Episode #12.12

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/Musical/, 2013

Synopsis "American Idol" - Sudden Death Rounds - Men #1- Feb. 21,2013It is now time for ten guys to step up to be cut down to five. First up is Paul Jolley who works in retail in TN. He sings "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by judge Keith Urban. It's a gentle piano ballad and he has a nice sense of dynamics and hits some big money notes in the chorus. Brave choice but he makes it work. Keith thanks him for singing his song. He thinks he has a great voice and if he goes through and he doesn't underestimate his voice and shouldn't oversing. Nicki was wowed by previous performances and thought his eyes were very theatrical in contrast to the song. Randy thinks he has a lot of potential as a country star and crossing boundaries. Mariah felt the front half was intimate and thought he showed flexibility in the genre.Next up is Johnny Keyser who got cut last year during this round. He's 23 from Fort Lauderdale. He sings "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz. It starts slow and low and controlled well enough. It gets more spirited as it goes along. It's not perfect but it's heartfelt. He's definitely a certain kind of All American handsome that some women enjoy. Keith thinks it was good and perhaps his best. He saw nerves and also saw moments where he got back in it. Nicki thought he came out really relaxed and thought he was sexy. She doesn't think he has the best voice but thinks he's masculine and sexy. Randy agrees he doesn't have the greatest voice but he likes it. He thought it was just okay. Mariah likes his commitment and focus and likes that he's bringing the masculinity. Mariah says he's worthy to be around basically because he's hot.Next up is JDA who presents very flamboyantly and theatrical and occasionally crossdresses. He's 27 and sells "luxurious French cosmetics." He sings "Rumor Has It" by Adele and he works a kind of Boy George meets Dead or Alive meets Adele. He collapses onstage during the bridge. Aside from the stubble he wouldn't be out of place on"Rupaul's Drag Race." He sings pretty well though. Nasal but tuneful. He gets a standing O from the crowd. Keith notes that they are in Vegas so JDA is right at home. He commends him for putting on a show. He also applauds his originality. He wish he'd felt a little less of the counting steps. Nicki, of course, loved it. He says he's gotta represent for the gays. She says he's a superstar performer but for this show he needs to be a better singer since he was kinda whiny. Randy says he was so keyed in on the performance that his vocal suffered. He felt like he saw no originality. Mariah thought he was good vocally and seemed confident.Next up is Kevin Harris who is a 28-year-old from Alabama who works as a supervisor in a call center. Randy nicknamed him "Buttah." He sings "Everything I Do (I Do it for You)" by Bryan Adams. He's a got a soulful rasp that feels a little pinched tonight on the high end. He has a couple of struggles but finishes up nicely. Keith liked it. Nicki thought it was perfection. Randy disagrees 100 percent, he was bored and thought it was karaoke and the end wasn't that impressive. Mariah wishes he had chosen a different song but is a huge admirer of his.Next up is Chris Watson who is a 25-year-old from Delaware. He sings "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. He rocks it up a little. His stage moves are a little goofy trying to make it sexy when that's not really what the song is. The vocal is just okay and ends with a clunker. Keith says it's a singing competition but it's also a connection competition. He thinks it wasn't a great vocal but he likes the way he carries himself. Nicki thinks he's the prettiest man she's ever seen. She wants to marry his vibrato. She didn't think it was the best song choice but she loves him. Randy likes him and his look but didn't think it was a great vocal and it was a limp performance. Again he was bored. Mariah also thought it was a bad song choice and didn't live up to his other performances vocally but thought his charm and good looks overrode that.Next up is Devin Veles an 18-year-old high school student and barista in Chicago who grew up without a dad. He sings "Listen" by Beyonce. He shows off a very rich deep end of his range and climbs up to a higher register with ease as the song builds. He sings part of the song in Spanish. It's a very warm performance. Keith loves that he sang and made a connection and didn't put on a big show. Nicki agrees that it was good and he made a smart choice to sing in Spanish. Randy thought it was amazing. Mariah also loved it.Next up is Elijah Liu is a half-Mexican/half-Chinese, 18-year-old college student. He sings "Talking to the Moon" a Bruno Mars piano ballad. He has a very boy band vibe from the vocal to the hair to the styling. It's a very mild performance, neither horrible nor amazing. Keith thought it was a perfect song choice but thought it was a shaky performance vocally. But he thinks he looks like a current, relevan pop star. Nicki thinks he's a super duper star. She wants to have his babies. She's obssessed with him. She thinks he's ready now. Randy likes him but didn't think it was a good vocal but know he's capable of it and they're pulling for him. Mariah thought there were two distinct moments one that reminded her of New Edition and his softer voice.Next up is Charlie Askew the socially awkward teen who found a home in music and says he glorifies weirdness. He sings "Rocket Man" by Elton John. He seems nervous at first, physically shaky but you can just feel the room rooting for him. He kneels and uses a baseless microphone stand. He tries a few moves and really stretches his voice and tries to will his confidence. It feels like a great high school talent show performance. Nickie and much of the crowd gives him a standing ovation. Keith loves his originality, fearlessness, and unpredictability and he had somehow he made it work. Nicki tells him to soak it up and thinks he made the most interesting song choice of the night and says his awkwardness and weirdness works for him. She wants to cradle him in her arms. She loves him so much and tells her fan to love them. Randy is confused and loves him and his wild originality, he thought it was a bit stage school for him. Mariah lives for the song choice but didn't think this was his best and liked previous performances but he could be honed well.Next up is Jimmy Smith who works at a dialysis clinic in Nashville. He also sings a Keith Urban song "Raining on Sunday," a sultry ballad. He's very shaky,tight, pitchy. Keith says it's hard to critique someone singing their song, which is actually a Radney Foster song. Keith thought he did a good job. Nicki thought it was an okay vocal but that it was boring. Randy was also bored and thought it was a mixed bag. Mariah has been fighting for him and thinks he had a great quality in the early auditions and maybe he was feeling the pressure tonight and it wasn't his best vocal.Finally it'sCurtis Finch, Jr. who is a 24-year-old tutor from St. Louis, Mo who sang gospel his whole life. He sings "Superstar" by Luther Vandross. His control, range, and tone are all great and he's got sassy stage presence. Many great moments vocally. Hot stuff. Keith loved it and tells him he feels thoroughly cleansed of his sins. He thought some of it was overperformed but thinks his voice is beautiful. Nicki says he raises the bar every time he sings. Randy says his voice is unparallelled. His one tip is to keep it young and not be too old-fashioned. Mariah was moved to tears but agrees he nees to relax it a little.The five going home:Jimmy, Kevin, JDA, Chris, JohnnyThe five going through: Curtis, Elijah, Charlie, Paul (who gets the tiebreaker vote from Jimmy), Devin

Starring Ryan Seacrest, Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban

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