American Idol Season 14 Top 7 Perform, 1 Goes Home

22 04 2015

Tonight they are singing from a set list of “American Classics.” Tyanna Jones is the first one through tonight. There are no official mentors other than Scott Borchetta. She chose “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers. She sang it very well but there was no stand-out moment. I love the way she is dressed tonight. Keith said it was an interesting song choice but not the greatest song to show off her vocal skills. Keith is looking for less perfect and more edge. Jennifer said, yes, something we can feel. She feels like she is beginning to get back into her groove (that she had at her auditions) when she wasn’t thinking so much. Harry said that Frankie Lymon was 13 years old when he wrote that song. The similarities between the two are their rhythmic ease. Tyanna agreed with that critique (I love that!). She said she felt confined.

Clark Beckham is also safe. He is singing “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. It was an interesting opening. His look is evolving and I love his hair this evening. I enjoyed the twist on it. It was fantastic. I think he connected more with the audience and he was having fun. People respond to that. Jennifer said he looks good and glad he took some of her advice. She said it was funky. The band and him sounded amazing. Harry said it was as good as he could have done that song. Keith said he liked that they recommended to him to ditch the guitar and he was like, ‘no’ and he plays it again. It was great. Keith said the scatting was good. He wants him to drop the guitar about 6 inches and he will notice he moves differently.

Jax is through. She is singing what I think will be a great song for her, “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin. She moved a little bit more on the stage tonight and I think that was great. Harry really liked it. Keith said she sings really well with the band. Jennifer thought it was a strong performance. She took a song like Janis Joplin and was able to make it her own.

Nick Fradiani is up next. Scott asks him if he thinks he can win and he says yes he can. His song is “American Girl” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. He was trying to keep his eyes open again and I love it. I think last week’s mentoring really did make a difference for him. That was awesome. So far this was my favorite of the night. That was fantastic! I think he found a great formula. Keith said it was such a good song for him. He really loved it. Jennifer was rocking out the entire song. She thinks he has a radio-ready voice. It’s familiar yet his own. Seeing him take all their advice and grow is awesome. Harry said for him to go back to the hotel room and remember that feeling of exactly what he did because that is exactly what he needs to do. Tonight was the person they all felt he should have been throughout the competition. Harry said “great job.”

The next person safe is Quentin Alexander which means Rayvon is yet again in the position of needing a fan save and now, heavy sigh, Joey Cook. Quentin thinks he has been mellow and now is the time to let Pandora’s Box out and rock out. Scott asks him, “Who is the one to beat?” Quentin responds himself. If he can’t get over his fears and personal obstacles, I can’t get anywhere. Scott likes his answer. I’ve often thought he reminded me of Lenny Kravitz and he sings one of Lenny’s songs, “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” The judges were rocking out. I love ROCKER QUENTIN! He rocks out with Ricky Minor which always endears me to a contestant (love for the band). This is my new favorite of the night. Jennifer said the whole entire thing really worked. It was the perfect song for him. The pitch thing is all over the place sometimes but the performance made up for it. Harry says he is going to be as honest as he can. He loves his artistry and individuality but that some people can be more captivated by the band than the performance as he himself was. Harry gets booed. Harry said he did nothing different than Lenny did with the song. He said he has to push them (the band); they can’t push him. Keith felt he held his own. Quentin is sad about who is left to battle it out (Rayvon and Joey). He said it sucked. Harry didn’t like his attitude and called him out on it that it was highly disrespectful to Idol and if he didn’t like it he could go home. I respect Quentin coming back out and explaining that he is just upset that two people he cares are left. He was not disrespecting the competition. He shakes Harry’s hand.

Joey Cook takes the stage to sing for the fan save. She sings “My Funny Valentine” by Frank Sinatra. She watched her crab hands again and she tried to keep her eyes open more. As much as I love Rayvon, Joey is so unique and I adore it. This song got her back to her roots. Harry said it is hard being a judge sometimes because you can’t mentor. He’d love to have a discussion about 15 different things with her but he can’t on what could improve that very good performance. He thinks she is very smart and that she did a damn good job considering how iconic that song is. Keith said she goes to a place that may not be her comfort zone but that he loves that about her artistically and should be commended. Jennifer thought it would be a perfect fit for her. It didn’t move her the way she thought it was and she is sorry.

