American Idol 14 Top 9 Recap and Results – VIDEOS
Tonight, the American Idol 14 Top 9 sing songs from the Kelly Clarkson catalog. The original Idol will also be on hand to mentor and perform her single, “Heartbeat Song” from her latest album, Piece by Piece.
For the first time, fans will be able to save a contestant in real time. After Ryan declared the bottom 2 and they perform, Ryan Seacrest will announce the hashtags and fans will have 5 minutes to vote. Only 1 vote per twitter account (but you can returns other’s tweets and it counts!) West coasters can watch the Save Me performances LIVE ONLINE.
Click here to watch the Save Me performances, beginning at around 6:30 PT.
I DID NOT expect Daniel Seavey to be in the bottom two this week, considering he didn’t even hit the B3 last week. I wonder if he actually had the lowest number of votes? Even if he did not, I’m not sorry tonight’s vote turned out the way it did. Daniel was out of his league compared to the others.
Rayvon Owen delivered a gorgeous rendition of “Since U Been Gone” under pressure. But poor Daniel, faced with the possibility of elimination for the first time, just wilted under the weight.
A multi instrumentalist, the young singer certainly has talent. At only 15 years old, he wasn’t nearly ready to take it to a national stage. Finish high school, maybe audition for Berklee! I’ll bet he’ll be so much better after a few years of seasoning.
As much as I hate the twitter save, I become totally caught up in it while it’s happening. I have to admit that it’s fun to participate. It’s still wrong though, in the sense that it leaves the decision of who goes home to twitter users who happen to be online at the time. I’m thinking the judges used the save last week to get it out of the way. They should use ONE OR THE OTHER, and not both!. Pick your poison Per, and stick with it.
Other than Sarina-Joi’s unfortunate elimination in 12th place, America has gotten the eliminations right. Other than Qaasim, the performers who remain are great singers. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. There were some great performances tonight, including: Clark Beckham, Jax, Joey Cook, Quentin Alexander, and Rayvon Owen.
It was the first-ever Idol alum themed episode and tonight’s finalists did the original American Idol proud. Full circle is cool.
A couple of notes:
No word yet about a tour. I’m hearing a rumor it could happen at the Top 5. We’ll see. Also, iTunes recordings have been available for two weeks, why isn’t Ryan Seacrest pimping the hell out of that sh*t?
The episode begins with a video package featuring MISS KELLY CLARKSON. The queen! She started it all. Ryan asks the crowd to shout their favorites. Unintelligible screaming follows. The judges enter! Jlo is wearing her hair up. Cream colored short shorts. BOOOTAYYY. The Top 9 wait nervously in their chairs.
More Kelly Clarkson video! She was SO CUTE. “Right away, we knew we had something special,” says Ryan. That’s why you didn’t bother to show her audition. Hm. Over 20 million albums sold! Sony would disagree. Clark was 10. Daniel was 3. Jax was in Kindergarten. When Kelly won. Sigh. LONG LIVE DUNKLEMAN.
OMG! Ruben Studdard delivers the results! The Velvet Teddy Bear! IT’S NOSTALGIA TIME! He doesn’t really have anything to pimp.
Nick Fradiani – “Catch My Breath” – He and his band had done an acoustic cover of the song for You Tube. Kelly calls it a big song and the hardest of the songs that will be performed. She hopes he “opens his dang eyes” while he sings! He’s a cute guy! Look at the audience, she says. Nick has to keep the momentum going that he started last week, says Scott. I’m getting even more Daughtry vibes this week. Dare I say…I’m connecting to this performance more than I did “Man in the Mirror.” He’s a little flat in spots, but it feels intimate in a way his other performances haven’t, despite seemig a bit rattled by going first. Keith felt the song suited him, but he needs to loosen up more. Jlo feels a blossoming happen. She suggests he spends more time with the movement coach to find his groove. She mentions her ex-husband. But not by name! Harry makes a David Hasselhoff joke. Jlo says, “I’ve been married to everybody.” It wasn’t Harry’s favorite vocal, but he feels the performance was comfortable. – 1-866-436-5706 – Text 6 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
Keith has the Kelly Clarkson waxing scene from 40 Year Old Virgin emblazoned on his T Shirt. Ha.
