"American Idol" found some totally surprising stars in Milwaukee -- from teen Thia Megia to accountant Steve Beguhn, deep-voiced Scotty McCreery to White House intern Molly DeWolf Swenson.
But the shock out of Wisconsin was how often Steven Tyler, in just a few right words, totally summed up a performer. He's really insightful, and, dare I say it, has taken on the Simon Cowell role of always being right, without the mean edge.
Totally unexpected, at least for me. If he stopped gratuitiously swearing and leering at teen girls, I might actually really like him.
Here's how I ranked the performers; put your thoughts in the comments, below.
1) Thia Megia, 15, has a gentle vibe, great look, and a startling mature voice that she showed off on "Chasing Pavement." "That's a movie star name" said Jennifer Lopez -- she's got the package to be a star.
2) Deep-voiced Scotty McCreery seems a lock to make the finals, with his natural country style and likeable aw-shucks manner.
3) Tyler tagged accountant Steve Beguhn "disturbingly great," which is exactly right -- he looks like a tall dork but something about his high voice on "The Man Who Can't Be Loved" made everyone want to keep listening.
4) Emma Henry, 15, has a "certain something" as Tyler said with her tone and vulnerability. I'm glad she gets to show her "True Colors" in Hollywood.
5) Sincere Alyson Jados, who got to meet her true love Tyler, belted out "Come Together" -- I agree with Lopez, she's got some sort of "great performance quality."
6) You're either going to love or hate leggy blonde Molly DeWolf Swenson, the White House intern. She sang a generic song, "[Sittin On] The Dock of the Bay," but showed a really powerful voice, so for now I kind of like her.
7) Naima Adedapo brings her dreds, a great back story of working a cleaning job to chase her dream, and knocked out "For All We Know," getting Randy to say "I love this girl."
8) Dapper Jerome Bell was smooth and versatile on "Let's Get it On," but I didn't really connect with him, curious to see more of him in Hollywood.
9) Floppy-haired Scott Dangerfield seemed a bit smarmy to me but his "Dreaming," hooked Lopez in a big way.
10) Engaged Chris Medina brought his fiancee, who's now in a wheelchair, asking "What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most." He also showed a sincere voice on "Break Even."
11) Haley Reinhart did a sultry "Oh Darling," that had Randy liking her more than last year. I thought it was not bad.
12) Tiwan Strong has a great name but I thought his " Sings "Twistin' the Night Away" was just OK, although I do agree with Tyler that he has a nice "sparkle" in his eyes.
And man, his family can celebrate!