Thursday, February 25, 2016

Top 10 Revealed & Perform

Welcome back.Tonight the Top 10 will be fully revealed and actually perform for the home audience's votes. Last night LaPorsha Renae, Dalton Rapattoni, Olivia Rox and Trent Harmon were given a "Fast Pass" right to the Top 10 by the judges, while the other 10 contestants had to sing for the final 6 spots. Those 6 spots will be be revealed tonight, and thus the Top 10 is formed. We predicted that Avalon, MacKenzie, Sonika, Tristan, Jenn and Gianna were gonna move on. To be honest only Avalon, MacKenzie and Sonika impressed us last night, but 3 other people had to be chosen, so either way. So with all that said let's first get to the results and then to the Top 10 performances, and not to mention, the original American Idol herself, Kelly Clarkson is helping to judge alongside Jennifer, Harry and Keith. Let's get started:

Top 10 Revealed
1. LaPorsha Renae (Selected Last Night)
2. Dalton Rapattoni (Selected Last Night)
3. Olivia Rox (Selected Last Night)
4. Trent Harmon (Selected Last Night)
5. Tristan McIntosh
6. Sonika Vaid
7. Gianna Isabella
8. MacKenzie Bourg
9. Avalon Young
10. Lee Jean

[Editor's Note]=We went 5/6 with our picks. We put in Jenn Blosil over Lee Jean. Neither were particularly great last night, but it helps equal out the guys to girls ratio. There is now 4 guys and 6 girls in the Top 10. 

Kelly Clarkson Retrospective
She is the original Idol, so I love that she got a few minutes of her own to reflect on her time in the summer of 2002, and winning the first season of Idol. We see her winning some Grammys, doing well on tour and all her success. She gives credit for her work ethic to American Idol. She is pregnant as she states, and gets sort of emotional. She gets to judge tonight and then will perform later on.

Top 10 Perform
Olivia Rox
(Unconditionally-Katy Perry)
Her first memory of American Idol is Season 5 when Katherine McPhee sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". That was a classic moment and it's a song that Olivia has loved forever. I am a little suprised she isn't singing that tonight, but we move on. The first part of the song was a little too low for me and I get she was trying to sing tenderly, but it came out a little weak. Once the band came in it was better. I didn't love this performance. It was a little too much at times, and then not enough at other points. It was okay, not great.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Such a real artist. Perfect song choice. Keep loosening and relaxing. Jennifer-The beginning arrangement was beautiful. So much control. Kelly-The beginning was tasteful. Takes a lot of air to be that soft. Been a fan. Super good. Harry-Loved it. So pretty. Did everything she was supposed to do.

Gianna Isabella
Her first memory of American Idol was her crush on Scotty McCreery in Season 10 when she was 10.  Before Gianna sang a note I saw she was singing "Listen" and that is one of the bigger songs from Beyonce, it just has big, huge notes and she has to belt. It winds up to the big parts and then goes hard. Gianna has a nice quality to her voice, she stayed with it as much as she could. She tried, she really did, and at times it really worked, but then there were times it didn't. Chris Medina was actually in the audience watching, so that was cool for Lee.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-That was not her best ever. Some sounded good, because she has a great voice, but it was kinda shaky. Needs to pick songs that show all her strengths that she can command. Kelly-That was a bold song. She hit the note, but she is 15 and shows her pitcheness. To tackle Beyonce that is big of a range is too bold. Lost emotion because she is too focus, needs to let go. Harry-Nothing to add, but seemed too arranged. Everything was too rehearsed. Keith-Good thing is her voice is she just needs to let go. 
Lee Jean
(Skinny Love-Bon Iver)
His first memory of American Idol was when he was 11 and he saw Chris Medina audition. Chris' wife was in a really terrible accident and he stuck with her, and it was a really powerful story. Moving on to tonight, I don't really know the song Lee sang tonight. It was just him and the guitar, no big band accompinant, just a little light piano and windchimes in the background. It was nice. He was trying to find the groove tonight, and I think he did it.
Judge's Comments=Kelly-Loves him. Sticks with what he is good at, but sometimes needs to switch it up. It's easy and chill. Found his niche. Harry-This is his lane. Him and MacKenzie are similar, has to concern himself with that later on. Can't see him doing something crazy, but needs to work on pitch. Keith-Tells a story. Very believable. Jennifer-Songs that he picks have to mean something to him, like it did for Chris Medina at his audition. Needs to have his performance being impactful every time.

