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American Idol Rundown: The Top 12 Guys

After weeks upon weeks of bad auditions, three hours in Hollywood, and more screen time spent on some eliminated contestants than on several members of the top 24, how does American Idol kick off its first live performance show? With a recap, of course. Naturally.

Still, the top 12 guys' performances on Tuesday revealed that Idol is serious about us getting to know the contestants more this year. I might already know more about, say, David Hernandez than I ever really did about Jordin Sparks. (Best fun fact of the night: Colton Berry's "From certain angles, I look like Ellen DeGeneres." It's true!) The night also included some, uh, colorful babbling from Paula, one burnt-orange suit, a couple of Simon smackdowns, and a Peter Frampton lookalike. Don't forget to vote for which two guys are going home, and to see which singers I think are safe and which had better pack their bags, just


David Hernandez — It must be tough to be first, and — after Simon told him at the end of Hollywood that he'd have to work harder than anyone to stick around — he delivered a completely solid, if slightly boring, performance of "In the Midnight Hour." Someone needs to tell him that leg bouncing does not qualify as dancing, though. Randy liked the song's surprising gospel tinge, Paula said his vocals were "brilliant," and Simon said it was better than he thought it would be but David needs to loosen up.

Chikezie — OK, first of all, he's apparently dropped his last name and is now just "Chikezie." Mr. Chikezie, if you're nasty. He interpreted '60s night to be almost Austin Powers-esque, with a crazy orange suit and a throwback performance of "More Today than Yesterday." Maybe it's because I didn't know the song, but that was way lounge singer to me. His voice is smooth, though. Randy thought it was OK, Paula loved the old R&B style, and Simon came down hard, saying the performance was old-fashioned and cheesy.

David Cook — Betcha he ends up being a love-him-or-hate-him contestant. He's got bad hair, but good stage presence, and while the singing on "Happy Together" didn't sound too great, he definitely got the crowd into the performance. Little early in the season for twirling the mic stand, no? Randy was confused but ultimately liked it, Paula said it was original, and Simon said it was "almost" a believable rocker performance.

Jason Yeager — Aw, he has a cute son who looks exactly like him! Unfortunately, any performance this early in Idol that starts with the singer seated has potential for disaster, and this was not good. His "Moon River" sounded a little off to me (was it the tempo?) For someone with so little screen time coming in, I needed him to wow me. Randy said it seemed like he lost his concentration, Paula noted that it was the song from her first dance recital, and Simon deadpanned "I bought my first puppy to that song" and called it a cruise ship performance.

Robbie Carrico — Is always going to be a boy band singer to me, no matter how much he claims to be a rocker. Nonetheless, "One is the Loneliest Number" was a fun song for him, and he's clearly comfortable in front of a crowd. I could get used to watching him. The judges thought it rocked, even Simon, who said it was the first performance of the night to make any sense.

David Archuleta — In a word, adorable. Even Seacrest noted that you can only vote for him, not adopt him. As cute as he looks in real life, though, he seems much bigger and more powerful on stage — not the meek presence that so many Idol teen heartthrobs have been. Also, dude can sing; I liked his "Shop Around." Randy was a fan, Paula said it made her forget how young he is, and Simon said it was the best of the night.

Danny Noriega — If you mixed Sanjaya with Project Runway's Christian Siriano, you'd end up with something close to Danny Noriega. You know a sure way to make Idol seem like karaoke? Sing "Jailhouse Rock." I liked his auditions, but this was a bad choice. Randy called it "kinda hot," Paula babbled something about all the colors of the wind, and Simon essentially called it a disgrace to Idol.

Luke Menard — Full disclosure: I find Luke ridiculously attractive. Unfortunately, he started out singing in this soft, warbly falsetto-is voice, and it was pretty clear it wouldn't end well. Randy said the whole song was sharp, Paula blamed it on the song, and Simon pronounced him forgettable.

Colton Berry — Colton seems super-nerdy and really into musical theater — totally my type! However, the performance seemed a little young (especially when compared with, say, Archuleta, who really commands the stage). It was better than the other Elvis song of the night, though. Randy was glad Colton had fun, Paula said it wasn't his best, and Simon said he didn't see anything unique, just a kid doing a decent job singing Elvis.

Garrett Haley — He looks as much like Peter Frampton as Colton looks like Ellen DeGeneres, maybe more. So maybe that's why he went all teen-heartthrob with "Breaking Up is Hard to Do." It was competently sung but really dull; I thought it would never end. Randy said he needed to do more with the song, Paula wanted him to take some chances, and Simon thought it was off in snores-ville.

Jason Castro — Of all the contestants we saw for the first time last night, I think Jason made the best impression. Sure, the dreadlocks help him be memorable, but he also took a risk by playing the guitar, and that made him seem all the more comfortable with "What a Day for a Daydream." Randy said it was pitchy but not bad, Paula said it was the perfect song for him, and Simon said it was one of the best.

Michael Johns — Let's be honest, Michael is getting through on biceps alone. That said, I'm glad he justified his near-certain presence in the top 12 with a strong "Light My Fire." Randy said he feels like Michael is already a rock legend (is that slang for "don't get too cocky"?), Paula is blinded by The Hotness, and Simon said Michael is the most consistent performer in the competition.

My favorites: David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Robbie Carrico, Michael Johns

In trouble: Garrett Haley, Luke Menard, Chikezie, Jason Yeager. I'd say Danny Noriega, but that would be optimistic considering Vote for the Worst.

Going home: Garrett and Luke

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
krys786 krys786 9 years
Hey now, no talkin' crap on Luke Menard...he is one of my closest friend's first cousin! At least you all agree he's gorgeoussssss...I need to ask my friend for his number ASAP! :D
orisugar orisugar 9 years
Michael Johns is soo sexy...he owns the stage! I also love David Archuleta, he can barely contain his cuteness. He's always tickled pink with glee...every time i see him i want to pinch is cheeks!
kristina920 kristina920 9 years
Hmmm, am I part of the very few who thought that Danny Noriega actually gave a good performance? After all, it was the first show and he wanted to start off with a bang. But I'd have to agree with Randy and Paula that it wasn't his best performance. I hope he doesn't get eliminated yet because I think he has the talent. And I just hope he doesn't turn Sanjaya in the upcoming episodes. As for my favorite performance of the night -- it would probably go to Jason Castro. It was totally unexpected but very refreshing. And as for who gets the boot -- my bet's on Garrett and Luke. Their performances were quite boring. Too bad though 'cause I think Luke's such a cutie. Hehe. Maybe he should considering becoming an actor? :P
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
ms_dior_cherie- those are my three favorite too! Castro, Corrico, and Cook. I'm just not sold on Michael Johns yet, but his performance last night was awesome. I think Jason Yeager and Luke Menard are going home. They were both so forgettable. And Buzz, I thought the SAME thing about Luke- when they recapped it at the end I was thinking, wow, if he stays it'll be on looks alone. ;)
HustleRose HustleRose 9 years
I liked Danny Noriega, despite his karaokesque take on Elvis, but I think he's feisty and fun and as PR's Christian would say Fierce. Haha, but maybe I'm just partial to the type. I also like the hunks, Michael Johns and Luke Menard or HotAussie and Luke Perry V.2 as I like to call them. David Archuleta is so adorable it makes my head hurt.... in a good way, like a brain freeze from sipping a slurpee too fast. On the outs or so I hope: Dreads, Boy Ellen, and Anorexic Frampton.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
I think his dreads are the best part about him. They better not ever cut them!
ammogirl ammogirl 9 years
Limelindsey - That is exactly what I said about Jason Castro! It was like he was thinking he would be panned and then booted immediately, but I LOVED it! I even succumbed to the double marketing strategy and downloaded his single from iTunes. Plus, he's hot, dreads and all.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
I really was not impressed with any of them. Hope the competition improves in the next few weeks.
radarkitty radarkitty 9 years
The guys really were not that great last night, but the 4 I voted for are the same 4 that are Buzz's favorites. Neat o!
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
Overall, I thought the guys did pretty bad, with only a couple exceptions (ie: Michael Johns).
Pinkrabbit Pinkrabbit 9 years
David Archuleta is SO BAD! He claims to think people only pretend to like him because he's little. The kid won Star Search! It's all a stupid act and I HATE that. His whole "oh gosh golly gee; you think I did well?" Thing! I could've strangled that kid. He needs to go and quick.
treb treb 9 years
I hated Steve the, I mean Robbie Carrico. Poser!
MrsSchmitt MrsSchmitt 9 years
Loved Michael Johns and David Cook. There is definitely some man candy on AI this year though. I want Colton Berry (sorry Buzz!) and Garrett Haley to go home.
amazonbarbie13 amazonbarbie13 9 years
I loved Archuleta, and Chikezie too. But I love that old school sound. They were way too harsh on him.
ms_dior_cherie ms_dior_cherie 9 years
David Cook Robbie Carrico Jason Castro are my picks for the guys.
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
totally loved jason- he's my fav
limelindsey limelindsey 9 years
I loved Jason! He seemed genuinely surprised that he had done well....maybe he blacked out?! I also voted for David Cook and Michael Johns - those three performances were the only ones I loved. David was okay, I think he seems sooooo young though. Hope he does well. My votes for outs are Chikezie and Danny Noriega - both totally cringe-worthy.
askmetostay askmetostay 9 years
am i the only one who thinks archuleta is annoying??? he does the whole melinda doolittle, omg you think i'm good thing....obnoxious. and chikezie is like george huff without the endearing quality.
laneylaney laneylaney 9 years
I liked David and Jason Castro really surprised me... I thought I would hate him!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
There's only like 2-3 guys who are really good. I like the kid with the dreads he's so cute!
Curlywhirl Curlywhirl 9 years
I didn't like any of the guys, I don't think any of them could actually be an AI. I really hope the girls do better!!! JMO:)
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 9 years
:DROOL: OMG Michael Johns is sooo hott. :DROOL: I was watching it with my mother and even she kept saying how cute he is. oh and that Garrett is :SICK: I kept thinking it was a girl
Hootie Hootie 9 years
He has the Michael Hutchence sexy thing going on... Yummy!
Hootie Hootie 9 years
Michael Johns is a sexy beast! My favorite guy!
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