Rayvon is up to get that fan save. He sings The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin.” He’s got choreography! That’s different. I like what he is wearing tonight. Wow this is tough. I love this, too. Keith said it was good. He just wants to feel something a little bit more and that is something he has to figure out how to do. Jennifer said, “Way to step it up.” He’s fighting. Harry likes that about him, too. He thinks for him it is specifically about song choice. He said that when he gets the perfect song, he will shut the room down.

Round 2 begins with Clark Beckham. He sings “Moon River” by Frank Sinatra. He looks nervous for some odd reason. It was dreamy in the camera but it didn’t move me. I love Clark, too. Jennifer said it was really good. She felt like she was in a movie (smooth and creamy). Harry said he is an incredibly talented young man but what would separate him would for him to learn more chords—try challenging and different chords. He said Clark could hear it; don’t play all those major 7 chords all the time. Keith said it was warm and fuzzy like an epidural. It was great.

Tyanna comes up on stage for round 2 and sings “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I have to remind myself she is only 16. WOW. This was FABULOUS. And she is working the audience. Her falsetto gave me goosebumps. That is hard to do without cracking. Harry that was as close to perfect as you can get. Keith said she is like this at 16? Her improvement is going to be astronomical. Jennifer said they got to hear her vocals. She got to stretch and play in there and that is where she lives. She should do that every time.

Nick returns to the stage and shares some lovely sentiments about his dad. Nick takes on “Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel. He sings it as a slow song and puts his own spin on it. I liked it. Nick keeps getting better and better. I think he might be in the final 4. Keith said it was amazing done like that and played to all of his strengths. Jennifer said he was waiting for him to get up and then she was happy. Harry applauds him for trying to completely different. He felt he wasn’t singing it to the guy or girl that only the good die young, but that he was singing it internally. He was an adventurous interpretation but the arrangement didn’t work for him.

Quentin performs next and had lovely things to say about his mom and when she discovered he could sing. Quentin sings “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. It may sound like a simple song but with his pitch problems this could really expose him. The pitch issues did remain and I don’t think this was the right song for him. Jennifer said it was dramatically and moody. “Always put your heart out there first.” It was a nice performance. Harry reminds him about pitch and tells him to ask Ricky about how to sing in tune. Keith likes how he conceptualizes this performances.

Jax woke me up by singing “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. It felt like she was trying to rush the lyrics. Harry said the two things he liked was the static electricity in her hair. Harry was waiting to see her running around like an idiot and have fun because they all do just that (the judges?) and it was really fun. Keith said he likes there are two songs tonight. Jennifer said she made it look cool.

Joey and Rayvon will perform another song before the Twitter Fan Save becomes real.

Scott asks Rayvon “how does it go deeper?” Scott tells Rayvon to come out from a different perspective. Rayvon sings “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson. Yep this is going to be tough. I think he connected to the song emotionally which is what the judges (and I) have been wanting. Keith said it was the right song and he sang it beautifully. Jennifer said it was like they had been telling him and she felt it everywhere. Harry thinks he is a ballad singer. When he sings as lovely as he just did with his heart like he did, it stacks him up there with everyone else. He pities the people who have to vote on Twitter tonight.

Joey performs “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane. Jennifer this particular performance was so good for her. I think her downfall started when they picked apart her visual presentation—crabby hands and closing her eyes. She let all that go and we got the old Joey back. You could see it in her eyes for a split second—I’m not going to do crabby hands—and screw this—all at once. I loved this. How difficult this is going to be but I’m more partial to Joey. Jennifer said she did a really good job. Harry thought it was a solid vocal performance but it is her inventiveness and her presentation that impresses him. Keith said he got a sense, through the two songs, what he could see at a show at two different ends of the spectrum.

With 52% of the Twitter vote, the contestant who is going through to next week is Rayvon.

I have a funny feeling that Quentin will be in the bottom 2 next week because of the attitude he gave on stage.  Although he may have had those personal feelings about seeing one of his friends going home, America does not like to see that.  He should have saved those for a time off camera.  His second song was also not that strong.


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