‘American Idol’ is wasting no time! Following the big top 12 reveal, 11 of them performed on Mar. 12. Of course, that means one person was sent packing!
Full steam ahead on American Idol! The very night after the top 12 was selected by viewers (with a wildcard addition from the judges), we saw our top 11 take the stage. Daniel Seavey attempted to redeem himself after last night, while Jax might have made America question its decision to stand behind her all these weeks. Check out a full recap!
The Top 11 Perform
The competition is really on.
We begin with Rayvon Owen. He makes an interesting choice singing Elie Goulding‘s “Burn.” I really applaud his risk to pick a song that is very unexpected but, being honest, it is not a good fit for his voice. The high notes are too high and the lower notes do nothing to showcase his vocals. He also sounded weirdly out of breath the whole time. Uh, Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez both loved it saying it was his best performance yet. Well, moving on.
Next to take the stage is Maddie Walker. She sings a Jason Aldean song and she certainly seems to be having fun. Ya know what, this is a bold statement, but I’m going with it: I’m getting a Carrie Underwood vibe here. Of course, Maddie doesn’t actually compare to the legendary country crooner, but yeah, I’m seeing it. Sue me. “My biggest concern with you is that you realize the difference between emulating and imitating,” Harry Connick Jr. said. Considering that I just drew Carrie parallels, that seems like very appropriate criticism.
Joey Cook is next and holy moly you guys. She sings “Fancy”– yes that fancy, but she does it as a jazz/scat version and it is incredible. How amazing would it be if Joey wins this whole thing? After tonight, I can actually see her walking away with the crown. Well, she got a standing O from Keith and the audience started chanting her name. “I have to give you an A+,” Harry said. Nothing more to say. Incredible.
Next up, a performance from Empire! Oh hey, did you guys know Idol and Empire are both on Fox? What a crazy coincidence!
Okay, back to the competition. Clark Beckham makes it through next and he sings “Takin’ It To The Streets.” After Joey’s performance, it feels very old fashioned. But he still sounds nice and looks even nicer. Snoozer though for sure. “I want to feel that there’s something you’re trying to get out,” Keith said. “It’s impressive without being inspiring.” Precisely: just underwhelming. All judges are in agreement that his piano skills are nuts, though.
Jax is up next. I’ve got high hopes for Jax. She sings “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift (as if I had to tell you). I adore this song, and I adore Jax, but eesh, this might be one of her worst is her worst performance to date. She sang it just like Taylor and it’s just not suited for her voice. The judges even looked a little pained watching it. Oof. “I didn’t feel Jax on that song,” JLo said. “That to me sounded like a carbon copy of Taylor’s version,” Harry added. She’ll be back next week, duh, but let’s hope it’s better.
Qaasim Middleton is next singing “Jet,” accompanying himself on guitar. This might be my favorite performance by Qaasim so far. He made the song sound totally current, despite the fact that it’s one of the oldest performed this evening, to the extent that I could imagine it on the radio. “I don’t think your performance matched what the song was trying to say.” And just when I finally got on board the Qaasim train, the judges got off!
Adanna Duru, the wildcard, is next singing “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars. Gotta applaud all these kids for singing current songs. Unfortunately, that’s all the compliments I can give Adanna because this just didn’t do it for me. In certain sections you can hear her get comfortable and her voice can soar but for the most part the song is too quick and her performance is just trying too hard. Well the judges and the audience liked it more than I did. “That’s why we saved you,” Keith said. But after choosing her for the wildcard, could they have said they didn’t love it, even if they hadn’t?
A Mixed Bag
Tyanna Jones is next, singing “Tightrope” and it is so dope you guys. JLo and Keith both stood, the crowd went nuts. She is talented beyond her years. She knows what she is doing and she is just so in control of her artistry. Compare her to someone like Maddie, and there is just not even a competition. Best performance of the night, hands down.
Daniel Seavey is next. Can he redeem himself after his disastrous performance the night before? He sings “Happy” by Pharrell, so the answer is, well, no. It’s a bad song. No one likes this song anymore, right? Daniel set himself up for failure here. Is the boy wonder charm wearing off permanently? “You look like a young kid having a good time,” Harry said. That’s… Not quite a compliment.
Quentin Alexander sings “Rolling in the Deep”– a bold move because, hello, Adele. I’m sorry, guys. I totally understand why Quentin might be your cup of tea, but to me, he is always trying so hard and it comes off to me as a front to cover so-so vocals. “It’s always cool, it’s always soulful,” JLo said. See, what she sees as cool I see as contrived. To each their own.
Last to make it through… Nick Fradiani! Looking as great as ever, I might add. He sings the acoustic “Wake Me Up” and, literally, first note I am in love. Woah. I have been a fan for a few weeks now, but tonight I am blown away. Nick is ready for the radio right now, he’s ready to play concerts, he is just ready for stardom. “I just want you to crack open for us,” Harry said. “Don’t be so shy.”
Well, we end with a disagreement between the judges and myself. Typical.
And with that, Sarina-Joi Crowe must sing for her life. She sings Demi Lovato‘s “Neon Lights” and, I feel terribly for her to even be saying this, but wow I would never save her in a million years if I were the judges. She’s cracking and she is so uncomfortable. Poor thing. “We will not be using the save this week, and you know that breaks my heart,” JLo said.
What do you think of the top 11? Are you sad to see Sarina go home?
— Casey Mink