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Snap Judgment: The "American Idol" Guys

Snap Judgment: The "American Idol" Guys

The guys kicked off the first performance week of "American Idol" on Tuesday, and while there were a few truly awful performances, I don't think anybody really distinguished himself from the pack in terms of greatness. I would guess that the fan favorites who had weak showings will get another chance, while some of the less well-known (and marginally less-awful) guys will go home instead.

A couple of general things:

  1. Did anyone else think the tiny, theater-in-the-round stage was bizarre? I wonder if the reason nobody really loosened up the whole night was that they were afraid of tumbling off the edge.
  2. I'd put the Paula crazy-ometer at about a 4 out of 10. She actually critiqued some of the contestants, but she also had a few moments of mindless babbling and that odd breast-rubbing moment after Sundance performed. (More on that later.)

To hear my thoughts on the top 12 and see who I think is heading home,

Rudy Cardenas (at right): Does anyone else think he looks suspiciously like Gob from "Arrested Development"? He did a fairly karaoke-ish version of "Free Ride." Randy called it corny, Simon said it wasn't unique, and I agree with both of them.

Brandon Rogers: He sang Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," and ... wow, I just got distracted by his blindingly white shoes. He was fairly safe and boring, though I do think he has a great voice. He'd better wow me next time, though.

Sundance Head: Will someone please explain the appeal of Sundance? I so don't get it. He looked awkward singing "Nights in White Satin," and I'm not sure he hit any right notes. Simon equated it to "a dad at a wedding." Then Paula gave herself an impromptu chest massage. I have no idea.

Paul Kim: Apparently, being barefoot makes him feel free, but he sure didn't really loosen up here. He sang "Careless Whisper," and it was a pretty personality-free performance. Randy thinks he has potential; Simon suggested he put his damn shoes on.

Chris Richardson (at left): Ah, our fake Timberlake (Fakelake? Timberfake?). He sang "I Don't Want to Be" with a lot of robotic hand motions, and I'm not sure he hit a single note in the melody, but Paula called it a great arrangement. One person's "arrangement" is another person's "making it up," I guess.

Nick Pedro: He was really not very good, kind of warbly and dull. Weirdly, Simon liked him, while Randy and Paula weren't feeling it.

Blake Lewis: Not a beatbox to be found in this performance, and I'm glad to discover he can actually sing. Simon said his rendition of "Somewhere Only We Know" sounded contemporary; I thought he seemed uncomfortable. Then again, maybe I'm just blinded by my love for him. And his sweater vest.

Sanjaya Malakar: If we've learned one thing from six seasons of "American Idol," it's that teenagers shouldn't sing Stevie Wonder. All the judges said it was dreary, but he's cute, so I bet he gets another chance.

Chris Sligh (at right): I have no idea what song he was singing, but he was obviously having fun, even though the performance was a little like a college open mic night. If I'd known how much support he already had, I definitely would have put him in my top 12.

Jared Cotter: He sang that Brian McKnight "Back at One" song (my notes say "hey! he can count!") that sends my boyfriend into a fit of junior high reminiscence. He's really smooth, though not the most exciting performer. I'd like him to stick around long enough to sing a song that's not about trying to get a woman into bed.

A.J. Tabaldo: He was a little cheesy with his popped collar and bad party dancing, but the singing wasn't bad. Simon called it a "theme park" performance but also said he might not have given A.J. enough credit before. I might not have, either.

Phil Stacey: Finally, a guy who's not afraid to belt one out. Randy called his "I Could Not Ask for More" the best vocal of the night, and while that might be an exaggeration, I think I underestimated Phil. I know I underestimated the extent of his baldness, because wow.

Who Should Go: Nick Pedro and Sundance Head

Who Will Go: Nick and Paul, but Rudy could be in trouble, too.

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
SparklinSeahorSe SparklinSeahorSe 10 years
I loooove Blake Lewis! I live in WA (he's from Seattle), and my best friend's little sister babysits for a family who are good friends of his. A little twisted web, but my friend's got the hookup! I liked his sweater vest too hahaha!
CinnamonGirl CinnamonGirl 10 years
I loved your review. I'm glad Blake can actually sing. AJ suprised me too. Chris , Blake and Phil are my faves.
isabellemybelle isabellemybelle 10 years
My top favorites are Blake Mitchell, Chris Sligh and Phil. Phil really shined last night. Hopefully the snoozers will get voted off and the real competition will begin! No Chris Daughtry's though :(
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
Not a single standout, really. Love the FakeLake/Timberlake nicknames, Buzz. Very clever.
Lindsb Lindsb 10 years
My favs are Phil and Chris thus far...Paul Kim is going to get a planter's wart if he keeps this barefoot sh*t up. Haha. :) I must also add that I vote for 'FakeLake'.. even though Timberfake is also a very good nickname.
LizaToad LizaToad 10 years
i'm still keeping an open mind.... i give them all a pass for last night for being nervous the first time around!
yiddidea yiddidea 10 years
Last night was rough! Phil did wow me once he got the the chorus, thankfully. I only see maybe 2 or 3 guys who I see making it...
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
i think they were all bad except for Phil! made me remember why i dont watch till the top 12 is announced!
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