With 10 male contestants waiting to perform and only five open spots, the tension was running high on "American Idol." To find out who the "American Idol" Season 12 Top 20 are, we had to get through a night of interesting song choices and an unprecedented number "yos" and "dawgs" from Randy (yo, seriously dawg, you need to calm down with that) and only a few managed to truly shine, while the others faded into the background. So who were the stars of the night? And which contestants got left behind?
The night got off to a rough start with a lackluster performance from Mathenee Treco of Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation." The judges questioned his song choice and Nicki felt that it wasn't current enough.
Gurpreet Singh, who grabbed the judges with his originality, failed to impress when he played it safe with James Morrison's "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You." Keith kept it diplomatic and told him it was a poor song choice, but Randy decided to be a bit more blunt, announcing, "Honestly, that was terrible."
Vincent Powell's old-fashioned voice hit all the right notes with "Cause I Love You," receiving standing ovations from the judges. "Today it was sexy old-fashioned. I could envision a bunch of 50 year olds throwing their panties at you," Nicki told him, which is presumably a good thing. It wasn't just the judges who loved the performance ... Zoanette couldn't contain her excitement, screaming, "Get it, Papa Smurf!" If Zoanette liked it, then that's really all that matters.
Nick Boddington was up next and the judges had mixed feelings about his performance of "Say Something Now." Keith loved the timber in his voice, but was waiting for him to make a true connection with the audience and Randy didn't think he really had any moments. Mariah disagreed with Randy, but admitted that it may not have been his best song choice.
Josh Holliday made the bold choice to sing an original number and easily captivated the audience. Keith loved his voice, but thought he needs to cut loose a little. Nicki wished that he had stayed at the piano throughout the performance, but Mariah praised his songwriting ability.
David Willis, who has been inspired by the more old-school singers, chose the classic "Fever" to showcase his ability. Keith didn't think he showed his full vocal talent, but told him, "There's a thing about you." Nicki thought it was a pedestrian performance and that it lacked any relevance to contemporary music, but Randy and Mariah both agreed that he is unique in what he does.
Hawaiian Bryant Tadeo had the judges split over his performance of "New York State of Mind." Keith thought he made a true connection with the audience and Mariah commented on his raw talent, but Nicki was unimpressed.
Burnell Taylor inspired the judges from the beginning with his story of survival, and last night was no different. Keith felt incredibly connected to his performance of John Legend's "This Time" and Nicki said that right now, she would pay money to see him sing. "I hope you just keep doing what you're doing," Mariah told him.
Lazaro Arbos took on a Keith Urban song, and while the judges agreed it maybe wasn't the best choice, everyone thought he had real emotion in his voice and a spirit that "burns" through. "What I love about you is that you always give us, Lazaro," Nicki told him, commending him on his originality and commitment.
Cortez Shaw took a risk with David Guetta's "Titanium" and made up for any pitch struggles with his incredible range and powerful high notes. The typically vocal Nicki couldn't say anything more than "I liked you a lot tonight" and Mariah told him that she looked forward to what will come next from him.
So what would be next for each of the contestants? David and Bryant received the news first and were both sent packing, but Vincent claimed the first seat on stage. Mathenee didn't quite make the cut, but unsurprisingly, Lazaro and Cortez both sailed through. Josh's original number wasn't enough to earn him a spot in among the Top 10 guys. Burnell was up next and his talent and inspiration were more than enough to get him through. The final decision came down to Nick and Gurpreet, who had been in the competition together since Day 1. Unfortunately, Gurpreet's originality could not save him and the last spot went to Nick.
So, without furthur ado, here are your "American Idol" Top 20 for Season 12:
Curtis Finch, Jr.
"American Idol" Season 12 airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST