So while it is completely true that there was far more talent in this group of ten guys than there was in the group of ten ladies from last night, I will say that I pretty much knew that five men stood out. There was arguably a couple of guys on the cusp of going through, and my only hope, once again, is that there will be a wild card round where contestants would then sing for their lives for the judges, or perhaps for a popular vote by the public.
A couple of observations: Nicki was rude tonight, not quite sure what was up with her. The guys sang obscure songs in general. I thought Randy and Keith's comments were the most helpful tonight.
Mathenee Treco started the night off with A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley-- I wanted to like this, but even the phrasing was all wrong. Mathenee has a good voice, but I think the problem is that this was totally the wrong song for him.
Gurpreet Singh sang Nothing Ever Hurt Like You by James Morrison-- I didn't like this; the song wasn't right for him. That being said, the judges were a little bit harsh, it wasn't terrible, but at the same time, it wasn't American Idol caliber.
Vincent Powell sang Cause I Love You by Lenny Williams-- This was easily the best performance of the night. Vince's voice was smooth, powerful, and it was a mix of old school R&B and gospel. If he makes the right songs and makes the right stylistic choices, he could be around in this competition for a while.
Nick Boddington sang Say Something Now by James Morrison-- I have liked Nick since when he auditioned for the show last year. I had no doubt that based on his body of work that he would move on in the competition, but once again, this was a shaky performance. He didn't make a connection with this song.
Josh Holiday sang an original song-- There's nothing wrong with singing an original song, but if you're going to follow through with it, that song better be good. This song was just okay unfortunately. Josh seems like a really nice person, it's too bad that this didn't work it. He just didn't seem passionate enough.
David Oliver Willis sang Fever by Peggy Lee-- I actually loved the sound of this performance and the whole vibe. I can tell that David is a real musician. Here's what happened though, the song didn't have enough range, so it wasn't an exciting performance. I think had he chosen a different song, he potentially could have contended for that fifth spot.
Bryant Tadeo sang New York State of Mind by Billy Joel-- This was an interesting song choice, and it certainly showcased that Bryant has beautiful tone to his voice. Nicki claimed that this was terrible but didn't offer any reasons why. I didn't understand that, it's almost like she seemed to have made up her mind about him before he started singing. I actually agreed most with Keith's comments which was that it was probably not the right song choice for him but he did make a connection with the audience. He's another person who potentially could have gone through had he made a different song choice.
Burnell Taylor sang This Time by John Legend-- Burnell is extremely talented, I don't doubt that for a second but he also should have made a different song choice. I was captivated by him, but this song did not hold my interest at all. Nicki was the only person who exaggerated the performance; Keith, Randy, and Mariah all got it right. They recognize his talent, but they also recognize that this wasn't his best performance.
Lazaro Arbos sang Tonight I Wanna Cry by Keith Urban-- I actually think Lazaro is one of the most naturally talented contestants in this competition this year. He's another person that has a body of work over the course of the competition that is undeniable, but once again, bad song choice. It seems to be plaguing almost all these guys. Lazaro also has to work on the nerves because if he doesn't get them under control, it's going to jeopardize his time on the show.
Cortez Shaw sang Titanium by David Guetta and Sia-- For all those who said there were pitch problems, there were a few, but this was a big risk, and I absolutely loved the arrangement. His voice really soared on the big notes. Keith thought that his song choice was bold and brave, there were inconsistencies, but total redemption in the end of the song. Randy agreed with Keith, and I really felt that way too.
David Oliver Willis