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In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Simon Cowell
Ellen DeGeneres
Kara DioGuardi
Randy Jackson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Tues & Wed, Fox
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Round of 24: The Men
February 24

Tuesday's episode featured the top 12 ladies, which was an average episode featuring some decent performances, some nerves, and a bunch of train wrecks. Now the judges have insisted this year that the ladies are better than the guys. So after this episode, the mentality will either be that 1. The judges are completely wrong and they were just saying it to try to manufacture a female winner or 2. The judges were right and I just spent 2 hours of my life having as much fun as Conan O'Brien at a Jay Leno family reunion.

Joining me at this musical party are GameShowNewsNet.com contributors Jason Block and Lee DiGeorge. Joining us for the first song this week is...

Todrick Hall, who's not short on attitude, vocals, acrobatic abilities, or little kid's money ($50 of it, to be exact). He starts us off with...Kelly Clarkson's 'Since You've Been Gone?' Wha? 
The Good - He certainly defined who he was in an R&B genre. And he certainly made that song his own. 
The Bad - I know what he 'wanted' to do. The problem is he didn't execute it. The pitch was cringe-worthy, the dancing was crazy (in a bad way), and the arrangement sounded like something Bobby Brown would do if he was strung out on his drug of choice. And the ragged half shirt/half jacket/half vest combo made it look like Kelly found out about the performance and tackled him backstage in a futile attempt to stop him from getting on stage to perform it. 
The Jason - He takes a song that was a rock anthem, and turns into a Ne-yoesque R&B slow jam. This shows he will be a force to be reckoned with, because he took a song and made it his own. The vocals may not have been totally off the chain, but that doesn't matter in this case. Simon, Randy and Kara were way wrong. 
The Lee - There's a fine line between brilliance and craziness. Todrick Hall crossed it. C-
The Verdict - If 'he brought on creativity' is slang for wrong song and brutal arrangement for said song, then Todrick was extraordinarily creative this evening. However, if Jermaine and Michael blow the doors open, then Todrick will also be extroadinarily gone after tonight's performance. 

Aaron Kelly says that his defining moment was when he screwed up his last song. That's usually a moment you don't want to remember. Hopefully he can have a different moment with 'Here Comes Goodbye', by Rascal Flatts. Will he try to avoid hearing Good-bye tomorrow? 
The Good - VERY good song choice. He's a pop country singer, and that's a great song for him. It's got a nice vocal range which exploits his vocal set in a good way. 
The Bad - He was a little bit flat on the high notes. The one thing that David Archuleta had that Aaron needs is confidence. He needs an injection of Todrick's swagger on stage without also accidentally transferring over Todrick's arrangement skills. 
The Jason - Another good risk, because he is showing his vocal and genre range. But the problem is that he was showing his big nerves, because he felt very uncomfortable on stage. And the vocals were a little off. I think he is safe, but barely. 
The Lee - He remembered the words and did Chris Sligh proud. B
The Verdict - I'm going to agree with Lee on this one. Aaron did exactly what he needed to do this week. The fact that he performed after Todrick's musican nightmare doesn't hurt. He should have no problems on Thursday. 

Jermaine Sellers brings with him many years of gospel experience. He has the opportunity to knock Todrick out of the competition right now with a great performance. He chooses to wield his dagger with...Oleta Adams's 'Get Here'? What's up with the R&B guys singing women's songs? 
The Good - He looks like he's dressing his Sunday Best. And the hat is tres chic. 
The Bad - You can't reach his pitch by airplane. You can't reach his pitch by railway. You may need to send out a caravan with camels to find where his pitch went to. And yes I don't care how it gets here. Get here when they can, because my eardrums are bleeding. And while you're at it, send a caravan for his likeability, which he completely blew out of the water after blaming the editors for making him look like a diva and then cementing the image when he doesn't remember making up with the Idol Band leader. 
The Jason - We are seeing a pattern here. The choices are fine, but the executions are not that great. He was awful in the high range and with Todrick being more risky, he could be in trouble. 
The Lee - Painful in almost every sense of the word. D+
The Verdict - He should have went contemporary with Ne-Yo, Usher or Craig David. Instead, it was a terrible song and performance which made him look like a bitter 80 year old. Not only did he not get rid of Todrick, I think it's possible that they are both going home. That being said, there's 9 more performances that may make both him and Todrick look like superstars by comparison. 

