American Idol 2023 Rock Hall: Wé Ani Has ‘Got a Hold On’ Fans

American Idol 2023 WÉ ANI
(ABC/Eric McCandless) WÉ ANI

American Idol 2023 Top 12 Rock Hall: Wé Ani Has ‘Got a Hold On’ Fans

The top 12 rocked out in some fashion. To my disappointment, although all covers were from inducted rock and roll hall of fame singers, many dodged doing true rock performances. Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert was an excellent rock mentor. He was able to share his experience as front-man of Queen and is helpful when it comes to helping contestants gain confidence. Rock night started off slowly, but it found it’s footing with a rockin’ performance of Etta James’s “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” from Wé Ani

Wé is thrilled to see Adam and is mesmerized by his look, calling him “stunning.” She explains that she’s deciding between singing “River Deep Mountain High” by Tina Turner or “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” by Etta James. She deliberately picked two songs by “really strong black women.” Adam suggests the Etta James number. There are more moments in that one, he says, but advises her to land the riffs and on a “finished notes.” He also advises her to wear red or “something fiery.” He jokes that his coaching is what to wear today. Why not give wardrobe advice when Wé didn’t need more vocal coaching. She is so good, that he seemed invested in the entirety of her performance. 

The performance of the season

Wé absolutely nails this one. It’s the performance of the season so far. Although the original song is more soulful than rock, the band worked the arrangement into a groovy rock rendition. Wé showed off the total package with captivating stage presence and even more captivating vocals. She showcased raspy growls and some rather interesting vocal squeals resulting in the ultimate rock vocal. The performance gave off a bit of a Tina Turner vibe, especially when Wé got really growly. The performance had some cool key changes too. The arrangement felt like a modern rock song, but her rasp and power were reminiscent of classic 80s rock legends. Although she rocked out in Hawaii, the way she approached this performance revealed a new side.

The judges looked thrilled, as each of them stood after the performance. Luke Bryan tried to continue to hype up the crowd as he waved his arms to make some noise. The crowd erupted with Wé’s mom being her biggest cheerleader. HOF night was the first time Mom attended one of Wé’s performances.

Lionel Richie said, “That was how you bring nasty to the table” adding, “that was a breakout performance right there.” Katy Perry said that Wé didn’t “come to play” and “you just turned this into a competition.” Luke insists that he has never seen Katy give such a “nasty” face after a great performance. “I’ve never heard this room get this loud,” he added.

American Idol 2023 WÉ ANI
(ABC/Eric McCandless) WÉ ANI

The Top 10 perform on Monday

Wé soared through to the top 10 on Sunday night and will compete in the Judges Song Contest round on Monday (May 1). The other performance that stood out on rock night was Megan Danielle’s raspy vocal on “Angel From Montgomery.” Oliver Steele’s “Georgia On My Mind” and Iam Tongi’s “Bring It On Home To Me” were very well-done versions of classics, even if they weren’t big moments. They are two of the most consistent performers in the competition.

Voters sent both of last week’s judges wildcard picks home (Lucy Love and Nutsa Buzaladze). Who Will America cut on Monday? One thing that is obvious to me is that there’s no way it should be Wé (pun intended. haha).

About Blake Busch 272 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.