The American Idol 2014 boys took to the stage Wednesday night, so that means we now know the Top 10 guys chosen by the judges. And once again, there were some quite surprising cuts from the Top 15.
As always, I’ll be reviewing each performance and assigning the letter grade I think each deserves.
Caleb Johnson, “Stay With Me.” I’m not a huge fan of this guy’s personality. It’s just over-the-top and in your face, but this performance was great. It was the perfect song for him and he just put on a great show. So as long as I never see him off stage, I might become a fan. Good choice, judges. Performance Grade: A
C.J. Harris, “Shelter.” This guy can sing. And it’s like he’s not even trying. This performance was so natural and effortless. It was a little slow for me, but the vocals were flawless. His tone and the grit in his voice were perfect. He’s very easy to listen to. Another great decision from the judges. Performance Grade: A+
Emmanuel Zidor, “The Best of My Love.” I never thought I’d hear this song on American Idol, but I’m really happy we did. This guy’s sass and stage presence is like none other. And if this is any indication of his song choice, we’ll be in for some fun this season. If he stays. Not sure the audience will react as enthusiastic as I did. But we’ll see. I had fun with it even though his voice is pretty thin. Performance Grade: B+
Sam Woolf, “Babylon.” Agh. I like Sam a lot, but why this song? It’s not a very showy song to sing for America for the first time. I don’t really think he’ll be in trouble, but it’s possible he bored the audience as much as I was bored. I do think he’s very talented, though, and has a seemingly great presence about him. So I’m still a fan despite not loving this performance. Performance Grade: B
George Lovett, “Grenade.” I wasn’t expecting George to be in the Top 10 guys, but here we are. ANd his performance was pretty shaky. I thought it would get better at the chorus, but it really didn’t. I wasn’t very impressed, but it’s probably just the nervousness of the situation. Performance Grade: B-
Dexter Roberts, “This Ole Boy.” Dexter should be just fine with America’s vote. He’s the perfect country singer for this show. Just like the song says, he’s a good ole boy and voters will relate to that. The song was a good choice, too. It wasn’t a big vocal song, but it was right for him and he felt very comfortable. I’d say he seems the most comfortable out of everyone, including the girls from the night before. Performance Grade: A-
Alex Preston, “Volcano.” This guy is very talented but he’s hard to watch. He needs to work on his stage presence and expressions. But enough of that, onto the vocals. I really liked the audition. It was smooth and effortless and mellow. Not boring mellow, but mellow as in I can sit back and listen to him sing. I liked it. Performance Grade: A
Malcolm Allen, “Coming From Where I’m From.” This was also a mellow performance, but the bad mellow. As in I was bored. He’s a great singer, but I don’t think this performance is going to be enough for American to put him into the Top 13. It was just too meh. Performance Grade: C+
Ben Briley, “Soulshine.” Great song choice, great vocal, great stage presence. It was all very natural and I’ll go ahead and call it the best performance of the night. He may have spent too much time on the guitar solo, but I liked it. I think he needs a bit more of a makeover, though. I mean a backward all cap? Performance Grade: A+
Spencer Lloyd, “Love Don’t Die.” I’m not surprised the judges picked Spencer. And the female voters are going to grab onto him and never let go. Is it too early to predict him as a finalist? As for this performance, I didn’t think it was that great. Especially for the final performance of the night. His voice was thin and he was shaky and I just wasn’t impressed. He looks great, sure. But what else is there going to be? Performance Grade: C+
So there’s your Top 10 guys. That means Casey Thrasher, Briston Maroney, Ethan Harris, Jordan Brisbane and Maurice Townsend were cut. I have to say I’m pretty bummed about Ethan going out and surprised that Casey didn’t make it. I was the most certain of Casey. I’m pretty surprised. What do you think of the judges’ picks?