Friday, February 26, 2016

American Idol: Top Ten Perform and Kelly Clarkson Makes Everyone Sob

Yesterday, the judges voted through Dalton, La'Porsha, Olivia and Trent.

Then America voted through Tristan, Sonika, Gianna, Mackenzie, Avalon, Lee.

So we must say goodbye to Jenn, Jeneve, Manny, and Thomas.  

I'm surprised Thomas didn't make it - I thought he had teen idol appeal. I'm not surprised that Jenn or Jeneve didn't make it as they were outliers because of their style, but I will miss their voices and originality. Manny was sexy and fun, but I think he had done all he could do, and it wasn't enough. 

Kelly Clarkson was tonight's guest judge and she's hugely pregnant. 

Here's a rundown of the performances...

Olivia Rox - "Unconditionally" by Katy Perry - She recalled Katherine McPhee singing "Over the Rainbow" because she used to sing it all the time as a kid. I think it's kind of a boring song choice, and her performance was good but not spectacular. Keith said she's on a real artist trajectory. Kelly said it's hard to sing soft, and she's a fan. 

Gianna Isabella - "Listen" by Beyonce - She revealed she had a crush on Scotty McCreery when she was 10. She looked pretty in her sparkly gold dress. It's a huge song and she couldn't quite handle it. It was pitchy at times, but overall good, with a strong, big finish. J Lo said it was shaky. Harry said it felt very arranged. Kelly said it was a bold song choice for a 15-year-old and she'll grow out of her pitch issues. 

Lee Jean - "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver - He recalled the Chris Medina story and how Chris singing for his disabled fiancee made him think of his brother who had passed away. Lee seemed a little quiet and nervous. Kelly said she would love to come see his show but he needs to be aware others in the competition do a lot of vocal acrobatics and could blow him away. Harry said he thinks Lee and Mackenzie are too similar. Keith encouraged him to show more vulnerability and pick songs with meaning. Ryan revealed Chris Medina was in the audience. 

Avalon Young - "Stitches" by Shawn Mendes - She remembered Justin Guarini singing Oleta Adams and that she was in love with him. There she goes, being herself and not caring what others think with that choice of an Idol memory! She seemed a little stiffer than usual. It got better when she stepped away from the microphone and sped it up. Harry didn't like the slow opening and thought it fell flat. J Lo said the champion in her came through halfway through when she stepped away.  Kelly said she finds her so captivating and that she makes her like songs she didn't think she liked.

Dalton Rapattoni - "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White Ts - Daughtry getting kicked off was a crushing blow to him and his family, and he said he was very influenced by the way David Cook made songs his own. This was a cool song choice, and Dalton displayed great energy, confidence and connection with the crowd. He found the drama in the song and belted it.  Keith said it was like "electric barnyard." J Lo said his heart comes through and that's what makes the girls scream. Harry said Keith remembers what it used to feel like when girls screamed for him - zing!

Tristan McIntosh - "Nothin' Like You" by Dan and Shay - She remembered loving Jessica Sanchez singing "I Will Always Love You." She looked good in a cute outfit and ponytail. She seemed more confident and to be having fun. The song wasn't that vocally demanding so she stuck a couple runs on the end. J Lo thought it wasn't her strongest performance and maybe not the best song choice. Kelly suggested she sing Trisha Yearwood. Kelly added a lot as a judge, with actionable suggestions that drew from her own experience on the show.

MacKenzie Bourg - "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran - His favorite Idol memory is William Hung singing "She Bangs." It was nice to see him wearing a print shirt instead of just the usual white T-shirt. He played guitar and was confident and showed off his unique style.  Kelly said it was the first performance that made her baby kick. Ryan let us know William Hung is now happily married.  

La'Porsha Renae - "Diamonds" by Rhianna - She said Idol was her family's Super Bowl. Well, La'Porsha is currently winning this Super Bowl. This was a good song choice. She made it dramatic and powerful. She reminded me of Tina Turner a bit. 3 of 4 judges stood up to applaud (everyone but Harry). The audience went nuts and La'Porsha started to cry. Kelly said she wished she was her and she knows she is going to win. J Lo said it's her control that sets her apart. It's odd that Harry didn't speak, but maybe the standing ovation made them short on time.

Sonika Vaid - "Bring Me to Life" by Evanesence - Her mom encouraged her to watch Idol so she could see confident role models because she was shy. She looked beautiful and sexy in the black gown with thigh high boots. She showed a different side with this hard rocking song, but it still allowed her to belt and deliver a big finish. Keith said it was a killer song choice. Kelly said she's never heard her be pitchy. Harry said it was hard to follow La'Porsha but she rocked it.

Trent Harmon - "Like I Can" by Sam Smith - He recalled loving David Archuletta's rendition of "Imagine." It was a good song for him and he delivered it with passion. He reminded me a little of Joe Jackson. J Lo said she feels like it's one of the best Idol seasons ever, and Trent is so unique. Kelly said she'd like to see him sing soft more. 

Ryan revealed that next week there will be a double elimination. I predict Olivia and Lee are going home. Tristan and Gianna could be vulnerable too. Basically, I think the youngsters can't hang with the powerful slightly older contestants like La'Porsha, Sonika, Trent, and Dalton. Mackenzie is an exception. 

Kelly closed the night, singing "Piece by Piece." It's a beautiful song and made La'Porsha cry. Kelly broke down toward the end. Keith cried. I cried too. First Idol, Best Idol! 

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