Have we all cooled off from the weirdness of last week? I certainly hope so, because that was all ridiculous. Tonight we meet our top five, which is a big moment. Why? Because this year, the top five are the only kiddos who will be taking part in the Idol tour this summer. (See you on August 5, Beacon Theatre!) And in celebration, we’re in for a night of #ArenaAnthems.
First through—and the first to officially be part of the tour—is Jax, sporting a spiky, sparkly jacket and a tambourine, à la Taylor Hanson. The girl sounds pretty great on Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (but loses points for changing the gender of the song and singing “be my guy” instead, which makes me crazy). She also looks wildly comfortable on stage. God, she has grown on me, this one! I can’t wait to see her on tour! For real.
Second to be making his way to your hometown this summer is Nick, who maybe got a much-needed haircut. We’re meeting the contestants’ parents tonight in their pre-performance video segments, and Nick’s parents tell us (again) that Nick got into music after his basketball career ended because of an injury. (Is Nick actually Troy Bolton, for real?) Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe” gets of to a realllllll rocky start, like the song totally got away from him. They’ve built the set tonight to appear as thought Nick is part of a band rather than a solo artist, which we all know has been his problem the entire time. Well, honestly, it doesn’t help much. He was making good progress the past few weeks in terms of his confidence, but he’s lost it tonight. (I also can’t understand a damn word he’s saying.) Ugh, Nicky, I really thought we were getting somewhere with you. This was okay. Not your best, not your worst. The judges are super jazzed about this performance, which confuses me as the one person in the world who’s been rooting for this kid all season. Sigh, judges. Sigh.
Clarky gets the green light next (I am absolutely going to weep when I see him on tour). As you remember, J.Lo has been telling him to work on his style, to be a little cooler, find a look. So what does Clark do? He puts on a cute little suit and a sassy pocket square, because he is an ANGEL. God, I love him. The Beatles’ “Yesterday”—a song I didn’t know was an #ArenaAnthem—is another homerun. (Though how does he manage to break the songbook rules every week? It’s all easy listening with him! No complaints, but seriously, the rules are being bent.) At this point, what is there to say about Clark? He sings, I cry, he’ll win.
Tyanna’s next, and we see an amazing video of her from years ago, getting ready to go see a Hannah Montana concert. SO CUTE. (Remember how good the Hannah Montana movie is?) Tyanna is just one of the loveliest people I’ve ever seen on this show. “Party in the U.S.A.” is her choice for the night, and it starts out a little low for her voice, but we all know she’s going places with it. It’s a fun performance, it’s nice to see her doing something so young, and she has fun with it. Sounds solid (though not her absolute best, but I think the arrangement is to blame for that), but I’m looking forward to her next song.
That leaves Quentin and Rayvon at the mercy of the Idol fan save. Rayvon, dude, you’ve got to be getting tired of this, right? Quentin is the first to defend his spot, taking on “Light My Fire.” Guys, I love Quentin, but this performance is less than comfortable. For starters, it is boring. Second, it feels weirdly dated. Harry says he dug it, but obviously that’s just to signal that the tension from last week is dunzo.
NEXT: Clark, meet Bieber.
I don’t think I’ve ever done such a 180 with an Idol contestant before like I have with Rayvon. He was one of my early picks to win, and I loved loved loved him. One-hundred weeks later—which is the actual length of this season—I just want him to leave us alone. He sings Sam Smith’s “Not the Only One,” which is ALSO not an arena anthem, and his vocal is lovely as usual, and his performance is a snoozefest as usual. He’s trying to emote, but it’s literally the furthest thing from genuine emotion I’ve seen maybe ever. Sorry, I know I’m being such a hater right now, I just can’t with this kid. Keith says if he keeps singing like this, he’s going to be the only one left. Hey Keith, this kid has been in the bottom two for the past three weeks, at least. HE WON’T WIN.
We head into the second songs of the night, and Nick’s back with “Maggie May.” Much better than his first effort. I still really like him. The complaint from the other nuts in my apartment is that Nick sounds like he’s really trying. And yeah, he’s trying. But that’s why I like him. He is ready to work for this shit. And no matter what you all say, his voice is good. It’s good, dammit!
Tyanna selects Bryan Adams’ “Heaven,” a song she didn’t know existed before this week, and in addition to looking gorgeous and statuesque in a silver dress, she sounds wonderful. She was so smart to select these two songs tonight—they show two wildly different parts of her personality and talent.
For his second number, Clark sings Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” a song I COMPLETELY forgot about. It is the most fun we’ve ever seen Clark have, and he looks all sexy perched on his little stool. He styled this up! I’m so proud of him. Harry didn’t love it because Harry is insane. The judges actually all kind of dump on it. J.Lo actually tells him that it wasn’t a stadium song. Jenny, you’re lucky if half of tonight’s performances qualify as stadium songs. I’m obviously a sucker, but I loved this performance.
Jax, who has maybe become Clark’s biggest competition, does Dido’s “White Flag” seated behind a lovely white piano in a lovely white dress. It’s angelic and soft, especially as compared to her earlier performance. She is hands down the best performer we’ve got this season. She can put on a show, and it almost always feels genuine. I will purchase this on iTunes tomorrow.
Quentin is not messing around with his version of Florence + the Machine’s “Shake It Out.” I didn’t love his first performance tonight, but I am all about this. He sounds GOOOOOOOD, and you can’t take your eyes off of him. I really hope we recognize his excellence as a community before we #idolfansave.
“Go Your Own Way” is hopefully the last song we’ll ever hear from Rayvon, and it’s honestly the first time I’ve heard his vocals falter at all. Ugh, I cannot with him. But he hits an enormous note at the end, and god knows America is going to fall for it. The audience gets on their damn feet, and the camera shows Quentin who is standing on his feet, hands up, shouting “I give it up!” Man, if this kid squeaks through again, I just don’t know if my brain can handle it.
So after a long five minutes, this ridiculous world in which we live saves Rayvon. And with that, we are officially done with fan saves for the rest of the season. But how mad am I that I’m going to see Rayvon perform live instead of Quentin? PRETTY MAD. But next week, the top five will face off, and we will move one step closer toward our final two. What’s your dream pairing? I’m thinking Clark and Jax, but know there are plenty of you who will disagree. Let me hear it!