Hundreds had the chance to sing for the judges: Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj. Only 286 people received Golden Tickets and headed to Hollywood to chase their dreams.
After countless rounds of singing a cappella, performing in groups and their final solos, 20 men and 20 women have moved on to the Sudden Death round in Las Vegas.
Over the next couple of weeks, the 20 men and 20 women will perform for 10 coveted spots and a place on the American Idol live shows.
Tonight, it is the girls’ final shot to prove to the judges that they deserve that spot. Who stepped up to the challenge? Who sank? Read on to find out….
17-year-old high school student Jenny Beth Willis kicked off the night with Trisha Yearwood’s “Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love.” It did not excite me as much until the last note. While Keith stated that he liked Jenny’s confidence, Randy stated that she was out-of-sync with the band and Nicki added that Jenny could have had more fun with the song. C
Camp Mariah alum and Jamaica, Queens spokesmodel Tenna Torres was the second contestant to take the Idol stage and performed a Natasha Bedingfield song. While the judges praised her song, I thought it was like watching a bad pageant performance. C-
Adriana Latonio was the first semifinalist to represent the great state of Alaska. Her cover of the Queen of Soul’s “Ain’t No Way” was very ambitious and would remind viewers of a young Mary J. Blige. She had Randy and Mariah singing along plus received a standing ovation from Keith and the Dawg at the end of her performance. During the judges’ comments, Nicki praised her for being fearless and commanding the stage and Mariah stated that her performance was an “A+” A+
26-year-old Brandy Hotard tried to put her best foot forward when she tackled Travis Tritt’s “Anymore.” While it was a great ballad and could be recordable, Brandy seemed to be disconnected emotionally with the song and both Keith and Nicki called her on that. Meanwhile, Mariah wanted her to record a classics album. C+
Shubha Vedula showed off her showmanship when she tackled Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” that got the crowd on their feet. However, both Keith and Nicki thought it was confusing while Mariah and Randy wanted to see her at the piano for the remainder of the song. Despite the judges’ feedback, Shubha pulled out all the stops and delivered a memorable performance. A-
Music industry veteran Kamaria Ousley delivered the worst performance of the night when she sang a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know It All.” It was pitchy and screechy and the judges stated it was her worst performance on the Idol stage and Kamaria would be in trouble. D+
Nashville demo singer Kree Harrison delivered a stellar cover of “Up to the Mountain” that was effortless and received a standing ovation from Keith and Nicki. Mariah stated that she loved the fact that Kree got lost in the song and that it was one of the best performances of the night. A
Hollywood Week standout Angela Miller delivered a stunning and chill-worthy cover of Jessie J’s “Nobody’s Perfect.” She showed off her impeccable range and a great staccato. During the judges’ comments, Nicki advised her to not force her singing and Randy added that she is one of her favorites in the competition. The “Hero” singer also added that Angela has limitless potential and begged her to keep writing music. A
The final performance of the night belonged to two-time auditionee Amber Holcomb, who stole the show with her cover of the classic love song: “My Funny Valentine.” Amber showed off her range and delivered a performance that received a standing ovation from Randy, Keith and Mariah. Keith loved her technicality while Mariah wanted to smack her in a good way because she loved her interpretation. A+
After all of the ladies performed, it was up to the judges to decide who was going onto the Top 20 and who was going to be sent home. In case, the panel was divided, Idol in-house mentor and Interscope Chairman Jimmy Iovine would break the tie. Luckily, the judges were unanimous in their decision, so he was not used this evening.
At the end of the night, the Judges said “Goodbye” to Jenny Beth Willis, Brandy Hotard, Isabelle, Kamaria Ousley and Shubha Vedula. The five girls that will be fighting for your votes are Tenna Torres, Kree Harrison, Angela Miller, Amber Holcomb and Adriana Latonio.
Tomorrow night, 10 guys will perform for the judges but only five will make it to the Final Judgment.