Film and TV

The Big Question on 'American Idol': Who's Styling the Guys?

"Seriously, he's wearing that?"

That's what I kept asking myself throughout Tuesday night's episode of American Idol. I mean, really, it got to the point where the guys' outfits were distracting from their performances. There were, however, a few things that managed to catch my attention more than the male contestants' fashion disasters on last night's show.

Take, for instance, Kara DioGuardi's bedhead. She looked like she had just had a roll in the hay with Casey James... at least, she wishes she did. Or how boring the guys' song choices were. Where is the Adam Lambert of 2010? Where is the guy who can take classic songs and truly give them a unique spin without completely butchering them?

It's definitely a season where the ladies look to be ahead, and here's a recap of why...

The first contestant, Michael Lynche, was definitely one of my favorites, probably because he was both a football player and a theater star in high school. His performance of "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" was super-snazzy and charismatic, even though he was wearing a weird solid black ensemble with black handkerchief... and sneakers. Wear dress shoes next time, and you'll become more respectable.

John Park was the one of the blandest competitors, probably because he was so freaking nervous and wore a plain white T-shirt. A plain white T-shirt? Boring! It was hard to watch a performance of John Mayer's "Gravity" without a guitar accompanying the singer, and Park may have booked a one-way ticket back to his college a cappella group. Prediction: Bottom Three.

I just don't get what the appeal is with dirty hippie Casey James. It's not his clothes that bother me so much as his hair. Please, just get a hair cut! Like most hippies, he hasn't had a TV most of his life, and therefore doesn't realize that Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be" is one of the worst songs out in the public sphere. Will AI contestants please, for the love of gosh, just stop singing that horrible song? We learn his pre-show ritual involves something with a box, which I can only hope includes a bong and lots and lots of pot, because that is the only thing that will make me like James at this point. His electric guitar skills are great, but he didn't fully pronounce all the words in the song. Ugh.

The first thing I think when I see Alex Lambert is, "Mullet!" But that wasn't the only crazy, kooky thing about his look tonight--there was the checkered blazer. It was almost enough to distract from his terrific performance of John Legend's "Everybody Knows," which was the best of the night. His voice is unique and controlled, and he would do extremely well performing Jason Mraz. In this case, I say, keep the mullet growing: it seems to be a good luck charm of some sort.

Todrick Hall is the closest thing we have to a black Adam Lambert. He changes up the songs, is flamboyant and sasses the judges. Keep at it! But seriously, WTF was he wearing? A silver jacket and silver tie? Sigh. All the gay men I'm friends with have way better style. The judges tell him he switched up Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It" too much, yet they tell other contestants to change songs more. They just don't seem to know what they want, and if I was a contestant on the show, I'd be mighty confused. Hopefully his fun personality keeps him safe another week.

I love, love, love Jermaine Sellers for rocksing his onesie. It was a little disturbing, yes, but he rocksed it. The bow tie he wore on-stage, however, was horrendous. Even God would not approve of that. While Sellers needs definite grammar lessons, he also needs some schoolsing in projecting on-stage and bringing life and spark and energy to performances. I already fall asleep in church. If he sings anything like his performance of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," there would be no chance of making it through the first prayer. Hopefully he stays because he's freaking hysterical, but... Prediction:  Bottom Three.

Andrew Garcia tried to convince the audience he's not just an uglier version of Danny Gokey by breaking out some breakdancing moves. He's winded after a minute of rolling around on the floor, so here's hoping Garcia hits the cardboard a little more. He ruined one of my favorite artists', James Morrison's, songs, "You Give Me Something," and his horrendous scarf did nothing to help his cause. Prediction: Bottom Three.

There is really nothing bad to say about Aaron Kelly. The 16-year-old's a cutie, and his clothes were safe and generic enough to look like they could have come off the racks at Target. His hair, unfortunately, was a different story. He should lose the hedgehog look and go au naturale next time. Nothing much stood out, yet he's still a million times better than David Archuleta. BONUS: He admitted he liked Justin Bieber!

Tim Urban mos def claims the best hair prize of the guys, and he proved he deserves to be in the competition with his rendition of Matt Nathanson's "Come on Get Higher." Urban has a beautiful voice (no matter what claims), and his emo look is as close to a heartthrob as this season has. Dirty hippies don't count as heartthrobs! But, c'mon, Urban: donate your white jeans to charity. No one in their right mind, especially not a young hottie with the body, should be wearing white jeans.  No one.

Lee Dewyze has conned the judges into singing his praises, probably because he could hire someone to hurt them if they didn't. Like a true scumbag, Dewyze sang Hinder's "Lips Of An Angel," the ultimate cheater song, and his voice did nothing to make the offensive lyrics at-all appealing. Hopefully the truth will come out that Dewyze has somehow been manipulating the competition with the help of his thug friends, because his voice sure hasn't been the reason why he's staying.

So, there you have it: a couple of good singers, a couple of decent singers and the rest of the crew merely mediocre. Here's hoping that if the vocals don't improve next week, at least the styling will.

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Nicki Escudero
Contact: Nicki Escudero