American Idol XIV Top 8 Girls Revealed + Performance Recap (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 14, “Top 8 Girls Perform”! Tonight, we not only do we watch the Top 8 perform, we find out just who the Top 8 girls are, as a whopping FOUR ladies will be eliminated on tonight’s show!
But will your favorite be one of the unlucky eliminations? Which four of these twelve girls will be cut?
Give us your four picks for elimination in the comments as we wait for the show to begin! And be sure to keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating the post with live, running commentary and analysis, along with videos of tonight’s performances.
Let’s get this show on the road!
-We open with a montage of the contestants set to “Fell In Love With a Girl” by The White Stripes, and I actually like it quite a bit. This is one of the better girl lineups they’ve had in a while. I genuinely like each one of the finalists at least a little bit. Even Maddie and Loren.
Anyway, we get to it right away. After the judges are introduced, Ryan Seacrest reveals Result #1: TYANNA JONES IS SAFE!
-Tyanna talks about her family in her video package, while also noting just how badly she wants to make the Top 12. Honestly, I’d be really surprised if she were cut. She’s been one of the more subtle delights of this competition so far, and among the more consistent performers.
-Tyanna sings “Rockin’ Robin,” and it’s her best performance, in my opinion. It’s very lively and energetic, and I found myself kind of bopping along with her on it. At the very least, it blows Megan Joy’s version out of the water. I think she’s someone to watch, especially since this is a super tight race for those six spots for the women in the Top 12.
-Keith says it was a perfect song choice for Tyanna, and notes that she sang it perfectly. J-Lo praises Tyanna for her throwback vibe, saying she reminds her of that legendary crop of performers that Motown produced. Harry called it subtle and strong. “What can’t you sing?” Harry asks. At this rate, I’m pretty sure she could get away with singing just about anything, even rock. Backstage, Tyanna says performing out there felt amazing, and she hopes she’ll get to do it again.
-We’re back from break, as Ryan Seacrest reveals Result #2: LOREN LOTT IS SAFE!
-In her video, she talks about wanting to be an entertainer since she was a little girl, noting that she grew up singing in the church. She’s had a lot of support from family and friends, and she vows not to let them down.
-Loren sings “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” as this feels like it’s going from Motown Night to Michael Jackson Night. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Loren delivers her liveliest performance yet, seeming absolutely THRILLED to be up there, so much that she seems like she can hardly contain her excitement. It’s actually kind of adorable. Her dancing is just as cute. And hey, I loved the vocal too! This was her best performance, in my opinion.
-J-Lo feels Loren really has something, an “innate, natural talent.” She feels the audiences are going to really respond to her. Harry notes that there’s a very high bar set by the contestants this season. After that performance, however, Harry feels the bar has been nudged up just that much higher. Keith thought it was a really good performance, and I don’t disagree one bit. Backstage, Loren rambles very fast, thanking God and America, and talking about how great it was to perform onstage. Loren’s super-excited personality is cute for now, although I could imagine it getting insanely annoying if she remains at this level all throughout the competition.
-Ryan Seacrest reveals Result #3: MADDIE WALKER IS SAFE!
-In her video, Maddie says that people underestimate her because she’s young, but she vows to prove them wrong. She says she’ll do this by actually winning this thing. Honestly, I don’t like her chances, but I do like her drive.
-Once again, another contestant tonight delivers her personal best. I don’t think there was a single bum note in Maddie’s entire performance of “I’ll Be There”. Of course, with this song choice, Maddie keeps tonight’s Michael Jackson Night theme alive. But I’m glad, because I think this is a perfect song choice for her. Sure, it gets a tiny bit bland towards the end, but Maddie has such precision with her vocals that I found myself impressed regardless.
-Harry says if anyone doubted she should be in the competition, she just silenced them. However, he does warn against the long notes she holds out, since she tends to go sharp. He also tells her to work on not remaining too flat throughout the vocal, and change things up a bit more. Keith thinks Maddie did a good job, but felt she was a bit nervous. He tells her to focus on feeling rather than on the vocal itself. As for J-Lo, she loved the innocence of the track and how it brought out a certain feeling from Maddie. Backstage, Maddie thanks America for voting and notes she feels really blessed, as she got to get her point across with the song.
