American Idol XIV – Live Blog and Recap – Top 12 Girls Perform (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 14, “Top 12 Girls Perform”! Tonight, the Top 12 Boys compete for America’s vote!
The contestants performing tonight include…
For spoilers on what each of the girls will be singing, check out the Top 12 Girls Song Spoilers.
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!
-And we’re back at the Fillmore in Detroit, and the crowd seems more lively now than they did last night, if that counts for anything. Although I’m wondering if it’s the same crowd. Either way, the judges are here and we’re off to the races…
LOVEY JAMES opens the show!
-Lovey recaps her dancer background, and we see clips of her journey with J-Lo talking about her lively personality. I like Lovey, even though I’ve only liked about half of her performances so far. She’s more of an entertainer than a vocalist, which isn’t to say she doesn’t have a good voice, but rather that she’s better at one aspect of performance than the other.
-Lovey sings “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic, and I really don’t like the first half at all. She’s pitched way too low, and she also seems a bit out of tune. But she picks it up in a big way at the midpoint, really coming alive with the tempo change. I thought it was an impressive finish, but the first half was a bit on the rough side.
-J-Lo loved it while Harry thought she did a good job, since it’s a song they all know. Keith notes that it got better as it went on, and congratulates her for a job well-done. Backstage, Lovey fights tears as she says she hopes America loved it. I do like Lovey, although I’d have picked a different song. I just can’t hear it without thinking about How To Get Away With Murder.
ADANNA DURU is up next!
-We recap Adanna’s journey, and she’s another one of those singers I wrote off a bit too early, as she’s really come back to show she deserves to be around. I haven’t always been in her corner, but I think she’s a damn solid vocalist.
-Adanna sings “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne, and my issues with it are sort of the inverse of my problem with Lovey’s performance. Here, it starts off really strong, but sort of falls apart as it goes on. When the tempo picks up and the band kicks in, Adanna almost screams the rest of the song, and it ended up being a bit unpleasant. Still, it’s obvious she can sing, and she simply needs to rein in her tendency to push her voice too far.
-Keith felt it was a really good performance, as she condensed so much of her range into that short time frame. J-Lo feels Adanna was impressive, particularly for someone who’s only 18-years-old. Harry notes that the back half of the song was a bit off, but that the first half was actually the best he’s ever heard her sing. Adanna can’t believe she’s in Detroit. She asks America to please vote for her, and while I don’t expect her to get through, it wouldn’t completely surprise me if she did.
ALEXIS GOMEZ is up next!
-We recap Alexis’ hippie style, and Ryan Seacrest pointing out that she never wears shoes, because he always does if a contestant doesn’t. I like Alexis, although I’m not really sure I’m feeling her as a country singer.
-Alexis sings “Gunpowder & Lead” by Miranda Lambert, and it’s a solid performance, offering a new side to Alexis as she really works the stage and interacts with the band. I was impressed with her showmanship. Still not buying her as a country artist though. She just doesn’t feel like one. She comes across as more indie to me.
-Harry hopes Alexis stays in the competition, but warns her against putting on a fake twang when singing country music. Keith loved it, but wants Alexis not to be afraid of ditching the guitar, since she really came alive when she simply set aside the guitar and performed with just the microphone. But J-Lo is all positivity, noting Alex’s Latina background. Backstage, Alexis notes she loves Detroit, and thanks the city.
JOEY COOK is up next!
-Joey’s uniqueness is recapped, but I’m too busy having giant cartoon hearts in my eyes to remember any specifics. I don’t think there’s a single thing about this girl I don’t love.
-Joey sings “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban, and Keith absolutely loses it when he figures out what the song is, since Joey has changed it so much. He’s completely entertained by this, and I don’t blame him. While it isn’t the best vocal Joey has ever delivered, this is probably her best onstage performance so far. She works the stage, does some dancing (!!) and generally just rocks out with her squeezebox, which I didn’t think was even possible. I loved this, because of course I did.
-Keith gives her a standing ovation. J-Lo says that this is the best thing about Joey, her uniqueness. It showcased exactly who she is. Harry agrees and says if he and Keith ever had a kid, Joey would probably be the result. Keith, meanwhile, says that’s precisely what an artist is all about, as she made it her own and did a great job. Backstage, Joey is simply satisfied to have sung a Keith Urban song to Keith Urban himself.
KATHERINE WINSTON is up next!
-Katherine recalls watching American Idol all her life, noting that it’s her favorite show, so she wondered to herself why she didn’t just try out for it. Good question, and I’m glad she came to that answer, since she’s a terrific addition to the talent pool this season.
-That said, I wasn’t crazy about this take on “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift. It’s not bad at all, it’s just sort of lifeless, which wouldn’t be a problem if it was as haunting as the original. But it wasn’t. There just didn’t seem like there was any real feeling behind this. I still like Katherine though, and find her tone to be splendid.
-Keith doesn’t think Katherine had enough feeling behind her performance, but J-Lo is much more positive about Katherine overall. Harry likes Katherine a lot, but thinks it was simply the wrong song choice. Poor Katherine seems heartbroken, but backstage, she seems a lot happier with how her performance went, saying she’d been waiting to do this for a while.
SHANNON BERTHIAUME is up next!
-We recap Shannon’s journey, and I like her well enough, but I think they put her through way too soon. She’s a good singer, but she could be a great one with time. However, I’m not sure she’ll have the chance to develop on this show.
-Shannon sings “Who Knew” by Pink, and I don’t know if she was mic’d poorly or if she forgot lyrics or what, but she wasn’t all that audible here. She seemed to be just mumbling through the song. I like her voice, but I just didn’t like this at all. She seemed utterly lifeless up there.
-Harry thinks her rawness is a plus, but feels the novelty will wear off, so he tells her she really needs to work on being more energetic onstage. Keith chalks up the lackluster performance to song choice, while J-Lo feels Shannon will develop as she goes on. Backstage, Shannon hopes she did enough for America to give her another chance. However, I’m not entirely certain she did. I wouldn’t be mad if she got through though. Then again, I’d say that about nearly every girl this season. This is a surprisingly deep bench of talent, I feel.
LOREN LOTT is up next!
-We recap Loren’s journey, and while she’s absolutely stunning to look at, she just comes across as though she tries way too hard to be a “star”. But I still feel there’s a layer of authenticity beneath it all that peeks out every now and then, so I don’t exactly dislike her or anything. And she IS talented, so there’s that.
-At the start of her performance of “Note to God” by Charice, I found myself wondering why the hell she’d pick such a dreary song. But as it continued, it became clear. There’s a lot of inherent drama in it, and with loads of big notes for her to deliver. She has a powerful voice, and I thought she used it really well here.
-J-Lo thought it was a very brave performance, while Harry feels this is going to be a great season, even though America will have its work cut out for them. Meanwhile, Keith basically implies that she set the bar really high. Backstage, Loren says she’s praying that she did enough to reach the Top 12. I could easily see her making it, honestly, even though she basically reminds me of a female Todrick Hall (who I didn’t think was ready for the Top 12 in his season).
SHI SCOTT is up next!
-The recap of Shi’s journey just flies by, and I almost feel like it’s a metaphor for her time on the show so far. She seems like a bit of a blur as an artist, to such an extent that I’m not sure who she’s trying to be.
-Shi sings “Umbrella” by Rihanna, and I don’t like this at all. It sounds like her voice is straining throughout the entire performance, even in the more mellow, early segments of the song. Once the tempo picks up, the band virtually swallows her alive. If she somehow survives this week, it’ll say a lot about her popularity.
-Keith thought it was a bold performance, but says she didn’t really get him with that performance. J-Lo is frustrated that the song choice didn’t show America the best of Shi. However, she notes that if America feels her the way they did in the early rounds, she should go through. Harry credits her for picking a song that everyone knows, at least, but he ultimately didn’t think it was her best performance. Backstage, she puts on a brave face while fighting back tears, saying she did her best and she hopes America lets her stay. I like Shi as a person, and think she has tons of potential, but it’s been weeks since I’ve seen any of it in evidence, if I’m being honest.
MADDIE WALKER is up next!
-The recap of Maddie’s journey conveniently leaves out the dreadful sing-off of doom, but I figure it’s just as well. Whatever damage is done to her from how she got her spot has likely been done already, so it serves no purpose to rehash it.
-Maddie sings “Love Gets Me Every Time” by Shania Twain, and it’s actually a really good country vocal. And she worked the stage very well, showing a lot of the star quality the judges seemed to see in her. This is easily my favorite performance of hers in the entire competition.
-Harry is surprised at the maturity of her voice, considering she’s just 17. Keith likes Maddie but didn’t think that was the right song to show off the strengths of her voice. J-Lo agrees with Keith, worried that the song choice didn’t show America enough of what they needed to see from her. Backstage, Maddie notes what a great time she had, asking for America to vote for her.
SARINA-JOI CROWE is up next!
-We’re reminded that this is Sarina’s fourth shot at the American Idol crown, and I’m glad we’re getting that reminder, because I feel that’s a story that ought to be told so she doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. She really does deserve to be around, more so than the edit this season has shown.
-Sarina sings “Mamma Knows Best” by Jessie J, and hot DAMN this is incredible. The first note is downright sensational. She hits some OTHERWORLDLY runs, delivering what is easily the best performance of the night so far. So much talent, so much attitude, and tons of stage presence and star quality. I love the arrangement, and I loved this vocal.
-J-Lo says she delivered a vocal that could rival Jessie J’s version, while Harry thought it was a perfect song choice with a perfect arrangement. Keith loved the performance as well, and yeah, Sarina is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Backstage, Sarina’s mind is blown by J-Lo’s comments, since Jessie J is her favorite vocalist. Seriously though, I didn’t think J-Lo was far off the money. That was an insane vocal.
JAX is up next!
-The video package reiterates Jax’s uniqueness, and honestly, I’m so glad she’s in this competition. The past forty minutes or so have made me realize just how badly she’s needed in this field of contestants. That isn’t to say the show has been bad, but I’ve been underwhelmed by more of the contestants than I’d like to be.
-Jax sings the Cher version of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” and while I like the more mellow first half of the song better than the rock-infused second half, I thought Jax delivered a terrific overall performance, from how she worked the stage to how she interacted with the guitarist. She feels like a fully formed artist. Girl is ready NOW.
-Keith thought the performance was killer, while J-Lo feels we’ll definitely see her around next week. Harry agrees, applauding Jax on her talent and artistry. Backstage, Jax freaks out, saying “This is crazy! They liked it!” I love Jax. Seriously, she’s fantastic. I hope she makes it deep into the competition. I’m talking Top 6, at least.
TYANNA JONES is up next!
-The recap reminds me just how young Tyanna is. She has such a mature voice, I keep thinking she’s far older than she is. I do like that quality about her though. She feels like a total throwback artist.
-Tyanna sings “Lips Are Movin'” by Meghan Trainor, and I don’t particularly love the song choice. It’s in her style, to be sure, but half of the song sounds out of tune. However, if there is a big saving grace with this, it’s that her tone is absolutely lovely. I’d have pitched the song higher for her, but even in the wrong key, she still sounds good. And that’s the sign of someone with a naturally lovely tone.
-Harry puts Tyanna into the “Ridiculously Talented” category, while Keith tells her not to be afraid to tell the band she wants to sing it in a higher key. J-Lo, meanwhile, says that Tyanna’s voice is from God himself. I don’t disagree, as Tyanna definitely has heaps of talent. She does needs to learn how best to focus it, and that’s something she can pick up as the competition continues.
-And that’s a wrap! A bit of an uneven night, but I really enjoyed Joey, Sarina, Jax, Alexis and Tyanna. However, I think Shi, Katherine, Adanna and Shannon are in trouble, even though I don’t really want Katherine to go home this early. But somebody has to go, I suppose. Blech.
What did you think of tonight’s show? Who were your favorites? And which four girls are on the chopping block? Sound off in the comments! Until next week, thanks for reading and hanging out! It’s been a blast!