Lilly Scott soared and Ashley Rodriguez bombed on Tuesday during the premiere performances of the top 12 female “American Idol” hopefuls . On Wednesday night (February 24), it’s time for the top 12 men to take their turns on the stage. Who’s sure to be voted through and who might be going home? Let’s take a look at how these 12 gentlemen stack up.
How much does Twitter tell us? Garcia should hope it portends a lot, because the guitar-strumming daddy has 6,500 more followers than the next closest competitor, making him far and away the most popular “Idol” contestant on the social network. Garcia has brought a measure of funky creativity to the show — with his remixes of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” — and his sweetly blubbering reaction to making the top 24 only made him more likable.
He seemed like a reality-show novelty act when he undressed at Kara DioGuardi’s behest during his Denver audition, but during Hollywood Week, the drowsy cowboy awakened to showcase a soulful voice and a smoldering stage presence. His ride on the “Idol” rodeo will continue for a long time.
When the 21-year-old opened his mouth at the Chicago auditions and unleashed a rich and expressive voice, we knew Park would be one to keep an eye on. His group bombed with Gwen Stefani’s “The Sweet Escape” during Hollywood Week, but the judges saw enough in Park as a solo act to give him a pass to the semis. Voters are sure to keep voting him through for a while.
Thanks to the Hollywood Week birth of his son, Big Mike received oodles of camera time. That recognition — plus an admirable vocal dexterity — has made him a fan favorite. He busted out the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” during his audition, then donned a guitar in Hollywood for John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change.” It will be interesting to see which direction Lynche goes Wednesday, but we know this much: Big Mike ain’t going anywhere.
Now that we’ve come to see that the mop-topped rocker’s devotion to all things ’70s is genuine and not a gimmick (though certainly a bit clichéd), we’ve been able to embrace his inventive take on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and his competent rendition of Daughtry’s “Home.” While Grady should be safe for a while, we’d be very surprised if he does as well as Chris Daughtry did in season five.
The Texas native is technically the 25th member of the semifinalists, as he was a last-minute replacement for booted crooner Chris Golightly . Still the shaggy-haired Urban, who has shown a propensity for folky rock songs from the likes of Matt Nathanson and David Cook, has the boyish good looks that might win him fans for weeks to come. Even more so than Grady with Daughtry, it would be a crazy shocker if Urban followed in Cook’s “Idol”-winning footsteps.
Fantasia has already given Hall her vote of confidence when she welcomed him into the production of “The Color Purple.” The humble 24-year-old made the risky decision to perform a jokey original tune during his Dallas audition, but he sang it with verve. His vocal-run-heavy rendition of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” was one of the most original tunes of Hollywood Week. Expect Hall to keep coming back week after week.
Lambert also delivered an original take on “I’m Yours,” strumming the ukulele as he sang. Surely it was that performance — and not a sizzle-less version of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” — that convinced the judges to send him to the top 24. Lambert had better search for some elusive stage presence if he expects voters to send him forward for more than a few weeks.
Dewyze seems to be the consensus pick for the less well-known “Idol” hopeful who nonetheless will sneak his way through week after week. Why? It could be his equally authentic covers of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and the Fray’s “You Found Me.” Is Dewyze the singer/songwriter type that will rise this season? We’ll wait to see if he indulges his old-school-soul-flecked side or his pop-radio-friendly potential.
It seems like every year “Idol” selects a precocious 16-year-old. David Archuleta, this kid ain’t. He flubbed the start of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” during Hollywood Week, but recovered to show off an undeniable vocal talent. But somehow, that song just didn’t click coming from a young kid like Kelly. He’d be wise to skew his song choices to something written in the 21st century. That’s his best bet to stay in the competition.
The 27-year-old’s backstory — a church singer who cares for his disabled mother — made him an early breakout personality, as did his potent take on Joan Osborne’s “What If God Was One of Us.” Then he tanked during his group performance of Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son” and then called out the band’s mistake later in Hollywood Week. If Sellers returns to the promise of his audition, he might survive for a bit. If not, he’ll be headed back to church soon.
Muñoz suffers from a case of “Who the heck is this guy?” That’s not his fault, and clearly he has talent — on display during a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” — but the 20-year-old needs to bust out a memorable performance on Wednesday night or it will be one and done for him.
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page , where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.