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Jennifer Lopez praises 'Idol' contestant with Hawaii ties

By Derrik J. Lang

AP Entertainment Writer

LAST UPDATED: 06:55 a.m. HST, Feb 29, 2012

LOS ANGELES >> Jermaine Jones has a second shot at becoming an "American Idol."

The 25-year-old so-called "gentle giant" of Pine Hill, N.J., was given a last-minute spot among the male semifinalists Tuesday after the Fox singing contest's judges had dismissed him in Las Vegas. Jones was lauded for his bass-fueled take on Luther Vandross' "Dance with My Father" during Tuesday's performances from the 13 male semifinalists.

"Thank you so much for proving why we asked you to come back," said Steven Tyler.

Several singers soared with vocal acrobatics, including 19-year-old receptionist Jeremy Rosado of Valrico, Fla., with Sara Bareilles' "Gravity," 19-year-old crawfish lover Joshua Ledet of Westlake, La., with Jennifer Hudson's "You Pulled Me Through," and 17-year-old student Deandre Brackensick, of San Jose, Calif., with Earth Wind and Fire's "Reasons."

"Your voice is so perfect to me," Jennifer Lopez beamed to Brackensick, who grew up singing falsetto Hawaiian music and whose family is from Hawaii.

Many of the guys were praised by the panel after crooning a song of their choice, including 27-year-old new father Adam Brock of Washington, Pa., with Aretha Franklin's "Think," 20-year-old musician Colton Dixon of Murfreesboro, Tenn., with Paramore's "Decode," and 28-year-old street performer Creighton Fraker of New York, with Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors."

"I don't want you to go home," Lopez told Fraker. "I want you to stay."

Reed Grimm kicked off the show with a jazzy rendition of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" that included a drum solo from the 26-year-old nanny of Ellsworth, Wis., and some bleeping from the show's censors when Grimm stuck to the lyrics and later when Tyler enthusiastically alerted him that "there's gonna be a whole new generation watching your (expletive)."

The curvy new "Idol" stage seemed to swallow a couple of contestants. Only 22-year-old vocalist Heejun Han of New York and 15-year-old Eben Franckewitz of Loveland, Ohio, received criticism from the judges. They disapproved of Han's song choice of Robbie Williams' "Angels" and chastised Franckewitz for a rocky start on Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain."

"It wasn't all perfect, but at the end, you really brought it home," Jackson told the youngster.

Somewhere in the middle of the pack were 27-year-old performer Aaron Marcellus of Atlanta with the Jackson Five's "Never Can Say Goodbye," 21-year-old country crooner Chase Likens of Point Pleasant, W.Va., with Hunter Hayes' "Storm Warning" and 21-year-old pawn shop worker Phillip Phillips of Leesburg, Ga., with Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight."

"It's not easy having a voice like yours and fitting it into other people's songs," Tyler told a growly Phillips.

The top 12 female singers will perform Wednesday, and then all the top 25 semifinalists will learn Thursday if they received enough votes to be among the viewer-selected top 10 or one of the three "wild card" finalists to be determined by the show's judges.

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kailua000 wrote:
the whole show was boring as heck. Hawaii ties my okole. He's not part Hawaiian, he's not local, its just a marketing scheme to get us to vote for him because everyone knows how the people of Hawaii will stick together and vote vote vote for a local, like in the past, how we belew everyone away keeping a few people in the competition, some who deserved to be there and some who didnt. fell asleep during this last one.
on February 29,2012 | 01:02AM
3012708737 wrote:
Oh ye of little faith and abundant sourpussness.. .
on February 29,2012 | 01:18AM
silvangold wrote:
I LOVE your one-liner! and me agrees with your words!!!! ;0)
on February 29,2012 | 06:11AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Agree. The show is flashy but boring at the same time. Primary reason is the judges. They're almost afraid to "Simon" someone even if they deserve it.
on February 29,2012 | 06:00AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I agree with your post. It was a boring show. And just because he has ties to Hawaii I won't vote for him. I vote for the ones I think deserve to win. Remember Jasmine Trias? A lot of locals voted for her just because she has Hawaii ties. Where is she now? Are these same voters buying her records? No. I understand that these shows are popularity contests more than singing contests but come on.
on February 29,2012 | 09:52AM
akuman808 wrote:
The X Factor had way better singers no doubt. The Idol format has declined to a point that they enjoy more the drama of eventually telling somebody they didn't make it or they the judges gave the person a second chance. For those that enjoy that type of format are not really into the question of whether the person is the best singer, rather a popularity contest based on opinions not talent.
on February 29,2012 | 08:22AM
honolulugal wrote:
Well, I found Amercian Idol boring during the auditions. Now that it's getting down to the final twelve I'm finding it entertaining and maybe I'll even vote. And it won't be because of their backgounds or story. Or because they have ties to Hawaii. It'll be because of their singing talent as I see it. I don't think it's a great idea to generalize about people who watch and like American Idol, especially when it's one's own opinion and you don't know every person personally or even as a group I hope no one forces people to watch it. ;-)
on February 29,2012 | 10:02AM
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