American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Semifinalist Boys Perform"

Season 11, Episode 14
Episode Synopsis: The male semifinalists perform. Viewer voting begins.
Original Air Date: Feb 28, 2012

American Idol: The Lucky 13th Contestant Revealed! Season 11, Episode 14

It's the first official live episode of the season, and tonight the final 12 — err, 13 — boys will be performing any song they choose! (More on number 13 later). Which means that not only will we be able to judge them on their vocal abilities, but we'll now be able judge whether or not they have sh---y taste in music. Let's get it started, shall we?

Reed Grimm kicks things off with a jazzy rendition of "Moves Like Jagger." Between his off-the-charts cheesiness factor and the overtly sexual gaze, the whole thing made me feel sort of... uncomfortable? Not to mention, the song is far better suited for it's natural, upbeat tempo. Apparently Randy and I were in serious disagreement. "Great choice," he said. "Very nice choice, man! A jazzy 'Moves Like Jagger'!" Which tells me that either Randy has lost his critical eye, or they're going really easy on the contestants this round. We shall see.

Adam Brock has arguably more identities than anyone else in this competition. Renaissance man! Dad! Le Cordon Bleu-educated chef! And also: "black woman trapped in a white man's body." Fittingly, tonight he's singing "Think" by Aretha Franklin. Overall it was a good performance that finally got stronger by the end, but I felt like Brock was missing the pizzazz we've seen from him in the past. Maybe it was nerves? "Setting the bar high and precedent out of the box," says Steven. Praise for mediocrity yet again. Sensing a pattern.

Here's what we learned about Deandre Brackensick tonight: He's been called a "young lady killah" by Randy and has a sister he refers to as "Big Mouth Bertha." Nice! What's not nice? His entire performance. Sure, he hit a single, high-pitched, impressive note, but the rest of it was, quite honestly... tragic. He was pitchy and mumbled so much we could barely tell he was singing Earth, Wind & Fire's classic "Reason." I hate to think that I'm being too harsh tonight, but I was really expecting more from the alleged falsetto superstar. You're better than this, Deandre! Steven thinks the song showed off his voice! J. Lo says his voice is "so perfect." Am I living in the Twilight Zone?

Next up is the scene-stealing Colton Dixon, but at this point, if he can deliver tonight, I'll totally forgive him for that selfish thing he did to his sister. In Colton's pre-performance segment, he takes us to the salon and explains to all of America exactly what to never, ever to do your hair. Whew! Now we know.  He also explains that while we're used to seeing him sing/play the piano, tonight's he's going to shock us by doing something very different — which, as it turns out, involves him singing/playing the piano. He sings a teen-angsty song by Paramore, and that is precisely what we would expect from him. So basically there was nothing at all unusual about this performance. But it was a passionate one, so I'll give him that.  "When you sing, you sing from your heart and I want to see more of that," says J. Lo.

Is Jeremy Rosado going to blow us away with Sarah Bareilles tonight? Let's hope so. Lest we forget, Rosado is the germaphobe that works the front desk at an infectious disease clinic. A walking paradox. Only on Idol. Love it. Within the first 10 seconds of the song, we can already tell — Rosado's killing it. He's smooth, and isn't showing his nerves like the others. So far, the best of the bunch — and totally unexpected! "That was beautiful, you couldn't have picked a better song," says Steven.

Aaron Marcellus teaches voice lessons, take dances classes, and is generally a "regular dude with a dream." Nothing particularly compelling about his story so far. He sings "Never Can Say Goodbye" by the Jackson 5. It seems like a safe choice for Marcellus, but he sings it pretty flawlessly nonetheless — especially that last note. He glides across the stage and definitely seems at ease. "Beautiful vocals, man, beautiful," says Randy, in his successful attempt at giving the most generic assessment possible. Steven says he raised the bar. Which now means two bars have been raised. But whose was higher?

Chase Likens, the avid whistler and horse owner, enlightens us with the fact that he needs to water and feed the horses just like you would a dog... and a person.  He's as country as any country boy can be, he says. He sings "Storm Warning" by Hunter Hayes, and it's clear he isn't the strongest competitor vocally. What he does have going for him, is his showmanship, good looks, and the fact the girls will probably vote in his favor. "You have movie star good looks, for sure," says J. Lo. "But you sounded great tonight as well." She pulls the classic "lead with the looks, follow with the talent" move. Which is to say...you're so pretty. Too bad you can't sing that well!

