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‘Idol’ men open their live performances

American Idol Top 24 kicks off the "real" show

Tonight's songs may have been from the 1960s, but overall, the guys were solid gold. It's been awhile since the guys have started so quickly out of the gate.

American Idol Top 24 kicks off the "real" show

Let's take a closer look…

 

David Hernandez of Glendale, Ariz., is first, with "The Midnight Hour." Hernandez has some potency, starting strong and carries the tune with little background orchestration. He didn't finish with a bang and lead panelist Simon Cowell rode him for it.

 

The lad from west side Phoenix did enough to advance.

Chikezie Eze of Inglewood, Calif., is next, sporting a raspy-looking sportcoat and singing "More Today Than Yesterday." Sadly, Eze's gear and persona make this viewer un-easy. He has more capability (in every way) than he put out tonight.
And stop arguing with the judges… or at least say something funny if you do.

Rocker David Cook is a bartender and musician from Blue Springs, Mo. Nice song choice with "Happy Together." Cook starts slow, but builds with the song. Cowell's harsh "almost made it believable" is accurate. Put him through to next week.
Jason Yeager from Grand Prairie, Texas, sat atop a stool and sang "Moon River." He stood up and really launched into it, but … I don't know. Yeager's clarity and tone are nice enough, but the performance lacks warmth. My notes say "shoulder shrug." Perhaps he just needs more camera time?

Bandana man Robbie Carrico from Melbourne, Fla., showed some real charisma (Cowell's word of the evening!) and stage comfort with "One" by Three Dog Night. Nice tone and pace.

And how do you follow the flamboyant Carrico? With a vocal bombshell like David Archuleta. The lad from Murray, Utah, delivers "Shop Around" with style, accuracy and power that are staggering for a 17-year-old. The Mrs. sat up and said, "he's the next Jordin Sparks." Wait a minute! It may be a bit much, but Archuleta, like Sparks, is talented and likeable.
Danny Noriega from Azusa, Calif., thinks he's Elvis with a blown-dried try at "Jailhouse Rock." Good voice but wrong song. Noriega doesn't have the pipes for the bombastic Presley classic and it shows. A gutsy performance. Hope he gets another chance …

 

We haven't seen much of Luke Menard, who is from Crawfordville, Ill. Singing "Everybody's Talkin'," it starts out kind bland and doesn't get much better. With little previous camera time to build rapport/familiarity, Menard had little margin for error.
Colton Berry, of Staunton, Va., is the guy who made it instead of horn-rimmed Kyle Ensley. Wrong choice. Berry's selection of "Suspicious Minds" is as questionable as the royal blue pants he wore. He started a little rough but improved throughout the song. Was it enough? Bottom three material.

Garrett Haley, of Elida, Ohio, could star in a Pantene commercial, but sang "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" instead. Beyond some nervousness, he has a pleasant voice. I'm sure young women across America are screaming and squirming. Hope he gets one more try. Jason Castro, from Rockwall, Texas, is another "hair guy" – well, sort of … and another of what seems like a flock of Season Seven's bumper crop of fresh-faced lads. Castro did a nice job with a quasi-a capella slant on "Daydream," giving it a warm, organic feel. His next try will be interesting to watch.

Michael Johns lit everyone's fire with a blow-you-away remix of the Door's "Light My Fire" to a backdrop of digital flames. Johns is smart, understands his strengths and plays to them. Nice stage presence. Johns is seasoned and has a rich voice, mate.

I'm guessing Luke Menard, Colton Berry and Jason Yeager are in danger, while the public also sees Garrett Haley near the bottom.

 

The ladies perform tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox … Don't miss it!

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