American Idol Recap: Next 12 Go Solo

Once again, 12 of the American Idol contestants will sing for a place in the Top 14. Tonight they will be singing solos and tomorrow night they will sing duets with a celebrity partner.

I’m still a little annoyed that Layla Springs didn’t make it, but moving on, let’s get to this week’s contestants. Just as a reminder, this is who we have so far who have made it to the next round.

Cade Foehner
Michelle Sussett
Dennis Lorenzo
Gabby Barrett
Jonny Brenns
Michael J Woodard
and….
Catie Turner

First up this week is Amelia Hammer Harris, who talks about her collection of antique medical things, which, she’s right that it sounds creepy. LOL She’s singing “Believer,” by Imagine Dragons and I’m not liking this rendition. Katie said she ‘liked’ it but seemed lukewarm in her reaction and the judges talk about Amelia’s various “sides.” Now here is what I don’t get and this has been a common problem even on past Idol seasons. The judges tell some artists that they need to find themselves and hone in on who they are and they tell other artists they like how diversified they are. I never get it.

Garrett Jacobs is the next contestant and talks about his dancing. They get him dancing a bit and he seems to be loosening up, so let’s see if he brings that to the stage. He’s singing “Treat You Better,” by Shawn Mendes. He wants to strip it down a bit. He needs to control that right eyebrow. It has a mind of its own. He’s doing okay, but doesn’t hit a note right and Luke Bryan cringes. I think he’s too loose. I don’t think this is his best performance either. Lionel tells him that he was distracted and not singing his best. Luke tells him he’s not the best singer but he’s a heartthrob who needs to focus more on his singing. Katie wants him to be “smooth and classic” and says he was rocky.

The perky Maddie Poppe starts with “I don’t think I’ve screwed up too badly.” She says that Top 24 was her goal because she doesn’t want to be crushed if she doesn’t make it so she doesn’t anticipate the best. It’s time to drop the insecurity and have faith. She’s singing “Brand New Key,” and I love this. She really seems confident and comfortable and her voice sounds fantastic. All of the judges agree with me.

Ada Vox (Adam Sanders) is next and she says her priority was never to be a drag queen it was to be a singer. She doesn’t want to be a schtick but feels so good about Ada. She talks about how expensive it is to “look this cheap.” girl, you look great. She’s singing “Feeling Good.” I love her voice and this song was a perfect choice. My only concern is that it sounds a little cabaret-ish, but the vocals were on point and amazing. Katy Perry bows before Ada and Luke and Lionel stand and applaud. “Wig, flew,” said Katy. “You are here to win.”

Caleb Lee Hutchinson is next and this country boy loves Scotty McCreery and Scotty — who is all grown up — shows up. Scotty gives him some advice about the industry. Caleb sings “Die a Happy Man,” and I see him on country music charts in the next few years. I’d buy his album. He’s the next generation of great country singers. Lionel calls him “simple and solid.”

Effie Passero talks about her relationship with her mom and how they’ve evaluated their relationship for the better. She’s rocking out this week to “Barracuda,” by Heart. Awesome beginning. This girl has pipes. She’s also having so much fun. Katy is watching her with her mouth open and then stands already clapping. This girl hit it out of the park. Luke says she’s one of the best singers that the show has and that she sang Heart better than Heart. Katy says “flawless” and tells her to “jump into the stardust.”

Alyssa Raghu is next and let’s remember that she’s only 15 years old. She’s singing Stay by Rhianna and was told to make her presence remembered. I think she needs to stop wearing gowns and dress more like a 15-year-old. She nails the song, but again I’m not so sure she’s memorable. Luke said “you didn’t have me until tonight.” Katy says “I don’t have enough time to tell you how good you are.”

Singing “Inseparable,” by Natalie Cole is Marcio Donaldson and I like his voice. I don’t think he’s the best singer in the competition but he definitely sounds nice. Watch, he’ll prove me wrong, win the whole thing and be a multi-platinum selling artist. I hope so. Nice rendition of the song, especially when he dropped into his “Barry White” sound. He’s emotional at the end. This kid wears his heart on his sleeve for sure. Lionel says he should be proud and Katy said that he’s growing by leaps and bounds. “Take on the posture of your power,” says Katy.

(I just have to say that babies with those headphones on are just too cute.)

The hair-flipping Mara Justine is up next and she’s ‘scaling it back,’ with a Whitney Houson song, “Run to You.’ This girl’s voice is beautiful and she’s doing a great job. Luke says “Way to show up today.”

Jurnee is next and this girl is a dark horse in this competition. She’s an amazing singer, but hasn’t stepped out yet for me. I think she’s still lacking confidence in some areas. She calls herself a “little weirdo.” She’s singing ‘Flashlight.” Lionel is shaking his head. Jurnee really doesn’t realize how good she is and what her future is going to hold, in my opinion.

Shannon O’Hara says she’s nervous and is singing next. She’s singing “All I Ask,” by Adele. This girl has pipes too and she’s an amazing singer, who needs to find something to do with her left hand. LOL. She impresses each time.

Last up is Ron Bultongez, who says he doesn’t smile much because of his braces. He is singing “Dancing on my Own,” and he’s shaky and I think it’s because he’s afraid to smile. Closing your mouth doesn’t allow you to hit the notes or power your notes. Open your mouth kid. I can’t understand a lot of the words he’s saying at first. I think he’s a little pitchy, but let’s see what the judges say.

They like him.

That’s it for tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow with the duets!

About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover’s Travel Guide is now available: https://www.amazon.com/Location-Film-Lovers-Travel-Guide/dp/149303085X

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