What We Missed: Recapping Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker’s performances from American Idol 80s Night

Kinda sucks we didn't get to see these two one more time

Kinda sucks we didn’t get to see these two one more time

So with the new format comes a new blog.

Last year I’d have performance recaps for everyone because everyone performed. This year, with the switch in American Idol’s format – which, BTW, I love – we don’t get to hear everyone sing, but had it been as it was in past years, the two singers who didn’t perform tonight would have been eliminated on the second night of Idol last week, the nine would have performed Wednesday and we’d get results today. Instead, results next week as they perform. It’s a never-ending circle, just don’t try to overthink it.

When the song list was released prematurely yesterday morning, I was excited to see Maddie Walker and Adanna Duru perform. When they didn’t, I was pretty pissed about it because while they didn’t pick the songs from my list, I thought the song selections were solid choices for both.

If you want to know what I thought of their song selections, click here.

Now let’s break down the songs.


Adanna Duru
“I Hate Myself For Loving You,” Pat Benatar

If this doesn’t get you all fired up about the Qaasim Middleton save, nothing will.
There is no reason Adanna shouldn’t have performed this last night. Had Qaasim Middleton not been the judges’ favorite thing since No. 1 hits, Adanna sings Wednesday and her ascension among the contestants continues. Adanna got off to a rocky start in the live shows but got better each week. It was very Geena Gina Jena Irene-esque (or even like Amber Holcomb from Season 12) and this sounds like the type of performance that would have really made her a favorite.

It’s tough to dissect the vocals. They’re going to be perfect because they’re studio records, but you can hear the power in her voice. You can hear why this was a good choice. We were gonna see Adanna in her full bad-assery, plus this was on the table:

I know all the contestants are friends and whatnot, but if I’m Adanna I’m not happy I was robbed of a chance to perform last night and I know exactly who I’m throwing double finger rockets at. Had she sung this, she’s like fifth or sixth best of the night and singing “Behind These Hazel Eyes” for Clarkson Week.

Maddie Walker
“Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” Poison

The studio performance has me extremely curious as to how it would have been done live.
IMO, the track is a bit overproduced to be done as-is for a live American Idol performance, but I think this would have gone over well. It’s clearly done in a country-pop fashion and with that angle Maddie would have gained a ton of momentum. I’d bet for the live performance they were stripping this down a bit so Maddie could show off that voice.

Again, the vocals are studio vocals, but I have no doubt in Maddie’s ability because pretty much every time she got thrown to the wolves she murdered them all and rose to the top. Her compete level was insane. There was a fire that I’m not sure any of the other Idols have; she dominated the sing-off to get in, she got crapped on by the judges and came back and crushed it and now we have this selection to what would have been a strong showing.

If Qaasim went home last week, I think Maddie was singing for her life this week and this would have bought her some time. Her biggest issue was consistency, but her talent and marketability makes her seem like a safe bet as a country music star. I’m sure Scott Borchetta’s already figuring out his angle. Not saying Maddie’s going to be the next Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift – tough to make those comparisons; we see it in sports all the time – but she’s got a legit chance at carving out a pretty solid career.

If anyone lost more than Maddie last night, it was the Idol fans because can you really call it 80s night if there’s no hair band music involved?

PS Whoever posted the songs to YouTube is awesome. It’s not that I didn’t want to buy them, it’s just that I’m super, super cheap and the only music I buy now is when my kid demands it. Dadlife, ya know?