American Idol continued last night with the Showcase round. This time they brought back Idol alumni to sing solos with the current hopefuls. Along with the judges, they too offered advice to the contestants. These duets took place in front of a live audience and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr at the Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. Before the show got started, the judges noted that they will be judging the contestants with how they sing, but also how they work with other artists. Things definitely turned out interesting. Let’s recap.
First up was Emily Brooke and Lauren Alaina, who both originally auditioned for the singing competition at the age of 15. Together, they sang ‘Flat On The Floor’ by Carrie Underwood. They sounded great together, and overall, it was a powerhouse performance. It was a better performance than her solo from the night before. The judges were impressed, but said she still had some room to grow and mature as an artist.
Current reigning Idol champion Nick Fradiani came back last night to sing ‘Man in the Mirror’ with Thomas Stringfellow. The duet was a little weird, but it was good enough to keep Stringfellow in the competition. Following Stringfellow was Stephany Negrete who paired up with season 2 winner, Ruben Studdard. They both sang ‘Superstar’ by the Carpenters and it was beautiful.
Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson was paired up with Sonika Vaid. It’s an interesting match, but we can say that Vaid held her own against Johnson with his powerhouse vocals. They sang ‘Skyfall’ by Adele, which was the perfect fit for Vaid’s simple yet beautiful voice. She nailed the performance, and the judges were impressed by how well of a singer Vaid actually is.
Jenna Renae was up next. She was paired with country crooner, Scotty McCreery. They chose to sing of on McCreery’s originals. It was a solid performance, and they both blended well together. Renae has a solid voice, and deserves to be in the competition. After Renae, came La’Porsha Renae who paired up with Fantasia. They both sang ‘Summertime’ by Ella Fitzgerald and killed it. Urban said it was a beautiful match. Again, La’Porsha makes it the best performance of the night thus far.
Alaina took the stage once more with heartthrob Mackenzie Bourg. The song they had chosen was ‘I Hope You Dance’ by Lee Ann Womack. Bourg held his own during the song, even though it was more suited for Alaina. The judges though his performance from the night before had a better representation of him as an artist. There is no doubt that the kid is talented, and we wouldn’t mind seeing him and Alaina pair up again.
Fradiani paired up with Gianna Isabella. Isabella seemed to have difficulty matching Fradiani’s power. She’s got great talent, but she’s definitely not a powerhouse. Next up, we had Avalon Young and Ruben Studdard singing his own ‘Flying Without Wings.’ The duet brought Urban to his feet, and it should have. It was a fun performance, and Young’s vocals are incredible. She has a voice to win.
Johnson and James VIII took the stage. James VIII became overly confident while trying to overshadow Johnson, and it didn’t work well for him. He did fine hanging on but it wasn’t enough. McCreery and Jeneve Rose Mitchell was up next. We don’t have much to say, but the performance was awful. The judges thought it was a bizarre performance, and indeed it was. We weren’t impressed.
Last but not least was Jordan Sasser joining Fantasia. They both sang ‘I Believe’ which was the song Fantasia sang when she won Idol. Sasser had a lot to live up to. He did a fine job, but it the performance was unforgettable.
After the performances, the judges took time to deliberate. For the most part they got it right, but they also got it wrong. They had to eliminate 5 singers from the first half of the top 24 considering both their duet and solo performances. The people who advanced to the top 10 were La’Porsha Renae, Sonika Vaid, Avalon Young, Gianna Isabella, Thomas Stringfellow, Mackenzie Bourg, and who knows why Jeneve Rose Mitchell.
What did you think about the judges decision? Did they get it right? Sound off in the comments below. Make sure to tune in next week for more Idol duets Wednesday, February 17 on FOX.
Kara Johnson is a writer for Examiner and other social media websites. You can keep up to date with her on Twitter @AlotLikeKara