The men of American Idol made their live debut last night, and it was powerful—a powerful argument for not mandating that six guys and six girls make the finals. One way or another, folks, there is no stopping a half dozen of these guys from being around in three weeks.
If the women Tuesday night didn’t live up to their potential, the majority of this cannon-fodder group didn’t show much potential, as actual threats to win this thing, to begin with. That said, there were a couple bright spots, and a whole lot of off notes.
Top performance of the night has to go to Casey James, who would have secured himself a place even without making little cartoon hearts appear in Kara’s eyes. If he delivers a performance like “Heaven” every week—and never buttons his shirt above the third button or so—he can easily make it to the Final Four.
Early favorite Andrew Garcia drew the pimp slot but, at least to me, disappointed, with an acoustic Fall Out Boy cover that—unlike his rethinking of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”—seemed simply goofy, and despite his still-strong vocals, it makes me wonder whether he simply has only one way of delivering any given song. Not writing him off, but he drops a peg in my ranking. Meanwhile, Todrick Hall’s hip-hop rewrite of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” was also goofy, but at least in a more entertaining and surprising way. He could be in trouble, but I hope he sticks around, if only because most of the rest of the men were so God-awful boring.
Seriously, who died before last night’s performance? With scant exceptions, it was a listless, borderline-depressing lineup of ballads and mid-tempo snoozers. I’m guessing Tim Urban and maybe John Park will be catching the flight home tonight, but honestly it could be any of a half-dozen guys—Jermaine, Joe, Tyler… (Not Aaron Kelly, who I thought gave a tedious performance but seems to have that sympathetic puppy-dog quality that keeps singers on Idol for weeks after their time.) What’s your call? And who has a realistic chance of winning here?