Tonight’s episode of American Idol finally wrapped up Sudden Death Round and filled the last five openings in this season’s top 20.
Mathenee Treco opened the show with an Elvis classic: “A Little Less Conversation.” Keith told him not to under-estimate the power of his voice by letting the entertainment take over. Nicki told Mathenee he didn’t need to feel the need to please people, and she thought it was very cheesy and karaoke. Randy said he has a great voice and an amazing talent, but his song choice was so wrong. Mariah felt there was a disconnect, but she looks forward to hearing him sing.
Gurpreet Singh Sarin, aka “The Turbanator,” sang James Morrison’s “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You.” Keith wasn’t necessarily a fan of the song, but he loves his voice. He and Nicki both wanted him to return to singing with his guitar. “Honey child, hello no,” Nicki told him. Randy said it was terrible. Mariah was slightly disappointed because she didn’t hear his softer voice.
Vincent Powell was up next, with Lenny Williams’ “Cause I Love You.” Keith said, “Preach on, brother Vincent!” He added that he came out and just sang, and he loved it. Nicki was surprised because he came off “a good and sexy old fashioned this time.” Randy thought the show started right there, he was a real singer and entertainer, and he’s in it to win it. All Mariah had to say was “Finally.”
Nick Boddington took on another James Morrison song: “Say Something Now.” Keith loved that his voice was so easy to listen to, but he didn’t feel connected to him as a person. Nicki loves the warmth in his voice and the truthful thing about him, but she thought something else could have jumped through because it wasn’t his best. Randy didn’t know if it was the correct song for him and said he was looking for a moment in the song, but he never had it. Mariah said she heard a moment toward the end that was very nice. She felt he wasn’t connected to the song, but she encouraged him to keep going with his career path.
Josh Holiday started his performance out at the piano and eventually stepped away for a plethora of falsetto runs near the end of his original song. Keith wanted him to lose more control with his performance. Nicki was pulled in when he first started, but she thought he was trying to please them too much. Randy thought it was a big risk and liked it, but he wasn’t wowed. Mariah loved that Josh showcased the fact that he is a singer/songwriter.
David Oliver Willis played his guitar and put his own spin on “Fever.” Keith was glad they saw the performance, but he didn’t think it was the right song. Despite that, he loved it. Nicki compared it to getting a guitar for Christmas and going up in front of his family to play. Randy agreed more with Keith and was intrigued. Mariah said the crowd seemed to love it, but she thought he could do more vocally.
Bryant Tadeo sang “New York State of Mind.” Keith wasn’t sure how it came through at home, but everyone there was on their feet. He thought Bryant handled the song really well and made a connection with the audience. Nicki loved the last note, but nothing else. Randy was waiting for it to go somewhere at the end, but it never quite went there. Mariah thought people responded to the fact he sounded professional, but there were a couple moments where he got lost in the song.
Next up was Burnell Taylor, with John Legend’s “This Time.” Keith really liked the performance and connected to the performance from beginning to end. Nicki told Burnell she would pay to see him sing, and it was the best by far tonight. Randy loved Burnell’s story and how unique he is. Mariah agreed with Randy and said the performance was fantastic.
Lazaro Arbos took a risk and sang Keith’s “Tonight I Wanna Cry.” Keith said, “Gosh, that’s a beautiful song” and thanked him for singing it. He went on to say he never really got into the song, but he felt his spirit. Nicki loves that he always gives them Lazaro, even though he played it safe. Randy agreed with Keith that it wasn’t the perfect song, but when he hit the chorus, he was like no one else. Mariah thought he was about to cry before he sang, and she was so proud of him for getting through it.
Last up for the night was Cortez Shaw, who sang “Titanium.” Keith said it was a really bold and brave move, but there was a lot of inconsistency in the song. He did feel he redeemed himself in the end. Nicki liked it and said it was a good song choice. Randy was surprised by Cortez’s range and was shocked by the notes he hit. Mariah was glad Cortez was still there, she loved the arrangement, and thought he made some very good choices.
Ryan again gathered the 10 guys together to go to the judges individually. The judges revealed it was a no for David, Bryant, Mathenee, and Josh, but Vincent, Lazaro, Cortez, and Burnell made it through to the top 20. That left Nick and Gurpreet to face Mariah, who told them she didn’t want to have to separate them, but Gurpreet would be going home, and Nick was through.
Tune into American Idol on a special night next week Tuesday on FOX at 8/7 p.m. central to see the first group of 10 contestants perform as they fight their way into the top 10. Who are your favorites in the competition? What do you think of the judges? Leave a comment below!
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