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American Idol 15: Top 5

This was an odd show. The first part seemed like an appetizer before the main course.. and that main course was glorious! Not sure if it was the fact that the remaining five (5) didn't need to worry since someone got eliminated in the middle of the show or that they were just really fighting to be the next and final American Idol. I'm not complaining though as it made for some fantastic performances.

Also, can we talk about how emotional that last part of the show was? Other than their video packages showcasing their "life struggles", the performances were also pretty intense. No, the episode has some mediocre performances, but the rest made me feel sad that the show is ending.

I don't know. It was just too raw and real - and some of it was because Jennifer Lopez had me bawling with her "I'm going to miss American Idol" speech. Look, I may not agree with most of her comments and sometimes I feel like she's more of a cheerleader than a judge, but I really felt like she made some genuine connection with the show and I love her for that. Thank you, JLo.

On with the show!

10. Trent Harmon
Counting Stars
There's nothing wrong with Trent going uptempo as he needed to adjust his strategy given how tight the competition is becoming, but this wasn't the adjustment he needed. The song choice didn't have the lyrical depth necessary to create an impact, the chord structure was too complex to allow for some interesting vocal choices, and even the energy behind it didn't serve his natural tendencies as a vocalist. This, to me, was a terrible song choice and possibly his worst performance this season. 4

09. Mackenzie Bourg
Wild World
Look, MacKenzie's take on Wild World felt slightly artistic, but the song failed to build up to a huge climax, which really hampered the emotional effect of the song. The arrangement left me confused - the style didn't match the substance - and his vocals sounded uneven. I appreciated his decision to move around instead of planting himself in the middle of the stage, but even that didn't make this any better. 4.5

08. Dalton Rapattoni
Dalton seemed to be a smart and incredibly creative competitor, but he seemed incapable of having a break out moment. Out of everyone left, he's, arguably, the only one hasn't yet delivered one of those water cooler performances that immediately puts him in a strong position to be a frontrunner. And yes, this was not it. The arrangement was lifeless and droll and it took out the urgency of the song. Everything felt forced and there was no soul involved. Vocally, it was decent and unoffending, but for a Top 5 week? No, it simply wasn't up to par. 5

07. Sonika Vaid
Clarity was Sonika's worst performance yet. I'm going to give her big points for the vocal part of the performance - she really sounded fantastic despite her jumping around the stage - but the song just wasn't strong enough to make a lasting impression. There was no edge and danger in her performance and everything just felt too vanilla. Where was the Sonika that delivered Bring Me To Life? Was that a fluke? 6

06. Dalton Rapattoni
The Sound of Silence
Not going to lie, The Sound of Silence was an incredibly inspired song choice.. if Dalton were a better singer. You see, everything clicked from the look, the feel, and the sound, and then there was his weak vocals. He managed to have some strong vocal moments towards the end though and if only the rest of the performance was that powerful, then I would've been blown away. Sadly, it wasn't. 6.5

05. Sonika Vaid
Let It Go
While I don't think Let It Go was anywhere close to being the best of the night, this was still an almost flawless technical performance. It's a modern ballad that finished on a powerful glory note and that's exactly what she needed to outlast the early favorite, Tristan McIntosh, in their sing-off. Sonika has yet to deliver another showstopping performance to dethrone one of the current frontrunners. She has the tools to do it, but she's so annoyingly shy! Pull that trigger, Sonika! 7.5

04. La'Porsha Renae
Ready For Love
La'Porsha had a beautiful moment this evening with her performance of Ready For Love. The voice was pitch perfect and her phrasing oozed natural ability. She has always been a very dependable vocalist and really has a great chance of winning this season. If she can keep up this momentum for a couple more weeks, her fan base could be very powerful and actually beat some of the strong male competitors. 8.5

03. Trent Harmon
Simple Man
Trent managed to up his game even more from last week and deliver an unbelievably vulnerable and beautiful version of this classic. He really connected with the lyrics in a way that felt like it was the start of something big and his vocal control was impeccable. Add to that the modesty in his post-performance interview that was worth another million votes and he's basically golden. Trent's momentum continues and if there is one person who can stop La'Porsha Renae.. it's Trent Harmon. 9

02. MacKenzie Bourg
Billie Jean
This was, by far, MacKenzie's best performance to date and turned him into a legitimate force. Sure, I cringed initially at the song choice - David Cook owned this song choice 8 years ago - but Billie Jean worked perfectly for him and will probably help him in the long run. There was confidence and flavor to this performance, the vocal dynamics were superb, and I felt that he had made a genuine connection to the material. Will this be a serious horse race between three contestants? I wouldn't really mind as that makes good television. 9

01. La'Porsha Renae
No More Drama
It's official: La'Porsha is a vocal juggernaut and a force to be reckoned with. Seriously. No More Drama was probably one of her finest moments on this show and she brought a lot of confidence and energy to the stage without losing her vocals. She's ferocious, powerful, and violently talented. See, I don't care if this farewell season isn't up to everyone's standard because it just takes one contestant to prove how important this program is. Bravo, La'Porsha! 9


Tristan McIntosh
Independence Day
Tristan connected with bits of the lyrics and really sold the emotion of the song. Unfortunately, there were several moments where she lost the pitch and went terribly flat. It's a shame since she's slowly getting her groove back, but can't really muster enough maturity to pull it all off. She just couldn't live up with the hype. Sad. 6

Dalton Rapattoni

Sonika Vaid
American Idol 15: Top 5 Reviewed by DAM on 3:03 AM Rating: 5

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