Tonight the Top 12 boys sing for your votes. YOURS, not mine. I'm not voting for any of these stiffs because I'm still mad that my prematurely designated obsession, Caleb Hawley, got cut in Vegas. And if you're watching tonight, you'll see that there's no one else who could possibly fit the bill. I guess Stefano Langone is kind of cute but I don't think he's going to be hanging around. Maybe I'll just develop a lesbian crush on Rachel Zevita?
Anyway...on with the show.
What's this? A badger wearing Harry Potter glasses? No, it's just Clint Jun Gamboa. During his version of "Superstition," he proves that all he can do really well is scream. When he actually has to sing, that's when it all turns to shit. This guy seemed much better during Hollywood week, so maybe his nerves have gotten the best of him. Or maybe he just really misses his karaoke hosting gig. And perhaps first-show jitters are also to blame for making Steven and Jennifer think this a great performance. Tyler even throws out the first in what is sure to be a vat of undeserved brilliants. Randy echoes this sentiment. I guess they got into whatever James Franco was smoking during the Oscars.
Next up is Jovany Barreto singing Edwin McCain's "I'll Be." Seriously? What year is this? Didn't AI reach its "I'll Be" quota in Season 2? Jovany actually has a really nice voice, but picking this song was a tragically dumb move. You wouldn't know it to look at the Idiot Pit though, which is back in full sway. Steven and J.Lo also don't seem to care about the stale song choice, but The Dawg agrees with me that the performance feels "very karaoke" and is just OK.
"OMG," Jordan Dorsey. I know Usher and you, sir, are no Usher. You aren't even the ring bearer. I can't figure out why Jordan would pick a song in which he's practically just talking fast, but I don't care to figure it out either. I'm just glad to see this jerkoff crash and burn. Maybe he knows that no one likes him ever since his douchey behavior in Hollywood and just wants to get out of the spotlight before his name gets further dragged through the blog bog, because it sure as hell seems like he's throwing this competition. I mean, he wholeheartedly agrees with J.Lo that this isn't his style at all, so why would he even attempt this? Weird.
Tim Halperin looks like Lee DeWyze and sings "Streetcorner Symphony" by Rob Thomas—a failure on many levels. This performance is so boring that I can't even remember anything about it while it's still happening. The judges agree that this isn't Tim's best, and Randy continues to harp on a point he's been trying to make since Jovany sang: that these guys have to "bring something new" to the songs. Not that he isn't right, but I just have to laugh at the irony of Randy Jackson—who's been using the same critiques and imaginary percentages since this show's inception—stressing the importance of keeping things fresh.
I can't tell who Brett Loewenstern wants to be more: Patty Griffin or Jennifer Grey. But I know who he isn't: Jim Morrison. He's not even Michael Johns, who lit my fire with this very same Doors song several years ago. Right now, Brett's just coming off as a less-talented Robbie Neville, whose talent level I'm not even completely sure of in the first place. (I just know I effing hated that "C'est la Vie" song.) J.Lo's comment that Brett did "more hair tossing than me and Beyoncé over the last 10 years" is pretty funny, and Brett's assertion (read: lie) that he wasn't aware that he was doing it is even funnier. Randy is the only judge who addresses Brett's "pitch problems," but quickly switches the topic to how "fun and bold" he is. Look, this kid is definitely likable. And I get that he's being positioned as the male Gaga or the poster boy for bullied gay teen musical theater majors. So, yeah, I know that baby, he was born this way and it's OK to be different and all that jazz, but his voice is utterly annoying. However, he's a fan favorite and will probably stick around for quite a while.
I'm all prepared to hate James Durbin's shriektastic performance, but then he pulls out some '80s metal in the form of Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Comin'." There seems to be quite a bit of reverb on the mic, but I'm digging this right now. Of course, there are some shrieks, but they're not quite as overwhelming as they were during Hollywood week. Definitely the best performance so far. The judges show their unanimous approval by reaching orgasm simultaneously.
Robbie "Arjewleta" Rosen is singing Sarah McLachlan's sad shelter dog theme song, which always makes me want to vomit just because of the connotation. And Robbie's all-over-the-place reworking of it not only makes me want to vomit but also makes me feel like I need to vomit. Even though this is a big steaming pile of terrible, Tyler thinks it's "beautiful" and J.Lo says some nice words that Paula must have written for her. Randy is the only one who hears the performance for what it is. Oh, hell. Is it gonna be like this all season? Randy and I seeing eye to eye all the time?? Excuse me, I think I'll go act on that vomit impulse now.
Thankfully, Scotty McCreery doesn't lock them doors and turn the lights down low. He's found some "Letters From Home" to sing about this time around. It's really irritating the way he leans to one side and sings out of the corner of his mouth but shucks, y'all, this ain't nowheres near turrible. The audience eats this performance up like biscuits and gravy, as do the judges. Randy appreciates that Scotty is an old-fashioned kind of country singer and not a "crossover" artist. Ah, more irony from The Dawg. Because if Scotty would somehow win the whole shebang (not gonna happen), that's exactly what he'd be forced to become.
Stefano Langone thinks I'm amazing just the way I am. Aw, that's nice. I like him, too. He actually sounds quite a bit like Bruno Mars, putting this dangerously close to karaoke territory, but Stefano's got a nice voice and a cute face, so I'll let it slide. The judges all enjoy this performance, too, and Tyler especially loves when Stefano's forehead vein pops out because he's weird like that.
Well, well. Looks like someone fell asleep in the Zoom whitening chair. I'm looking at you, Paul McDonald. Well, not directly at you. I've fashioned a homemade pinhole projector so I can watch your performance without being blinded by your teeth. Paul's singing "Maggie May" and trying his best to sound like a coffeehouse version of Rod Stewart. Ugh, this guy. I hate that the judges keep talking about how "unique" he is. Unique doesn't equal good. I just find his whole skinny hipster schtick supremely irritating.
Now, here's a guy who's supremely entertaining: Jacob Lusk. I'm still convinced that he's a drag queen by night and am desperately hoping he'll show up in full regalia before the season is over. Even though I like Jacob, he can be waaaay too over the top, so I was expecting his version of "A House is Not a Home" to devolve into a sweaty, squeaky mess. However, it's actually very good. Steven heads for Paula territory as he says something about bathing in Jacob's voice, while J.Lo and Randy compare Jacob to the late, great Luther Vandross and bless the day he was brought into their humble little audition room.
In the pimp spot is Casey Abrams, covering the Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic, "I Put a Spell on You." Since much of Casey's appeal comes from his choice of instruments (melodica, upright bass and who knows what else he plays), it's interesting to see him have to perform with nothing but a microphone. Apparently, he doesn't need his musical toys as a security blanket, because he does a really good job. The audience loves him. The judges love him. Even Bumbles love him.
So, who do you think will make it to the Top 10? Or is it the Top 12? Or Top 13? America will choose five guys from this pack and five girls from tomorrow night's group, and then the judges will add a wild card pick. I have no idea if there is going to be one male and one female wild card, and then one extra thrown in, but right now I'm basing my predictions on the assumption that there will be one male wild card.
Top 5: Brett, James, Scotty, Paul and Casey
Wild Card: Jacob
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