(LOS ANGELES) — On Thursday’s episode of American Idol, the men who survived Hollywood week’s group round performed solo for the judges. By the end of the night, only 28 guys were left standing.
The panel — Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban — announced eliminations after every eight contestants they saw.
First up was Paul Jolley, who was so nervous and so hesitant to begin his performance that he seemed to test Mariah’s patience. Eventually, he belted out the Carrie Underwood single “Blown Away.” Afterward, Nicki chastised him for his on-stage demeanor, saying she was immediately turned off by his minor anxiety attack.
Lazaro Arbos, who suffers from a stuttering problem, offered his take on Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.”
Curtis Finch, Jr. sang Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts,” which turned out to be the most popular tune of the night. Mariah expressed her admiration for Finch.
All three advanced.
Devin Velez was the first man in the second group of contestants. He put an R&B spin on “What a Wonderful World.”
Gurpreet Singh Sarin brought his acoustic guitar along for a rendition of “Georgia on My Mind.”
Cortez Shaw covered “Sunny,” a 1960s song originally recorded by Bobby Hebb.
Matheus Fernandes delivered an off-key, rough version of the Kelly Clarkson hit “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” Mariah said it wasn’t “connected.” Nicki focused more on Matheus’ personality, criticizing him for repeatedly referring to his small stature.
Matheus was eliminated, while Devin, Gurpreet and Cortez were among those whom the judges passed through.
The next group of performances began with Nicholas Mathis, who tackled Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.” Keith was down on the song choice. Nicholas asked for a second chance, but the judges simply told him to wait for them to make a decision on his Idol future.
Nicki didn’t hide her disgust for Papa Peachez’s performance of the Lady Gaga song “You and I.” She told him, “I’m so disappointed. I don’t know why you would choose that song.” She was so upset that she cursed after he walked off the stage.
Jimmy Smith performed the Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide.”
A visibly-disappointed Nicholas was sent packing, along with Papa. Jimmy, Vincent Powell and Johnny Keyser were among those in the group who remain alive in the competition.
In the next group, Nick Boddington sang Grace Potter & The Nocturnals’ “Stars.”
Socially-awkward Charlie Askew, wearing a shiny brown suit as well as blue shoes that didn’t match the rest of his outfit, stood out with Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Nicki gushed over his quirkiness and told him to never change.
Nick, Charlie, JDA and Matthenee Treco all advanced.
Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon both moved on with separate performances of Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.”
Micah Johnson, the final contestant shown in the episode, chose Carrie Underwood’s “I Told You So” and failed to make the cut.
Nate Tao was among the other guys whose performances were not televised and who are now gone from the competition.
Next week, eight of the 28 remaining men will have to leave. In addition, it will be the women’s turn to perform during Idol‘s Hollywood round.
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