Former Battle for the Big O finalist Paul Jolley took the mic last night in Las Vegas.  He's one of ten remaining male contestants gunning for five spots in the American Idol finals.  And, in an attempt to earn your votes at home, Paul belted out the Christina Aguilera/Blake Shelton duet "Just A Fool."  So, how did he do?  See for yourself here at, plus see our Idol expert Steve Thompson's full review of all of last night's performances.

From Steve Thompson:

I will follow last night's procedure of taking each performer as they were presented to the audience.  Finding five out of these ten is the equivalent of finding Waldo at a Harry Potter lookalike convention.

10. Elijah Liu sang Stay by Rhianna.  Honestly, I completely dismissed this kid from consideration because he performed first.  Statistics have shown that your first performed is your first forgotten.  However, upon further review, I think he may have had one of the top five vocals of the night.  It's hard to find gold in a vein of pyrite, but there it is...  A middle level performance might get him to the top 10.

09. Cortez Shaw sang Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars.  I confess that I'm not a huge supporter of this song, but when did the background singers for Idol start looking like the singers from Dancing with the Stars?  Really.  I don't think Cortez sounded nearly as proficient as he may have believed he did.  At some point, approximating the sounds of a screech owl can no longer be its best reward.

08.  Charlie Askew sang Mama by Genesis.  This is one of my favorite songs of the later period of Genesis, yet somehow Phil Collins was able to sound more sinister and convincing in his effort.  Frankly, I thought the boy was about to have a nervous breakdown.  He has issues, don'tcha know...  I guess we shouldn't be shocked at this, yet there was something rather unsettling in the last part of his talk with Ryan.  (Maybe he should have tried Home by the Sea-- a rather complex song, but not as sinister as Mama.)  In reflection, the only song I can think of that would be more disturbing would be Mother by Pink Floyd.

07.  Nick Boddington sang Iris by Goo Goo Dolls.  Interesting that he took a power ballad from a 90s pop rock outfit and turned it into a mellower sound.  I'm okay with changing songs if you get something different out of them.  (Just because you can sing Amazing Grace to the tune of They Call the Wind Maria doesn't mean you want to hear it sung that way all the time.)  Basically, all Nick did was take out the 90s-era bombast and make it more of an acoustic ballad-- and it worked for me.  This middle level performance puts him in the top 10.

06.  Burnell Taylor sang I'm Here from The Color Purple.  I called him Steve Urkel's more successful cousin last week, but the kid can sing and sing rather well.  I liked his explanation that he wanted to sing his audition song again because it was presented as chopped up the first time it was shown.  I totally agree with Keith on this one.  I think he's in the top 10.

05.  Paul Jolley sang Just a Fool by Blake Shelton & Christina Aguilera.  This was an interesting performance for me simply because I think what problems he encountered in the song stemmed from the fact that when he sang Blake's part he was in tune; when he sang Christina's part he oversang it.  However...  Once again we must deal with facts.  The fact of the matter is Paul has tremendous support through social media.  Other than Keith's reservations, which were all pointedly obvious for those of you not paying attention in the other room, I thought Paul may have acquitted himself rather nicely.  This middle level performance gets him to the top 10.

04.  Lazaro Arbos sang Feeling Good.  I'm pretty much over the phenomenon that is Lazaro after this performance.  I don't get why the audience is cheering him so wildly (unless Uncle Nigel promised them the Easter Bunny would bring them something special in their baskets.)  Didn't hear anything special and didn't understand why the judges praised him so highly.  Must be the acoustics in Vegas, no?

03.  Curtis Finch Jr. sang I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly.  Is it just me or does anyone else have the impression that he thinks he can walk on water as well?  I'm not sure if the voters have yet to forgive him for his arrogance back when the group rounds were going on (he wanted to dump Charlie Askew at the time and this was when Charlie was not showing symptoms of being bipolar.)  Then, he asks America to vote for him while he sings an arrogant song!  I know the producers love him, so let them buy him dinner.

02.  Devin Velez sang It's Impossible by Perry Como.  (!)  Yeah, maybe this could be your grandfather's Idol.  Funny that none of the judges criticized him for being old-fashioned, but this song was popular before I was born.  (You mean they had music back before you were born, Steve?  Oh, shut up and bring me my Weavers album...)  What I like is that Devin once again went to the language well with this song-- and before those of you think he might be doing this too much-- I distinctly recall Mr. Como singing in a different language as well.  I think he gets to the top 10.

01.  Vincent Powell sang End of the Road by Boyz II Men.  Sometimes the pimp spot does not do anyone any favors.  As good as Vincent was last week (by the way-- love child of Randy Jackson and LA Reid?  Discuss!)  This seemed overly rushed and borderline frantic to me.  Maybe his nerves got to him.  Singing last usually helps-- but not if it makes everyone remember how your song crashed and burned.

So...   After hours of weighing the options (of which there were fewer than two) this is my best guess.  Devin, Paul, Burnell, Nick and Elijah make it to the top 10.  If we have wild cards for the guys?  (Uncontrollable laughter from the man at the laptop.

Tune in Thursday and we'll see how America voted.  This could get ugly.

@March 6, 2013   Stephen W Thompson

The American Idol results show airs tonight on WEVV Fox 44.  Who will make the Top Ten?  Tune in to see.