Hello, hello you little American Idol fanatics. Here we are, starting our first live show. Well. Almost live. It was recorded on Tuesday, so it’s nearly live, but this is the week where we get to take charge. Well. Strike that, too. The way that tonight works is that the judges get to send four finalists to the top 10 before anyone else gets a say, which could mean that all you Jeneve fans get an automatic pass. As for those bonus six spots? Those finally belong to us.
The judges immediately hop into their picks, putting my emo Greenday dreamboat Dalton Rapattoni through, followed by Olivia Rox because Olivia rocks. Next up is quirky Trent Harmon who crushed the Bee Gees’ “Love Somebody” last week. And then, of course, La’Porsha Renae rounds out the first four. I love it, but in the far distance, I can already hear your audible groans. Mama knows, mama knows. I didn’t like Constantine Maroulis when all y’all were like, “But his hair is dreamy!” Idol life is fickle like that.
But that leaves us 10 contestants vying for six spots, and to start it off, we have:
Manny Torres, “Master Blaster (Jammin’)”
I’m pleasantly surprised that there’s considerably more singing and marginally less gyrating than in past weeks for Manny. I’m not saying there were a ton of notes that he needed to hit, but this probably was his most vocally taxing song along his journey, and I didn’t hate it.
Gianna Isabella, “I Put a Spell On You”
So, to be honest, I think I’ve figured out why I like Gianna Isabella. I’m easy. I can be won over on the first couple notes, and if the opening notes are big, Gianna can win me over. But when I go back and listen to past performances, including this one, I can see that Gianna kind of is auditioning for a high school talent show. She would handily win that show, but Idol? I’m not convinced.
Thomas “Hiccups” Stringfellow, “Story of My Life”
How many times can we be reminded that Thomas broke up with his girlfriend? Are we going to ride that narrative to the end? Anyway, his redo song is “Story of My Life,” which feels like a good choice, but once he hits the chorus, he blasts back into that weird hiccup thing he does at the end of words (Harry finally called it out), earning him the nickname “Hiccups” for as long as you keep him around because LET”S BE HONEST — the children are going to keep him around.
Tristan McIntosh, “What Hurts the Most”
Here’s the thing: Tristan needs to do well tonight because, for me, she’s not in my automatic top 10. She goes after Rascal Flatts again, which didn’t work for her last time — this time, however, was not bad. I don’t know if I’d call it my favorite performance of the night, but this could very well be the start of Tristan’s return. That is, if she’s given the shot to move on.
Avalon Young, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)”
AVALON YOUNG, GIRL, IS YOUR HAIR WAVY TONIGHT? She said she’d never allow fame to change her, and yeah, she has the military jacket, but that hair is on point. I can’t help but feel like Avalon would have thrived in the 1998 music scene with her vaguely soulful voice. Fortunately, people like “retro,” so I think she could thrive now, too. Her style is strong and confident, but she’s still missing that necessary charm. I just don’t want to be in Avalon’s club yet.
NEXT: I see your true colors, bedazzled on your eyebrows