'American Idol' Recap: Top 10 Fellas Fall Flat

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Wednesday’s episode of American Idol put the Top 10 guys on the line for their first live performances. The FOX show has seen a big batch of talent from its female contenders this season, but the boys have been lackluster so far.

Now is the time for the men to step up to the plate and make a good first impression on voters. Also, host, Ryan Seacrest, introduces a new voting app that allows users to split their votes up in 50 and allocate them to as many contestants as they choose.

Nicki Minaj is nice but not too impressed by many of the men. Mariah Carey’s comments are getting more and more pointless. Randy Jackson is looking to be wowed and Keith Urbanis hoping to find his favorite male contender.

Most of the men fell flat, including some fan favorites.

Cortez Shaw chooses Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven.” I feel like I’ve already heard every guy sing this song at some point this season. He has a lot of energy but he looks like a GAP ad circa 2005. I don’t love this song for him. He tries to throw in some runs at the end, but it’s too little, too late. Keith says, “I’m not sure that was the best song for what you do really well.” Nicki is looking for a nice way to say he blew it. She hates his style, too. Amen sister.

Charlie Askew is looking edgy. His hair is finally tied back into a ponytail and he’s wearing a tie-dye tank and a feather earring. He’s got a lot of confidence for a self-proclaimed social outcast. He’s singing “Mama,” a rock song with a lot of screeching sections. I hate it.

“Something feels not truly genuine,” says Keith. Nicki didn’t like it either: “I don’t know what happened. I feel like someone stole my kid.” She hates the whole look. Randy says he’s worried for him. “The beginning was really terrible,” he says. Ouch. He’s crying onstage after some probing from Ryan. Give this guy a break!

Nick Boddington is at the piano for his turn at Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris.” He’s wearing his signature hat and he does a pretty good job. Keith says he looked nervous, but loves his song choice. Randy didn’t love it, but says it was “solid.” Mariah babbles a long time about nothing. She looks pretty.

Southern sweetheart, Burnell Taylor, sings the same song as he did in auditions. His style choice is disappointing. He looks like Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.He gets a standing ovation from Keith. “I loved it. You’ve got your own thing that’s incredibly strong,” he says. Nicki loves him and says the his talent is “undeniable.” Mariah and Randy concur. He’s staying for sure.

Paul Jolley is just not likable. I don’t know why, but I’m consistently turned off by his performances. He sings “Just a Fool” and his voice is fine. He makes really weird faces when he sings and I’m bored halfway through his set. He wants to be a “country pop” star. I’m not buying it. Nicki thinks it was a good performance. Randy thinks he “fell apart with the pitch.” He’s in trouble.

I love Lazaro Arbos. Sadly, I’m starting to worry he can’t handle the pressure of the competition. He sings “Feeling Good” and it’s beautiful as usual. I’m really over him wearing the same white blazer and bright pink shirt. I also want to hear him sing a current song. He’s not a fan of pop music, but I think he’s losing a crucial crowd here. The crowd goes crazy and the judges love it too. Nicki calls it a “strong vocal.” Randy says he’s “in it to win it” and based on the crowd’s reaction, he may be right.

Curtis Finch Jr.chooses “I Believe I Can Fly” and does a pretty good job, but loses it at the end. It could have been nerves, but the judges don’t seem to notice as they give him a standing ovation. He has a way of making every song sound like it’s coming from the pulpit, and its fun to watch. His style may get old week after week, but he’s certainly safe for now. Nicki says he raises the bar every single time. “What you do was given to you by a higher power,” she says. “You have a calling on your life to bless people and to do so much good.”

Overall, the guys failed to measure up to the ladies. I think most of the former frontrunners are safe for now, but not for long. Fans will decide the fate of the Top 20 on the first live results show of the season, Thursday night.

Which guy will go home first?

Watch Candice Glover's Top 20 performance again below.

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  • Nana to 7 grandkids
    Nana to 7 grandkids

    I am a 65 yr old Nana and I have replayed 'Mama' many times.....and I loved it!!! I also heard Genisus sing it and I liked Charley's rendition better. so there!!!!

  • Patricia

    I actually don't think the judges were meaner than they normally are to other contestants who aren't good. I think his meltdown just made it seem like they were being less sensitive. They've told other people they were terrible.

  • Irene

    I agree totally. While I am not sure what Charlie was trying to look like, the focus should be on the singing talent...they can be made up to look better later.

  • Dale

    nicki was a monster to Charlie. it felt like watching a schoolyard bully pick on some kid for looking different and not staying kiddy looking for her pleasure (making it about herself) and all that negativity that had nothing to do with singing - "I don't want to see your arms!" "your ponytail" "your earring" - just wow - and this coming from a lady who wears huge wigs, big eyelashes, and a pound of makeup to create an exaggerated look. this is a singing competition - and she ignored his alternative prog-rock vocal of Genesis' Mama. I thought it was a solid "B", especially better as it went on, and he looked fine, like a young rock star in the making, cute even. But, ms Minaj needs to apologize to ALL the men for constantly either sexualizing or emasculating them! She's terrifyingly crude, and has been every night ("I like your boobs", she said to another contestant on live TV the night before, and essentially clamoring for the sperm of another contestant that she said she wanted to have babies with). IDOL make her apologize to all of us, especially Charlie. (good job Ryan, btw!)