American Idol Cuts the Field to 14

I’ll admit, for almost two full hours tonight I remembered why I used to love American Idol. As the second 12 contestants took the stage with some of our favorite Idol alumni, I was beyond entertained. Sure, I had half a bottle of wine before the show but we won’t go into that. Thursday was leaps better than last week and I actually enjoyed almost every duet. Thank you Idol powers for bringing us Haley Reinhart and David Cook and honestly, I didn’t remember how good Jordin Sparks was. This was the homecoming dance I was hoping for. Much like most school dances, though, this night ended in disaster.

I don’t even feel like recapping but I’ll do it real quick. Suffice to say that after the judges told us last night that Thursday didn’t really matter, it appears as though Wednesday didn’t really matter either. Here are the duets in order of appearance:

Amelia Eisenhauer and Kellie Pickler did a great job on Suds in the Bucket. They sounded great together, didn’t seem forced at all and the judges seemed to like it. Remember that Amelia got mediocre praise yesterday but seemed safe.

Kory Wheeler and Haley Reinhart did Benny and the Jets which was one of Haley’s signature moments of season 10 and they too sounded great. Jenny made some comment about how Haley was from her first season judging and they all thought Haley was going to win. Odd because they did nothing but bash her the entire season. Luckily America was voting back then. Anyway, decent performance but maybe not memorable.

Lee Jean and Chris Daughtry did Home, a Daughtry original, and this felt more like a teacher and a student moment but the end result was good. I wouldn’t say it was ‘knocked out of the park’ good but I’ve always loved Lee and he kept up with the veteran. Keith was just proud that Daughtry was so talented and came from Idol.

CJ Johnson and David Cook did The World I Know by Collective Soul and I was unfortunately google-eyed over David Cook being back and sort of lost CJ in the whole thing. The judges said CJ wasn’t great compared to the others which is weird because he did a crap song on Wednesday, sounded bad and they loved it! I’ve lost all sense of what they are talking about.

Manny Torres took on Chris Brown’s part in No Air with Jordin Sparks and I can’t say it blew me away. I liked it but probably because that’s seriously one of my favorite car jams. Jordin was pretty flawless and Manny did his thing and looked pretty hot but he seemed rushed. Doesn’t matter, Jenny loves Manny.

Jenn Blosil was pretty bad last night. Like last on my list bad. Her duet with Constantine Maroulis pulled her way up on the list tonight. The pair covered My Funny Valentine and it had all the cool and quirk that you would expect from these two. I’m not sure it pulled her up five spots but I’m ok with her making it because she does truly have an interesting voice. Oops, spoiler.

Tristan McIntosh and Kellie did a Pickler original in Best Days of Your Life and I still have no idea who Tristan is or wants to be. I’m flummoxed by her insistence on singing pop-country and I wasn’t any more impressed with her tonight than I was last night. And I didn’t like her last night at all. Kellie is as sweet and charming as ever. I liked her a bunch. Judges didn’t really have a lot of nice things to say to Tristan which makes me think it didn’t really matter if she performed last night or tonight. She was already chosen weeks ago.

Olivia Rox was nine years old when David Cook won his season of Idol. That makes me feel old. These two were about as perfect as they could be together and I think #ORox, as I’m going to call her, is truly a dark horse (not like Dalton Rapattoni whom JLo referred to as a dark horse #NO). Olivia has a tiny bit of T-Swizzle to her which might just make her relatable to the younger girls who are going to probably split their votes between Mackenzie, Thomas or Lee. I like her a lot and her voice is killer. Oh, they sang David’s original song Light On tonight and everyone was happy!

Adam Lasher and Haley Reinhart were probably my favorite of the night with Haley’s version of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love. They were also a perfect pair and they had my heart until I started to get angry because the writing was already on the wall Adam. Much like Haley, the judges didn’t want Adam to go through and it had absolutely nothing to do with his last two performances. Maybe they don’t realize that their demographic is 29+-year-old women and not teenagers with no money. Let’s move on.

Dalton Rapattoni and Daughtry did Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground and Dalton got possibly his worst critique of the year. Harry said something like no offense, but with that band, Ryan Seacrest would have sounded good on that. Then there was a LOT of weird bantering back and forth between Ryan and the audience and Harry, there was some booty shaking and then we got back to telling Dalton how amazing he was. Jenny called Dalton a dark horse in the competition. Perhaps she doesn’t really know what that term means.

The next pimp spot of the night went to Trent Harmon and Jordin who did To Love Somebody by The Bee Gees. TBH I didn’t really take that much away from their performance other than Jordin still slays. I couldn’t hear Trent that well and he still has odd stage mannerisms. The judges weren’t overly kind to Trent which made the results even more confusing.

Final spot of the night went to Shelbie Z and Constantine who ventured into Bohemian Rhapsody with abandon. I really thought this meant that the producers had done a reversal on Shelbie and decided she wasn’t all that bad. Apparently not. The duet was good enough but I had to agree with the JLo’s ick-face. I just wasn’t feeling it. Shelbie went a little operatic at points and the whole thing just didn’t have the vibe that I wanted.

Tonight the judges chose the following seven to move on in the competition:

  1. Lee Jean
  2. Olivia Rox
  3. Jenn Blosil
  4. Dalton Rapattoni
  5. Manny Torres
  6. Tristan McIntosh
  7. Trent Harmon

I won’t even start with how three of the top seven did so bad last night that I completely wrote them off. Or how some of these seem to have been chosen maybe at some point in the last year before they even showed up to audition. I don’t even know what to think anymore.

Next Wednesday the judges are going to randomly, and probably without any logic, chose a top eight from the top 14, which includes the seven who advanced from last week. As a refresher, those seven are:

  1. La’Porsha Renae
  2. Sonika Vaid
  3. Avalon Young
  4. Gianna Isabella
  5. Thomas Stringfellow
  6. Mackenzie Bourg
  7. Jeneve Rose Mitchell

The six contestants who are not handpicked by the judges to move on will then perform Wednesday for America’s vote. That’s right friends, they are going to let us choose two out of the top 10. I can hardly wait for my voice to be heard. Kelly Clarkson returns to guest judge on Thursday, February 24th which will be the night the final two are announced and our top 10 FINALLY perform for our votes.

Can’t say I’m thrilled at this top 14 but I guess they don’t have to do much to make us happy this year. This is a cancelled show after all.

Wait, because I can’t help myself, here is my top eight going into next week:

  1. La’Porsha
  2. Avalon
  3. Mackenzie
  4. Olivia
  5. Dalton
  6. Lee
  7. Jenn B.
  8. Trent

We’ll see!



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