Tuesday, March 1, 2011

American Idol: Top 12 Guys

It's back. The new season of American Idol, so it can only mean that I must indulge myself as a Couch Potato Judge.

I'm channeling my inner J-Lo. (Ahem, a girl can dream right?)

Tonight was the first live show, with the top 12 guys performing. Here are my thoughts.

1. Clint Jun Gamboa - "Superstitious"
I've got to say that when Ryan Seacrest was saying this kid's entire name I thought he was saying Clint "June" Gamboa. I was perplexed as to why a guy would have the nickname "June", and then I tried to hold back any judgement until further review. Then I saw the name graphic on the show tonight. I stand corrected.

I still don't get the glasses though.

Now about the performance, I believe the term "karaoke" is appropriate here. Steven Tyler just used the term "brilliant" and I suddenly find myself missing Simon Cowell.

2. Jovany Baretto - "I'll Be"
First, I've got to admit that this guy isn't horrible to look at. I think what makes me like him is the fact that he is just so unassuming. He doesn't look like a singer, and the minute he opens his mouth, you're like "Whaaaa?" His voice is like butta.

Randy does have point that there wasn't anything unique brought to it but it still was good enough for me. It wasn't any more karaoke than Clint's performance.

3. Jordan Dorsey - "OMG"
This guy is too cocky for his own good. You can't come out of the gate with an URSHER song! What is this? It doesn't even sound good. Jordan Dorsey, we are done here. Also, if Usher is not the type of artist you want to be, then why did you chose that song to sing?

(Has anyone noticed that J-Lo has got the palms-only Paula clap down?)

4. Tim Halperin - "Come On Over"
I've gotta say that I didn't notice Tim until the duet he did with the other girl and the piano during Hollywood week. But when I noticed him, I NOTICED him. Kid's got soul.

With that said, this wasn't his best performance. I'm sure nerves played a big part in it and he probably pushed it a little bit. And also, his stage presence could use a boost. I still think he could do great things on this show.

He's got a winning smile though.

5. Brett Loewenstern - "Come On Baby Light My Fire"
I still don't understand how that voice comes out of that body. This is the first performance of the night that showed some originality, which kind of hurts me to say because I've not been a big fan of his. But I was just thinking, it's going to be long night if the first three performances are any indication of how this night will go. Brett picked it up. He was definitely a "little pitchy", as Randy would say, but it got better.

6. James Durbin - "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"
I just guessed on the title of the song because I'd never heard it before and well, he said that phrase a lot. This guy reminds me to much of Adam Lambert which is sadly a strike and a half against him. He's definitely a performer and you can tell that he knows what kind of artist he is and wants to be. And also he sings from deep down and I do like his story. It'll be interesting to see how far he goes in the competition. It was definitely the best performance so far.

7. Robbie Rosen - "Arms Of An Angel"
I love this kid, first because he reminds me of one of my student workers who is just precious, but second because the kid can just sing. I did feel like he never got with the music but his voice just can't be denied. He definitely put his originality in it, and I hope he goes far because his talent is one in a million.

8. Scotty McCreery - "Letter From Home"
I guessed on the title again because well, I think I've made it clear that I'm not a huge country fan. With that said though, I've loved this kid from his first audition. The guy can sing. No doubt. He's got amazing stage presence too and he knows exactly who he is and is proud of it.

9. Stepfano Langone - "Just The Way You Are"
This was the perfect song for him to sing and that shows that he knows exactly what kind of artist he wants to be. He could be a great R&B artist. He's still got some growing to do as evidenced by the high note he tried at the end. But I love this kid. And he's definitely got the girl vote. I hope he stays around for a while because I think it would be fun to see how much better he gets.

10. Paul McDonald - "Wake Up Maggie"
Perfect song for him. Some people may not like his style but this style is the exact thing that is trending right now. I love what he brings to the competition. He's so sincere. He's not trying to put on a show or be something he's not. He's doing him and that's great. That smile is perfect too. (Can I find out how he gets his teeth so white?) I hope he's around for a long time.

11. Jacob Lusk - "A House Is Not A Home"
If Diana Ross died and came back as a man, it would be Jacob Lusk. He's got great stage presence and he can definitely sing. He's got a bold voice. He's going to stay around for a while for the sheer fact that the kid can wail. However, I don't know how long it will take before the audience starts to get annoyed with him. He may be a one-trick pony. I hope not. But we will see. He's good. His notes are en pointe.

12. Casey Abrams - "I Put A Spell On You"
Y'all, this kid emanates soul and talent. He surprises me every week. Last week, never would I have thought he would pull out "Why Don't You Do Right". This week, he's sans instrument and completely rocks "I Put A Spell On You". This guy is the REAL DEAL.

(And I'm so glad to see that he cleans up well. I was starting to wonder.)

So, my faves are Casey and Stefano. Not-so-faves are Clint and Jordan.

What do you think?

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