Vegas Semifinals: Part 2 - The Guys
been a season of new beginnings with new judges paring a
new class of singing hopefuls down to the top 40. Now
they take a new stage with a new challenge in the
Semifinal Round. One song. One shot. Who has what it
takes to sing for YOUR VOTE? Welcome to SUDDEN DEATH!
So far, five ladies have
earned the right to compete for your vote.
The Beatles Love Theatre by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage
Ten sing, five move on. In
case of deadlock, Jimmy Iovine's decision will be decisive, whether the
judges or the crowd agree with it or not.
Here's tonight's 10, who are
dreaming of hitting the jackpot in Vegas.... AND THEY ARE!
- Paul Jolley (22;
Palmersville, TN; retail sales)
- Johnny Keyser (23; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; musician)
- JDa (27; Chicago; cosmetics sales)
- Kevin Harris (28; Montgomery, AL; production supervisor at a call
- Chris Watson (25; Dover, DE; waiter)
- Devin Velez (18; Chicago; student/barista)
- Elijah Liu (18; Roland Heights, CA; business student)
- Charlie Askew (17; Little Rock, AR; student)
- Jimmy Smith (25; Franklin, TN; social worker)
- Curtis Finch, Jr. (24; St. Louis; tutor)
First up, it's Paul, who
thinks that this is his calling in life. His first calling is "Tonight I
Wanna Cry" by the resident Australian in the house.
THEY SAY: Keith appreciates
that he did his song, but he needs to stop compensating for his voice
through "other performances". Nicki remembers being wowed a little bit
more, and even when the song is understated, the eyes are theatrical.
Randy thinks that Paul has a lot of range and potential. Mariah agrees
with Randy, calling it refreshing.
WE SAY: Can you say
"pandering"? I don't see him getting any further unless he decides who
he is as an artist.
Batting second is Johnny
Keyser, who's ready to bring America some blue-eyed soul. His
offering... "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz.
THEY SAY: Keith thought it
was "good". Nicki thought he was "relaxed". Randy doesn't think he has
the greatest voice, and thought it was "just an okay performance".
Mariah thought it was sexy.
WE SAY: Soulless. Pitchy.
Next up, we have JDa, who is
the star of his own movie. Today, he takes on Adele's "Rumour Has It".
THEY SAY: Keith says that
he's right at home on this stage, but he needed to stop "counting
steps". Nicki calls him a superstar performer who can put on a show, but
her vocal was "whiny". Randy said he was keyed in on the performance,
but his moves weren't original. Mariah thought he exuded confidence.
WE SAY: JDa... is perhaps
the best performer of the three we've seen so far. That, by the way,
isn't saying much. And that's probably the way he needs to go, live
Kevin Harris takes #4, and
here's "I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams for his sons.
THEY SAY: Keith liked the
song choice, but he had mixed feelings about the range at the end of the
song. Nicki thought it was perfect. Randy was bored and that the song
had no moments. Mariah wanted to hear something where he could do more
of what he could do.
WE SAY: It's a little sharp
and emotionally stagnant. Randy is absolutely correct on this.
Next up, Chris Watson is
hoping to exercise his law of attraction on the panel with "Dock of the
Bay" by Otis Redding.
THEY SAY: Keith didn't think
it was a good song choice, but he did a lot with it. Nicki wants to
marry her vibrato. Her words. Randy liked the look, but the song went
nowhere. Mariah said it wasn't his best.
WE SAY: Interesting take on
a classic, blending vocal acrobatics with an electric stage presence.
Will it work further in the round? We'll see.
Devin Velez is starting up
in the middle. This product of a single-parent household is ready to
take the stage with "Listen" by Beyonce.
THEY SAY: Keith felt it was
a very connected performance. Nicki thought the song choice to sing in
Spanish was a smart choice. Randy thought it was "amazing". Mariah loved
that he sang in Spanish.
WE SAY: Reminiscent of a
young Will Young. And the Spanish in the middle is an interesting touch.
If only he had a little more charisma.
Now how about Elijah Liu,
the half-Chinese, half-Mexican wonder looking to impress with Bruno
Mars' "Talking to the Moon".
THEY SAY: Keith thought it
was the perfect song choice, current & relevant, but shaky. Nicki
thought he's a "super duper star little boy" who she would sign TODAY.
Randy didn't think it was a great vocal, but he likes HIM. Mariah
thought it was a performance of two halves.
WE SAY: Very emotional
performance, but he was a little flat.
Why does Charlie Askew have
a golf club with him? He's been using it to acclimatize himself with a
mic stand. Let's see how he does with "Rocket Man" by Elton John.
THEY SAY: The judges love
their originality, and thought that he pulled that song performance out
WE SAY: He looks and sounds
like an elf. And he's singing the perfect song for him.
CHARLIE SAYS: "This is for
all the awkward turtles out there."
Jimmy Smith is looking to
break into the country game with "Raining on Sunday" by Rodney Foster,
covered by... Keith Urban
THEY SAY: Keith commends
him. The rest of the panel were bored. Mariah won't say it, but she was
WE SAY: Said it before...
There are a thousand country singers in this competition. Jimmy Smith...
is one of them. Said this before, too.... "Pandering?"
Playing closer tonight is
Curtis Finch, Jr., who has been one to watch since his Chicago audition.
His closer song, "Superstar" by the Carpenters, Luther, Ruben, Usher,
and anyone else who sang it.
THEY SAY: Keith thought it
was beautiful, though there were parts that were overperformed. Nicki
says that he's raised the bar for the other contestants. Randy says he
can sing anything, but he needs to keep it young. Mariah says he knows
what he does.
WE SAY: Robust voice on
this, but it sounds like every. Other. Version. Of. This. Song. I've.
Ten gave their all, but for
five, their all may have been too much, because Lord knows they're not
They have ONE split
decision. We'll get to that later, but right now.... SERIOUS LIGHTS,
- Curtis Finch, Jr.
- Elijah Liu
- Paul Jolley (SPLIT DECISION) - Jimmy: "A good singer with the wrong
- Charlie Askew
- Jimmy Smith
- Kevin Harris
- Chris Watson
That leaves us with
returning challenger Johnny Keyser and Devin Velez. One stays, one goes.
The one that stays... is DEVIN! For Johnny, it's the end of the road
We have half of your
semifinal stage set. Next week, we fill the other half.