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American Idol: HOB Showcase, Part 1

Thought I'd get this up early, because Thursday is such a busy day for me. Here's the recap from tonight's "American Idol."


• The remaining Season 14 "American Idol" hopefuls showcased their skills in a live performance at the House of Blues, with the Top 48 performing.
• First up was Michael Simeon, wearing a white button-down shirt and a black bowtie and starting off by observing the audience contained some good-looking women. He made eye contact with them in the audience while singing a soulful opening to "Classic" by MKTO. Then he undid the bowtie and started to jam, ending with some a little rapping. Was it a smart move? He walked the Green Mile to the couches for their verdict. Jennifer Lopez said it was a good performance, but there were 48 good performances. "As far as you're concerned, we'd like to have you in our Top 24." He sprang up so enthusiastically, Jennifer worried he might have twisted his ankle.
• Loren Lott had received a standing ovation from Jennifer in her final Hollywood performance. At HOB, she sang "My Heart Will Go On" and over-enunciated many of the words. I think she believes she's more talented than she is. Harry Connick called her out, saying there wasn't a connection there in her performance. He asked how she'd do if she made it in the 24: "I guess we'll have to wait and see," because she made it. Hmm. She won't last long unless she learns to moderate herself.
• Next was Adam Ezegelian, singing the hard rock song Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" in a black suit jacket, button-down shirt and red tie. He took command of the stage, but was it enough? Keith Urban complimented him for being entertaining but asked if he could do more. "We're going to get to see that, because you're in the Top 24."
• Cody Fry played keyboards and bounced around a lot as he sang "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay, wrenching all the character out of it and turning it into bland pop. It didn't really seem his lane. Jennifer talked about what makes people stand out, and "this time it wasn't enough," even though they think he's awesome. Keith said he felt it was a great start for him.
• Lovey James, who had competed on the pageant circuit as a young girl, was too showy during her performance of "Wings" by Little Mix, bouncing around in a completely unjustified way. Her vocals were OK but nothing spectacular. Harry told her that she'd come alive in that performance, and that consistency would be something she'd want to strive for as she continued in the Top 24.
• After a break was a montage of nos: Hector Montenegro, J. None, Reno Anoa'i, Zack Kaltenbach, and Hannah Mrozak.
• Adanna Duru sang "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," wearing a black leather miniskirt and a black shirt with sheer sleeves, getting very invested in the song. Jennifer gave her a standing ovation. Harry said that voting was difficult, but she was making it through.
• Maddie Walker, the country singer with red-tipped blonde hair, sang a pop song, "Big Girls Don't Cry," which was a poor choice for her. Jennifer knew that she was nervous and didn't want to prolong the agony: "Unfortunately, it's a no." But Harry wondered whether they should rethink it, since she'd been neck and neck with someone else.
• The judges admitted they were undecided about the next singer, Rachel Hallack, singing "Gunpowder and Lead," and suggested to have her do a sing-off with Maddie. Harry argued that Maddie's version of "Red High Heels" had edged out Rachel's version of "Son of a Preacher Man" in their sing-off. Keith told them that by the slightest sliver, Maddie would go through to the Top 24. Maddie was relieved, and Rachel was, of course, disappointed and said she should have gone through, because she was more experienced.
• Next was Clark Beckham, playing keyboards and singing the Ray Charles song "Georgia." Keith smiled as he performed, really laying it down, including a great last run. Jennifer even gave it a hair toss. From the judgment couches, Harry admitted he's always more critical of keyboardists because that's what he does, but Clark had made it through.
• Then came Daniel Seavey, the youngest contestant. He sang the Paula Abdul song, "Straight Up," making it sound current. Jennifer told him it's a tough process with great singers, "and you're one of them." He's in the Top 24. Jennifer thinks he's "so cute."
• Tyanna Jones wore a black suit, white button-down shirt and black polka-dot tie as she performed the Beyonce number "Love on Top" with a lot of energy. Jennifer gave her the good news: she was in the Top 24.
• Next, we heard about the results for Rayvon Owen and Shannon Berthiaume in one block, with just a taste of each of their performances. Rayvon was amazing on "Lay Me Down," while Shannon sang "Piece of My Heart" and was pretty nasally but relaxed and competent. Jennifer tried to psych out Rayvon, telling him that "some people do better in auditions than onstage." But he's not one of those people. They were both through to the Top 24.
• Jax played keyboard while singing the Lady Gaga song "You and I," making use of a dramatic, intentional pause. She hoped that the judges understood that. Jennifer told her it wasn't her best performance and told her, "You have to be able to gauge the audience." She thought the performance showed her greenness. Keith told her that all three judges had to agree, "and I think you're terrific. That's why you're in the Top 24."
• At the end of the show, there was a tease showing Hollywood Anderson sweating it out before his performance. Tomorrow night, "more shocking eliminations." Who will make it through?

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