'American Idol' Top 10 men: The Charlie Askew experiment needs to end
Sorry, do we sound bitter? It's because we are. Most of these guys have been atrocious so far.
1. Elijah Liu, "Stay," Rihanna
Interesting song choice, but he definitely has the sweet tenor to pull it off. This is actually pretty nice. There are a few bum notes here and there, but he has such a pretty tone. It's not blowing our wig off, but it wasn't bad. We just wish he had done a little more with it. The song didn't really go anywhere. More oomph, more personality would've been good.
Urban is right that the song suited his voice -- it really did. Nicki manages not to be too gross towards this young man, then comments on his marketability, which is totally right. He's a total Bieber-type. Randy agrees on his being marketable, but he says it never left first gear. Exactly what we meant. It never went anywhere.
2. Cortez Shaw, "Locked Out of Heaven," Bruno Mars
This is a lot of fun, in that Cortez gets to show off some personality and some dance moves. Vocally, it's just OK. He's got some pitch issues and the song comes across very cruise shippy. All he's missing are some jazz hands, ya know? Better than last week, but not great.
The judges are a little harsh. Urban thinks it was the wrong song, Nicki hates his styling (aren't they styling themselves at this point? Ouch.), Randy says he was under pitch and was straining, and Mariah agrees. Hmph. We don't think Cortez will advance, but the judges really pile on him.
At least Seacrest points out that the kids are styling themselves at this point. Yeah, judges -- not everybody has a stylist.
3. Charlie Askew, "Mama," Genesis
So, this kid is the Zoanette of the guys, for us. This needs to stop. Do not vote for this kid, girls.
OK, this song is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. He is way too young for this, and his screaming shenanigans and awkward dance moves are terrible. This is wretched and if the judges indulge this crap, we are going to be really irritated. But maybe this song choice will work in our favor and he'll go home.
Urban comments that there's something about Charlie that is not genuine, which is very true. He's like a kid playing dress up. He's not authentically weird or tough or rebellious, he's like put-on weird. Minaj also didn't like it, she wants the little boy back. Speaking of little boy, he is almost in tears while the judges talk. He clearly is not emotionally ready for this at all.
And then after the judges' comments, he has his own little emo meltdown on stage. See, he's not a big, tough, weird rebel guy -- he's a little boy. Send him home. "American Idol" is not your personal therapy session and it's pretty much the fault of the judges for putting him through this far.
UGHHHH. If he sticks around because of pity votes, that is not OK.
So, just as an aside, Keith Urban is easily the best judge this season, right? He says the most prescient things and offers good advice, while also being nice and complimentary. I didn't really expect him to be this awesome.
You know, a panel made up of Cowell, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban would actually be like the best judging panel ever.
4. Nick Boddington, "Iris," Goo Goo Dolls
He's back at the piano, which is a huge plus. Love the small changes he makes to the melody line. This is a very sweet performance. His "I just don't want to miss you tonight" gave me goosebumps and the way he goes down a note on "understand" is beautiful. We weren't really sold on this guy after last week, but this was great. It says something when I'm wondering if I can download a performance and put it on my iPod.
The judges are mostly complimentary. Minaj didn't love the melody change-ups, but we disagree. He didn't get too crazy and bastardize the original. It was nice.
5. Burnell Taylor, "I'm Here," "The Color Purple"
Don't love that he's singing his audition song again. Go outside the box, dude. That being said, he's very talented. We just wanted to see some more versatility from him. Also, he's just a touch too Broadway. This is from a musical, but the way he's enunciating and moving his hands are very show tune-y.
Don't get me wrong -- he should advance. He's one of the five best male singers. But it's just disappointing to hear the same song again.
The judges loved it, though Nicki wishes he had done a new song.
6. Paul Jolley, "Just a Fool," Christina Aguilera
Interesting song choice. We actually dig this kind-of country spin on this song. He gets a little shouty on the chorus, he maybe could've taken the key down a half step or even a full step so as to not sound like he's going to give himself a hernia on these high notes. Hmm. Even though we like the arrangement, this isn't that strong vocally. Loud and shouty does not equal good. Also, this really makes us wonder what kind of artist this guy is.
Keith Urban is in our head, as he asks what Paul Jolley wants to be. He says he wants to be the male Taylor Swift, which -- *sigh*. Ughhhh, aim higher. She is really not that good of a vocalist, y'all. Anyway. Urban also says Jolley can be very believable, and Nicki calls Urban out on that comment. She's right -- he's not believable at all. He's like a "Sesame Street" puppet with that grin. Randy rightly points out that when he went into the higher stuff, his tone got pretty abrasive.
7. Lazaro Arbos, "Feelin' Good," various artists
OK, so this guy has been skating by on his triumphant story. Because he's been pretty weak for a while now. When he starts, he has obviously had to put the key pretty low so that he can reach the high stuff later, but that leaves his verses muddy and fuzzy. It's too low for him. But then even on the higher stuff, he's having some serious pitch issues. Sorry, Lazaro, we like you a lot as a person, but this was not it.
Of course, the voting American public probably loved that and they think he's cute and they feel bad because of his stutter, so he's going to stay.
And naturally, the audience goes bonkers and the judges are slathering praise on him. Are they deaf? At least Mariah critiques his pitch issues. But it's like - adversity blahblahblah and overcoming blahblahblah and this is a singing competition, stop praising him because of his backstory.
8. Curtis Finch Jr., "I Believe I Can Fly," R. Kelly
So, I kind of hate this song. But this guy has gorgeous tone. The lower stuff is goosebump-y. And we much prefer him being R&B to being gospel. As the song builds, his high stuff is actually on point and really nice. It gets a little too gospel-y at the end for our taste, but that's just a personal preference thing. Curtis is a very talented singer.
The judges go bonkers. Nicki goes all big tent revival on us, while Randy says Curtis gives the girls a run for their money. Yeah, he's about the only one. Way to point out how good the girls are (and the guys aren't).
9. Devin Velez, "It's Impossible," Perry Como
Perry Como, huh? Way to be current, while dressed like the love child of Mr. Rogers and the Good Humor man. Goodness. Vocally, this is nice. He has a very pretty tone to his voice and it's on pitch. It's just boring as all get out. Also, you can't pull out the Spanish every week or it just starts to seem gimmicky. We really like this guy, but we hate his choices this week. So old-fashioned.
The judges are very complimentary. Keith Urban is right about how beautiful his voice is, we just didn't love the song choice. Randy also just loves his tone, which is totally right. It's beautiful.
10. Vincent Powell, "End of the Road," Boyz II Men
OK, Boyz II Men is great, but this song is so overplayed. And Powell way, way oversings it. He's off pitch a lot of the time, he's trying way too hard. This is not a good performance. Dial it back, dude. However, we weren't in love with him last week and the judges went bananas over him, so who knows. But this was pretty bad.
The judges try to chalk it up to nerves, but we were never sold on this guy in the first place.
So, who should advance? The five best singers were Elijah Liu, Curtis Finch Jr., Nick Boddington, Devin Velez and Burnell Taylor. Will Vincent Powell, Charlie Askew and/or Lazaro Arbos sneak in there? Probably. Which is a shame. What is also a shame is that it has to be five guys, because it should really be like three men and seven women who advance to the Top 10.
Who are you voting for, "Idol" fans?