Vegas Semifinals: Part 3 - 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 we have had 30 bland
singers perform, and 15 of them have advanced to the semi-finals
(because dropping them down into a live volcano is not one of the judges
options). For the next 2 hours of my life, we'll be experiencing 10 more
singers perform; 5 males advancing and 10 of them trying to put me to
The Beatles Love Theatre by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage
The guys can choose any song
that they want, and Mathenee Treco starts with Elvis Presley's 'A Little
Less Conversation', which has been known to kill off Idol hopefuls. Will
it do the same here?
The Good: The second half of the song showed off his vocal range and
power, which was nice.
The Bad: He needed much more conversation - as in a seminar on the
lyrics, which would have made Elvis come onto the stage and pull a Honky
Tonk man and smack him with a guitar.
The Gordon: The only problem with the second half of the song was the
first half was incredibly boring. He did nothing with the song, and at
this stage, an exact duplicate (Karaoke) is not going to get the voters,
the judges and me. If other singers show up, he's dead - just like the
Next up, Gurpreet Singh Sarin will go with "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You"
by James Morrison. He's already way behind that 8 ball due to his
ethnicity and his awful group audition. Can he rebound here?
The Good: I liked the Gold Turban. It matches the yellow pants.
The Bad: Everything else. Horrible choice of song with no vocal range
whatsoever, he did nothing with said song, didn't emote at all to it,
and was so flat both pitch-wise and emotionally that Goodyear Tires
called and was looking for a new spokesman.
The Gordon: He took a risk and completely bombed. In the words of Nicki,
'Today was not the day to take that risk'. You can't use a 'I'll come
back and do it next time', because I strongly doubt there's a next time
Vincent Powell is next with 'Cause I Love You'. Right now, I need that
song from Lenny Williams, because so far I haven't loved anything.
The Good: This was a good choice of song if you like the song range and
emotional punch Lenny put into the song. The falsettos were dead on and
the money notes sparkled like Nicki's bling.
The Bad: This was NOT a good choice of song if you want to get votes.
Why? Because people haven't heard of the song and you need the
relatability for this.
The Gordon: The vocals were fantastic...or maybe I've just been waiting
for someone to sing better than your standard groundhog. Either way,
he'll get in - now he just needs a personal song choice assistant -
preferably the same personal shopper, as he's looking dapper.
Nick Boddington has to go up right after that performance. His choice of
song is "Say Something Now" by James Morrison - the same James Morrison
that Gurpreet Singh Sarin butchered 2 singers ago. Uh oh...
The Good: Nick was the first person to emote the song to the audience.
He sold the song to both the crowd and the camera. THAT is how you
The Bad: Now he needs to learn how to select songs. The song has a
falsetto vocal range and there was no power behind the vocals.
The Gordon: Nick didn't do anything wrong on the song, but he didn't do
anything outstanding either. It was better than Karaoke, so that's a
plus, but it could come down to prior performances. And any singer
selecting James Morrison needs to be injected with adrenaline before
performing said songs.
Josh Holiday is going to do an original song. It did work for Zoanetta,
but will it work here?
The Good: Better than an average American Idol Coronation song. Though
when you realize we previously had hurricanes, magical ponies, rainbows
and Kara Dioguardi, that isn't saying much.
The Bad: The song was extremely generic, just like his performance. And
that's a horrible song choice because he had a lot of falsetto, but no
power behind it. Keith Urban nailed the critique - way too controlled
and not nearly as raw as it needs to be at the end.
The Gordon: He's a better songwriter than a singer. Get Jermaine Dupri
on the phone.
We start the second half of the show, which means that this is where
your finalists are probably coming from. David Oliver Willis wants to be
one of those singers, and the song he selects is "Fever", by Little
The Good: It's a good performance, complete with 1960's harmonica,
1960's acoustic guitar, and 1960's back beat and orchestration, which
means you know where I'm going to go with this...
The Bad: Nothing contemporary with this whatsoever. And as the majority
of the demographics are the little kids, this is an absolute wrong
choice of song to be singing. And until the money note at the end, if I
was sleeping in the 1960's and woke up to this performance, I would
assume nothing has changed.
The Gordon: The word of the day here is 'Contemporary'. David failed to
do anything with that and while we got the final 2% of the song that
sounded hot, the first 98% of the song wanted me to get a cure for the
fever called Ennui-itis.
Bryant Tadeo has a "New York State of Mind", according to Billy Joel.
Until I start to get better performances, I have a state of mind to
break out a Weird Al Yankovic album and start polka-ing.
The Good: Technically, he nailed everything. He didn't have any pitch
The Bad: You're taking a naturally slow song and making it slower? No no
no no no no no nooo...sooo..sleepy...need some...girls...gone...willlllllld...infomercialsssssZZZZZZZZzzzzz.
The Gordon: The one thing you can't afford to be tonight is boring, and
to me, he was. I think the arrangement costs him tonight.
Burnell Taylor lost 40 pounds. Right now, I'm losing my sanity. I hope
to reclaim some of it with John Legend's "This Time".
The Good: Well he didn't put me to sleep. He was emotional and active
and brought a new spin to the song.
The Bad: When he sings the song again and calls it 'Next Time', the
lyric should be'Next time, I'll get more than half the notes right on
pitch'. The jumping up and down on the scale seemed like Frogger
avoiding traffic. I was waiting for him to get squished by the
The Gordon: Bryant was technically sound, but boring. This was exciting
and good from a performance standpoint, but technically it was a mess.
Can we splice both of them and have a DNA Bryant Burnell baby?
Latin heartthrob Lazaro Arbos decides to sing...country? "Tonight I
Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban is the weapon of choice. I've been crying
through the first 8 singers.
The Good: He was the best singer so far emotionally. Keith Urban liked
it and his spirit, so if it was good enough for him, it's good enough
The Bad: The pitch at the beginning of the song was ghastly. And the
suspenders makes him look like a big strawberry sherbert cone.
The Gordon: Let's be blunt here: it really doesn't matter what he sings,
whether it's the phone book or Seth MacFarlane and the Academy Awards'
'We Saw Your Boobs'. He's going to get to the voting public just because
of his back story. As for boobs - I've seen a bunch of them sing
Finally (and I say that gratefully), it's Cortez Shaw, who plans to wow
us with "Titanium", which of course has been done to death everywhere
The Good: He hit the right key for this song. He nailed the money notes
and maneuvered through the emotional parts. The range was impressive.
The Bad: While the money notes were nailed, he got nickel and dimes with
a lot of the smaller notes. And you did not need to make a slow song
even slower. What's up with all of the guys doing slow ballads tonight?
The Gordon: He was the first and only person to give a complete
performance tonight. He's a lock to go on.
David Oliver Willis
Gurpreet Singh Sarin
Out of the group, the people I see moving to the Top 10: Vincent Powell,
Cortez Shaw and Lazaro Arbos. We'll see next week how accurate (or
wrong) I am.