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James Durbin and Casey Abrams: Top Two of the Top 12

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If the goal of American Idol this season was to offer up alternatives to similar-sounding finalists of the past - i.e. laid back white guys with guitars, such as David Cook, Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze - producers should be popping champagne after last night's edition.

The top 12 men performed in Hollywood and almost all delivered unique, varied auditions. The only legitimate trainwreck? Jordan Dorsey, who sounded like an amateur trying to come across as Usher.

But two others truly stood out, holding little back and showcasing a confident stage presence: James Durbin personified an aspiring rocker, introducing the audience to Judas Priest.

Casey Abrams, meanwhile, screamed, growled and howled, but did it all on key and concluded the 90-minute show with a rendition of "I Put a Spell on You" that resulted in a standing ovation.

Along with Jacob Lusk and Paul McDonald, Durbin and Abrams have a legitimate shot to go all the way. Who was your favorite semifinalist of the evening?

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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James Durbin is kinda like 80% adam lambert. He's a good singer but he should practice a little bit of humility. But for sure he will be in top 3


My top 5: James, Paul, Casey, Clint and Jacob. Wildcard: Stefano (?? i think, the guy who sang "Just the way you are". The country dude needs to go ASAP. This guy is a one trick pony. He wont be able to sing pop/rock/R&B songs. But I'm sure he'll go through, since he's a country singer and that americans are just craving for country.


I'm glad I'm not the only one thats not digging Jacob Lusk....He's really annoying and just to over the top.......Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery and Paul McDonald are my favorites so far.


I am really sick and tired of people lumping David Cook, Lee Dewyze, and Kris Allen in the same group, when other than the fact that thy are white men they are nothing alike. David Cook was the original master at delivering spellbinding and unique performances. He could sing anything. Please stop lumping them together... it is really annoying. Overall I think the guys all performed well. They didn't seem nervous and for the 1st time out of the gate I was quite impressed. Jordan's was messy BUT I give him credit for doing a more upbeat song...The worst of the night for me hands down was Jacob Lusk...I know I will probably hear it, but I just don't get it. I really don't think he sings all that well or maybe it is his behavior (it has been odd) or maybe it is the pained expression he has on his face when he sings, but I hope he goes. Other than that I like McCreery, Durbin, Abrams but don't necessarily have a favorite yet that I am willing to vote for. We will see what happens tonight with the girls. More than anything I am looking forward to tomorrow night as I believe David Cook will be doing the boot song and I can't wait to download it. It better be on iTunes...


totally agree...last night was a great beginning. don't even have a favorite yet...there were at least 6 amazing performances and we haven't even heard the girls yet. we're gonna find some stars this year!