Tonight’s episode of American Idol continued on with the never-ending Sudden Death Round. The second set of 10 girls faced off to fight for five spots in the top 20 and performed songs of their choosing for the judges and live audience.
Melinda Ademi originally auditioned in Season 10 and felt she was much more ready this time around. She sang Jessie J’s “Nobody’s Perfect,” looking to fill big shoes after Angela Miller’s performance last week. Keith thought her nerves took over at the start of the performance, but she pulled it together by the end, and he hoped she got to go through with all of her raw talent. Nicki commented that all she could think of was Angela’s performance because she connected better. She liked it, but she didn’t love it. Randy thought it was okay, but he was unsure on whether she had enough big moments to make herself stand out. Mariah noticed a waver in her voice and said she was where she needed to be by the end of the song
Candice Glover continued to shine with her rendition of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Keith told Candice it was a great song choice and sung that she is a “natural singer.” Nicki was in disbelief she didn’t make it past Vegas the previous year because she has one of the strongest voices in the competition. Randy added that she is one of his favorites and said he thought Candice had grown since the year before. He encouraged her to use her voice freely and go for notes because she can do what no one else can. Mariah agreed Candice is a bonafide singer.
The 15-year-old Juliana Chahayed played her guitar and sang a beautiful version of Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper,” aside from her obnoxious heavy breathing throughout the song. Keith loved the tone of her voice and thought it was totally real, aside from some pitch problems. Nicki told her she was one of the only ones with a signature sound, but she seems very, very, very timid. Randy loved the honesty of her delivery and said it was a good performance. Mariah thought there was an angelic quality to her voice, and it was a beautiful thing to witness.
Jett Hermano sat behind the piano and put her own spin on Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World).” Keith loved the unique arrangement of the song. Nicki also liked the arrangement and breathy falsetto, but she was missing the climax to the song. Randy thought she was going to get up from the piano and rock it out. Mariah feels Jett is a unique addition to the contest, and she didn’t mind the ending, but she really enjoyed the first half of the song.
Cristabel Clack took on Alicia Keys’ “No One” and seemed to croak her way through the song. Keith told her he loved the croak in her voice, and she has crazy potential. Nicki liked the song choice and agreed that Cristabel has a great rasp to her voice, but she thought she over-did it tonight. Randy thought she was on point and loved the rasp. Mariah referred back to a previous performance and said she wanted to hear more of that so they could hear where she could really go.
Aubree Cleland slowed things down with Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams.” Keith loved that she did her own thing, along with the balance she had of poise and fire. Nicki gave her favorite line of “I’m obsessed with you” before telling her she came out looking an artist, she was stunning, and she liked her low voice. Randy told her she is a great commercial artist, even though he wasn’t sure that was the right song for her. (Nicki vehemently disagreed). Mariah told her she is limitless and hopes she sticks around.
Next up was the first country girl of the night, Rachel Hale, with Grace Potter and the Nocturnal’s “Nothing But the Water.” Keith thought the song got on top of her at parts, but he loves her spirit. Nicki asked where the burst of crazy confidence came from, and Rachel told her she had been praying a lot. Randy was happy she brought out energy and loved this side of her. Mariah said she is always the girl that can’t hold a smile back, which she loves. She went on to say she may have heard her more on other songs, but not to say she didn’t like tonight’s performance.
Breanna Steer sang “Bust Your Windows,” by Jazmine Sullivan. Keith didn’t know the song, but he loved it, despite its violent nature. He added he really believed she would bust the windows out of his car. Nicki said, “Miss little ladybug, work, work, work, work.” She told her to get together with Aubree and make a group to take over the world. She also said Breanna was believable and had her swag on before telling her, “You’re giving me sexy on a stick right now.” Randy thought it was the perfect song choice and joked that Keith really believed she would “bust the windows out of his damn expensive car.” Mariah loved the song, presentation, and felt she was marketable from the beginning.
Janelle Arthur made the interesting choice to sing Lady Antebellum’s “Just A Kiss.” After being spot-on the entire competition, Janelle’s performance just was not up to par compared to the others of the night. Keith commented on it being a Lady Antebellum song that worked for them, but not so much for Janelle, since it didn’t show what she can do. Nicki thought it fell a little bit flat and that she was lacking confidence. If it were up to her, she would put her through, but she didn’t need to try so hard. Randy agreed with a lot of what was said and added that Janelle is his favorite country artist in the competition, but it was hopefully just one of those nights for her. Mariah echoed the other judges and told Janelle she is rooting for her.
The incredibly unique Zoanette Johnson sang “Circle of Life.” (Yes. You read that correctly). Keith loved that he never knows what she is going to do and gave kudos to the “Queen of the Jungle.” Nicki said, “Zoanette, who gonna check you, boo? You just got served.” Nicki was in tears as she brought up Zoanette’s large family, her siblings, and how she came from Liberia. She added she was a superstar. Randy read our minds and said America had probably wondered what the judges were thinking, but her spirit was what it was all about. Mariah was proud, happy for her, and said her spirit was too big to be contained.
Ryan called each contestant up to the stage individually. The judges chose to put Zoanette, Aubree, Candice, and Breanna through to the top 20. This meant Melinda, Juliana, Cristabel, and Jett were sent home, leaving country singers Rachel and Janelle to face the judges together. Randy told them they deliberated a lot, and Rachel hadn’t made it through, but Janelle did.
Tune into American Idol tomorrow night on FOX at 8/7 p.m. central to see the last group of 10 guys face off in the conclusion of the “Sudden Death Round.” What did you think of tonight’s show? Did your favorite make it through? Leave a comment below!
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