American Idol
Rush Week – Top 15 Male Singers

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B- | 6 USERS: B
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Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Jennifer introduces the eighth singer of the night, cringing a bit at the number, but it's Malcolm Allen. He chats with Randy about how he made the transition from singing in church as a child to singing in nightclubs as a…slightly older child. He's aware that he needs to work on his stage presence, as illustrated by clips of him singing while looking at the floor from behind his glasses and from under the hood of his sweatshirt or whatever. Randy sends him right to Adam Lambert, who tells him to over-commit to everything. "Cool beans," Malcolm agrees, and then goes out and sing "Coming From Where I'm From" by Anthony Hamilton. He has taken steps to engage with the audience more, in that he's ditched the hoodie and the glasses and is largely keeping his eyeline relatively level. The singing's not bad either, if you don't mind the old Idol style that Harry's trying so hard to chase out of vogue. Jennifer thinks he could have taken it further, and wanted to feel it more, especially since she knows he has the talent to have pulled it off. Harry busts him on singing the same run over and over again, and for going sharp. He rattles off the names of some famous people who sing sharp on purpose, not counting Malcolm among them, because not only is he not famous yet, he was also not doing it on purpose. Keith riffs on that for a minute before the music cue gets played, signaling the judges are done talking. "I was played off like the Grammys!" Keith protests, and Ryan gives him the go-ahead to make some comments, which are that Keith thinks it would have been better without the band and more focus on the lyrics. Which is weird because I don't think those lyrics even rhymed.

Harry calls out the guy he called "Gumbo" at his first audition: Ben Briley, the dog trainer. Ben makes sure to mention that to Randy, because Dawg. Don't encourage him, Ben. We also learn that Ben's great-grandmother was one of the first women on the Grand Ole Opry, and that his mom was the Taylor Swift of the '70s. What did she do to piss him off? He chats with Daughtry about wanting to do an Allman Brothers tune with an electric guitar. Daughtry and the other coach basically just tell him not to squint too much. Sure enough, he's playing an electric as he sings tonight, and even throws in a lead solo, which is nice to see somebody finally trying, but he probably shouldn't have. As a non-singer, I don't always catch all the missed notes, but as a guitarist, I heard a few just now. Not the best song for him either, burying his twang a bit. Harry goes off on the size of the knot in Ben's bright orange tie, which he says is a Windsor Castle. Keith says Ben's voice is his greatest strength, and as for the guitar solo, he thinks that was probably… the first. Jennifer says he was even better just now than in rehearsal, which she thinks is the sign of a true performer. I think he's just glad he got to sing at all, after spending the last however many weeks wondering if he'd even be in the top 30.

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American Idol

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