American Idol 2018 Recap Top 24 Solos Part 1 Live Blog
Tonight on American Idol on ABC at 8 pm ET, 12 of the Top 24 will perform solos in front of the judges and a LIVE audience at the Exchange club in Los Angeles. Before they hit the stage, the singers will be mentored by iHeartRadio personality, Bobby Bones. Tomorrow, the 12 perform celebrity duets and FIVE singers will be ELIMINATED. Lather, rinse, repeat next week… Join us as we Live Blog all the performances.
Featured on the panel are veteran R&B master, Lionel Richie, pop star Katy Perry and country singer Luke Bryan. Ryan Seacrest returns to host.
NO SPOILER DISCUSSION ON THE LIVE BLOG. Keep spoiler chatter confined to spoilers posts’ comment sections. Giving results away during the live blog will result in an instant banning. Thank you for your cooperation.
Chat with the judges! Katie says we’re looking for the “IT” factor. How will they cut through?
Dominique – Ain’t Nobody by Rufus & Chaka Khan – Big news! Dominique just quit his day job. Erm. Oh. He’s not actually going to quit unless he makes the Top 10. Bobby says he can tell he loves music. Boy. That’s some mentoring, right there. Interesting song choice. Nice falsetto. Not a ton of charisma, however. Did Bobby advise you to take your performance to the next level? Because that’s not really happening here. Katy says…wow. “You have arrived,” she says. “I felt like I was transported into a …..Friday night situation…I caught a vibe.” Lionel calls him “the star attraction…you are actually blossoming.” Luke says, “You showed us a whole different approach.” Well. I guess we don’t agree.
Layla Spring – A Broken Wing by Martina McBride – Bobby loves her great personality. Tells her never to lose her young charm. Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina calls in to give her some advice. She tells Layla to build on the show’s momentum. Where is this so called “mentoring” Bobby is supposed to be dispensing? As far as the performance is concerned–Layla’s phrasing is a little weird and her dynamics translate into shouting. She reminds me so much of Kellie Pickler. Her personality definitely trumps her vocal ability. Good news–Kellie has built a successful career off those assets, or lack thereof. Lionel compliments her on taking the panel’s notes. Katy is impressed by how she’s grown leaps and bounds. “You’re infectious…that’s your deal,” says Luke. Yup. Layla describes the “cozy melt”ingredients–a sandwich on the menu at her parents restaurant.
Catie Turner – Call Me by Blondie – Catie *DIES* when Bobby reveals he’s met Harry Styles. He wonders if Catie is taking the competition seriously. Bobby advises her to choose songs that “leave an impression.” The most generic advice ever. I guess that’s why they pay Bobby the big bucks! She’s singing Blondie while wearing a peasant prairie dress. I’m experiencing major cognitive dissonance right now. Oh and the ensemble is topped off with hot pink boots. This time, she delivers a solid vocal, but I’m not sure I’m buying the package. “I couldn’t quit watching you,” says Luke, “You’re quirky and crazy! You’re voice never lets us down.” Katy says she’s finding new “valleys and hills” vocally. “You have made us believers in your style,” says Lionel. He couldn’t believe how she flipped her hair. Uh. OK. Her dad suggested she cover Blondie. It’s interesting that her songwriting style is intimate singer/songwriter but she chooses covers (Lady Gaga before) that are big performance pieces that allow her to keep the audience at a distance.
Trevor McBane – Way Down We Go by Kaleo – His dad passed away in 2014 after being hurt on the job followed by a long period of disability. Bobby shares that his mom was only in her 40s when she passed. Trevor has triumphed through faith. OK. I’m not really sure what Bobby Bones purpose is here. Instead of “mentoring” there’s cheerleading mixed in with generic bromides. But he is a famous dude–at least with the country crowd. Trevor’s all black ensemble matches his gritty and intense style. Katy calls him a “thunderbolt in a bottle.” She wants to see him “blow’ a little bit. Lionel thinks they should start a clothing line. Luke offers, “Don’t think about it…the voice is there.” This is the kind of advice I expected from Bobby. Luke also suggests, “Turn the horses loose.” Trevor’s style is so internal, he’s not connecting to the audience in the way that he could.
