Lee DeWyze Photograph
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Perhaps we can chalk up the number of poor performances this week to the men being told, at the last minute, they'd be performing. But does that explain why a handful of contestants have yet to do well during the semifinal round?

We typically select the best five performances from the evening for this rundown, but even that feels like a challenge. Below, we'll give it a shot:

  1. Lee DeWyze: Has made a good song choice in both of the last two weeks. We hate agreeing with Kara, but we thought the same thing during his rendition of "Lips of an Angel" last night: We could absolutely imagine Lee on the radion right now.
  2. Casey James: Go ahead and say it's a singing competition as much as you'd like, judges. But Casey's electric guitar helps him stand out, as do his looks... but not in a good way anymore. The show really must drop this joke.
  3. Aaron Kelly: It's not difficult for a good singer to entertain us with a classic such as "My Girl." We may rank Aaron a bit high because he's a likable young man, but isn't that part of the point of American Idol?
  4. Michael Lynche: He was a nice guy with a great personality last week. Now, he's a nice guy with a great chance at advancing far. He took over that stage with James Brown's "It's a Man's World."
  5. Alex Lambert: Process of elimination, really. No one else deserved this spot and Alex did improve a lot.

Who was your favorite?

American Idol
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