1) Chris - Strong voice, helped by the fact that he sounds a lot like Bon Jovi. Note the lack of ridiculous facial expressions, hand movements, or spastic dancing -- when you can sing and you know it, you don't need gimmicks.
2) Elliott - Very good and rock-solid, but Simon must have taken a sip of Paula's Coke glass if he thinks he's the best male voice in five seasons.
3) Taylor - Actually I found him a little disappointing. I expected brilliance and got mere excellence. Wonderful vocal tone, strong heartfelt delivery, but needs enunciation lessons plus an exorcism: He dances like he's possessed by Jon Peter Lewis. That's going to get old real fast.
4) Ace - As with Taylor, I expected better. Just good, nothing more. Would anyone stake their life that he's not Constantine with a makeover and some vocal lessons?
(huge gap) Quite honestly, I don't think the fifth-best guy was as good as the eighth-best girl. I don't know what the heck Paula and Randy were listening to and watching tonight. Everyone from here down was seriously, fatally flawed in at least one way. Some were flawed in multiple ways.
5) Kevin - He has one thing going for him: he sings spot on-key. His high school choir teacher must love him. But, he is utterly, almost surreally lacking in personality and stage presence -- he makes Carrie Underwood seem like Pink. I fear for him though because I can already see a backlash forming, which is silly. Let's get rid of the myriad of guys who cannot even sing in tune before we start targeting the ones who can't perform.
6) Gideon - Meh, at least he was fun. But beware: there is a reason that every junior high school garage band that knows more than three songs has Shout on their playlist. It is one of the world's easiest songs to perform, one notch above Happy Birthday To You. Even a mediocre singer can sing the hell out of it. So when a guy comes out and does an average, forgettable Shout, be afraid, be very afraid.
7) Bucky - One word: Oversung. His hair, accent and personality beg comparisons to Bo, and one performance was enough to show America that there is
no comparison. A decent bar singer, nothing more. Still, he wasn't godawful. We're getting to those.
8) Will -- I am at a loss to describe my revulsion that four guys were worse than this. Likeable kid, but soulless, weak, silly, and with one or two very shaky notes. Yet, based on tonight's performances, he deserves to stick around not just for one more week, but for two
. Take me now Lord.
9) Patrick -- To me, the disappointment of the night. There are perhaps 40 singers on Earth who can do justice to Melissa Etheridge, and all of them are female. Unless there's something about Patrick he's not letting on, this stands as one of the two or three stupidest song choices in the history of AI. He should count his lucky stars that he'll probably get a second chance.
10) Bobby -- He is not dead last for one reason: he was fun. Hugely entertaining in a campy, so-bad-he's-good sort of way. Maybe he can do Rico Suave next week. But vocally, the worst of the bunch, he hit more bad notes in one 90-second clip than Manilow has in 40 years of performing.
11) David -- Let me explain this in plain, simple terms. It's a semifinals week. You get to choose any song you want. You are a teenage crooner who is already raising John Stevens-like worries about being a one trick pony. But, you nonetheless choose a safe swing song that you can croon; one that is, in fact, not all that difficult to croon well. And with all that going for you, smack in the middle of your comfort zone, you still come out and s*ck. I defy any of you to give me a reason why this kid, as nice and sincere and personable and likeable as he is, deserves a second chance.
12) Sway -- Ye gods. Ye, ye gods. When Randy said Sway "did Philip Bailey justice", I hope he meant that Bailey was in court getting a restraining order. This young man has a superb range and a very impressive falsetto, but that doesn't help when you cannot come within three-quarters of a step of the note you are trying to hit. I thought my skull was going to explode at one point. In other parts of the world they use different scales than our 12-note chromatic scale -- there are 13-note and 19-note and 24-note octave scales, and even higher-order scales. And I'm pretty sure Sway hit a few notes that aren't in ANY of them! Just woeful, and the fact that Paula and Randy praised it was, in my opinion, grounds for firing them during the subsequent commercial break.
Any of the bottom eight can go, but I think there are five very strong candidates for elimination. The scary part is that two of those eight are going to make it to the Final 12. Barring a Lazarus like revival next week, the 12 that deserve to be there (gender notwithstanding) are: