Ready for the Top 12 Guys?
The guys this year seem SO much better, more interesting, cuter & more talented than the girls, so I'm really surprised they are going first, but here goes:
The Judges: Randy talks a bit about how he's the anchor and this is the "re-mix!! what what!" ... I don't know when he's going to learn that he either has to be rich or talk ghetto and not both. It doesn't work for him. Steven Tyler is given a Idol sign by Ryan Seacrest to hold over his mouth when he curses, good luck with that-- in the process Seacrest curses explaining how it works saying "don't worry, they'll just bleep it out." And he did NOT use the sign. Lesson? Seacrest = Hypocrite. Jennifer Lopez, I don't get... she has looked absolutely radiant and oh so classy at all of the auditions, wearing expensive Prada shoes, Burberry trenches, Audrey Hepburn-esque buns... tonight is the first real TV night, with a live audience, and she is dressed like a hooker. Fake black leather skin-tight halter dress, with a sky high ponytail. She even calls herself out on her rhinestone earrings.
Top 12 Overview: There's the 2 douchebags, Clint & Jordan, The 2 hotties Jovany & Stefano-- wait a minute, didn't Stefano get booted last week?? (that's what I get for not watching all of the 2nd episode) The 2 crazy screamers - James & Jacob, The 2 babies/sweethearts - Robbie & Brett the "normals" - Tim & Scotty, and the 2 crazy-talenteds, Paul & Casey. I didn't plan to group them in 2s, but it just ended up working that way. And let me say, I've been calling all of these people out from the very beginning for EXACTLY the reasons I just referred to above-- so it's nice to know that Idol is listening to me for a change ;) The judges got this exactly right.
Based on this -- my "before-singing cut opinion" (I need to start blogging live from now on because now you don't know if I cheated, but I swear I didn't)... and not singing at all... I would say the two to go are going to be the "normals" - Scotty & Tim. They're both nice, probably both good, but they've got nothing. No niche. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Forgettable. The only way Tim Halperin is staying is if someone confuses him for Jim Halpert. My personal opinion.
Any song they wish? Great. Isn't anyone going to explain why super-hot Stefano is back? No? Oh well, at least I still get to look at him.
Clint Jun Gamboa - Douchebag #1 is up first and of course he's singing Stevie Wonder. Hasn't he sang Superstitious before? Or at least some Stevie Wonder? Homework for tonight! I will look into that. The psychadelic lights suck but I know that's not his fault. His cockiness is though. Cocky does not equal stage presence. And his red shoes make me want to kick him back to the teen club to hang out with Chris Brown. His vocals are solid but there's crazy vibrato on almost everything. He sounds like Black Male Shakira.
My scores (out of 10): Vocals: 7 Outfit: 7 Stage Presence: 5
Judges: ST- good beginning and good end JL - jitters are out but it was good RJ - brilliant
Jovany Barreto - Hottie #1 is second, singing I'll Be. Seriously??? Come on dude, we hear that all the time. You're new facial hair also reminds me of Sanjaya. Great little suit going on though, and he seems nervous but in a modest, endearing way (learn from him, Doucheboa!). It was very karaoke, and he moved around like Desi Arnaz singing in a 1960's I Love Lucy episode, but despite all of that, he was very believable and precious (We could TELL JLo was feeling it!). The crowd roar confirms my thoughts, I guarantee he's through.
My scores: Vocals: 7 Outfit: 8 Stage Presence: 9
Judges: ST - "holy shipyard!" Beautiful. JL - "I'm happy right now! You did it!" RJ - Hater - Karaoke
(RJ seems already to say opposite of whatever the other 2 say. He also is making himself the mean one. But I have to agree with him about the karaoke part.)
