On American Idol tonight, the excitement is intensifying, as the Top 15 girls perform. Five will be going home, and only 10 will remain, though we won’t find out who stays and who will go until Thursday, during the Results Show — who will stay and who will be the five to be sent home?
Actually, on Thursday, the American Idol Results Show will see only five guys and five girls stay on, for a total of 10. But then, of the 20 competitors left, three will be added as Wild Card choices by the judges, for a total of 13 competitors when the dust settles.
The host of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest, began the night’s episode by saying that the ladies tonight will be performing on an entirely new stage, and he said that tonight is the first ever Rush Week. The vote by America is official, as to which guy will move on — Ben Briley or Neco Starr — but, that result won’t be announced until later.
Harry Connick, Jr., said that he thinks this is the best group of singers since the first year. Then, Ryan introduced Randy Jackson, who he called the “Dogfather” of American Idol. Randy gave the girls critiques during a workshop, and tonight, we’ll see if they paid attention and learned from what Randy and vocal coaches –Adam Lambert was one of them — told them.
Randy said that he loved the talent among the group, and added that “it should be an amazing season.”
Jennifer Lopez said that the first girl up would be Majesty Rose York — she’s an early fan favorite. We heard Randy talking with her, first, and then got to see Majesty getting ready and dolled up. She will be singing “Happy” by Pharrell.
She played the guitar as she sang, and the crowd clapped along right from the start. She ROCKED this song out — what a great way to begin this episode of American Idol! The audience gave her a standing ovation.
J-Lo: “That’s how you’re supposed to come out, ready for show time! Your voice sounded amazing, and you delivered that song in a beautiful way!”
Harry: This is a true test. All I can say is that I feel very fortunate that you set this tone, because you did a majestic job, Majesty.”
Keith said he like her vocal range and added that she did great.
Kristen O’Connor was the first girl up after the break. She did a great job, also, showing off her impressive vocal range, singing “Turning Tables” by Adele.
Harry: “This means a lot to us. For you to come out and deliver a powerful performance, that’s good.”
Keith: “You have a killer range, which we heard somewhat of during that song.”
J-Lo: “For me, you have one of the most special tone of voice we’ll hear of any performer tonight. I could hear you right now on a record. I’m very excited to have someone like you move on in this competition.”
After another commercial break, we saw Briana Oakley sitting down with Randy Jackson. He said that sometimes she comes off seeming “too professional.” She will be singing the Demi Lovato song, “Warrior.”
Briana has a very melodious, cool voice. She began singing as she sat on a stool, then stood up and the crowd applauded, just by that action. She has a fantastic vocal range, and the audience went wild with applause as she finished, giving her a standing ovation.
Keith: “I love the clarity in your tone.”
J-Lo: “When you first came out, you looked a little bit scared to me. I understand that, because there’s a lot to this night. You remind me of a young Whitney Houston.”
Harry: “I would caution you that high notes are not triple axles. Don’t use them just to get applause. It can be a trap, so be aware of that. You did terrific, though.”
Ryan said that there would be more dramatic news coming up after the next commercial break.
Jena Irene (formerly Asciutto) from Detroit was the next one up after break. She will be singing “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones. Adam Lambert (I think it was him) told her that she “must work on your confidence.”
I am not sure about this performance — I really love the original version. The audience was clapping way out of synch, IMHO, which might have thrown her off; I don’t know. The audience seemed to think she did great, though, and applauded and gave her a standing ovation.
J-Lo: “You really pulled that off at the end. You’re one of my favorites. I’m not going to lie to you.”
Keith: “You were one of my favorites right from the beginning, too, Jena. The way you did everything, including holding the microphone, showed confidence.”
Harry Connick, Jr., then welcomed Bria Anai to the stage. We heard her, also, talking with Randy. She tells him that she “wants to be remembered as the girl with the lips.” She chose to sing “Wrong Side of a Love Song” by Melanie Fiona. She has a sweet, lyrical voice. The song started out a bit slowly, but then she cranked up the volume, and got the audience really, really into the song – she has some very powerful pipes, and NAILED this song. She got a standing ovation, ‘natch.
Harry: “I just want to say that there’s a difference between being passionate and shouting.” Harry said he thought she sounded like she was “shouting.” The audience immediately booed him.
Keith did say that there was a little bit of that in her performance.
J-Lo: “You know what? To me, you have star potential written all over you. You did get a bit too excited, but you are one of our best singers, and I hope to see you more.”
Ryan to Harry Connick, Jr.: “You got the first ‘boo” of the season.”
Keith then got his turn to announce the next girl to sing. She was Marrialle Sellars, yet another fan favorite. Randy asked her what song she would be sing, and she said “Roar” by Katy Perry. It should be a great performance.
She had the audience clapping right from the beginning — she was singing a bit rapidly, but she did a terrific job, and exuded stage presence.
