Here's Verne Gay's recap of last night.

 Let's start with

...Miley Cyrus...

 Liked her as a mentor, but did she really say anything that . . . ummmm . . . you couldn't have said? "Have eye contact with audience members . . ." But still, I liked her. Too bad none of the Top 12 (maybe with the exception of Katie) even tried to evoke what she was here for -- a sense of the contemporary pop music scene, circa 2010.


Lee DeWyze:

He fought through a horrific version of "The Letter" that fought with itself -- just this slick up-tempo version of the song, that was soulless and basically stupid. That said, I love DeWyze's voice, and think the guy just needs to get the right combo of song choice and style. He's safe tonight, of course.

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Paige Miles:

Man, there is nothing left to say that the judges didn't already. This was truly an atrocious performance -- one of the worst top 11s I think I've ever heard. Ellen had a very good moment though -- deferring to Kara for the musical criticism. That was kind. But as bad as Paige was . . . she may not be gone tonight. Read on.


Tim Urban:

Sure the performance was comical -- that little circle of groupies grabbing at Tim's threads! -- but his voice is OK, and he has a kind of a Zac Efron thing going (not the talent, but the Cute Guy factor) Who knows. But he certainly isn't progressing musically, is he . . .

Aaron Kelly:

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If that was laryngitis, it was the mildest case I've ever seen (or heard). Or tonsillitis? Which was it? Who is his doctor? In any event, he was OK. The judges were certainly in his camp and not for reasons of pity; I suspect he's getting a lot of votes and they want him to stick around for ratings reasons.


Crystal Bowersox:

She probably started singing that song in the shower at age five. You just knew she was gonna clobber it and she did. Best (I thought) was her effortless shift between registers -- clean bridges, and (what is it that music critics call it?) drops. I loved her stoic face, too: Those hard, cool eyes that defy you to like her or not. She's maybe in Glambert's league. We'll see.


Michael Lynche:

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 He actually got some pretty sound criticism from Kara (for a change!). Those little vocal riffs and flourishes designed to pop the song toward the end were a bit much -- even though I kinda liked 'em. Lynche, though, is just terrific. Here is a guy -- FINALLY -- who actually hits all the notes! He's the only guy in the top 11 - and I do mean the only guy - who can see an A sharp on the page and actually HIT an A sharp. Nothing was off-key here, while every other guy on "Idol" last night often was sporadically off-key.

Andrew Garcia:

Yeah, well, the judges sure got this right. The word I would use for his "Grapevine" performance was "problematic." He kind of tried to punch it out, and ended up punching the life out of it. The tempo was also strangely upbeat, and his stage presence utterely weird. He's in trouble again. But not terrible trouble.


 Katie Stevens:

Katie did Fergie! And it worked -- for Katie. She's not in the Bowersox/Lynche league of course, but she's in her own special league. It was nice.


Casey James:

A reasonably OK night for CJ -- even though the song and arrangement were so close to the original that one was left reaching for that horribly overused word on this show (karaoke). Judges loved, Simon killed. He's solid tonight.


Didi Benami:

If not for Paige, Didi would be a certain out tonight -- and I'm leaning to the strong possibility that this is the end. This song and this performance are guaranteed to score no votes -- at least Paige will get the pity vote, and a few thousand from votefortheworst.com. Didi ruined herself last night -- bad song choice, and a performance that irritated as opposed to intrigued.


Siobhan Magnus

I actually liked that little be-bop flourish at the end, even if it was an old trick designed to make the audience forget about the forgettable performance that just came before. Liked the way that end note -- a high C -- was all sandpaper rough and gritty, too. She's done it before . . .Safe tonight, I would imagine. 

 

PHOTOS: "American Idol" final round | "Idol" top 12 party with "Glee" stars

REWIND: See the winners and top finalists from each season of "American Idol"

MORE: Read all of our other "American Idol" posts

TALK: Who was best on "American Idol" tonight? Click on "Add a comment" at the bottom of this post, or e-mail me and I'll post it for you.