alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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American Idol Recap: Top 16 Girls Take on Motown

On Thursday night, the girls who were part of the Top 24 for Season 14 of "American Idol" heard their first live results and the top 8 girls (of the Top 16 overall) got another chance to perform for view votes, at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. Like the boys last night, they would be singing Motown songs.

• The first one through, Tyanna Jones, who comes from a big family. She sang "Rockin' Robin" by Michael Jackson, wearing a scoop-neck lacy black top, red plaid skirt, and black tights. She started off a little rough, with some minor pitch problems, but then she found her groove, along with an outstanding last note. Jennifer Lopez was dancing in her seat. Keith Urban told her it was a great way to kick it off, and he thought it was a perfect song. Jennifer liked her throw-back vibe and called it "awesome." Harry Connick Jr. found it subtle and strong, asking her, "What can't you sing?"
• Loren Lott was the next one to perform, who started out singing in church. She sang "I Wanna Be Where You Are" by Michael Jackson, wearing a black fringed T-shirt, gray leggings, and a weird lacy headband. She missed the high note and was pretty much all over the place. Such a pageant performance, together with her attempt at Michael Jackson moves. Jennifer really enjoyed it, saying that she made her smile. "You really have something... an innate talent." Harry felt there had been a high bar set so far, and she might have nudged that bar up higher. Keith said that the Motown catalogue for the girls was a win-win.
• Next was country singer Maddie Walker, singing "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5, sitting on a stool, wearing a black and gray dress with spaghetti straps. Her voice wavered a bit on some of the sustained notes. Totally out of her wheelhouse, this song highlighted her weaknesses. Harry felt she'd erased any doubt that she deserved in the competition. He told her that sometimes she goes sharp on her sustained notes, and she ought to think about dynamics. Keith felt the song was a good choice and liked that she made it her own. He gave her advice on getting rid of the nerves: think about the words you're singing. Jennifer thought this was a difficult song to sing but she did a good job despite her nerves.
• Then was a taped segment showing Aretha Franklin meeting with the Top 24 to give them some industry advice. She advised them to stay physically fit, stay away from the wrong people and pay attention to the business side. They asked her for advice, should they forget lyrics, and she told them to think on their feet and come up with something that rhymes.
• Joey Cook freaked out when her name was called. Her hair was curly and blue tonight, and she wore a black A-line dress with white polka dots and red petticoat. She sang, "Better Shop Around," giving it more of an old-school jazzy spin. Keith liked that she made the song her own, like customized music. Jennifer praised her uniqueness, emotion and uninhibitedness. Harry loved her artistry. His only concern was that she's so stylized with how she dresses and pronounces words that he hoped people didn't get tired of it.
• Sarina-Jo Crowe sang "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" by the Miracles, wearing a one-sleeved drapey white dress and accompanied by just one guitar player. Her vocals alternated between bluesy and a very accomplished diva. Excellent. Jennifer said it's so fulfilling to see her up there, reminding the audience again this was her fourth time trying out. Harry called her terrific and said she has a world-class smile. He liked the arrangement but said the whole thing was consistently flat. Keith agreed with Harry but said that she had great focus and didn't get distracted when the audience started reacting.
• Next was Adanna Duru, singing "Hello" by Lionel Richie, wearing a tight-fitting low-cut black minidress. She put a lot of emotion into this performance but overdid it again with the arm gestures. Harry gave her an A plus for singing the lyrics. However, he said the whole thing was out of tune. Keith felt she'd owned the song at the end. Jennifer liked it but didn't love it. She liked her use of emotion but felt the song choice wasn't the best.
• Jax took the stage next with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," wearing a blue and black knit sleeveless dress and black half gloves. Her version of this song was jazzy and syncopated. It was a lot of fun, and she made it work. Keith loved her strong artistry, originality and the grit in her voice. Jessica said she's already one of the favorites but has to be careful not to take the song too far away from the original melody. Harry thought she had an incredible voice and unbelievable charisma and agreed about the arrangement, finding it dull. Ryan pointed out afterwards that it was actually the dress that "broke the Internet." I guess when you're not looking at a terrible cell-phone picture, it's easy to tell the color.
• This left five contestants, with only one about to take the stage. The final girl to perform... Alexis Gomez. She sang "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" by the Four Tops, giving it a little bit of a country twist, wearing a black lace A-line dress with red belt and barefoot. The breakdown was a little weird, but her vocals were full of joy. Jennifer thought it was out of key so much that it bothered her. Harry said she deserved to be there, and he was glad she was there. He said she has to find a way to control herself emotionally. Keith liked the bare feet and told her that the song choice wasn't great.
• Next week, the show returns to Hollywood, where the Top 12 will be named (meaning two more guys and two more girls will be cut). Of those, I'd say the ones in the most danger are Loren Lott and Adanna Duru because of Loren's histrionics and Adanna's failing to stand out among stronger performances.
Tags: american idol, music, television

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