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Nicki Minaj enamored with 'sexy' Cortez Shaw, Vincent Powell on overall weak 'American Idol' night

"American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest, center, is flanked by Season 12 judges Randy Jackson, left, and Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, right. Credit: Fox

Stuttering fan favorite Lazaro Arbos, smooth as silk Burnell Taylor and polished pro Cortez Shaw stood out on a weak night for the guys on "American Idol" tonight.

If it weren't for interesting back stories and past performances, I'm not sure the judges would've been able to find five guys tonight out of the 10 to advance into the semifinals — but  they wound up sending on Vincent Powell and, surprisingly, Nick Boddington along with Arbos, Taylor and Shaw.

Below's how I rated everyone; put your thoughts into the comments, below.

1) Lazaro Arbos wasn't at his vocal best but his "spirit," as Keith Urban said, always shines through — Nicki Minaj said she loves how his performances are always "very truthful to you," to which he said, "it wasn't my best song — but I did the best I could." 

2) Burnell Taylor was the definition of a cool cat on '"This Time," showing off his sweet voice and pitch perfect vibe. Minaj said simply, "Right now, I would pay to see you sing."

3) Cortez Shaw 's joyful "Titanium" showed off his distinctive tone; Minaj appreciated his other talents, asking, "ooh, is it hot in here or was it just me." She added to general laughter, "good song choice .?.?. sexy."

4) Vincent Powell took over the stage in his smoking jacket and showed off his sweet falsetto on "Cause I Love You" -- "It was a good old-fashioned, it was a sexy old-fashioned" Minaj said.

5) Hawaiian Bryant Tadeo's "New York State of Mind" had some strong moments for me, but the judges were turned off by some of more cheesy aspects.

6) Josh Holliday started fantastically at the piano on his original song, "I'm Better With You" -- it didn't really hold up, but still showed his vast potential.

7) Nick Boddington's "Say Something" showed off his cool vibe, but as Randy Jackson said, he "just never had a moment in that song."

8) Gurpreet Singh Sarin was resplendent in a bright yellow turban and matching pants, but Jackson summed up his performance of "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You" best: "honestly, that was terrible."

9) Mathenee Treco's aggressively contemporary version of Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation" didn't quite hang together; Minaj thought he was just "trying to please the judges."

10) David Oliver Willis oddly chose to do a song from the 50s with "You Give Me Fever" -- it did nothing for anyone, with Minaj saying it was like he just got a guitar for Christmas and was "up in front of the family, having a good ol'' time."

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