Tim Urban is one of those 9. Of course, he's not supposed to be there, but is, thanks to Chris Golightly taking a leave of his senses. In order for Tim to not take a leave of the stage, he needs to perform 'Apologize' by One Republic very, very well.
The Good - He is dressed to impress. And Ellen thinks he's adorable, which means that regardless of what happens, he'll get some extra TV time on her show when he gets booted. 
The Bad - And I say when he gets booted, which could be very soon because we go back to the lessons on why NOT to pick a song. It forces Tim to go to his very weak falsetto for some of the notes, which wouldn't be too be bad if he was on pitch at the beginning of the song, which he wasn't. Kara is 100% right here - he had a guitar during Hollywood Week. Why in the world didn't he pick a song that implemented the guitar? 
The Jason - Unfortunately, he didn't make the best of his chance. His vocals were all over the place, and his lack of TV time didn't do him his justice. He looked awful out there. 
The Lee - His falsetto rings false. F
The Verdict - Tim has to apologize to the audience for having us sit through 90 seconds of pain, then apologize to his parents for making them spend money to go to L.A. to hear the pain live, than apologize to producer Ken Warwick for having to distribute that pain to 30 million people, and finally apologize to his 5 fans, who after hearing that pain, will be the only people to vote as he exits, stage left. 

Joe Munoz froze up during his performances with a guitar, then almost froze up during his last song on Hollywood Week. Can he get through 'You and I Both' by Jason Mraz? Or is this going to be another musical train wreck? 
The Good - He recovers after the first half of the song. He has a much better stage presence than some of the other singers. He also looks well prepared if any of these nor'easters accidentally wade into sunny California. 
The Bad - Hate, Hate, HATE his tone. It's way too tremolo for me and reminds me of Carmen Rasmussen (and not in the good way) during Season 2. The song should have given us a reason to vote for him, and I didn't feel that during this performance. And the very shaky first half of the song made me wonder if there was an earthquake in the studio. 
The Jason - While the song is not memorable, his performance was. He was not over the top, and had just enough to get through. Advice to Joe though...stay off the use of the vocal trills. We got it, you can do it. 
The Lee - If he were in any other group, he'd be in danger, now, he's one of the heads of a very weak class. C
The Verdict - Another really poor song choice here for an artist with a Latin voice that screams Marc Anthony or Jon Secada. The difference here is that he executed the song well, but will that be enough tonight on a song that's clearly forgettable? 

Tyler Grady wants us to know he's all about the 1970's rock era. And just to make sure we don't forget, he's going to perform 'American Woman' by The Guess Who.
The Good - We know his style and gimmick and he wears it well. He was also pretty good, pitch-wise, which based on what we've heard so far, is a massive accomplishment. 
The Bad - Ironically, he picked a song too big for him and it felt like Morrison-lite. He played it by the numbers, which is fine if he's doing a revival concert, but his voice itself can't match the richness and deepness of The Guess Who or Morrison. 
The Jason - Great arrangement, and we see the next Adam Lambert right here. He has sex appeal oozing all over the place and he just cemented his position as a dark horse in the competition. 
The Lee - Sir, this is a singing competition... and that's the one thing you didn't do well. C-
The Verdict - I'm in between both of Jason and Lee's opinions. I think he has no problem getting through this week, but I think he needs to make himself more contemporary. There are newer rock artists out there with more lithe-like voices that he can cover and sound really good performing. He's very close to getting to the Top 12. He's just not there yet. 

