‘American Idol’: C.J. Harris & Caleb Johnson Are Top 10 Men

Lisa Timmons | February 20, 2014 3:58 am

Following Tuesday night’s reveal of the top 10 ladies, it was the men’s turn to learn their fates. Judges Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez named the lucky guys one by one, as each found out in that moment that not only was it their turn to perform for the night, but that they were still in the competition. Once again, at the end of the performances, five hopefuls will sadly find themselves leaving Hollywood to return to their respective hometowns.

Again, Jennifer’s hair and makeup are pure perfection while Harry looks pretty normal and Keith insists on rocking a look that is much younger than I find appropriate, but whatevs. Host Ryan Seacrest briefly gives us a peek at the 15 guys anxiously awaiting to hear their name called in the chamber.

The first guy put out of his misery and called to sing is Caleb Johnson. During his “boot camp” with former judge Randy Jackson they both agree that Caleb needs to focus on his stage presence. The young singer belts Faces‘ “Stay With Me.” Channeling Jack Black, he gives a School Of Rock worthy rendition. Keith tells him, “That was killer, dude!” Jennifer calls it “some real rock star ish.” Harry agrees with them both that it was great way to start the show.

The next performer called to the stage is C.J. Harris. I love that he tells the stylists at the Randy workshop, “I wear a lot of ball caps,” and then flatly refuses to put on a trendy fedora. Former Idol contestant and mentor, Chris Daughtry convinces C.J. to lose the guitar, but only momentarily, as it reappears for C.J.’s performance of Ray La Montagne‘s “Shelter.” His proud mother and girlfriend cheer from the wings. Jennnifer calls him “awesome.” Harry gives him a warning to not sing sharp, but he ends his critique with a positive note to avoid boos. Keith agrees calls him “just a great Alabama boy.” Then Ryan gets C.J. to admit that he had a root canal the day before. Ouch.

Emmanuel Zidor has somehow managed to make his way into the remaining ten and sings “Best of My Love.” Harry tells him, “You’re so much fun,” but then cautions Emmanuel to not get carried away when he sings. Keith agrees and urges Emmanuel to relax. JLo says, “I Zidor you.” I wish Jennifer’s ears weren’t broken.

Seventeen-year-old Sam Woolf is announced and his choice is “Babylon” by David Gray. Nerves seem to get the best of him but he gets through it. Keith praises the song choice. JLo says it was “a great performance,” while Harry wants Sam to gain confidence.

George Lovett sings Bruno Mars‘ “Grenade.” During her critique, Jennifer talks about “cutting these people in half” and I imagine gleefully that this will turn into a surprise horror film. Harry felt the over-the-top emotion George delivered was the reason the “performance spun out of control.” Keith didn’t think it was a great song choice.

Dexter Roberts is next and sings Craig Morgan‘s “This Ole Boy.” And don’t get me wrong, I like country music, but this is so country, I can’t even tell if it’s good or not. Harry and Keith applaud him but tell him to be sure to set himself apart from other country musicians.

Awkward banter with the judges leads into the announcement that Alex Preston is up next. Consummate musician, Alex sings Damien Rice‘s”Volcano” while playing his guitar. Keith calls it the best song of the night and Harry praises his musical proficiency.

Malcolm Allen fist pumps at the happy news that he’s remaining. His choice is “Coming Where I’m From” from Anthony Hamilton. Jennifer squints approvingly throughout his performance. She then compliments his voice, but needs more of “the heart and the soul.” Harry cautions him to sing in tune. Keith wanted stronger artistic choices from Malcolm.

Ben Briley from Tennessee makes it into top 10 and sings “Soulshine” from the Allman Brothers Band. Harry makes a joke about his giant tie knot, but overall, the judges seem pleased.

The last guy to find out he’s safe is none other than Spencer Lloyd, who decides after much deliberation during Randy’s boot camp to sing without his guitar. He croons The Fray‘s “Love Don’t Die” and I have to say, handsomeness aside, it’s pretty boring. However, the judges seem pleased.

At the end of the night, the five dudes being sent home receive encouragement from the judges. Chin up, guys! Failure builds character! And with that, Thursday night is the results night and we learn whom America has chosen to remain.

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