Wed., Mar. 6, 2013 7:13 PM PST
It was the guys' turn to make some Moments on American Idol Wednesday.
The remaining 10 fellas took the stage for their first live show in Las Vegas, knowing, just as the top 10 girls did yesterday, that five of them are going home tomorrow.
So, who proved himself? And who just proved that he should go home?
Elijah Liu opened the show with Rihanna's "Stay," whose Grammy performance of the irresistibly romantic song was still fresh enough in our heads that we couldn't fully endorse his version—although his voice kinda sounded like Rihanna's!
"Um...I think I would be willing to stay," devoted Elijah fan Nicki Minaj said seductively. She continued to love the 18-year-old's look (and can picture his face on blankets and posters!), but Randy Jackson thought his one-note performance "never left first gear."
Cortez Shaw's impressive voice sounded a little thin on Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" (speaking of the "intimate lyrics" Mariah Carey said were all the rage these days), the handsome lad apparently wanting to dance more than sing tonight. Nicki appreciated his confidence and lack of nerves, while Keith Urban and Randy differed on the song choice—Keith thought it wrong, and Randy thought it right in theory, but just not yet.
Charlie Askew once again lived up to his fitting little surname, the inexplicably appealing 17-year-old picking, of all things, "Mama" by Genesis to sing/scream. Sure enough, Keith commented that maybe Charlie's future is in fronting a band rather than being a one-man show.
"Last time I saw you I wanted to cradle you in my arms...Where's my little baby?" Nicki pouted. "I feel like someone stole my kid."
Nick Boddington, accompanying himself on piano, poured himself into the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris."
"What a perfect song for you!" raved Keith, not minding the "issues in certain spots." The other critiques were a little lukewarm, with Nicki acknowledging that Nick was in his comfort zone, Randy calling it a "good, solid performance" as if it were a successful root canal and Mariah saying his voice "kicked in at the end."
Burnell Taylor applied his instantly identifiable rasp to Fantasia Barrino's "I'm Here," his very tone setting himself apart from the pack and winning him oh-you raves from the judges.
We thought Paul Jolley shouldn't have any trouble sticking around after belting out Christina Aguilera's "I'm Just a Fool," but Keith wasn't yet onboard with Paul's male-Taylor-Swift aspirations. And Nicki recommended that Paul take Keith's expert country-music advice, so...wonders never cease.
Lazaro Arbos, who has mastered a nagging stutter and become a polished, mellifluous performer, got all of the judges and the whole darn audience on his side with the ole Idol standard "Feelin' Good." Mariah actually thought the song "a bit too low" for him, but otherwise, raves all around.
Speaking of ole standards, Curtis Finch Jr. chose R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." He ultimately sang it wonderfully, but it was a little slow going in the beginning.
"You have a calling in your life to bless people and do so much good!" Nicki exclaimed. "I really pray you make that type of album. People need that right now!" Randy added: "The guys now are giving a run to those girls!"
Devin Velez wowed again with another bilingual performance, this one of "It's Impossible (Somos Novios)" which was famously recorded in English by Elvis Presley, Andy Williams and many others but was written by Mexican composer Armando Manzanero.
Nicki raved about it, misusing all sorts of Spanish adjectives, and Randy said Devin's tone was "one I actually really like."
Vincent Powell closed the show with Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" and, while the judges seemed to agree that nerves or excitement got the better of them, they're hoping America overlooks that and votes based on his past singing prowess.