Let’s start by giving a shout out to our little Ry-Ry who is seriously the best host on television (in my humble opinion). He had me cracking up all night long and the proof is in the pudding that he’s back from whatever malady struck him last season. Seriously. I love how he can roll with the punches and come up with one-liners that serve both as funny commentary and transitional moments.
Name: Todrick Hall
Song: A hacked up version of Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
Why you remember him from the auditions: We’ve followed Todrick’s journey from his very first audition where he sang the most American Idol personalized audition song I’ve ever heard (word on the street is that he wrote it in the shower, but the music part sounded an awful lot like a mishmash of India.Arie songs). He’s a triple threat and sang with Fantasia in “The Color Purple”.
Why you remember her after her performance night: He sang what was quite possibly the worst arrangement I’ve ever heard of “Since U Been Gone”. But I gotta say, even though he slaughtered the song on stage, he looked good doing it and I was entertained.
First Performance: Clearly Todrick missed the memo…no one told him that just because you re-arrange a song doesn’t mean that the song will turn to gold. I personally think I would have liked the arrangement a bit more in a higher key and with less of a choppy feel. I mean, I was reaching for the Dramamine here. C’mon! That said, I do like Todrick and I think he’ll do great things. And on the movement on stage front, he’ll be the anti-Danny Gokey. 🙂
Name: Aaron Kelly
Song: Here Comes Goodbye by Rascal Flatts
Why you remember him from the auditions: The first place I remember seeing Aaron was during the last part of Hollywood Week and maybe a snippet during group week. The dude forgot the words to his final audition song, “Angels” but recovered. You might also think, as I do, that the producers cast him into the “David Archuleta” slot of the season. He’s a young (16), aw-shucks kind of guy with humility and natural talent. To be clear, though, there’s no question that Archie contained more talent in his little finger than Aaron could carry in his boots, but that’s a discussion for a different time.
Why you remember him after performance night: Possibly because the judges went really easy on him and clearly want to put him in their pockets.
First Performance: Have I mentioned that I really dislike country? That said, I have to give A-Kell mad props for singing in tune live more than I’ve EVER heard Rascal Flatts do. I’m not buying what he’s selling yet, but I suppose that doesn’t really matter. The tween girls will pick up my slack.
Name: Jermaine Sellers
Song: Get Here by Oleta Adams
Why you remember him from the auditions: In his first audition, he introduced himself as a church singer and held up his end of the bargain. However, during his last performance in Hollywood Week, he admonished Ricky Minor and the band for neglecting to play his select version of Man in the Mirror, effectively throwing the band under the bus and coming across as a jerk-face.
Why you remember him after performance night: Well, I like his jaunty hats. I didn’t feel that he was amazingly memorable though…at least not for the right reasons.
First Performance: I was a little confused about the pitch he chose to utilize. Several parts of his 90 second vocal were a little breathy and the other parts were a little grating. There were a few moments of nice tone, and I think he’s a charming guy, but I don’t know if he’s going to make it very far if this is all he’s got in his arsenal.
Name: Tim Urban
Song: Apologize by One Republic
Why you remember him from the auditions: C’mon now…the dude has Zach Efron hair!
Why you remember him after performance night: We found out that he was cut initially and then was called to be a part of the top 24 when one contestant was eliminated (I believe the contestant’s father was interviewed for a local paper and gave away that his son cracked the top 24 while main stream auditions were still taking place).
First Performance: I’ll be honest, I was kind of dreading Tim’s performance. I was pleasantly surprised! I do have to say that he didn’t really sing the song as smoothly as it needed to be sung and Simon was right – he didn’t come across as a natural performer. The bridge was very nice, though. I’d take him over Jermaine at this point.
Name: Joe Munoz
Song: You and I Both by Jason Mraz
Why you remember him from the auditions: You probably don’t. I do vaguely remember Simon slamming a contestant by telling him to learn to play the guitar, so apparently that contestant was Joe. Who knew?
Why you remember him after performance night: Gave a shout out to his family in Mexico at the end of his critique. Also, Jason Mraz is hard to sing! The last Jason Mraz song that I remember was Chris Richardson singing “Geek in the Pink” a few seasons back.
First Performance: A few shaky notes, but Joe mostly had this song firmly in hand. He’s got an amazing voice and I was impressed with his vocal! Simon thought his performance was forgettable. I think he might be right, but I think Joe deserves another week.
Name: Tyler Grady
Song: American Woman by The Guess Who/Lenny Kravitz
Why you remember him from the auditions: Tyler was the guy with the gimmick (70’s hair and style) that actually paid off. We didn’t see too much of him in Hollywood week.
Why you remember him after performance night: He waxed eloquent on his personal style in his video intro, but I think you’ll still remember him from the 70’s vibe and 70’s song. Did I mention the 70’s?
First Performance: Interesting. Hmm. Well, I think Tyler’s voice is one of my favorites and he was fairly consistently on pitch. I think the song choice was right in his wheelhouse but I felt that his performing style was a little off-putting. Maybe I’m just being picky, but it really seemed as if he was singing and moving but was kind of mentally a step behind the music and lacked a certain stage presence and energy to give the vocal believability.
