Tonight, American Idol continued its “Sudden Death Round” from Las Vegas. Ryan spoke to Mariah about the performances last night, and she admitted that even though she has her favorite guys, the girls brought it last night and had worked hard.
Paul Jolley was up first, with Keith’s “Tonight I Wanna Cry.” Keith told him he was honored Paul chose one of his songs and that he has a lot to offer and doesn’t need to over-sing if he moves forward. Nicki’s opinion was that Paul’s performance wasn’t as good as others he had given. Randy thought he has great potential. Mariah agreed and said the front half of the song was an intimate performance, and it was refreshing and nice.
Johnny Keyser sang “I Won’t Give Up,” by Jason Mraz. Keith said it was good and the best he’d heard him sing. He felt it was effortless. Nicki didn’t see his nervousness and thought he was sexy, even though he doesn’t have the best vocals. Randy felt it was an okay performance and thought Johnny played it safe. Mariah agreed with Nicki that Johnny was bringing out the masculinity, even though she didn’t want it to get in trouble with her husband.
JDA tackled Adele’s “Rumour Has It” and wound up lying on the ground on the American Idol logo before taking his jacket off and throwing it down. Keith told him he was right at home on the stage, commended him for putting on the show, and applauded his originality. He wished he had felt less of the “counting steps,” which he explained to be plotting out exactly what moves he would do for each song lyric. Nicki said, “Work it girl” and told JDA he is a superstar performer; however, she didn’t love his vocal. Randy said the vocal wasn’t stellar because JDA was so keyed in on the performance. Mariah thought JDA’s confidence level was major, and she liked the performance.
Kevin Harris sang Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” Keith had mixed feelings on showing such range at the end of the song, since everyone else does. Nicki loved his vibrato, the falsetto at the end, and his voice. Randy was bored and thought it was karaoke. Mariah loved the song but would have “loved to hear something he knew he could do,” if you know what she means.
Chris Watson sang Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay.” Keith didn’t think his voice was the best it could have been, but he loved his confidence on stage. Nicki, on the other hand, told him he is the prettiest man she has seen in her life and wants to marry his vibrato. Randy loved Chris as a person and because of his look. He was disappointed he didn’t do anything different or interesting with it. Mariah understood what Randy was saying and was surprised by the song choice.
Devin Velez took on “Listen” and broke into Spanish mid-song. Keith told Devin he made a connection with his voice just by singing the song. Nicki thought he did an amazing job and made a smart choice as an artist to sing in Spanish. Randy thought it was amazing and loved that he took his time with it. Mariah loved that he sang in Spanish and couldn’t wait to make a record.
Elijah Liu sang “Talking To the Moon.” Keith thought it was the perfect song choice, but the performance was a little shaky. Nicki’s mouth fell open while Keith was speaking and told Elijah he is a “super duper star,” she wants to have his babies, she is obsessed with him, and he is her new favorite boy. Randy said it was not a great vocal and there weren’t any moments. On the other hand, Mariah felt there were two distinct moments.
The quirky Charlie Askew was up next, with “Rocketman,” wearing a belt recommended to him by fellow contestant, JDA. Keith told Charlie he was like Freddie Mercury having a love child out of Woodstock, and tackling the song was like, “what the hell are you doing.” Nicki told Charlie he made the most interesting song choice of the night, and his weirdness and awkwardness excited her. Randy told Charlie he likes him, and why not just keep performing instead of singing. Mariah loved the song choice and said it was fantastic.
Jimmy Smith was also bold and took on Keith’s “Raining On Sunday.” Keith said it was really hard to critique someone who sang his song and thought he did well. Nicki was bored and still thinking about Charlie. Randy agreed that it was boring and didn’t know if it all came together. Mariah didn’t think it was his best vocal, but she thought there was something about him that America should be able to see.
Curtis Finch, Jr. sang “Superstar.” Keith thought it was really beautiful, even though there were parts that were over-performed. Nicki said that every time Curtis steps on stage, he raises the bar. Randy told him he can perform anything, but he needs to make sure he keeps it young. Mariah added it moved her to tears, but he could loosen up his tie and relax a little.
Ryan asked the judges about their decisions, and Randy said they did have one split-decision, but it was tough. Nicki added she fought for a couple of her favorites. Getting to the results, Ryan called Curtis back on stage, and Nicki told him to stop the act because he knew damn well that he was going through. Next up was Jimmy Smith, who Randy told hadn’t made it through. Mariah told Kevin she was emotional because she had become attached to him, but unfortunately, he was not going through. Keith told Elijah he so wished he could keep him and was glad that they were. Nicki told JDA they were unable to keep him. Paul Jolley faced the judges, and Randy revealed he was their split decision, so it was up to Jimmy Iovine. Jimmy said he is a good singer with a bad song choice, but he over-sang the song. Despite this, Jimmy told him he was recommending him to go forward, so he moved on. Randy told Chris Watson it had been a tough night and he had been good throughout the competition, but he would not be going through. Mariah told Charlie they had focused more on vocalists and let performers go, but in his case, he was staying with them. This left Johnny and Devin. Nicki told Johnny his journey was ending, but Devin had made it through.
Tune into American Idol next week Wednesday night on FOX at 8/7 p.m. central to see the next group of 10 contestants face off in the third part of the “Sudden Death Round.” Are you enjoying the Sudden Death Round? Did your favorite make it through? Leave a comment below!