“American Idol” Top 10 transforms into the Top Eight with Demi Lovato

The "American Idol XV's" final Top 10 pose together during a taping of the FOX singing competition. (Photo property of FOX & 19 Entertainment)

The “American Idol XV’s” final Top 10 pose together during a taping of the FOX singing competition. (Photo property of FOX & 19 Entertainment)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

If (and when) American Idol receives a reboot, I hope that 19 Entertainment or any production company has Kelly Clarkson has a judge.

Kelly’s presence clearly helped several members of the Top 10 soar like eagles (look up La’Porsha Renae’s “Diamonds” and Sonika Vaid’s “Bring Me to Life” if you need examples). In addition to Kelly, it would also be nice to have Adam Lambert, Max Martin and Kelly Rowland round out the panel as well.  But, enough about my wishes…it’s time to get back to the contestants.

Tonight, we found out which artists advanced to the Top Eight and whose dreams came crashing down as they were eliminated from the competition.

Who rose to the top? Who stumbled? Which two artists were sent home? Read on to find out…

This week, the show paid homage to the Grammy Awards. Up first, Dalton Rapattoni. When I found out that Dalton Rapattoni was going to cover Imagine Dragons’ rock anthem, I was very hesitant with the song idea for two reasons. One, both American Idol XIII Winner Caleb Johnson and Voice: Season Five Finalist Will Champlin each had breakout moments with the track. Two, the song has been covered multiple times on singing competitions that if Dalton do his song-flip, he would be heading for disaster. In all honesty, this was not one of his strongest performances. I could not connect with him and I think that Dalton might be in danger this week. C-

The second artist that was saved by the viewers was Lee Jean. Right now, Lee Jean is slowly coming back up from “Shushgate.” I hoped that he did not sing another Ed Sheeran…this time, he sang Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” While he went the electric route, there were tiny vocal hiccups near the beginning and the bridge of the song.  He delivered a sturdy performance and deserves to have one final week to prove himself worthy of the Idol crown. B-

Idol took a break from the contestant performances to welcome guest artist (and former X Factor USA judge) Demi Lovato. However, this marked the first time in a few years that a major artist performed alongside the contestants during a performance show.  The performance started out with “Confident” (the guys rocked out while the girls sang with Demi) and ended with “Stone Cold.”  While it was fun seeing Demi, I wished that the show had time for a visit from an actual Idol alum such as Adam Lambert, Carrie Underwood or Melinda Doolittle.

After Demi left the stage, it was time for Sonika Vaid to take the stage. “Bring Me to Life” was her breakout performance and I really hoped that she continued her upward trajectory.  She brought out her inner angry girlfriend to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone.”  There were some sultry moments in the song, but I really wanted her to rock out from the gate.  However, Sonika’s saving grace was hitting the high note at the decrescendo.  Hopefully, she is voted to the next round and delivers an awesome performance next week. B

MacKenzie Bourg had a monster of a song to perform: Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” I am glad that MacKenzie went upbeat with his song selection because I was tired of getting sleepy during Idol. I like that he reinvented the song for the millennial and digital generations and I strongly believe that MacKenzie’s cover would be a hit if the song was played on the radio!  A-

While the judges and Ryan were teasing Keith on eating veggies at the table, Harry had the honor of introducing La’Porsha Renae to the audience. She tackled Beyonce’s “Halo” and gave me goose bumps for the first time tonight!  Bravo, La’Porsha! Best performance of the night! I really hope that she is in the finale.  A+

Trent Harmon tackled the iconic “When A Man Loves A Woman.” The Percy Sledge standard has been covered multiple times not only on this competition but Team Christina’s Matthew Schuler also had a very special moment with this song during the NBC singing competition’s fifth season. While Matthew’s interpretation gave me the chills, I could not connect with Trent. He sang the song, but he did not emote any emotions from the song. Yes, there was that killer note…but no one is going to remember that performance. D+

The final Idol contestant that was saved was Tristan McIntosh.  I was furious when Scott made Tristan cry after he torpedoed her original song choice: “Clarity” by Zedd, but I am glad that he liked “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” This was her comeback moment and she just got back into the game! A-

This meant that we were going to lose either Olivia Rox, Gianna Isabella or Avalon Young. Up first was Avalon Young, I have called it from the beginning of the season, Avalon Young is this season’s sleeper agent. However, like Dalton covering “Radioactive,” I thought Avalon would be in trouble after covering the song that got friend to the blog, Clark Beckham, to the American Idol XIV finale. I thought it was an interesting arrangement, but not strong enough to be saved. C

Up next was Olivia Rox! She has survived every monkey wrench that Idol thrown at her including the flu.  This week, she sang P!nk’s “Trouble.” I loved seeing Olivia rock out with the 2003 track. She showcased swagger, powerful vocals and that octave leap was out of this world! A

Last but not least was Gianna Isabella. The 15-year-old sang Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You.” I felt that she over sang the opening, which caused her to lose a lot of breath that hindered throughout her performance. I think it was too little, too late for Gianna. B-

After Gianna sang, it was time for the judges to vote.  Tonight, the trio decided to save Avalon from elimination…sending Gianna and former frontrunner Olivia Rox home!

Next week, the “American Idol XV” Final Eight sing for survival!

Caleb, Clark, La’Porsha & Sonika’s “Idol” performances are the properties of FOX & 19 Entertainment.  Matthew Schuler’s “Voice” performance is the property of NBC & United Artists Media Group and Will Champlin’s cover of “Radioactive” is the property of Republic Records.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar