefer. I am sure many of these guys were voted in by people from the north also with cell phones. To be honest I have only voted one year in all 11 seasons. I watch every year, but only one contestant
          prompted me to pick up the phone and vote for him. Yes, it was a WGWG. It was not because I thought he was cute, although he is, it is because I really enjoyed his music on the show and I still support him to this day. This is not to say I have not supported other idols along the way because I have, but it depends on what music I hear that I enjoy.

      • Trouty Mouth says:

        I don’t remember David Cook being devout Christian.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          If you’ll read the comment above, you’ll see we were only talking about Kris Allen, Scotty McCreery, and Phillip Phillips. David Cook never came up.

          • Trouty Mouth says:

            I don’t remember P2 being a Christian either, or at least I don’t remember he once mentioned being a Christian.

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            True enough. He was a diehard Satanist. BIG time. P to the squared time.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            @Trouty Mouth, I followed the entire Season 11 cast on Twitter closely last year. I can tell he is because of the messages passed by him and about him from other cast members.

          • Mary says:

            But in all fairness he should because he is a wgwg. But his music is different then the others also.

          • ssc38 says:

            to TroutyMouth—–PP was very active in his church back home. He never made a big deal of it on the show, but yes, he is a Christian.

        • Mary says:

          I don’t remember anyone besides Scotty that put his religion out there. Kris, PP, David never even hinted at it, people just assumed. Personally I don’t see how that is relevant.

  30. HTGRWHOM says:

    It’s truly horrifying to say this but I felt like Randy was actually the best judge tonight??!!??!! Ugh!
    He was kinda correct in repeatedly asking “What the heck planet are we on here!? A singing competition planet or a baby-making planet?” Keith Urban also seemed way too soft on some. Mariah was a bit closer to Randy’s take but she would somehow twist around her veiled deep criticisms only to end with but in the end that was fantastic a few too many times.
    Considering the whole bunch were sort of weak I guess you can’t totally blame Nikki for judging by potential baby-making or little brother criteria since it wasn’t like anyone amazing was going to get shafted anyway. When nobody is amazing I guess you may as well judge by whatever is left to catch your fancy. And looks and vibe are a part of the real world. But I would hate to have had all of those guys go through and then sail along on that criteria if some of the girls proved to me much better as happens like every year now.

  31. BarbL says:

    Charlie was shaking like a leaf; while I like him in general, I don’t know how he’s going to stand the pressure of live shows. This week just wasn’t good for him, and I’m surprised he was let through.
    There were good vocalists who were let go because of Elijah and Charlie–I hope these guys take advantage of their good luck and work at deserving the save.

    • Harvey says:

      It’s unfortunate, because I can see why people are going to start really hating him, because if you’re not on board with him as a person, his vocals are just unpleasant. I really enjoy him though.

      Also the heavy-handed “awkward kid” edit is going to get old fast.

  32. Scott says:

    Elijah? Really? He was horrible tonight, pitch was all over the place. I did like Charlie, very entertaining. And Devin was very nice to listen too. I loved his easy switch to spanish. I agree that Curtis has a great voice (I thought his performance was pretty cliche though), but will anyone vote for him? Look at his face when he sings! He is in agony!! America will be too nice to prolong that pain he is enduring. Paul Jolley bugs me. He’s too appreciative. Show some strut. Nicki was so right about him during Hollywood.

    The scariest part for me tonight? How I agreed with what Randy said for two of the singers! (The black guy with the two boys was one of them, can’t remember now the other).

    • Evan says:

      I loved Devin too– his is the only performance I ever want to hear again– but what’s all this talk in several comments on here about Devin’s “easy switch to Spanish.” Did you think he was going to need a mile-long on-ramp to speak in a language that (just guessing) he speaks at home with relatives?

      • Joy says:

        It’s not Devin’s fluency in either language that’s at issue, I think; it’s the choice to keep it natural instead of trying to wring a “dramatic moment” out of the transition, and the musical sense to make that work within the context of the song. It seems like there are lots of bilingual songs out there in which shifts between languages feel forced, or very stagey, shifting the audience’s focus at least for a second from the music to the language — whereas at least to my ear, Devin kept it about the music the whole time. Maybe “easy switch” here really means that he made it easy on us to follow along…

  33. teatime says:

    Charlie was my favorite. His voice cut out a few times but that was because he was trying to do too much. I still enjoyed the song and the performance.
    Devin sang the best.
    For me, the other 3 that got put thru could have been cut. That includes Curtis who’s performance I did not like at all. He took all the melody out of that song.
    I would rather have seen Chris and Kevin get thru.

    • C says:

      Totally agree that Curtis took the melody out of the song (much as Isabelle did the night before with “God Bless the Child”). The melisma is getting completely out of hand. It gets more extreme every year.

