Warning! The following contains spoilers for the American Idol performances that aired Sunday, April 4. Read at your own risk!
American Idol is halfway through the process of whittling down its Top 24, but it's already clear to me there's a clear disparity affecting the competition in Season 19. The women absolutely ran the stage on the first night of the All Star Duets and Solos round, and the longer the episode went on, the more aware I was of the fact that almost all the male competitors are so much more forgettable in comparison.
Just to get this easy-to-make argument out of the way right now, I think we all know that Willie Spence is phenomenal. Just from his audition, it seemed clear he'll be in the Final 2 waiting to hear who won American Idol Season 19. But the question at this point is who will be standing next to him. So far, the only thing I can say for sure is that I don't think it'll be any of the other male competitors, because Season 19's female performers are just so damn good.
The clear standout among the women during Sunday night's episode was Alyssa Wray, though it's hard to think she wouldn't be one of the top performers in the Part 2 lineup as well, or for any other episode. Her confidence on stage is second to none, and when it comes to hitting the high notes, she doesn't miss. The buzz was especially high regarding her duet with Katharine McPhee, with the two paying homage to an icon with Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight."
Alyssa Wray wasn't alone in earning much praise from American Idol's judges and viewers during the first night of Top 24 performances, either. Cassandra Cole was another name that drew some social media buzz during the night, with online viewers seemingly having more positive things about Cole and Wray than male contestants such as Wyatt Pike, Deshawn Goncalves, Graham DeFranco, and Cecil Ray.
To be fair, the women had a slight advantage in numbers for those first twelve performances. Though out of the five men that competed, the aforementioned Willie Spence was a clear exception and matched up with the women's talent. There are obviously some American Idol viewers sharing love for the dudes, with Wyatt Pike in particular apparently building up a supportive fandom, so it's not like these Season 19 gents are all hacks. With that said, though, even the best of the men beyond Willie Spence can't hold a candle to their Season 19 counterparts, in my opinion, and I think we could be seeing back-to-back female champs when American Idol's latest season wraps up.
Perhaps the men will have a better showing when American Idol is back on ABC for Part 2 on Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Though we can never know for sure, I can't help but think the men of American Idol would have a better showing in this stage of the competition had Philip Murphy not been eliminated. Luckily, he got a great opportunity recently from an actor who knows a thing or two about musical talent, so maybe we'll see and/or hear him again soon.