Project ‘Idol’ Tuesday: Top 10 guys perform

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Word came late Tuesday from “American Idol” producers that Crystal Bowersox was ill and hospitalized. That meant a bit of the old switcheroo: The guys performed with the girls rescheduled for Wednesday.

Bowersox is the girls’ best chance of producing a winner this year. The show didn’t offer details on her illness, but the L.A. Times said it was diabetes-related complications.

If you watched last week, you’ll know the guys were piss-poor, so they tried to step it up Tuesday with varying results.

imageMichael Lynche: After last week’s uninspired Maroon 5 cover, Big Mike unleashed his inner drama queen and performed a soulful, hard-to-top version of James Brown’s “A Man’s World.” As a side note, Mike can bench press 505 pounds, which adds up to four Miss Seacrests or a dozen Aaron Kellys.

John Park: Cute as he is, John is a stale old piece of toast (thank you, Patsy Stone). His cover of “Gravity” by John Mayer was much better than last week’s self-indulgent “God Bless the Child,” but his lack of charisma makes him forgettable. Simon said he’s probably going home Thursday.

Casey James: When he found out that every would-be rocker had performed Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be” on “Idol” seasons past, cougar bait should have picked a different song. Instead, he gave a sloppy, copycat version and tried to cover up with his electric guitar. Kara and Simon thought he was trying too hard to be a rock star, but he’s safe no matter what.

imageAlex Lambert: The stylist must have stepped out when he was getting dressed because nothing matched, but he sold me with his cover John Legend’s “Everybody Knows.” It was a little over-enunciated, but he has a nice rasp to his voice and even hit the falsetto. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, happy to be there at all. I’m rooting for him.

Todrick Hall: What is wrong with this overindulged douche nozzle? He took Tina Turner’s classic “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and, like last week with the Kelly Clarkson song, totally fucked up the arrangement. Just sing the damn song in key, please. I’m done. Get him outta here!

imageJermaine Sellers: Seriously, dude? Really? Taking Marvin Gaye’s iconic “What’s Going On” and turning it into bathhouse cabaret should have triggered a trapdoor to open in the floor. When the judges panned him, he started playing the religious card saying “God was on his side” and guiding him to glory. Uh-huh. Maybe Depeche Mode was right, and God does have a sick sense of humor.

Andrew Garcia: Pitchy, boring, meh. That’s all I’ve got for his version of James Morrison’s “You Give Me Something.” The judges are still stuck on his acoustic cover of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” from the Hollywood round, so he looks like a one trick pony. Is it my imagination, or do the glasses and neck tattoo get bigger every week?

imageAaron Kelly: Oh, Aaron! What possessed you to pick the old warhorse “My Girl”? He was trying so hard to be soulful, but there were too many runs, and as Simon said, it was just old fashioned. Luckily, he’s got the tween vote. Be whoever you want, Aaron, but for fuck’s sake don’t be Justin Bieber. Ick, blech, patooey.

Tim Urban: He still can’t sing, but after seeing those shirtless photos that made the Internet rounds this weekend, I’m almost ready to give him a pass. It’s a good thing his abs and chest are ripped, because his voice is a rip off. Underneath that Lego hair helmet is a karaoke singer at best. I think he should take Ellen’s advice and act. With his clothes off. All the time.

Lee DeWyze: Hinder’s ode to mental adultery, “Lips of an Angel,” was copycat in both sound and arrangement. Why the judges continue to pimp him is beyond me, with Simon once again sipping from the spiked cup and saying Lee has the best voice among the guys. Say which? He sounds like any frat rock band lead singer. Someone explain, because I don’t get it.

Who’s going home? Should be Todrick and Jermaine, although John, Andrew and Tim are strong contenders to get the boot.

Collin. Out.

imageCollin Kelley is a poet, Atlanta-based journalist and author of the recently released novel, “Conquering Venus.” Follow him on the Modern Confessional blog at


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