  34. Jake says:

    While it was a little bit funny to see Johnny get sent home because he’s generally been kind of cocky, it was at the same time completely ridiculous that Charlie got through over him. His tender “I Won’t Give Up” was actually one of the best performances of the night, I thought.
    Curtis Finch, Jr., sang well, but was super affected vocally, and he seems like a bit of a repeat of the Joshua Ledet / Jacob Lusk gospel singer that Idol puts through every year who does well enough but never has a real shot to win based on popularity – however, I can’t deny that he has the potential to do well as long as he doesn’t oversing every week and pick terrible songs. J’DA was hella entertaining but would have absolutely no chance to win because his voice wasn’t strong enough and, sadly, America probably wouldn’t go for him anyhow even if he was better. Chris Watson was baaaad, straight out of a gypsy-themed karaoke bar. Devin Velez has impressed me a bit more in the past, but he was still really good tonight. Elijah Liu has teen heartthrob potential but didn’t really sing on key… like, at all, really. Paul Jolley = great voice, wrong song. Charlie Askew seemed sooo nervous and just didn’t sound good at all, despite his likeable personality. Jimmy Smith has been one of my favorites, but tonight he picked a boring song and just didn’t stand out. Kevin Harris had a strong tone, but he was overpowered by the band, and he was kind of off-key.
    Based on tonight and a bit on the past, I pick Paul, Johnny, Devin, Jimmy, and Curtis.

  35. Becky says:

    If any of those five make it to the top 10, I will be shocked. None of them would have gotten silver stool space had they been performing last night with the first ten women.

  36. Becky says:

    Top 10 overall – obvs they are in the top ten guys.

  37. Mark says:

    I like Paul. He got through even though he’s gay so that’s something. GL to him.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      No, he got through BECAUSE he’s gay. you don’t think TPTB were going to let Johnny Keyser upset the apple cart, now do you? Besides, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there is not a lot of testosterone up there this year.

      • deedee says:

        *sniff* I know. Both Johnny and Jimmy – unceremoniously cut, thereby eliminating the majority of androgens in the competition. I was naive enough to think that they’d pit Johnny and Jimmy against each other at the end for the final stool, but no. Apparently, even one hot-ish guy is one hot-ish guy too many this year.
        So far this is a terrible, terrible year. I think Nigel has lost the plot.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I wouldn’t say it’s a terrible, terrible year. Just one terrible because (so far) most of the girls are pretty good. Paul does nothing for me but I could change my mind. Devin and Curtis are the best male vocalists so far – of course I like Curtis’ “old fashioned” singing (thank you Randy) because I’m old myself. It’s not something the average teen or twentysomething would listen to on a routine basis. Devin is good but I close my eyes to listen to him – honestly, that pointy hair reminds me of a blond Alfalfa from “The Little Rascals”.
          Johnny should have been put through based on last night’s performances and I was SO disappointed in Jimmy. Like Brandy Hotard he picked a beautiful country song but made it sound boring. I also didn’t think Jimmy sounded quite up to par.

          • deedee says:

            Come on, darcy’s evil twin, you’re not *that* old. You weren’t a teenager in the 50s when Troy Donahue was a heartthrob … errrm, were you? ;)

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          And Johnny looked suspiciously like Troy Donahue last night!

          • ssc38 says:

            THANK YOU—Darcy!!! I was trying to figure out who he reminded me of! I kept thinking some 50’s teen idol. You nailed it. it’s Troy Donahue!

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            Hah, I misread Troy Donahue as Troy McClure from the Simpsons. I have no idea who Troy Donahue is but Troy McClure seemed to fit the comment (too) hah.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            You are welcomed. It took me a while but I finally figured it out myself. It was the hair that did it!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Once in a while it’s useful to be old! :-)

          • deedee says:

            Gaaaah! Why is this site putting my responses in weird, nonsensical places?? (see post @ 2:05PM)

  38. darcy's evil twin says:

    Curtis Finch, doing the Mariah Carey arrangement of Leon Russell’s “Superstar” was probably the best vocal of the night. Second best vocal was Devin Velez – my husband compared him to Barry Manilow (?) when he started singing.
    Honestly, I would have put Johnny Keyser and Kevin Harris through rather than Charlie and the Asian Justin Bieber guy. Charlie is interesting and unique but he truly is “burning out his fuse up here alone”. This is a singing competition. Sort of. Jimmy Smith SO disappointed me with his lukewarm rendition of one of my favorite Keith Urban songs, “Raining on Sunday”. Too bad.

  39. HTGRWHOM says:

    To sum it up quickly:
    Randy was the best judge tonight?!??? (throwing up having to say that)
    Devin was solid, pretty good night but not spectacular. On a good night he might not have stood out all that much.
    Curtis was solid but not spectacular and I’m personally not crazy about his style. Seemed a touch like Josh Ledet but less good.
    and then there were the rest:
    Johnny was OK.
    Everyone else was awful at best and, in many cases, much worse than that.