Jonny Brenns – Georgia by Vance Joy – Ryan explains that Jonny was born in Mexico lived all over the United States and doesn’t want the journey to end. With Bobby, Jonny talks again about his Dad’s lack of support. Pops thinks life’s purpose should be making money! But then dad showed up at the Showcase and it meant so much. Bobby tells him that it’s ok to “freak out.” These bits of advice are just mind blowing, aren’t they? Hm. Jonny has had uneven moments throughout the competition, but this is a very nice rendition. Beautiful phrasing and I like how he’s using his falsetto. He’s got a radio ready voice. His best performance yet. Lionel is sensing the “sexy” coming out. “You are blooming,” he says. Lionel says he struggled with being sexy at the start of his career. “What you’re giving us is your blossom.” Katy brags that she’s always believed in him. She calls his song choice “dead on.” Luke calls him a “big star” that doesn’t quite understand it yet. “You really have such a smooth voice that nobody is expecting…you’ve got all the tools.” Jonny gets emotional sharing that his mom is overseas taking care of his ailing grandmother.
Season 8 winner Kris Allen is this week’s American Icon! Go to Idol’s official website for more.
Katy’s parents are in the audience. Amazing they still talk to her. Praying for their wayward child
while collecting the checks is a thing I’m sure they’re doing. Sorry for the cynicism. Her minister parents have made a career criticizing Katy’s lifestyle from the pulpit.
Kay Kay – “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna – Oh Kay Kay. Poor little cannon fodder. You are Top 24 and we’ve barely seen you. We see Katy say she’s “too polished.” Kay Kay confesses that she’s actually not very polished at all, but tries to put her best forward in front of the judges. Bobby shows Kay Kay Fantasia’s “Summertime” as an example of how to come out from behind a “polished” facade. She’s a very good singer–tasteful runs, rangy. She shines in her lower register. Maybe she’s not taking the song beyond the Rihanna version–she needs to make it her own. But vocally, she’s impressive. The judges are standing at the end. “You were just born as a star,” says Luke. Apparently, her look has changed for this performance. Not that we’d know. Katy says, “the full package has arrived…you’ve turned an important corner.” Lionel compliments her poise. Kay Kay confesses that she’s never performed a duet before. She’s singing with Pat Monahan tomorrow. That’s an odd choice.
Brandon Diaz – Hello by Lionel Richie – Brandon is a HUGE Lionel Richie fan. He’s taking a big risk here. Bobby says he’s got to change it up, at least a little. NO KIDDING. Ok. I’m not impressed at all. Brandon has performed better. He’s going for the big power ballad. But vocally, he has no power, and that’s a problem. The song is too big for him. “You are so brave,” says Katy. She calls the choice a blessing and a curse, and he landed somewhere in the middle. Lionel didn’t think he owned it until the end. Luke says he’s delivered flawless performances, but not this one.
Ryan calls Lionel down to the stage to sing a bit of the song. It just makes the singer’s pale performance look worse. But then they ham it up. Ryans chimes in with a line while Katy and Luke slow dance. Well, that descended into chaos. Hm. I would not be surprised if production at least prodded Brandon into this particular song choice.
Gabby Barrett – My Church by Maren Morris – Oh wow. Bobby has Kelsea Ballerini call to give Gabby advice on how to be a female in country music. Kelsea says it’s gratifying because “there are so few of us.” Tomatoes for the win! Gabby finds the sweet spot between country and R&B here, even if she does oversing the big note at the end. Lionel says “You have amazing attitude…give us a little more of your personality halfway through.” He thinks she needed to bring it sooner. Katy calls the performance “super cool” but it went from 0 to 100 too quickly. I agree, that note did feel a little bit tacked on. Gabby has raw talent. She needs some good advice from the vocal coaches. Luke is happy, “You have the shine, the sparkle.” He believes people at home love those big notes. Sidenote: I’m surprised the Munhall girl doesn’t have more of a Pixburg accent. She’s cultivated a bit of a Southern twang. Pittsburghers don’t talk like that! Be yourself, girl. Throw in a yinz or two…
Eliminated Top 50 contestant Laine Hardy is in the audience! Hello Laine.
Cade Foehner – All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix/Bob Dylan – Ryan calls his hair incredible! Cade shares his hair secrets with Bobby. Los Angeles has been a transition for Cade. Back home, he lives in the woods. Cade not only is an expressive singer, and skilled guitar player–but he’s got oodles of charisma. He’s this season’s White Guy With Guitar to watch. He’s going places, for sure. It’s not that he’s a great vocalist–he’s fearless. Oh. Cade is a minister.
I hope his politics aren’t terrible like Bo Bice I want to like this guy. Katy is losing her mind and is embarrassed her super religious parents are in the audience. She fake faints in her chair. Calm down Katy–no need to overdo the ham. Lionel says he’s bringing the attitude and personality. Katy remains passed out.