Casey James and Andrew Garcia Lead Semifinal Parade of Men

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We're glad we're not an American Idol contestant this season. Partly because we have an atrocious voice and would be laughed out of the competition.

But also because the judges seem more scatter-brained and confusing than ever: be original, they tell contestants, but not so original that you butcher a song. Be true to who you are, they add, but also mix it up and stand out.

For example: If you didn't like Tyler Grady's 70s schtick, panel, why did you select him for the semifinals?

With that complaint out of the way, we've ranked last night's set of live performances from best to worst:

  1. Casey James: Yes, we're suckers for the Bryan Adams single "Heaven." But aside from his voice, we admired James for the classy way he handled the show's focus on Kara's fawning over him.
  2. Andrew Garcia: Stop bringing up his great rendition of "Straight Up" from an earlier round, judges, and focus on each performance. We loved his arrangement on "Sugar We’re Going Down."
  3. Todrick Hall: We're probably alone with this pick, but the guy took a major risk by re-working a Kelly Clarkson classic and he gets props for that.
  4. Lee DeWyze: We had no idea he had this in him. Solid work on "Chasing Cars" and the official male dark horse.
  5. John Park: Did he try to do much with a difficult song? Yes, but he wants to marry Shania Twain and the show could use someone with a sense of humor.
  6. Alex Lambert: The judges actually did call this one perfectly. He has potential, but just needs to get more comfortable on stage.
  7. Aaron Kelly: If he had waited a year or two to try out, could have been a front-runner. Decent performance of "Here Comes Goodbye."
  8. Joe Munoz: We're just glad he didn't choose the popular Jason Mraz song everyone sings. Actually not bad, but a lack of stage presence and star power.
  9. Jermaine Sellers: Over-singing alert! The guy just tries too hard on stage and it doesn't look natural.
  10. Michael Lynche: We're huge fans of "Big Mike" as a person. Nice, sweet guy. But he simply lacks the vocal talent.
  11. Tyler Grady: We never liked his 1970s look. Way too much of a gimmick.
  12. Tim Urban: Actually worse than Lacey Brown the night before.

Browse through performance photo of the competitors from last night and let us know: Who was your favorite?

Alex Lambert  Audition
Photo of Casey James
Grady on Stage
Tim Urban Photo
Sellers on Stage
Aaron Kelly Performance
Daring Artist
Andrew Garcia on Idol

I actually down load Bryan's HEAVEN to hear the original & i prefer Casey's version because his voice is soothing. I find Bryan Adam's actually rough to feel the lyrics. Like the lyrics does not seep into my soul but not with Casey. & yes, it's unfair on all the teasing on him because some even has start to doubt his talents. So in season 9, Lee, Garcia & Casey are the best talents on the boyz.


i agree with nem, i didn't agree with the judges at all, except for that he could have done better. But still i like Andrew's rendition of this much more than the actual song.


After Casey James performed I couldn't remember anyone else. I really fell for this guy. Sweet and not to mention he is eye candy! I hope the judges will focus more on his performance than his looks. We all know he is good looking.


Andrew Garcia actually was the best that night. He made a great arrangement of the song and owned it. You can listen to it over and over again thinking it was his original cover. His performance was clean and the only one worth an iTune download. Casey played a safe song that you can here in your neighbor's karaoke party. He was also way too cocky during the eliminations, thinking he is indestructible with the hohum cahoots with Kara...


Casey James' voice and delivery were amazing w Heaven. And what makes his looks stand out is that he seems to be otherwise occupied, in the grey matter department, to give it too much thought. His mama probably saw what an Adonis he was gonna turn into, and told him over and over again that looks are not what's most important. It apparently got through to him. He comes across like he's reflective and intelligent. Nothing's hotter than a really hot guy who doesn't show us he knows it is so (think Johnny Depp).


My first impression of Andy Garcia was Danny Gokey, and Aaron kelly is like the next archuleta. BUT, in my opinion, Casey James is the best. I like Big Mike too


Casey James is by far my favorite! He's got that hot Adam Lambert 'it' thing going for him. You remember Adam Lambert, don't you Hilton Hater?


Andrew Garcia has one of the best voices I have ever heard. I hope he goes all the way! I think the judges were too hard on him last night, probably because they expect a lot from him. He is by far my favorite. Casey James was good too.


a whole package!
I love Aaron too...he's like the 2nd Archie!!


If I was Casey, I would be pissed....he really did the best performance, last night...somehow they made it more about Kara, though...even when he was performing....I guarantee they will apologize, again, tonight....I also guarantee that they will not be allowed to carry off such antics during it was not fair for them to do that to him & not everyone, ....very gong show-ish of them...stupid


American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]