-Back from break, as the Top 24 contestants had the opportunity to meet Aretha Franklin, who offered advice to the contestants to avoid anything potentially career-ending (such as bad influences and “the wrong kind of people”). She recalls the first time she sang in a studio, and Katherine Winston asks if Aretha ever missed a line onstage, like misspelling RESPECT. She says she’s never misspelled RESPECT and never will, but adds that Ella Fitzgerald was amazing at ad-libbing. Aretha says that no matter what, if you mess up, you have to keep going. She advises them to kick butt. I love Aretha, and would have been losing my damn mind the entire time if I were the finalists.
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) March 6, 2015
-Ryan Seacrest reveals Result #4: JOEY COOK IS SAFE! YES! YES! YES!
-In her video, Joey talks about going from a full-time server to a full-time street musician. She feels she can bring a lot of uniqueness to the Top 12, and I agree. The Top 12 NEEDS THIS WOMAN. Seriously, if I could start voting now, sight unseen and song unheard, I would. Somewhat unrelated, but we see Joey with multiple hair colors in this video, and I actually think she’s a rather adorable blonde. Sure, I like the blue, but she could lose it without losing much.
-Joey sings “Shop Around” by The Miracles, and much like Loren, she has a very manic, excitable energy, like she can’t even believe she’s onstage right now. And, much like with Loren, it’s absolutely ADORABLE. This isn’t Joey’s best performance, but I absolutely love the little things about it, from the dancing to the accenting of each syllable. Her voice gets a little thin in her upper register towards the end, but it seems to be part of the nerves and disbelief she’s feeling, at the moment. Either way, I still enjoyed this immensely. It was a quirky, cool arrangement from a quirky, cool artist.
-Keith looks forward to always seeing and hearing what Joey has to say, thanking her for what she did with his song last week, and praising her for what she did this week. J-Lo feels Joey has special qualities, noting that the ability to bear your heart and soul is what makes an artist. Harry agrees with J-Lo, but worries that Joey is so stylized with her fashion and pronunciation that he fears audiences might tire of her after a while. WELL MAYBE I’LL TIRE OF YOUR CRITICISMS, HARRY CONNICK JR! Sorry, I got carried away there. Backstage, Joey can barely hold herself together, shouting HELLO to America, and thanking them for voting and existing. She starts to cry as she tells America to stay like kiwis, to remain weird and to stay positive. I love Joey Cook. Like, you don’t even know.
-Ryan Seacrest reveals Result #5: SARINA-JOI CROWE IS SAFE!
-Sarina talks about her life in a small town, and the job she works each day, as well as how badly she wants more. Lord knows, after four times trying to make it, she really deserves the chance to have America vote on her. She’s such an outstanding vocalists that I’m shocked it even took her this long to get to America’s vote.
-Sarina sings “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” and to me, this was the best performance of the night, full-stop. Look, I know it was a bit flat and off-pitch, but damn, the tone of this girl’s voice, and the runs she hits, and the whole stripped back acoustic version with the guitarist…I just loved this. And I can’t imagine how the hell anyone is going to top this. Seriously, Sarina is a major threat to go deep into this competition.
-J-Lo says that was an immensely fulfilling performance, saying she remembers when Sarina tried out as a teenager. She feels Sarina is one of the very best singers here, which is not to discredit anyone else here. Harry thinks Sarina has an amazing smile, and loves Sarina’s voice. But he warned her about intonation and singing in pitch, since she was consistently flat throughout the entire song. He did like the arrangement with simply the guitar though. Keith feels Sarina did a good job of working through her deficiencies, and is a true artist. Backstage, Sarina thanks America and says she hopes they loved it, but it’s okay if they didn’t. Throughout all this, Joey Cook is kissing her hand. I LOVE THIS GROUP OF FINALISTS.
-Back from break, as Ryan Seacrest has Result #6: ADANNA DURU IS SAFE!
-Adanna says she comes from a family that loves to goof off. It’s a cute video package that helps give a sense of who Adanna is, because right now, I’m not entirely sure. She’s a great singer, but I haven’t gotten a sense for her personality from any of the vocals so far.
-Adanna sings “Hello” by Lionel Richie, making this the most contemporary of the songs on Motown Night. And, in keeping with tonight’s stellar collection of performances, I thought this was easily Adanna’s best. I loved her breathy enunciation. It really felt like she was acting the part, and it gave off the impression of a Broadway performance. In a good way, of course. This was the most I’ve liked Adanna so far, and I doubt I’ll have any trouble remembering this when the night is over.
-Harry gives Adanna an A+ for how she sang those lyrics, saying it was a beautiful lyric interpretation. But Harry gets on her over her intonation, saying she just wasn’t in tune. I think this is the issue of having an immaculately well-trained ear, since Harry hears pitch problems that not a whole lot of other people can hear, even the other judges. Keith felt Adanna owned the song when she said “I love you,” and she got him and the rest of the crowd into it. J-Lo liked it but she didn’t love it. However, she feels it’s mostly about choosing the right song that sits in the pocket of her voice. She does believe Adanna can do it though. Backstage, Adanna hopes America liked what she did, and that they’ll vote for her.
-Ryan Seacrest reveals Result #7: JAX IS SAFE!
-Jax is excited to perform again at the Fillmore again, saying Detroit is a place where she feels she’ll be able to make her mark. If last week is any indication, I think she’s right. I love me some Jax. Next to Joey, she’s my favorite contestant this season.
-HA! Jax is wearing The Dress. I wonder how many people are seeing it as white and gold right now. Anyway, Jax sets this theme on its head by doing a groovy coffee shop version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and I swear, this girl can do anything. Not only does she sound incredible, she commands the stage without really having to move all that much. I absolutely adore Jax and hope she sticks around for a long-ass time.
-Keith loves Jax’s artistry, while J-Lo worries that Jax might take well-known songs and change them so much that we don’t feel it. I disagree, but I can see where she’s coming from. Harry agrees with J-Lo, and says that while she has amazing artistry and charisma, he thought the arrangement was dull. He basically tells her she needs to pick songs that will allow her to show off her range. Backstage, Jax tells America that if they want to survive the zombie apocalypse, they should join the Jax Pack and vote for her. Wait what?
-Ryan Seacrest reveals the eighth and final result: ALEXIS GOMEZ IS SAFE!
SHI SCOTT, SHANNON BERTHIAUME, KATHERINE WINSTON and LOVEY JAMES are eliminated from AMERICAN IDOL XIV!
-Alexis grew up working on cars. She loves cars, but not as much as she loves her family, talking about her love for her grandmother. Alexis has a lot of personality, and I like her a lot, even though she doesn’t immediately strike me as a country artist. In fact, I have no idea what kind of artist she’s trying to be. Case in point…
-Alexis sings “I Can’t Help Myself,” and it’s a fairly pop-style vocal. But again, it makes me question what role she’s trying to fill in this competition. Seriously, I don’t get what she’s trying to do. I do like her onstage energy though, as she’s funky but also kind of relaxed, with no shoes and no guitar. Just sort of dancing across the stage and flashing her million dollar smile. But I doubt this is going to be enough to get her through to the Top 12, unless she somehow has amassed a huge country following.
-J-Lo likes Alexis, but really didn’t like that performance. Harry feels Alexis deserves to be here, but he just didn’t get that performance. She needs to pick the right songs for herself. Keith, meanwhile, is far more positive, adding that he loved that she wasn’t wearing shoes, since you have to be comfortable onstage, as she obviously was. Backstage, Alexis seems to shrug off the criticism, or at least take it in stride. I do like Alexis, but considering how tight the race is for those six female spots in the Top 12, I’m not sure I’d give her one, based on that performance.
-And with that, Ryan bids farewell to Shi, Shannon, Lovey and Katherine. I’m sad to see Katherine go, since I think she had tons of potential that, unfortunately, was never realized.
And that’s a wrap! The Top 16 are…
Who do you think will make the Top 12? Vote in our official poll and sound off in the comments! Until next week, thanks for reading!