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
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Casey for sure! But I hope they'll stop playing on the Kara thing, because he's really good and that whole thing might ruin it for him because people won't take him seriously. That being said I think we can expect great things from mr. Garcia.