American Idol is finally ready to move on from the craziness of the auditions and the drama and tears of Hollywood and just get down to business. Last night the performances of the top 24 began with the top 12 boys. Some favorites disappointed us while some quiet ones came out of the shadows and blew us away.
Unfortunately, the first three that kicked the show off were kind of forgettable: Clint Jun Gamboa with Steve Wonder’s “Superstition,” Jovany Barreto with Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” and Jordan Dorsey’s rendition of Usher’s “OMG.” Clint came off very karaoke, but surprisingly Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez both liked it and Randy Jackson loving it saying no karaoke singer can do it like that. Jovany was loved by Stephen and J. Lo but Randy thought this one was too karaoke. He sounded a bit like Marc Anthony, so J. Lo could have been partial to that. The worst of the night goes to Jordan trying to be Usher. J. Lo went as far as to say that it’s not really him. “You are more Nat King Cole,” said Jennifer. Jordan is a sure bet to be going home.
In the fourth spot came Tim Halperin who blew everyone away last week with his amazing performances in Hollywood, but tonight he a bit of a step backward. His rendition of Rob Thomas‘ “Streetcorner Symphony” was just not the right fit for him. He is better off with a slower song or behind the piano. Tim could be in trouble this week but will he sneak in with the “cute vote,” perhaps? The judges all agreed that he was better than that with Randy saying, “it wasn’t his best try today.”
Next up was the energetic Brett Loewenstern with The Doors’ “Light My Fire” and that boy sure knows how to whip his hair. Maybe he should give Willow Smith a call. He is so full of energy and a joy to watch. But will the audience be able to connect with him enough that they will pick up the phone to vote? Steven thought he was on fire, but will viewers?
Next three up were James Durbin with Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin,” Robbie Rosen with Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” Scott McCreery with John Michael Montgomery’s “Letters from Home” and Stefano Langone with Bruno Mars‘ “Just the Way You Are.” James Durbin had the audience going nuts with his theatrical high notes, but seemed like he was trying too hard to get the Adam Lambert voters. Steven thought he was “crazy good” and Randy exclaimed: “This is how you do it!” Robbie then took it down a notch with a sweet rendition of “Angel.” He hit some beautiful notes, but was it exciting enough for voters to spend the time voting? Jennifer thinks so and said, “When you sing, you feel every single word.” Down-home country boy Scott McCreery brought it down south next and will have any fan of country music bouncing up and down in their seats. Randy loved “the lowness in your voice.” Stefano who has talked about his horrible car accident and all he has been through was right in picking his song title. Steven really loved how his “voice cut through the air in the room.” Randy thinks that he “could be on the radio now.” But will viewers feel the same way?
Idol definitely saved the best three of the night for the end of the episode. Paul McDonald sang Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” Jacob Lusk did Luther Vandross’ “A House is Not a Home” and Casey Abrams did his rendition of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” Paul with his sparkling white teeth and his dark black suit came out with a very cool and quirky vibe to his voice. It has an element to it that you can’t quite put your finger on but you know that you want to see more. The judges loved him with Jennifer saying: “You’ve got a real character about your voice.” Jacob Lusk was next to step on stage and boy did he blow everyone away. Amazing is more like it. Jennifer Lopez even went as far as to compare him to Luther Vandross as she wiped away the tears in her eyes. Steven felt “honored” after watching Jacob do his thing.
And getting the primo pimp spot was the jazzy Casey Abrams, who almost didn’t make it to the show after being hospitalized for a stomach ailment. However, he showed no weakness up on stage and did his thing bouncy growls and all and the audience ate it up. Steven Tyler even thought he was “unreal!” But was it too quirky for the audience? I don’t think so, Casey should sail through.
So now for the important part: 12 guys performed, but only five will make it through to the top 13. And there is a shot of being chosen for a wildcard slot. My predictions: Casey, Paul, Jacob, Scotty and James will sail through and that leaves Tim, Brett and Robbie vying for the wildcard spots. As for the rest of the guys, this is most likely the end of the road for them.
Meanwhile, the Top 12 girls will perform tonight at 8 p.m. on FOX. Don’t miss it!
Written by Rana Meyer