American Idol

American Idol 2016 – Live Blog and Recap – Showcase No. 3: 2nd 12 Performances (VIDEO)

Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 2016, “Showcase No. 3: 2nd 12 Performances”! Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. continue the search for the final American Idol!

The second group of twelve singers are up! They are:

Manny Torres
Adam Lasher
Olivia Rox
Lee Jean
Kory Wheeler
Amelia Eisenhauer
Jenn Blosil
C.J. Johnson
Tristan McIntosh
Dalton Rapattoni
Trent Harmon
Shelbie Z

Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating with commentary and videos of the highlight performances as soon as they become available!

American Idol 2016 - Live Blog and Recap - Showcase No. 3 2nd 12 Performances (VIDEO)

Credit: FOX

Let’s get this show on the road!

RECAP

-We open the show as Ryan welcomes us back to the Viviana in Downton Los Angeles. He then introduces the judges and explains that tonight will be the performances, and tomorrow will be the results plus Idol duets with David Cook, Haley Reinhart, Jordin Sparks, Chris Daughtry and more. J-Lo talks about hwo the duets are nice and all, and they’ll definitely be taking those duets into account, but they feel tonight will have the biggest bearing on whether or not they advance. Anyway, onto the night’s first performer…

SHELBIE Z opens the show!

-In her VT, Shelbie talks about her biggest fear, which is…wet paper? Well, that’s a new one. Kind of like that one episode of Maury where that one person was afraid of cottonballs, so they brought out someone dressed as a cottonball monster to help them get over it. Yes, this happened.

-Shelbie sings “Walk On Water” by Gretchen Wilson, and something about this just feels off. I can’t quite put my finger on it. She’s definitely really lively onstage, and she’s got a great, rich country tone. But I almost feel like it’s not in the sweet spot of her voice. But I can’t really tell if it should be pitched higher or lower.

-Keith thinks Shelbie looks good tonight, but felt she put the song in too low a key, just so she could hit the high note at the end. He feels she sacrificed the entire song, even though she nailed the hell out of that high note. J-Lo agrees with Keith, saying she knows Shelbie has more to offer. Harry thinks Shelbie looks great and sounds great, but thinks the interesting thing is how she’ll stack up against everyone else.

MANNY TORRES is up next!

-In his VT, Manny talks about how, as a pastor’s kid, he would often be called up to deliver a verse. He feels this is where he got his confidence from. He delivers a verse for us, and I can’t say this guy doesn’t come across like a star.

-Manny sings “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay, and I don’t particularly love the song choice. It does have some nice moments for his voice, but this just feels a bit on the bland side. I like Manny, but I think he’s capable of better than this.

-J-Lo likes Manny but wasn’t crazy about this. And Harry agrees, saying it was “piecemeal” and that he has to remember that it’s “all about the lyrics”. Keith feels the song choice wasn’t great for his voice, but it suited his spirit really nicely. I’m not optimistic about Manny’s chances, although I wouldn’t be upset if he made it.

KORY WHEELER is up next!

-In his VT, Kory talks about learning to play every instrument at the same time because his band canceled on him at the last minute at a show. Crazy.

-Kory sings “Let It Go” by James Bay, and I LOVE this. It fits his voice perfectly, and his tone is so clear and pure that this could be his own song. That said, I felt like the actual performance itself had a bit too many affectations. But the head movements are just what he does.

-Harry thought it was good but not great, saying it didn’t land emotionally. J-Lo disagrees, saying she felt like she was seeing the beginning of Kory becoming the artist he’s meant to be. Keith loved it, noting that it was great vulnerability.

AMLEIA EISENHAUER is up next!

-In her VT, Amelia talks about how, in order to get over messing up in a performance, her family had a rule that allowed her to say whatever she wanted once she got to the car. Needless to say, there were a lot of swear words spoken. I can’t even imagine Amelia swearing.

-Amelia sings “Wake Me Up” by Avicii featuring Aloe Blacc. It’s a good vocal, although I felt this performance was a bit too affected as well. She’s got the talent to go far, but I get the feeling she doesn’t know what kind of artist she wants to be, since this was leagues different than her past performances in terms of style. I didn’t love this, but I didn’t hate it either.

