For the first time ever, 6 past winners and finalists from ‘American Idol’ returned to sing with the current contestants! It’s time to put each competitor’s collaborative skills to the test — and not everyone aces it.
The final season of American Idol is full of surprises! In the Feb. 11 episode, past Idols return to mentor and duet with the Top 24. Nick Fradiani, Fantasia and more superstars show up at their old stomping grounds to sing with the hopefuls, and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. are blown away by everyone! Still, five faces were cut tonight — see who’s making it forward!
First up are Emily Brooke and Lauren Alaina (the runner-up from the tenth season)! They perform “Flat On The Floor by” Carrie Underwood and it’s a country match made in heaven. Harry thinks that country may not be Emily’s best genre, but he compliments her on how well she collaborated with Lauren. Next, Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani duets with Thomas Stringfellow. They do a cover of “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson, but Keith and JLo think the song didn’t feel quite right to them — it wasn’t Thomas’ usual original take on a song, like last night’s “Creep”, as Harry points out. Still, Thomas is talented!
Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard performs a duet with Stephany Negrete and they complement each other to the utmost degree! They go for “Superstar” by The Carpenters, and Jennifer tells her that the performance “brought tears” to her eyes. “Your voices sounded super beautiful together,” she adds. Harry points out that there were some “note issues”, but overall he thinks it was a nice job.
Now, it’s time for Season 13 finalist Caleb Johnson and Sonika Vaid to kill it on that sacred stage. Their singing styles are drastically different, but they do an amazing job with Adele‘s “Skyfall”. Harry tells Sonika she’s an incredible singer who held her own against Caleb, and he finds a lot of potential in her. Next, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery and Jenna Renae also bring the country with Scotty’s song “See You Tonight”. JLo thinks the song suited them well (duh, Scotty wrote it) and Harry thought the performance was solid and entertaining.
Season 3 winner Fantasia and fan favorite La’Porsha Renae make a perfect pair. La’Porsha flat out cries when she meets Fantasia for the first time prior to the performance, and likewise, Fantasia is impressed by how La’Porsha loses herself in the music. Fantasia starts out “Summertime” by Ella Fitzgerald, but it’s La’Porsha who really steals the show with her stunning voice. Harry loves that they had a “battle of runs”. Petition for Fantasia and La’Porsha to start a girl group together! Then Lauren Alaina reappears to sing “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack with MacKenzie Bourg. JLo thinks it was a great job!
Nick Fradiani returns to the stage with Gianna Isabella to sing his hit song “Beautiful Life”. Keith liked the performance, and JLo enjoyed it, too. Harry thinks Gianna has a mysterious quality — he knows she’s a goofy 15-year-old, but she has a superb gift that he can’t ignore. Nice job, Gianna! Then it’s a meeting of the minds between Ruben Studdard and Avalon Young. She regards him as a legend, and she’s thrilled to do his song “Flying Without Wings” together! They earn another standing ov’ from Keith, and Jennifer calls the performance “incredible”.
Caleb Johnson takes another turn with James VIII to sing “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones while James rocks out on his guitar! Harry thinks they did “a pretty darn good job”, and I have to agree — it was like watching a fully produced concert number. Then Scotty McCreery and Jeneve Rose Mitchell pair up for Montgomery Gentry‘s “Gone” and it’s 10000% country superstar-ness. “You’re extraordinarily musical,” Harry tells Jeneve. Yow!
Finally, Fantasia and fellow North Carolinian Jordan Sasser close the show with Fantasia’s “I Believe”. Jordan rips out his ear piece during the performance and totally puts his heart in it, bringing the house down with his amazing voice! He does try to upstage her slightly as he gets lost in the moment, and Keith mentions that Jordan went a little out of his lane.
Now it’s time to make the tough cuts. La’Porsha is obviously safe, as is Sonika. Avalon and Gianna will also make it through! The fifth person to go through to the next round is Thomas, and the sixth lucky one is Mackenzie (yay)! The final contestant going through is Jeneve — sorry, Jordan, Emily, James, Stephany and Jenna! “It’s hard for us,” Jen tells them. “It’s always a challenge to turn away talented people…this is not the end of the road for you.”
HollywoodLifers, do you agree with tonight’s cuts? Who do you think should have stayed?