Second half of American idolTop 24 sang to viewers’ voices on Monday, taking the stage in front of some true music icons, from Jewel and Josh Groban to Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd. (Guys, remember Incubus ?!)
Read on for our overview of the night’s performances with video for each:
JASON WARRIOR, 25 | The night’s first solo appearance, The Weeknds “Call Out My Name”, may have started smoothly and coolly, but things took a very sudden, very emotional turn. By the end of the Warriors performance, he was on his knees, apparently in tears. When he met with duet partner PJ Morton, he asked how he could take his music outside the church walls. The solution was apparently to bring the church to Idol, which resulted in a truly unexpected recording of the Bee Gees̵
MADISON WATKINS, 26 | First of all, Watkins managed to change my (previously negative) opinion about Justin Bieber’s “Holy”, which is an achievement in itself. It was a great choice for her solo as it felt topical and showed quite a bit of her reach. Tori Kelly was also an inspired choice as Watkins ‘duet partner for Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry’ Bout a Thing”, even though she suffers from Ryan Tedder syndrome. (We already know Kelly can sing. She did not have to completely overlook her partner with these races.) Luke Bryan called her a “natural entertainer,” while Richie praised her for responding to what Kelly did, instead of focus on her. own prepared part. Click here to see.
BEANE, 23 | I feel like we’re really witnessing an artistic development with Beane, even though his borderline cheesy performance of Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” reminded me that yes, he’s definitely a wedding singer. Robbie Williams’ “Angels,” which he then sang with Groban, was one much better fit. He opened his mouth and beauty flowed out, which complemented Groban’s voice perfectly. (I was does not expects him to be able to hold his own opposite Groban, but he did so completely.) Extra points to Beane for swapping “she” with “he” as an action “despite”. Clock:
HANNAH EVERHART, 17 | I really enjoy this young star on the way up, so it pains me to say that her solo performance of Chris Stapleton’s “I Was Wrong” was … not her best. She was then introduced to Jason Aldean, with whom she shared some ribs before sharing the stage. The judges mostly enjoyed what she put forward, but they encouraged her to believe more in herself. Honestly, I’m just disappointed that we never found out the chicken she was going to send Claudia Conway via FedEx “dead or alive.” What was that, Everhart ?! Click here to see.
MARY JO YOUNG, 19 | Real talk: I’m so tired of hearing Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill,” so I appreciated that Young at least changed things up a bit to show off his range. And do not even take me started on her duet with Jewel. I was already excited about “Foolish Games” and that was before my ears were blessed enough to hear their voices about it together. The tight harmonies, the growl, the hat – it all! I’m pretty sure I was darkening during this performance, and when I got to it, I saw that I had just written “Yes! Yes! YES! “Again and again. It was to well. Clock:
CHAYCE BECKHAM, 24 | Oh, another Sheeran song? You. Do not. Say. Beckham chose “Afterglow” for his solo appearance this week, and while it was not incredible, it was certainly solid. As Bryan noted, it felt a bit like Bruce Springsteen’s recording of the song. I’m not sure I would have paired him with Boyd for his duet as their polar opposing voices fought in the mixing department, but it was still a good performance. And I take every excuse to visit “Drive” again. Click here to see.
COLIN JAMIESON, 22 | It’s easy to forget how loud most Bruno Mars songs are, as he makes them sound so effortless, but these tones are not light. Still, Jamieson definitely managed to beat “Locked Out of Heaven” without sweating. (That said, I wish he hadn’t bothered to pick up the guitar in the middle as it only took away from his incredible vocals.) Then came his duet with Kelly, who apparently only goes along with other heads of juicy hair . And while their collective hair play was certainly strong, their vocals on “Hollow” were even stronger. This was one of the best duets of the night for me. Clock:
LIAHONA OLAYAN, 17 | I have felt that this fireworks have been radio clear and very marketable from day 1, and her solo performance of Audrey Mixa’s “Just Friends” only served to reinforce this belief. Joining Morton on a dramatic duet of “Say So” was a risky move for Olayan, who admitted to being afraid to show her vulnerability, but it was definitely worth it. She stayed on stage with Morton, and the judges were right to celebrate how far she has come. Click here to see.
AVA AUGUST, 15 | The irony that August performed Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” as her solo when she herself is not even old enough to operate a car alone is not lost on me. Nor does August’s incredible voice that maintains a beautiful quality far beyond her years. Come on, if you can give Groban chills, you know you have it. Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” was one inspired choice for a duet, and the end result was absolutely amazing, just as she was supposed to sing. The judges compared her to Judy Garland, whom I had not considered. However, I have considered how stupid I was not to include August on our (extremely) early Top 10 prediction list. I’m really kicking myself for one. Clock:
CALEB KENNEDY, 16 | Do you remember how tough Bryan was against Alex Miller earlier this season while constantly trying to steer him away from old-school country in hopes of discovering a fresher sound? That’s how I feel about Kennedy, who delivered a good – but not terrible exciting – cover for Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider.” His duet, “Fly Over States” opposite Jason Aldean, was also a kind of snooze party. The judges clearly disagree with me as they praised Kennedy for being “obsessed with a very old, experienced countryman.” Is it really one well things for this competition? Click here to see.
HUNTER METTS, 22 | When I first saw that Metts was about to receive Sia’s “chandelier”, my head tensed to the side like a little dog trying to understand human speech. But when he began his shelled recording of the ubiquitous jam, I began to get into it. However, I found it a bit sleepy and I noticed that not a single judge stood up for it. Metts got another shot, duets with Jewel (who instantly drew the Ryan Phillippe comparison) on the singer’s timeless classic “Foolish Games.” She challenged hm to deliver a great vocal moment, but it never fully manifested itself, resulting in a performance that really only showed Jewel’s voice – which by the way sounds better than ever. I actually thought it was the judges also nice about this one. Where’s Simon Cowell when you need him? Click here to see.
CASEY BISHOP, 15 | The best solo of the night? Best solo of both nights? No matter what, Bishop sang hell out of Paramore’s “Decode,” and the producers knew exactly what they were doing when they chose to end the night with her. I wish she had been paired with Jewel for her duet, but Boyd was not a bad choice – nor “Wish You Were Here,” a song I hadn’t thought of in at least a decade. This girl is Top 5 material, no doubt. Clock:
Of the contestants who performed tonight, which eight (8) deserve a place in the Top 16? Weigh in via our poll below send a comment with more of your thoughts.