Vote for your favorite. Take nothing for granted.
Because, this year, the semifinals are a once-and-done proposition.
Not the best way to pick a cast for the Idol finals, but it’s what we’ve been handed in season 10.
That said, here’s the recap from the guys’ performance Tuesday night.
Best of the night: Whoever picked Casey Abrams as the show closer knew what they were doing. I wondered whether Casey could pull it off without his assortment of instruments. I mean, this is the guy who dragged a standing bass onstage for Hollywood Week. Have no fear. Casey was fun. Casey was a character. Casey entertained. Best of all, Casey sang very well. Meet the frontrunner among the guys.
Runners-up: I’d put Scotty McCreery and Jacob Lusk here. I wasn’t a big fan of Jacob’s performance. But he showed more control that I expected. And you’d have to be deaf not to appreciate some of those notes he hit near the end. Scotty picked a perfect song and was pitch perfect on it. I expected no less from him. And, for 17, he looked very poised on stage.
Worst of the night: When I saw the songs the guys would be singing, the performance I was least looking forward to was Robbie Rosen singing “Arms of an Angel.” Sure enough, the teen from New York butchered the song. I have no idea what Steve and J-Lo were hearing. That is not the way to sing a ballad.
Deserves to go home: Besides Robbie, put Jordan Dorsey here. He showed Usher-like enthusiasm, I supposed. But either the acoustics were off or he was vocally confused in his rendition of “OMG.” Equally confusing, when the judges questioned his song choice, Jordan admitted the song didn’t suit him. Huh? Hey, Jordan, you could choose from pretty much any song you wanted. And you choose a song you knew didn’t fit you very well?
Please keep him: I had such high hopes for Tim Halperin, based mostly on the pre-Idol originals I had heard. I even featured one, “She Runs,” as song of the day last week. But Tim neither sounded good or looked comfortable performing Rob Thomas’ “Streetcorner Symphony.” I’m hoping he gets another shot.
Surprise of the night: James Durbin only shrieked twice singing “You Got Another Thing Comin’.” I figured that song was four-shriek worthy at least. Actually, way to dial it back a notch James. Not too over the top, but enough glory notes to show what you can do.
Best line of the night from the judges: Jennifer Lopez to Brett Loewenstern, after he sang “Light My Fire.” – Said J-Lo: “That was more hair tossing than me and Beyonce in the last 10 years.”
Pick five: Wow, that’s tough. But here goes. My choices would be: Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Tim Halperin, James Durbin for the reasons listed above. And Paul McDonald. Paul’s got one of the most distinctive voices of the group and delivered a dead-on vocal Tuesday.
Prediction for Thursday: Because his appeal might not be as widespread, I think Jacob Lusk might have to enter the finals as a wild card. But he’ll be there. If he isn’t voted in, one of the judges will put him in. And rightfully so. If a seventh male makes it, I’d pick Brett Loewenstern for being unqiue, quirky and fearless on stage.
If you missed the grade by grade blog, go here. But I’ve also listed the grades below.
Tomorrow night: Live song-by-song grades for the Idol ladies.
Grades for the guys:
Casey Abrams: I Put a Spell on You — A
Scotty McCreery: Letters from Home — A-
Jacob Lusk: A House is Not a Home — A-
James Durbin: You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ — B+
Paul McDonald: Maggie May — B
Brett Loewenstern: Light My Fire — B
Stefano Langone: Just the Way You Are — B-
Clint Gamboa: Superstition — C+
Tim Halperin: Streetcorner Serenade — C-
Jovany Barreto: I’ll Be — C-
Robbie Rosen: Arms of an Angel — D
Jordan Dorsey: OMG — D-