American Idol 11: Top 12 Men Perform

American Idol is back and after the tedious Hollywood round and entertaining auditions, it’s down to the top 24, but they’re cutting it down almost in half within a week. That’s the quickest set of big cuts yet, usually they cut 2 at a time. The judges have a handful of wildcards to play with though. Tonight the boys are singing.

Crazy slight lisp scatting guy is leading off. He’s from Wisconsin and a nanny or something. Reed Grimm- he’s doing Moves Like Jagger. He’s all hunched over like he’s got a load in his pants, it’s very distracting. Now he moves over to a mini-drum kit for a mid-song drum solo before going back into his soulful skatting, really changing up the song. Guess that worked. Randy liked it, compares him to Kasey from last year. J-Lo liked how he changed up the song style, Steven Tyler likes the jazz.

Second up is Pittsburgh’s own Adam Brock. He has a degree as a chef, plays piano, sings, has a baby, and claims he has a large black woman trapped in his body. White chocolate, doing Aretha’s Think. Here he goes, bandana in his back pocket; he kinda looks like James Lipton crossed with Seth Rogan. He’s doing well, hitting the big notes on “freedom, freedom”. It’s a bit of a Soul Man in a pleather jacket thing going on here.

Next up is crazy hair Dandre Brackensick . He’s still in high school, good friends with his equally big-haired sister and is doing Earth Wind and Fire’s “Reason”. Starts off with the falsetto. It sounds a little bit off, or something. This is just not good at all He’s being overpowered by the background singers…oh until the big high note, which he hits I supposed but the rest was pretty terrible. Well at least he’s still got his hair. Oooh the judges like this shit? Jennifer Lopez are you feeling ok? You liked that? Stephen Tyler says it showed off his voice perfectly.

Fourth guy singing is repeat customer and Vanilla Ice front haired Colton Dixon. His sister got cut but he’s still in. He says he’s going to shock a few people. Mohawk’y he’s on piano initially and now he’s kinda rocking it out. Idol’s got big light show going on behind him, he climbs atop the piano. Reminds me of Adam Lambert. The crowd and judges are eating it up. Randy Jackson liked his indie alt-rock flavor. J-Lo really felt his heart and called him relevant.

The big guy will be up now.Jeremy Rosado shows us his house, the clinic where he works and his audition. Now he’s doing “Gravity”. He’s showing off his voice, very smooth, going into a bit of a falsetto at times. Very slow until he goes for the big note and a soft gentle ending. Very tender. Steven Tyler liked his song choice.

Midway through the show, is Atlanta transplant to New York, voice teacher, dancer, bus rider, regular dude, American Idol contestant Aaron Marcellus. He’s doing the Jackson 5 hit “Never Can Say Goodbye”. They’ve got him in some weird Michael Jackson-esque getup. His voice is well suited for this song, really building up the excitement and hitting a huge falsetto note at the end to bring the crowd and judges to a well deserved standing ovation. RJ says “that’s how you sing some vocals”, he did a crazy run at the end. J-Lo says the boy can sing anything. ST calls him the whole package.

Country crooner Chase Likens is taking us to his West Virginia apartment. He’s in the theater department at Marshall and is a fantastic whistler and he has two horses. He’s doing “Storm Warning”. It’s a high energy country twang song; I don’t know about this, I guess if you’re into country maybe this is good. Beats the hell out of me though. Steven Tyler says he looks like Brendan Fraser in the Mummy lololololol. Randy says he’s got skills and range.

Former street performer Creighton Fraker shows off his basement apartment in Queens and his weirdness as he struts around New York CIty. He’s doing “True Colors”, appropriately enough. His voice is kinda weird but there’s something appealing about it, not sure what it is but you just want to hear more of him. He’s starting it off stripped down on just a stool before building it up with the background singers showing off some power in his voice and control. He too does a little falsetto ending. J-Lo says that was so beautiful, great dynamics in his voice and he’s an individual. Steven likes his unique phrasing and voice.

Now we’ve got pawn shop worker Phillip Phillips doing “In the Air Tonight”. Great song. What is he doing to the song? He sounds like he’s in pain. Actually he’s doing a dead on Dave Mathews impression I think, right down to how he holds the guitar. It’s probably really good if you don’t know Dave. He’s growling and gritting his teeth but he’s impressing the judges and the crowd. J-Lo singles him out as one of the best they found on the road. Steven Tyler likes how he makes his voice fit other people’s songs. Well Randy Jackson calls out the Dave Mathews connection, thank you RJ.

Youngster Eben Franckewitz is up now, Bieber hairing his way around his house and school and giant backyard trampoline. He’s 15 and doing Adele’s “Set Fire to the Range”. He looks like KD Lang and possibly sounds like her too. His voice is just so high pitched and it doesn’t help that he’s singing a female’s song. I just don’t think his voice is mature enough for this competition. Crowd is digging it though, maybe they’re all 15 too. Randy is impressed for his age but says there were a few flat notes and it wasn’t perfect. J-Lo says he got shaky in the middle but you can do this. Steven called him pitchy in the middle but all in all pretty good. WIth everyone else putting in very solid performances more or less, I’d say his odds of going home are sting.

Now we’ve got the really interesting and weird Heejun Han. His entertaining mother dances in joy at him making top 24, we see him at work with the disabled adults he works with. He’s doing “Angels”. It’s just him, some strings, the spotlight and microphone. I don’t know if his voice is the best but he’s so entertaining he needs to stay. He’s really belting it out here in the middle here. Sounded pretty good to me. J-Lo calls his voice smooth as silk but maybe it wasn’t the best song for him. Steven agrees but says he loves his voice. RJ says he’s mad talented.

We’re heading to Westlake, Louisiana with the crawfish-missing, smoothing making, scarf wearing, Joshua Ledet doing a Jennifer Hudson song. He’s definitely got some range and power but there’s something about his voice that’s just not that exciting, don’t know what it is. His voice has a sort of Cee Lo Green gospel thing going on there. Maybe he worked it out more at the end, I just don’t know about this guy though. Randy says he is what singing is all about.

Now for something interesting, a surprise 13th contestant that the judges were determined to bring back. Who gets a second chance, live on air? Oooooh no, it’s the deep voiced Jermaine Jones. He is dwarfing Ryan Seacrest, making him look tiny- for that I like him without even opening up his mouth. He sounds pretty decent, I’m not sure if I dig his low bass voice here. He’s doing “Dance with my Father”. He is the exact opposite of Eben. Randy reminds us they’ve never had a deep voice like his before. Steven says it was beautiful.

Our prediction for this week… here are the top few who we think are a lock to stay: Colton Dixon, Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker. Possibly staying: Phillip Phillips and Heejun Han. Everyone else, probably off the show.

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