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American Idol Recap: The Girls Sound Off

The girls from the Top 24 of "American Idol," Season 14, got their first chance to show off their vocals for America to vote.



• Lovey James was first up, singing "Love Runs Out" by One Republic. It was a fairly forgettable performance, although there were a few good moments. Harry Connick Jr. told her she did a strong job. Keith Urban said it got better as the song went on.
• Adanna Duru showed a few flashes of vocal promise on "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit and Jesse Glynne but got very shouty near the end of the song in an unmotivated display. She really ought to ditch all the upward arm movements, too. Keith liked that she condensed so much of her capability into that performance. Jennifer Lopez felt she was "going for blood." Harry thought the first half was better and that the second half, where it got loud, it was out of control.
• Alexis Gomez, the self-style hippie Mexican, sang the country song "Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert, wearing shiny dark jeans with some sort of a weird filmy cloth hanging down the back and played guitar along with the band. She had a lot of personality and had a lot of fun with the vocals. Harry cautioned her about adding a twang to her voice when she sang country. Keith suggested that maybe she get rid of her guitar for her performances. Jennifer loved it and complimented her for playing around with the song.
• Joey Cook, whose hair was aqua, wore a 1950s style flowered dress, a black derby, and played accordion as she sang a quirky, fun version of "Somebody Like You" by Keith Urban. Afterward, Keith gave her a standing ovation. Jennifer liked that it showcased who she is. Harry joked that if he and Keith ever had a kid, that's what the music would sound like. Keith liked that she'd made the song her own, declaring it "perfect."
• Katherine Winston sang a ballad, "Safe & Sound" by Taylor Swift, wearing a haphazard outfit consisting of a pink bandana wrapped in her hair, a red bandana scarf around her neck, a black dress with sheer V-neck and a baggy gray jacket. She looked a little uncertain but had some lovely tone. Keith advised her not to be nervous. Jennifer felt she had a magical quality to her voice. Harry questioned the song choice, much as he liked her voice.
• Shannon Berthiaume sang "Who Knew" by Pink, wearing a black and gray minidress and a black overshirt. She mumbled a lot of the lyrics and was a little too soft and subdued to make out, despite eating the mic. Harry liked that she's green but "that novelty will wear off" and told her she needs to be committed to the lyric. Keith critiqued the song choice and told her to look for ones that play to her strengths. Jennifer told her she just needs to start believing in herself.
• Loren Lott, who's also an actress, sang "Note to God" by Charice in a heather-gray pants suit with embellished neckline. It started out very uneven, and then she launched into the sort of histrionics that musical uneducated people associated with good singing. I remain convinced she's not as good as she thinks she is. Lots of pitch problems, too. Jennifer told her, "Good job, sweetie." Harry praised her for her power, and Keith said she was giving people a run for their money. Really?
• Shi Scott sang "Umbrella" by Rihanna, wearing a fashion-forward sheer number with abstract patterns. She definitely seemed more confident than in previous performances, but her alto voice turned very nasal at times. The song wasn't a good match for her. I'd rather hear her rock out to a song by Pat Benetar or Pink. Keith found it powerful, gutsy and bold, but wasn't sure she really got him with the song choice. Jennifer thought it didn't show off the best of her, but she hoped the audience would see through that. Harry called her extremely talented, and the good news was it was a song everyone knows and loves. It just wasn't the right one for her.
• Next was Maddie Walker, who sang "Love Gets Me Every Time" by Shania Twain. She still had the crimson tips on her blonde hair and wore a rose-covered party dress with short fringed white boots. Her performance of the song was flirty and cute, but still rose above being simply lightweight. Harry said sometimes her voice sounds a lot older than she is. He thought it was a solid performance and felt America would agree. Keith thought this wasn't the best song to show off her voice but said a character of her voice is compelling. Jennifer also agreed about the poor song choice.
• Then was Sarina-Joi Crowe, who took real control of the stage in a white blouse, white fluffy vest, white short-shorts and gold knee-high boots. Her performance was not only skillful, but the vocals were on the mark. She did throw in a lot of runs, but only where they mattered. And while some people might call it on the verge of Broadway, it was so compelling that didn't bother me a bit. Jennifer felt that she rivaled Jessie J on the song. Harry thought she looked and sounded great, and he loved the arrangement. Keith thought it was the perfect balance of loose and tight.
• Jax sang "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" by Nancy Sinatra in a black asymmetrical mini-dress, sitting on a bench, wearing just one burgundy half-glove. After the song kicked in, she got up, and her vocals were part punk, and just a little campy. Loved it. Keith praised her originality. Jennifer said they'd definitely see her next week. Harry also told her that if she made it through, it would be fun to watch her.
• High-schooler Tyanna Jones sang "Lips are Moving" by Meghan Trainor in a black jumper with white button-down shirt and a bow tie, still with the blue-dyed natural hair. Even though it's not an incredibly great showcase of a song, her vocal strength came through. She was singing even though the lyrics were a bit negative, though. Keith liked it but advised her that she suggest to the band whenever she wants to sing in a higher key. Jennifer thought her voice came from God itself: "It's crazy."
• Eliminations begin next week, and the guys will perform next Wednesday. Host Ryan Seacrest also promised an "epic surprise" next week.
• Based on tonight's performances, I would see Lovey, Shannon and Katherine all being in danger, but most likely it will be Shannon going home.

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