February 21, 2013 11:40 PM by Melissa Stavarski
American Idol goes from Hollywood to Las Vegas. Tonight, ten of the guys battle for the chance to sing for America’s votes and only five will move forward. “Sudden death,” host Ryan Seacrest says. “One song. One chance. No mercy.” Keep reading to find out who survives.
Paul Jolley takes on Keith Urban’s “Tonight I’m Gonna Cry.” The sound coming out of Paul’s mouth is pleasant enough, but I can’t understand a word he’s singing. “Huge honor for someone to do one of my songs,” Keith Urban says. “If you get to go through, I would ask that you don’t underestimate the quality and power that’s in your voice. You have a lot to offer and you need to make no compromises.” Nicki tells Paul to keep his “theatrical eyes” under control.
Johnny Keyser sings Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” and puts America to sleep. If Simon Cowell were still around, he’d tell Johnny to board a cruise ship and make a career out of it. Keith sees nerves, Nicki does not. Randy says, “For me, tonight, it was just an okay performance. Dude, you gotta, like, slay it tonight. You can’t just play it too safe tonight.”
JDA takes on “Rumor Has It” from Adele. JDA sings, dances, strips, rolls on the stage, and flirts with the audience. Keith says JDA’s performance felt too pre-planned. While Nicki thinks JDA is already a super star performer, Randy says JDA’s performance lacked originality. Ryan jokes, “We haven’t seen this much glitter since Adam Lambert‘s season.”
Kevin Harris sings Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” and splits the judges. Keith compliments Kevin’s range. Nicki adds, “Every single musical choice you made tonight was perfection.” Randy disagrees, saying the song was boring and karaoke.
Devin Velez‘s English/Spanish version of Beyonce’s “Listen” impresses the judges. This is the first song of the night that truly commands my attention. Keith is like, there are performers… and then there are singers… you made a connection with me with only your voice. Randy says, “Dude, I love you. I thought it was amazing. Big props to you.” Mariah Carey has high hopes for Devin, saying, “I can’t wait to see what a producer does when you get into the studio to make an album.”
Chris Watson‘s version of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” annoys me. Chris adds too many unnecessary runs and the voice sounds whiny. “You are the prettiest man I have ever seen in my life,” Nicki says. “I want to marry your vibrato. I am obsessed with you.” Randy points out… Otis didn’t need those runs… oh snap!
Elijah Liu sings Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon.” I’m not a fan of falsetto, so this can’t be over soon enough for me. Keith calls the performance shaky. Nicki is obsessed and wants to have Elijah’s babies. Of course she does. Keith jokes with Nicki, “You’re amassing quite a collection.” While Randy didn’t feel any “moments” in the song, Mariah says she felt two.
Charlie Askew, one of the most fascinating Idol contestants in a while, looks like he’s shaking. Charlie’s song choice, Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” impresses the judges. “It’s like if Freddie Mercury had a love child out at Woodstock somewhere” Keith says. “Like, what the hell are you doing, but somehow you make it work.” Nicki and Mariah praise the song choice.
Jimmy Smith‘s version of Keith Urban’s “Raining on Sunday” is underwhelming. “It’s really hard to critique somebody who just sang your song,” Keith says. “I thought you did a really good job with that.” It’s heaping pile of boring for Nicki and Randy. Mariah thinks the pressure is starting to get to Jimmy.
Curtis Finch Jr. tackles “Superstar” from Luther Vandross. Much like my aversion to falsetto, I can’t stand gospel singers on Idol. Oh joy – this has falsetto and gospel – I’m slowly dying inside. Don’t get me wrong, Curtis has a nice voice, it’s just not my cup of tea. Keith bows down, saying, “Your voice is beautiful, and I’d love to hear more of it.” Nicki says, “You’re ready. You’re poised. It’s your time.” Randy tells 25-year-old Curtis to strive for “young and fresh” instead of “old and fuddy-duddy.”
Curtis Finch Jr.
Paul Jolley (thanks to Jimmy Iovine’s tie-breaking final decision)
Did the judges choose the right five? Sound off in the comments!
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