American Idol Episode Recap: The Top 8 Guys Perform

On their final night to impress the judges and voters before the finals, American Idol's top eight guys mostly played it safe. Boring! The first five performances were accompanied by acoustic guitars, and sounded more like a campfire sing-along than a big TV production. Luckily, the show ended with quite a bang, but not before a few singers made some crucial errors. So who deserves to move on to the top 12? And who is better suited for singing on a cruise ship? Let's find out!

Lee Dewyze, "Fireflies"

I caught some heat over my criticism of Lee last week. Let me just say: Lee is more my kind of artist than anyone else in the game, but the dude has had pitch problems every week. That said, I thought his latest performance was technically his best, even if his rocker voice didn't quite work as well on a song that is so fluffy. The arrangement just wasn't there, but I think it had more to do with the volume of the backing band. All in all, another solid outing for Lee.

Judging the Judges: C- I agreed with Kara and Simon, but I docked major points because Ellen said pitch problems don't matter because girls have crushes on Lee. She's right about how America votes sometimes, but pitch problems should matter to the judges.

Alex Lambert, "Trouble"

Alex chose the perfect song, and aside from his still-awkward phrasing (he doesn't finish words well at all) he sounded just like Ray Lamontagne. That also is a downfall, because he didn't really mix up the song in any exciting way. He's also still noticeably nervous, and until he loosens up, I don't see him having a real shot at going that deep into the competition.

Judging the Judges: B- Kara says he could win the whole thing if he wasn't so stiff. (Not sure about that.) Ellen insists on comparing this guy to a banana - this week he was mushy because he ripened too fast. Ugh.

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