American Idol Top 24: Nobody told Jeneve Mitchell the fight was over and everybody’s gonna regret that

In that getup Prince woulda worked too, but maybe she's saving that for later

In that getup Prince woulda worked too, but maybe she’s saving that for later

So that’s why we have them sing.

Looking at who was set to perform Wednesday, picking seven seemed as standard as saying no when a cashier asks you if you want to donate a buck to some random cause you’ve never heard of (except when they guilt you in to it, of course). Then the sang.

And the girls, well the SAAAAANG Wednesday night.

I just assumed Jeneve Mitchell was going to catch an auto-bid to to the Top 8. She is the perfect candidate to move on regardless of performance; she’s a little different, a little marketable and it makes her a good choice for live choices as opposed to “Wannabe Pop Singer 6.”

Then Jeneve stepped on stage and punched everyone in the mouth. She wasn’t just a good vocal, she was the best vocal; Harry crapped on the harp performance because hardass Harry wasn’t gonna let things slide, but it might be too late. Jeneve was the best of the night Wednesday because she, more than anyone else, showed she might be able to actually compete on the show.

Bigger surprise than Jeneve Wednesday? Probably the disaster that was Emily Brooke’s performance. It’s hard for me to crap all over a 16-year old who Tweeted how bad she was, and good for her:

But Emily’s performance puts the show in a tough spot. She’s clearly the most marketable of the females but I don’t know if you can just throw her Top 8 after this. I don’t hate putting her in the Sing-Off because I think she deserves a reprieve, but if you ask me the reprieve from the show is going to either her or Mackenzie Bourg and good lucking picking between the two.

Yeah, Bourg ain’t the slam dunk we thought he’d be. Little of it had to do with his performance. He picked a dreamboat song, something that would go over well with the tweenage girls, and he wasn’t bad. Problem was people were better. I thought he was a lock for the Top 8, but after Wednesday my theory about Bourg may have been a reality – Idol was playing him off Thomas Stringfellow and T-String won in a landslide.

Avalon’s performance wasn’t a big surprise, but it wasn’t an upset either. She’s shown some promise but Wednesday she showed a little pop; Avalon was good, but lacked the “OH LAWDY” that La’Porsha brought and that performance, more than any, may end up causing the most problems because it seemed to anyone with a set of working ears that she deserves a Top 8 spot.

I could go on, but it’s a hell of a lot easier if I break everyone down this way. Let’s go:

Stephany Negrete
“Mamma Knows Best,” Jessie J

Position doesn’t really matter on an episode where the fans don’t vote, but I couldn’t imagine the longest of the long shots leading off the show was a good sign for Stephany. Reality has to kick in for the contestants and they have to know how they stand among the group; if you look at the field and understand you’re low on the totem pole, maybe it’s time to sing a Motown hit and not some chick who thinks she’s good enough to go by name, initial. Stephany wasn’t bad, but she needed to be boner-inducing terrific and it wasn’t there. Her shoe game was straight fire but leading off with a performance like that ain’t getting it done – especially with what was coming behind her.

Mackenzie Bourg
“Say Something” A Great Big World

Nice try trying to reel me in singing songs from my Spring Break. I don’t think there’s a song that makes chicks cry easier and I don’t know if that was his angle, but if this was America’s vote he’d be in by a landslide. The performance was flat, lacked the “oh I’m singing this because I’m an emo dude but in reality I just want to hook up” edge and if we’re going off this performance, based on what the girls brought, Mackenzie would be on the fast track outta Idol. I don’t know if him and Thomas Stringfellow were paired up because they wanted to take one of them, but if that’s the case Mac is in trouble. However, his image is too good; the performance wasn’t bad but the expectations for someone of his talents are so high you can’t think it was anything other than ordinary. I don’t know if it’s fair to put him in a sing-off because he’s gonna dominate a vote, but that’s where he deserves to be.

