Tonight the top 12 guys sang. Here's what I thought about their 60's-themed performances.
1. David Hernandez - "In the Midnight Hour"
I don't remember him from the auditions, but he has a really nice voice. I was really impressed, as were the judges. What a great way to start things off!
2. Chikezie - "More Today Than Yesterday"
Here's another one I don't remember from the auditions. I wasn't so impressed with him. He sounded off a few times at the beginning of his song, but he got better. However, it seems he can't take Simon's criticism. I don't think he'll last long that way.
3. David Cook - "Happy Together"
Now here's someone I remember from the auditions. I really liked his voice then, especially since he's got a rock sound. (I can do without the pop and R&B; country is okay.) I liked his rendition of "Happy Together", the way he got a little edgier each time he sang the chorus. He definitely made that song his - and the crowd seemed to realize it, too. So did the judges.
4. Jason Yeager - "Moon River"
He's a local guy (from Grand Prairie), but I only remember him from the final of the Hollywood auditions. I don't know if it was his song or his voice, but I wasn't impressed with his performance tonight. He sounded a little off-key a few times. Simon called it a very "cruise ship" performance; I agree.
5. Robbie Carrico - "One Is the Loneliest Number"
Here's another I don't remember except for Hollywood. I'm glad there's another rocker in the group. He's got a good voice, and he really showed it tonight. I was wondering how he was going to do hitting that high note, and he had it covered. I wonder what Simon is seeing/hearing, though, when he questions whether this guy is a rocker or a pop singer. Huh?
6. David Archuleta - "Shop Around"
I definitely remember him. He had a great story about having a paralyzed vocal cord. His speaking voice is a little quiet and almost weak-sounding, but he's got an amazing singing voice. And he's only 17! He did great tonight! Simon said his was the best performance of the night (so far). He's very likeable (and giddy). He'll stay around a while.
7. Danny Noriega - "Jailhouse Rock"
I remember him from the auditions. His "swagger and attitude" annoy me, but he's got a good voice and he did a good job on tonight's song. Simon was far from impressed.
8. Luke Menard - "Everybody's Talkin'"
I don't remember him. He kind of looks like Orlando Bloom, doesn't he? This guy was okay, definitely not one of my favorites. The judges weren't so impressed with him tonight, either.
9. Colton Berry - "Suspicious Minds"
I remember him from the Hollywood round of auditions, especially the end when he and Kyle went to the "Judgment Room" to see which of them made it through to the finals. (I preferred Kyle. He was an ubergeek, but he had a great voice and was very likeable. I would've liked to see his transformation.) I thought it was funny when Colton chatted with Ryan about looking like Ellen Degeneres. I can see him on her show now... As for tonight's performance, I wasn't impressed. I thought this was another "cruise ship" performance. Simon called it "very karaoke".
10. Garrett Haley - "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
I vaguely remember him from auditions. I mostly remember thinking he looked a lot like Leif Garrett used to look. (He's bald now.) Then Ryan said the same thing. I wasn't impressed with his voice or the song. It was too slow. He picked it up slightly toward the end, but it was too little, too late. Boooooorrrrrrrinnnnggggg. (Randy agreed.) One thing I did like was the fact that he took the criticism well and said he wanted to learn from what the judges had to say.
11. Jason Castro - "Daydream"
Here's another local boy (from Rockwall, only about 20 minutes away). I don't remember him from the regional auditions and only vaguely from Hollywood, even though he stands out with his dreadlocks. For a drummer, he's a great guitar player. And he sings really well while he does it! Well, he was a little off toward the end, but overall, I thought it was really good. I like his personality, too.
12. Michael Johns - "Light My Fire"
I missed most of his Hollywood audition where he sang Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (I love that song!), but I heard the judges talking about how well he had done. I wish I had seen it; I love that song. This Aussie's got it, and he showed it! (His version of this was much better than Amanda Overmyer's when she auditioned.)
My favorites (in no particular order): Robbie Carrico, Jason Castro, Michael Johns, and the 3 Davids (Archuleta, Cook, and Hernandez).
My picks to go home: Luke Menard and Jason Yeager. I would throw Garrett Haley in there, but I think the little girls with cell phones will help keep him in.
On a side note, it'll be interesting to see how well (or poorly) the contestants do on the iTunes downloads. You can see the popularity of the different songs. I wonder if that will be a clue as to who's staying and who's going.
Tomorrow night, the girls sing. I'll have to record it and watch it later since we'll have guests, but I'll hopefully get a chance to watch it and post about it before the results show Thursday night.