American Idol recap: 12 Rangy Men

The top 12 guys get one shot to justify their Idoldome existence
Ep. 13 | Aired Mar 1, 2011

[BLEEP] Steven Tyler shows off his mighty swear shield

Frank Micelotta/Fox

"What's up, TV land?" wondered Paul McDonald. Dude, wrong channel. You're a FOX. Paul reprised his audition song, Rod Stewart's "Maggie May," delivering the same soft and raspy vocals we marveled at during Beatles night. But what really made his performance stand out was the way he didn't seem quite able to stand up at all. On purpose! It's an aesthetic. I'm wondering if Paul will ever not look like he's about to fall over. I hope not. I love worrying that I'm drunk right before writing a 2000-word recap. Keeps it interesting. The whole time during what Steven called "the McDonald Two-Step," Paul seemed to be "conducting" a tiny symphony on the floor with one hand -- or maybe he was "walking" an imaginary pet turtle that's, like, not hindered by the conventions of gravity, man. Basically, he's making something happen, and only he knows what that something is. Will it float? We shall see.

Jacob Lusk is very sly, but also not subtle at all. He is the most dramatic sly person I've ever witnessed, with the possible exception of Alan Cumming. Right away in his rendition of "A House is Not a Home," Jacob took on an air of theatrical haughtiness and began toying with the camera using only his eyes. On the one hand, Jacob is gentlemanly and proper and always wears ties; on the other, he's so breathless and excited all the time that he seems like a child. It's a lot to take, to be honest, all these sides of him, but what I like about Jacob is that he's really committed to singing and singing well. All of his affectations would be meaningless and annoying if he couldn't sing, but because he can, those extras end up contributing to and supporting the vocal instead of detracting from it. (For now.) I do wonder if the producers had drawn either a series of crosses or "Mention the Lord!" in fun bubble letters on Steven's yellow piece of paper. "It was divine intervention that brought you here," raved the judge. All of Jacob's critiques were extremely over-the-top, but I admit I got goose bumps when J. Lo said that though Luther Vandross was gone, "now we have you." I felt lame, but in the end, I was glad -- goose bumps can really make you feel alive for a few seconds. I need to get out more. This is getting absurd.

I've been hot for Casey Abrams for weeks now, but he turned me on anew with the angriest yet oddly sexiest version of "I Put a Spell On You" I've ever seen. This was literally what he was doing, manipulating adoring females into loving him despite -- or because of -- the fact that he was growling at them with crazy eyes. He's like a huge, grizzly, energetic nag whom you want to befriend and then immediately bed. Did anyone notice what could be construed as a crotch grab during his final "I put a spell on you"? It was probably more like a light pet, a graze really, but we cannot be sure due to the angle. J. Lo confirmed it: "You're sexy, Casey...the fire, you took it, you ate it." And J. Lo was so turned on that she proceeded to do the [GOBBLE GOBBLE] voice/hand gestures we've all done around the Thanksgiving table in a desperate, inexplicable, always doomed attempt to sound like a turkey.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" yelled Randy, bringing us all back on track.

Exactly.

Who did you love last night? Tell me who lit your fires in the comments below, and I'll see you tomorrow morning to discuss the Top 12 Girls.

Follow Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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