Idol returned tonight for the first night of viewer voting and in a not-so-strange turn of events, they changed up the rules from what they announced just a couple of weeks ago. What we were expecting was a top 8 being chosen by the judges with a sing-off by the remaining six for the final two spots. What I can gather from Twitter is that the judges gave a free pass to the Top Ten to four contestants and made the remaining ten reprise an earlier audition song for the six remaining spots. I have to give my own slow clap to the producers for recognizing that America wants to participate in the process and if they can’t, they get bored.
To recap what we know, four hopefuls were sent to safety at the top of the hour. Not surprising, they were Dalton Rapattoni, La’Porsha Renae, Olivia Rox and Trent Harmon. I personally would have given the last spot to Mackenzie Bourg but maybe they just wanted to give us a treat and let him sing tonight.
The remaining ten sang for America’s vote so hopefully we don’t screw it up. I watched the performances without hearing the judges comments after so, here are my thoughts in no particular order:
Manny Torres is just so damn fine on stage I don’t know why chicks wouldn’t vote for him. I wasn’t a huge fan of his song choice tonight and he got the dreaded hole shot of the night (good for racing, not good for TV voting) but I put his fate in the demographic that Idol is pulling now. The other boys skew younger almost making Manny seem more age appropriate for the olds. I remain on the fence.
Lee Jean Jr. got some criticism on Twitter for singing another Ed Sheehan song but, honestly, when that is all he has in his back pocket to this point, what could we expect? He did a respectable job on Make it Rain, which has been done a thousand times on Idol. His version wasn’t the most memorable but not a lot of people remember the other versions. I think he’ll make it through. He’s still adorable.
Thomas Stringfellow did his version of One Direction’s Story of My Life. When Thomas did this in earlier weeks I thought he was a genius. Tonight I noticed too much of his odd intonation and his words just come out weird sometimes. If I had to choose between Thomas and Lee, I choose Lee. Between Thomas and Mackenzie, I choose Mackenzie. My point is, not sure how he wins this because Mackenzie and Lee seem to fill that GWG spot nicely.
Jenn Blosil had glitter on her eyebrows and that distracted me so much. She did, however, do a reasonable job on True Colors and without my notes, I think I remember that this outing was much better than last time she did it. I don’t know who her competition is so I think she makes it just because she’s cool and interesting.
Jeneve Rose Mitchell wore her stupid huge cowboy hat that I hate as much as I hate Carl’s hat on The Walking Dead. Seriously can someone take her outfits away? I see her on Periscope and she doesn’t dress like that in her down time so what is the deal? Is someone telling her we like that? We don’t. Her song and her voice were interesting but I heard Harry mention the word polarizing and I agree. Still don’t get Jeneve. I think this spot is between Jeneve and Jenn so I choose Jenn.
Gianna Isabella tried to put a spell on us again tonight and I think it worked much better this time. She seemed polished and mature and her whole package seemed more appropriate for the song. This worked for me and I honestly put Gianna over Sonika just for likability but this is another hard one to call now that Jenny isn’t in charge of Gianna’s future.
Tristan McIntosh wants so much to be a country singer but she’s just not connecting to country for me. Tonight she did Rascal Flatts and TBH she sounds better live than I’ve ever heard Gary LeVox sound. I just don’t get a country vibe from her. Her Twitter followers seem rabid and I think she’ll make it through because she has gamer-status social media skills.
Sonika Vaid does have a beautiful voice, I can’t argue that. I just don’t see a contestant that seems less marketable right now than Sonika. Even Jeneve and her weird clothes seem more interesting than Sonika and her pageant performances. She always looks beautiful and she was slightly better at showing emotion tonight. Still not buying it.
Avalon Young brought Chris Brown back to the Idol stage. They curled her hair and I’m guessing she had to wear some make-up tonight which kind of changed up her vibe a little. I like her and I hope she makes it through but I’m not convinced that new viewers who know nothing of her back-story will get her at all from tonight’s performance.
Mackenzie Bourg got a haircut which I’m still not sure I’m happy with but I’ll live with it. Mackenzie is at his best left alone so I hope the Idol producers don’t screw him up. He did his original song Roses which was perfect and I would like to give Mackenzie my rose for tonight. Mackenzie, will you accept this rose? Ok, moving on. I’m kind of pulling for a Mackenzie/Olivia or Mackenzie/Dalton finale. If I had to make a prediction, here it goes:
Tomorrow Kelly Clarkson joins the judges as the official Top 10 take the stage for the first time…for the last time.