‘American Idol’ review: Did Charlie Askew, Johnny Keyser advance to next round?

American IdolLet’s start out this “American Idol” review with some real talk: Wednesday night was not very good. The guys didn’t bring a whole lot of drama, and save for two or three singers, nobody really lit up the screen.

Tonight, we actually think one of the biggest stars here was actually Nicki Minaj, and in a good way. All this time, we’ve been waiting for an heir to Simon Cowell, and surprisingly the “Starships” rapper is it. She doesn’t give in to sob stories like other judges do, and she’s not afraid to challenge any of the singers when it comes to making them actually work harder. Ultimately, we think she is going to be the judge that actually gives these people a cold nose of reality, and what it takes to be a modern star.

Nicki hero worship aside, let’s get to the singers, with a reminder that there are still so many freakin’ guys left that it’s hard to keep track of them all.

Advancing standouts

Paul Jolley – Great song choice! “Blown Away” is a song that had never been covered on this show before, and the only thing we’d change by what Mr. Shaking-in-My-Boots did with it is the powerful presence of the background singers.

On a different note, we absolutely love Nicki telling this guy that being an emotional wreck is not appealing at all. You do have to be a professional here.

Lazaro Arbos – He really did not get that much screen time compared to last night, but his take on “The Edge of Glory” was solid, but not spectacular.

Curtis Finch Jr. – The man whose goal is to “reach and touch the hearts of people” also spent much of last night willing to not just throw Charlie Askew under the bus, but to back over him. The funny thing is that this one comment will do much more damage to him

Devin Velez – This guy has barely been seen, but he is certa

Gurpreet Singh Sarin – The biggest issue with the Turbinator at times this season has simple been that we don’t know how seriously we should really take him, since he, almost like a Heejun Han light, gets a little unfairly the whole “goofball” edit. But he has a pretty voice, and could go far.

Cortez Shaw – There’s still something about his personality that comes off as a little cocky, but this was a huge step up over his Whitney Houston cover last night.

Adam Sanders – We didn’t seen him this week, but Adam and his giant personality are moving on.

Jimmy Smith – If this guy makes it to the top 10, watch out! He is the Apple Pie and cheddar cheese of the guys; he’s strong, and appeals to a pretty wide American audience.

Johnny Keyser and Vincent Powell – Both advanced with barely a mention.

Nick Boddington – Nick is the perfect example of the classic “American Idol” comeback story. He received little to no screen time last year, and now he’s really getting an opportunity to shine now that he has had an extra year to prepare. And boy, did he prepare; his take on “Stars” was the best of the whole night.

Charlie Askew – What a cool intro to his “Somebody That I Used to Know,” as it was so honest and vulnerable without being sappy.It wasn’t the perfect vocal, but it was far away better than that duet version from last season.

JDA – We’re really curious to see the guy’s solo performances, since he’s got this over-the-top style behind him.


Matheus Fernandes – “I only sing in my car,” says the guy that won several Homework Assignments on “The Glee Project” (though to be fair, those performances were recorded in a studio). It’s annoying enough that the show decided to not acknowledge his reality TV past; but to make it look like he’s a completely undiscovered is a little disappointing. Then again, it looks like we’re not going to be spending any more time talking about him after botching the performance with the live band.

Papa Peachez – There is a part of us that really wanted to see Mr. Peachez make it to the live rounds, if for no other reason than there’s no one else like him. Then again, he really only seems to have one type of performance.

Burnell Taylor – What happened, Burnell? The favorite from New Orleans was so out of tune here, we barely recognized “Jar of Hearts” as the song.

Micah Johnson – He had a very touching story and seemed like such a good dude, but we love his optimism after leaving.

Sadly, we learned at the end of the show that there are only going to be 20 of the 28 artists who end up moving on to the next round, but we will not know this result until next week.

Who was your favorite act from this show? Be sure to share some of your thoughts with a comment below, and you can read our full review of Wednesday’s show over here.

Photo: Fox

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