Avalon Young
(Stitches-Shawn Mendes)
She remembers watching Idol when she was 7 or 8. She loved watching Justin Guarini in Season 1 singing "Get Here", she loved his tone and voice. She makes this song her own, it starts similar to the original, but then makes it R&B and in her own style. There was a point when she went a little too low, but she rebounded quick enough. This performance had its flaws but still quite good.
Judge's Comments= Harry-She has a cool vibe. Not sure would have done that half-time groove because it felt flat because didn't tell a story. Keith-The beginning seemed like she was nervous, but she loosened up after the half way point. Needs to loosen all the way through. Jennifer-Not right song, the others were more natural. Found a way to make it happen half way through. Kelly-So captivating. So special about her. Sometimes doesn't like the songs that she sings, but likes them when she sings them, not usually her style, but makes her love them. Thinks she is so cool.

Dalton Rapattoni
(Hey There Delilah-Plain White T's)
Season 5 he loved Chris Daughtry. The day he got kicked off was like a bomb was dropped in the Rapattoni house.  David Cook is one of his inspirations to how he creates the songs he does. I figured. He is very simlar to David in his creativity. Tonight Dalton sorta switches the original song. He makes it more rock then pop. I liked it. It wasn't as original as some of his other performances.
Judge's Comments= Keith-Love what he does with songs. Took it somewhere different. Beefed up a folk song. Jennifer-The really cool guy but has a lot of heart. Kelly-So comfortable on stage, it's a rare thing. I love every time he sings, it's a completely different artist and genre. Harry- Every time he sings he flips the concept for the arrangement, and so far batting 1,000. 

Tristan McIntosh
(Nothin Like You-Dan & Shay)
Has been watching since she was 11. Jessica Sanchez was her favorite in Season 11. Her favorite performance was "I Will Always Love You". To be honest Jessica is one of my favorite contestants also. This song had a lot of low moments that overtook her a little. It was off pitch at times and a little out of tune. It really wasn't so great. Kind of a mess
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Very young Top 10. Knows she is country, but needs to find songs that she feels comfortable, because that one wasn't all she needed it to be. Not her strongest. Kelly-Doesn't know her, but needs to send her message out there. Lost in the moment is best and she hasn't done that. Would love for her to sing Trisha Yearwood, would nail it. Harry-Very lyrically song. But needs to sing a song that has more crossover appeal. Can't lose herself when she goes over to the audience. Keith-That song was cool, but it was a tricky song. Seems easy but isn't.

MacKenzie Bourg
(I See Fire-Ed Sheeran)
He bonded with his Mom over American Idol. He remembers William Hung sing "She Bangs" in Season 2. Everyone was talking about it in school and him and his friends still reference it today. Kelly Clarkson mentioned it earlier that Lee sings a lot of Ed Sheeran and Harry said that MacKenzie and Lee are similar, that they are, but MacKenzie is a stronger singer and performer. He just puts out more emotion, and is more tender, yet powerful at points.
Judge's Comments=Kelly-Her unborn baby was doing flips for her. So intriguing is that he knows where he wants to go and is already there. Super talented. Harry-Very compelling. Wonders what the lyrics means to him. Keith-The guitar gave him comfort. In the zone. Jennifer-Able to pull audience in. Interesting to see which songs he chooses later to make an impact. 

La'Porsha Renae
American Idol was her SuperBowl. She watched Kelly Clarkson come from humble beginnings, sing her heart out. Kelly's winning made her want to be a performer and eventual contestant, and hopeful winner. Tonight La'Porsha sang the crap out of the song. She made it sultry, made it soulful, and made it real reaaaal good. The runs she did were perfect. The emotion put out there was perfect. It was perfect. She got a standing ovation from Keith, Jennifer and a pregnant Kelly Clarkson.
Judge's Comments=Harry-The loud, loud ovation from the audience was her critique. Kelly-Wants her to just say "You're Welcome". Loves everyone here but she should/could win this. Jennifer-Her control. Keith-What she gave was pure humanity, just beautiful.