Jordan Dorsey - Douchebag #2 is third, it's a Louisiana rush for once (which I am happy about), but I still can't stand him. He's singing Usher, which confirms my DB thoughts. It's entirely too low for him, he copies Usher's dance moves almost EXACTLY, and combined with the too-low key, it makes him end up sounding constipated. He actually ups the key halfway through because I guess he realized that. Judging by the backup singers who stayed in a lower key, it wasn't planned. He is ENTIRELY too full of himself for this performance. He won't be gone but I can only wish. Anyone who doubted me from the beginning saying that he was a douchebag need only watch this to prove I'm right. He ends with an OPEN CROTCH KNEEL, for Christ sake. Oh, the outfit? I don't remember, he took half of it off... (he took off his jacket and threw it across the stage), but I remember it just being something Chris Brown would wear. And a purple shirt. With dog tags.
My scores: Vocals: 4 Outfit: 7 Stage Presence: 4
Judges: ST - not his favorite, over the top, JL - "not who you really are", RJ - pitchy (first time of the year!), not good, nothing different
Pitchy count: 1
ST curse words: 4
Seacrest curse words: 2
Tim Halperin - Normal #1 , Come on Over - good tone, engaging, genuine, great falsetto. Kind of boring, but not bad. Jeans, blazer, open dress shirt with a black tee underneath (and more dog tags). He has some great stuff at the end of his performance. Really solid. No one will remember it tomorrow but the best one so far.
My scores: Vocals: 8 Outfit: 8 Stage Presence: 8 (solid as a rock!) but completely forgettable
Judges: ST - song did him no favors, JL - have been better before RJ - same (wow!), karaoke speech
*Tim did kind of sound like a douche in the exit interview, so I have to down his SP score by 1 pt.
Brett Loewenstern - Baby #1, Come on Baby Light My Fire - I winced at first with the song selection, it makes me feel oogie when babies sing grown up sexual songs, but he was very mature. He started it off in a lower register, and it was soulful, and modern all at the same time. He gave it a feist-y (like the female artist) kind of feel and I can't think of another male singer off the top of my head who can do that. Then, he jumps to a crazy rock and roll high vibe a la Siobhan Magnus and totally pulled it off. Like on SNL, I have to say that "this has EVERYTHING" - great falsetto, made it his own, amazing soft and loud notes, and fantastic tone. Oh, and his style- he kept it simple the way all teenage boys should, but if I saw him on the street I'd still think he was a rockstar. Blue shirt, jeans, vest, and hot blue sneakers. Oh and lots of bracelets and necklaces, including, you guessed it-- dog tags (did the AI men go in for matching dog-tags together? Cute public interest story. I will find out for you, folks!). So happy I had the chance to hang out all day with this kid in New Orleans. He is going to go FAR. Oh, on stage presence-- he started off slow and looked at the cameras, and then moved around, and even did some crazy Taylor Hicks like dancing. But it never looked awkward or put on or douchebaggy. It just looked like HIM. And the hair looked AMAZING!
My Scores: Vocals: 9 Outfit: 9 Stage Presence: 10 - this is the one to YouTube tomorrow
Judges: ST - you brought it home, on fire JL - "More hair tossing than me and Beyonce! You need a fan and a video!" liked it, he is who he is, RJ - 14 hair shakes, pitch problems, fun & bold
James Durbin - Screamer #1 Another Thing Coming (please hold your "he's autistic with Tourettes" hate-mail, I'm well aware of that. He CHOOSES to pretend to be a rockstar and scream), No idea on the song but I feel like I'm at a Metallica concert-- he screams "Come On" and flashes rockstar fingers and does a few Adam Lambert screams. He's wearing basically exactly what Tim Halperin did, only with a scarf between his legs like a tail and about 5 bandanas in various places. Lots of bracelets and necklaces too, I can't tell if there are dog-tags but can't rule them out. He ends in a rockstar jump (dude, that ONLY works if there's a band on stage with you), and a scream that would challenge Adam Lambert & Siobhan Magnus' love-child, if one existed. Oh, speaking of Lambert-- this dude is exactly like him, without the Glam. Does that make him a Lame-bert? Maybe. Unlike some of the others who are pretending to be someone they are not, this dude is full-on delusional about who he should be.
