American Idol 2016 Recap Semifinals 2
The second set of 12 are: Dalton Rapattoni, Jenn Blosil, Olivia Rox, Adam Lasher, Amelia Eisenhauer, Lee Jean, Shelbie Z, Manny Torres, Tristan McIntosh, CJ Johnson, Kory Wheeler and Trent Harmon.
We’ll be live blogging all of the performances right here! It will be a quick hour. The performers will be singing for the judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., who will advance SEVEN contestants to the Top 14 on tomorrow’s results show. That’s after the 12 perform duets with American Idol stars.
Host Ryan Seacrest is back, still dressed casual. The Vibiana in Los Angeles is again the setting. He reminds us that Chris Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, Constantine Maroulis, Haley Reinhart, Kellie Pickler, and David Cook are the alums who will be duetting with the contents tomorrow night..
Jlo mentions that the solos are what REALLY count for tomorrow’s eliminations, although they will take the duets into consideration.
Time is wasting! Let’s get right to the performances.
Shelbie Z – Work Harder Play Harder by Gretchen Wilson – She hates wet paper.You’re on notice. Shelbie is back in the country lane, and I have to wonder if that’s a mistake. The country teens, Tristan and Jeneve, have an advantage right now. She has to distinguish herself from them. As it is, she belts out a song with the best of them, but this performance is a little generic. Not the right song at a crucial time. But then…the judges have probably made up their minds already. Keith felt she sang it in the wrong key–she sacrificed the song in order to hit the big note. Jlo agrees. Harry thought it was a good performance. The interesting thing for him is how she stacks up to the rest. And therein lies Shelbie’s problem. – Click to Watch Shelbie’s Performance VIDEO
Manny Torres – Adventure of a Lifetime by Coldplay – He got his confidence from being thrown up on the pulpit by his preacher dad. Interesting song choice. But I’m not sure I like him on it. This feels rushed and a little frenetic. He’s bopping around the stage without really inhabiting the song. I would have rather he performed something slowed down and soulful. Jennifer wanted more connection with the audience. It felt piecemeal to Harry. Keith liked the way he worked the camera. It wasn’t the right song for his vocals, he says, but it was for his spirit. – Click to Watch Manny’s Performance VIDEO
Kory Wheeler – Let it Go by James Bay – Kory plays seated at a piano. It’s a really good song choice for him. I’ve had a soft spot for Kory. He hasn’t had much screen time which doesn’t bode well for him. But his vocals are smooth and sweet, his intention heartfelt. I liked that. Harry didn’t think it was great. It wasn’t “special” or “incredibly moving.” Jlo felt it was the most comfortable he’s been on stage. Keith agrees and likes the combination of confidence and vulnerability he brings to his performance. I agree with Jlo and Keith. Click to Watch Kory’s Performance VIDEO
Amelia Eisenhauer – Wake Me Up by Avicii – No instruments tonight for Amelia. This is a tricky song to sing–it’s fast and rhythmic. But there are only about 3 notes in it. For a singing competition, it’s monotonous, especially chopped down to 90 seconds. I love the sound of her voice though. She’s got a beautiful rich tone. Keith likes that she’s trying different things. Jlo calls her a special girl. Both think maybe it wasn’t the right song. Harry thinks she needs songs that are a little bit “quirky” like she is. – Click to Watch Amelia’s Performance VIDEO
Jenn Blosil – Sorry by Justin Bieber – She says she doesn’t drink or do drugs. That’s because she’s LDS. She doesn’t say that last part. She flips the tune on the piano, and out sings the Biebs by a mile. It’s as if she wrote it, she’s inhabiting the song so fully and believably. This girl is the real deal, ya’ll. THE REAL DEAL. Harry calls her a breath of fresh air but calls her on the performance being out of tune. He didn’t like it! Wow. Keith commends her originality (I agree). Jlo thought it was shaky in the beginning. Heh. Maybe I’m not familiar enough with the Bieber version to compare. But I connected to her emotion. – Click to Watch Jenn’s Performance VIDEO