-Keith wasn’t crazy about the song choice, but he likes that Amelia is trying different things. J-Lo didn’t love the song choice either, but she feels Amelia is a special girl. Harry thinks Amelia should find songs that are quirkier, since she’s unique. I totally agree.

JENN BLOSIL is up next!

-In her VT, Jenn talks about how she doesn’t drink or do drugs, but she LOVES to dance. Her moves are so damn cute. Sometimes she’s a bit too quirky for her own good, but this is one instance where she’s endearing as all hell.

-Jenn sings “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, and it starts off a little rough, honestly. With her seated at the piano, this had all the makings of a great performance, but the verses didn’t do anything for me. But once she gets to the chorus, this comes alive. She does some really awesome runs that I didn’t even know she was capable of hitting. I guess I’m back in the same position I was in with the Amelia performance, where I didn’t love this, but I didn’t exactly hate it either.

-Harry thinks Jenn is a breath of fresh air as a personality, but states she was only really singing in tune at the end, which is why the audience responded the way they did. He says it simply wasn’t good tonight. Keith says he responded at the same time as the audience not because of the familiarity of the chorus, but because of how she showed her artistry, or some other such platitude. J-Lo sticks up for Jenn, saying they all love what she does, even if it doesn’t always work.

CJ JOHNSON is up next!

-In his VT, CJ demonstrates his most popular trick at parties, which is playing the guitar over and behind his head. Cool stuff.

-CJ sings “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain, and although he performs it really well, and although it’s basically the ideal song choice for him, it just feels like the kind of Idol performance you’d get in the second season. There was nothing very interesting about it, even though it was one of the better vocals of the night so far.

-Keith thought it was the perfect song, the perfect range, and the perfect key. J-Lo thought it was a great song and a great vocal, and she felt he was singing it directly to her. Harry thought CJ sang it really well, but felt it would have been even stronger if it were in tune. Harry’s ear must be incredible, or mine must be really bad, because I can’t detect the lack of tune at all. Or maybe Harry’s standards are just really high. He’s almost like Mr. Burns getting on Don Mattingly about his sideburns. Some people will never be in tune enough.

LEE JEAN is up next!

-In his VT, Lee talks about developing a love for origami over one summer, saying it helps him focus. I love Lee Jean, he seems so chill.

-Lee sings “Runaway” by Ed Sheeran. This started out a bit rough for me, but it gets exponentially better as it goes on. Unfortunately, it never really reaches the standards of his past performances. That said, given how tonight has been going, I’d be downright stunned if he didn’t get through.

-Keith loves Lee and loves Ed Sheeran, but hated the song choice. He doesn’t get what the deal is with the song choice. J-Lo agrees, reiterating that they love Lee, but he needs to start thinking about America getting the vote next week. Harry suggests Lee practice playing and singing at the same time to get himself into the right rhythm. He adds that, luckily for Lee, it ended up being one of the better performances of the night, even though it wasn’t great.

TRENT HARMON is up next!

-In his VT, Trent takes us through his hat collection, giving us the story behind each hat. From here on out, the nickname I’ll have for him in my head is Bartholomew Cubbins.

-Trent sings “What Are You Listening To” by Chris Stapleton. It’s a great song choice for his voice, and he delivers it with feeling and passion. I also think it was wise of him to play guitar here, since it allowed him to dictate the tempo of the song, allowing him to draw out certain notes for a little longer, if he wanted to. Best performance of the night so far, in my opinion (even though that probably isn’t saying all that much).

-J-Lo loves Trent, and he reciprocates. Jen explains that he connects emotionally, and has such depth and feeling. She feels he’ll be around for a long time to come. Harry disagrees, feeling it wasn’t the Trent who’s kept him on the edge of his seat for the past couple weeks. Keith thought it was a brilliant song choice that helped get the crowd invested in him. So it looks like a split between the judges, although Keith and J-Lo ought to be enough to get him through.

TRISTAN MCINTOSH is up next!

-In her VT, Tristan reveals that she can say the alphabet backwards faster than anyone in her state. She even challenges anyone else out there to beat her. I swear, every time I see Tristan, I wonder why she’s here when she already has a job translating for Daenerys Targaryen.

-Tristan sings “Good Girl” by Carrie Underwood, and I guess we just add this one to the pile of “okay” performances tonight. I have no idea what’s going on tonight, but I think the contestants are just picking the wrong songs for their respective voices. I like Tristan’s tone, but this song just felt kind of lifeless, at least in comparison to past performances of hers.

