By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Last week, the first half of the American Idol XV Top 24 performed!
However, the judges (Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban) only saved Mackenzie Bourg, Jeneve Rose Mitchel, Sonika Vaid, Gianna Isabella, Avalon Young, Thomas Stringfellow and La’Porsha Renae and advanced to the Final 14.
Tonight, 12 more hopefuls (Jenn Blosil, Amelia Eisenhauer, Trent Harmon, Lee Jean, C.J. Johnson, Adam Lasher, Tristan McIntosh, Dalton Rapattoni, Olivia Rox, Manny Torres, Kory Wheeler and Shelbie Z) performed for a chance to move on into the Top 14.
Who stood out? Who will be at risk for elimination tomorrow night?
After Jennifer emphasized that the solo is more important than the duet, Team Blake alum Shelbie Z tackled Gretchen Wilson’s “Work Hard, Play Harder.” While I love Shelbie and she is born to be a star, this vocal seemed safe to me. I really wished that she would have tackled Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder & Lead,” Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It” or Shania Twain’s “Up!” This vocal put me to sleep! D+
As Shelbie left the stage, Pastor kid Manny Torres tackled Coldplay’s “Adventure of a Lifetime.” I was surprised that Coldplay let Idol clear this song because of how new this track is. Yes, Manny has a good voice, but he did not connect with me. He should have listened to the track multiple times to learn about the message that Chris Martin was trying to convince to his listeners. D+
Last year, Kory Wheeler missed being in the Top 24 in Hollywood. Now, he returned to the show with a vengeance. For his solo, Kory chose James Bay’s “Let It Go.” It was a good performance, but he reminded me so much of Clark. C-
Amelia Eisenhauer chose Avicii & Aloe Blaac’s “Wake Me Up” for her final solo. I liked that Amelia decided to start the song with a slow tempo, before going back to the track’s familiar tempo. She was also the first contestant tonight to sing with conviction and I enjoyed hearing her vocal control. B-
Jenn Blosil is probably one of the show’s quirkiest contestants this season. However, she delivers unbelievable performances. She transformed Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” from an up-tempo pop track to a beautiful piano ballad. That was a brilliant performance and I loved seeing her shine. A-
Veteran musician CJ Johnson tackled Diane Warren’s brilliant penned tune “I’ll Be.” I was surprised that he didn’t bring out the guitar for this song, because it would have been his saving grace and CJ was the first artist to activate the Sway Bots this season. He executed the song very well and should be awarded for this performance. A-
Lee Jean has been in my doghouse since he told the audience to shut up during the Idol Showcase. He had a lot to do in order to redeem himself in not only my eyes, but in the fans’ eyes as well. This was the first time I ever heard Ed Sheeran’s “Runaway” and I was a little disappointed with Lee’s execution of the cover. D
Trent Harmon survived mono and now he hoped to move on the Top 14. The hat lover tackled Grammy winner Chris Stapleton’s “What Are You Listening To” and he delivered the best male vocal of the night. His ability to enchant the audience throughout the 90 seconds and I loved hearing his voice back at full strength. I think that he made Chris Stapleton proud tonight. A
It is always risky performing a Carrie Underwood song anytime on Idol, because that artist will have their expectations for them tripled. Tristan McIntosh tackled Carrie’s “Good Girl” and I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. From what I have seen so far, Tristan is a pop- R&B girl and singing something outside of her lane, is a great strategy. I wish I have heard more. B
Dalton Rapattoni continued his Idol journey with a peeled back version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.” In all honesty, I haven’t seen a compelling male pop rocker since Adam Lambert and I am glad that Dalton is still in the running. I have one word to describe the performance: “Touchdown!” A
Olivia Rox closed the show with Demi Lovato’s “Confident.” Of all the performances that I saw tonight, this was the only one that I would describe as “star-making!” Rock on, Olivia, rock on! A+
Tomorrow night, we will learn the final members of the Top 14! Also, fan-favorite “Idol” alums Constantine Maroulis (Season Four), Chris Daughtry (Season Five), Kellie Pickler (Season Five), Jordin Sparks (Season Six), David Cook (Season Seven) and Haley Reinhart (Season 10) returned to duet with the finalists!