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The top 14 is right there on the edge, you know? And this season of American Idol is such a beast, from the top 14 to the top 10? It's harder than ever. The night in general felt a bit awkward at times, but it's hard to argue that a single contestant did not give anything tonight: from Ada Vox's feathers to Mara Justine's tears, here's a quick rundown of the top 1
Caleb Lee Hutchinson, "Midnight Train to Memphis"
I love that Caleb Lee's sad story begins when he was born over 10 pounds. Granted, he has the weight loss journey that is far from unnoticed. He looks today like a little heartache, and in terms of my comments last week, when he faded into Scotty McCreery's shadow? Well, Caleb chooses incredible songs. "Midnight Train to Memphis" helps to change his journey, even if the judges do not feel it. He serves a bit of folksy mood, and I think that could really help him.
Michelle Sussett, "Friends"
Michelle is such an interesting candidate because her perspective could be one of a thousand things. She casts some serious Selena vibes, but also tells her very own immigrant history. Her voice temporarily adjoins a Miley sound, and then releases one of those high lung detonator sounds. She's all set for a pop star, but I'm not sure she did enough to prove it. Luke and Lionel are big fans, but Katy suggests there is more to prove.
Marcio Donaldson, "It's a miracle"
Oh Marcio, you adorable powerhouse. Attacking Barry Manilow and making it comprehensible is one such idol power movement. I think that's part of what Idol lost in recent years: pulling from an old songbook and updating it for a new audience. That makes Marcio with an exciting performance (in an incredible floral pants). I'm not sure anyone will exhaust his full potential the first night, but Marcio should be fine. He has a big fan in Lionel and Katy.
Mara Justine, "That's me"
Mara has so many faces. This is not an insult. It is only true. She is constantly scared or excited or worried. She's got a particularly fitting Taylor Swift cut, as this year's high school outsider, but Mara's vocal ability is breathtaking. With all that said, "This Is Me" is a bit of a monster to tackle for her. Her Runs and Big Notes are not doing as well as she hoped, and her crying mid-performance does not do her any good. It's a tricky night, because when the performance is lowered like 14 steps, Mara could shine. But a performance like "This Is Me" from a Hollywood-produced musical is almost impossible to replicate, but I would prefer her "Audition" from La La Land before trying "This Is Me" again
] Garrett Jacobs, "Raging Fire"
Nothing but singing a song to the cute white guy with a guitar, well, a sweet white guy with a guitar. There is not a ton Garrett builds on, and at certain points in the middle of the song he goes a bit flat. But here's the thing: Nobody on this show, Ada Vox and Richter, has better eyebrows than Garrett. There is not much that will make you remember this performance after this night, but Garrett has stamina. Maybe there is no other performer here who looks like a pop star whom people are stating.
Ada Vox, "The Show Must Go On"
I'm still amazed that a drag queen on American Idol . I'm also amazed that the drag queen has had some of the biggest moments of the season so far. It's something wonderfully perfect when Ada Queen chooses for this first big performance. In feathers and rhinestones, she dominates the stage with an insane determination. I still can not help but feel that the music is too loud for the singers, but if someone can keep up with something loud, it's Ada Vox. If the show did not really start, Ada Vox (who Luke said "the biggest voice I've ever heard is right there) proved that the show has to go on.
Catie Turner, "Take me to church"
Violent dress. Milkmaid braid. Tireless singing. Must be Catie Turner. Your next Ada (or vice versa) seems like a total death wish, right? They are both great performers. But after Ada's big moment, Catie turned everything upside down. Catie took a moment and made it big without really getting big. Ada is a performer. Catie is a star. To be honest, there is no one this season who has the ability to outdo Catie's talent. She does not miss a beat, a note, a moment to show her talent. The judges are of the opinion, but if you are so talented, you just have to sing. Keep it up, Catie.
Cade Foehner, "Black Magic Woman"
Cade is so far from this competition. Where Catie is the epitome of American Idol Cade's aesthetics and approach is so far removed from the form Idol that I am worried that he will not have the opportunity to do so , The last three performers could be your top 3 this season. Cade's harsh approach to the microphone, mixed with his timid charm as soon as the music stops, is the epitome of why America could deliver it to the end. And then, at the end of the show, Katy pulls out a real piece of Cade's hair to give to her mother. YIKES.
Dennis Lorenzo, "In My Blood"
Okay, Shawn Mendes. A surprising song choice, considering that it takes so long for the song to come out. Each performance should be treated with urgency as if you only get 20 seconds. But if you're interested in this idea, Dennis turns it into an 11 in the middle of time and does everything you expect. In a series of very large scores, Dennis holds his own, and he's starting to look really like someone who could take the crown of [AmericanIdol
Maddie Poppe, "homeward bound"
love that Maddie Poppe does her own thing. She chooses her own course and lists the songs that make the most sense for her, and that is such a defining trait in her presence. In a group of great performers, Maddie's choice is "Homeward Bound" perfection. Her thoughtful approach and control over high notes make her such an interesting artist she can watch. She gives me all sorts of Alison Krauss vibes and clearly does something for the judges who give her standing ovations.
Jurnee, "Bang Bang"
Well. That is something. Jurnee with "Bang Bang" is, for lack of a better term, a real journey. Singing the parts of three women is daunting enough. Do Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande sing? Almost impossible. When Jurnee hits the notes, it's unbelievable, but if she does not, I'm not sure if it's as if she's doing herself too many favors. The judges give their standing ovations, but at the end of the day I'm not sure if Jurnee knows exactly what to do.
Jonny Brenns: "This is the Gospel"
Jonny sings Panic! In the disco after ballet lessons, the summit American Idol is all of them. But listen to me: Taking a Brendon-Urei voice is, frankly, a death sentence, but the way Jonny approached it was perfect. He did not try to be Brendon. He was fully into Jonny, and the idea that I got was that he really was a really good Christian rock singer? His voice is full and strong, and maybe he's not a pioneer yet, but he could definitely make a career.
Michael J. Woodard, "Titanium"
Granted, I'm such a Michael fan. Like, he's such a quirky young prince. And tonight he deals with Sia, which is a masterpiece. With a unique interpretation of the song, Michael's performance is so amazingly good, if it's good. And in the moments when he seems to forget the words. Mind you, it might just be a lack of rhetoric, but the fact still stands: if Michael hits the notes, which is almost always the case, he blows the tip off the spot. If he does not make it into the top 10, that's a damn shame.
Gabby Barrett, "The Climb"
Well, after today's performance, note: Dream has two syllables. In her best Miranda Lambert-fringed mini dress, Gabby picks up Miley Cyrus' hit "The Climb". Nothing is wrong with the performance (except that the A / V team puts their faces over an accelerated loop of sunset clouds). It feels exactly like the idea I expected from her. There's nothing that seemed to say, "It's better than it started," and with such shows, you have to keep growing. Maybe this is my hateful sip at the end of the night, but in a party of 9 you have to be an 11. Gabby is a consistent 10.
So, who are you for? Who is a Shoo-In for the top 10 and who could use these bonus votes? Tomorrow the results will be announced and we finally have our live show contenders.