American Idol 9 Semifinals: Top 12 Guys

Last night, the Top 12 girls sang live for the first time.  And the Internets hated it.  Just about every review and blog said that it was dull, and asked where the talent was.  As I mentioned in last night’s blog, I think it came down to (almost) everyone playing it safe – why take a risk, have it blow up, and go home early?  Most of the girls clearly decided that they’d stick close to their comfort zone… and the couple that didn’t either soared… or sunk.

Here we go…

Now, it’s the guys’ turn.  We’re back at Television City.  We’re waiting to see if the guys learned from the girls’ performances last night.  And, frankly, there’s one contestant who I hope fails miserably… but we’ll get to him later. 

This… is night two of the semifinals… and THIS… is American Idol! *hit the music*

Cold open with the guys lined up onstage… AND RYAN BLEW THE OPEN!!!  “THIS… is American… (turn to Simon) quiet, stop talking…”.  Clearly, they used the wrong pretape.  Ha ha ha.

The guys are introduced, then the judges, as per normal.

"Fraudrick" Hall, 24, Arlington, TX – “Since You Been Gone”, Kelly Clarkson – Todrick is a scammer.  I really want him to fail.  Unfortunately, he didn’t.  He did a very, very different – and I think, successful – take on Clarkson’s signature tune.  He’ll survive.  The judges, of course, are morons – they preach “make a song your own”, then dump on someone who made the song his own.  Of course, if they dump enough, maybe he’ll be eliminated.  So go ahead, judges, be dumb.  I’m rooting for you.

Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, PA – “Here Comes Goodbye”, Rascal Flatts – Reportedly got here through Disney’s “American Idol Experience”.  Hmm… a lite-pop version of the country hit.  Interesting choice… at least the guys are starting out with a couple of risks… sounds good, middle-of-the-pack, probably will keep him around.

Jermaine Sellers, 27, Joliet, IL – “Get Here”, Oleta Adams – Given his background in gospel, covering Oleta Adams made sense.  But… it came off a bit screechy.  I’m not thrilled.  At this point, I’m not “throwing him under the bus”, but he needs someone else to fall…

SCORECARD – Jermaine’s trailing at the quarter-pole…

Product Placement Red Room pimpage for Tim Urban … as they try to explain Tim’s arrival without actually explaining it…

Tim Urban, 20, Duncanville, TX – “Apologize”, OneRepublic – The mystery semifinalist, who got in when the contractual skeleton in Chris Golightly’s closet came up.  Tim needed to hit a home run, due to his lack of exposure… and didn’t.  This was good as far as it went, but I think he’s going to get lost in the crowd, as it didn’t stand out. 

Joe Munoz, 20, Huntington Park, CA – “You And I Both”, Jason Mraz – It sounded like he got lost in the first half of the song and struggled to find his way out… marginal, might get through, but this kind of performance won’t keep him here for long.

Tyler Grady, 20, Nazareth, PA – “American Woman”, Guess Who – Their "70s guy” doing a 70s classic… I liked it, as he didn’t really mimic either Burton Cummings or Lenny Kravitz.  I think it’s enough to keep him here.  He does need to do something modern if he comes back next week.

SCORECARD – Tim’s in trouble.  Jermaine and Joe should be worried.  Nobody has jumped out at me as a favorite to make the Top 12 yet.

Lee Dewyze, 23, Mount Prospect, IL – “Chasing Cars”, Snow Patrol – First instrument of the night (guitar)… likeable, enjoyable (if a bit flat at times), certainly made an impression, should be back.  With more suitable material, he can make it big.

John Park, 21, Evanston, IL – “God Bless The Child”, Billie Holiday (among others) – He’s got a nice little voice, and it’ll serve him well at a coffee shop at Northwestern.  This performance was a mistake.  It was nice knowing you, John, you can chase Shania now.

Michael Lynche, 26, Astoria, NY – “This Love”, Maroon 5 – Breaking out the guitar… I wasn’t sure this is the right song for Big Mike… but he did well with it.  A really solid showing.  He’s coming back.

SCORECARD – John is gone.  Tim or Jermaine will join him.  John’s flop saved Joe.   And we have a couple of potential finalists, finally…

Alex Lambert, 19, North Richland Hills, TX – “Wonderful World”, James Morrison – NO relation to another A.Lambert.  By who?? :)  I never heard this song (or the original singer) before… but I wouldn’t mind hearing this performance again.  Well done. 

Casey James, 27, Fort Worth, TX – “Heaven”, Bryan Adams – Did he say that Kara was a “huge star”???  Out comes the guitar.  Rough start.  Rough parts.  I think he’ll get through on looks and charm (and this wasn’t bad, just not great), but he needs to step up his game.  And the self-indulgent nonsense from the judges didn’t help him, so he gets a bit of a pass.

And now, the Pimp Spot.

Andrew Garcia, 24, Moreno Valley, CA – “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”, Fall Out Boy – One more guitar to take us home… oh, dear.  I think I sing this song better in my car.  OK, it wasn’t THAT bad, but for the Pimp Spot, it was a bit of a disappointment.  He may have gone down swinging weakly.

Wrapping up to the stirring strains of the closing montage… I’ll toss it in here – Ellen is holding up VERY well as a judge.  She’s firm but fair, without veering into Cowellesque brutality.  Fox and the producers got this hire right.

The Big Finish:
Simon’s been saying that one of the girls will win this.  After tonight, I think I see why.  Almost everyone is “OK” or better, but nobody really stood out.   I think what I’m saying is that while I’m making a prediction as to who’ll be voted out… it’s close enough that anyone could go.   Well, John and any one other guy.

  • FINALS WATCH: Lee, Michael
  • I’D SEND HOME: John, Tim
  • AMERICA WILL SEND HOME: John, Jermaine

Four singers will be sent home tomorrow at 8/7c, plus live performances from Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta.  Your late local news is next…


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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