Thursday, March 03, 2016

American Idol: Top 8 Revealed

Dalton Rapattoni - "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons - I'm so sick of this song, and I think many of us are. He worked the crowd well but didn't show us anything new and stayed pretty true to the original. It came off kinda karaoke and lacking in the originality of his other performances. Keith doesn't think it was a great song for him because he didn't tweak it. Harry said he reminds him of Billy Joe Armstrong. Harry felt Dalton wasn't as present in this performance and it lacked electricity. I'm sure Dalton will survive this minor misstep, because he's talented and dreamy!

Lee Jean - "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon - This was his most upbeat performance and it wasn't an Ed Sheeran song - but, unfortunately, it was just mediocre. I think he has a very limited range. J Lo said it was a great song choice, but he needs to stretch and let go. Keith didn't think it was a good song for him, but liked that he played guitar and had more energy.

Sonika Vaid - "Since You've Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson - Sonika revealed that she's never had a boyfriend, but this good girl tries to act like a bad girl in this song and it doesn't really work. She showed more of a pop side and still belted enough to remind us she has one of the best voices on the show. She looked sexy. Keith said he wanted more attitude, "more angry girlfriend". Harry said it felt like she wasn't really feeling the lyrics. 

Mackenzie Bourg - "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" by Whitney Houston - Very clever song choice and he definitely made it his own. It almost had a calypso vibe. The crowd went wild. Keith thought it was really cool. J Lo felt that the switch-up worked but she wants him to let go more. She thinks both he and Lee are holding back. Harry said he could have gone further with making it his own, perhaps should have played acoustic guitar. 

La'Porsha Renae - "Halo" by Beyonce - We learned her hair is named Kokomo and that until Idol, only her mom and she had ever styled or cut it. In her sparkly gown and headband, she looked like some kind of space goddess or disco diva. It was a good song choice with a high degree of difficulty. She had great stage presence and looked at camera at the end the way Constantine used to, except not smarmy. J Lo said she is the one to beat and a hard act to follow. Harry said she is a master at arcing the songs. 

Trent Harmon - "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Michael Bolton - Trent looked slick with a new hair cut and suit jacket, almost as if Seacrest had styled him. The performance started out kind of ordinary but then he hit a crazy long note. Keith thought it was a good song choice but pointed out that worrying about his facial expressions can get in the way of emoting. J Lo had a vision during the performance, not of the Virgin Mary, but of Trent and La'Porsha in the finale.

Tristan McIntosh - "Go Rest High on That Mountain" by Vince Gill - She played piano. She had a breakdown in rehearsal and had to change her song after Scott Borchetta (who looks like a puffy Chuck Zito) critiqued her. This performance brought her back to what the judges liked her for originally, playing piano and being more in an Alicia Keyes mode, although country. Keith said it was a great song choice. J Lo said that was the Tristan that America fell in love with. Tristan revealed another reason to cry - her grandpa broke his back this week. Harry then made a joke asking if her grandpa had been carrying her piano at the time. Ugh. Too soon, Harry.

The Bottom 3 was revealed to be Olivia, Gianna, and Avalon. I really expected Lee and Tristan to be in the bottom 3. Gianna was my only correct guess, although I did rank Olivia fourth from bottom. I think some of the audience may be uncomfortable with Avalon's tomboy style, plus she didn't make a great song choice last week. Olivia had the curse of singing first and although the judges praised her to high heaven, the song wasn't that special.  Gianna has a great voice but her inexperience and youth shows. The Bottom 3 got one more chance to sing and the judges would then decide on one person who would stay. 

Avalon Young - "Earned It" by The Weeknd - Love the braid and her makeup is subtle enough that it doesn't change her style too much. This is a decent song choice. I like her better doing hip hop, but she does show some swagger here. The crowd loved it. Harry said she looks beautiful natural and shouldn't wear makeup if she doesn't want to. J Lo said she did what she needed to do, get back in her comfort zone.

Olivia Rox - "Trouble" by Pink - Cute outfit but the song reminds me of a cheerleading march.  She was energetic. Harry said the song didn't allow her to show much range. J Lo said we didn't feel like she really was "trouble". It wasn't believable. 

Gianna Isabella - "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keyes - Strong opening with only piano before the band kicked in, then it got a little more average. She seemed to feel the lyrics more toward the end, nice finish. She looked beautiful in a red pantsuit with a sheer cape. Keith's heart wanted a little more feeling. Harry said she has an incredible vocal gift.  

The judges saved Avalon which I think was the right choice. I think 2 more contestants get sent home next week and at this point I expect it to be Lee and Avalon, but everyone did pretty good this week so it's a tough call. 

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