Sonika Vaid
(Bring Me To Life-Evanesscence)
She remembers Kelly Clarkson sing "I Surrender" when she had a sore throat, showed her how to push through and have confidence. This was an amazing song choice that I didn't think Sonika could pull off, but she did. To go from Celine Dion last night to Evanesscene was inspired, and she did great. She was powerful and stayed in tune all the way despite the big moments and energy she had to put out there.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Absolutely killer song choice. So good. All the right drama. Jennifer-Dangerous, because she has such an amazing voice. Could be a real competition. If she believes in herself and let's go she is dangerous. Kelly-Never pitchy. An amazing accomplishment. Followed La'Porsha and gave her more balls. Harry- Takes a certain type of performer to come on after La'Porsha. Showed angst, strength and passion. Thought it was great and smart.

Trent Harmon
(Like I Can-Sam Smith)
He remembers watching American Idol when he was 5. Remembers David Archuletta singing "Imagine" in Season 7. He sang that song all the time, made him think that one day he wants to do what he did. This guy just has a groove, he makes hitting certain falsettos so easy, so when he goes back to the richeness of his voice it sounds even sweeter.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Wow. Seriously, one of best competitions ever. His voice is so unique and different. It wasn't all perfect, but it was still so good. Amazing. Kelly-Very impressive to have a voice that stands out. Love to here more falsetto. To show the soft and falsetto. Harry-Thought it was fantastic. If goes for the runs it's fine if he can do it. It's tremendous. Runs are tough cause he overdoes it can take away. Right on the money tonight. Keith-Everyone is rising to the occasion.

Kelly Clarkson Performs
She sings her new song called "Piece by Piece". As Ryan Seacrest put it, it's an emotional song. It's a real story kind of a song, it even gets to Kelly at a couple points, the emotions started to get her, but she is a professional and keeps going. Keith starts tearing up, Jennifer starts as well. Emotional is an understatement. But beyond all that Kelly's voice is on point, and really always is. She is the true American Idol, and tonight during her judging and this captivating performance proved that.

Best of the Night
Duh...La'Porsha Renae. I think everything she did tonight was perfect. I only wish that we were closer to the end of the show, because there are still several weeks to go, and many contestants. Not saying La'Porsha can't do this every week, but it's gonna be hard to be better than what she did. Sonika Vaid was easily second best. If La'Porsha didn't do what she did Sonika would have had the best performance of the night. So good, and that needs to be mentioned.

Predictions for Next Week's Double Elimination
1. Gianna Isabella
2. Tristan McIntosh

Final Thoughts
*Kelly Clarkson couldn't be a better judge tonight. I wish she didn't say that La'Porsha should win the show, but that slipped out in the emotion of the moment after she had sung. Kelly was charming, she was funny, she was everything you would want Kelly Clarkson to be. She pays respect to the show that made her what she is, unlike many contestants that have no respect for the show that put them on the map. American Idol wouldn't be what it was today, and who it made without Kelly Clarkson being the first to win. No matter how much I have loved many contestants along the way, Kelly will always be my favorite.

*La'Porsha and Sonika with a mix of Dalton and MacKenzie is not bad. Trent and Olivia were pretty good too, but there are at least 4 outstanding contestants in this Top 10. So far, if any of those people win it would be a successful season.

*Next week there is a double elimination. So the Top 10 will drop to a Top 8. That's a significant amount of people not being here. The show is only on next Thursday. The Wednesday shows are gone until we get to finale week. This was the last time we will ever just have a Wednesday and Thursday episode week, because during finale week we will have a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday week. So this ends a small era of the two-week shows. It's small, but noticeable.

That's it. Come on back here next Thursday (March 3rd) for the next episode of American Idol. We hope you come on back to see the reveal and performance of the Top 8. So until then, see ya!

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