With the manufactured and unnecessary pressures of group day behind them, the American Idol Season 14 contestants are gearing up for another sleepless night before a day spent singing for their spot in the Top 48.
It's the final round of solo auditions and the heat is on!
It's the final day of Hollywood week auditions and that's some nice product placement for Ford. The judges have to whittle the crowd down from 80 to 48, just over half, and they're feeling the pressure to find the best of the best.
Loren Lott kicks off this round with "Skyfall." This girl is gorgeous but she didn't get off to a great start. She's definitely better when she hits the big notes than when she's trying to reign it in.
She gets a standing ovation from Jennifer who says she could see Loren at the end of the competition.
Daniel Seavey, the youngest kid in the competition, has to follow that very large performance. He's channeling his inner Ed Sheeran with "I See Fire." I really, really like this kid. He needs a few more years under his belt so this competition doesn't eat him alive, but there's no denying he has enough talent to be there.
Keith says he's like some giggly little kid who fell into the body of someone musical.
Big Ron Wilson's giving attitude to band leader Ricky Minor, which kind of makes me want to kick him. Don't mess with Ricky Minor, first of all, and don't back talk the person who's been doing this show for 14 years now who's trying to help you. He is, of course, singing "Let's Get It On," because he's a one-trick pony.
He seems to get it in sync with the band when it's his turn to audition, so that's a plus for him. There's a long note at the end of the song so Ron just sings a little "hey" and in his critique, Harry tells him he could've cut the band off. Ron said he thought he was able to direct the band, but "little short man" Ricky Minor had other ideas.
She of the amazing hair, Shi Scott, has a serious case of the nerves. She chooses an Etta James number and settles into her audition the minute she opens her mouth. It was a blend of Etta James and Adele. Harry didn't think it was her strongest vocal performance.
Closing up the first group of ten is Adam Lasher. He's at home on the stage with "Free Falling" and the band behind him. It's unfortunate that the song he picked wasn't a better way to showcase his vocals. The performance was very one dimensional.
Big Ron and Adam Lasher were sent home. Shi Scott, Daniel Seavey, Loren Lott, and the girl who had really amazing lipstick during her first audition are staying. Poor Daniel is in tears he's so overwhelmed.
Quentin Alexander is a New Orleans boy just like Harry. He has a Prince/Lenny Kravitz vibe and a great voice to go with it. Keith loved his performance and the way he reinterpreted the song. He's moving on.
Maddie Walker's also moving forward, along with Trevor Douglas, who is amazing and talented and I love him.
Alexis Granville feels like she has something to prove after passing out with a panic attack during her group round performance. She makes the most awkward and uncomfortable faces and movements when she sings. She's also out of tune the entire time and Harry stops the band to tell her to get her starting note. She starts over and it's equally as bad. Harry stops them again and they cut her immediately.
Ryan comforts her while Jax hits the stage with "Let It Be," serenading her parents in what was actually a pretty creepy moment. She's moving on to the next round and I can only hope she'll stop drawing that dumb X on her face soon.
Michael Simeon's on stage hoping his dance with J.Lo and his great voice will keep him around a little while longer. Jennifer says that his heart comes out when he sings. It's not just his voice.
Nick Fadiani is at the top of the age bracket for Idol, so if today doesn't happen for him, it's back to the traditional method of trying to get discovered. He sings "Babylon" and could not have picked a better song for his voice. It doesn't hurt that he's very, very easy on the eyes. Keith loved his change of phrasing, Harry likes his experience. J.Lo wants to make him her next boyfriend.
But he's up against a lot--A LOT--of people half his age. Katherine Skinner is singing for her psychic cat Mustafa. She's trying to do Heart but no one can do Heart like Carrie Underwood does Heart. Her arrangement was odd. Also psychic cat. Harry doesn't want her to blow it out on ever note and J.Lo doesn't think she delivered.
From this group of 10, Michael Simeon, Emily Brooke, and Nick Fradiani, Katherine Skinner's gonig home.
Jessica Lamb gets cut, Alex Shier, too, and Piper Jones.
Clark Beckham decides to tickle the keys for his audition instead of playing the guitar. He doesn't want to be a street performer for the rest of his life and believes this is his chance. He has a Scott Foley vibe so I instantly like him. Not keeping him would be a huge mistake.
Mark Andrew can't stay awake, but he's singing for his wife and kid back home. At the last minute he decides not to hide behind his guitar to sing "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. It's not great and he forgets his lyrics. Jennifer asks him what happened. He blames the lack of sleep. Keith takes up for him and tries to convince Jennifer he's worth keeping.
Briana, Naomi, and Travis are cut from this group which means Mark, Clark, and Alexis Gomez. Shannon Berthaume and Katherine Winston are sticking around, too.
Joey Cook forgot her lyrics during group day auditions and she's worried she'll do the same for her solo. With a brain that feels like mashed potatoes, she sings "Across the Universe" by The Beatles...and she forgets the lyrics. Again. She's too interesting not to advance, and has a panic attack after her audition is over.
Lovey James sings Crystal Gayle. Tyanna Jones gets a "RI-diculous" from Jennifer and Rayvon Owen gets a flirty little smile. Riley Bria, who wants to be Keith when he grows up, sings a song about having sex in a car. Harry says he's the kind of person who is absolutely meant to be on a stage.
Rayvon, Riley, Tyanna, and Joey all advance. The girls burst into tears.
Next week the Top 48 will perform in front of a live audience at the House of Blues. They only thought the nerves were bad so far.