Live blogging the rest of the American Idol XIII Top 30 reveal! Plus, two boys will face off against each other and YOUR votes will determine which one advances to the Top 30! Result will be revealed next week!
Tonight’s final reveal was FULL OF OUTRAGE! There were some questionable decisions made by the judges. But that’s always the way. Some middling contestants are put through just to serve as cannon fodder for the real contenders (Ethan Harris). And talented contestants are unceremoniously axed–sometimes just for the sake of good TV! This season’s glaring omissions include David Oliver Willis, who was cut before the Top 24 by the judges in season 12. It has got to suck to be cut again! But in this case, I think CJ Harris was chosen to fill the one slot set aside for the guitar playing Afro American Country/Blues guy. Both are talented. I wish both would have made it through.
Savion Wright was also a surprise cut. Although, his act wasn’t as polished as it could have been, there was some really raw vocal and songwriting talent on display. Savion may not have been perfectly put together, but he was interesting, and would have been a perfect candidate for that Idol growth arc viewers love. My only hope is that the judges are really serious about him returning next year. Brandy, Briana, Caleb are ALL examples of contestants who just missed the cut in prior years, only to finally make it on a subsequent try. This season was your first try, Savion! Come back next year.
Sarina Joi Crowe sang “Wrecking Ball” WAY better than Marrialle Sellars did. Yet she was cut. The judges must be judging Marrialle on her polish and a package that’s already well put together. She’s got stage presence and a marketable look. Those vocals can be fixed in the studio. The problem is, bad singing will not earn her votes. Neither will over-pimping by the producers. I’m going to say it right now. If Marrialle’s vocals don’t improve, she won’t make the Top 10. If the judges pick her as a wild card, I give up.
Talk about an unfair fight. Good ole country boy and family man, Ben Briley faced off against the swaggerific African American soul singer, Neco Starr for the last spot on the Top 15 boys. Even if Neco wasn’t fighting a cold during his performance, he didn’t stand a chance. The American Idol demo loves their white guys with guitars. This we know. A fairer match up would have been between TWO similar singers. Casey Thrasher vs Ben Briley. Or Neco Starr vs George Lovett. Most. Predictable Outcome. Ever. Watching the two react when Jlo reveled the news said it all. Ben was practically fist pumping, while Neco looked like he’d just been told his dog died. Sigh. I think, though, the point was to pit two expendable boys against each other for the sake of good TV. Neco will be eliminated, but then I won’t be the least bit surprised if Ben is eliminated before he sings, or shortly thereafter.
Speaking of which. These new producers are REALLY gunning for controversy, aren’t they? One of next week’s twists involves eliminating singers before they get the chance to perform. You KNOW there’s going to be at least one boot that SHOCKS THE NATION. The question is, which of the talented contestants will be sacrificed for the sake of HIGH DRAMA. Guess we’ll have to tune in to find out!
Picking up from last night’s show, Casey Thrasher and CJ Harris face the judges. Which of them advance to the Top 30? Harry tells Casey that he’s made it through to the Top 15 guys. CJ is crushed. But then, guess what…HE’S THROUGH TOO. Who didn’t see that coming? “I’m so tired of ya’lls tricks!” says Casey. Heh. Casey and CJ are BOTH in the Top 30
Marrialle Sellars – “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus – The girls are doing the math. When Marrialle hears that Emkay made it she exclaims “I’m done!” Her song is “Wrecking Ball.” She’s got pitch problems. Hm. They cut the performance compared to the preview. The shouty parts where she couldn’t compete with the band are cut out. Harry notes that she’s been inconsistent since her audition (why we haven’t didn’t see much of her in Hollywood?) Nevertheless, Marrialle is in the Top 30
A longer cut of Marrialle’s solo from her preview. It’s NOT GOOD.
Jena Asciutto – Original Song – Ryan, Harry completely butcher her first name. She pronounces it with a long E. Good to know. She performs at the piano. Solid songwriting effort and a great performance. Of course she has made the Top 15. Harry calls her “The sleeper.” He’s predicting she’ll be a dark horse. I’m co-signing that. Jena is still one of my favorites – Jena is in the Top 30
Caleb Johnson – 22 – “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons – Caleb was cut at the final judgement in season 11. Will he redeem himself in season 13? Video package says…CALEB LOVES ATTENTION. Harry, basically, thinks he’s fake. Keith thinks he’s too Rock of Ages. In other words–phony theatricality vs authenticity. Keith likes his artists to be the real deal. No doubt Caleb has a credible rock voice. But he’s all show and no soul. Harry asks him if he thinks he’s a good singer. Caleb does. But is Caleb relevant today? That’s actually a good question. And you get to answer with a hashtag poll. Will Caleb make it through? He makes it to the Top 15. But most of YOU believed he would be sent home. Does not bode well for his prospects, does it? Caleb is through to the Top 30
Ethan Harris – “Amazed” by Lonestar – Ethan has a unique voice, but this performance is lackluster. Maybe not the right song? Or perhaps he’s not a charismatic performer. Jlo notes that he had some tough moments in Hollywood. Still, the judges are advancing him to the Top 30. I SMELL CANNON FODDER. Ethan is in the Top 30.
Sarina Joi Crowe sings “Wrecking Ball” WAY better than Marrielle did, yet Sarina is Cut. So is Nalina Quintello who performs “I’m Your Lady”. Sadly, David Oliver Willis is also cut, despite what seems to be a fantastic performance of “Bring it On Home to Me.”
Majesty York – Stars by Grace Potter – Oh noes. Majesty forgets her words in her final solo. It’s definitely the wrong song for her, as she struggles with the high notes. Honestly, in this case, her great performances should be taken into consideration. And they are. Majesty is in the Top 30.
Briston Maroney – “Let Her Go” by Passenger – I’m having a tough time with his affected phrasing. You probably either love it or hate it. I’m leaning toward the latter at the moment. Although, this was the least annoying performance from Briston, so far, for me. Harry tells an anecdote about begging his dad to go to New York when he was 14. His point is that Briston, at 15, may be too young to leave Tennessee. But not really! Because Briston makes the cut. “You are a wicked man!” says Briston after the fake out. – Briston is in the Top 30
Brandy Neelly and Briana Oakley – They head to the final judgement together. Brandy Neelly sings “Up to the Mountain” and it’s absolutely gorgeous – Briana Oakley’s peformance of “My Kind of Love” by Emile Sande is shouty and a bit out of tune. Both have auditioned before and know what it means to hear no. Which singer is going through? WELL DAMN THEY BOTH ARE. Brandy and Briana are in the Top 30. If they sang off, we didn’t see it.
Kenzie Hall – “Your Song” by Elton John – Sitting in front of the judges, she’s crying even before she gets her verdict. Jlo notes that her final solo wasn’t all that. We don’t see enough of it to judge. Instead, we hear more of her amazing Macklemore cover. That final performance must have been bad. As you probably guessed, Kenzie makes the cut. Kenzie is in the Top 30
Savion Wright – Original Song – He walks into the judgement room playing a ukulele. “I’m just shaking like crazy,” he says. He feels that he showed the judges who he is as a person. His late brother, before he died, told him to be himself. As Savion sings, Harry whispers “He’s flat.” Keith loves Savion’s originality, but unfortunately, HE’S CUT “Maybe we’ll see you back again,” says Keith. I don’t get it. He deserved to go through. Candice Glover’s “Cried” plays as he breaks the news to his family. “I thought this was my time,” cries Savion. – Savion is CUT Check out the message Savion tweeted out to his fans HERE.
Four more contestants remain.
Sandie Lee – “Bring It On Home to Me” – Austin Wolfe – “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons – Austin reprises her audition song. Oy Sandie. This is the first time we’ve seen her. No surprise she’s being cut. Austin is the last girl in the Top 15. Austin Wolfe is in the Top 30.
Neco Starr and Ben Briley remain – Ben sings “Stars” by Grace Potter again. I like this song choice! Neco Starr had to sing in the hangar for his life. PLUS he got sick in Hollywood. He sings “Halo” as his final song. Oh. No wonder the performance was so strained. Harry warned them not to bitch about illness, so obviously he didn’t. They face the judges together. And obviously, as the producers have teased, these are the two performers AMERICA will vote on. Jlo informs them that America will decide. Ben looks ecstatic. Neco not so much. Sigh. Neco is right to be upset. The married white country singing guitar player has this. Surely, Neco, who is a swaggy African American knows it. Eh. They’re both cannon fodder. In the end it doesn’t matter.
Neco and Ben’s reaction when Jlo revealed American would make the decision. Says it all.
VOTE FOR BEN OR NECO FOR THE 30th Spot
Check out this VOTING FAQ. Remember: There is a 50 vote limit across all platforms!
Ben Briley: Supervote at AmericanIdol.com or via the American Idol App OR dial 1 855 443 6501 OR Text 1 to 83676
Neco Starr: Supervote at AmericanIdol.com or via the American Idol App OR dial 1 855 443 6502 OR Text 2 to 83676
Top 15 Girls
Bria Anai – 16 – Lithonia, GA
Andrina Brogden – 19 – Fargo, ND
Kenz Hall – 17 – Draper, UT
Jena Irene – 17 – Farmington Hills, MI
Jillian Jensen – 21 – Rochester, MA
Jessica Meuse – 23 – Slapout, AL
Brandy Neelly – 19 – Louisville, KY
MK Nobilette – 20 – San Francisco, CA
Briana Oakley – 17 – Antioch, CA
Kristen O’Connor – 24 – Sebastian, FL
Emily Piriz – 18 – Orlando, FL
Majesty Rose – 21 – Goldsboro, NC
Marrialle Sellars – 18 – Indianapolis, IN
Malaya Watson – 16 – Southfield, MI
Austin Wolfe – 17 – Park City, UT
Top 16 Boys
Malcolm Allen – 21 – Wrightsville, AR
Ben Briley – 24 – Gallatin, TN
Jordan Brisbane – 16 – Savannah, GA
C.J. Harris – 23 – Jasper, AL
Ethan Harris – 20 – Garrattsville, NY
Caleb Johnson – 22 – Asheville, NC
Spencer Lloyd – 19 – Bryant, AR
George Lovett – 24 – Baltimore, MD
Briston Maroney – 16 – Knoxville, TN
Alex Preston – 20 – Mont Vernon, NH
Dexter Roberts – 22 – Fayette, AL
Neco Starr – 22 – Atlanta, GA
Casey Thrasher – 23 – Tuscaloosa, AL
Maurice Townsend – 26 – Grand Rapids, MI
Sam Woolf – 17 – Bradenton, FL
Emmanuel Zidor – 24 – Miami, FL
Ben Briley Vs Neco Starr – America Votes! Boys 15th Spot Revealed Next Week
Shelby Ann Marie Miller
Keri Lynn Roche
Sarina Joi Crowe
David Oliver Willis