Welcome back, Idol lovers, to one of our weirdest episodes of the season. Up ahead: Harry pursues Keith while singing “Teenage Dream”; Qaasim brings back his dance moves (and “Hey Ya”); and Florida Georgia Line is unclear why they’re on this show. Onward!
Tonight we’ll find out who makes the top 7 (how did we get here?), and the #idolfansave is back in play. Do we have strong feelings about the fan save? I kind of like it, maybe. I like that we’re being rewarded for watching live. Brilliant marketing.
Tonight is Billboard Hits night. It’s one of Idol’s favorite tricks because it sounds like a theme, but it really just lets the contestants sing basically any song ever. Country duo (and my 5-year-old nephew’s favorite band) Florida Georgia Line are mentoring the contestants, along with Jason Derulo. Hot 100, indeed. Half the contestants go with Jason and the other half are with the bros of FGL. For the record, these gentlemen are NOT Kelly Clarkson.
First through is Jax, who really grew on me last week. She’s taking on Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” Let me say this: The contestants seem so preoccupied with doing something “different” that none of them are singing their songs as we actually know them. This cover is so slow and theatrical. You know what I want from a performance of “Poker Face”? I want a dance beat, and I want a goofy costume, and I want it to leave the song stuck in my head for days. What I do NOT want from it is something that has been repurposed for the sequel to Moulin Rouge (though I would see that movie in seconds, who am I kidding). Jax sounds good vocally, but this was a snooze fest. J.Lo, in all her wisdom, reminds Jax not to go too far left, not to stretch a song so much that it’s unrecognizable.
Nick is the next to make it through. He’s singing “Teenage Dream,” which confuses Harry thoroughly. (You’d imagine that with three daughters at home he’d be familiar with the Warblers, am I right?) It’s not my favorite performance from Nick, but the audience is going absolutely nuts for it—he’s got actual energy on the stage, the lights are working for him, and he’s giving it everything he’s got. Vocals? Good enough. Energy? Better. Not perfect, but it might be the moment Nicky’s been waiting for.
And then the best AND worst thing I’ve ever seen happens: Harry is challenged to get up on stage and sing it himself. And he does. And it gets weird. I honestly can’t even put it into words, but can only say that Harry and Keith were chasing each other around the judges’ table whilst singing a Katy Perry song. If you could only Google one thing for the rest of your life, this would be it, I swear. GOOGLE IT.
Next to survive is Quentin, who is totally emerging as a frontrunner. He makes a smart choice with “Latch” by Disclosure and Sam Smith. Jason Derulo gives him some fantastic advice and really pushes him to challenge his vocals, particularly his falsetto. Quentin’s looking dapper tonight. (But oh my god, Quentin, cut your nails, please.) It’s nice to see him do something not kooky, and he’s trying his damnedest, and he sounds good! He’s really going for those oh-so-tricky falsetto parts, but they’re far from perfect, especially after hearing Jason Derulo sing them quite flawlessly during rehearsal. Kudos for taking the risk, Quentin, but—despite what the judges say—this was troubled, vocally.
NEXT: Tyanna returns!