About LauraBelle

Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol, Feb. 21 & 28 – The Top 20 Guys Become the Top 10

Mathenee Treco, 26, Bahamas, but now of Aurora, Colorado, is an entertainer and choreographer. He tried normal jobs, but it just wasn't working. He has a clear focus on it since he was in middle school, and recently he had a job in the Bahamas at a resort, working with the local talent to create a show. He's looking for his big break. Tonight he sings A Little Less Conversation, and it's interesting, as he sings it with a little uupdatedness to it that we don't normally see form this song. He has a lot of personality and could be fun to watch all season.Keith jokes that the frightening thing is that the song was a ballad. He more seriously recognizes Mathenee's huge range and immense power as a singer. He also loves that he wants to entertain, but he does ask him to not underestimate the power of his voice trying to entertain, as the entertainment can get so big that he can't find him underneath it. Nickif agrees he has a strong voice but thinks he is trying to please the judges, and she doesn't want him to do that. It didn't feel current, but cheesy and karaoke.Randy agrees that Mathenee has a great voice and amazing talent but says the song choice was very wrong for him and made Randy question who he wanted to be. Mathenee says he's heavily influenced by classic rock and just wants to entertain. Mariah tells Mathenee that she has always liked him and that he seemed like a guy she'd want to invite over to her house to have fun. The duality of the entertainer in him and the singer is interesting to her. She didn't know the song, so there was a little bit of a disconnect for her, yet she was looking forward to hearing him sing. Gurpreet Singh Sarin, 22, North Potomac, Maryland, aka the Turbinator, is studying computer science. He's a Sikh, explaining they can be recognized for their flowing beards and turbans. Their turbans are like the crown of a king. His parents were born in Indiana, while he was born here in America. He'd like to change the perception and invites us to judge him for who he is. He sings Nothing Ever Hurt Like You and does a good job. It's surprising to see Jim Morrison music coming out of this guy wearing a turban. His voice could be a little bit stronger.Keith tells Gurpreet he's very bright tonight in the yellow pants and turban. He really likes his voice and remembers that he played the acoustic guitar in Hollywood. Gurpreet admits he likes to mix it up a bit. Keith says he likes his voice with the acoustic and doesn't think this was a great song choice for him. Nicki tells Gurpreet she doesn't know what's happening, because he needs the guitar again. He had something very intimate originally, but now he's left that behind, and today isn't the day to take a chance. “Honey Child. Hell no.” He promises her he will pick up the guitar again next time if she lets him go through and approves of the color she's wearing – yellow.Randy puts a string of one-syllable words together, and Dude, Dawg, Man, are all in there somewhere. He tells him it was terrible and that he has to be honest about it. Mariah apparently doesn't appreciate the brutal honesty, saying that is Randy's opinion. She was slightly disappointed to not hear Gurpreet's softer voice, but thinks he won everyone over before. If he can do that more it will be more organic. He is thinking of integrating the sitar if they put him through. Vincent Powell, 29, from Austin, Texas, is a gospel leader and teaches voice. He's from a musical family and has sung backup for Whitney Houston and others. He's even lived in his car doing the whole starving artist thing. He wants Idol to be his next level. He tries that singing Cause I Love You, and here's a guy who gets who he is and what he should be doing. Zoanette Johnson apparently agrees, jumping around in the audience. He's goes on after this to have possibly the longest-ever held note. Mariah, Randy, and Keith give him a standing O.Keith tells Vincent that the cheers from the crowd are summing it up. He came out and just sang, and Keith loved it. Nicki tells him he has to work with his old soul. She is very surprised, because usually he comes out old-fashioned, but this was a good old-fhshiond, a sexy old-fashioned. She can envision a lot of 40- and 50-year-olds throwing their panties at him and almost starts to freak out a little as she tells that his bald head hit her “somewhere.” Zoanette is loving it too.This is what Randy would call the real, complete package – real singer who is a real entertainer who knows the audience. And yes, he has the old-school song, but exactly what you see Miguel, Frank Ocean, and Deangelo do – “that's the vibe right there.” For the first time this year, Randy pronounces someone “in it to win it.” All Mariah can say, frankly all she has time to say, is “Finally.” Ryan checks in with Zoanette who tells “Papa Smurf” to “Get it.” Nick Boddington, 27, a bartender, New York City grew up in Memphis and started piano lessons at 5, then added singing and dancing to the mix. It's a big deal to perform in Memphis, but he thinks he's grown in New York City. It's a journey, and he's glad to be a part of it. Tonight, Nick sings Say Something Now and has such a smooth delivery. He's another bald head who might be hitting Nicki somewhere.Keith recognizes the timber in Nick's voice and calls it nice to listen to. However, he kept waiting to be connected to him as a person. He sang beautifully, but never felt that. If he goes through, he doesn't want him to be afraid to find it. Nicki loves the warmth in his voice and finds something truthful in him. She still loves his voice, and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't his best.Randy is being honest when he says he's not sure if it was the right song for him. He has a big old voice, and he knows he's up to it, but he's looking for moments from all of them as it's sudden death. Mariah heard a moment towards the end that was very nice. She enjoyed it and has always enjoyed them, finding them consistent and nice, but she does feel like he wasn't connected to the song. She feels he's talented and going about his career in the right way.Josh Holiday, 24, TX, grew up on a cattle farm and refers to it as very rural. He's been living in Nashville for two years working on a music career. He wouldn't be here now on Idol if it hadn't been for the bus tour coming through town. He knows they say you should only do music if you can't see yourself doing anything else, and he can't. From the piano tonight, he sings a song I don't recognize and one I can't find with a lyrics search. Perhaps it's an original. Either way, he definitely connects and finds what the judges wanted from Nick.Keith confirms it was an original song (thank you!) and points out he has a great voice, fitting because Josh is a vocal coach. However, sometimes Keith wishes Josh would cut loose, because he's on the cusp of it, and goes up high, but he just keeps it in control, which he finds sometimes with guys who are so skillful. He'd rather see the heart and passion. Nicki wishes he would have stayed at the piano, because after, it seemed like he wanted to please them too much. She picks a fight with someone in the audience, then goes back to Josh, saying there was something so sweet about it until she was pulled out of it when he got up from the piano. Randy calls an original song a big risk. He liked the song, as it had everything in it, but he's not sure if he was wowed by it in this moment. Mariah actually loves that Josh is a singer/songwirter and wants to showcase that. She was impressed by the audience's response to the song and thinks he should feel proud about that. It was a bold choice, because sometimes the familiarity of the song is what pulls them in. She, too, would have liked for him to stay at the piano.

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