American Idol Hollywood round: Top 28 guys revealed for season 12

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 7, 2013 

Then, there were 28.

The Hollywood round continued on Thursday's episode of "American Idol." The remaining male singers performed solos and by the end of the night, we were down to 28 male contestants. It was supposed to be 20, but producers had to throw in a twist to keep our attention. Next week, eight more male singers will be eliminated.

Many viewer favorites advanced, including:

Lazaro Arbos, the guy whose severe stutter disappears when he sings

Charlie Askew, the socially awkward teenager

Gurpreet Singh Sarin, the guy known as "The Turbanator"

Among the noteworthy eliminations:

Matheus Fernandes, who appeared on the first season of "The Glee Project"

Micah Johnson, the Morrow, Ga., guy who developed a speech impediment after having his tonsils removed

Papa Peachez, the quirky guy who impressed Nicki during his initial audition, but lost her support in Hollywood

Next week, the women will perform in Hollywood and eight more guys will go home. Here's a full recap of Thursday's show.

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The remaining male singers will perform solos tonight. They'll be accompanied by the "Idol" band and they can play instruments. The judges will announce their decisions after every eight singers.

First up: Paul Jolley, who's apparently having some confidence issues. He tells the judges he's nervous. "I'll hold it together, I promise," he says. Hurry up and sing, dude. His performance of Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" isn't worth the hype. Lots of big notes, but zero stage presence. "Just give us one minute of professionalism and focus," Nicki says. She's not impressed.

Lazaro Arbos is much more successful with his performance of Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory." Remember, he's the guy whose severe stutter disappears when he sings.

Sorry, folks, I'm still not a fan of Curtis Finch Jr., the choir director. I think his performances are way too showy and over-the-top. He needs to scale back his rendition of "Jar of Hearts."

Lazaro, Curtis and Paul advance.

Devin Velez has flown under the radar for a bit, but I enjoy his performance of "What a Wonderful World." Keith says he was born to sing. The judges are equally impressed after Gurpreet Singh Sarin, the guy known as "The Turbanator," sings "Georgia On My Mind." Same goes for Cortez Shaw's performance of "Sunny."

They all advance.

Matheus Fernandes from the first season of "The Glee Project" isn't as lucky. Remember, he's really short, but doctors haven't been able to diagnose him with a specific condition. He makes a comment about his height upon taking the stage and tells the cameras it's his first time performing with a live band. I doubt that. He sings a slowed-down, metal-inspired version of Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." It's weird. "It was a little bit not really connected," Mariah says. Nicki adds, "Sometimes things can go from being inspiring to becoming you wanting a pity party." Harsh but true.

Matheus is eliminated.

Nicholas Mathis wants to make a better life for his two kids. I'm not sure it's going to happen after his rocky performance of "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars. It's shaky at best. Keith says he was chasing the song, rather than chasing the dream.

Speaking of shaky, here's Papa Peachez. He delivers an off-key rendition of Lady Gaga's "You and I," and Nicki is NOT IMPRESSED. "I'm so disappointed. I don't know why you would choose that song." Nicki's comments are spot-on tonight.

Jimmy Smith takes the stage and performs a bland rendition of "Landslide." Not sure if this deserved airtime.

Nicholas and Papa Peachez are eliminated. Jimmy survives. Johnny Keyser and Vincent Powell also advance, though we didn't see their performances.

Nick Boddington almost made the semifinals last year. He's back this season, playing the keyboard while singing "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I love this guy. He's one of my favorites.

Here's awkward teen Charlie Askew, who begins his performance by telling a story about a girl he once loved. He sings "Somebody That I Used to Know." It's intriguing -- especially his suit/sneakers combo -- but I'm still figuring out my opinion of this guy. Nicki loves him. "I am obsessed with you," she says. He responds, "Baby, I could say the same thing."

Nick and Charlie advance, along with Mathenee Treco and JDA, the guy who likes to wear glitter and heels.

After singing "Jar of Hearts," Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon both advance.

Here's Micah Johnson from Morrow, Ga. He's the guy who developed a speech impediment after having his tonsils removed. He performs a nice rendition of "I Told You So" by Randy Travis. Still...he gets eliminated. Really?!? Baker Gabe Brown also gets eliminated, along with Nate Tao, the guy with deaf parents.

With that, it's time for a twist! We're down to 28 guys...next week, eight more guys will be eliminated. Um, OK.

We're done. Next week, the women perform in Hollywood!

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