American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Top 12 Boys Perform"

Season 10, Episode 13
Episode Synopsis: The semifinal round kicks off with the Top 12 male singers performing. Viewer voting begins.
Original Air Date: Mar 1, 2011

American Idol Episode Recap: The Top 12 Guys Perform Season 10, Episode 13

We've made it, friends: After weeks of sob-story auditions and dramatic Hollywood-Week meltdowns, American Idol finally made it to the big stage. And that big stage swallowed up some of the competitors. While I agree with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe that past seasons' Top 24 middle rounds have gone on too long, tonight proved that not every singer who is deemed a semifinalist deserves to get the full production number. (Also, why was the band so much louder than the singers during most of the performances? Maybe to drown out some of the awfulness?)

Our new judges also faced their first real test. Sure, Steven Tyler was charming when he was edited together, but how would  that translate to live TV? As it turns out, he's still kind of charming when he's dropping F-bombs and Jennifer Lopez is still pretty beautiful — but neither of them really impressed me with their level of critical analysis, positive or negative. And Randy... Well, you can't teach an old dawg new tricks.

Let's break down the singing: 

Clint Jun Gamboa, "Superstition"
Call me petty, but I just find it hard to like this guy after he helped evict Jacee during Hollywood Week's group round. That said, he does have a pretty good voice, though I thought his tone didn't quite mesh well with this Stevie Wonder song. It was also a bit shouty, especially at the end.
The Judges Say: Steven said he proved why he made the semifinals. J. Lo said she expects more from him now that he's gotten past the nerves of his first performance. Randy was happy that Clint, who is a karaoke host, didn't do a karaoke version of the song.

Jovany Barreto, "I'll Be"
I really like his smooth voice and nice vibrato, but this performance couldn't have been more boring. There was very little originality, and the song didn't really showcase some of the strengths Jovany showed in earlier rounds.
The Judges Say: Steven and J. Lo both say he "did it." (What does that mean, exactly?) Randy says it was very karaoke and just OK for him. Oh, Steven did throw in a "holy shipyard!" Way to make the censors tense up!

Jordan Dorsey, "OMG"
This was a complete train wreck. The arrangement and tempo were all over the place, and the song was not at all what Jordan should have been singing. He did his best to squeeze some singing out of the talky melody, but in all the wrong ways.  Worst of all, he told the judges that the performance wasn't like him at all. OMG, indeed.
The Judges Say: Steven said it wasn't his favorite, J. Lo told him to stick to soft R&B and Randy said his version paled in comparison to Usher's.

Tim Halperin: "Streetcorner Symphony (Come On Over)"
Tim also suffered from an identity crisis. After sticking with piano ballads in Hollywood, he went with a feel-good pop song. He didn't sing it badly, and I guess I understand the desire to stretch your repertoire, but for his first real introduction to America, I would have preferred another dose of what I liked before.
The Judges Say: Steven said Tim let him down, J. Lo urged him to stick to his strengths, and Randy in a weird backhanded way said Tim wasn't cool enough to sing a Rob Thomas song.

Brett Loewenstern, "Light My Fire"
I think I understand why Brett appeals to the judges, but I didn't find anything appealing about this lukewarm take on The Doors' classic. (I really think the judges made a mistake passing on Colton Dixon for Brett. ) Brett knows what songs work for him, so he was one of the few who chose the right song. But his awkward dancing/hair-tossing put me off.
The Judges Say: Steven said Brett set the room on fire. J. Lo and Randy applauded how he stayed true to himself by being fun and bold. (Who cares about pitch, right Randy?)

James Durbin, "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"
Hey, kids, here's a little... Judas Priest? In case you hadn't guessed, James Durbin wants you to know he's a rocker. (The devil horns seem lame coming from a guy who is almost always crying.) Though he clearly outsang most of his competition tonight, I have little use for his relentless screeching. I just don't buy into his phony shtick.
The Judges Say: Steven said he was "f------ crazy good" and that he loves how over the top he is. J. Lo said he was insane and Randy liked his bandana tail.