Jeneve Mitchell
“Angel,” Sarah McLachlan

Thought his girl was gonna get the mercy pass to the singoff or even the Top 8, but then she came out and slayed. Didn’t know you could just get rid of a Woody from Toy Story gear, dominate a side braid and your singing voice goes from Idol to IDOL. She wasn’t good Wednesday, she was great. That’s the type of thing that wins the show and Jeneve went from a long shot to a front-runner in one performance. If they put her in the sing-off she might be in trouble, but I’m hoping, based on that performance, that she’s Top 8. I don’t know if it’s going that way because Harry came out and crapped all over her after she delivered the performance of the night.

Jenna Renae
“My Church,” Maren Morris

I hate country music but I absolutely loved this performance. Maybe it was the song. Maybe it was because Jenna looked SNEAKY hot with the hat, dress and mini-hooker boots. There’s a reason I’ve been touting her talents since she stepped to the piano in the original auditions – she’s the truth. She better be safe tomorrow and in the Top 8 because, like I said, she’s one of those no one’s going to pay attention to until it’s too late. Plus on her live Periscope after the show Wednesday, she improv’ed some Fetty and I might let her cover that and not be mad.
PS I said it to myself during her performance and my wife said it when she saw her perform – who the hell does Jenna remind you of? She reminds me of someone and I can’t place it for the life of me.

James XIII
“Love Lockdown,” Kanye West

Love the dude because he looks like Jay and Silent Bob and I love him more because it seemed like he understood the competition – he was on the outside looking in and needed a risky, big performance. Doing Kanye worked for Kris Allen but it didn’t really work for J8. Not to say it was bad; I enjoyed the bluesy undertones that brought the StankFace out like a MF. I just don’t think it was good enough to get to the next level. The bluesy/rock thing really only works if you’ve got the look and that’s happened once on Idol and that was with Casey James, the hottest dude to ever take the Idol stage. I’m a fan of J8, but I think his Idol road ends now.

Sonika Vaid
“Safe & Sound,” Taylor Swift

IMO, if you’re going to sing T-Swift you do the hits. It’s a little different when the judges are the ones judging you, but this wasn’t a great song for Sonika to show off those pipes. She needed to come out and BLOW and if you’re going to sang, you need to sang the old school. Otherwise you’re just gonna sing. I don’t have her making the cut, but she’s got a huge advantage being one of two female soloists left and because she outsang the other – Negrete – they might throw her in the singoff just because. Oh, and super power move by her/Idol after saying she’s from Martha’s Vineyard all season and all of a sudden she’s from Boston. Rich people shit right there. Love it.

Gianna Isabella
“I Put a Spell On You,” Screaming Jay Hawkins (NOT ANNIE LENNOX)

I don’t know who told Gianna Isabella that Annie Lennox sang that but I’m not blaming a 15-year old for this error. Idol needs to step their shit up and fix these mistakes because this song isn’t Annie Lennox; it’s Screaming Jay. If I’m being real, I pretty much passed off Gianna as a young kid with a decent voice and she was going to be an easy out and then whoops she murdered the song. This was a vocal assassination. She came out, left her heart on the floor and sang her face off. She’s at a huge disadvantage being a soloist, but if she crushes it like that no one is gonna care. Don’t know if she’s got the artistry to take on different genres but Gianna pretty much just preached in front of everybody.

Emily Brooke
“I Am Invincible,” Cassadee Pope

Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no oh no. As far as disasters go, Emily’s opening was the Hindenburg. Couldn’t understand her. Couldn’t tell what notes she was going for. She sounded like the drunk chicks I used to see singing karaoke. It was rough. Sandpaper. It was the kind of opening that if that was an audition I wouldn’t give her a ticket. It took a while for her to get collected and midway through she got back on track, but there’s no hiding from that. It was bad and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. My hope is because she’s been so good they’ll throw her in the Top 7 and give her a sing-off spot, but if they don’t I’m not going to argue. I’ve been on board with Emily since last year and I’m not about to hop off the bandwagon, but I can’t sit her and say that deserved a spot, especially only four performances being worse than hers.

