The terror of group day is behind our Hollywood hopefuls, but tonight, it's every man for himself as each singer goes solo hoping to snag a slot and move on in the competition. The judges are looking for something special and each guy better be ready to sing for their lives.
Each group of eight guys will sing and, only after, will the judges make their cuts. First up in Group One was nervous and jittery, Tennessee native, Paul Jolley. Paul sang "Blown Away" by Carrie Underwood, but Nicki laid into him, demanding "a minute of professionalism" and that Paul get rid of his nervousness should he continue. And, so, uh, it's pretty clear that Nicki should not be working on a crisis hotline anytime soon!
We also heard Lazaro Arbos sing "Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga and Curtis Finch, Jr., bringing a pretty jaw-dropping dose of emotion to "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri. The judges compared notes, Group One sweat bullets, and the judges reached their decision. Paul, Curtis, and Lazaro are moving on!
Group Two included Devin Velez killing it with "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, Gupreet "The Turbanator" Sarin with Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind," and Dallas native, Cortez Shaw singing "Sunny" by Bobby Hebb. All three got a great response from the panel. Mateaus Hernendez sang "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson and thanked the judges profusely. Nicki noted that Matheus needs to forget about his height-challenged stature and focus on the singing. Sadly, he won't get that chance. Only Devin, Cortez, The Turbanator, Adam impressed the judges enough to move on.
Next we met father-of-two, big Nicholas Mathis. Nick gave his best to "Locked Out Of Heaven" by Bruno Mars, but Keith's critique sent Nick backstage in tears, wondering about his fate. Papa Peachez didn't fare much better on Lady Gaga's "You and I." Nicki lovingly told Papa that she was "F'ing disappointed". Will Papa's flame be flickering out? And finally, Jimmy Smith sang "Landslide" and did Stevie Nicks proud. Is he going on or will he have to return to his job as a stand-in for that blonde dude from "The Dukes of Hazard?"
Decision time. Big Nick was a no, Papa got punted, and only Jimmy will be jamming on in the next round.
Our next group featured Nick Boddington on keyboard doing "Stars" by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, and earning serious kudos from Keith. Then Charlie Askew took the stage sporting an oversized, sharkskin suit and blue sneakers and sang "Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye. The freckle-faced kid killed it, and Nicki noted, "she wanted to eat him." Hopefully, he can get a note from his parents. Others took the stage, but only Nick, Charlie, Mathenee, and sashaying singer, JADA, made it through.
Late in the day, another string of guys sang "Who Do You Think You Are?" by Christina Perri. New Orleans contestant, Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon know who they are---they are moving on to the next round! Next up we had Micah Johnson, singing "I Told You So" by Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood. It is nothing short of miraculous how this guy can sing so well despite his affliction! The Insider was shocked, however, when the panel decided not to give Micah the nod for the next round. We also said goodbye to Dave "The Rockin' Baker" Brown, Sani from San Antonio, and OKC's Nate Tao. This must be the season of surprises because, suddenly, the twenty-eight guys who made it were called back on stage. Uh, not so fast. Randy rained on their parade by telling them that, next week, eight more of them would be cut, and only twenty would move on to the next round. Which eight is anyone's guess. Have a nice, calm, joyous weekend guys!
Next week, it's Hollywood time for the girls. Get ready for big hearts, big tears, and our top forty, on American Idol.