By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
It’s hard to believe that the American Idol XIV finale is almost two weeks way and we still have not had any show-stopping performances.
Over in Voice World, artists such as Kimberly Nichole, India Carney, Sawyer Fredericks, Koryn Hawthorne and even eliminated artists such as Sarah Potenza, Hannah Kirby and Rob Taylor have delivered unbelievable performances left-and-right, while Clark Beckham and several eliminated artists such as Sarina-Joi Crowe, Adanna Duru, Joey Cook and Quentin Alexander were able to deliver astonishing performances.
Can the rest of the Top Five (Rayvon Owen, Jax, Tyanna Jones and Nick Fradiani) deliver tonight? Read on to find out…
Last week, the Idols had the opportunity to travel with Scott Borchetta to Nashville! Once they got to Nashville, they met Idol veteran mentor Martina McBride and Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus who would help the group prepare for their performances.
After receiving the results from Russell Crowe, Clark was the first person to learn that he would be getting the famous American Idol Hometown Visit! For his first song of the night, Clark chose Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City.” It is always risky tackling an iconic soul classic and I felt that Clark soared with his vocals, but there were some pitchy upper register notes that made this performance a “B+” over an “A” level performance. Let’s see if he did better with Round Two. B
18-year-old Jax was the second person to receive the Hometown Visit. She tackled Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.” While I did not like the Swaybots’ clapping, this was the first performance that I felt something from her in weeks. I loved her huge note at the end and I think that Ms. Keys would be proud of her! A-
The third artist to get saved was Nick Fradiani! Just like Jax, Nick is peaking at the right time. I was very relieved to hear Matchbox Twenty’s “Bright Lights” was his song choice for the Judges’ Hometown theme. It was a breath of fresh air that I needed to hear from Nick and I am glad this showman got a chance to get a hometown visit. A
Before Tyanna and Rayvon learned their fates, Harry Connick Jr. stepped out of the Judges’ Desk and onto the stage with a superb performance of his hit: “City Beneath The Sea.” As Harry returned to the desk, Ryan revealed the crucial result: Rayvon Owen would be the last contestant to receive a hometown visit! This meant that Tyanna was sent home, but she made the tour!
As Tyanna tearfully delivered an awesome cover of Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls),” Rayvon fought for a place in the finale. He paid tribute to Keith and Nashville with Chris Mann’s version of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.” In all honesty, it was very inconsistent! His vocals balanced between brilliant and abysmal, plus it was way too overdramatic! Luckily, he had another chance to redeem himself. C-
For the second round, the contestants sang their “Gravity” song! In order to prepare the Top Four, Scott Borchetta brought in two superstar mentors: Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus and Martina McBride! Before the contestants hit the stage, Martina McBride took the stage to perform her cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” that was just brilliant!
After making fun of Scott Borchetta with YouTube personality Destin Sandlin, it was time for Clark to return to the stage and perform “Your Man.” Jay DeMarcus wanted Clark to show his soul and Scott forewarned that his music might lead him to the Holiday Inn instead of the Dolby Theatre. Clark redeemed himself with the song and his debate with the judges, but he should have focused more on the vocals than trying to imitate Lindsey Buckingham! B+
Jax had the opportunity to be the only person to be mentored by Martina McBride! I do have an issue with Jax taking on Christina Perri’s “Human,” because both Jessica Meuse and India Carney brilliantly covered the song and redeemed themselves in America’s eyes. While Jax delivered a strong performance, it was not near the excellence that both India and Jessica had with their interpretations. B
Before the show went to commercial, Ryan revealed that the remaining contestants got a huge surprise when they were in Nashville; they dropped by former judge Steven Tyler’s recording session. He also shared his love for Jax and revealed that he wanted to sing with her during the Top 12 finale.
Rayvon Owen decided to sing Justin Bieber’s “Believe” for his second song of the evening! After weeks of hitting the Idol Bottom Two, Rayvon might just score a pass to the American Idol finale because of this passionate performance. I got chills and it was the only performance that I gave a standing ovation from my couch. In the words of former Idol judge Randy Jackson —BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT! A+
Nick closed out the night with Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most.” It was awesome seeing the sing along between Nick and Jay DeMarcus. The Rascal Flatts band member also suggested to Nick for leave the guitar back stage and that advice really helped because the Connecticut native delivered another sturdy performance. I have a sneaky suspicion that Nick might be performing at the Dolby Theatre in a couple of weeks. A-
I do not own the clips that were featured in this article! They belong to FOX, 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America, NBC & United Artists Media Group!