Lee DeWyze hopes that he can ride the momentum that he had on the last day of Hollywood Week. He looks to continue with 'Chasing Cars' by Snow Patrol. 
The Good - Now this is what I'm talking about when it comes to picking a song. Very nice contemporary selection, and he took a chance on changing the chorus line to exploit his range. He took a risk and he semi-pulled it off. 
The Bad - I think he would have completely pulled it off if he didn't undersing the pitch on the high notes, which was flatter than a deflated lounge chair. 
The Jason - The dogs that will be chasing cars will have their ears bleed on this one. He was so off key, it wasn't funny. What is in Simon's Coke cup? 
The Lee - Completely Enjoyable. The only one. A
The Verdict - Despite the pitch issues, Lee is going to be ok this week. He and his guitar has a lot of potential, and he has the performance chops. He just needs one or two songs to make his own to cement it. I think he'll find it. 

With all of the mess that has happened before him, John Park has a legitimate chance to actually make some noise. His choice of song is...'God Bless the Child'? That's not exactly the song I'd use to make a first impression...
The Good - He bails himself out on the second half of the song. He does show off his high range (which was the point of selecting that song to begin with), while flashing that nice college dress jacket and outfit. 
The Bad - Completely and utterly wrong song. I couldn't understand the words at the beginning, and the pitch at the low part was terrible. But what was worse for me was that I agree with Simon - it was an emotionless, sing by the numbers effort that you can hear in any Atlantic City casino lounge at 4am after you're done cashing in the chips from winning a few grand at the craps table. And I say craps, because that's what it sounded like. 
The Jason - His bottom end is what did him in tonight. When he went low, it went south. He is not there tonight. And it was awful. 
The Lee - I didn't realize I was watching Gospel Idol! Singing was fine, but wrong, wrong song. C-
The Verdict - Sure, the second half of the song was fine, but I think most people already dismissed him after the putrid first 30 seconds. If you're singing a song because you like it and not because it's good, it's the definition of self-indulgent. Like Jermaine, his likeability disappeared once he started talking to Ryan. If he's safe, it's only because of the veritable cesspool of suck we've seen so far this evening. 

Michael Lynche is happy that his girl can see him performing on stage. He wants to grace his daughter by singing 'This Love' by Maroon 5. Huh? 
The Good - From a performance standpoint, it was decent. For the most part, he does hit the notes, and it does show his versatility as an artist that he can tackle a pop song. 
The Bad - If you are an R&B singer, why in the world is your first song choice out of the gate a Maroon 5 song? Sure he plays guitar, but this needed to be souled up, not rocked out. There's no vocal range or challenge to this song - well there could have been, if he made it his own, but he didn't. As we know, this is the point where you need to start grabbing an audience, and this song isn't going to do that. 
The Jason - Uses the guitar as a crutch. But his voice sounded so much Luther Vandross it was scary. And that's a good thing. 
The Lee - This year's Michael Sarver aims straight for the middle and hits. The problem is... the middle of this group still sucks. C-
The Verdict - It's a good song to select, but this should have been done during week #2, not week #1. Hey, it's my job to be picky. And I agree with Kara; it's not great, but it's wonderful compared to the garbage we got so far. It was a nice fluffy safe performance, but Simon (and myself) want something more out of him. I think he will be able to deliver it next week. 

Whenever we saw Alex Lambert during Hollywood, it was in a negative light. We need to see him do something more positive, and I'm hoping it's his singing. Would 'Wonderful World' by James Morrison give us that positivity? 
The Good - From a tone standpoint, he's got one of the better voices and tones in the entire competition. 
The Bad - I don't know the song that well, and I'm glad I don't, because if I did, I'd be all over him on the missed lyrics and awful spacing. And why are you blaming your failure on someone who isn't even in the competition anymore? That turns off people, and you need them for your votes. And unfortunately, I think Mary Powers could have been right if she had to deal with that pitch turning her wonderful world into an awful apocalypse. 
The Jason - Boy does he look bad up there. He is scared, and doesn't feel like he BELONGS up there. 
The Lee - I was almost relieved when Simon made his uncomfortable comment... made me feel a whole lot less crazy. Sounded OK. C
The Verdict - Simon is 100% right. This could have been a really good performance if he had the nerves and stage presence. And Ellen is right - he needs to ripen like a banana. Unlike other people, he was gracious and likable, and I think that buys him another week in the competition. But he has to get some more passion and stage prescence in his performance, or next week is the last week he's going to get. 

