Let's hear it for the survivors!
On American Idol's final sudden-death round on Thursday night, five more guys joined the ranks of the semifinalists, while five others went home. Here's a breakdown of who got the boot and who went through:
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David Oliver Willis Wait, what? His dad was born in 1906?!? No matter how many times we rewind, that's what we're hearing. Maybe that's why he has an old-school bluesy vibe to him. The judges were split about David's take on "Fever," but agreed to let him go.
Bryant Tadeo This Hawaiian boy's sweet-voiced rendition of Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" divided the judges again, and when he got the bad news, the crowd booed. We have a feeling he may try out again.
Mathenee Treco The judges gave him props for his vocal range and power on Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" (although Mariah Carey wasn't familiar with the song), but thought he overdid the performance aspect. Or as Nicki Minaj said in her faux British accent, "It felt very cheesy and karaoke." It's fortunate that he already has a sweet gig in the Bahaams.
Josh Holiday The pretty boy took to the piano for an original ballad, but the judges were mixed about why it didn't quite work. Keith Urban found it too controlled, while Minaj thought he tried to please too much. He also sold his songwriting work ethic a bit too heavily for our taste.
Gurpreet Singh Sarin Yikes! Despite his yellow turban, Gurpreet's take on James Morrison's "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You" was anything but sunny. In fact, Randy Jackson called it "terrible," and the rest of the panel wanted him to go back to his intimate, guitar-playing style. We'll miss you, Turbinator.
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Vincent Powell His showstopping rendition of Lenny Williams' "'Cause I Love You" was a crowd- and judge-pleaser. Minaj said it was so sexy that "50- and 60-year-olds were throwing their panties" at him. That's totally Idol's target demographic! Watch out, CBS.
Lazaro Arbos We all knew he was going to advance, yes? The stutterer brought his best pink shirt, bow tie and tribute by crooning Urban's "Tonight I Wanna Cry." Strangely enough, the judges didn't like the song choice because they felt it was too tricky for Lazaro. Although the panel agreed he had difficulty, Lazaro's voice, humility and great story pushed him through. America is going to love voting for him.
Cortez Shaw The heartthrob hit the big notes in David Guetta's "Titanium," but was inconsistent throughout. Urban thought it was a little too bold for him, but the judges gave him a chance for redemption by sending him to the "saved" stools.
Burnell Taylor American Idol doesn't just offer to fulfill your dreams, but is apparently an effective weight-loss program as well. Burnell lost 40 pounds from the rigors of Idol already and took his slim self on stage for a creative cover of John Legend's "This Time." The judges raved about his unique cadence and phrasing. "I would pay to see you sing," said Minaj.
Nick Boddington The bartender was shaky on Morrison's "Say Something Now" and had difficulty connecting. It definitely wasn't his best performance, but his timbre (and those baby blues) saved him.
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Congrats! Nick & Co. join the other Top 20 finalists, including these guys:
Curtis Finch Jr.
And these girls:
What do you think of the Top 20? Did your faves make the cut? Who deserved to go through? Who would move you to vote next week?
American Idol airs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week at 8/7c on Fox.