American Idol is back! Randy, Paula and Simon, along with their product placement beverage containers entertained us with their pithy (and pitchy) critiques.

The Idol hopefuls went back to the past Tuesday night singing tunes from the 60s. I'm pretty impressed. The top 12 guys really pulled it off, although there were a few High School Musical wannabes in the mix. But even those guys were pretty decent.

Michael Johns seems to be the man to beat. However, he's from Australia and strictly on principle, I'm going to have to take a pass at giving him my vote for number one. They call it American Idol for a reason. I'm sure they have some nice singing competitions Down Under. That said, Michael did rock the house.

I'm really impressed with David Archuleta. He's the 17 year old from Murray, Utah. It's not his first time in the spotlight. David previously won Star Search and that has the folks at TMZ.com crying foul. They accuse the teenager of being a professional singer. Regardless, this guy knows how to work the stage.
Jason Castro became one of my favorites, too. He's the guy with the hair issues. He comes strolling out with his guitar, a huge smile and a good measure of humility. His performance won over Paul and Simon who called it one of the top two performances of the night. I whole-heartedly agree. He's one of those guys you might imagine in the smoke-filled basement of Eric Foreman's house, hanging with Fez and Kelso. Sorry for the That 70's Show reference.
And how about Garrett Haley? The judges pretty much panned his performance. Simon even ripped the boy's appearance, calling him pale and haunting. This coming from a British guy! Perhaps Ryan could lend Garrett a few bottles of spray-on tan. Well, I liked Garrett. I think the song worked for him and I guarantee he will get the teeny-bopper vote.
As for the bad -- one word --- Chikeze. Simon just ripped this artist with no last name --- calling him Jacuzzi. This guy could be the first to go. Then, we've got the Zac Efron wannabe's --- Colton Berry and Danny Noriega. These guys come from the wonderful world of musical theatre and they certainly brought some dramatic flair to their performances.
Ironically, both performed Elvis tunes. Let's start with Colton. He shared some intimate details about his life -- namely that he bears a striking resemblance to Ellen Degeneres. His cousin is a hairdresser back in Virginia and apparently she came up with his hair-do. It's more Clay Aiken than Ellen, but that's just my opinion. On the plus side, Simon said his Elvis song was not as bad as the other Elvis song.
That song was performed by David Noriega who bounced around in super-tight emo jeans while singing Jail House Rock.
1. David Archuleta. He won Star Search back in the day but this 17 year old can sing!
2. Michael Johns. Honestly, he's got a better voice than David Archuleta, but Michael is an Aussie. And frankly, this is American Idol.
3. Jason Castro. For a guy from Texas, he actually pulls off that whole dreadlock thing.
4. Garrett Haley. Work it, Leif, work it.
5. David Hernandez. Pitchy.
6. Robbie Carrico. Bucky's back!
7. Jason Yeager. Cabaret night in Branson, right?
8. David Cook. Yeah --- not working for me.
9. Luke Menard. Sorry, I nodded off.
10. Colton Berry. You know, dude, you really do look like Ellen Degeneres.
11. Danny Noriega. Ease up on the lip collagen.
12. Chikeze. The 70's called and they'd like their leisure suit back. And by the way, get a last name.
On Wednesday night, we get our first look at the ladies on American Idol! It should be a fun night.