So who was eliminated from the American Idol Top 24? And when is a singing competition not a singing competition? Duet night had all the answers
For all the drama American Idol wanted to believe there was going to be, the show was about as predictable as an episode of Paw Patrol (THE PUPPIES ALWAYS SAVE THE DAY). It opened with a lie, finished disgracefully and in between there were a bunch of performances that meant absolutely nothing to the competition.
Seven of the 12 performers got through and if you were watching this season none of the names should have been a surprise. Catie Turner, Jonny Brenns, Michael Woodard, Dennis Lorenzo and Gabby Barrett received more airtime than anyone else in the Top 24 prior to this week; the push for Michelle Sussett has been obvious since she butchered her original audition, somehow got through and then had more ups and downs with performances than me after 12 vodkas. Cade didn’t get much love early, but he’s spent most of the previous two weeks on screen as much as possible and with Trevor Holmes gone is now the de facto love interest for Katy Perry.
The cut was anticlimactic, from Katy pretending to be disgusted about the cuts “because there’s only one American Idol” like she had a say. If this truly was a competition, they wouldn’t have piled seven guys in with five girls this week and vice versa next week. They would have rolled out 12 and 12 like they used to when Idol was good, taken six from each, then had some sort of wild card round to get in the producers choice. Instead, we got seven producers’ choices Monday, but at least only one of them stunk out loud.
I felt most compassion for Dominique and Kay Kay, who spent little time on screen all season despite their immeasurable talents that just weren’t marketable enough for the Idol team. Would have liked to have seen them compete on a live show because I don’t know if Michael or many of the guys who are singing next week can really compare. Same with Kay Kay, who is a flat-out better vocalist than half the girls but had to know she was getting eliminated when she was in the 12 that had quirky Catie and ringer Gabby, leaving one spot for her, Layla and Michelle.
Nobody’s ever going to be totally pleased, but I’m already dreading next week because based on tonight’s results and what we know – three guys out of Marcio Donaldson, Ada Vox, Garrett Jacobs, Ron Bultongenz and Caleb Lee Hutchinson will make it (expect Marcio, Ada and Garrett or Caleb) while four girls of Shannon O’Hare, Mara Justine, Effie Passero, Amelia Hammer Harris, Alyssa Raghu and Maddie Poppe will get through and that sucks because Shannon, Effie, Amelia and Maddie deserve a spot but Mara is projected to be in.
Here’s the recaps, wish they’d bring back the meaningless duets among contestants because while it was stupid it was kinda fun.
THE TOP 24 – FIRST GROUP DUETS
Catie Turner and Andy Grammer
“Good To Be Alive,” Andy Grammer
When Catie walked in dressed like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air I didn’t care what happened next. But that’s Catie. She’s fun and she’s goofy and definitely doesn’t GAF. It should have been awkward pairing a gawky teenager with mid-30s pop singer, but Catie somehow takes awkward and makes it look normal. Good on Andy Grammer for treating this like a duet and not a chance for him to push a new song; Good To Be Alive is permanently etched into our minds for eternity so he treated it as a chance to get Catie some shine. And she got it. Is it a good song to duet? Oh hell no. But it doesn’t matter. Catie moves on and I don’t think anyone cares because she’s making Idol fun again.
Cade Koehner and Bishop Briggs
“Never Tear Us Apart,” INXS
Gotta love when you’re doing a duet with a “star” and you don’t do one of their songs because they’ve got one hit (more on this later). Had to love when Cade, the contestant, was showing Bishop how to not suck a bag of ass. Cade is a stud, plain and simple, and it doesn’t matter what he sings because he’s gonna sing it good. He started out as somebody the producers didn’t expect much from (fourth fewest screen time this season) and now he’s Top 14 and if he doesn’t finish Top 5 it’ll be a monumental upset. And I’m saying all this despite HATING the performance.
Layla Spring and Sugarland
“Stuck Like Glue,” Sugarland
Just when I got that god forsaken song out of my head, boom it’s back. Layla was the best country singer this season and it really wasn’t close. She had the attitude, the raspiness to her voice that makes you wonder if Kentucky kids start smoking in middle school and was fun to watch because she was actually enjoying herself because she wasn’t forced into chasing a singing career by overbearing parents. On stage singing a song I absolutely despise because it’s so fucking catchy she looked at home. She should have moved on, but she wasn’t hand-picked by producers so she got sent packing because two country girls in the Top 14 would be a disaster when it came to splitting votes and it’s clear where the producers’ loyalty lied. Too bad, Layla had some potential.
Dominique and Aloe Blacc
“Wake Me Up,” Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc
It’s such a great song to sing on American Idol because it’s not your typical ballad; it’s got some pace to it so you won’t bore a crowd, but you can’t be a hack. You have to be able to push the chorus OUT there. Basically, it was perfect for Dominique, who had a disastrous night last night. Now if Monday’s performances actually meant something, Dominique would be moving on because there was only one other performance better than his (keep reading); if you’re judging on potential, I don’t know if there’s a guy in the Top 24 that could match Dominique vocally. Guess we won’t find out. Hopefully he didn’t quit his job yet.