Does Casey James have a thing for Kara Dioguardi? Does Kara feel the same way? Who is Casey singing to when he's crooning Bryan Adans' 'Heaven'? Only Casey knows...
The Good - Very good song choice for Casey, who can show us he can tackle pop and rock. When he was singing the lyrics (and not the chorus) he can hit and sustain the high notes. And Kara still thinks he's hot. 
The Bad - He executed his song much better than Michael Lynche did, but I have the same complaint for him that I had with Michael - if you're a country singer, get out of the box with some country. And the tremolo and pitch during the chorus made me hope the clouds would open up and rain on both Kara (so she doesn't get sued, Paula Abdul-style) and the electronics, which would maybe kill the vocal vibrato.
The Jason - This is the best performance tonight by far. He has a Chad Kroeger of Nickelback vibe to him. The tremolo bothered me, but I like his voice a lot. He will have no trouble tonight.
The Lee - Good song choice. I'm completely tired of the Casey James / Kara angle. Concentrate on his music, which is average, at best. B-
The Verdict - Like Michael, this should have been done during week #2, not week #1. But like Michael, this isn't going to hurt him. Casey needs a song that can work his tremolo to his advantage, but it will be smooth sailing for him to next week. 

Andrew Garcia finishes off our first night with 'Sugar, We're Going Down' by Fall Out Boy. Will we be finishing tonight with a downer or an upper? 
The Good - I liked the performance of the song. He's got a great voice and tone. I really liked the stage presence/microphone/camera angle aspect of what he did, vs. the lack of stage presence Alex Lambert showed. 
The Bad - The problem wasn't the performance, but the song itself. It's a song people don't know, and the only way you can make a song memorable like that and 'make it your own' is if you change a staple of something the audience knows. I'm guessing that many people heard that song for the first time last night, and while it's nice, it's not good enough to make that lasting first impression. It also shows the audience that between Hollywood Week and tonight, all he's done so far is acoustic guitar singing. He's does a good job of it, but what else can he do? 
The Jason - This is the same trick he pulled with "Straight Up", with mixed results. This is ok, but he needs to come back with something better next week. Because there is no way he is going home. 
The Lee - Sugar, we're going down... almost as fast as your Idol power ranking is after a terrible song choice and one-noting the song the entire time. C+
The Verdict - If it was any other spot (besides last) and if they didn't post up his 'Straight Up' Paula Abdul performance, I'd put him in the same boat with Joe Munoz and say he's in trouble. I think Paula bails him out, but he needs to get better to make the Top 12. Or maybe not... 

Overall Verdict ...because I do agree with the judges that the girls are better than the guys, as tonight was a crapterpiece. No great performances, and the only reason why we have 'good' ones is that you had a bunch that were horrid by comparison. The guys better be very happy that only 2 of them go home tomorrow, because if it was up to me, I'd take 8 girls and 4 guys and make that your Top 12. But I can only select 4 people to be in trouble, so...

Trouble: Todrick Hall, Jermaine Sellers, Tim Urban, John Park

Rule #1 of Idol: The worst singer is gone, so bye, Tim Urban. Rule #2: It's better to be bad than non-memorable, so I think it saves Hall and Sellers, but just barely. 

OUT: Tim Urban and John Park

The Jason: This was a train wreck. Week one goes to the women by far. Most of the song choices were not right for the people who sang it. People went overboard to try to be risky: 

Trouble: Alex Lambert, John Park, Lee Dewyze and Tim Urban. 

Lee and Tim will get one more shot. Alex and John were so bad and so forgettable, so they go. 

Out: Alex Lambert, John Park. 

The Lee: Top of the class: DeWyze, Kelly, James
Middle of the class: Garcia, Lambert, Munoz
In Trouble: Hall, Sellers, Urban, Grady, Park, Lynche (but since he's so likeable, he's safe)
OUT: Todrick Hall / Tim Urban

Join us later on tonight to see who has to go back into the snow.


To see this episode in its entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.