Kelly Clarkson was the special guest judge on Thursday’s American Idol top 10 reveal – and she was phenomenal. Can we please have her as a judge for the remainder of the season? Her judging critiques were witty and spot on. Seeing her sit behind the judges desk 14 years after the Idol audition that changed her life was a full circle moment. It’s a realization of how important Clarkson, and American Idol is in general, and what a huge part it has played in all of our lives.
The final top 10 of American Idol is lucky to have the legend herself critique, and be a part of this incredible experience. She not only gave expert advice and was truly kind to every contestant but she showed them what it looked like to be a true performer. There may be a petition floating around to vote for Kelly again. She floored America last night, and we love her for it.
With that, America also came to a decision with the top 10. America definitely got it right this time around as they allowed Tristan McIntosh, Sonika Vaid, Gianna Isabella, Mackenzie Bourg, Avalon Young, and Lee Jean to join La’Porsha Renae, Olivia Rox, Dalton Rapattoni, and Trent Harmon in the Top 10.
After the remaining contestants were revealed, they all took to the stage for America’s vote once again. A lot of them killed it, and La’Porsha almost came close to a Kelly Clarkson level. It’s a stiff competition, and we have no idea who will be going home next week. Here’s our recap of how it all went down:
Rox did a great rendition of Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally,” and dare we say that she did better than Katy Perry herself. The song in general weird as it goes through several different pronunciations of ‘unconditionally’ but Rox’s version felt natural and easy. Her pipes are phenomenal, and we can see her going far into the competition. “You’re so on an artist trajectory right now,” raved Keith Urban.
We don’t foresee Gianna winning the competition but she took on a Beyoncé song, which was a brave move. It wasn’t her best performance, and her pitch was all over the place. “Listen” is about fighting for a dream but it wasn’t believable when Isabella sang it. There was no sense of emotion in her voice, and it appeared to be an arranged performance. “That was not your best performance. It was very shaky,” said a Jen. We don’t predict that Isabella will be in the competition for much longer.
Lee is a chill guy, and he does Ed Sheeran like performances. This week he went a different direction with “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver. It was a solid performance but there’s fear that he may get lost in the shuffle of everyone else. He knows who he is an artist but is he willing to do what it takes to get there? We aren’t so sure. Mackenzie Bourg is Jean’s biggest competition, which means that he has to step up to plate in a big way in the weeks to come. Kelly loved his ‘chill’ vibe but noted that he had to take it up a notch. The rest of the judges agreed. He will have to work on his craft but it probably won’t be enough time to become Idol material.
Avalon is one of the best girls in the competition but singing Shawn Mendes’s “Stitches” was a mistake. It wasn’t as catchy as the original, and she failed to be confident in her performance. “You seemed nervous,” Keith said. “This one fell flat for me. I don’t think this was the right song for you,” Harry added. She’s got talent but this song could hinder of chances of winning.
The song Dalton chose is an overplayed track by The Plain White T’s but when he sings it, you wouldn’t think so. If you were to hear that song ever again, you would want to listen to his rendition. It was upbeat, fun, and captivating. Dalton could win this thing.
Tristan has been one of the best in the competition until her performance of Dan + Shay’s “Nothing Like You.” It was a mess of a performance, and did nothing the viewers watching. Her aim is to be a country singer but she must find songs that fit her range, and her voice. Keith said that it was a hard song to take on, and we agree. This was not her best performance.
Mackenzie is the heartthrob of the competition and could very well win the entire thing with his artistry and originality. His version of “I see Fire” by Ed Sheeran was captivating, and made all the girls in the front row want him all the more. “You know exactly where you want to go, and you’re already there,” raved Kelly. He sure does know what he is doing, and we can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeve in these upcoming weeks.
La’Porsha is the closest thing to Kelly Clarkson in this competition. She’s a real woman who has a powerhouse voice. The, quite possibly, reigning American Idol champion took on Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and made it her own in the best way possible. “If You don’t win, I just don’t understand,” raved Kelly. The audience was so loud after the song that the judges comments were barely audible. She crushed the stage, and she needs to win the entire thing.
Sonika belted Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life’ and killed it. Her voice is flawless, and the girl has a God-given talent. She was fiery and fierce as she embraced the stage and made it her own. “It had the right drama, and it played to your strengths,” said Keith. Harry loved her angst and passion. We did too.
Trent has such a distinctive voice, and has unique talent that stands out amongst the rest. He transformed Sam Smith’s “Like I can” into a bluesy, gospel song that many will remember in weeks to come. It wasn’t a Sam Smith cover, it was a Trent Harmon song. He knows who he is as an artist, and a tough one to beat. Trent can pull off just about anything. We predict he’ll be in the top 5.
What did you think of the performances last night? Who is your favorite? Did America get it right? Sound off in the comments below. Tune in next week on FOX to see more results, and exciting performances Wednesday and Thursday at 8 ET.
Kara Johnson is a writer for Examiner and other social media websites. You can keep up to date with her on Twitter @AlotLikeKara