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‘American Idol’ Las Vegas Sudden Death Recap: 10 Males Battle for Five Spots

American Idol
Imeh Akpanudosen, Getty Images

In perhaps an effort to refresh the show, ‘American Idol‘ has not only installed a new panel of judges, but producers have tinkered with the formula and added a ‘Sudden Death’ round where the contestants perform for a limited number of slots.

On the Feb. 21 episode, 10 male contestants stepped up to the mic to try and take one another out and earn a chance to move on. Only five spots were available.

Those who made it through were determined by said panel of judges. The victors are as follows.

Paul Jolly was given a save by show mentor Jimmy Iovine, thanks to his rendition of judge Keith Urban‘s ‘Tonight I Wanna Cry.’

Elijah Liu sang a Bruno Mars song totally out of key and out of tune, but the judges kept him around. We’re not sure why, since they eliminated several singers who were infinitely better. Mariah Carey actually argued that they kept singers and let go of performers, but it seemed as though they kept the performers (aka RATINGS!) in favor of the more talented singers who had less flashy looks or styles.

Charlie Askew, the quirky teen, sang Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man.’ It was unpredictable and earned him a pass.

Belter Devin Velez sang a bilingual version of Beyonce‘s ‘Listen’ in English and Spanish. He is all of 18 and a belter. He also showed his marketability with the dual vocal.

St. Louis native Curtis Finch, Jr. has terrific range and vocal drama. While he oversang a Luther Vandross song and often chooses songs that are “older” than his 20-something years, he has a set o’ pipes that should carry him through deep into the live shows.

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