Devin Velez next up on "American Idol," sporting a throwback look in a cream sports coat and black pants, singing Beyonce's "Listen." Does half of the song in Spanish; has an urgency and energy to his performance, a fierceness that belies his small stature. It's pretty electric, best performance of the night so far.
Keith Urban yells, "That's the way to do it, Devin!" Likes how "you can sing," nothing flashy, just a strong vocal. Nicki Minaj likes how he sang in Spanish, praises his "spirit" and "warmth." Randy Jackson says, "Dude, I loved you — I thought it was amazing." Mariah Carey tells him don't be so self-aware, loves him.
Elijah Liu next up, he's half-Mexican, half-Chinese, singing "Talking to the Moon." Pure, perfect tone; huge smile; absolute confidence; nails the falsetto. We could be watching a star erupt tonight; very Justin Bieberish, same mix of vulnerability and professionalism. I really like him; he just seems so fresh, so face of 2013 America.
Urban calls it a "perfect song choice," found it "shaky" vocally but says, "What I love about you is you look like a pop star, man." Minaj is gushing: "You are a super-duper star, little boy! I wanna have your babies. You're 18 years old. You're sexy. You're my new favorite boy. I'm obsessed with you!" She says she'd "sign him today," calls him totally marketable. Jackson says not a great vocal, but "We like you, man, you're all swagged out with your look." Carey loves him too.
Velez and Liu — welcome to the future of music.