  40. YowzaPowza says:

    The only people I was even slightly interested in tonight were J’Da and Chris. The rest were all bland, boring and redundant. Literally every single thing about these performances has been done before. This is the first time this season I thought this show seriously might be over. I’m checked out at this point. I need something more, and something better than obnoxious teenage boys getting away with having an awful voice and getting by on charm.

    • Guitar Blue says:

      The pain comes when we fall into the belief that this is really a singing contest, the way they try to sell it as. It’s more a survivor contest of popularity.

      The judges are the paid jesters posing as talent scouts, while the producers in the background are also advising them as to who they should keep for casting purposes. A certain amount of “fodder” will make the final top 20.

      The fun of it is to get into a pool and being able to pick the eliminations, Anyone know if the judges get any saves this year?.

  41. Evan says:

    Curtis is horrendous. I don’t care about his vocal anymore; his stank attitude and ridiculous facial expressions overpower any pluses to his performance to render it unwatchable.

    And considering how much the editing has practically begged us to hate him, I can’t see why they’d bother to put him through except for the fact that they want a girl to win.

  42. Evan says:

    And I’ll just add that I didn’t even recognize that he was singing “Superstar” until he got to the chorus. It sounded like a completely different song.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      That’s funny – my husband said the same thing! I commented I always liked the Karen Carpenter version of the song and my hubby said, “I guess I don’t know this song”. I replied, “It’s Leon Russell’s ‘Superstar'” and he replied with a rather shocked look on his face. While Curtis’ clothes, facial expressions, and attitude might be disagreeable his vocal was the best on a night when I shook my head and wondered how in the heck the likes of J’Da, Chris, and that Asian kid ever got to this stage of the game. J’Da has a horrible nasaly quality to his voice and Chris and his head scarf should have been given a bus ticket on group night. And don’t even get me started on – oh, what is his name – Elijah. He was awful.

      • Black Asian Latino White Person says:

        He has a name. Elijah. Yes he is part Asian. We can see that. Let’s start calling everyone by their race then.

  43. la bohem says:

    Charlie has worn out his welcome in my house. He actually believes his own hype; he thinks he’s a singer and not a cute little refugee from a freakshow. What’s worth is that he’ll probably win. I honestly thought I heard wrong when they said Eliju was going through because I don’t think he sang one right note in his entire song. What the hell?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think they did Charlie a huge disservice by not cutting him so he could come back next year. He could use some vocal coaching, not to mention some “How Not To Be Annoying While Thinking You Are Clever and Cute”.

      • waterbug says:

        I totally agree! I think Charlie should be cut at this stage so he can come back after he matures a bit and really decides if he wants to a serious artist. I am not saying change his personality, but the antics on stage leaves a bad aftertaste. I am willing to bet he is on the top of the list for VFTW.

  44. Timmah says:

    Devin has so got this in the bag. Competition over.

  45. Rachel says:

    I still say this is the worst year of idol. The girls are even that impressive compared to eariler seasons. What the hell happen?

  46. Trouty Mouth says:

    I would have cut Charlie and kept both Devin and Johnny. Rocket Man sounded like a sheep being castrated.

  47. jane says:

    I don’t understand why Johnny got cut. He doesn’t have the best voice, but he at least sounded decent. Charlie and Elijah were awful. They seem like sweet kids and maybe in a few years their voices could develop into something more tolerable. They’ve got to be stacking the deck towards the girls this year.

  48. rio says:

    All of these guys made me miss Sanjaya. Curtis has talent, but his performace is so grotesque — he’ll have to be trained to dial it waaaay back. All the rest were bland. It’s clear the producers want a winner who’ll break the pattern of the last several seasons, and I think they’re aiming for a female country singer. But the talent pook this year must have headed over for “The Voice.” No standouts for me.

  49. bbl says:

    Firstly, since when does Randy care about melody and vocals? I seem to remember him giving one particular contestant a pass all season long. Secondly, three guys remain for two chairs: the first one is guaranteed to make it through. This format takes some of the suspense out of things.

    Curtis seems like the most technically adept male singer I’ve seen this season. He’s got huge range and I really love some of the artistic choices he makes. But like Joshua last season, I’m trying hard to imagine what he’d produce that I would actually buy. In general, I gravitate more to female soul singers than male.

    I was surprised JDA got sent home. I thought the love from the audience would count for something; Idol’s ratings aren’t getting any bigger.

    • ssc38 says:

      Middle America is just not ready for JDA! He was entertaining, and he fit right in on the Vegas strip….but just couldn’t see his gender bender self going thru to the live rounds. If you closed your eyes and just listened to him sing, he wasn’t that bad. Much better than Elijah, at least to me. Has nothing to do with his singing, but did you notice how tiny he really is? He had on 5 inch heels and was eye to eye with Ryan, and we all know Ryan is short! (H*!!–he even jokes about his height)

  50. JenD says:

    i am in love with devin. i am head over heels in love with his 1950’s-Dad-Sweater wearing self. devin, i’ll see you in may. xo