Robbie Rosen, "Angel" 
I think Robbie has a great voice, but his arrangement really butchered this song. (This is the opposite end of Randy's "no karaoke" spectrum.) There were more than a few bum notes, but I was mostly distracted by how unrecognizable the song was. Somehow, J. Lo said he made better melodic choices than Sarah McLaughlin, so what do I know?
The Judges Say: Steven said it was beautiful, and officially ceased to be useful. Randy said it was pitchy, but J. Lo said all the notes didn't have to be perfectly perfect. You heard it here first, folks!

Scotty McCreery, "Letters From Home"
Baby lock them doors! Scotty is a good ol' country boy and he knows it. Choosing a John Michael Montgomery song was the absolute perfect choice, and he sang it almost flawlessly. It didn't show much range aside from the low notes, but I predict he will sail through for a while.
The Judges Say: Steven says he will be getting lots of letters from home. J. Lo says he was born to sing country music, and Randy appreciates that he's a throwback who isn't trying to do the country crossover routine.

Stefano Langone, "Just The Way You Are"
This performance was brought to you by Velveeta, because it was extra cheesy. Stefano has a pleasant voice, but that camera smile was just too much. I also found some of Stefano's phrasing to be off-putting, but overall it was a pretty solid vocal.
The Judges Say: Steven says Stefano was "so good" and that his voice "cut through the air." J. Lo likes his consistency, and Randy said that a few sharp notes didn't matter because he had them rocking.

Paul McDonald, "Maggie May"
Paul has a very unique voice, and unlike Stefano, I think his goofy grin is part of his charm. (Go ahead, call me a hypocrite.) That said, his voice is very small, and I am not sure it will stand out down the road in the competition. Lucky for him, his dancing almost certainly will.
The Judges Say:  Steven likes the character of his voice, J. Lo says his smile brings joy to the world and Randy is happy they found somebody different after 10 seasons.

Jacob Lusk, "A House is Not a Home"
Although he picked a big Luther Vandross song, I was delighted that he didn't oversing it too badly. But it was still plenty dramatic. As Randy might say, the guy "can definitely sing," but I'm really hoping he has a few other tricks up his sleeve.
The Judges Say: Steven said Jacob makes him cry and that he will happily bathe in his voice. J. Lo is happy that since Luther is gone, we have Jacob. (Overstating things much?) Randy thinks he's got mad skills. (After all, he did say his Hollywood Week performance of "God Bless the Child" was the single-best performance in the show's history.)

Casey Abrams, "I Put a Spell on You"
While this was far from my favorite Casey performance, it was a welcome relief at the end of the night. I'm not convinced that Casey isn't insane, but it's nice to see someone so committed this early in the game. You could feel his fire in every word of the performance. But he too will need to show us some other shades of his artistry moving forward.
The Judges Say: Steven said he is as good as it gets. Randy liked how he embodied the spirit of the song, and J. Lo said he is sexy. (It's the beard.)

What did you think of the guys? Who's getting your vote? Am I the only one who feels like a female will be the winner this season? Share your comments below!

 

show less

We've made it, friends: After weeks of sob-story auditions and dramatic Hollywood-Week meltdowns, American Idol finally made it to the big stage. And that big stage swallowed up some of the competitors. While I agree with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe that past seasons' Top 24 middle rounds have gone on too long, tonight proved that not every singer who is deemed a semifinalist deserves to get the full production number. (Also, why was the band so much louder than the singers during most of the performances? Maybe to drown out some of the awfulness?)

Our new judges also faced their first real test. Sure, Steven Tyler was charming when he was edited together, but how would  that translate to live TV? As it turns out, he's still kind of charming when he's dropping F-bombs and Jennifer Lopez is still pretty beautiful — but neither of them really impressed me with their level of critical analysis, positive or negative. And Randy... Well, you can't teach an old dawg new tricks.

Let's break down the singing... read more

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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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