My Scores: Vocals: 6 Outfit: 7 Stage Presence: 6
Judges: ST - "BLEEP crazy good" (no sign, shocker), loves the Judas Priest (oh on the song!) JL - insane, crazy good, love who you are, RJ - "This is right here how you do it?" - at least HE asks about the tail. Oh my god, it's actually a *TAIL*. Not a scarf at all but a Zebra TAIL. RJ calls him "nice and tasty" - I guess he likes Zebra.
Robbie Rosen - Baby Sweetheart #2 - Sara McLachlan Angel?? Really?? Crazy tempo... I can't tell whether he's behind or the band is ahead and I change my mind on this quite a few times which tells me it's REALLY messed up. And this arrangement really sucks. He seems to notice that halfway through. He is gutsy as hell, though for picking it. A few pitch problems but he does some really cool things with it that I would not have expected. He could totally sell this as his own record with some work. It even went all Marvin Gaye for a minute. He looks nervous as hell, doing the one hand on the mic one hand to the sky then switching thing... he doesn't move around much but he's a baby so it's alright. and he's wearing his typical Vinnie jacket with a t-shirt and jeans, but with DOGTAGS! I'm SO looking this up later! Appropriate attire for a kid, but not that memorable. Very very him though.
My scores: Vocals: 7 Outfit: 7 Stage Presence: 7 +1 for picking a ballsy song
ST - a beautiful thing, can sing a ballad like nobody's business JL - tells a story, very special RJ - Not great, chest-into-head not good, pitchy. Robbie tells Randy back and that's another + .5 for balls.
Pitchy count - 2
Scotty McCreery - Normal #2 - ?? I do not know country nor can I understand a word he's saying - No hat! No dogtags! Just a cross. He's sitting on a stool, breaking all boundaries. And a leather jacket! Okay, this is vast improving and he's actually giving us a lot of personality from the stool. He looks totally comfortable. And despite looking like the Mad TV cartoon guy, he's almost a little sexy. He croons the last note and the ladies go crazy. It wasn't a great performance, vocals were solid and nothing different, but he's safe for sure.
Scores: Vocals: 7 Outfit: 9 (although I'm sure the boys are p'd about no dog tags!) Stage Presence: 9
Judges: ST- great song, who you are, so beautiful, JL - he belongs here RJ - awesome, nice job
Goodness... still 4 left? So much for sleep!
Stefano Langone - Hottie #2 - now will someone PLEASE tell me why he's back? I'm not complaining, I just am curious. I guess not. He's singing Bruno Mars... Amazing. Uh oh. It starts off shaky although he doesn't seem phased at all, and he's PRECIOUS. He opts for a cross instead of dog tags too. And he's so beautiful. AND he has a leather jacket. Take that, Scotty! He hits some crazy high falsetto, including some that is a little TOO high, but overall it's a solid performance, and did I mention he's gorgeous? I couldn't look away from his face but I'm pretty sure he was wearing a red t-shirt and a leather jacket. I have no idea if he was wearing pants. Is he single? Stefano, CALL ME.
Scores: Vocals: 7 (keeping it real), Outfit: 8, Stage Presence: 9 +1 for being HOT. This kid could not even open his mouth and I'd vote for him!
Judges: ST - gave it up again tonight, he too was staring at his face, JL - consistent & loving it, natural and good, he moves, he's a beast (I feel like she wants a private room), RJ - rocking, like at a concert - he also agrees with me on the sharp note.
Note: Seacrest asks Stefano if he's seeing anyone and for once I have to say, I like Seacrest's pesky little questions! Stefano says it's for "all the ladies" bringing a huge squeal and of course, he's now safe.
I realize at this point also that Casey Abrams is going to be last, which must mean it's amazing. The 10th spot person is NEVER bad. Same as in auditions.
