It looks like Simon Cowell‘s dreams of a female American Idol winner may come true, if the performances from the Top 12 men last night are anything to go by.
Just one of the guys elicited wholehearted praise from Simon, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and Ellen DeGeneres — the handsome blond Texan, Casey James.
Casey, 27, tackled Bryan Adams’ “Heaven,” but had to control his laughter throughout his performance as the judges hammed it up around Kara, who previously admitted to having a crush on the crooner, reports Access Hollywood.
“Casey, I don’t recognize you with your shirt on,” Kara said after he finished his number, referencing his audition when she asked him to remove his shirt. “It was hard for me to listen to that because I’m married.”
Ellen actually apologized for the judges’ behavior during Casey’s performance, which the singer had to work hard to ignore. “I’m sorry everything was going on, because it was not fair,” she said.
As for Simon, he offered a true compliment, after praising himself. “One thing I do understand is that we both were cursed with good looks and somehow you have to manage the talent thing as well,” Simon deadpanned.
“All the kidding aside… what I really liked about you today was you absolutely chose the right song, it came over as very honest, very sincere, you came over as very likable.”
Here’s a recap of the rest of the performers:
Todrick Hall, 24, from Arlington, Texas, opened the show with an R ‘n’ B version of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone,” which prompted Simon’s withering comment, “what you did was completely murder the original song.”
Aaron Kelly, 16, from Sonestown, Penn., sang Rascal Flatts’ “Here Comes Goodbye,” and impressed the judges with his potential. “16, what a voice, dude. Wow,” Randy said.
Jermaine Sellers, 27, from Joliet, Ill., took on “Get Here” by Oleta Adams, but his weak vocals et him down. “I think you’ve totally blown your opportunity with that,” Simon noted.
Tim Urban, 20, from Duncanville, Texas, was the hopeful called back to the group after Chris Golightly was eliminated and he sang One Republic’s “Apologize”. “Congratulations for coming back,” Simon said. “Having said that, we absolutely made the right decision [the] first time around by not putting you through based on that performance.”
Joe Munoz, 20, from Huntington Park, Calif., performed the Jason Mraz song “You and I Both,” but while Randy thought he “worked it out,” Simon called his safe rendition, “forgettable.”
Tyler Grady, 20, from Nazareth, Penn., underwhelmed the judges with the ‘70s classic “American Woman.” “My issue with you is, you come over… as somebody [who has] gone to ‘Pretend To Be A Rockstar’ school,” Simon said. “It’s all a bit cliched. It doesn’t feel natural and [this] is a singing competition. I don’t think you’re spending enough time concentrating on your vocals.”
Lee Dewyze, 23, from Mount Prospect, Ill., sang Snow Patrol‘s song “Chasing Cars”. While Randy suggested the singer pick a rock song next time, Simon loved Lee’s rendition saying, “I thought this was the best performance by far”.
John Park, 21, from Evanston, Ill., suffered an Icarian fall with his take on the gospel number, “God Bless The Child”. “You have got to have an incredible voice to take on that song and you haven’t,” said Simon.
Michael Lynch, 26, from Astoria, New York, covered Maroon 5‘s “This Love” but got no love from the judges. “You’re a big guy, big heart, but you delivered so little with that performance,” said Simon.
Alex Lambert, 19, from North Richland Hills, Texas, was criticized for his shyness while singing James Morrison’s “Wonderful World”. “That was the most uncomfortable performance of the night,” Simon sneered while the audience booed. “You can boo all you like, it’s a fact…. You’ve got a good voice, naturally, a good voice, but if you can’t get your nerves together on a night like this, it’s never gonna work for you.”
Andrew Garcia, 24, from Moreno Valley, Calif., was dismissed as a “try-hard” by Randy after singing Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”.