Though Spring native R.L. Bell impressed Karaoke Battle USA judges with his classic R&B style and massive guns a few weeks ago (one of the best parts of this show is hearing Carnie Wilson swoon), his performance last night in the semifinals failed to seduce the judges, at least enough to get him a spot in the finals.
Our first hint that Bell might not survive was during his introductory montage, which featured a cut of Wilson saying she loved his style but would like to see him do more than just love songs, then a jump to Bell saying he was going to do another love song anyway. Uh oh.
Our second hint came during his performance of "Georgia On My Mind," of which Bell gave as powerful a performance as you can with canned music and a Victorian wardrobe, but Wilson appeared to shake her head, either out of frustration or delight at his singing. Either way, it's never a good sign on these shows when you can't really tell what a judge is thinking.
During judging, Wilson said Bell hit some "funky notes" and reiterated that she would like to see him out of his comfort zone, and fellow judge Brian Scott said a singer "cannot live on ballads alone."
After he was voted off, Bell congratulated the two men who will move on to the finals, Josh Scholl and Sammy Vajaro, saying, "These guys can really put it down."
Scholl and Vijaro will be joined at next week's finals by Shantel Norman and Cassandra Mae.
As for Bell, we imagine he's okay with not hanging with Joey Fatone much longer: Earlier this week, he tweeted that he was performing at a Lil Wayne afterparty.