During last night's showing of the Top 12 gents, it bame abundantly clear: This competition is unbelievably tough.
And it's not just because there's a great deal of talent on this season of American Idol. Rather, it's because the judges and the show have included some niche performers who, in the past, probably wouldn't have seen air time.
Good on them. Bad for Fort Worth's Tim Halperin.
T-Halp was very diplomatic in his pre-performance interview with RySea. All the contestants are supportive of one another, blah, blah, blah. They're all like brothers, yadda, yadda, yadda.
He's a fine example of an Idol contestant in terms of sound bites -- but did he deliver the vocal goods? Not so much. At least not in comparison with the others.
Why? Well, Tim busted out with Rob Thomas' "Streetcorner Symphony," unfortunately. Great choice if you want moms and daughters side-stepping in the living room together, but not so hot for throwing down the singing chops. The song's range was limited save for a short portion at the end of his arrangement, and while that was, well, fine, it wasn't nearly memorable to stand up to some of the other offerings.
And his pitch was off in the beginning, so that didn't help.
The judges concurred.
STyler: "I'm not sure if that song did you any justice. [Audience boos.] I've heard you sing, so much better, other songs... I mean, behind the piano... You know, it's just how I feel, man."
Me too, Steven. Me too.
J-Lo: "You did it very well, but it just didn't show America who you really are as an artist. And I would hate to lose you over that because I want them to see who you are. You are so special and you are one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard."
Ran-son: "I think you've been much better before."
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Jackson also said "coharts" later in the show but it had nothing to do with Tim. I just wanted to document that.
Tim, meanwhile said he felt like his perfomance was all right, and hoped America would agree, casting votes -- perhaps, for the first time ever online -- in his favor.
Thing is, this season has serious contenders in: James, the one metal guy who dared to kick out a Judas Priest song for his first performance on the big stage (yes, they're already on the big stage); Scotty, the lovable deep-throated country singer; Paul, the smiling scrappy Rod Stewart sound-alike; Jacob, the gospel loving diva who straight owned a Vandross cut last night; and Casey, the multi-instrumentalist who finally got "I Put A Spell On You" to the stage. (Compare Casey's version to our own Daron Beck's audition here.)
My guess is, after last night's mediocre performance, Tim may have to bank on a judge's wild card option to make it into the Top 12.