-J-Lo thought it really picked up steam towards the end, but felt it lacked feeling in the start. Harry thinks Tristan can work on it, but says with the exception of Shelbie, everyone has been giving performances that have been just okay. Keith thinks Tristan has the talent, and she looks like a million bucks. He thinks it’ll all come together for her once she finds the right song.

ADAM LASHER is up next!

-In his VT, Adam says his favorite pastime is collecting weird instruments. He whips out this crazy guitar I don’t even know how to describe, and plays the American Idol theme song on it. Sounds good.

-Adam sings “Black and Gold” by Sam Sparro. It’s a good vocal, but too much of a lounge style performance for the Idol stage. It’s mostly a song choice problem, since this is just way too old fashioned. It sounds like something Chris Isaak would have recorded. And I like Chris Isaak, but he’s not trying to get judges to put him through to the next round. I love Adam’s voice though, and I’d love to see him go through, since it feels we have far too few honest-to-God adults on this season.

-Harry feels Adam needed to set the groove for the band rather than the other way around, and it was hard for him to get past that. In a funny moment, Harry is confused why the crowd didn’t boo that critique. Keith thinks Adam needs to do things that set him apart from everyone else, saying it all boils down to song choice. J-Lo didn’t like it, saying she couldn’t get into the melody of the song.

DALTON RAPATTONI is up next!

-In his VT, Dalton reveals he can control the movement of both eyes independently. He thought it would help him with girls when he was younger, but as it turns out, girls don’t like guys who like bugs.

-Dalton sings “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol. I love this arrangement. It keeps the rock spirit of the original song, but the tempo is slowed to make it more of a dirge than a song of rebellion. This is easily the best performance of the night. Dalton has the look, the sound, and the artistry of a winner, in my opinion.

-J-Lo screams Dalton’s name as loud as the girls in the audience. This is insane! She notes how he’s pretty as can be, before adding that it was a great performance, because…well, it was. For his part, Harry thought it was powerful, and praises Dalton for interpreting the lyrics, calling it “absolutely tremendous”. Keith loves how he “Daltonizes” every song, saying it’s like he has his own genre. That’s actually a pretty great way of putting it.

WATCH AND DISCUSS: Dalton Rapattoni Gets J-Lo Screaming His Name With ‘Rebel Yell’ on American Idol 2016 (VIDEO)

OLIVIA ROX is up next!

-In her VT, Olivia says she knew every Aretha Franklin song by the time she was seven. One day, she bumped into Aretha and sang for her. Aretha then put her hand on her shoulder and said, “That was a beautiful Minnie Ripperton song.” Despite singing the wrong song, Aretha still told her she had a beautiful voice. (I love how Olivia talks about “bumping” into Aretha Franklin, like it’s the most casual thing in the world)

-Olivia sings “Confident” by Demi Lovato, and yeah, THIS might actually be the performance of the night. Olivia delivers an awesome, confident (no pun intended) rock vocal. My only objection was that this could use a little movement onstage, since she remained mostly stationary throughout. But that’s a minor nitpick when set against how strong this was vocally. Olivia delivered the attitude of the song as well. Color me impressed. Dalton vs. Olivia finale?

-Harry thinks this is the kind of song she should be singing. He felt it was really strong, although he thinks she should be the one to dictate the rhythm. Keith, who gave Olivia a standing ovation, thinks she did a brilliant job. J-Lo suggests Olivia brings out her inner rock chick if she’s going to do a song like that, but she notes that she does like Olivia.

WATCH AND DISCUSS: Olivia Rox Earns Standing Ovation With ‘Confident’ on American Idol 2016 (VIDEO)

Honestly, I’m kind of disappointed with tonight’s show. I’m actually struggling to think of five people to put through. Other than the obvious picks of Dalton and Olivia, I guess I’d add Trent, Adam and Kory. But that’s too male-heavy, and I think the producers want a female winner this year to bookend American Idol with another Kelly Clarkson. So I guess Shelbie, Jenn and Tristan are safer bets. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.

But what did you think of tonight’s show? Which seven acts will advance and which five do you think should go home? Sound off in the comments!

Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading and hanging out!

GOODNIGHT!

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