American Idol Top 24: Guys Q-Rating stole the show

Tonight's BIG winner.

Tonight’s BIG winner.


Good luck America. You’re gonna need it.

After tonight’s performances from the Guys Top 12, there is no way America can get this right. There isn’t one person who could get this right. What we got tonight was unlike anything we’ve seen in the semifinals of American Idol – just big performance after big performance.

The worst part of tonight’s episode – besides the seizure-inducing graphics – was we only had an hour. It would have been lovely to stretch the episode to a full two hours and give us longer performances and a little more than quickly-spoken critiques. I wanted some time to absorb what the hell I just saw because most of the time I was in awe of the performances; instead, it was performance, critique, Seacrest talking fast, repeat. Those two-hour episodes need to come back at this point of the season, says everyone except my liver.

What I liked, for the most part, was the song selection. The guys who picked the right songs are the guys who should get through. They get it. They understand the process. You have to pick songs to qualify, not to win. You don’t win American Idol in the semifinals. If what the Twitter machine tells me is true, we’re only cutting four guys, which means picking a song is even easier because the risk factor was at an all-time low.

All told, terrific night. No one is going to be happy with eliminations, especially when the performances were as good as they were. Let’s get to the reviews:

Adam Ezegelian
“I Wanna Rock,” Twisted Sister
I LOVED this song choice because it’s featured in Road Trip and me and my buddies watched that six or seven hundred times in college (one night, the future Best Man at my wedding and I drank a 30-pack of Busch Light while watching it. Teaching tennis the next day in 90-degree heat was NOT FUN).

Was it a good song choice for America? I don’t know about that. What I do know is Adam performed the song well. As much as I want him to clean it up, he’s a crazy rock god and that’s how it’s going to be. His voice is fantastic. No doubt. The rest? Ugh. I could have done without the middle-school teacher gear singing a punk song and I’m worried he’s going to get treated as a cartoon character rather than a legit singer, but maybe that angle will work for him.

As a side note, I fucking love this dude. Fat guys gotta stick together.
IN OR OUT: In. #TeamFat

Michael Simeon
“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” Michael Bolton
If you’re gonna sing Bolton, you gotta bring. My man Michael Simeon did not.

Bolton’s got an all-time Top 10 voice and if you can’t get as deep as him, you shouldn’t sing his songs. The performance came off very 80s – OK by me, because cheesy 80s pop is the BALLS – and while he’s a super dreamboat, has probably banged J-Lo and every other girl on the show, with what everyone else brought to the table,

I think Mr. Simeon is heading back to the farm.
IN or OUT: Out.

Savion Wright
“Hey, Soul Sister,” Train
With his intro, I really thougth they were gonna break into Jay-Z’s “Heart of the City.” Would have been siiiick.

Originally, I wasn’t a fan. On the second watch – the “drunk watch” as I like to call it – I enjoyed it, but I didn’t like the song choice. (Side note: My wife and I paused the rewatch – she gets home at 9 – to talk about how Savion is fucking enormous. Like football player big. Wife couldn’t get over how tight his pants were and how they managed to fit his ass. Dude should stop music, eat a ton of protein, work out and play defensive end for somebody)

Listening again, it was decent. I think because the song is so played out – that happens with super popular songs – it hurt his performance, but there really wasn’t a part where I’d say Savion doesn’t deserve to move on. Urban said he should play to his strengths, but failed to mention what those are. I think that’s Savion’s biggest problem – he doesn’t have a specific genre tying him down.

It wasn’t his best, but it was right where he needed to be – except it happened to come on a night where a ton of dudes blew doors off of walls.
IN or OUT: In. #SavionGrace

Mark Andrew
“Weight,” The Band
So some douchebag entertainment writer tweeted about how the performance was “predictable.” I hate entertainment writers except for Lyndsey Parker. If it was predictable, he would have had the stones to predict it. He didn’t, because he’s a douchebag.

The song wasn’t a risk, but it didn’t need to be. Andrew’s voice is suited for classic rock and folk music and every time he sings it, it goes well for him. His voice is terrific and changing the tempo of a classic song gets the job done.

Mark Andrew – he needs a nickname, ASAP – is going to see songs that everyone loves to listen to when they’re drinking and I really think that’s going to carry him deep in the contest. If he takes a risk along the way, watch out.
IN or OUT: In. #MarkingTheSpot

Trevor Douglas
“Best I Ever Had,” Gavin DeGraw
I’m starting to dig Trevor’s style because it seems to be “Play a song like the original artist would if he did cocaine for three days straight.”

Trevor is a better performer than he is a singer but I really liked tonight’s performance despite picking a horrible Gavin DeGraw tune. While his vocals are going to take a beating, his genre – think Mumford and Sons, Lumineers, etc – doesn’t require textbook vocals. It’s as much about the music as it is the performance and vocals.

If he’s able to come up with cocaine-induced arrangements on songs, he’s going to really make people notice him. If he starts doing cocaine himself, Ricky Minor and the house band might die trying to keep up.
IN or OUT: In. #GeekSquad

Clark Beckham
“When A Man Loves A Woman,” Percy Sledge
Great news! Wife and I are expecting a third kid!

Bad news! It’s Clark’s. He impregnanted her and the rest of the female population with his performance tonight.