Jax – “Beautiful Disaster” – Kelly LOVES Jax. For her part, Jax is completely awed to be singing for Kelly. “I have no notes for you…you are an artist,” Kelly says afterward. Do it exactly like that, she says. Scott calls Jax America’s “pop punk princess” and the performance her most vulnerable yet. It could kick her to the next level. Jax isn’t playing an instrument this week. Accompanied by piano and cello, she keeps it really really simple. Jax is such a good singer, I hope she realizes now that she doesn’t need tricks or gimmicks to stand out. That was gorgeous! So simple, elegant and heartfelt! YAY JAX. Jlo loved the pure, pretty version of Ja, but she wanted the arrangement to “go somewhere.” I disagree! Harry hasn’t met Kelly yet! But he agrees with her assessment. Keith agrees that Jax is an artist. He still finds inconsistency, but he realizes she had a lot to deal with on stage. Jax could have had a REAL disaster, tripping on her dress’ long black train. She’s also barefoot. – 1-866-436-5707 – Text 7 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
OOOHHHHH. The Top 9 sing “People Like Us.” The performance is 100% live, so I’ll cut them some slack for the wonky moments. Not even a backing track, I’m pretty sure. Tyanna
Tyanna Jones – “Mr. Know It All” – Kelly loves her big voice, but wants her to be even angrier. Tyanna is singing it from the perspective of a bully victim. Kelly thinks she needs to let go of the technicalities. Scott predicts Tyanna will give her most emotional performance yet. Not quite–the anger Kelly was looking for wasn’t really there. Tyanna is so great on upbeat numbers. It could be her youth and lack of emotional experience that keeps her from being able to bring sad, angry or scary emotions to the surface. Other than a couple of pitch issues, the vocal was stellar. The ability to emote will come with age. Harry says there is a mystery about Tyanna. He felt like she was singing it to them. He notes pitch issues. Keith felt she didn’t really connect to what the song was about. He missed the dark center. Amazing pipes, says Jlo, but she didn’t quite connect – 1-866-436-5705 – Text 5 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
Gordon Ramsay and his family ae in the house. He gives Ryan tips on Beer Can Chicken. Vonzell Soloman, Candice Glover and Ruben Studdard are sitting in the audience. Candice says she’s in the studio working on her second album.
Joey Cook – “Miss Independent” – Joey completely changed the arrangement. They talked a bit about last week’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” misstep. We can’t be perfect all the time, Kelly reassures her. She LOVES the jazzed up version of the song. Scott is sure tonight’s performance will put her back on track. Wisely, Joey keeps the melody and gives herself an opportunity to show off her voice on the chorus. Full of personality and energy, Joey gets herself back on track this week. This could have been a weird, off putting performance, but the arrangement is so good! Keith likes that she completely builds a new song. She has “so much artistic weight,” he says. Jlo thinks it’s one of the best performances of the night. “You’re in your own lane,” says Jlo. Harry gives her an A+ for bravery. he felt like she treated the jazz elements like a novelty. Jazz is as modern as any kind of music. She doesn’t need old fashioned mics and clothes. Hm. An interesting point. Ryan announces Joey’s engagement to EVAN. He’s sitting in the audience. Ryan calls him “Ivan” tho. – 1-866-436-5710 – Text 10 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
Next it’s Kelly Clarkson herself, singing “Heartbeat Song.” She’s wearing a sparkly off the shoulder red dress, which I fully expect to be criticized. I’m not even going to say more. She sounds great, as always. No chat afterward.
I’m assuming the performance was taped earlier.