Name: Lee Dewyze
Song: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
Why you remember him from the auditions: Poor Lee’s head was absconded by a sort of loose beanie during his last Hollywood performance. He has one of the best and most humble reactions to being told he was put through to the top 24. Seemed like a likeable chap, though I remember listening to his last Hollywood audition and thinking that it lacked a little melody…it was kind of gruff and choppy.
Why you remember him after performance night: Lee introduced an instrument to the stage for the first time tonight and I think it worked for him.
First Performance: Dude started strong and ended strong. I was wincing a bit during the chorus when he hit some flat notes, but overall I really like him! So far, he’s the biggest surprise to me. I think he had a little tiny bit of a Daughtry vibe coming through…
Name: John Park
Song: God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday
Why you remember him from the auditions: John’s initial audition was rife with Shania Twain wackiness and (possibly) inappropriate statements…he also sang well. 🙂
Why you remember him after performance night: That intro video had me laughing…John has a sense of humor and I appreciate that in an American Idol contestant (Chris Sligh, anyone?).
First Performance: I thought the song choice was a little wacky, but loosened up a bit as it went on and so did John. Bottom line: he could have chosen a different song that would have been better for him. That said, what the song did do was show off his range (especially his lower register). I was disappointed in John’s performance because even though I’d bet the two pennies I have rattling around in my piggy bank that we didn’t see John after his initial audition, I still remembered him when they did the intro video announcing our top 12 guys. Bummer.
Name: Michael Lynche
Song: This Love by Maroon 5
Why you remember him from the auditions: If you don’t remember Michael, you’ve been under a rock. Seriously. Also known as “Big Mike”, this bulky dude had his first child born while he was at Hollywood week. What does that mean? Well, apparently a lot of oversharing. Um, we don’t need to know how many centimeters your wife is dilated. Let’s keep that information to yourself, eh?
Why you remember him after performance night: Let’s seeeeee…because he reminded us that his first child was born during Hollywood week.
First Performance: Everything about this guy screams MICHAEL SARVER to me. Soo….I was kind of set to dislike him, but Michael did a great job of owning the song, making it up-tempo without trying too hard and stayed in key throughout. I thought he did a great job and I suppose I’ll have to reserve judgment. I do think he held the guitar and didn’t do much with it, though.
Name: Alex Lambert (no relation to Adam. I checked.)
Song: Wonderful World by James Morrison
Why you remember him from the auditions: Survived group week in a big way and his personality seems to be a little more background, especially when we saw him in a group with the rock diva Mary Powers who THANK GOODNESS didn’t make it to the top 24. Also, did mullets come back in style? No, I think not. Adam wouldn’t be caught dead with that hair and would be disappointed in Alex’s lack of hair product.
Why you remember him after performance night: Because you thought, “How is it possible that I don’t remember this guy?” I do think I enjoyed his performance a lot more when I closed my eyes.
First Performance: He opened his mouth and I was immediately impressed with his voice. I thought he delivered a solid performance but needs to work on his personal presentation (ahem, cut your hair, Alex…). I agree with Kara – he’s got potential.
Name: Casey James
Song: Heaven by Bryan Adams
Why you remember him from the auditions: We saw a little of him throughout the process, but I think what was initially most memorable was the first audition where Kara made him take off his shirt. I rolled my eyes…I don’t understand why Casey sans shirt was a better singer than Casey fully shirted. I’m just sayin’.
Why you remember him after performance night: Talked about Kara’s obsession with him (my words, not his) and in a very well-played move, suggested that he might be singing tonight’s song to Kara. (Of course, Kara took this comment way too far).
First Performance: I liked his performance and I think he’s an all-around solid contestant. I like his voice, I like that he plays the guitar, and I really have been enjoying his journey step by step. Also, does he give off a Sully from Dr. Quinn Medicine vibe? Yeah. I thought so.
Name: Andrew Garcia
Song: Suger, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy
Why you remember him from the auditions: Andrew (aka thick glasses guy) was likeable in his first audition but really knocked it out of the park with his first Hollywood song choice…a stripped down and reworked version of Paula Abdul’s Straight Up.
Why you remember him after performance night: The most well-done tweaked song of the night. I heart Andrew.
First Performance: Did I mention that I HEART ANDREW?!?! I agree with Simon that he can go farther and grow, but I disagree with the lackluster comments that the panel dished out tonight. I think Andrew set himself up for a bit of failure because his take on the Paula Abdul song was so fantastic that it’s hard to top, but I think he’s reset the bar and can steadily gain ground from here. He’s my most favoritest contestant so far.
My top three guys would have to be: Andrew Garcia, Todrick Hall and Lee Dewyze. Todrick didn’t deliver this week, though, so I’ll sub him out for Casey James. I wouldn’t scream and rant if the following two guys were sent home: Jermaine Sellers and Tim Urban. What do you think?