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American Idol 2018: Top 24 - Group 1 Solos

What the actual #*$@ do we have here? Haha. American Idol is back and I'm all for it! Because, why not. Sure, there are significant changes from the judges to the network, but it feels the same. The heart of the show is intact, the process, and the palpable cheesiness, which I #*$@ing love!

So yes, it's time to get down to business as we hear twelve (12) hopefuls being guided by Bobby Bones, who apparently went to the Randy Jackson school of mentoring. Haha. Meaning, non-existent.

12. Layla Spring
A Broken Wing
This would've been an impressive performance... back in Season 3, but we're way past that now. The song choice was terrible, the unnecessary affectations were still there, the ending sounded a little too overwrought, and her lack of musical identity was evident here.

11. Trevor McBane
Way Down We Go
Look, Trevor has a storyteller's ability to connect with an audience backed by his attractive tone, but his pitch on Way Down We Go was just all over the place. He sounded careless and lazy with the way he dropped some of the notes during the verses and his voice just couldn't build with the song. Also, I'm still not convinced if he has what it takes to draw in a base and vote for him in the later rounds.

10. Brandon Diaz
I will NEVER understand, for the love of me, why someone would pick one of the judge's songs. Sure, Brandon has an extremely pleasant voice, but he fell flat on most of the performance that only recovered towards the end. He had a solid audition and this was quite disappointing.

09. Dominique Posey
Ain't Nobody
Quite frankly, this wasn't horrible, but it only assured Dominique to be one of those glorified cannon fodders of the season. His version of Ain't Nobody was frustratingly karaoke, and while the first half was good, it quickly spiralled into generic mess at the end. Oh, and this wasn't nearly as good as the judges made it out to be.

08. Kay Kay
Love On The Brain
Oh, there's Kay Kay! It was nice of American Idol to bring someone into the competition that didn't participate in the auditions and Hollywood. Wait, she did? Interesting.

07. Michelle Sussett
If I Were A Boy
I don't know what to think about Michelle. She obviously played the part well - she looked great, she worked the stage like a pro, and she embodied energy - but a part of me couldn't take her seriously for some strange reason. Don't get me wrong, save for some bad notes and atrocious arrangement, her vocals were mostly on point, but again, she needed to calm down a little bit. Was there any depth in this performance or was it just a fun girl with a good voice and a great look?

06. Dennis Lorenzo
Dennis had a soothing sound that was somehow muted by the song choice, but he still delivered one of the more polished performances of the night. It had an understated start, he sounded great, and wasn't terribly overrated. If only he could find songs with enough weight to balance his vocal ability, he'd be golden.

05. Michael J. Woodard
Golden Slumbers
So bizarre, and I dug it. The song choice was, yet again, surprising, but the connection he had with it allowed him to deliver it in spades. I admit, I didn't enjoy some of the vocal choice he made and the falsetto and vocal control still needed some work, but this was still a pretty effortless performance. He reminded me of a quirky George Huff. Haha.

04. Gabby Barrett
My Church
I enjoyed this! Her tone was a tad screechy, but Gabby actually sounded strong on this song. I thought My Church was a good mix of soul and country, which worked for her - she's better off tackling the former, but I digress - and she looked really confident doing it. I'm hoping she'd be guided to the right direction because she has everything necessary to win this thing.

03. Cade Boehner
All Along The Watchtower
Cade is, obviously, this season front runner. I mean, he's like a gritty swamp rock version of Phillip Phillips - so you know he's going to be a potential powerhouse in this competition - and this performance somehow solidified that. The song choice was genius, he's a brilliant guitarist, and he looked comfortable performing in front of an audience. However, like Mr. Phillips, he has some MAJOR enunciation issues and the growling annoyed the heck out of me. So yes, he'll probably end up winning the show, but I'm not convinced he's the true American Idol. Not yet at least.

02. Catie Turner
Call Me
Catie is going to be that "love her or hate her" contestant this season, and personally, I'm a fan. So, say what you want about her, but I genuinely and truly loved this. She exuded a supernaturally enthusiastic presence, her vocals sounded consistent and strong, and she actually looked supremely confident. She could've done better with the song choice, but what do I know.

01. Jonny Brenns
How can someone be so terrible one week and so good the next? I didn't understand the decision to push Jonny to the Final 24 after they cut more interesting and vocally superior people in Hollywood, but he somehow showed up and proved his worth. Yes, the performance wasn't as flashy as Cade's or as odd and compelling as Catie's, but it was a more assured and consistent performance. His tone and falsetto sounded terrific, his vocal choices were incredible, and he definitely screamed potential. He lost me a bit when he tried to play with the live audience, but whatever. There's a lot of raw talent here and good recording tone.
American Idol 2018: Top 24 - Group 1 Solos Reviewed by DAM on 5:46 PM Rating: 5

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