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American Idol 15: Top 10

It’s American Idol Farewell Season Top 10 with Kelly Clarkson as  a judge and the verdict is in.. what a night! Yes, I'm still terribly upset that we lost Jenn Blosil this week, but I can't deny the fact that I'm also absolutely flabbergasted at how solid this season's Top 10 has become! Sure, we still have a couple of outliers in this mix, but for the most part, every one delivered some great moments on that stage.

Tonight's real winner? Kelly Clarkson. She became that judge this week and she was awesome. She was hysterical and honest, but at the same time, she allowed herself to really give detailed instructions to the contestants on how exactly they could improve their performance if they were around for another week. Yes, these critiques might not be as entertaining as Simon Cowell bringing contestants to tears, or Harry Connick Jr. and his constant effort to be the center of attention, but it is infinitely more useful to the artist. Oh, and she was outstanding in her Piece by Piece performance.

Let's move on to the rankings!

10. Tristan McIntosh
Nothin' Like You
While she looked great and the confidence was there in spades, Tristan's vocals weren't matching the picture she was painting. It felt like she couldn't keep up with the tempo, her pitch was problematic, and the verses weren't well supported. Her ambitions outweigh her ability and by doing so, she came off as a total amateur. 4

09. Gianna Isabella
No! You listen, Gianna! You overreached again with this unnecessarily difficult song and it completely ate you up.  4

08. Lee Jean
Skinny Love
Did Lee think he's a front runner to deliver a lazy, throwaway performance at this stage of the competition? No, this wasn't terrible, but his rendition of Skinny Love was pedestrian at best, and throw on top of that was his enunciation issues. He also didn't have quite enough strength to move the song along, which made this sound tepid and weak. 4.5

07. Avalon Young
Quite frankly, Avalon sold Stitches with her usual natural swagger and the end product was confident, assured, and had a youthful energy that matched her personality. Her vocals were a bit underwhelming though as I felt like it didn't have enough power to rise above the band. If she only stripped down the arrangement more, this would've been golden. I'm really hoping that she stays far away from elimination tomorrow. 6.5

06. MacKenzie Bourg
I See Fire
Compared to his rousing original tune he performed yesterday, MacKenzie's take on Ed Sheeran's I See Fire was rather generic and, to some extent, bland. I don't know. This just fell flat and empty. Don't get me wrong. I thought he sounded solid and beautiful, but it lacked a certain creativity that I used to get from him. He's going to have to dig deep in the next crucial weeks or else, he will be gone faster than many think. 7.5

05. Dalton Rapattoni
Hey There Delilah
Find a rock song. Work with the arrangement. Create something that appears natural. This was Dalton's game plan and, to me, it actually worked. I thought this different spin on Hey There Delilah was incredibly groovy and interesting. I actually found myself just rocking back and forth and enjoying the entire performance. It's fun, energetic, and a sure crowd pleaser with his base. 8

04. Trent Harmon
Like I Can
On paper, this was an absolutely perfect song choice for Trent. I would say that he managed to showcase strong moments of vocal dexterity throughout the performance and the opening verse, in particular, sounded fantastic. His transition to a higher key somewhere in the chorus was a little jarring and didn't really sit well with the music, but overall, this was a solid piece of work. 8

03. Olivia Rox
That opening verse was just downright divine! Really. The way she took her time with the words and tastefully transitioned her vocals was quite impressive. I thought she was also in command of that stage especially when the energy ramped up and the vocal dynamics was different and interesting. Diction was a slight issue, but it didn't take me out of the performance. 8

02. La'Porsha Renae
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: La'Porsha owned this performance! It was the best, or close to the best, she’s ever been. She's a true front runner and she has no problem showing it. The arrangement was genius, the way her vocals navigated those intricate runs were outstanding, and it was impressive for her to transform a song with limited melody to a total vocal masterclass. La'Porsha is so good and so dependable that contestants dread following her. How do you follow that? My thoughts exactly. How does Sonika Vaid follow that? 9.5

01. Sonika Vaid
Bring Me To Life
Like that, apparently. For once, Sonika bounded onto that stage with some serious energy and a clear need to prove something. Bring Me To Life was a strong step out of her comfort zone and it was glorious. There was drama, strong vocal elements, and an epic battle with the train of her dress. Ha. But seriously, this put her strengths on full display, she sounded contemporary and a true dark horse in the making. I fear La'Porsha is coming across as too polished for people to get invested in - American Idol rarely rewards singers who makes this competition look effortless - so I can totally see Sonika waiting in the wings for that right moment. 9.5

Tristan McIntosh
Gianna Isabella

Gianna Isabella
Lee Jean
American Idol 15: Top 10 Reviewed by DAM on 3:05 AM Rating: 5

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