A new crop of talent has been chosen and tonight, the American Idol Season 14 Top 12 guys will hit the stage for the first of several grueling weeks of live performances. Except they won't be doing it in Hollywood!
The judges and contestants--and Ryan Seacrest, of course--have hit the road! Tonight's performances are coming to us from Detroit, Michigan.
American Idol Season 14 is heavy on the teen talent which means there's a great chance the winner might get a record deal before scoring a diploma. Or maybe America will send the love to the two oldest guys in the competion: Nick Fradiani and Mark Andrew.
The Top 12 guys will go first with the ladies following tomorrow night. New for American Idol Season 14 is the absence of a standalone results show. They'll be borrowing from the Dancing With the Stars format of revealing eliminated contestants at the start of the following week's show. (We'll also be going from Top 24 to Top 16 in one week!)
And all the people rejoiced!
Anyway. Let's get started.
Adam Ezegelian is up first with Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock." To be honest, as much as I like this kid, I can't get over how very Jack Black this performance is. I have to give him major props for hitting the stage with an up-tempo number. Jennifer calls him "contagious" and Harry loved that he didn't take himself too seriously. Keith cracked a joke about ballads. 6.5/10
Forever high on his dance with J.Lo, Michael Simeon is channeling another Michael for his very first performance. Michael Bolton. "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You." Jennifer's singing every word, but really? There wasn't a better ballad he could've chosen if he had his heart set on singing a ballad? Harry cautioned him to stay in tune. Jennifer loved that he slowed it down after Adam. Keith said he stayed in the moment. 7.5/10
Second-chance kid Savion Wright made an excellent song choice: Train's "Hey, Soul Sister." It's not so old no one knows it but it's not so current he can't make it his own. He's winning ALL the points right now for making himself sound 1) original 2) authentic. Was it flawless? No. Was it real? Absolutely. Harry thought it started unfocused but Savion brought it together. Jennifer wants him to keep his eye on the camera so America can vote for him. Keith didn't like the song choice. 9/10
Mark Andrew knows exactly what kind of artist he wants to be which will either really help him or really hurt him in this competition. He's hitting the stage with The Band's "The Weight." He doesn't use the guitar as a prop like Savion. He sings and plays and that's what we're going to see a lot of this season, particularly after the risk he took at House of Blues. Keith called it a perfect song and said it's okay to ditch the band. Harry echoed the perfect song choice sentiment. Jennifer loves his vibe. So far tonight, he's the one to beat. 10/10
Sid the Science Kid Trevor Douglas, who has the best personality in this competition, chose "Best I've Ever Had" by Gavin DeGraw. It's a little rough at the start but he's totally getting the Ed Sheeran vote. He definitely settles in when he sings and plays as opposed to just singing. He might also be suffering from some technical difficulties based on some weird sound mixing. Keith said the song got on top of him but his energy helped him recover. Jennifer said he had an okay day. Harry said the vocal wasn't great but he's a good performer. 8/10
Clark Beckham, a street performer who looks a lot like Scott Foley, is tackling Percy Sledge and "When A Man Loves a Woman." Ballads, particularly classic ballads, are always an interesting choice, but he slays this one. He's miles and miles ahead of Michael Simeon tonight, which is the only other performance in this genre so far. Keith gave him a standing ovation. Jennifer just said "goosies all day." Harry called him extremely talented and hopes he's around long enough to get some good, helpful critique alongside his praise. 10/10
Rayvon Owens is channeling his inner former boy band member with Nick Jonas' "Jealous." He gets the girls on their feet and dancing and has a solid performance. It's not the winner of the night, but it's not the loser either. This guy has a falsetto like WHOA. Harry says it's a strong performance and Jennifer wishes he'd given a little more attitude and edge while cautioning him to make America fall in love with him. Keith complimented the falsetto and his solid vocals. 9/10
The baby of the bunch, Daniel Seavey, calls himself a "pretty confident guy." He puts down the guitar and picks up a ukelele for "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz and it almost sounds like his nerves get ahead of him just a bit at the beginning. This song choice and the choices Daniel makes with the song are interesting but the lyrics get away from him a little. He's cute. I love him. Keith calls it a good song and is fascinated by his range. Jennifer wants him to be consistent throughout his performance. Harry just says America has tough choices to make. 8/10
Country boy Riley Bria is up next. He's rocking the electric guitar with Eric Church's "Homeboy." Keith sings every single word along with him. Between the two country boys who remained last week, Riley was the solid choice. He has presence and musicality and vocals to match. There's no way he's just a teenager! Jennifer said he belongs here. Harry agrees and says Riley reminds him of Keith (so his new stage name will be Keith Suburban. grooooaaaaan.).Keith loved that he did an Eric Church song. 10/10
Quentin Alexander is this season's Starchild. He gives an absolutely haunting performance of "I Put a Spell On You" but it took until halfway through the number for me to recognize the song (that is, without the announcement at the beginning of the performance). Harry loved it. Jennifer loved it. Keith said it was a Grammy-level performance. 8/10
Nick Fradiani, who has been singing in bars for 10 years, picks Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud." Every girl who watched him audition with his girlfriend is secretly hoping they've broken up. He's a frontrunner tonight, for sure. He's just...effortless. Keith called his song choice perfect and loved that he played and sang. Jennifer doesn't want any guys to go home and said his performance was one of the best. Harry jokes about the lyrics and says "nice job." 10/10
To close out the night, Qaasim Middleton picks what might be one of the hottest songs of the minute: "Uptown Funk." He's got the look and the song and the moves and this guy is here to make people love him. All of that is totally working. His vocals aren't as strong as some of his competitors, but he'll be safe for another week after all that energy. Jennifer said he made her want to get up and dance and sing with him. Harry said he left everything on the stage. Keith said he killed it with charisma. 8.5/10
Nick Fradiani, Riley Bria, Clark Beckham, and Mark Andrew topped the night with Savion Wright and Rayvon Owens sliding right in behind them. Trevor Douglas will likely be sticking around because he's just too likeable. The same goes for Daniel Seavey, but he's totally on the bubble.
Overall, most of these performances were strong, with no one completely bombing. Voting will probably be close, but we won't know the results until next week.
Tomorrow night the Top 12 girls will take the stage so head back here for your recap!