Quentin Alexander – “Dark Side” – It’s not necessary to hit all the big notes. It’s OK to go delicate on the chorus, says Kelly. She’s amazed by the emotion he can convey with just his eyes. Scott calls Quentin the most intense of the finalists. The chorus does uncover Quentin’s vocal limitations, but I don’t care. He conveys that hurt, that sense of being wounded and vulneralbe so beautifully. This singer is such a compelling story teller. I love it. Jennifer thought it was perfect for him. He knows how to chose a song she says. I agree. “I’m so glad we saved you,” says Jlo, mixing Quentin up with Qaasim. OOPS. OMG. She covers, mentioning the wildcard. BUT NOPE. She messed that up. Every time you perform it’s with truth, says Keith. Harry wants him to work on his technicals. Learn music, he says! He’s right. But that was STILL beautiful. Ryan produces a note from Kelly, who is backstage, “I want to make love to those sweet eyes.” Quentin giggles. – 1-866-436-5711 – Text 11 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
Qaasim Middleton – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” – Kelly likes that Qaasim changed the arrangement. That’s the way to go. Don’t show them everything at once, she says. Wise advice for anyone competing on Idol. Scott notes that Qaasim is stripping it back, putting his vocals out front. A brave move, he says. Qaasim sings with his acoustic guitar. He still has pitch problems galore and is literally unable to hit the high notes. So yeah. This is really bad. The good will around his save is about used up, I think. He needed to keep dancing. Harry loves runs, but they have to be sung right, he says. It wasn’t his best. Keith felt the transitions were challenging. He thought the rest of it was OK. Jlo loves his comfort on stage, but he needs to practice, practice practice. Like I thought, stripping it back revealed every horrible vocal flaw. THE DUDE CAN’T SING.- 1-866-436-5708 – Text 8 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
Welp. I think we know where this is going. The question is…will America do the right thing?
We see a little snip of Kelly Clarkson singing “At Last” at her 2002 audition in front of Paula, Randy and Simon. Aw. And she’s back on stage to sing it! OMMGGGGG! Sweet memories. GIRLFRIEND IS SHOWING ERRYBODY HOW TO FREAKING TO DO IT. Pay attention kids! OK. She’s on stage, so SHE IS IN THE HOUSE. She had trouble with her earpiece. But she STILL sounded great. Ryan and Kelly are like old friends up on stage. She loves Keith’s shirt. She meets Harry for the first time. Kelly says hi to his family on camera. “Why didn’t you bring them? You’re kind of a crap dad!” KELLY IS HILARIOUS.
Clark Beckham – “The Trouble With Love Is” – Kelly wants him to connect. Focus on vulnerability. She suggests a mic stand. When Clark hits the big note, Kelly says, “I think I’m pregnant!” Scott says the challenge is stretching him out of his comfort zone. It’s Clark sans instrument, with a mic stand. A super soulful performance from Clark. His attention seems a little unfocused. But he really brings the emotion in the last chorus. The last note is just out of his reach, but it’s so powerful! Jlo is on her feet. Keith suggests that he lead with the feeling. Oh. He’s right. Sometimes he’s too technical. He didn’t loosen up until the end. Jlo had goosies from beginning to end. Harry agrees with Keith. Nevertheless, he “nailed it,” says Harry. – 1-866-436-5709 – Text 9 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
OK. Daniel Seavy and Rayvon Owen will sing for the twitter save.
Daniel Seavey – “Breakaway” – He has laryngitis. He sounds REALLY REALLY AWFUL in rehearsal. Kelly is kind. She suggests he warm up. OMG This is terrible. Please Ameica. Do the right thing. Send this child home. He’s a nice boy. It’s not that he doesn’t have musical talent or potential. He’s just TOO YOUNG. Nothing about this good. He has no idea what he’s singing. This might actually be one of THE WORST PERFORMANCES IN IDOL HISTORY. Somewhere,
Jasmine Trias Camile Velasco is smiling. The judges are kind. Harry tells him to keep practicing. – 1-866-436-5703 – Text 3 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
Rayvon Owen – “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly is thrilled that he turned her pop anthem into a ballad. Indeed, Rayvon has transformed the pop hit into a heartfelt ode to lost love, complete with a string section behind him. This is very pretty. The arrangement really fits his style. He refuses to budge when it comes to the way he approaches songs. It’s all ballads all the time. But this arrangement is perfect for the thing he does. Very nice. He deserves to stay this week. And next week, too. Harry still wants to hear his “gravy.” He wants more. Keith felt the song choice was great for him (I agree). Jlo advises him to keep digging. (Or dig at all? He always plays it safe) – 1-866-436-5702 – Text 2 to 21523 – Download from iTunes
Time to twitter vote! The hashtags are #SaveRayvon or #Save Daniel. YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO AMERICA.
Dim the lights, Kieran! KIERAN IS BACK! And America did it! Rayvon Owen is SAFE. AMERICA SAVED HIM. Daniel Seavey is eliminated.