America, meet the “American Idol XV” Top 14

American Idol Season 14 Top 14

Tonight, 10 members of the “American Idol XV” Top 14 performed for America’s votes. (Photo property of FOX, 19 Entertainment & FremantleMedia North America)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

We are now down to the Final American Idol Top 14!

Tonight, the judges (Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez & Keith Urban) had the power to only advance four hopefuls, while the rest for forced to sing for America’s votes!

Which artists were moved into the Top 10? Who had to sing for their lives?  Read on to find out…

Before the performances, Ryan asked the judges to reveal their four “Fast Pass” picks to the Top 10. They picked Dalton Rapattoni, Olivia Rox, Trent Harmon & La’Porsha Renae.  As the first four artists got to sit down to enjoy the evening. It was time for Manny Torres to entertain the country. One advantage that Manny has over his competitors was that he has great diction. He also made Stevie Wonder proud with his cover of “Master Blaster.” Great start to the show! B+

Gianna Isabella’s favorite moment from the season was when she tackled Nina Simone’s “I Put A Spell on You.” Gianna’s vocals were divine and on point tonight. The last time she tackled the song, it divided the audience…but “I Still Believe” that Gianna has it to be a star like her mom and this performance showed something that I like in contestants: SASS!  A-

I strongly believe that Thomas needs more time to develop as an artist, if he wanted to perform on a talent competition like America’s Got Talent or The Voice, however, since this is American Idol’s final season, he decided to go big or go home.  However, some of his inconsistencies showcased themselves tonight when he reprised One Direction’s “Story of My Life.”  I am having a hard time seeing how Thomas’ abysmal vocal performances have helped him make it this far in the competition! He’s no Matthew Schuler and I believe that it is time to send him home, America!  F

I admit that Avalon has snuck up on me since the Idol Showcase and she is something special. Her take on Chris Brown’s “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” made me smile and she has one of the more unique vocals in this group of contestants so far. Mark my words, Avalon has a strong chance in being in the Final Five! A-

After Scott Borchetta revealed to America what musical genres are needed for the Top 10, Jenn Blosil reprised her cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” Jenn gave me the first case of the chills this evening with her stunning vocals and I strongly believe that she earned her spot in the Top 10! A+

There are some contestants that I would love to use a buzzer on and one of them is Lee Jean.  Lee lost me as a fan when he unprofessionally silenced the Idol Showcase crowd earlier this season.  If you want to hear a splendid cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Let It Rain,” watch Clark Beckham, Jeffery Austin or Koryn Hawthorne’s outstanding performances! Because, in all honesty, they sang circles around him. F

If you are going to tackle any track that Kelly Clarkson sung on American Idol, then that artist is going to be risking the comparison between them and the original Idol winner. Sonika Vaid decided to reprise Celine Dion’s “I Surrender” (a song that Kelly won with during the first season). Despite some breath control issues during the beginning of the track, Sonika soared and delivered the best performance of her life (and received a standing ovation from Jennifer Lopez). A

Jeneve Mitchell revisited the King of Country Music’s signature song, “Ring of Fire,” for her sing-for-your-life performance. I liked hearing Jeneve’s lower notes and she is a starting to become her season’s best storyteller. However, one piece of advice that I would offer her is that she does not put big notes into songs that do not need them. C+

Former Team CeeLo alum MacKenzie Bourg had the honor of closing out the night. He brilliantly picked and sang his original song, “Roses,” for his Top 14 performance. MacKenzie’s creativity and musicianship will definitely be needed as the show gets down to the wire. If America votes him in, he is going to be the one to watch. A-

Tomorrow night, the original “American Idol,” Kelly Clarkson, returns home to judge this year’s Top 10!  

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to FOX, NBC, 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & United Artists Media Group.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar