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American Idol Recap: Down to 12

Another busy Thursday. Here's my recap from last night.



Who would make it into the Top 12 of Season 14 of "American Idol"? Tonight, viewers found out and got to hear them perform again, to vote for who to continue.
• Sarina-Joi Crowe was the first to make it through, singing "Love Runs Out" by One Republic, wearing a black leather jacket embellished with bling and a skin-tight gold skirt. Her vocals just weren't on par with what she's done before, with a lot of pitch problems. Combine that with her first-place slot, and she's in danger for next week. Both Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban pointed out her pitch problems. Harry Connick Jr. just told her that he was glad to see her there.
• Rayvon Owen made the audience scream as he sang a melodic version of "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry. Harry thought he sounded terrific. Jennifer felt that he'd had his moment. Keith felt he got exponentially better at the end.
• Daniel Seavey sang the Paula Abdul song, "Straight Up," and it wasn't much better than his previous week, although his smile still got the audience moving. Harry called him young and inexperienced and said his performances, of late, haven't been as strong. Keith suggested he find an emotional song. Jennifer agreed that song choice would be key if he makes it through.
• The next making it through, Maddie Walker. She sang "Suitcase" by Gwen Sebastian, wearing a shiny white strapless dress. It's a country tune that I don't recognize, but her voice was pleasant. Keith felt the song suited her but cautioned her its risky to do a song that's not well known. Jennifer felt she was overthinking it, and Harry agreed but said it was a solid performance.
• Next to sing was Tyanna Jones, doing "Wings" by Little Mix, wearing a white polka dot button-down shirt and a navy suit jacket with brown pants, along with sneakers. She brought it, bringing both energy and an accomplished control. Jennifer called her vocals phenomenal and praised her composure. Harry was impressed by her comfort onstage. Keith called her a star.
• Nick Fradiani performed, doing "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel with his guitar, taking a singer-songwriter approach to it. While technically it was good, he continues to bore me. Harry loved that he brings experience to the competition. Keith counseled him to believe in himself the way America does. Jennifer said every part of it was "undeniable" but wants him to pick a song that shows off his voice better.
• Jax sang "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles, accompanying herself on the piano and showing a good deal of emotional range in a slowed-down opening before standing up and, backed by the band, doing a more upbeat version, closer to the original. She wore a studded leather jacket over a sparkly gold top for the rocker vibe. Keith said it was clear why America had voted for her. He liked the piano. Jennifer called her as compelling as when she auditioned. Harry felt she could have done the whole song at the piano.
• Qaasim Middleton did a Stevie Wonder song, "Sir Duke" wearing a dark-pink tweed suit and a black shirt with black tie. He started slow and then amped it up, together with energetic dancing and some beatboxing, following up with a sustained high note, some scatting, and a final run. Crazy but plenty of fun. Jennifer called his energy contagious. Harry said he'd like to see a performance that doesn't explode. Keith liked the way he'd worked the stage.
• Clark Beckham sang the James Brown song "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," at the mic in a purple button-down shirt and jeans. He inflected the song with a lot of soul and even made me forget about previous performances of the song on this show.
• Only one more person made it straight through, Joey Cook, who wore a floral dress, pale pink hat, and played the ukelele while singing "King of Spain" in her own inimitably quirky style. Keith thought she looked shocked to be up there. Jennifer called it one of her best performances. Harry thought that, despite her heavily stylistic performances, she might have earned her spot up there.
• Then it was time for the judges to pick their two instant Wild Card selections to round out the Top 12. Jennifer announced the first pick, who has great artistry, she said, Quentin Alexander. He sang "Royals" by Lorde, wearing a Japanese-style dark loose shirt over a distressed white T-shirt. He turned the song into a ballad, emphasizing the love song aspect of it. He burst into tears at the end. Jennifer said that his emotion is part of what makes him a great artist. Harry said his favorite part of him is how deeply in touch he is with his own artistry and emotion.
• Only one more would make it through, and Keith announced it was Adanna Duru. She sang "You and I" by Lady Gaga, wearing a black leather halter top and matching skirt. She sexed up the song with a lot of strutting and prancing, which felt very pageanty. Harry told her it was really out of tune, and she would have to channel her talent better.
• Tonight the Top 12 will be whittled down to the Top 11, who will perform once more for viewer votes.

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