Michael Becker / FOX
American Idol has a new top 20.
The final 10 male semifinalists took the floor in Las Vegas tonight, to varying degrees of success, and the judges picked five of them to round out the field for next week's first live round.
So, who managed to impress just enough to make the main stage?
Mathenee Treco kicked the night off with Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation," Ocean's Eleven-style, which didn't challenge his voice nearly enough. Snooze.
"It didn't feel current, it felt very cheesy and karaoke—but that's just me," offered Nicki Minaj, her British accent out in full force. "The song choice was so wrong for you," Randy Jackson added, "it makes me question what kind of artist you want to be."
Enter the self-proclaimed Turbanator, Gurpreet Singh Sarin, who pretty much horrified the judges by his rendition of James Morrison's "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You."
"Honey child, hell no," Nicki warned him, telling the usually very impressive singer that he should have brought his guitar on tonight of all nights. "Honestly? That was terrible," Randy agreed, while Mariah Carey asked Gurpreet, "Do you also play other instruments, like the sitar or anything?"
Lucky for her, Gurprett promised some classical Indian influences should he stay in the competition.
Vincent Powell woke the place up moments later, however, with "Cause I Love You" by Lenny Williams.
"Preach on, Brother Vincent!" Keith Urban praised the 29-year-old worship leader. "I loved it."
Sure enough, Randy agreed that the night really began with this performance. Nicki purred, "It was a good old-fashioned. It was a sexy old-fashioned...I could picture a bunch of 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds throwing their panties at you. That hit me somewhere."
"All I can say is, finally," Mariah concluded.
Alas, Nick Boddington disappointed, picking the wrong tune in James Morrison's "Say Something Now." (Damn that James Morrison!)
"I kept waiting for that connection to happen," Keith lamented. Meanwhile, Mariah heard a moment, "the third to last ad lib you did," but Randy heard none.
Josh Holliday, he of the split pants in Hollywood, took a huge risk by singing an original ballad that was full of falsetto, but not enough familiarity.
"I just don't know if I was wowed by it in this moment," Randy explained.
David Willis wowed us, meanwhile, by strumming out a really interesting rendition of "Fever," but while we thought it showed a great deal of artistic creativity, the judges quibbled over the vocal.
At least Randy, grizzled veteran that he is, was "a little intrigued" by it at least. "I don't really know what I was expecting," mused Mariah. "I feel like the crowd enjoyed it and I've heard you go vocally a bit more...but the crowd seemed to love it."
Bryant Tadeo of Hawaii surprised by choosing the East Coastiest song of all to sing, Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind," but he sang with conviction and his voice was rock-solid.
"I think that was a really good song for you and you handled it really well," Keith sweetly agreed with us. Nicki, however, didn't like anything but one riff! Mariah thought that the standing ovation he received may have stemmed from him sounding "professional."
The judges were unanimous, however, when it came to Burnell Taylor' performance of John Legend's "This Time."
"Literally, today, I would pay to see you sing," raved Nicki. "The best by far tonight...Nobody else was even in your lane tonight, period!"
Lazaro Arbos covered Keith's "Tonight I Wanna Cry," and although Keith thought "the song was just ahead of you and you were trying to catch up," the other judges really enjoyed. "You played it safe, but in a good way," observed Nicki. "It's very truthful to you."
Cortez Shaw closed the show with the very ballsy choice of David Guetta's "Titanium." He was no Sia, but he did enough.
"That was a really bold and brave move," praised Keith. And, despite some big misses, "it hit the mark in a big, big way."
Then, it was time to halve the field.
In the end, Cortez, Lazaro, Burnell, Nick and, of course, Vincent joined the top 20, meaning it was the end of the road for all the rest.
Here's the complete American Idol top 20:
Lazaro Arbos, 20
Charlie Askew, 17
Nick Boddington, 27
Curtis Finch Jr., 24
Paul Jolley, 22
Elijah Liu, 18
Vincent Powell, 29
Cortez Shaw, 21
Burnell Taylor, 19
Devin Velez, 18
Janelle Arthur, 23
Aubrey Cleland, 19
Candice Glover, 23
Kree Harrison, 22
Amber Holcomb, 18
Zoanette Johnson, 20
Adriana Latonio, 17
Angela Miller, 18
Breanna Steer, 18
Teena Torres, 28
Do you think the judges sent the right guys through? How about the whole top 20? Sound off in the comments!
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