America got it right tonight, even if the producers didn’t. On Thursday American Idol judges saved one and cut another two contestants as we race to the finish of the farewell season. In the end, Avalon Young and Lee Jean were sent home with the save going to the baby Diva Sonika Vaid.
Thursday night opened with another bad idea. Each of the remaining eight singers did a duet with another contestant. On paper this seemed like it might be alright, better than “the IDOL SONGBOOK” aka all the songs we’re sick of hearing on Idol. Duets started out well with a La’Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon version of See You Again by Charlie Puth. This was an interesting pairing but pretty much the only one that worked for me. They blended well and it was a cool duet. (Finale Flashforward?)
Next up were roomies Sonika Vaid and Avalon Young who seem like complete opposites in almost every way you can think of. They weren’t terrible and their voices actually sounded really good at times on Rise Up by Andra Day. Sonika’s weird forced stage presence snuck in a bit and Avalon was laid back like she is and that was kind of a weird dynamic for me but I didn’t hate it.
I don’t really want to discuss the next two performances because I love MacKenzie and I don’t like to be mean to children but if I have to…here it is. Dalton Rapattoni and MacKenzie Bourg did I Want it That Way by the Backstreet Boys which should have been dreamy and amazing but it was almost like our boys forgot to figure out what they were doing before they got on stage. They were not good together, pitchy or out of tune or off-key or whatever you want to call it. Boring and bad. (#sorryboys) MacKenzie carried Dalton for the most part but neither of them could save the song. For some reason, Harry decided to question everyone on their understanding of song lyrics tonight and he chose to start with asking Dalton and MacKenzie about the lyrics of a Backstreet Boys song.
Moving on. The kids (Tristan and Lee) were given Aerosmith’s love ballad I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing which was actually something I wish I had missed. They are 15 years old and they were given a song that really nobody but Steven Tyler should ever sing. They tried to pretend like they were in it but they weren’t. Lee’s voice wasn’t strong enough to keep up with Tristan and the instruments in the background kept drowning out the vocals and it wasn’t good. I wrote a note that my ears were bleeding. Maybe the production team thought they could stir up a social media frenzy trying to make these two out to be lovebirds just one more time before Lee got the boot. (Oops spoiler.)
Finally, we get to results:
First safe is La’Porsha. Her solo tonight was Come Together (The Beatles) and I thought it might be a little like the Tina Turner karaoke from earlier in the season. She killed the song and left it on the porch for anyone who dared to step on the porch. I just wish she had not worn a leather jumpsuit. That distracted me a lot. Leather and gold chains don’t = The Beatles to me. Whatever, Porsha rules.
Next to safety is my boy MacKenzie (thank you for not making me wait) and he shared stories about his basketball days which maybe made dudes want to vote for him now too. I don’t think he played his guitar tonight (I get distracted looking at his hair) but he was backed by a small group of strings for a beautiful rendition of You are So Beautiful by Billy Preston, or Joe Cocker depending on who you ask. He chose the song and seemed to be adamant about the arrangement. I like to see these singers take control of their performances and I think that’s why I like MacKenzie. Jenny said it best tonight: “you look like you are singing to some girl that every girl wishes she was.” I think he’ll be fine next week. He’s playing the game well.
Nick Fradiani came back to perform the television debut of his new single and I’m just happy that Idol promoted a winner tonight instead of Demi Lovato (no shade intended). But I’ll watch Nick’s performance tomorrow. I’m all about results.
Trent was called next and I’ve got to say I’m really a fan of new Trent. His fashion people are on point and I believe his delivery of whatever he is singing. Tonight was Stand by Me and I liked that he changed it up and made it cooler without changing a lot. I believe Trent is even getting a little camera smolder going on (Coach Maroulis?). Jenny said she missed the old Trent and old Trent is real Trent so that’s kind of sad but for TV, I like new Trent.
Next was Tristan. This wasn’t a big surprise after her amazing performance last week. When she sticks to her piano and the Martina McBride wheelhouse, this girl is pushing all of America’s buttons. Tonight she did A Broken Wing and she was poised and beautiful and told an adorable story about her PaPa so I don’t see how she isn’t safe next week.
Last free pass to safety goes to Dalton who basically put a Quentin Alexander spin on David Cook’s version of Eleanor Rigby. I like Dalton but I feel like he had so much originality in the beginning and maybe the life is being sucked out of him by the machine or something. He did fine tonight but I wanted him to come out and make me scream good things at my TV like I did when David Cook sang songs. Maybe he needs more time to concoct those kinds of masterpieces but I want more of old Dalton. His hair is really super interesting though.
So our bottom three are Avalon, Lee, and Sonika which wasn’t a big shocker for me.
Avalon sang first and in her package we learned that she has OCD which makes her have facial ticks. Did not notice that once all season. Her version of Michael Jackson’s PYT (Pretty Young Thing) wasn’t was awful as I imagined it would be. But it wasn’t going to save her this week.
Lee Jean was so nervous that you could almost feel his anxiety through the television. He sang Let it Be (The Beatles) and he did it justice. There have been better renditions on Idol over the years but his won’t stick out as one of the worst. Afterwards, he dedicated his performance to his brother who had passed away. Even though his vocals weren’t ready for this season I still think this kid has a lot of potential and I admired his attitude tonight.
Sonika got the coveted final spot and went back to her standing still and belting out power ballads wheelhouse. Tonight she chose I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston) and I can’t fault this girl when she does what she loves. Outside of her zone, she seems fake and awkward but put her in a pretty dress and let her stand in one spot and sing and she’s got the best voice in the competition. (Sorry Porsha) That’s not to say she has anything else going on but her voice is untouchable. Her mom was sobbing in the audience by the time she finished singing and it tore my heart out.
In the end, Sonika got the save. That part was really no contest as her save song blew the other two out of the water.
Next week I’m going to try to be less judgmental of Idol because Scott Borchetta unfollowed me on Twitter and I’m pretty upset about it. I’ve heard through the grapevine (which is actually Twitter) that next week we’re going back to eliminating only one person at a time. Nobody still standing was really terrible tonight so this is where it starts to get tricky to predict. It’s also tricky to predict anything when the rules keep changing. I’m going with bottom two: Sonika and Tristan with Sonika going home.
We’re a month away from the end people!