Avalon Young
“Lose Yourself,” Justin Bieber

I’m gonna go out and say that “no makeup” thing isn’t gonna fly once we go live because if she’s not rocking makeup people are gonna judge like Judy. I’m an old and don’t listen to Bieber – except “Baby” because it’s fire – but I liked Avalon’s performance. She’s got something. She doesn’t have the best voice of the girls and she’s far from the best performer. But she’s got an edge that works. If anything is gonna bring her down it’s her musical naivete and I can see her song selections going straight down the crapper, but I liked her a hell of a lot more than I thought I would. She should be a Top 7 and I don’t know if I want to face her in a sing-off because I can see her doing well.

Jordan Sasser
“All By Myself,” Eric Carmen (not stupid f’in Celine)

Loved that he chopped the locks. HATED that the song was credited to that Frenchy Celine Dion and not Eric Carmen, an 80s balladeer who’s ballin’ AF. Jordan wasn’t good. There’s no sugar-coating this. He hit a couple huge notes, but all around it wasn’t good. Gotta give Mrs. Sasser cred for throwing a dope headband on their girl – and seeing her brought a teary moment in the DRI Mansion; made me remember when my kids, aged 4 and almost 2, were that little. Sorry for the feels – but I can’t hate Jordan too much. Me and him could bro out and #DadLife our faces off and we’d have a hell of a time.

Thomas Stringfellow
“Creep,” Radiohead

I don’t know if the point of having T-String and Mackenzie on were to have them compete 1v1, but if it was then Tommy Stringfellow knocked Mackenzie Bourg right the fuck out. As much as I hated his stupid hipster farmer hat, I loved how he just started adding vowels and sounds to words that aren’t in that song. It was a terrific performance and while it’s going to be overshadowed by what the girls brought – rightfully so – it’s clear T-String is going to be a force in the show, especially if he just eliminated Mackenzie with one swift punch.

La’Porsha Renae
“Proud Mary,” Tina Turner

Everyone who’s read me knows I’m all in on the big black dudes with soul and since there are none this season, I’m all in on LPR. She showed some ooomph tonight, the kind of sound that eliminates contestants and makes babies. Wasn’t a huge fan of her rollin’ on the river with the uptempo portion of the song, but if she keeps going slow with soul, I don’t know if anyone can stop her. Her love of soundtracks – which better no be a joke – is going to give her an edge because great movie songs usually have a sense of theatre to them. A good soundtrack song, and a great Idol song, has its ups and downs, its quiets and lows; it tells a story and if that tale about like soundtracks is true, she’s gonna go through the hits and might find her way to the Final 4.

So who gets through? That’s tough.

What I saw and the judges saw are two different things because I’m totally impartial and the judges have producers chirping in their ear about which artists they need to go through.

My ranks Wednesday, in order, are Jeneve, Jenna, Thomas, La’Porsha, Gianna, Avalon, Mackenzie, Emily, Sonika, James, Stephany, Jordan. The problem with those ranks is you’re assuming the judges aren’t taking the next 12 performers into consideration. Gianna may have taken the soloist spot in the Top 8 because I don’t know if the judges are letting her go to a sing-off for the Top 10.

If I’m locking in four based off Wednesday – and I want to put more weight into Wednesday than any other performance – I’m sticking with Jeneve, Jenna, Thomas and La’Porsha, but there’s a good chance the Top 3 are the only locks from the night. The fact Mackenzie might not be a lock is insane to me but based off what we just saw, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Mackenzie gets my vote to move on, as does Avalon and Gianna. But I don’t think the judges are going that way.

My prediction for the seven the judges will put through tomorrow: Jeneve, Thomas, Avalon, Mackenzie, La’Porsha, Gianna with the last spot coming down to Emily and Jenna. I think Jenna should be a lock but she seems like the kind of contestant the judges are gonna screw over, so Emily gets the last spot as I throw my phone through my TV.

We’ll find out tomorrow night.