Last night “American Idol’s” revamped Hollywood Week continued with the solo round for the guys. In it, we saw some favorites go – and even more disappointingly – we heard about some of our favorites getting eliminated even though we didn’t get to hear them sing, most notably baker Gabe Brown and sign language teacher Nate Tao.
Twenty-eight guys survived the round but they will be cruelly cut to twenty next Thursday after we witness the same cutting the girls in half. Not literally, of course, but there are still bound to be tears.
Paul Jolley could barely control his nerves or his mouth until he began his song, “Blown Away.” I wasn’t blown away but he did a good job and got through to the next stage. Nicki scolded him for his defeated demeanor afterwards. Even when he protested that he was like the most nervous person in history, Nicki Minaj wasn’t giving him that. She begged for “just one minute of professionalism and focus.”
“Jolley. It’s ONE. MINUTE. For you to come onstage and take it off of your face.” I don’t often agree with Nicki but this time I did.
We unfortunately didn’t hear much of Lazaro Arbos on Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” but he sounded good and once again did not sound nervous. OK, so I’m losing faith in the back stories. None of them may be true so I just want to know if they can sing and appear decent human beings. He can and he does. Move on through to the next round, Lazaro.
Curtis Finch, Jr. also made it through with a very “dramatic interpretation” of Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.”
Devin Velez got to tell us how excited he was to have gotten Randy on his feet in the a cappella. He was stunning on “What a Wonderful World” and so humble when Keith Urban told him, “You are born to sing — it’s what you do.” I think I love him. Devin, not Keith, although Keith is growing on me. I still miss Steven Tyler’s completely weird feedback.
Cortez Shaw, and Adam Sanders sailed through the solo round along with Devin and…. the Turbinator a.k.a. Gupreet Singh Sarin!
Nicki Minaj wasn’t joining Matteus Fernandez’s pity party. He messed up his solo because he’d never played with a band before and complained, “I wasn’t given a chance to say this yesterday,” Nicki laid into him: “You were always making reference to your height. Sometimes things can go from being inspiring to becoming you wanting a pity party.You don’t have to milk that ever again.” Well said again, Nicki. What’s happening to her? Or me?
Jimmy Smith got a lot of air time for his country take on”Landslide.” It was competent, not amazing, but he got through to the next round, along with Johnny Keyser and Vincent Powell, whose solos we didn’t get to see.
Nicolas Mathis, the warehouse worker with two kids who just couldn’t connect with the band was cut and subsequently stomped off the stage in a tantrum.
Papa Peachez also sulked because “I just don’t like singing other people’s songs.”
Nick Boddington gave the standout performance of the night with “Stars,” also playing keyboard. Keith marveled at Nick’s ability to hit all those half-intervals in the song. “You either get ‘em or you don’t, and you nailed ‘em,” he told Nick. Oh yeah, he got ‘em and he got me. Goosebumps!
Charlie Askew was quirky and memorable on “Somebody That I Use To Know.”
“You have this quirky thing that is so odd that it’s right,” said Nicki. “I glorify weirdness,” replied Charlie. Oh we need someone like that on “Idol.” Yes, I know we’ve got Nicki Minaj, but a contestant like that. Fabulous.
JDA (who wore a black veil this time for high drama) and Mathenee Treco also got through although their solos weren’t shown.
Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon went through after doing great on “Jar of Hearts,” clearly the boys’ favorite song. Loving Marvin’s falsetto and what Burnell can’t do with his voice just isn’t worth doing.
Micah Johnson, Gabe Brown, Sanni M’mairura, and Nate Tao were all eliminated without us even seeing them perform, which I was really disappointed about. But now we have our Top 28 guys. It was a bit premature for Nicki Minaj to be squealing “You won! You won!” at them but still it’s exciting, right?
Which guy was your favorite tonight? Are you as upset as I am about Gabe and Nate not making the “American Idol” Top 56 cut?