American Idol

American Idol XIV – Live Blog and Recap – Showcase No. 1 (VIDEO)

Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 14, “Showcase No. 1”! The search continues for the next American Idol! Tonight, the Top 48 perform in a showcase at the House of Blues, and some of the contestants learn their fate, as we begin to build the Top 24!

Before we get started, let’s recap where we’re at. The Top 48 contestants (26 girls, 22 guys) are…

Girls: Adanna Duru, Alexis Gomez, Ellen Petersen, Emily Brooke, Erica Washington, Erika Davis, Hannah Mrozak, Hunter Larsen, Jax, Jaq Mackenzie, Jelly Joseph, Joey Cook, Kalynne Schoelen (aka Kalynne Michelle), Katherine Winston, Loren Lott, Lovey James, Maddie Walker, Maddy Hudson, Monica Mendoza, Najah Lewis, Nalani Quintello, Rachael Hallack, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Shannon Berthiaume, Shi Scott, Tyanna Jones

Guys: Adam Ezegelian, Hollywood Anderson, Casey Thrasher, Clark Beckham, Cody Fry, Daniel Seavey, Hector Montenegro, J. None, Josh Sanders, Mark Andrew, Michael Simeon, Nick Fradiani, Qaasim Middleton, Quentin Alexander, Rayvon Owen, Reno Anoa’i, Ricky Hendricks, Riley Bria, Savion Wright, Tion Phipps, Trevor Douglas, Zack Kaltenbach

Who will advance, and who will have their American Idol dreams come to an end?

Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating the post with live, running commentary and analysis, along with videos of tonight’s proceedings.

Let’s get this show on the road!

American Idol XIV - Live Blog and Recap - Showcase No. 1 (VIDEO)

Credit: FOX

RECAP

-So we get right into tonight’s show, as only 12 girls and 12 guys will advance. Opening things up first is…

MICHAEL SIMEON

-Michael sings “Classic” by MKTO, starting things off in a slow, piano-based version. It’s a really cool way to start off the song, and makes it a very different song than the original. I liked it quite a bit. However, it slipped a bit for me once the tempo picked up. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. That said, Michael’s rap was surprisingly good.

-We flashforward to the Green Mile, as Michael meets with the judges to find out whether he’s made it through to live shows or not. J-Lo says she loved his performance, and reveals the result…

MICHAEL SIMEON is through to the Top 24!

-Michael is ecstatic and embraces his family in a wonderful little celebration.

LOREN LOTT

-We see just a brief snippet of her House of Blues performance, a rather rough version of “My Heart Will Go On”. It wasn’t bad, necessarily, but there’s just something about this girl’s voice that I don’t like. She can definitely sing, but it just sounds…I don’t know, like helium?

-Loren is proud of her performance, and considers herself blessed to be here, but Harry says he actually didn’t think it was her best performance. He says he just didn’t feel the connection like he should have, and so he finds himself wondering where she’ll fit in the Top 24. But Harry says we’ll just have to wait and see, since…

LOREN LOTT is through to the Top 24!

-I get the feeling she’s going to be around for a while. If she doesn’t get through on America’s vote and there’s somehow a wildcard, I could easily see J-Lo picking her. That said, if I remember correctly, I don’t think there’s a wildcard this year, so I suppose the point is moot. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion Loren will make the Top 12.

ADAM EZEGELIAN

-Adam sings “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake, and it’s his best performance of the competition so far, in my opinion. He has great stage presence, and impressive falsetto, and a really strong rock voice. Like, really good. I think he’s a sure thing for the Top 24.

-Keith talks to Adam about how far he thought he’d make it into this competition. But Keith doesn’t exactly draw out the suspense…

ADAM EZEGELIAN is through to the Top 24!

-Adam dances his ass off in celebration, and I find him strangely charming. I suppose he’s the afro at the end of the “Feeling Good” shadow reveal.

CODY FRY

-Cody sings “Viva La Vida” on the piano with a full rock band backing. I thought it was just okay, honestly. He explains that he wanted to back away from the singer-songwriter vibe that got him here, which I just don’t get. If the singer-songwriter vibe got you this far, why would you decide NOW was the time to do something different?!

-Aaaaand, sure enough…

CODY FRY is eliminated from AMERICAN IDOL XIV!

-Cody nods, apparently expecting to get cut. Even the judges seemed to notice how he expected to be eliminated. Harry wanted more “show” from Cody, but overall, the judges think he can grow and come back next year. But Cody’s elimination has everyone in the holding room on edge. If he can’t make it through, Tyanna Jones says, then what hope do the rest of them have?

LOVEY JAMES

-Lovey sings “Wings” by Little Mix as we’re reminded how she’s been training for this moment since she was eight years old. Her version of “Wings” is her best performance, in my opinion. I loved it, and wished we could have seen it all, from start to finish.

-Harry lauds Lovey for her performance, saying she showed more in her House of Blues performance than she has at any point of the competition. He then gives her the good news…

LOVEY JAMES is through to the Top 24!

-I like Lovey, and I’m excited to see what she’ll do in the live shows.

ELIMINATION RESULTS

-Back from break with some crushing eliminations…

HECTOR MONTENEGRO, J. NONE, RENO ANOA’I, ZACK KALTENBACH, and HANNAH MROZAK are eliminated from AMERICAN IDOL XIV!

-My heart breaks for Reno, who apologizes to his mother and family for not making it through. Ryan Seacrest is right on the money when he tells Reno there’s no way he should be apologizing for having made it to Top 48. Dude should hold his head high and come back next year. He’s got serious talent.

ADANNA DURU

-Adanna sings “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” at the House of Blues, and once again, a contestant turns in her best performance of the competition so far. This was outstanding, and made me question myself for having written her off weeks ago. I was super impressed by this.

-Harry talks about how these judgments are what’s hard about being a judge, since breaking hearts and crushing dreams is difficult. However, Adanna doesn’t have to worry about that since…

ADANNA DURU is through to the Top 24!

-She absolutely flips out and breaks into tears in a triumphant moment. I’m excited for her.

MADDIE WALKER and RACHAEL HALLACK

-Maddie sang “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie, and again, I have no idea why a country singer would decide to ditch country at the last minute. Ditiching what brought you to the dance is what cost Cody Fry, and now…

MADDIE WALKER is eliminated from AMERICAN IDOL XIV!

-However, they begin to have doubts after eliminating her as RACHAEL HALLACK (who sang a really solid version of Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder & Lead”) waits to hear her verdict. The judges decide to bring Maddie back to have a sing-off with Rachael for the spot. The judges basically explain to Maddie that this was essentially Rachael’s spot in the Top 24, but once they saw her step onto the platform to hear their decision, they started second-guessing themselves, since there’s something “captivating” about her. Wait…what? They’re basically admitting that they’re bringing her back based on appearance, while also letting the other girl know that she’s not captivating enough for them to be certain about their decision, which is kind of a lousy thing to say before putting someone on the spot. Maddie decides to sing first, and I kind of hate the principle of this sing-off already. There are few things worse on a talent show than judges who are indecisive for reasons they can’t explain.

-Maddie sings “Red High Heels” by Kellie Pickler, and it’s MILES better than her House of Blues performance, whereas Rachael sings “Son of a Preacher Man,” essentially abandoning country music like Maddie did in the House of Blues. And I think it’s going to cost her here in the same way it cost Maddie earlier. In discussing it, Harry feels Maddie has a 1% edge over Rachael in the “ready for primetime” department.

MADDIE WALKER is through to the Top 24!

RACHAEL HALLACK is eliminated from AMERICAN IDOL XIV!

-So Rachael basically goes from having a spot to having it taken away from her. I fully expect this to completely backfire and cost Maddie whatever shot at popularity we might have had, even though we never even met Rachael before tonight. Of course, Rachael takes it bitterly, saying she had more experience and should have been put through. “Guess it’s back to playing at sh***y bars.” Okay, maybe her bad attitude about getting eliminated will keep people from hating Maddie over it. But still, I’d have been bitter too, especially after being told the spot was mine until the judges saw someone shinier and prettier.

