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'American Idol' recap: Top 10 perform

A lackluster evening takes a thrilling turn when Qaasim comes out swinging.

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American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

Harry Connick Jr. is mad. Why? Because these damn kids don’t know the first thing about connecting with LYRICS! But we’ll come back to that later.

First things first, a huge thanks to Keertana for filling in last week. (Though, girl, we gotta talk, because I felt you throwing some shade at Clark and I am not okay with it.) What I am okay with is Ryan’s return to proper clothing. He’s looking sharp in a suit/vest combo, and I’m hoping he never attempts casualwear again.

The theme for tonight is Movie Night, which is fun! We’re inching toward our top 10 this evening, and the first to make the cut is Adanna Duru, who sings “I Love You, I Do” from Dreamgirls. It’s a bold song choice because, you know, Jennifer Hudson. But Adanna, who’s looking fab in a shattered-mirror frock, sounds good and has definitely improved her intonation. (Hay Harry!) But she’s being swallowed by the band—we all know she has a powerful voice, but I’m losing her a bit. Throughout this whole process she’s been a little rehearsed and manufactured, so I’m with Jen when she says that she wants more real emotion, more connection.

Well, we all knew it was coming, but it still stings. Daniel Seavey, undoubtedly the loveliest contestant I’ve ever rooted against, is through to our top nine. America, use your ears. We love this boy, but USE YOUR EARS. “Lost Stars” from Begin is a big move for him. It’s a fantastic song, but it’s emotional and has an enormous range. Immediately, he falters. Oh babe, it’s too much. His pitch is all over the place, and his voice, at this very very very young age of 15 does not have the strength to support it. For the record, the judges don’t get it either. We got an “okay” from Jen, a “wasn’t strong” from Harry, and a generous “good performance…but dig in more” from Keith. From Daniel: “I feel like I wasn’t their favorite, but I had a lot of fun!” What a sweetie.

Rayvon Owen is in the clear. “Stayin’ Alive” is ambitious, and per usual, his vocal is fantastic. But when he walks over to sing alongside the quartet of backing vocalists, he blends in with them so perfectly. Like, too perfectly. Like he’s a backing vocalist and not a frontman. Rayvon doll, how you managed to make this song boring, I’ll never understand. Harry basically calls him uninteresting, a sad but fair comment. He wants lyrics, he wants emotion! We need more depth, damn it! Rayvon, we want to love you. Help us.

Nick Fradiani—who I’m calling the season’s dark horse— is the next to get through. I like Nick because he knows that he’s playing it safe, and he wants to change. He doesn’t quite get there with his song choice of “Danger Zone,” which comes as a surprise to literally no one. Am I blown away? No. Am I entertained? Sort of. Is it better than last week? Yes. The thing about Nick is his vocals are killer. He’s more exciting than Rayvon but as forgettable. But he’s working on it. HE’S GETTING THERE. I want him to be fab. Don’t we all have such a shameless, basic crush on him? I do. 

Harry, for the 100th time tonight, encourages the contestants to pick deeper songs, with lyrics that actually mean something. (He calls “Danger Zone” “silly,” and my love for him grows.)

NEXT: Tyanna takes a tumble.