This is it! The Feb. 18 episode of ‘American Idol’ takes us live to its first ever Rush Week where we watch 10 out of 15 girls perform for America’s votes — one of whom was shamed by Harry Connick Jr. for her sexy song choice!
For the special occasion of American Idol‘s very first “Rush Week” and this season’s first live show, Keith Urban wore his finest t-shirt! Because two hours just isn’t enough time, the judges will choose just 10 out of 15 to perform, leaving the other five without even the opportunity to earn America’s vote! Harsh. See below for who got the chance to perform and to see how they fared, and to find out why Harry decided to shame 18-year-old Emily Piriz for her song choice!
‘American Idol’ Recap: Rush Week Begins
The episode opens with Ryan Seacrest on a dark stage with a lone spotlight trained on him, dramatically explaining how “Rush Week” works. Basically, it means that the contestants will be spending time with mentors and the like and that they will be pledging for the judges’ attention. Or something. We’re not sure why we had to bring the Greek system into this.
Anyway, makeover montage! Randy Jackson introduces us to a troupe of people that will whip our young hopefuls into shape. Vocal coaches, movement coaches, SPIRITUAL ADVISORS, and other normal stuff!
Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert made cameos, too, seemingly in their own competition for who can wear the deeper v-neck t-shirt. They’re both winning!! They’re acting as mentors, because if there’s anything that American Idol needs, it’s to actually be The Voice.
‘American Idol’ Recap: 15 Girls Perform
1. Majesty Rose sang Pharrell‘s “Happy” and it was a lot of fun! She’s been a favorite of ours since the beginning and the judges were as obsessed with her as we were.
2. Kristin O’Conner, hilariously, started to get up about 15 minutes before Harry Connick Jr. actually announced her name. She sang Adele‘s “Turning Tables” and… I don’t know, you guys. It was not stellar. If you’re going to sing Adele, you need to really be able to sing Adele. I thought she was so-so, but the judges loved her!
3. Briana Oakley did not seem into her mentoring sesh with Randy at all, nor with vocal coach Antonio Sol, who can be roundly summed up by: wears a scarf in California indoors. He’s fantastic. Anyway, Briana doesn’t need them — she sang Demi Lovato‘s “Warrior” like a boss. We thought so, anyway, but the judges kind of hedged. Harry told her to choose her high notes carefully instead of using them as, basically, a cheap way to get applause and love from the audience — so I guess we’re cheap? Eh, we’re fine with it.
4. Jena Irene went off the beaten path by choosing to warble The Rolling Stones‘ “Paint It Black.” It was not good. Jennifer Lopez loved it, though, the dear heart. Are we watching the wrong show? What’s happening here? She was totally off-key, but she has sounded so great up until now!
5. Bria Anai told Randy in their mentoring session that her mother tells her that she dresses like an “appropriate Rihanna,” and we have never loved anything more. With sparkly red lipstick, she rocked Melanie Fiona‘s “Wrong Side Of A Love Song.” However, Harry did tell her to tone it down a bit for next time — she was a bit shouty. For that, Harry got his first “boo” from the audience! And Jennifer told Bria that she “has star written all over [her]!”
6. Marrialle Sellers owned the stage with Katy Perry‘s “Roar!” What a fun girl. You could tell that she was totally in her element up there, even though she ended her performance in a bizarre move where she got down on the ground and put her high-heeled shoe up to her ear. Movement coaches! You dropped the ball! However, despite her being a great performer, these vocal stylings were not her best, and the judges agreed. America — put her through! She deserves another go at it.
7. Jessica Meuse was up next, and Daughtry threw her some shade in a talking head, telling us that her voice was way better than her guitar-playing after we see him gently try and encourage her to go without. She sang “Drink A Beer” by Luke Brian. It was fine. Kind of boring.
8. Emily Piriz, in a bold move, chose to sing “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, which, if you’ll recall, is the song that “creeped out” Harry during auditions week! He has not changed his mind: Harry hates this song and totally shamed her for it! He made her speak the first two lines of the song (“You got me down on the floor, so what you got me down here for?”) and then asked her, “you just turned 18; is that really what you want to be singing about?” Harry. Chill. Anyway, the opinions of middle-aged men aside, they thought she sounded great, and so did we!
9. MK Nobillete delivered a haunting performance of John Legend‘s “All Of Me.” She’s been getting a lot of attention for being Idol‘s first openly gay contestant (Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken, etc. came out after their season’s run), but her voice is also incredible! Jennifer wisely pointed out that a great performance is not just about being showy, but about getting people to feel something. Telling by the absolutely weeping crowd, MK accomplished that. She’ll go far!
10. Malaya Watson, teenage tuba-player extraordinaire, was our last to perform! She’s kind of weird. We’re obsessed with her. She sang Ray Charles’ “Hard Times,” which is a strong choice for a 16-year-old girl! She closed out the show like the champ that she is. Jennifer could not be complimentary enough, telling Malaya that it’s clear that she’s one of the competition’s “powerhouses,” and her fellow judges agreed! Malaya’s the best, you guys.
‘American Idol’ Recap: Ben Briley or Neco Starr?
We won’t keep you in suspense: Ben Briley made it through. We totally thought that the spot should have gone to Neco Starr, but in keeping with our recaps so far, obviously we don’t know what the judges will say, nor how America will vote. We’re on this crazy ride right along with you, HollywoodLifers!
Tomorrow we get to see the 15 male semi-finalists perform, and on Thursday, Idol will put through 10 contestants decided upon by America’s votes as well as three wild cards from the judges! Stay tuned!
What did you think, HollywoodLifers? Are you as super bummed as we are that favorite Kenzie Hall didn’t make it through? Who had your favorite performance? Were you rooting for Ben or Neco? Be sure to VOTE and comment below!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner
More ‘American Idol’:
- ‘American Idol’ Recap: Neco Starr and Ben Briley’s Fate In America’s Hands
- ‘American Idol’ Recap: Shocking Cliffhanger For Favorite CJ Harris
- ‘American Idol’ Recap: Jennifer Lopez Sings With Auditioner Briana Oakley