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Round of 16: Men - March 8

If you're tuning in for "Bones"... you're an hour early.

If you're tuning in for "Idol", then you're right on time. Last night, it was about the ladies. Tonight, it's about the brothers. Tomorrow, your final 12 are revealed, and then the fun REALLY begins.

First, hello to the judges. Hello... Hello... Then hello to the contestants. Hello... (times 8).

First up, it's Gedeon McKinney, as we continue our theme from last night... "Hey, Spring of Trivia, baby."

Trivia: "When I'm not singing, I'm painting. I've combined this record and the world. As the sound of music spins, it makes the world go around."

Very profound, that Gedeon. He tries to make the world go around with "When A Man Loves A Woman," Percy Sledge-style.

What they say: Randy liked the painting. The song was a little shaky, but he likes the big note and the old soul. Nice way to start. Paula calls him a "unique sort". Simon thought it was good, but a bit over the top. "I like you, 'cause you're interesting. You're kinda growing on me."

What we say: I would've chosen different lyrics for the opening verse, like something that matches stanzas and actually fits the melody. But aside from that... and looking like a bad lounge act, he has the muster to make it another week. But seriously, dude... You reek of desperation. You need to kill that.

But seriously... does this dude like to enunciate or what? Next up, Chris Daughtry doing Seether's "Broken."

Trivia: A couple of years ago, the bald wonder started styling his hair like Seacrest.

What they say: Randy says he knows where he is. "Dude, you're ready." Paula says that he's an amazing artist. "You're fantastic. I can hear you on the radio." Simon wasn't that impressed. "I thought it was a bit indulgent. You don't want to take this too seriously. You have to be as broad as possible."

What we say: What happens when a good song meets a good singer. This is arguably the most believable performance. I hope he keeps this up in the final rounds, because this is what's going to take him to the Kodak.

Next, the Chicken Gangsta... Little Kevin Covais.

Trivia: Kanye West is one of Kevin's favorite artists.

He gets on stage with Don McLean's "Starry Starry Night (Vincent)".

What they say: Randy thought it was an interesting song choice, but "a very nice performance". He's in the Dawg Pound "eternally." Paula thinks that ballads are his tickets. "It was such a sincere performance." Simon can understand why people like him, but he's getting the granny vote. "It was very juvenile. That was more like 11."

What we say: Booooooooring. Absolutely no genuine stage presence. I just didn't feel the warmth that this song was supposed to bring... Does this make me a bad person? Simon's incapable of giving Kevin any advice, and for good reason, because he's a bit scary looking when he's trying to be... well, Ace. He may get into the top 12 if only for the fact that every group has to have a Screech.

Let's talk to Taylor for a bit, shall we? Taylor met Christopher Cross, an inspiration. He'll be taking it to the street later. Right now, Bucky Covington's up with "Wave on Wave" by Pat Green.

Trivia: Bucky has a twin brother.... wait, that's not new, I read about it in the F-ville Observer... His name is Rocky.

What they say: Randy likes who he is... but this song isn't the greatest to show off his vocal chops. Paula likes the fact that he's unpretentious (C-Note... THAT'S what's wrong with Kevin!). Simon thought it was okay, but it wasn't "exceptional."

What we say: It's a bit pitchy. But still, another good choice. Southern country rock is Bucky's comfort zone... now let's see what he does when he's forced to step outside of it.

And we bring up Rocky... and they're identical, alrighty. On the other side of the break, Will Makar channels another Carolina product, James Taylor. "How Sweet It Is", the song.

Trivia: He recently started studying Japanese. He says ... "Sekai no ju-issai no onee noko... Ganbare!" (Eleven-year-old girls of the world... Unite!").

What they say: Randy: "Dude, that was not good for me. That was like a bad karaoke performance." Paula disagrees, saying that she's a fan. Simon... "Paula, all I can say is that you must've been starved of entertainment as a child, because I have to agree with Randy."

What we say: Bland. He can't seem to nail the tail to the hook, and the whole performance was just... high school musical. Hey Will, I have one word for you... Taijo!

Next up... A bunny? This show just gets crazier and crazier.

Trivia: "The first job I had was at a shopping mall. People work at record shops... Not me, though. I was the Easter Bunny."

It's Taylor Hicks, and he's "Takin' It to the Street" like Michael McDonald used to do.

What they say: Randy likes the song choices. "I think you did a good song tonight... but what's up with the dancing?" Paula will be using those steps for the rest of the night. "I am blown away! You have so much fun out there." Simon... "You single-handedly could kill the music-video industry." He loved the performance.

What we say: Command the performance, boy! Chris was the most genuine, but Mr. Fancy-Gyrations-Bordering-on-Seizing wins Best Performance of the Night.

Next, Elliott Yamin...

Trivia: He has 90 percent hearing loss in his right ear.

He sings Bryan Adams' "Heaven".

What they say: Randy looks forward to hearing his choices every week. "I'd make a record with you tonight. That was hot." We got a hot one. Paula calls him "amazing" and the story "richer." Simon: "I thought it was a copout. For me, you appeared uncomfortable. Tonight, not your best from me."

What we say: A little rangy to start, but when he gets to the chorus, he too commands the performance, but it's when he loses the mic stand and starts rocking out that he owns the stage. But I kinda get where Simon would say that, because it takes Elliott a long time to let loose...

And finally, it's Beanie Boy. Here's Ace Young with Michael Jackson...

Trivia: He worked as a handyman when he came out to Hollywood.

He ends the song with "Butterflies" off the "Invincible" album.

What they say: Randy liked the falsetto. Paula liked the falsetto. Simon said that Ace made that work.

What we say: If I said it once, I'll say it again. If you're going to sing MJ, pick from History onward, because no one remembers it.  If he only did this with Daniel Bedingfield, then he wouldn't be in trouble. But he gets into this whole scat thing and it's a good thing that he did, because he needed to stand out in order to make the top 12...

Okay, one more time for you playing along at home...

Oscar: Chris, "Easter Bunny", Elliott, Ace
People's Choice: Gedeon, Bucky
Razzie: Kevin, Will

I thought picking six from this week was going to be hard... Turns out it isn't. I've done my work for this week, now it's time to enlist on the firm of Pepper, Block, and Rojas to watch on as America whittles it down to the final 12.



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