- Adanna Duru - "I Love You I Do" by Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls - Okay, maybe I'm starting to see what the judges have been talking about with her. She just needed a few weeks to get into her groove. She really has a good presence about her out there. Her voice is really good and she pretty much rocked this tune. I love that Harry told her to win over the crowd in the room and don't sing to the camera. Didn't they give the opposite advice last week?
- Daniel Seavey - "Lost Stars" by Adam Levine in Begin Again - I just don't want to waste any more words on this kid. He was not good. He will be here next week.
- Rayvon Owen - "Stayin Alive" by the Bee Gees in Saturday Night Fever - When looking at all of the contestants, Rayvon just doesn't seem to stand up to the competition. Yeah, he can sing and he's impressive with his falsetto stuff. But, all of that falsetto gets overbearing too and it gets drowned out by the band on songs and arrangements like this. (Did Harry really say that not everyone knows what "an arrangement" is? I know it was to Clark, but isn't that basic knowledge? I'm a musician, but I didn't think I was in an elite crowd when it came to that word!) On the other hand, Harry's advice for Rayvon to pick a song with some meaningful lyrics that he can chew on was good advice. With his current trajectory, he might not be around much longer.
- Nick Fradiani - "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins in Top Gun - Easily the worst song choice of the night! Don't get me wrong, I love some Kenny Loggins soundtrack tunes just as much as everyone. But don't they usually come in kind of a comical way referring to 80s Soundtrack Tunes? Kenny Loggins was the go to guy! And the fact that he was there last night makes me think maybe the producers forced someone to fall on their sword and do a Kenny Loggins tune. At least no one did "Playin With the Boys" from the infamous Top Gun volleyball scene. Again, a classic tune but in a more unintentional comedic way. Anyway, Nick tool the song all seriously and changed it up. But the lyrics are still ridiculous and doesn't give much range. This guy just seems like a Chris Daughtry / Ed Kowalczyk (LIVE) knock off. I've made it clear I'm not a fan. But he does have some fans out there. And J-Lo has outed him as the "hot guy" this year. I don't see it. My wife doesn't see it (She consistently says he's creepy and "why is he still there?". But maybe someone does!
- Joey Cook - "Mad World" by Michael Andrews in Donnie Darko - Well, Adam Lambert did do a memorable performance of this back in the day. But I have to say, this Joey Cook has made me do a 180 on her. She has shown a lot of range in a small amount of time. This was a nice toned down performance with emoting and it really worked for her. It showed less of her quirky side and how she could be a viable performer in today's world. And of course, Harry did mention that the song has lyrics "you can chew on". It's a good point. If you can bring meaning to lyrics with your own interpretation, it can make for a memorable performance and a connection with the audience.
- Tyanna Jones - "Circle of Life" by Elton John in The Lion King - I always think of Jennifer Hudson when I think of this song and American Idol. She really nailed it back then and in hindsight, I wonder how she didn't win that season. The judges loved that illiterate Craptasia, a role model for all of America! (no offense to the illiterate! Oh right, you wouldn't be reading this. I stand my by comments!) Anyway, Tyanna went from one of the best performances last week to one of the worst this week. It was out of tune for a majority of the performance and the pacing was all off. Harry brought up that it seemed like she was actually trying on this performance where the other ones seemed more effortless. There is probably something to that. Even through all of the negative criticism I can still hear that powerful voice in there. It's undeniable. She should be okay and when she connects on a song the next time it'll be really good.
- Quentin Alexander - "You're the One That I Want" by John "Adele Dazeem" Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in Grease - I was actually really impressed with Quentin with his arrangement of this tune. It certainly made me think of the song in a completely different way. Granted, the judges took him down a notch when Keith said he heard that version of the song before. So, he didn't come up with that arrangement. Fair enough. Joey didn't come up with the arrangement of her tune last week but she still nailed it. Quentin does have a powerful voice, and he still is a unique persona on the show. He'll probably be okay.
- Maddie Walker - "Let's Hear it for the Boy" by Deniece Williams in Footloose - I'm befuddled how this girl is still here and wasn't the eliminated one this week. Okay, she was sick or in pain last week. What was her excuse this week? She's young and inexperienced and she showed why she wouldn't win a pageant's talent competition this week. It was bad folks. Harry spoke to how he can't identify who she is because she's all over the place with her performances. Keith said a ballad would've hit better. That's probably true. I just don't see her sticking around much.
- Clark Beckham - "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5 in Cheaper By the Dozen 2 - That's an unfortunate movie for the song to have been found in. I don't even know if I knew there was a sequel to that franchise! But Clark certainly picked a great song to showcase his gifts. Yes, and he picked a great personal arrangement of the tune with just him and his talented guitar noodling. I've been supporting him since the earlier live shows. I think he's one of the best talents this year. There is no denying that he is very talented and I thought he brought more emotion to the table this week as well. I think it was the best of the night, regardless of what that last performer did.
- Jax - "Grow Old With You" by Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer - I've always loved that song. I never thought I'd hear it on American Idol, but that's what makes Jax a unique contender on the show. This was definitely more in her wheelhouse than trying to carbon copy a Taylor Swift song last week. I did let out a snort when she did the tongue and cheek "remote control" lyric. It's kind of silly when it's a girl singing it rather than a guy. Harry spoke to Jax as a High Risk High Reward contender and it worked this week. I agree. And that's what you have to do to stand out in these competitions. She'll be safe next week.
- Qaasim Middleton - "Come Together" by The Beatles in Across the Universe - Yeah, I should've known he might be a threat for elimination based on that awful performance last week. It's clear this guy has one trick. It's an impressive trick, but nonetheless the schtick will get old eventually. He was saved tonight based on his ridiculously over the top performance of The Beatles' classic tune. It was the right call to save him. He shouldn't be eliminated this early in the competition, but it may speak to his appeal by the American masses. I thought his attitude last night was pathetic. The Mic drop may have been part of his performance, but I think it was more speaking to his disappointment in the voters like, "Do you see what your lack of votes did? How dare you!" And then when he was saved, he wasn't gracious, his facial expression stated, "Of course I was saved. I. AM. THE KING!" Sorry dude, you haven't earned that kind of respect yet. And if he keeps that attitude up, he'll find his way off this show much sooner than any of us expected. Also, I wonder if it was even clear to everyone that now that he was saved that people should vote for him. They didn't flash the numbers DURING the performance. The second he was saved the numbers flashed up. If Ryan spoke to it it was drowned out by the crazy crowd. That might hurt him. But, I'm sure he'll somehow manage to be safe next week.
Okay, let's sum up.
Clark - Best of the Night
Qaasim - 2nd best - gets knocked down a notch for attitude.
Other highlights - Jax, Joey, Quentin, Adanna
Not their best - Tyanna, Nick, Rayvon
Beyond comprehension that they're still here - Daniel, Maddie
I know they don't do a bottom 3 anymore, but it's still fun to do.
Bottom 3: Daniel, Maddie, Rayvon
Elimination pick: Maddie Walker - 2nd time is the charm, right?
Okay, that's it for this week! I'll be out of town next week but may have a chance to get to this recap. If not, then I'll post a discussion blog if anyone wants to put their thoughts in. If I see the episode, I'll certainly at least post my pick! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! (maybe)