alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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"American Idol" Recap: Top 6

OK, I did it again. I wrote the recap right after the show last week and forgot to post it until tonight. But since I took the time to do it, here it is.

The Top 8, who performed last week, learned who would continue on as the Top 6 of Season 15, "American Idol." This week, those who were safe would perform both their solos and their duets. The bottom three would perform for the judges, who could save one, with the other two being eliminated.
• The first duet combined Trent Harmon and La'Porsha Renae, singing "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. Both wore red shirts, black pants and black jackets (her shirt with sparkles). Both were restrained through most of it, playing for the crowd at other parts. They didn't seem to connect with the lyrics, though, which are sad, about leaving a friend behind. Keith Urban called it the perfect song, saying it played to both of their strengths. Jennifer Lopez said they made a good pairing, saying it was magical. Harry Connick Jr. liked that their voices blended well and that they sang Wiz's part.
• Next were Sonika Vaid and Avalon Young sang "Rise Up" by Andra Day, with Avalon in a black sports shirt and leggings, and Sonika all in black, looking much dressier. This pairing didn't work quite as well, especially since Sonika seemed to be trying to out-sing Avalon. Jennifer said their voices are both angelic, and they pushed each other to do better. She wanted to see more emotion coming through their bodies. Harry said Avalon is the more rhythmic singer and Sonika is the more melodic. It seemed he though Sonika did better. Keith praised their different strengths, calling Avalon a natural singer.
• The season's heartthrobs, MacKenzie Bourg and Dylan, sang the Backstreet Boys tune "I Want It That Way." It was a little odd, with MacKenzie doing it singer-songwriter style and Dylan taking more of a rocker approach, but the accompaniment was more in the singer-songwriter vein. The girls in the audience went crazy, though. Harry said that, though the song is popular, he didn't think it was a good song. He asked them if they have any idea what they're singing about. They looked a little lost, and he said the lyrics don't actually mean anything. Keith thought that this song should have been arranged differently, and Jennifer agreed, saying they should have flipped it somehow.
• Then were Tristan McIntosh and Lee Jean, the final duo. They sang "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. They both wore black and silver/gray. She took it too big, throwing in some extra runs. One really awful moment was when they were both bouncing around. They didn't seem to be feeling the song at all. Keith loves the song but said it was hard to find something that fit both of their keys. Jennifer thought Tristan's voice shone in that song, and Lee "hung in there." Harry said the slow-rock arrangement was the problem. He said it ended up being boring and bland, "and it didn't have to be."
• In the next round, each person who made it through would sing a song from the "Idol" songbook, starting with La'Porsha. Her family has a military tradition, but she resisted joining up. She sang "Come Together" by the Beatles, wearing a black cat suit with a multi-layered necklace draped over her chest. Taking the song hard-edge, she had both the attitude and the vocals down, like a true professional. Going first will not hurt her a bit. Jennifer loves how she's a diva. She makes people want to be like her, she said. Harry joked that she could make sense even of those lyrics. Keith noted the passing of the "fifth Beatle," George Martin, and praised her version of it.
• MacKenzie Bourg performed next, doing "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker. He played with the melody, rushing the end of phrases, which I didn't think worked that well. Harry loved the song choice. "No matter who you were singing it to, I thought you were connected to it." Keith liked that he picked it, because he knows what he should do. He made it sound brand-new. Jennifer agreed, saying there was an indie rock vibe to his performance.
• Then, the Season 14 winner, Nick Fradiani, sang his new single, "Get You Home," wearing a white T-shirt and dark jeans. It was pop-ish, and he didn't seem entirely comfortable with it.
• Trent Harmon did "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King, wearing a navy blue suit with a light blue shirt buttoned all the way up. His version of the song wasn't changed too much from the original, except that he embellished it at times. Keith told him to focus on the places that will give more emotional impact. Jennifer loves what he does with his voice but doesn't know if the audience gets what a "bad ass" he is. She wasn't sure about his new styling, though, saying she loved his scarves. Harry made a small suggestion about rhythm: "The harder you sink into the rhythm of that, the better it will be."
• Continuing on next was Tristan McIntosh, who wore a sequined sleeveless dress as she crooned a country song at the microphone. The chorus seemed a little high for her. Jennifer thought her voice was perfectly suited to country. He asked her what happens to the girl in the story, and Tristan said she didn't quite know but thought she left. Harry didn't disagree. Keith found the package about her connection to her grandfather to be very touching and told her she did a good job.
• Dalton Rapattoni was the last one to secure a spot in "the safety zone," Ryan announced. He sang "Eleanor Rigby" on a stage filled with dry ice, surrounded by violinists. He did a speeded up version of it, sort of hard-rock, but he was a bit breathless even though he was standing still. Harry thought he pushed it as high as he could, and the song could have been an introduction of the song to a younger generation. Keith thought it was a great song, and he brought out the cinematic undercurrents. "Like a good waffle iron, you made an impression." Jennifer said it was "exactly what we want from you," praising the theatricality.
• The first to sing of the bottom three, Avalon Young did "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" by Michael Jackson, wearing a patched jean jacket over black leggings. Her voice was a good match with the song, in terms of the vocal range. Keith said he's confused how she connects so well with the audience in the room and still ends up in the bottom three. Jennifer called her a natural performer but also questioned how she ended up in the bottom three. She advised her, if she made it through, to go outside her comfort zone. Harry said she's cool with an incredible voice, but maybe she can have more rhythmic connection. Jennifer agreed, saying there's a difference between "laid back" and "captivating."
• Lee Jean sang the Beatles song "Let It Be," standing at the mike. He connected more to the vocals than he had before, and this was a much better performance for him than the duet. Jennifer said he has amazing style, a beautiful voice, but she wasn't sure it would be enough. There had to be more "do or die," she said. Harry liked that it was smart, and he'd committed to the lyrics. On an emotional level, he wasn't sure. Keith told him the tone was great, and he could work on the rest.
• Last to perform was Sonika Vaid, who comes from a musical family and whose mother performed in Bollywood. She chose a very typical show-off song, by Whitney Houston, standing at the mike to sing. Technically, it was good but very boring. Harry said the song is high-risk, high-reward because it's so iconic. It's been sung six times on the show, he said. Keith said if she's here next week, she needs to continue to let go. Jennifer said it's a hard song to sing, and she did a good job with it. They would have a hard decision to make, she said.
• Ryan brought the bottom three up onstage and talked to them while the judges deliberated. Then it was time for Harry to deliver the news. He revealed that Sonika would be going through in the competition.
Tags: american idol, music, television

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