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American Idol: Top 10 to Top 8, 3/3/16

March 7th, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

American Idol is winding up its farewell season in much shorter time than normal–two cuts are being made every week, with the finale only five weeks away. The final field is off-balance–four guys, six gals. The winner gets a recording contract with Big Machine, and last Thursday started with the final ten and then turned into the final eight. The evening’s format called for the three people with the least number of votes to be revealed, and then judges Harry, J-Lo, and Keith deciding which one to keep. Theme for the night was songs that had won Grammies:

1.  Dalton Rapatoni, 20, from Dallas, finds tenderness and subtlety in Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.” Harry compares him to Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.

2. Lee Jean shows that he can sing, after all, turning in his best performance of the season with “Use Somebody” by the Kings of Leon. The judges don’t appear impressed, however.

4. MacKenzie Bourg, 20, from Louisiana, is this season’s song stylist and sometimes comes off as a singing Jim Carrey. He turns “I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me” into something one may hear at an alt coffeehouse, or maybe from a male Lilith Fair participant. “That switch-up really worked,” says J-Lo, but she advises him, “Let go with your voice a little bit.”

5. La Porsha Renae shows her talent is formidable enough for Beyoncé’s “Halo,” sprinkling showy and subtle moments throughout the song.  Harry says, “You know how to give the song a beginning, a middle, and an end.”

6.  Trent Harmon may be a Mississippi country boy but he shows a different side, copying Michael Bolton’s rendition of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” He’s doing a rhythmic slow-dance version, with elements of pop, R&B, and cocktail jazz all mixed in. Fellow contestants, judges, and the audience all seem to like it. However, Keith gets critical afterwards–for some reason he’s coming off as the harshest judge tonight.

7. Tristian MacIntosh is the last contestant to be put in the next round automatically–the remaining contestants will be competing for the eighth and final slot. After all her recent talk about wanting to go country, she says her original song choice for this week was “Clarity” by Zed. Somebody talked her out of it–persuaded her to play piano and sing the gospel-tinged “Go Rest High on That Mountain” instead. She turns in what may be her best performance of the season. Host Ryan Seacrest tells her afterward, “America fell in love with you, right behind that piano.”

8.  Avalon Young is the first of the three vocalists competing to be in the top eight. Singing the Fifty Shades of Grey theme (“Earned it” by the Weekend) allows her to show off some jazzy runs.

9.  Olivia Rox had a shaky performance last week–she was almost too ill to do the show. She has considerable range and can consistently sing on pitch, which is better than what can be said for some of the other contestants. She shows the rocking side of her voice and personality on Pink’s “Trouble” but the judges aren’t impressed. Harry rambles about “vulnerability” and J-Lo rambles on and on about not feelin’ it.

10.  Gianna Isabella shows herself to be way out of her range and stylistic depth on Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You.” The big showy song demands a song stylist, and Gianna isn’t one. Keith–harsh again–says he wanted more feeling.

The judges keep Avalon, eliminating Olivia and Gianna (whatever will Gianna’s mother think)! On Thurs. March 10, the final eight will be cut down to the final six. I voted for Dalton.

Tags: American Idol