AMERICAN IDOL S11: Top 13 Guys Perform

This post is by guest blogger, Poncho.—PCN

I have to thank PCN for inviting me again for this year’s Idol. Last year was sort of a disappointment but hey, Scotty McCreery’s selling like bread (or cheese, or cheesy bread…) so who knows, perhaps this year’s winner might oversell Carrie Under-bot (nah!).

As many of you know, I do NOT watch the auditions or the Hollywood rounds. I like knowing little-to-nothing about the wannabes when I first hear them sing, so I can hopefully bash judge them based on their talent and not their backstories.

Tuesday night, the top 13 guys sang for their professional lives a place in the infamous Top 12. This is what I think:

The second Ryan Seacrest said Reed Grimm was opening with “Moves Like Jagger,” I knew who I would give this year’s Spastic Chicken Dancing Award to. And Grimm delivered (the awkward dancing, that is), crowning it by playing timbales! I don’t know if the jazzy arrangement was my cup of tea, but he was really having fun. And I was laughing. A lot.

Then came self-labeled “White Chocolate” aka Adam Brock. And I must say: singing big black diva songs does not a big black diva make(or a white man with a black diva inside). His version of Aretha’s “Think” was nice, and he does have a soulful voice, but that’s it.

I must agree with the judges that Deandre has a (Bracken)sick falsetto. But when you open up your song—Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Reasons—with that many pitch issues, and look THAT nervous, you’ve got serious problems. In the looks department, the guy reminded me of a charisma-less David Bisbal. And then Seacrest topped it with some nutty girls coming upstage to hug him. #EPICfail. Yuck!

I liked the beginning of Colton Dixon‘s performance of “Decode” by Paramore. But I have to say La Lopez was partially right: His place is behind the piano, because as soon as he left it, he sucked!

Jeremy “Jer-Bear” Rosado sang “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. It was nice and he seems like a very nice guy, but it was forgettable.

When Seacrest said Aaron Marcellus was singing “Never Can Say Goodbye,” I went berserk. Why are these guys picking these vanilla songs when they should be wowing us? But then, Aaron owned it. I wouldn’t give him a standing O, but he outshone the ones before him.

Is it really that Chase Likens’s other talent is whistling? Say it with me: LAME! He sang some country song (I had to Google it and it turned out to be “Storm Warning” by Hunter Hayes). I agree it was good, but again, it wasn’t memorable.

By this time, I was ready to embrace (almost) whoever came next. And it was a weird guy with a funny name: Creighton Fraker. He did a pretty good take on “True Colors,” and had some interesting choices in his arrangement, but otherwise he played it safe. I’d like to see what he does on other songs.

Hey! A growler! Nobody has topped my favorite growler yet, but I’ll give Phillip Phillips a chance. Randy & JLo were right about his “In the Air Tonight”: He should stick a little bit more with the melody. But I like his sound. And the fact he’s so awkward.

About Eben Franckewitz? Franck(ewitz)ly, I thought his choice of “Fire to the Rain” was uninspired. His voice sounded too nasal and he had serious pitch issues. He did nail the final two “let it burn”s but if I were him, I’d wait a couple more years to mature musically. Wait, this doesn’t mean he’s gonna win, does it? Damn…

Heejun Han has a nice voice. I love “Angels” but he couldn’t keep with the tempo. And it’s a ballad. So… seeya!


And then Josh Ledet came on stage. And man, THAT’s singing. WOW! He “Pulled Me Through” and I got goosebumps. He doesn’t have the prettiest voice (perhaps that’s why they call him Mantasia)… but WOW! Simply, WOW!

The last one was a big reveal, because the judges supposedly brought him back from elimination. Jermaine Jones sang the overly emotional “Dance with my Father,” and he did it nicely. But coming after Mantasia definitely hurt him, because he couldn’t bring that emotional connection.

I guess you can see who’s my favorite right now, but then, I often change my opinions as the season goes on.

Who did you like? Who did you hate?

Photo: FOX



  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    February 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Reed is SO obnoxious, Poncho. The way he was moving his hips like he was having sex with the audience made me want to vomit. It was really, really gross!

    • Reply
      February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      That’s why I was laughing, jajaja. It made me so uncomfortable, laughter was the only (sane) escape.

  • Reply
    March 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Reed is creepy and wierd and the Fraker guy isn’t far behind. Phillip Phillips cld be good if he’d quick singing like he was in middle of difficult bowel movement…I wish he’d just sing country as I don’t know what the heck he’s aiming for. The only one I really liked was Eben and though his voice was beautiful, but apparently I don’t know good voice when I hear one based on judges comments….I just like country so most of the others were lost on me….felt like screaching and growling prevented observation of vocals….If I’m gonna listen to all that, I rather hear James Durbin as he did have beautiful voice…I didn’t get the one the the judges made such a big deal over…he didn’t impress me, can’t recall his name.

  • Reply
    Nan Rennie
    March 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Hey Poncho,
    So glad you are writing again this year. I loved your comments last year. I think you are right on target with Mantasia. Although Reed is weirdly creepy I love watching him and I like his sound. I did watch all the pregame shows and liked him in every one except where he had a little melt down and had to call mommy. Really. I can’t wait to read what you say about the girls.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Nan! Poncho’s write-up of the girls’ performances is here.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    welcome back, Poncho! I love your input…I am still catching up on DVR and trying to learn names, so I will give my opinion when I am confident that I have them straight.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I am not a big Josh fan….Phillip Phillips is it for me! Wow. Wow. Wow.

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