American Idol recap: I Will Still Rise
You have one job. Don't. Forget. The. Words.
This is American Idol!
Hey, Chris Harrison. That is how you do it. As a bit of an April Fool’s Joke, Chris Harrison opens up the show, but it’s all just a ruse because Ryan Seacrest is the captain at the head of our ship, of course. Tonight is technically the last night of Hollywood Week, so our hopefuls are going to the main stage if they can survive tonight. Let’s go over some of the highlights and chart out what Monday night is going to look like!
Gabby Barrett, 17, “Ain’t No Way”
Gabby is here to prove to her ever-supportive dad that it was worth doubling down on her talents. Her version of “Ain’t No Way” is powerful, but in a sea of talented contestants, it’s not particularly one that you’re going to remember at the end of the episode, you know?
Harper Grace, 17, “Rest in Peace”
Ugh, I wish that I had botched the National Anthem once, because apparently, it pushes you to make up for it the rest of your life, and Good Lord does Harper Grace push it to the limit. The girl knows how to work a song, and honestly, a series of performances like this could result in her landing a top spot.
Noah Davis, 18, “Piece by Piece”
Noah tackles Kelly Clarkson because this show is always trying to kill me. It’s slowed down, and it’s already a bit of a slow song, so I’m not sure what the objective is. Would I say it’s his best performance? Absolutely not. Auditions Noah is everything. Let’s just say…Hollywood Week Noah leaves my wig intact and glued down.
Catie Turner, 17, “Pity”
Following Noah is Caty, who is like the black widow of Idol performers because her male-counterpart for the week seems to head home. She sings an original song, and while she is still very strange, her vocals and songwriting prowess is absolutely incredible. Like, put me in some vintage knee high boots because I’m completely down to buy Catie’s weird, strange album.
We get a little montage of “Home” by Daughtry, and I’m going to use my Idol recapping prowess to say that neither rendition matters.
Maddie Poppe, 20, “Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up”
These kids and their songwriting abilities! Maddie sounds like a diet Sara Bareilles, to be honest, but her cute, slightly-political songwriting is nice! I can’t imagine that Maddie’s voice alone would land her a top spot this season, but the songwriting talent is definitely noteworthy.
Michelle Sussett, 22, “I’m Coming Out”
The Venezuelan bombshell gives us another dance-y standout performance with “I’m Coming Out.” So good, in fact, that Lionel Ritchie gives her a standing ovation. She’s definitely a strong contender, if for no other reason than that she doesn’t have to rely on power ballads to showcase her singing prowess.
Ron Bultongez, 21, “Home”
Ron’s story is so good. He’s just recently taken over custody of his two younger brothers, in addition to his own kid, and then he showed up to Hollywood Week and performed “Home.” But let’s be clear, it was an event. Ron is someone who absolutely deserves to be in the live shows.
Trevor Holmes, 27, “Home”
Another day, another “Home.” Is it Ron’s version? No. But he is super dreamy, and that’s important. Katy is still absolutely over the moon, but with a head of gorgeous hair and very good bone structure, is an okay performance of “Home” enough to get him through? Maybe, maybe not.
Shannon O’Hara, 17, “Up to the Mountain”
Shannon’s voice is insane. But on a song like “Up to the Mountain,” which allows you to take it to an 11, it seemed like Shannon didn’t take the opportunity for the slam dunk. Her original audition made such a big wave, kind of like Noah Davis, that it feels impossible to live up to the hype.
Garrett Jacobs, 18, “Wicked Game”
So, listen to me. We need a Garrett Jacobs in this competition. Yes, he’s like white guy-with-guitar dreamy, but he also offers a different kind of sound. You’re not going to hear Garrett give Celine Dion a run for her money, but he’s got his own vibe and is quite talented at that. But the judges remark that his voice is shot, and it puts him on the fence.
Gabbii Jones, 20, “Million Reasons”
Ok, I’m super biased, but Gabbii is one of my absolute favorites. And with this rendition of “Million Reasons,” it’s hard to deny how much talent she has, but she definitely still struggles with the concept of playing it down. Gabbii’s problem is never going to be a lack of talent, but she’s always going to stumble on how to slow herself down and let that talent shine through.
Thaddeus Johnson, 25, “Rise”
Hoo boy, this might be the performance of the night. Taking on Katy in front of Katy? Quite a feat. But doing it so well that you get a standing ovation from all three judges? Well, there’s something that really should be said about that. Thaddeus is the kind of lovable Idol that is just quirky enough that he feels different without losing an ounce of star power.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson, 18, “Just to Be Your Man”
Caleb knows exactly what he’s doing. Idol needs a country front man and no one is more equipped to fill that role than Caleb. Yes, he shows up and turns out the same kind of deep-voiced performance that you expect, but isn’t that exactly what we need from this little (lol, the kid is like 9 feet tall) blonde country bombshell? Caleb is your safety guy, and you know what? He’ll be one to watch.
So that leads us into decision time, where all our little Idol hopefuls are split into three different rooms for the final decision. In Room 1, you have the likes of Thaddeus. And then Thaddeus is removed from Room 1, and while he’s nervous, you know that everyone has to think, “That’s terrible for us.” He’s moved to Room 3 with Catie and Ada Vox and Journee. But here’s the thing: Room 1 makes it through! Maddie Zahm informs us that she is dropping out of college, which, um, is a decision. Lionel heads into Room 2 to let them know they won’t be making it, and boy are they devastated. But if we know Idol, then you know that you have to end on good news, which means that Luke gets to tell Room 3 that they’re making it through!