Tim Halperin sang “Come on Over” by Rob Thomas. All of the judges agreed that it was a poor song choice and weak performance. “I’m not sure if that song did you any justice… It really let me down,” Steven said. “I just didn’t think that was your strength… I would hate to lose you over that,” Jennifer added. Randy told Tim, “You didn’t bring anything different to it.” Wow, Randy is getting it all right tonight.
Paul McDonald sang “Wake Up Maggie” by Rod Stewart — not the kind of song we can imagine on the radio right now, but Paul’s unique tone and personality wins us over every time. “You’ve got a real character about your voice and I love that,” Steven said. “You have real character in the way you move, as well,” Jennifer added. “You are just so unique and different, different I think from anything we have ever had on the show…I love you. I’m a fan,” Randy said.
Robbie Rosen sang “In the Arms of An Angel” by Sarah McLachlan and his sweet performance gave us goosebumps. “You can sing a ballad like nobody’s business. That was beautiful,” Steven said. “When you sing songs, you have to tell a story, and you do… when you sing, you feel every single word,” Jennifer added. And just when we thought Randy was reading our minds for the whole show, he told Robbie, “I just don’t think this was a great performance… it didn’t all quite work… the notes were really pitchy.” We thought you had our backs, Randy!
Ryan Seacrest announced at the top of the show that out of the top 12 guys, only five will make it through after this week’s vote — which means seven contestants will be cut after only one week in the competition. Brutal math! (Although three contestants will be chosen as the judges’ wild cards, so there will be a total of 13 contestants left after this week.) At least the contestants were able to sing any song they wanted for what could be their first and last performance on the Idol stage. These guys had better bring it or go home!
Clint Jun Gamboa sang Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious.” We thought it was just a’ight in the beginning, and we wish he had picked a more current song, but the judges seemed to love the performance. “Beautiful… you started out strong, you ended strong.” Steven said. Jennifer pointed out that nerves didn’t affect his performance at all, and Randy said it was “brilliant.” (Too bad Simon wasn’t there to agree with us.)
Scotty McCreery sang “Letters from Home” by John Michael Montgomery. We’re loving this kid’s country swagger! His deep-voiced performance was flawless. “You’re going to be getting a lot of letters from home real soon, Steven said. “I don’t think you could have picked a better song… It was so beautiful.” Jennifer summed it up when she said, “There were just some people who were born to do something… you were born to sing country music.” After having “baby lock them doors” in our heads all week long, we’re just glad he picked a new song!
Jovany Barreto sang “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. Again, we weren’t jumping up and down (he has way more potential than what he delivered), but Jennifer and Steven were big fans of the mediocre performance. “Holy shipyard… you brought it again. I loved it,” Steven said. “You know what? You did it,” Jennifer agreed. This time, the dawg was on our side. “I didn’t really get it,” Randy said, getting some boos from the crowd. “For me, it felt very karaoke… it was okay.” Word.
Brett Loewenstern and his freshly coiffed curls sang “Come on Baby Light My Fire” — but we’re surprised he was able to get the notes out with all the hair tossing he was doing. “There was more hair tossing than me and Beyonce put together in the past 10 years,” Jennifer said. But the judges agreed that the song was good. “Brett man, you did it again…you were on fire,” Steven said. “On fire”? That’s going a little far. But the song choice was on target.
Jacob Lusk sang “A House Is Not a Home” by Luther Vandross, and Steven Tyler apparently took a bath in his amazing vocals. “Divine intervention brought you here… I’m honored to be in your presence,” Steven said. “You make me cry when you sing… I don’t know where you get it from, but I will bathe in it.” Um, okay! Jennifer paid Jacob one of the most moving compliments an R&B singer can get: “Luther Vandross was my favorite singer of all time. He’s gone, but now we have you.” High praise, indeed.
James Durbin sang “Got Another Thing Coming” by Judas Priest and seriously channeled Adam Lambert. James hit some notes we didn’t see coming, and he worked the stage like a rock star. “That was (expletive) crazy good,” Steven said. “I love it that you’re over the top. You’re the greatest.” Jennifer agreed. “I love the way you perform… it’s organic. It’s real. You do it so naturally. It’s insane,” she said. “That’s how you do it,” Randy added.
Casey Abrams sang the heck out of “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. It’s no wonder they saved him for last. The performance had amazing soul and believability. “You are in your mind good and out of your mind unreal,” Steven said. We agree, even though we’re not sure what that means. “You’re sexy, Casey… you’re gonna redefine what this whole thing is,” Jennifer said, adding that she could tell that he wants it bad. “I love how you transform yourself into the spirit of that song… You’re so different, so unique,” Randy said. “I love it. I applaud it. More, more, more!” Will we be hearing more, more, more from Casey after this week’s cuts? We hope so!
Jordan Dorsey sang Usher’s “OMG” — and OMG, what a mistake that was. The awkward dancing and forgettable singing will likely mean it’s buh-bye for Jordan on Thursday. “You had the moves… but it wasn’t my favorite performance of yours,” Steven said. “I’m not sure that that is who you really are… I don’t want you to be anybody else but you,” Jennifer admitted. “This was kind of pitchy… all over the place… pales in comparison to the original,” Randy said. Even Jordan seemed to agree with the judges. To which we say, why on earth did you pick this song, Jordan?!
Stefano Langone sang “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. And yes, his performance was amazing. This guy just has a beautiful tone to his voice and he gives it his all on stage. “I love the way your voice cut through the air in this room,” Steven said. “You’re on the money when that vein in your forehead pops.” J. Lo added, “You’re a beast. You’re a beast up there. It’s amazing.” Randy brought up a good point: Stefano is the kind of current artist the show is looking for this season. “We believed like, this kid could be on the radio right now.” We’re starting to believe it too.