‘American Idol’: Top 8 Perform Billboard Hits [Recap & Video]

American Idol

On American Idol tonight, the Top 8 competitors remaining took the stage. They each hoped that their musical performances tonight would be good enough to get the viewers of America to vote for them. Tonight’s theme was Billboard Hits. The mentors tonight were Florida George Line and Jason DeRulo. One of the finalists did not make it to next week’s episode, and was eliminated by the show’s conclusion.

American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest, began the show by recapping last week’s episodes and introducing the judges. Then, Ryan read off the first of the names of the competitors who will be continuing on to next week, based on the votes of viewers. He read that America saved, by their votes, Jax. She was the first musical performer to take the stage and sing, and she chose to sing Lady Gaga’s hit, Poker Face.

Jax made the song her own, but she might have changed it a bit too much. Keith told her that he thought she gave an “interesting” performance, but he said he liked the arrangement. Jennifer was worried that Jax might have gone “too far left” and disengaged the interest of the audience. Harry said that he felt she had “magic” in her voice, but he did not think she was invested enough in her performance of the song.

Then, after a commercial break on American Idol, Ryan Seacrest said that America had saved by their votes Nick Fradiani. Nick chose to sing the Katy Perry song, Teenage Dream. He did an amazing job singing this song and making it his own.

Jennifer said that Nick made the song his own, while Harry told Nick he liked the energy behind the song, but he liked it when Nick sang songs that were darker and grittier. Keith added that it was a “killer song choice.” Then, Harry launched into his own version of Teenage Dream, and he sounded pretty darn good, actually.

After a commercial break on American Idol, Quentin Alexander was told by host Ryan Seacrest that he was also going to move on, based on America’s vote. Tonight, Quentin performed the Sam Smith song, Latch. He did a pretty good job singing it. Keith thought he sounded great tonight, while Harry thought he looked great.

One of the best performances of American Idol tonight arguably came from Joey Cook. She sang the Miley Cyrus hit, Wrecking Ball, and made it her own.  She might not have made it as emotionally wrenching as Miley did with the original, but she still ROCKED the song OUT.

Keith liked how Joey sang the verses, but not so much the chorus. Jennifer agreed with him, while Harry was not really impressed with her performance tonight. He thought it was just an “okay” vocal, compared with how Joey has sung on past shows.

Next up on American Idol, Clark Beckham performed an Ed Sheeran song, Make It Rain. He played the electric guitar as he sang. The audience cheered and screamed as he sang. He gave an incredible performance, and NAILED this song, while making it his own. He put a lot of emotion into the lyrics, and ended with a strong, sustained note. The audience went wild with applause.

Jennifer said “That was so amazing! It is so effortless when you sing. The style and the image has to work as well. You have a finale ahead of you, but you have to go there, to make everything be just a little bit cooler.”

Harry said “You have an amazing instrument. I think what would make it even better is — you need to sit in that pocket. Don’t rush it! It would change everything. It was good, but that’s something you can work on.”

Keith said “What happened at the end, it was like you were a pro golfer. You just killed it!”

American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest, said “We are taking a break.” When the show comes back on, he said that Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson will be singing together.

After the break, Ryan introduced Iggy and Jennifer, singing their hit song, Trouble. Iggy started the song, rapping; then, Jennifer joined her, in one of the many highlights of the night.

Ryan said “The next person who made it through and will sing for your votes is…Tyanna!” Tyanna Jones will be singing the Rihanna song, Stay. She said “I can really imagine my grandmother as I sing this song.” Her grandmother, sadly, passed away.

This was a perfect song choice for Tyanna. She sang it so melodically, with such power and emotion. The audience cheered and clapped as she sang. It was a beautiful, heartfelt performance. She cried at the end of it.

Harry said “What I really liked was how you struggled not to cry and held it in until the end. You have this slow vibrato that just works on whatever song you do.”

Keith said “If none of us knew that song –that’s a hit song! It was beautiful!”

Jennifer said “Everything just came together in the right way today. Congratulations!”

“Based on last week’s votes, Rayvon and Qaasim are the lowest vote-getters,” Ryan said. They will be singing for a save from the viewers of America right after more commercials on American Idol.

Back from a break, Ryan said “First up is Rayvon — let’s go!” He chose to sing Set Fire to the Rain by Adele. He said he wanted “to give America some gravy this week.” He met with the band, Florida Georgia Line, and got some good advice from them.

Rayvon began the song really well, maybe a little bit too high, but he sang a great version of Adele’s song, giving it his all. The women in the audience screamed as he sang, and applauded enthusiastically at the end.

Keith said “That’s a guy singing for his life right there!”

Jennifer said “Was that the best song for you? I’m really not sure.”

Harry said “We know you have incredible chops, but I wanted to ask, ‘What’s your gravy? What’s your thing?'”

Rayvon said he wanted “to spiritually connect with people.” He wanted to entertain audiences and connect with them.

Then, Ryan said Qaasim would sing next on American Idol. He sang the OutKast song, Hey, Ya. He called the song his “left hook,” and he will be throwing it.

Dang! Qaasim KILLED this song! The chorus was also amazing. Qaasim gave a terrific performance tonight, but was it good enough to beat Rayvon?

Jennifer said “You always wow us with your performance! You owned that stage!”

Harry told him “Your groove is incredibly strong. I thought it was strong, I thought it was good.”

Keith told Qaasim “That was a great song for you to do. You played to your strengths, and you were so entertaining.”

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest said that in five minutes, the results of the live voting will be announced. Then, the episode headed to yet another commercial break.

When American Idol returned, Ryan Seacrest had both Rayvon and Qaasim on the stage with him. “The person who got the save and stays alive after the nation-wide vote is…Rayvon!”

There were more terrific musical performances on American Idol tonight, as the remaining competitors who made up the Top 8 tried to convince the viewers of America to keep on voting for them. The person who was eliminated tonight was Qaasim though he actually gave a fantastic performance of Outkast’s hit song, Hey Ya.

Written By Douglas Cobb

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