Creighton Fraker didn't fit in in South Dakota (shocker!) so he went where all the other misfits go — New York! (I'm not hating, I live there too). "I've always been this kind of off-beat character in some ways," he says. And by some ways, he actually means "all ways." He sings "True Colors" and in the name of being as cliché as possible, there are rainbow lights gleaming in the background. It was undeniably corny, but a skillful, impassioned performance.  "Dude. You can definitely sing," says the Randy, profoundly.

Georgia-born Phil Phillips isn't interested in being "famous, just, you know, like for fame." Which was obviously meant to be a major dig at Kim Kardashian. What a bully! He sings Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight," and personally, I thought it was fantastic. Yes, I'm biased, because I've made it clear Phillips is my favorite, but I swear I would have liked it even if he wasn't so ridiculously good looking. My only critique when it comes to Phillips is that he's too much like Dave Matthews. And the Dave Matthews we already have is plenty. "There is no doubt you're one of the most special talents we've found this year on the road," says J. Lo.

Oh, Eben Franckwitz. What are we going to do with you and your "SWAG" t-shirt? Given the fact that he's a teenager, we'll excuse this misstep. But what's inexcusable is his song choice. Sorry, kid. If it required a license to sing an Adele song (it should), he wouldn't even pass the written part. His notes were flat. It was off-tune. I know he's 15 and all, and maybe I should sugarcoat things like the judges have consistently done this episode... but I don't really feel like doing that. The good news is, he probably will never read this, and thus, he'll be ok. "It wasn't all perfect," says Randy. "But you collected yourself like a real pro and nailed the end." I say: time to go Eben. Come back in 10 years.

Thank goodness we have Heejun Han and his amazing mom to cheer us up after that mess! We thought Heejun was a character — until we saw his mom dance. Which incidentally looks like 100 YouTube videos I've seen become viral sensations. Now's your chance at fame, Mrs. Han! He's here to show America tonight that "Asian people can not only get high score on SAT, but Asian can also sing." He said it... not me. His rendition of "Angel" started out a little shaky, but boy did he come out of his shell at the halfway point! The glasses sans-lenses must have given him the courage. "I don't think it was the right song, but I still love your voice man," says Steven.

Joshua Ledet — aka "Mantasia" — is from Louisiana and loves crawfish. He sings Jennifer Hudson's "When I Was Drowning" and it was powerful, emotional and incited a standing ovation from the judges. It sounded like a solo church choir performance on steroids. Quite possibly the best of the evening. "You are so insanely talented. That voice is from another world," says J. Lo. I must say — I was utterly and completely blown away by Joshua. He is one to watch, for sure.

And now the moment we've all been waiting for... the 13th male performer announcement! For a show that has the ability to transform even the most insignificant event into an overly dramatic production, they really underwhelmed with this one. There was barely even a drum roll! Before we know it, Jermaine Jones is on stage in all his 7 foot, gentle giant glory. MAJOR SHOCKER. Was it for you too? Curious what the rationale behind this one is, since it seemed like the general consensus was Johnny Keyser would be the chosen one. Jones makes a great song choice for himself — "Dance With My Father." When you're working with such an intense baritone, it can definitely be tricky, but Jones really turned it out tonight. 

Who was your favorite performer tonight? Were the judges babying the contestants? Were you shocked Jermaine Jones was the wildcard? Go forth, and comment!

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It's the first official live episode of the season, and tonight the final 12 — err, 13 — boys will be performing any song they choose! (More on number 13 later). Which means that not only will we be able to judge them on their vocal abilities, but we'll now be able judge whether or not they have sh---y taste in music. Let's get it started, shall we?

Reed Grimm kicks things off with a jazzy rendition of "Moves Like Jagger." Between his off-the-charts cheesiness factor and the overtly sexual gaze, the whole thing made me feel sort of... uncomfortable? Not to mention, the song is far better suited for it's natural upbeat tempo. Apparently Randy and I were in serious disagreement. "Great choice," he said. "Very nice choice, man! A jazzy 'Moves Like Jagger'!" Which tells me that either Randy has lost his critical eye, or they're going... read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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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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