This kid is like a non-douchey Robin Thicke. His voice has that bite. I mean, jesus, he stole J-Lo’s heart from Michael Simeon’s hands. If he’s singing ballads like that, he’s going to fuck shit up. That’s really the only way to put it.

I want to see some pop songs from him because, and don’t tell anyone I said this, he might win this thing.
IN or OUT: In. #BanginLikeBeckham

Rayvon Owen
“Jealous,” Nick Jonas
Heisenberg is straight killing it.

Normally, once my BFBGWS gets booted I’m all over the R&B guy, but me and Rayvon haven’t gone there. He hasn’t done songs I liked and tonight was no different.

That said, I’m not voting.

His range is so good I threw up thinking about it out of spite. Pretty sure because of his performance I’m getting some tonight.

BUT THE BEST PART of the performance when Harry said “It’s so appropriate we’re in Motown because there’s something about you,” compared him to Motown singers without mentioning the fact that, oh, he’s the only black R&B guy left. It was very much like when a white basketball coach says his suburban team is gonna lose to a city team because they’re “more athletic.”

Need more Rayvon. No idea if I’m gonna get it.
IN or OUT: In? #CravinRayvon

Daniel Seavey
“I’m Yours,” Daniel Mraz
The judges aren’t going to bag on a 15-year old singing on stage, but I will – fairly, of course.

Daniel Seavey looked like a 15-year old.

You could hear the nerves in his voice. Thank god they found a guitar small enough for his hands because if it was an adult-sized one he might have dropped it. The performance would have won any high school talent show, but it wasn’t good enough to move on American Idol.

I mean, I’ll give him credit. Playing off what he said, if I was on stage performing and saw girls chanting my name, I’d be throwing BonerCity at them because at 15 your boner control is minimal at best.

I really think Seavey wins the show in 2017 or 2018, but not this year. He’s going to be a superstar, but not this year.

Guess he’s going to have to go back to high school and hook up with all the hot chicks that used to ignore him. Life could be worse.
IN or OUT: Out.

Riley Bria
“Homeboy,” Eric Church
There’s no doubt Riley can play and if this was American Musician, I might have a completely different take on him.
My first problem is the song and the judges’ refusal to call out an 18-year old singing a song about drinking beer. I’ve drank more beer this month than this kid’s had in his lifetime.

My second problem was this performance paled in comparison to the rest of the field. Would have been nice for the judges to say as much. Let America know he shouldn’t get in.

Riley has a ton of talent, but this performance wasn’t good enough. Again, in a couple years, he might have the goods. Now? Nope.
IN or OUT: Out.

Quentin Alexander
“I Put a Spell On You,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Fuck. Me.

What Quentin Alexander did tonight wasn’t just good; that was a legendary performance. I’m talking Top 30 of all time. And this is coming from a guy who made an awesome Top 30 list, blogged half of it, then stopped but still has that list.

America doesn’t have to vote Quentin in. It needs to.

This is where I’m just going to formally apologize for not giving this young man the credit he deserves. Put him in the live shows. Let him perform every week. He’s just on a different level because he’s both a singer and a showman. There’s a lot of guys who can sing, some who perform, but Quentin is the only one who can do both.
IN or OUT: In. #QRating

Nick Fradiani
Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran
I can’t tell if Nick is trying to win American Idol or trying to have sex with every hot chick in America. Either way, he’s doing a hell of a job. (NOTE: if he bangs anything less than a 9.5 I’d be shocked)

As good as Nick was, I don’t know if it registers because the rest of the field was that good. He’s the perfect contestant because he’s hot (no homo), has a great voice, plays instruments and he’s hot (no homo again). He should get through to the Top 8 or 6 or whatever, but I don’t know if we’re going to get anything except “I want to bang hot chicks” songs from him.
IN or OUT: In. #BangBro

Qaasim Middleton
“Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
I love Qaasim and, with him “coincidentally” getting the Pimp Spot (copyright Lyndsey Parker), there’s no doubt the Idol producers did.

Is I’m judging on vocals, Qaasim is bottom two or three. Judging on performance, he’s No. 1 or 2, depending on how much you love Trevor D. The reason he’s J-Lo’s type of performer is because J-Lo knows vocals can be fixed in the studio and played on loudspeakers as you pretend to sing live.

I love the kid as a contestant, but here’s the thing – if we’re doing a Top 6, he ain’t in based on tonight. As much as I want to see him perform, I don’t want to see him take a spot from someboday who, you know, actually sang well tonight.
IN or OUT: In. #QRating (that’s taken? Dammit). #QaasimTheDream

Tonight’s ranks, in order: Quentin Alexander, Clark Beckham, Mark Andrew, Adam Ezegelian, Trevor Douglas, Qaasim Middleton, Rayvon Owen, Nick Fradiani, Savion Wright, Daniel Seavey, Michael Simeon, Riley Bria.

Who I’d Put In: Quentin Alexander, Clark Beckham, Mark Andrew, Adam Ezegelian, Trevor Douglas, Rayvon Owen, Nick Fradiani, Savion Wright.

Who America puts in: Quentin Alexander, Qaasim Middletown, Nick Fradiani, Daniel Seavey, Clark Beckham, Mark Andrew, Adam Ezegelian, Trevor Douglas

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