For the boys, Hollywood week is over.  And 28 male contestants are still left in the hunt for the Idol Top 40.  WBKR's American Idol expert Steve Thompson has chosen some favorites and explains who he thinks is in it to win it.

From Steve Thompson:

We started with 43 guys on tonight's episode and we ended up with 28.  I'm still not sure if we saw any of these guys as the winner of this year's competition.  However, we had some much better representation as opposed to last night's train wreck.

Paul Jolley sang Blown Away by Carrie Underwood.  I'll give Paul credit for singing a song that shows off his chops, but I don't think I've ever heard that song sung by a guy.  Now, Nicki came off a bit harsh with what she said about his nerves, but she was absolutely correct in her assessment.   You've got to admit it, she comes off a bit like a female Simon at times.

Lazaro Arbos sang Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga.  I'm not a big fan of the song, but Lazaro was actually able to sing the song without his usual bursting into tears.  He sounded fine, but not nearly as good as his song he first auditioned with (Bridge Over Troubled Water.)

Curtis Finch Jr. sang Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri.  This song was covered by several of the male contestants-- which makes me think "were all the songs loaded toward female singers or are these the same songs the girls have to choose from?"  Anyway, Curtis did his best male diva-- but I'm still not crazy about his hypocrisy that came out during the group rounds.

Devin Velez had a nice tone on What a Wonderful World, but I wasn't exactly enamored of his performance.  Still, he was better than most and not as good as some of the others.

Gurpreet Singh Sarin sang Georgia On My Mind while playing a guitar.  Okay.  Not anything to write home about, but I will say I'm encouraged that he is more than just fodder and is not a joke singer.

Cortez Shaw sang Sunny, notable for being one of the few songs not originally sung by a woman on tonight's extended playlist.  He did a fine job on the song and sounded like someone who should be in the final twenty guys.

Jimmy Smith sang a country-based version of the Stevie Nicks song  Landslide.  While not a particularly stand-out vocal, it was pleasant enough compared to some of the others on tonight's show.

Nick Boddington played keyboard and sang Stars by Grace Potter.  You know, between the Amanda Brown version on The Voice and this version, it may be time to add Grace Potter & The Nocturnals to the Thompson Musical Archives.  A brilliant song sung brilliantly and easily one of my favorite vocals of the night.

Charlie Askew sang Someone That I Used to Know by Goyte.  This dude is so unusual and so unique that I want him to be one of the last people in the competition this year.  He might be a bit off-putting for the middle of the road tweens, but if this kid wouldn't ever get all the votes from the kids who always feel like outsiders.  I'm not that crazy about this song, but I actually enjoyed the way he sang it.  We're talking major dark horse here-- but at least he's not just another white boy playing a guitar.

Finally, some words about Micah, the guy who had the tonsillectomy that went horribly wrong.  I know some of you are rather upset that he was cut after singing I Told You So, but (and this goes back to my theory that these are the same songs the girls will be choosing from) this song is included on the list because of Carrie Underwood's version.  Micah is a good singer, but he really didn't attack the song the way that others were attacking their songs.  I could be cynical and say that Idol only wanted Lazaro's sob story as opposed to having two similar types of vocal-related stories-- but I really think it was a question of narrowing the field.  The judges still have eight more to cut at this point of the broadcasts, so it may have just come down to Mariah wanting to hear the familiar melisma that she apparently thinks belongs in every song.

My favorites so far:  Nick Boddington, Charlie Askew and Paul Jolley.  I guess we'll see..

@February 7, 2013  Stephen W Thompson