Tuesday night, American Idol kicked off the semifinal rounds (that feature the Top 24 contestants) with the Top 12 males singing songs from the 60's. Overall, this year's males are absolutely stronger than last season's selections. While some guys managed to separate themselves from the pack, all the guys showed (or have proven in earlier auditions) that they are talented.
Best overall performance: David Archuleta
David Archuleta gave a rousing performance of The Miracles classic "Shop Around." While he is only 17 year olds, his voice is amazingly seasoned. Looking natural on stage while displaying his wonderful vocal tone, Archuleta's performance was a highlight of the night. While his vocals may have been off in a few places, there's no denying his vocal talent and overall "X" factor. Look for Archuleta to go quite far in this competition.
Honorable Mention(s): Michael Johns, Jason Castro, Robbie Carrico
Michael Johns closed out the show cruising through The Doors' rock anthem, "Light My Fire." The Australian born rocker certainly has a great voice, and an undeniable "it" factor. Johns' performance was dazzling, and managed to come off as the most contemporary singer of the night.
Robbie Carrico performed the hit Three Dog Night version of "One." The former member of Boyz-N-Girlz United, (the band toured with Britney Spears in 2000) sounded superb, providing some of the finest vocals of the night. While his rocker authenticity may be in question, there's no doubting his talent.
Jason Castro was the only male singer who took advantage of Idol's newly implanted "instruments allowed" during his performance. Castro took on the 1966 number two Billboard hit, "Daydream," originally performed by The Lovin' Spoonful. The Texas native sounded quite appealing on this nearly acoustic take of the song. Competitively, Castro's vocals aren't in the upper echelons, but they are optimistically sufficient. Castro also posses an unique aura that may potentially end up making Castro embrace the persona of a "wild card" in the competition.