American Idol Top 20 results: Vincent Powell, Lazaro Arbos, Burnell Taylor, Nick Boddington, Cortez Shaw advance

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 28, 2013 

This season's "American Idol" Top 20 is complete.

The judges filled the five remaining spots after 10 male singers performed Thursday night. The episode seemed a bit too ballad-heavy. Nobody delivered the elusive "Moment," though this batch of singers seemed stronger than the guys we saw last week. That's not saying much, though. My favorite of the night? Cortez Shaw, who seemed like the most marketable artist of the bunch. (His performance still attracted a fair share of criticism online.)

These singers advanced on Thursday's show: Vincent Powell, Lazaro Arbos, Burnell Taylor, Nick Boddington and Cortez Shaw.

These singers were eliminated: Mathenee Treco, Gurpreet Singh Sarin, Josh Holliday, David Oliver Willis and Bryant Tadeo.

View a photo gallery of the "American Idol" Season 12 Top 20 here.

Next week, viewers' votes will decide this season's Top 10. Here's a full recap of Thursday's show.

***

Mathenee Treco, 26, is a repeat "Idol" auditioner. He performs "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis. Hmm...not exactly the best way to start the show. Mathenee has some strong moments, but he sounds a little flat at opening verses. Then, he starts over-singing, which doesn't help his case, either. I think it boils down to a song choice issue. He should have opted for a straight-up ballad that lends itself to the big notes he's trying to showcase. Overall, he comes off as just average. ELIMINATED

Keith: "You have a huge range vocally...Don't underestimate the power of your voice as you entertain."

Nicki: "It didn't feel current, it felt very cheesy and karaoke."

Randy: "Song choice was so wrong for you."

Mariah: "I've always liked you."

Gurpreet Singh Sarin, 22, is also known as "The Turbanator." He takes the stage rocking a yellow turban and some awesome yellow pants. He performs "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You" by James Morrison. Gurpreet hooks my attention early in the performance and his vocals sound fine. Unfortunately, things get monotonous pretty quickly. I can't point to one thing I totally hated about it, but there's nothing I totally loved about it, either. I doubt it's memorable enough to help Gurpreet sail through. ELIMINATED

Keith: "I really like your voice."

Nicki: "You needed to come up there with your guitar and draw us in."

Randy: "Honestly, that was terrible."

Mariah: "I was slightly disappointed because I didn't hear your softer voice."

Vincent Powell, 29, is a worship leader who has apparently been a backup singer for some pretty big artists. He performs "Cause I Love You" by Lenny Williams. He definitely has an old-school vibe, and he's big on the falsetto usage. Initially, I'm a little ambivalent about this performance. However, Vincent knows how to work a crowd. Plus, he delivers the most vocal power we've seen so far tonight. Some of it seems a little over the top, but I'm pretty sure he'll advance. ADVANCES

Keith: "That was crazy."

Nicki: "It was a sexy old-fashioned...That was a good vocal."

Randy: "I felt like the show tonight started right here."

Mariah: "All I can say is finally."

Nick Boddington, 27, is a bartender who was one of my favorite hopefuls last season. He sings "Say Something Now" by James Morrison. Honestly, the song choice is a little underwhelming. Nick sounds fine on the tune, but it doesn't scream "star quality." In fact, it gets a little boring at points. Nick didn't do much tonight to showcase his potential as a contemporary recording artist. From a technical standpoint, he's stronger than the night's first two singers. But he lacks personality points. ADVANCES

Keith: "I kept waiting for that connection to happen...I didn't feel it."

Nicki: "I still love your voice...It wasn't your best."

Randy: "I don't know if that was the correct song for you."

Mariah: "I've been enjoying your performances...I needed to feel you more connecting to the song."

Josh Holliday, 24, grew up on a cattle farm. He takes a big risk and performs an original song. It's a ballad and he sings it while playing the piano. In the grand scheme of original songs, this isn't too bad. It's your standard love song. Vocally, Josh does a decent job with it. His verses get a bit breathy at times. He gets up from the piano toward the end of the song and delivers some falsetto notes with mixed results. My biggest criticism? Josh appears a bit cheesy at times. ELIMINATED

Keith: "You have a really great voice...Sometimes I wish you would cut loose."

Nicki: "I wanted you to stay on that piano...You really pulled me in when you first started."

Randy: "I liked the song OK...I don't know if I was wowed."

Mariah: "I actually love that you are a singer-songwriter and you wanted to showcase that."

David Oliver Willis, 21, is a worship leader. He takes the stage with his guitar and performs a pretty cool rendition of "Fever." He definitely has a slightly old-school vibe, and I can't say he delivers the most unique vocal in the world. Once again, things get a little monotonous toward the middle of the performance. Strangely, I actually like David a lot more than some of tonight's earlier singers. But I can also see how his vibe might be a better match for a coffee shop than a concert arena. ELIMINATED

Keith: "Nobody's doing quite what you're doing."

Nicki: "That was not current artist."

Randy: "I felt the song choice made it a little boring for you."

Mariah: "I feel like the crowd enjoyed it."

Bryant Tadeo, 23, hails from Hawaii. He sings "New York State of Mind." Yawn. Bryant sounds good at the beginning of the song. Then, things get really sleepy really quickly. It seems pretty forgettable. Bryant is rocking a serious lounge singer vibe tonight. He obviously has potential, but this wasn't the best song choice. I don't know what else to say. Boring. Tonight's episode needs an energy shot ASAP. I really doubt Bryant will make it to the Top 20. ELIMINATED

Keith: "I think that was a really, really good song for you."

Nicki: Says she only liked the last note

Randy: "I loved the beginning, but I was waiting for it to go somewhere by the end."

Mariah: "I appreciate the fact that you do have raw talent."

Burnell Taylor, 19, survived Hurricane Katrina. He says he's also lost a lot of weight since he auditioned for the show. He performs "This Time" by John Legend. Another ballad? Really, guys? The beginning of this song is better than the end. Burnell actually sounds a lot like John Legend at many points in the song. He has a nice tone to his voice, even though the verses sound a little off as the song progresses. Overall, it's a pretty good performance -- one of the night's more memorable efforts. ADVANCES

Keith: "Gosh, I liked that performance."

Nicki: "You deserve this...The best by far tonight...I would pay to come to see your show right now."

Randy: "Props to you, man."

Mariah: "This was fantastic."

Lazaro Arbos, 21, has a severe stutter that disappears when he sings. He works at an ice cream shop. He sings "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban. I believe this song was performed last week. I'm a big Lazaro fan, but he seems especially nervous tonight. The verses in this song are a little shaky and it seems like Lazaro is off pace at times. That said, the chorus is strong and Lazaro's back story obviously carries some weight. The crowd goes wild after his performance. ADVANCES

Keith: "You're a really great singer, period...I don't think that was a great song for you tonight."

Nicki: "You always give us Lazaro...You played it safe, but in a good way."

Randy: "When you hit the chorus, it's like nobody else."

Mariah: "This is not easy and I'm so proud of you."

Cortez Shaw, 22, grew up in a single-parent home and had some rough times as a child. He sings "Titanium" by David Guetta -- the ballad version, not the dance version. Very interesting song choice. The arrangement is a little weird and it almost seems like Cortez is repeating the same verse over and over. Still, he hits some pretty awesome power notes and this performance makes him seem very appealing as a contemporary recording artist. Very good overall. ADVANCES

Keith: "I love that song...That was a really bold and brave move."

Nicki: "I liked you a lot tonight...Good song choice. Sexy."

Randy: "Your range surprised me today."

Mariah: "I am glad that you are still here."

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