Paul McDonald - Crazy-Talented #1 (finally. It says a lot though that they are at the end of the show). Maggie - shocker, didn't I say last time that he sounds like Rod Stewart? He does some crazy dancing and moving around on the stage. He is dressed like a Beatle but it works for him. All black suit, black shoes, black shirt buttoned to his neck. No necklaces at all. Okay now he's making me dizzy, but he sounds great and looks super comfortable. He also calls out something about "hello to TV land" which makes me instantly really like him. He's literally walking in circles. Did we drug test before the show? The song is pitch perfect with great tone but sounds EXACTLY like the original. Just dizzier.
Scores: Vocals: 8 Outfit: 5 Stage Presence: 8 +1 for being quirky (the TV land comment)
Judges: ST - good jacket, good voice & 2 step, real character in your voice, JL - unique with a good smile, RJ - unique & different from anything we've ever had, quirky
*right now I'd say that Paul will make it far, but not all the way. I'd give him Top 5 at best. Let's see if he can change that and do something different than Rod Stewart next time!
Jacob Lusk - crazy screamer #2 (his intro makes me think he's even crazier than I already think he is), the House into a Home song by Luther Vandross - Nice suit, beautiful pink and yellow and purple plaid tie and pocket square. And diamond earrings. I would really think he was a former player turned NFL announcer if I didn't know any better. From the neck up he looks like Usher. (earrings & expressions). I was really really bored with this until he did a scale halfway through. Then I went back to being bored. Until the end-- the end was some crazy screaming! But way better than James Durbin managed to do. His stage presence is off, he just stands there and looks possessed in the face. The singing is boring until spots here and there ( just like in auditions), and the man dresses fly. No dog tags or jewelry of any kind though (except the diamond earrings). I'm confused whether he is old school or new school between the song choice/style and the big diamond earrings.
Scores: Vocals: 9 Outfit: 9 Stage Presence: 5
Judges: ST - Divine Intervention brought him here, unbelievable, Jacob makes him cry, JL - He's the new Luther Vandross, RJ - Luther would be proud, and you have a little something else
*I'm apparently the only one who doesn't like this dude. I just think I've seen it before. Plus it's not really my style of music- it's kind of old-fashioned. I don't see him going to the finale at all. I'd say Top 7 at best.
Casey Abrams - Crazy Talented #2 (FINALLY) - after such a long wait, this better be good. I put a spell on you - He starts off strong and gets even stronger. His grunting freaks me out. But he's making it different and it's interesting. I can't look away. He makes crazy Zach Galifanakis faces but it's entertaining as hell. He's dressed like a crazy sailor salesman and growls a LOT - even does an Adam Lambert growl or too but it's SO worth it. And his stage presence is great. He's OWNING it. He looks like the kid who never ever ever dresses up who begrudingly put on his dad's dress shirt and jacket with the one pair of nice slacks he has, and it so totally does not suit him that it was a bad move, but that's his only false step. Although he did take fashion queen Julie Zorrilla to prom, so maybe I'm wrong on that! The note at the end was pure magic. Impressive was how he interacted with the judges, cameras, AND crowd.
My scores: Vocals: 10 Outfit: 6 Stage Presence: 10
** standing Ovation performance
Judges: ST - unreal, can't believe it, JL - Sexy, we ate it, RJ - transformed into the spirit of the song, so unique, love it, more more more. (He started screaming "yes yes yes" and it was scary)
ST curse words: 4
Seacrest curse words: 2
"Pitchy" count: 2
Final Scores: (out of 30)..
Brett Loewenstern - 28
Casey Abrams - 26
Stefano Langone - 25
Jovany Barreto - 24
Paul McDonald - 23
Jacob Lusk - 23
Tim Halperin - 23
Robbie Rosen - 22.5
Clint Gamboa - 19
James Durbin - 19
Jordan Dorsey - 15
After singing cut-opinion: James Durbin & Jordan Dorsey will be in danger. Maybe even Tim Halperin and Jacob Lusk as well.
Performances to You-Tube later: Brett Loewenstern & Casey Abrams