American Idol Top 8: The Clark Beckham/Tyanna Jones Show Moves On

Easier to pick which kid I love more (the older one) than which one of these two will win Idol.

Easier to pick which kid I love more (the older one) than which one of these two will win Idol.


The Qaspiracy is dead, but so are many of the contestants chances.

Because if you don’t know who the Final 2 is going to be, you weren’t paying attention.

Before even getting into the Twitter Fan Save – the greatest addition to American Idol since they decided to allow contestants to play musical instruments – that saw Rayvon Owen rightly survive against Qaasim Middleton, the story of the night was Clark Beckham just daring people to not want to make sweet love to him and Tyanna Jones completely ignoring the fact that she’s 16.

There’s nothing but love from this guy to Jax, Nick Fradiani and Joey Cook – who have been on the Dudes Review Idol bandwagon before they showed Hollywood – but at this point I’ve come to accept the fact I don’t know how they’re going to win.

You can’t blame those three, or Quentin Alexander, for the effort this week. All four took chances and while Joey was terrific, Jax and Q had great vocals amidst confusing arrangement and Nick was maybe a note or two from excellent but a note or two from being forgettable, they couldn’t gain on the leaders of Season 14.

Clark Beckham’s performance of “Make It Rain” was only disappointing in that it wasn’t the L’il Wayne song. In fact, I doubt CB’s ever heard that song or acted on anything the N’awlins rapper talks about in it (I volunteer to take Clark to the S-club for the first time).

Since I’m not a chick and not trying to bang chicks anymore (#DadLife, y’all), I don’t listen to Ed Sheeran but Ed Sheehan can stop playing that song after hearing Clark kill it. The deep soul sound in his voice is remarkable because, despite the influx of WGWG who have dominated Idol, we haven’t had that sound run away with the show.

After he finished (seconds after me, because he’s a generous lover), I declared the contest over because I couldn’t see anyone coming close to that. Jax has been terrific this year, but a performance like tonight – where she sang beautifully on an arrangement of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” that was confusing at best – didn’t make me think she could upend CB.

Same goes for Joey, who was awesome singing a hipster/ironic take of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” She made an aggressive move and slid to No. 3 in my overall ranking because she executed the hell out of a song she had no business singing (still love Joey more when she Joey-izes a song; hate to brag, but my choice for her – Bastille’s “Pompeii” – would have been better), but if she wants to win she’s gonna need a hell of a lot better or a considerable slide by the top two.

Quentin? Same as Jax. Great vocal on the Sam Smith track, but the arrangement was weird and didn’t have nearly as much smoke as Quentin usually requires.

Nick was a big winner, but he was a note or two away from really making a move and putting himself in the Top 5 and getting prepped for a Kris Allen-esque run.

And just when it looked like nobody was going to challenge Clark – because while Tyanna has been good, she hasn’t been on the level CB hit tonight – the youngest competitor left blindsided everyone.

Tyanna’s take on Rhianna’s “Stay” was beyond good. It’s damn close to Quentin’s “You’re the One That I Want” as the best performance of the season. The emotion Tyanna put behind it, the execution of the notes and the ability to not lose it live on stage was amazing. If she had pulled a Crystal Bowersox a cried through the last line or so, it would have been awesome; holding it in, crushing the end, then crying? Even better.

It’s a two-man show. Clark and Tyanna. Tyanna and Clark. There’s no loser.

There was a loser tonight and, thankfully, it was Qaasim, because while the producers and judges couldn’t stop singing his praises, America was sick of his inability to sing.

Rayvon wasn’t great tonight. He had his moments singing Adele, but the inconsistencies in the performance put the ball into Qaasim’s court until Qaasim pulled the extremely rare card of “watch this, I’m going to sing a song worse than the guy who could barely sing his own hit well” version of a song.

I don’t know if there’s a “Top 30 Worst Final Performances in American Idol History” list (still better than Iggy Azaela, but that’s not saying much) but if there was Qaasim’s take on “Hey Ya” would be up there. Notes? Didn’t hit them. Runs? Nope.

Did he make some awesome faces? Yup. Was his choreography tremendous? Of course.

Downside was, he killed a song that I genuinely enjoyed, so RIP “Hey Ya,” 2003-2015. In lieu of flowers, send a donation to Big Boi and Andre 3000.

Tonight’s show was decent, but the non-Clarks and non-Tyannas missed their chance to make a move on a week where making a move should have been pretty much the easiest thing going. Proves you need a guy (PSST ME) helping you make song choices.

OK, coming Thursday on Dudes Review Idol – song by song recap. Coming Friday, provided the theme gets released, I’ll tell you what the Top 7 should sing.

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