The Top 12 guys perform on American Idol

by Ruth Anne Boulet

Let’s not mess around. On to the performances!

Clint Jun Gamboa — Superstitious
Clint gets a great pop-arty kind of background on the new pumped-up Idol stage. It’ll be interesting to listen to other singers, as Clint seems to be getting drowned out by the band. Could be that since Idol re-arranged things it’s harder to hear them. Steven thinks Clint’s great. Jennifer thinks he’s nervous & Randy thought it was brilliant. Oh, Randy. I’d save that superlative for later. Use it for the first guy out of the gate and you kind of sound desperate.

Jovany Barreto – I’ll Be
The shipyard guy with the killer pecs has chosen to show his sensitive side. The swaybots are in full force. Blech. Can I beat Randy to it? For me, for you, I don’t think it was your best performance. It was kinda weak, but Steven loved it. Jennifer is happy that America got to hear what he can do. Randy does bring a dose of reality & say that Jovany was karaoke. Thank you, voice of reason Randy.

Jordan Dorsey – OMG
Jordan took off his jacket! Squeal! OMG really isn’t a song that shows off one’s vocal range or singing talent. Jordan moves from appearing like he’s phoning it in to being out of his league. His cohorts were on their feet. It was not OMG for Steven Tyler. It wasn’t even OMG for Jennifer. She questions if this is the type of artist he wants to be. He admits it’s not. Randy again pulls out the karaoke comment. Jordan apparently doesn’t understand the ‘you get one shot at this’ aspect of the competition.

Tim Halperin – Streetcorner Symphony (Come On Over)
I think Tim’s one of those performers who’s more comfortable with a piano in front of him. He’s not a very dynamic presence on the stage. He belongs to the school of pace & point. Pace, point. Pace, point. Not very dynamic. Steven doesn’t think the song did him any justice. I think Tim also got drowned out by the band as well. Jennifer didn’t think that song showed what he’s really like. Randy thought Tim’s been better. We’ll see if the tween girls liked the pacing & pointing.

Brett Loewenstern – Light My Fire
Now I was telling a co-worker I would kill to have Brett’s hair. That hair was well on display during his performance of The Doors. He sounded pretty good, but the problem is he’s 16. No one should be lighting his fire yet. So it needed a little dirt for me. He sang it well, but he’s a little awkward in his moves. He’s definitely got potential. Steven liked it. J. Lo thought there was more hair tossing than her & Beyonce put together.

James Durbin – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
The stylists were able to get all but one bandanna off Mr. Durbin. He’s still got a tail. That’s unfortunate. He’s also got a wallet chain. Daughtry! This song actually really works for him. It makes me think he’s gotten the screechy edit. He was able to put the punches in where he needed to & just sing lyrics where he needed to. Steven loves it. Jennifer loves how he performs. Randy says this is how you do it. Randy also asks about the tail and says that James was ‘nice & tasty’ with the high notes.

Robbie Rosen – Arms Of An Angel
I can’t look at this kid without thinking Vinny Barbarino/Horshack/Ralph Macchio. It’s a bit of 70s distraction while he’s singing a very 90s song. I went to all of the Lilith Fairs I could and I didn’t stay sober through any of them. I really want a cocktail listening to Robbie. Steven thinks it’s beautiful. I thought it was treacly. Jennifer thinks Robbie can tell a story when he sings. Randy again brings the voice of reason and says Robbie didn’t ever really settle into the performance.

Scotty McCreery – Letters From Home
There’s a line in this song about boots being muddy & get my gun & go back to work. And they say country songs aren’t all stereotypical. Scotty sings it ok, I just can’t stand that kind of music. Steven thinks it’s a good representation of what he can do. Jennifer thinks Scotty is in his lane. Randy loves the lowness in his voice & that he’s a total country dude.

Stefano Langone – Just The Way You Are
I don’t think Stefano was breathing at the beginning of the song. He was getting drowned out by the band. He calmed down a few lines in to the song, but that was a rough start, with some bumpy patches thrown in. Steven likes how his voice cut through the room. Does Steven have anything slightly critical to say about anyone? Jennifer doesn’t think there’s anything awkward about him. Randy thought everyone felt like they were at a concert. Randy, I was hoping for your voice of reason. He does call him on a couple of high notes that were not good.

Paul McDonald – Maggie Mae
Does Paul have a cold? I know we haven’t heard much from him over the past few weeks, but he sounds way raspier than I remember. He’s also got a Davy Jones kind of drunken ‘dancing’ performance style. I don’t know if this is a common affliction for him or if he’s hopped up on adrenalin. Steven loves the character in his voice. Jennifer loves the character in his moves. She also compliments his smile. Paula? Are you back? Randy likes his quirkiness. No one really talks about the performance.

Jacob Lusk – House Is Not A Home
Ok, just knowing the song, you know Jacob is going to take this one to church. He begins remarkably restrained considering some of the performances he’s given. When he does bust out toward the end of the song, it’s not as strong. He gets sloppy & shrieky with the pronunciation. Steven wants to bathe in whatever Jacob’s got. Jennifer’s happy because Luther is gone, but we’ve got Jacob. No pressure Jennifer. Randy doesn’t think there’s anything Jacob can’t sing. I liked him better than I did in the Hollywood rounds because he didn’t immediately go to 11 and stay there.

Casey Abrams – I Put A Spell On You
Nnnngggghhhh! There’s a lot of that in Casey’s performance. He’s got this intense stare when he’s singing. Not sure if he’s doing that because he’s nervous or if it’s just thematically appropriate. Not sure if I loved his performance style, but he sounds great, especially since he’s been so sick. Kathy’s yelling ‘Soul Patrol! Soul Patrol! Soul Patrol!’ If only we had a cocktail. Steven thinks it’s as good as it gets. Jennifer thinks Casey’s sexy & ate the whole song up. Randy wants more! Kathy thinks he looks like Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph, rather than Seth Rogen.

Ok, America, it’s time to vote. I’m a bit surprised at some of the song choices given that this is a one-shot deal to get into the top 10. Tim, Jordan, Paul and Jovany may need to rally their fans as I don’t know that there performances were enough to sway undecided voters.

My picks? Casey, Brett, James (didn’t think I’d say that), Scotty (I acknowledge that there are a lot of country fans out there) and Jacob.