Tonight the top 12 guys perform. Tomorrow it's the girls. On Thursday we'll learn the top 5 guys and the top 5 girls, and then each judge will get to pick a wildcard, so we'll have the Top 13.
Tonight the guys can sing any song they want. First up is Reed Grimm, who was one of my faves during auditions. He sings a jazzy rendition of "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5. He did a tiny little drum solo in the middle. I loved it and he got great comments from the judges. He reminds me of someone but I can't pinpoint who. I guess he kind of looks like a cross between Tom Cruise & Ed Norton.
Next is Adam Brock. Each contestant had a handheld camera to take video at home. In his video, he said, "I've been told that there's a large black woman inside of my body.... I think it's time for America to see what 'White Chocolate' is." And then he sings Aretha Franklin's "Think." He's great. Judges love him.
Deandre Brackensick and his hair are next, singing Earth, Wind & Fire's "Reasons." One of my favorite songs. He's got a really nice voice, but goes back and forth with his falsetto, like he can't decide what to do. He also flips his hair around too much though--it's distracting. Judges loved him.
Colton Dixon sings Paramore's "Decode." He starts at the piano and then gets up. This is the first time I'd use the word "pitchy." Just in a few places. J-Lo had a concerned look on her face at one point. I wasn't familiar with the song, and didn't love it. He did a decent job, but not one of my favorite performances tonight. The audience seemed to love it though. Randy's happy that Idol has its own indie alt-rocker. J-Lo performs him at the piano singing from his heart and wants to see more of that. She & Steven said that Colton is a "relevant" artist.
Jeremy Rosado sings Sara Bareillis' "Gravity." Another great voice. I almost like his falsetto better than Deandre's. He does a really nice job. Steven said it was as "beautiful as beautiful gets." Jennifer & Randy loved it too.
Steven just referenced J-Lo's "wardrobe malfunction" from Oscar night. I can't believe he did that. Thankfully, she's all covered up tonight.
Next is Aaron Marcellus who's a voice coach, and a dancer. He sings the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye." Another great performance! Wow! Standing O from the judges this time. General comment from the judges: Boy Can Sing.
Country music time with Chase Likens. He's singing "Storm Warning" by Hunter Hayes. He did a good job. Not my thing. He kind of looks like Robert Pattinson. Steven said he looks like Brendan Fraser--I can see that too. Judges had good comments.
Creighton Fraker (who cracks me up) is next with Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Love this song. I love his voice. Great job. How are they going to narrow this group down to the top 5?! Everyone's so good! He was awesome! J-Lo said, "I think America has their work cut out for them." She said he showed all the beautiful dynamics in his voice. Steven said it was stupendous. (You don't hear that word too often.)
Phillip Phillips is next. He's doing Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." He's got a great voice...love it. I'd buy this version of the song. His voice reminds me of David Cooks' voice a little bit. Judges loved it. J-Lo said that last year after auditions, the judges came back talking about Scotty McCreery & Lauren Alaina. She said this year, they were talking about Phillip Phillips.
Next is Eben Franckewitz, the youngest contestant this year (he's 15). Wow...he's singing Adele's "Fire to the Rain." Hmmm...I think his voice is too young for the song. He's flat. This is the first performance tonight that I truly didn't care for. He ended strongly, but for me, it was too late. Randy said it wasn't perfect, that there were a few flat notes in the middle and that he nailed it in the end. Difference is Randy & J-Lo were impressed. I was not. Steven said his melody was a little pitchy.
Heejun Han is next. He is SO funny, and charming. He works with kids with special needs. I just love this guy. He's singing "Angels" by Robbie Williams? Jessica Simpson? Hard to tell when doing a Google search. He's another great voice in the competition. J-Lo said his voice is smooth as silk, but she's not sure that song showed off all he can do. She said "there's no denying that you can blow." Steven agreed that it might not have been the right song. Randy agreed.
Joshua Ledet, who Ryan tells us has been nicknamed "Mantasia." He's singing Jennifer Hudson's "You Pulled Me Through." Amazing. He was fantastic! How are we going to choose, America??? Second standing O from the judges. Randy said, "This is what singing is about." J-Lo said he's amazing and she just doesn't know what to say to him. Steven said he's the voice the world's been waiting to hear.
And now, we find out who the judges decided to bring back. It's Jermaine Jones, the big teddy bear (or as Ryan said, the Gentle Giant. Seriously, he's about a foot taller than Ryan.) I imagine the judges just couldn't handle how so extremely heartbroken he was when they told him he didn't make it. He's singing Luther Vandross' "Dance with my Father." Lovely performance. Third standing O. Randy liked his unique bass voice that they've never had on the show. Steven said he proved why they asked him to come back. I like that for his call-in number, he's 36. Ryan said they couldn't give him unlucky 13.
Wow. How to choose? It's SO HARD to pick my Top 5 out of this group. I can easily tell you my bottom three: Colton Dixon, Chase Likens, and Eben Franckewitz. That leaves 10 to choose from.
Okay...if you put a gun to my head, MY top 5 are:
1. Joshua Ledet
2. Phillip Phillips
3. Creighton Fraker
4. Aaron Marcellus and
5. Reed Grimm
Heejun is my wildcard pick. Since the judges still get wildcard picks, I'm hoping all these guys will make it through.
We'll see what happens Thursday!