Brandon Diaz and Luis Fonsi
“Despacito,” Luis Fonsi ft Daddy Yankee
Kinda racist of Idol to pair the Cuban contestant with the Puerto Rican superstar, but I guess expecting Jonny Brenns or Michael Woodard to learn the spanish part of Despacito would have been asking a lot. Lionel seeming surprised Brandon Diaz, who’s father is from CUBA, was the funniest part of the judges’ comments until Luke said “I know all the words to that song” and you could see his brain churning, happy he didn’t say anything wildly offensive. It was a good performance, but there was no chance Brandon was moving on seeing how he’d barely seen air since his original audition, so it was basically a giant waste of time.
Kay Kay and Pat Monahan
“Drive By,” Train
Kay Kay was terrific and that wasn’t a surprise. But since she got booted, how good she was doesn’t matter. The only thing I want to know is the behind-the-scenes story about how she got through auditions, through Hollywood Week and to the Top 24 and not get a minute of screen time before tonight. In real time was she aware that she had no chance of moving on? Did she have a feeling she wasn’t getting the same love the other contestants were? I’d love to hear some stories. (the DMs are open Kay)
Trevor McBane and Bishop Briggs
“River,” Bishop Briggs
Watching Trevor and Bishop basically sent me back to middle school dances when I would ask a girl to dance. Awk-ward. This performance was just a chance for Bishop to get some publicity because I honestly had no idea who she was and was wondering why Bjork lost her adorable accent and hadn’t aged a day since I was in ninth grade. Trevor was good but he wasn’t meant to be. If you’re going to take the country/blues guy and not let him compete against the other country/blues guys, it’s kinda obvious they had no intention of keeping him around and that sucks because dudes with beards who raise goats fucking rule.
Michelle Sussett and Luis Fonsi
“I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Bonnie Raitt
You know who would have been better singing this song. Kay Kay. Or literally anyone else. The sad part is when she’s not trying to be welfare Shakira on stage, she can sing a little. She had some pitch problems, but since pitch don’t matter anymore this was pretty good. Did it save her? No, because they were pushing her through. My working theory right now is they knew Amelia Hammer Harris or Jurnee are getting in, so they didn’t need another black female, but there was an opening for hispanic female and Michelle was the last one left. There’s no argument for her over Kay Kay and I’m gonna be mad about it until America says adios to Michelle.
Jonny Brenns and Andy Grammer
“Back Home,” Andy Grammer
This was like catching my best friend’s wife banging some younger dude because this song will always belong to Nick Fradiani and Andy and I can’t believe that son of a bitch Grammer would go find a taller and younger Nick TO CHEAT WITH. But I disgress. Jonny’s a motherfucking stud and I’m all in provided he stops acting sawft (like pretending to do ballet) and throw sex all over the stage. Kid’s gonna get all up in Idol and make it ask for more.
Dennis Lorenzo and Allen Stone
“Unaware,” Allen Stone
I knew the song. I didn’t know who Allen Stone was or what he looked like. Had I not known who Dennis Lorenzo was and turned on Idol Monday I would have bet the house Allen Stone was the black dude with the neck tat and Dennis was an albino Italian. Dennis is so fucking good. He’s gonna win Idol provided he can dodge sketchy producers telling him to sing horseshit like “Rude” and if he can just do songs with context and meaning and fucking soul, I don’t know who beats him (other than Effie, of course).
Michael Woodard and Pat Monahan
“Angel in Blue Jeans,” Train
Woodard has a chance to be a very memorable contestant because I don’t know if there’s a genre he’s really afraid to sing. Really looking forward to him wearing a 10-gallon hat and banging out “Friends in Low Places.” Not for nothing, but I don’t picture a young black male going balls in on a Train song, but MJW did a bang up job. When it comes to this season, he’s the most versatile non-Dennis left so it was great to see him move on. How would he have done in past seasons? Well, we don’t need to worry about that because we’re about the present, dummy.
Gabby Barrett and Sugarland
Not a fan of the song, but holy god can she sing. Might be a top five voice I’ve heard. From the start of the performance the blonde bombshell was killing it. Every big note she nailed. She carried the song. It was simply brilliant, the type of performance that made you realize she can win American Idol. And she should. Because if you’re the lead singer of Sugarland, you’re definitely better than the fucking Top 24 of American Idol. Barely noticed Gabby during the performance because she barely fucking sang. “I don’t know if we’ve seen anyone today that’s nailed it top to bottom,” said Luke Bryan, completely fucking oblivious to the fact Gabby sang two lines in the song but was still given the “Pimp Spot,” traditionally handed to the contestant the show wants to move on. All the judges’ praise should have been directed at Jennifer Nettles because she had a Top 14 performance while carrying a 17-year old the whole time.
Can’t promise anything this week except I’m gonna fill my pantry with snacks that don’t ruin a night that I’m already giving a big thumbs down to.