nick boddington american idol 'American Idol': Nick Boddington, Micah Johnson and more guys learn their fateIt’s the final round of Hollywood Week for the men of “American Idol” — solo day. Who’s going to choke and who’s going to come through in the clutch?

As the intro about the song list and the band roll, my husband goes, “I just thought about the best name for the ‘Idol’ band — ‘Idol Hands'” and then he laughed really hard. *sigh*

Up first is Paul Jolley, who is having some serious nerves. He is also wearing a lot of white and makes an interesting song choice — “Blown Away,” by Carrie Underwood. Huh. It’s a little Broadway for our taste. Nicki Minaj is sporting an enormous wig, hat and sunglasses. Is she hungover?

Lazaro Arbos does “The Edge of Glory.” So apparently Gaga is universal, ’cause he sounded like he knew that one. Curtis Finch does “Jar of Hearts” and he sounds good, but he too is a bit theatrical with it.

The judges are making cuts after every eight singers, which is interesting. We’re a little bummed there are no Rooms of Doom. All three of the men above advance. We don’t know if others do or not.

The next group of eight includes Devin Velez, who does a pretty version of “What a Wonderful World”; the Turbanator rocks some “Georgia On My Mind”; Cortez Shaw gets his groove on to “Sunny”; Matheus Fernandes takes on “Stronger” and … not our favorite from Matheus. There are actually some pretty rough moments in that one.

Then hilariously, Nicki Minaj gives him a talking-to about not using his height for a pity party and just letting his singing speak for itself. That was kind of awesome.

Out of those guys, Matheus is cut and the rest of them advance. Yeah, he’s just not that strong.

Group of eight no. 3 has Nicholas Mathis on “Locked Out of Heaven” and it’s not that strong. He’s got some pitch issues and he did not need to drop to his knees. Papa Peachez sings “You and I” by Gaga and Minaj is not amused. She criticizes him burning out his flame and says it was a terrible song choice. Hmm. We like the song choice, but he could’ve sung it better. And Jimmy Smith takes on “Landslide,” which is pretty solid. Definitely the best of the three we are shown out of this group.

Nicholas and Peachez are cut, whereas Jimmy, Johnny “Teeth” Keyser and some others advance. Nicholas is pretty devastated, insisting he sings better than half the people in there. Well, that’s not true today, fella.

Group four includes Nick Boddington on keyboard with “Stars,” which is gorgeous. He also really reminds us of Phil Stacey for a second there. Remember him? Anyway. Charlie Askew is next and he sings “Somebody I Used to Know” and it’s … a weird performance. He definitely has a niche, but his tone is rough in spots. We just find this strange little guy really striking. Minaj loves his quirkiness and we agree. Both of them advance.

In the next group, Burnell Taylor and Marvin Calderon advance on “Jar of Hearts.” Then Micah Johnson kicks off the final group with “I Told You So,” which is one of our favorite recent country songs. Micah does a nice job on it, but it’s not his best performance. And then he gets cut, which is a bit of a surprise. Also cut are Gabe Brown, Sanni and Nate Tao.

The ones who advanced are called back on stage now and told that in a week, 20 of them will stick around and eight of them will be eliminated before the next round.

Next week: The girls. Which should prove interesting.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."