The Top 10 guys of "American Idol" gave it their all and it was ... alright.
While a few performances brought the house down, most fell flat and left me (and the judges) wanting a bit more. But with the audience making the decisions for the first time, the competition could belong to anyone and there's no telling who will make the cut. So who impressed and who should start packing their bags?
Elijah Liu chose Rihanna's "Stay," starting the night on an emotional note. Keith Urban loved the song choice and Nicki Minaj couldn't get over how marketable and relevant Elijah is. "I can imagine your face on blankets and cups," Nicki said of his future superstardom.
Cortez Shaw didn't exactly wow the judges with his rendition of Bruno Mars' "Locked out of Heaven." Keith didn't think it was the best song choice for him and even Nicki couldn't find the words to express her disappointment.
Charlie Askew made the brave choice to take on a Genesis number, but didn't quite connect
with the audience or the judges. Something didn't feel genuine for Keith and Nicki demanded to know where her "cute, cuddly Charlie" had gone. "I don't want to see your arms, I don't want you working out," Nicki told him. Charlie fought back tears through his critique, saying that he had chosen the angry song because he "needed to vent a little bit." Hopefully Charlie will keep his head held high no matter what happens.
Nick Boddington was up next and decided to return to the piano for his performance
of the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris." "There's such a vulnerability about your tone," Keith told
him. The other judges didn't rave quite as much as Keith, but Nicki thought it was pretty and all the judges agreed that he shines most at the piano.
Burnell Taylor decided to take the audience back to the audition that the judges can't stop talking about. He sang "I'm Here" with all the conviction and emotion of his original performance and once again amazed everyone. "I believed every part of you," Keith told him.
Paul Jolley, who hopes to be the guy version of Taylor Swift, delivered a solid performance of "Just a Fool." As the ultimate country expert, Keith nitpicked at it, telling him he needed to "ease it in a little more," but overall the judges were pleased, if not exactly overwhelmed.
Next up was Lazaro Arbos, who brought the house down with his rendition of
"Feeling Good." "When you start singing, everyone in this theater starts to connect with you," Keith praised him.
It was Curtis Finch Jr. who truly brought the night to life with R. Kelly's "I Believe
I Can Fly" (but let's be real, if you're gonna sing "Space Jam," you gotta do it right).
Nicki couldn't quite contain her passion, practically shouting "That is not something that can be measured by the votes you get!" and Randy acknowledged the greatness of the classic song: "Give mad props to R. Kelly," he stated.
Devin Velez continued to keep the night lively and blew everyone away with his vocals. "You are so gifted," Keith told him. After a brief attempt at speaking Spanish, Nicki called Devin a "Spanish Ken Doll," which basically means she liked it.
Vincent ended the night on a shaky note with "End of the Road." Keith thought his nerves got the better of him, but Mariah acknowledged that there were still moments of brilliance in the performance and hoped the audience would recognize that too.
Find out who makes the "American Idol" Top 10 on Thursday, March 7 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Who do you think was the best of the Top 10 guys?