Last week we said goodbye to 5 of the 12 contestants from the first group of showcase performances. This week we do it all over again, narrowing down the second group of 12 to just 7. Harry Connick Jr, Jennfier Lopez, and Keith Urban will all decide which 7 will join the others to continue on in the competition.
As usual, here’s my ranking of the performances, from worst to best:
Amelia Eisenhauer would have benefited from keeping Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” as a ballad. But instead, she sped up the temp and completely lost control of her voice. Keith and Jennifer agreed that the song choice was not good. Harry said that she should find songs that are more quirky, whatever that means.
Shelbie Z took on Gretchen Wilson’s “Work Hard, Play Harder,” which should come as no surprise to anyone. Her vocals were solid, that’s not the issue. Her issue is predictability and safety. She’s a great vocalist, but that’s not enough to win this competition.
CJ Johnson is always solid. Him performing “I’ll Be” was no exception. But he’s predictable. Is there anything different from his rendition and Edwin McCain’s? Yeah, Edwin’s was better. Keith said it was perfect, J.Lo agreed, so maybe I’m crazy.
Adam Lasher, who has seen very little TV time, picked “Black and Gold.” The performance was solid, with some tempo issue here and there. The real problem is that none of us has seen him. Even if he made it to Top 14, would anyone vote for him? Yes, he could have picked a much more show off-y song, but he definitely wasn’t the worst of the night.
Tristan McIntosh took on Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.” Her execution was incredibly awkward. Her lack of stage presence mixed with so many sharp notes left for a super mediocre performance.
Kory Wheeler did the unfortunate thing of picking one of my favorite songs, James Bay’s “Let It Go.” He sounded fine, but he really could have benefited from taking some creative artistry and switching it up a bit. Harry said it wasn’t great because it wasn’t moving to him. Jennifer said it was the most comfortable she’s seen him onstage.
Olivia Rox is fortunate that everyone else had pretty terrible performances. Had she performed last week against the other 12 contestants, she would have easily gone home. She started with a slowed down rendition of Demi Lovato’s “Confident,” and it was great. But as soon as she stood up and sped up the tempo, everything fell apart. She awkwardly ran around on stage doing some strange moves with her left hand. To top that all off, she was pitchy. Keith and the judges loved it though.
Manny Torres chose Coldplay’s “Adventure of A Lifetime” for his showcase. He sounded fine and was confident on stage, but that’s just not enough at this point of the game. You have to be showing off all you’ve got to advance, and Manny didn’t really do that. He sounded fine, and he definitely has confidence on stage, but is that enough? Jennifer says he could have connected more with the audience. Harry agreed, and reiterated that it’s all about the lyrics.
Jenn Blosil, my girl, my fave, wasn’t the best she could have been. She was a bit out of tune for the beginning of Justin Beiber’s “Sorry,” and Harry definitely called her out of that. But hey, she’s still one of the few contestants that is already an artist, so I forgive her. The rest of her performance was great, so who cares really?
Lee Jean decided to do another Ed Sheeran track, this time “Runaway.” As incredible as Ed is, this song does not allow for anyone to showcase any vocal ability. Lee Jean definitely understands where his strengths are, but he still could have picked a better song. The judges agree, it wasn’t the best song choice.
Trent Harmon asked “What Are You Listening To,” this week while singing Chris Stapleton’s song. For the most part, Trent was amazing as usual. He connected, his voice is undeniable, but at times his vibrato was too strong. Harry said that it wasn’t the usual Trent that we’ve seen, but I don’t think that means we’ll be saying goodbye anytime soon.
Dalton Rapattoni slowed down Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” and had everyone eating out of his palm. His arrangement was different and he sang mostly in tune, which I’m sure Harry appreciated. All the judges loved it, and the fact that Jennifer also has a crush on Dalton makes me feel better about my crush.
With all the dull performances this week, it’s seems as it’s anyone’s game to lose. Olivia and Dalton definitely will take two of the seven available spots advancing in the competition. But who else will?