Keith: “I think that was not the best song nor the best tempo for you. It came out sounding too karaoke for me,m and you’re better than that.”
J-Lo: “You did let the song take over.”
Harry: “You have to try staying more in tune. I was really impress when you first came out with your guitar. I didn’t see any of that superstar quality tonight.”
J-Lo: “The next girl is real original and fought her way into the Top 15.” She’s Jessica Meuse. Chris Daughtry says he’d like to see her without her guitar, saying that “it’s a crutch” and that he thinks her voice is better than her guitar playing. She choose to perform “Drink a Beer” by Luke Bryan. The audience claps along as she sings — she is playing her guitar, despite what Chris said. IMHO, she sounds pretty good, though the song doesn’t let her display much of a variety of vocal range.
J-Lo: “You know, I love your voice. Underneath all that edge, there’s a softness that I really connect to. Your country tone is really appealing to me, and I love it.”
Harry: You have to watch your intonation. You tend to go a little bit sharp.”
Keith: “I loved that you did a Luke Bryan song. I love the subject matter, but when you started to smile, there was a disconnect for me.”
Ryan says that there are just three girls left to perform, right after the break.
Harry introduces the next girl of the three left, Emily Piriz. Randy asks her what song she chose, and she said “Paris (Ooh, La, La).” Adam Lambert tells her that she should start out sounding “more aggressive.” He told her it only works if you sing it that way. Randy had mentioned to her that he didn’t think the judges really liked that song — we’ll see.
Personally, I think she sounded pretty good, and ROCKED the song out. The audience clapped along as she sang, and the electric guitars someone was playing kicked butt, too. It’s sort of a repetitive song, though.
Harry: “Speak the first two lines of the song — you’re a singer — this is your choice, now — is the first two lines really what you want to do?”
She told him yes, because it’s meant to be a song about being empowered, and it’s what the woman in the song wants, it’s not forced upon her, but she still seemed kind of flustered by his question.
Keith: “You’re such a good singer. What really impressed us is you didn’t have to hide behind anything.”
J-Lo: “I liked what you did Hollywood Week, but I also really loved this. I love you, I really do.” Way to go, J-Lo!
Keith’s turn to introduce the next girl — it was MK Noblette! You go! She chose to sing John Legend’s song, “All of me.” Randy told her she needed to give it her all, and wished her good luck.
MK sounded pretty awesome, in my opinion. The audience were waving their arms in the air — that’s a change — she has a pretty cool-sounding voice, and sang the song very emotionally. The crowd screamed a,d applauded wildly when she finished.
Keith: “That was the perfect song choice, it really was. That was a really beautiful performance.”
J-Lo: “Getting up there can be really daunting, but it just has to be a true sentiment, a true feeling.”
Harry: “I think you’re an elegant, articulate singer. You BELONG here.”
The last girl singer to make it into the Top Ten will be announced after the next commercial break, Ryan said, and also we’ll learn which of the two guys left got enough votes from America to move on to tomorrow night’s episode of American Idol.
Ryan brought both Ben Briley and Neco Starr onto the stage, and said taht “millions of votes came flooding in.” He said that Ben Briley would be the guy to remain in the competition, but he may or may not even get chosen to sing tomorrow night.
J-Lo: “This is really a tough moment, because we have to leave five behind. ” The last girl to perform and make it was Malaya Watson. She sang the Ray Charles song, “Hard Times.” She sang it very emotionally at the start, then revved her voice up to a TEN. She WAILED on this song, and had the rapt attention of the judges. The audience clapped as she sang, and gave her a standing ovation when she finished. She WOWED the place.
J-Lo: Listen, Malaya, there’s no doubt that you are one of the powerhouse singers here. Every time you’re out here, it’s just EPIC. I have to say that you’re amazing, and I really hope we have you around a long time.”
Harry: “We all know how talented you are. It was just to the WALL energy, which is a good thing to have. Congratulations for rounding out the Top Ten girls!”
Keith: “You make glasses and braces so cool, but it’s confidence. I can’t wait to here what you do next.”
O-KAY, then — that wrapped up the American Idol Rush Week 15 Girls Perform episode. I enjoyed hearing the singing, but having only 10 girls actually perform when the title of the episode, itself, mentions that 15 will perform, if an injustice to both the other five girls and to the home viewing audience.
And, having not REALLY five be cut from each group, but only 2, which we will find out about on Thursday, is — IMHO — kind of LAME. Why not just say that only 13 from each group will be moving on, after we hear the results announced on Thursday, as that is what is really going to happen?
I would say that there is more than enough drama on American Idol, just to learn who the judges and the votes of America will say who will stay in each episode, that more manufactured drama is unnecessary — but, that’s just my opinion, of course. Please leave your comments below, and stay tuned tomorrow to watch another episode of American Idol, then come back here to read my recap/review!
Written by: Douglas Cobb