'American Idol' Recap: Final 5 Guys Round Out Top 20

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'Idol' Top 10 Ladies
American Idol Zoanette Johnson
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American Idol is finally down to the Top 20 contestants after five more men were sent packing.The FOX show wrapped its sudden death round for the guys on Thursday's episode and their choices are pretty predictable.

It’s pretty evident why the judges are convinced a lady will win this year, as the guys’ performances paled in comparison to the ladies round.

Nicki Minaj was a bit harsh on Thursday's episode and unimpressed by many of the men who took the stage. Keith Urban is still sugarcoating his critiques while Mariah Carey continues to squeeze herself into every comment. Randy Jacksonfinally claimed someone was “in it to win it” for the first time (definitely not the last) this season.

Although two of my favorite competitors took the stage, there was only one real standout moment. Overall, the vocals and the personalities were underwhelming.

So who will join last week’s list of keepers?

The only truly “amazing” moment of the night came from New Orleans native, Burnell Taylor. He first caught fans' attention after his audition brought all four judges to their feet. Since then, he has lost 40 pounds and gained a lot of confidence.

Looking a sexy school nerd complete with glasses and a bowtie, the slimmed down Southerner sings “This Time” and for a moment, I think John Legend is onstage. His voice is perfection. His delivery is captivating and absolutely the best of the night. Nicki is overjoyed and tells him, “No one else was even in your lane tonight at all, period.” He even prompted Randy to revive his signature prediction, “he’s in it to win it!” Watch it again above.

Lazaro Arbosis a steady fan favorite. His performance of Urban’s own hit,  “Tonight I Wanna Cry,” was not his strongest showing. He seems extra nervous and his voice is shaky from the start. While the song’s writer, Keith, says it was “just ahead of him the whole time,” he admits, “You’ve got this spirit that burns through your vocal so beautifully and I felt that tonight.”

Nicki praises his consistency and authenticity and Mariah is moved, as usual, by his delivery. I’m scared the judges will do something crazy, like eliminate this gorgeous guy, but I’m wrong. (Phew!) His heart-melting story and undeniable charm earn him a seat in the Top 10.

Worship leader, Vincent Powell, is an easy pick. He’s the first contestant of the night to get the judges excited and his vocal is spot on. His gospel-tinged rendition of Lenny Williams’ “’Cause I Love You” is perfectly passionate and controlled. He’s going to Hollywood.

Pretty boy, Cortez Shaw, takes a big risk when he rearranges “Titanium” into a slow-paced ballad. I love the arrangement and I’m shocked at his vocal range. Who knew he had such a strong falsetto? Keith is unsure about the selection, but the ladies on the panel love it. He’s staying in.

Nick Boddington is the final guy to get through to Hollywood and I think it’s a big mistake. I still don’t see the appeal. His voice is boring and his personality is nonexistent. I can hardly remember what he sang. His spot should have been for Bryant Tadeo who got the boot after his strong (if not a bit boring) performance of “New York State of Mind” failed to wow the panel.

The five men left standing will join Paul Jolley, Elijah Liu, Devin Velez, Charlie Askew and Curtis Finch, Jr. as they attempt to win America’s votes on the first live show next week.

What do you think of the Top 20?

Does Zoanette Johnson belong in the Top 20? Watch her performance again below.

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  • joanne
    joanne

    American Idol website - Canadians can't leave coments or vote but we pay for it to be on our cable. This year it sucks big time,,,, doean't anybody know how to sing upbeat / up tempo songs. I record it and fast forward through most of the songs- all BALLADS( boring!!!! ) that puts a person to sleep. My personal thougts is : there' no talent this year- no one stands out. If it continues- x-Factor will be the show to watch.... at least they have talent and are versatile.