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'American Idol' recap: Top 6 are...

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Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
15
performer:
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
broadcaster:
Fox
genre:
Reality TV

It gets weird tonight, you guys. Just be warned. Tonight is about American Classics in terms of songbook and, of course, the #idolfansave. Let’s get to it.

Tyanna Is the first to be named safe. (She looks amazing.) We don’t have any guest mentors tonight, and I’m curious to see our Idols interact closely with Scott, because we haven’t really gotten enough of him this season. (He still reads a little creepy, no?)

Anyhow, our girl is singing “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” for her first number (everyone gets two tonight), and she’s on point. She’s in her pocket—sweet, strong, playful. I love it, but it could definitely use a bit of grit, which is the exact critique the judges have. They want a bit more style, a bit more edge. Totally fair, but Tyanna is, without much question, one of our top three (possibly top two) contestants, so at this point we need more from her.

Second through is Clark. (Who almost never gets to perform early in the show, right?) Let’s see if they’ve managed to make him slightly cooler tonight. Again, for anyone who has forgotten, I don’t care if this kid is cool at all, I’m obsessed with him no matter how many button-down shirts and pleated pants he wears. His song choice for the evening is Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and from the moment he starts, I feel like Clark is here to prove something. The song? Slightly cooler than we’ve seen from him. The attire? Still a button down, but coupled with a slightly undone tie. It’s improvement! I’ll take what I can get. “He’s being fun, it’s so weird!” says my roommate. Exactly.

Jax is, of course, the next to go through. (They’re teasing their hopeful top final right now, right?) “Piece of My Heart” is pretty much the song I’ve been waiting to hear all season from Jax, and she sounds good. Like, REAL good. She always reads as very comfortable on stage, but this takes it up a bit. She’s at ease, completely. An old pro. Which is an impressive feat for a teenager.

Nick is through (obvs, haters), and again I will say: He can do this, if he just finds his moment. He selects “American Girl” for his first song, and the kid sounds good. He’s covered in denim and his weird haircut is curly tonight and it all works for me. (A surprise to no one, I know.) But in all seriousness, I do think he found himself a bit last week, and tonight supports that. He’s owning it. Applause, my dear Nick. One of your best.

Quentin gets good news next, and his first song is Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” We’ve gotten a lot of soulful performances from Quentin. This amped up rock show suits him, for sure, but it’s not shining a spotlight on his vocals like the slow jamz have. (J.Lo says, “The pitch thing is all over the place.”) But he wraps up, and here’s where it gets real weird: In the midst of his critiques—all of which were deserved—Quentin is visibly upset. “This sucks,” he says. “This whole thing is wack,” he continues, with respect to his friends Joey and Rayvon being in the bottom two. And Harry immediately calls him disrespectful (fair), and Quentin kind of gets in Harry’s face and explains that he’s not down with seeing his two friends in the bottom. He’s being super indignant. Quentin, you 21-year-old idiot, honestly. This show is built on dreams and hope and fairness, but we all know this is corporate America. Know your (real) audience.

Of our final two, Joey is the first to take the stage tonight. “My Funny Valentine” is a smart choice, and Joey is looking sleek. She’s relaxed, looks amazing, sounds fantastic.

NEXT: Can Joey take Rayvon out?

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And to that, I’ll say: I think it says more that Rayvon has been in the bottom two for three weeks in a row now than that he’s survived two weeks in a row. If there’s a market for what he’s selling, it’s one that lacks passion. Let’s keep the kids who have wowed us in the game. #SaveJoey, you guys. Please.

Sidenote: Quentin is performing the marriage of Joey and her fiancé. That’s intimate. God, these kiddos get so close on this show! #friendship

Rayvon, my new arch nemesis, is spitting some speech at Scott about how thankful he is to be here. Are you, Rayvon? We don’t know you at all because you are so pompous and boring. (And let’s remember, friends, that he was my favorite just weeks ago.) “Long Train Running“ is, without question, the most performance-y thing Rayvon has ever done. KNOW WHAT I SAY? Too little, too late, Rayvon.

Clarky babe’s second song tonight is “Moon River,” and my roommate and I are once again struggling with our attraction to a 22-year-old. Kid’s got soul. Again, tears. Just watch, if you haven’t already. If you don’t cry, you’re soulless.

“Proud Mary” as covered by Tyanna just makes me feel like all my dreams are coming true. She starts slow (as one does), and is sporting a sass-tastic glittering two-piece suit. And then she gets into it. And my god, does she get into it. Tyanna’s back, you guys! Vote for her. She owns the stage but is in no way doing a cheap Tina Turner impression. Thank you for that, girl. This is excellent. Harry calls it perfect—and as we know, he hates almost everything.

Nick’s second song, “Only the Good Die Young,” is one of my shameless personal favorites. He delivers a quiet, understated version, propped gloriously on a stool and killing the slowed-down arrangement. I really feel like he’s (finally finally finally) having a big night. Last week was great for him, but I think we woke some folks up tonight. HE’S GOOD, YOU GUYS. I SWEAR.

For his second performance of the night, Quentin sings “The Sound of Silence.” It starts out with a bit of trouble in terms of pitch. He recovers quickly, but then falls in and out of key the entire performance. It’s an okay number for him, and to be completely honest, I think the judges and the Internet way overreacted to his earlier exchange with Harry. He sounds good, as usual. At this point in the competition—especially when we’re doing two songs per contestant—they really have to stand out every time. And while this is good, it’s nothing to write home about. (Separately, J.Lo scolds him a little bit for speaking his mind earlier, then says that he has to, above all, be an artist and be himself. Which is exactly what he did an hour ago. So…)

Next up for Jax is “Beat It.” Not the best of her vocals, in my opinion. Truthfully, this entire episode is a little flat. Cramming 12 songs into two hours is too many, and a 30 second clip of a single track does little to convince me of anyone’s talent. Tonight feels, as a whole, pretty heavy on karaoke.

Elimination time. Rayvon will perform ahead of Joey for his second number, which is “Always on My Mind.” His voice sounds particularly lovely on this number, and I’ll be honest with you: I sense a bit of emotion in this performance. It means something to him, and it shows. I care about him more than I’ve cared about him since Hollywood Week. Truly, beautiful performance.

Joey has her work cut out for her. Her second number is “Somebody to Love,” by Jefferson Airplane. She’s in her zone (and looks fantastic!). I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to be so devastated if she goes home. This girl should be in our top 5 American Idol tour, at the very, very least.

After we have five minutes to #saverayvon or #savejoey, the verdict is in, and—it’s very close, like 52% close—the contestant moving on will be ONCE AGAIN Rayvon. Well. There you have it. My dear Joey Cook, just three weeks ago I would have never expected to hear myself say this, but I will miss you. Dearly. Rayvon, we’ll apparently see you next week. Idol out. 

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