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

at . Comments

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+.