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American Idol 15: Top 8

The one exciting part of this farewell season has been the unpredictability of each and every week. I mean, they just sent Oliva Rox home - probably one of the most marketable finalists this season, but apparently has NEVER gained enough fanbase to support her as soon as the producers allowed America to vote for her. What was the point of giving her a fast pass to the Top 10 by the judges and then gets eliminated the next week also by the judges' decision?

At this point, no one is a frontrunner. No, seriously, absolutely no one. Maybe La'Porsha, but I'm not quite sold yet. It's a very odd season to watch.

On with the show!


08. Dalton Rapattoni
Radioactive
Dalton has been hitting a triple in the last couple of weeks re-arranging songs to fit him as an artist. So, it made perfect sense to throw that game plan out the window this week and return to nonsense karaoke. Oh, wait. I'm lying. Dalton's choice to tackle Radioactive straight on made no sense at all. Sure, it was a fun song with a fantastic hook, but there was no chances taken here. He needs to focus on separating himself from the rest because he's NOT in the same league vocally as Sonika, La'Porsha or even Trent. Creativity will be his best asset and this performance was not it. 5

07. Lee Jean
Use Somebody
Yes, his tone sounded really good in this tune and this was technically his best vocal performance to date - he was mostly on key - but there were no fireworks here. I didn't feel like he had any connection with the song whatsoever and I was left wondering if he has the emotional depth to really connect to some deeper material. He's a talented kid, but he's just way too raw and not ready for primetime. 5

06. Sonika Vaid
Since U Been Gone
Sonika is in big trouble. Big. Trouble. The only thing you need to achieve to survive another bloodbath next week is to "be memorable." In some way! Find a way to stand out!  To me, this was the least memorable performance of the night. The vocals were fine, the performance was fine, there weren't any glaring errors, except for the fact that it was so adequate it was terrible. The fire I've come to expect from her - based solely on how fantastic she was last week - just wasn't there and she could definitely leave because of this. Such a shame. 6.5

05. MacKenzie Bourg
I Wanna Dance With Somebody
He aims. He shoots. He misses. I seriously respected what MacKenzie tried to do with this overdone song. The arrangement, on paper, was all sorts of awesome, it was a cool little trick, and if it paid off will help you win the competition. Unfortunately, the band was selling me the vocal performance more than MacKenzie as he didn't seem fully comfortable pushing his vision forward vocally. Quite underwhelming, to be honest. 6.5

04. La'Porsha Renae
Halo
Drama! Drama! Drama! This was, yet again, another memorable performance from La'Porsha. The build up was sensational, there was a superb emotional arc and intensity in a matter of two minutes, and her vocals were terrific. She did hit a couple of weirdly placed runs, but it didn't matter. I was sold. She connected with the song and didn't look back. La'Porsha is going to be an interesting contestant this season, and I'm curious to see if America embraces a woman whose hair is two stories high. Ha. 8.5


03. Tristan McIntosh
Rest High On That Mountain
This was, to put it simply, a genius song choice for Tristan as she delivered a vulnerable and beautiful version of Rest High On That Mountain. The solemn nature of the song practically required her to show a depth and seriousness we haven't been privy to since her audition and she really connected with the lyrics in a way that felt like it was a start of something big. If she manages to improve from here on out, I don't see how she can't give the rest a run for their money. 8.5

02. Avalon Young
Earned It
She chose a solid contemporary song, delivered a vocally engaging performance, and showcased possibly one of the best lyrical interpretations we've seen this season. The arrangement was gorgeous, straightforward, and book-ended with spot on vocal runs. Quite frankly, I'm always interested to see what Avalon does on that stage since she is a contestant who is, arguably, fighting her survival week to week. I don't get the feeling that she has thousands of dedicated fans. No, I feel like the next time she falls apart on stage, she will be eliminated. So, she has to pitch a perfect game and it's compelling television. 8.5


01. Trent Harmon
When A Man Loves A Woman
Trent is doing it! Trend Harmon is really doing it! Yes, he came off a tad muted in parts, but he delivered some outstanding vocal moments with When A Man Loves A Woman. His rich soulful voice soared superbly, there was a great ease to him that's riveting to watch, and there's a sense of conviction and determination in this performance that's unlike anything I've seen from him this season. If he will be smart enough to find and pick songs that will play to his strengths, he will be golden. 9


ELIMINATED

Olivia Rox
Trouble
She got to perform thrice this season for America to witness, and when America was asked to vote, she was left at the bottom of the pack. Did she not have enough people to push her to the next round? Yikes. It saddens me to lose Olivia this early, but that's game! She went out swinging though, since Trouble was a fantastic vocal performance. No, it wasn't the most exciting, but she did everything she can with the material especially that high note towards the end. 7

Gianna Isabella
If I Ain't Got You
The sad thing was that Gianna sang fairly well tonight, but there's no one in this world that's going to care after sitting through a minute of this cheesy dreck. There's just no excuse for this song choice. 6



WHO SHOULD GO HOME?
Dalton Rapattoni
Lee Jean

WHO WILL GO HOME?
Lee Jean
Sonika Vaid
American Idol 15: Top 8 Reviewed by DAM on 3:04 AM Rating: 5

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