CLARK BECKHAM

-Clark sang an absolutely OUTSTANDING version of “Georgia On My Mind,” and in his confessional, he says he always felt that this is what he was meant to do. After hearing his House of Blues performance, I believe him. Dude just laced into that piano, and that vocal, in a huge way. So much soul and so much character. This a case of how smart it is to stick with what brought you to the dance.

-The judges don’t draw it out…

CLARK BECKHAM is through to the Top 24!

-Clark is a total frontrunner in my opinion. I love his tone, and I love his artistry.

DANIEL SEAVEY

-Daniel sang “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul, and it’s a solid rendition, honestly. He’s grown a lot over the past few weeks. I mean, I still don’t think he’s ready yet, not by a long shot. But I can see why the judges have brought him this far, since I think he has the potential to appeal to young girls and grandmas alike.

-And, of course, the judges want him around a bit longer…

DANIEL SEAVEY is through to the Top 24!

-I get it, but I don’t get it. He can sing, but I think they’re doing him a disservice by putting him through before he’s ready. Then again, he could surprise me. Hell, anything is possible, at this point.

TYANNA JONES

-Tyanna recounts her family’s life story about living on the streets and living with family members years ago. She breaks down, and it’s clear how much this moment means to her, although you’d never know it from the shirt and jeans she’s wearing to the final judgment. She sang “Love on Top” by Beyonce, and I desperately wish people would stop singing this song on singing competitions. No one can top Beyonce on those insane key changes, and it’s no different here, as Tyanna’s voice breaks, in places. That said, I still think she did a good job. She has a solid voice and she can definitely sing. She also seems to understand what kind of artist she is, more so than some of the others in the competition.

-Tyanna says she really wants to touch people with her music, and admits she doesn’t remember a lot about her performance at the House of Blues, since the crowd was so loud that she could barely hear anything. J-Lo feels the House of Blues performance did a great job of showing them what kind of performer she is, since some people come alive and some fall to pieces. She gives Tyanna the good news…

TYANNA JONES is through to the Top 24!

-I think she’s a solid choice to advance, at least more so than Loren Lott. That said, this makes me wonder if Shi Scott will get through, since Tyanna is a better version of Shi, in my opinion.

RAYVON OWEN and SHANNON BERTHIAUME

-Rayvon sang “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith, and his voice sounds spectacular. I seriously wish we got to hear the whole thing, since I think I’d probably buy his version. Meanwhile, Shannon sang “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin, and while I still think her voice is a bit too forced, she does sound pretty good here. Ultimately, the judges are enthusiastic about both contestants…

RAYVON OWEN and SHANNON BERTHIAUME are through to the Top 24!

-I’m starting to get a little nervous for some of my favorites, as they’re quickly running out of spots. Don’t let me down, judges! I’m trusting you to make the rest of this season easy on my ears.

JAX

-Jax recaps her family story, recalling her father’s role as a Firefighter and first responder on 9/11. At the House of Blues she sings “You and I” by Lady Gaga, but halfway through, she leaves the piano and takes a long, dramatic pause before launching into the rock-tinged chorus. However, I think the pause was a little too long, to the point that it made it seem like she messed up. Jax says her intention was to build anticipation and even confuse people a bit. But she worries that the judges might not have understood that.

-J-Lo says it wasn’t Jax’s best performance, but Keith is quick to note that Jax is really talented, which is why…

JAX is through to the Top 24!

-Jax celebrates with her family, and I couldn’t be happier for her. They had me going there for a minute, making me worry she might get cut.

HOLLYWOOD ANDERSON

-Hollywood’s journey is recapped, as he impressed at the city auditions then fell to pieces in Hollywood Week. However, we don’t see his House of Blues performance, since we’re ending this baby on a cliffhanger!

-To recap, the first 10 names to make it through to the Top 24 are…

Michael Simeon
Loren Lott
Adam Ezegelian
Lovey James
Adanna Duru
Maddie Walker
Clark Beckham
Daniel Seavey
Tyanna Jones
Rayvon Owen
Shannon Berthiaume
Jax

Tomorrow, we find out if Hollywood makes it through to the Top 24, as the remaining spots to the live shows are filled! But what did you think of tonight’s show? Did the judges make the right calls? Sound off in the comments! Until tomorrow, thanks for reading!

GOODNIGHT!

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