I'm really beginning to appreciate Vino Alan, and it's not just because his name means "wine." I think he knows the typical flame-throwing circus that goes on up on that stage would look bad on him, so he may have insisted on a stripped-down setting for "When a Man Loves a Woman." Whatever -- it worked. He did enough with the song to "make it his own," practically sobbing on the last "you're my woman" and kneeling down to deliver an impromptu "Love conquers hate. East coast!" shoutout. I found it amusing when Vino ran over to TOUCH MORE HANDS in the front row (somewhere Phillip Phillips is cringing, but probably not because he's not watching), but Simon definitely did not. Simon had been arguing once again with Demi over whether Vino could be a "pop star." Had Demi ever heard of Susan Boyle? So that's that: Vino Alan is Susan Boyle. Remember to vote. "He goes home to nothing -- not even home," L.A. lifelessly pleaded with us.
Tate Stevens! Here is a solid country artist who hates his icky job back home, so please keep him in (even though he has a job and a home -- that jerk). Flanked by eight explosive canisters of fiery goodness on "Wanted Dead or Alive," Tate looked and sounded every bit the part of a successful reality competition star. I'm sure if he recorded some original tunes and put something out, it'd sound great. But is he compelling as a character? I'm not quite seeing the star quality in person yet. "I think he looks like a pop star," claimed Demi -- a ringing endorsement for a guy trying to be a country artist.
"There's something about Mr. Entertainment that's really entertaining." Good God, L.A. Reid, can you even TRY to pretend to care? Jason Brock resembled what Simon called "a singer in an Italian restaurant" on a gilded cabaret rendition of "I Believe I Can Fly." Britney recited the one line she'd had to memorize for Jason really well here: "I just felt like it was a Vegas lounge act." Simon continued his rant against solid food and carbs with a seriously unfunny knock on Jason's weight, suggesting he could barely jump up a few inches let alone fly. Totally unnecessary.