CJ Johnson – I’ll Be by Edwin McCain – Aw. CJ. I believed in you. And you’re singing this crap? Sung a zillion times on Idol already? You’ve demonstrated great singing and performance ability in the past, but this is hella boring. Too bad he didn’t bring something bluesy and alive to the stage. He could have killed. He’s not hitting the high notes well either. Damn. Keith thinks it was the perfect song. Jlo also thought it was perfect. NO. Harry calls him out for not singing in tune. Click to Watch CJ’s Performance VIDEO
Lee Jean – Runaway by Ed Sheeran – He loves Origami. Oooo I would still give this kid a couple more years, but this is one of his better performances on the Idol stage. He’s very liable, and some of the phrasing/falsetto is notable. Keith believes the story he’s telling. “Your voice is really good.” He didn’t like the song choice, though. Jlo loves that he has rhythm. Oh. Jlo thinks they have to pick BIG BORING HITS in order to be noticed. Oy. Harry noticed that he stops playing while he’s singing. He needs to practice that. Interesting critique. It’s all a part of that not quite fully baked problem. Also. I think Idol contestants need to give Ed Sheeran a damn rest. – Click to Watch Lee’s Performance VIDEO
Trent Harmon – What Are You Listening To by Chris Stapleton – He loves hats. And I assume he’s over the mono thing. I’m not feeling Trent’s quavering vibrato, to be honest. But he does phrase the song with a vulnerability and honesty. He’s no Chris Stapleton, but then who is. When Trent sings, he really gets to Jlo’s heart, she says. Harry calls him a gifted vocalist. But again, he didn’t like the song choice. Keith, however, thought it was tremendous song choice (I agree), and he sang it really well. Click to Watch Trent’s Performance VIDEO
Tristan McIntosh – Good Girl by Carrie Underwood – This really is the wrong song. SO SO WRONG. She’s singing off pitch and doesn’t have the vocal chops to hit those big notes. This song is way too big for her, and so ill-fitting, she gets lost in it. This just exposed all of her vocal issues. Jlo thought it improved near the end. Harry congratulates her on singing loud. He didn’t think it was up to snuff. Keith didn’t like the song. But reminds her that she’s very talented. – Click to Watch Tristan’s Performance VIDEO
Adam Lasher – Black and Gold by Sam Sparro – This is an odd song choice. It’s is a few years old now and I doubt the audience will recognize it. I like the energy he brings to the performance. Vocally, I like his tone a lot, but there are some pitch and timing problems. Harry didn’t think he drove the shuffle appropriately. Keith doesn’t understand why he chose that song and Jlo agrees. – Click to Watch Adam’s Performance VIDEO
Dalton Rapattoni – Rebel Yell by Billy Idol. Sorry. I can’t with this slowed down arrangement. And once again we get OVER-EMOTIVE BOY BANDER. Yeah. Not believing this. Jlo says it made her feel something. Hm. “You’re pretty as could be.” She wants to “squeeze his little face.” Wow. Harry likes it too. “Phenomenal” and “Tremendous” are adjectives he uses to describe it (!!!). Keith says he has his own genre and loves when he “Daltonizes” a song. You have to be kidding. Dalton is theatrical, but without telegraphing real emotion. His vocals are solid, but nothing special. I feel bad saying all that, because he’s such a sweet kid. – Click to Watch Dalton’s Performance VIDEO
Olivia Rox – Confident by Demi Lovato – Olivia is giving the song a definite rock edge. The arrangement, vocals EVERYTHING are working for her 100 percent. She’s got stage presence and an expressive voice. She’s a little shouty on the top notes, but I’m OK with that. Best performance of the night. Harry thought it was really strong, but it was another number with a shuffle she needed to drive. “The show starts now!” declares Keith. I agree. – Click to Watch Olivia’s Performance VIDEO