American Idol 2011: Top 12 Guys performance recap – Some surprises arise

The “American Idol” Top 12 guys took to the performance stage tonight and while a couple of them were singing like they knew SEVEN guys would be cut by Thursday, some were not. I’m going to get right to the recap. I’ll give you my thoughts and my performance grade. Then you can agree with me or let me have it in our comments section!

(In order of performance)

*Clint Jun Gamboa, “Superstitious.” Clint got a little lost beneath the music. There were times when I could barely hear him sing. I don’t know if this is his fault, the band’s or some technical issue. At any rate, it was an OK performance. (And for the record, I’m trying to not be influenced by how much I dislike some of these guys’ attitudes.) That being said, I hope he goes home, but I’m still grading fairly. He can sing. B+

*Jovany Baretto, “I’ll Be.” I think my prediction for him the other day is going to be correct. He will go home. His performance was boring and weak and we’re not voting on abs. Randy Jackson agrees with me. D+

*Jordan Dorsey, “OMG.” OMG is right. And that’s probably going to be the most-uttered phrase of the night thanks to Jordan’s OMG-worthy horrible performance of the Usher hit. He’s been a good singer (again despite his terrible attitude) but tonight it just wasn’t there. That clearly isn’t who he is as a singer and he is a TERRIBLE dancer. It looked like it was the first time he ever stepped onto a stage. Maybe it was. Hopefully it’s the last. F-

*Tim Halperin, “Streetcar Symphony.” Tim is one of my favorite contestants and Rob Thomas  (whose song he sang) is one of my favorite musicians. But neither Tim or that particular Rob song earn my praise tonight. Tim didn’t do much singing and the song choice was just bad. It’s not Rob’s best song so why would anyone choose to sing that? (Song choices overall tonight were pretty bad) As much as it hurts me to say, I think he will be going home. Maybe he’ll get the wildcard from the judges. D+

*Brett Loewenstern, “Light My Fire.” Brett’s been another favorite of mine so it’s also a little painful for me to say he didn’t quite excite me tonight. His version of The Doors’ classic got off to a terrible start and he stayed pretty nasaly the whole time. I sill like him and his energy. But he can do better. B-

*James Durbin,” Another Thing Comin.” Wow. I haven’t been a James fan so far. I’ve thought he was screechy and kind of a jerk. But tonight he was pretty amazing. His voice was powerful, yet controlled. He showed great confidence. His high notes didn’t make me want to leave the room. I’m impressed even if I didn’t want to be. A+

*Robbie Rosen, “In the Arms of an Angel.” Ugh. I love Robbie. I really do. But his performance tonight was weak. He showcased his soft and vulnerable voice but he was pretty flat through most of the song. It really pains me to say these things about Robbie, but I’m being very honest. It wasn’t good to me. I think he’ll still be safe, but not because of his performance tonight. C-

*Scotty McCreery, “Letters From Home.” Much like I was with James, I wasn’t a Scotty fan. And I pretty much hate country music. But I tell you what, this guy could make a country fan out of me. OK, probably not, but he already IS making a Scotty fan out of me. He’s got such great control over that low voice of his. It’s an impeccable sound. And the way he ended that song. Amazing. A+

*Stefano Langone, “Just The Way You Are.” This guy is so likable. As in pinch-his-cheeks likable. And he’s cute so he’ll be getting a lot of votes for those reasons. Those reasons also means he’s incredibly marketable. And he can  sing, too! He did get lost in one spot tonight, but like Jennifer Lopez said, he’s very natural. He’s very believable. He knows how to own a song that isn’t his originally. A-

*Paul McDonald, “Maggie Mae.” What was once weird and irritating is becoming completely adorable and entertaining. Paul has really changed my mind about him. His odd moves and constant smile were off-putting at first, but now they’re a part of this great character and performer that I can tell will end up being one of my favorites. His performance of “Maggie Mae” could be a hit today. It was so unique and enjoyable. One of the best of the night. A+

*Jacob Lusk, “House is Not a Home.” I’m probably going to have to dodge a lot of rotten tomatoes and duck a few punches, but I don’t like Jacob. His singing is technically perfect. I mean PERFECT. But like a pair of shoes without a scuff or two, I’m not interested. I’m just not. He’s too fancy. Or too polished. It’s weird, I know. But that’s how I feel. His performance tonight was flawless and its going to earn him enough votes to secure a spot in the Top 12. But I’m not a fan. A

*Casey Abrams, “I Put a Spell on You.” Dear Casey, you sound sexy. Sure. JLo thinks so. But I think you still need to trim your beard and please never pretend to fart on Ryan Seacrest again. You’re not a frat boy. You’re on “American Idol.” Now that I got that out of my system, I can go onto my Casey recap. I’m not sure why he was in the pimp spot. I thought he was only the second or third best performance of the night. Like Jacob, Casey is technically a perfect singer. But his performance tonight wasn’t believable. He sang it like he was acting out a part. A very angry part. I like to believe a person when they sing. I know what I want to say here but it’s coming off odd. Thank goodness this is the last one of the night because I’m starting to sound like Paula Abdul circa Season 6. A

What were your thoughts on tonight’s performances? Any new favorites? Any thoughts on who will be leaving us Thursday?