Last night on American Idol, our final group of ten guys took the Las Vegas state in Sudden Death.  Some rose to the occasion.  Some didn't at all.  And WBKR's Idol expert Steve Thompson tuned in to offer his analysis.

This morning, Steve and I chatted about last night's episode and who showed out and who didn't.  Plus, I asked Steve to name an early favorite!  LISTEN!

From Steve Thompson:

So the ways of the Nigel are strange, young Skywalker.  The audience will eliminate five more men and five more women next week.  This will mean we theoretically have a top 10 by next Thursday.  However, whatever will the producers do if one of the Anointed are kicked off by a cynical voting electorate?  I suspect Uncle Nigel has an ace still up his sleeve.  An unannounced wild card round to make sure the script will actually be followed.  I have no proof of this, mind you, I've just watched the production manipulation long enough to suspect everybody.

In the meantime, we had our final round of sudden death tonight.  (Is it just me or does that sound like some ethnic joke Archie Bunker might have told back in the 70s?)  Just like the ladies last night, some of our perceived front runners backpedaled a bit.  Even our strongest singers of the evening may find themselves on the outside looking in after next week's performances.

Mathenee Treco sang A Little Less Conversation by Elvis.  (Do I have to say Presley?  Are there those among you who would think this was by Costello?  Well, given tonight's performance, maybe Lou Costello.)  This was a mess.  Not really a hot mess, though.  Definitely lukewarm I would say.  And Mariah Carey had never heard this song before?  I guess she never watched the NBC series Las Vegas either.

Gurpreet Singh sang Nothing Ever Hurt Like You by James Morrison.   I really didn't think this song was as terrible as Randy Jackson claimed-- but then, when did I ever believe Randy Jackson knew what he was talking about?  I think the decision was made by The Powers That Be long before Gurpreet took the stage.  When Singh sang Singh's song sank under the weight of production manipulation.

Vincent Powell sang Cause I Love You by Lenny Williams.   I'm a bit taken aback by his resemblance to a certain mentor who used to be on X Factor, but Vincent certainly had an old school sound to his voice.  By the rules of attrition, Vincent had to be going to next week's show.

Nick Boddington sang Say Something Now by James Morrison.  Nick has been one of my favorites for most of the season, but he seemed to suffer the same fate as Janelle last night.  When your perceived front runner falls on their face before the voting begins, you just don't know how positive your season will be.  (Just ask the Indiana Hoosiers.)  Still, the judges already made him one of the favorites-- so he will continue.

Josh Holliday sang an original song.  Let's just stop this foolishness right now and realize that not everyone has an original song as good as Angela Miller.  I have no firm grasp on how to even tell you how good or bad his performance was-- I only thought his lyrics were trite and the melody seemed to be sleepwalking between the places where all cows eat grass.

David Willis did a cool rock vibe version of the 50s standard Fever by Peggy Lee.  I really enjoyed this version and thought it was unlike anything else we would hear the rest of the season.  Unfortunately, that opposite point of view was advocated by Nicki.   She didn't like it at all.  I thought it was one of the better songs of the night.

Bryant Tadeo sang New York State of Mind by Billy Joel.  This was a terrific cover.  Nicki, of course, didn't like this one at all either.  When your audience is engaged and three out of four judges seem to enjoy it, why do we worry if one doesn't like the song?  Many times Simon detested songs but the audience overruled him.  I wonder why the audience doesn't ignore Nicki as well?

Burnell Taylor sang This Time by John Legend.  I feel like Burnell Taylor used to go by the name of Stefan Urquelle.  A really neat version of this song.  Not really a copy of the song as much as "inspired by".  Very good and very different.

Lazaro Arbos sang Tonight I Want to Cry by Keith Urban.  Funny how the judges forgot that Paul Jolley sang this song just last week and sang it better.  I really feel like Lazaro's backstory is starting to annoy the heck out of the people who actually vote, at least judging from the comments on the many discussions found at every entertainment site known to man...

Cortez Shaw sang Titanium by David Guetta and Sia.  This probably has as many detractors as it does supporters.  This gets my vote as my favorite performance of the night.  I thought he sang the song well and gave it his own spin...  You can't complain on one hand of karaoke performances then turn around and criticize someone for trying to sound different.  Oh, wait...

All in all, nothing to really write home about.  Many of these surviving guys may be gone by next Thursday.  We'll see how our final twenty fare next week.  The girls get to go first.

@February 28, 2013  Stephen W Thompson