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As Motown Week continues on American Idol, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. return to the Fillmore in Detroit to hear the top eight girls perform for their shot at season 14’s top 12. Just as with the boys last night, Ryan Seacrest reveals who made the cut after last week’s voting as the episode progresses.
The first girl who advances is Tyanna Jones, who sings Michael Jackson‘s version of “Rockin Robin.” It’s the first performance of the night, but it’s also the best, setting the bar for all that follow. “That’s why they voted for you right there,” Urban says.
Also one of the season’s frontrunners, Loren Lott sings “I Wanna Be Where You Are” next. She has strong vocals and stage presence, and it’s immediately clear why America voted her through. Connick thinks she nudged the already high bar up even more.
Maddie Walker is also through to the top eight, singing Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.” Urban commends her for making the song her own, but Connick warns her about going sharp when she’s holding longer notes. She doesn’t show the same confidence as Jones and Lott do at the top of the show, but it’s a solid performance.
Before the next contestant, we get a quick glimpse of Aretha Franklin‘s advice session with the singers. She shares an anecdote about how Ella Fitzgerald was an expert at recovering if she ever messed up her lyrics. Fortunately, no one forgets their words tonight. “Thanks for coming to Detroit,” Franklin says. “Kick butt.”
Next up is Joey Potter, leaving her accordion behind for a soulful version of Smokey Robinson‘s “Shop Around.” Potter seems to have such a clear idea of who she is as an artist, and her ability to make every song her own has never wavered. This week is no exception. The artistry to her performance is so original, and she’s almost surely destined for the top 12.
Lopez announces the next girl through: Sarina-Joi Crowe. She sings a stripped-down version of “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me.” Connick warns her to watch her tone, but overall the judges have positive things to say about her voice and emotional connection to her performance.
Adanna Duru also advances, singing Lionel Richie‘s “Hello.” It’s one of the most beautiful performances of the night, with Duru pouring her all into the song. “I give you an A+ on singing those lyrics,” Connick says. He goes on to point out she was out of tune for most of the song, but the emotion and power to her performance might be enough to carry her through.
In the second to last performance of the night, Jax Cole sings “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye. At the top of the show, Connick asked if there is anything Tyanna Jones can’t sing, and the same question could certainly be asked of Cole, who is one of the more versatile performers this season. Connick, however doesn’t like the arrangement here. But as Lopez says, she’s one of the favorites in the competition.
Taking the last spot in the top eight, Alexis Gomez sings “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Temptations. The whole performance is out of key, and based on the judges’ feedback, her chances of making it to the top 12 do not look great. But, after all, it’s up to the voters.
So it’s the end of the road for Shi Scott, Shannon Berthiaume, Lovey James, and Katherine Winston. The eliminations on the girls’ side are a bit more surprising than the guys were last night. Scott and Berthiaume in particular should have lasted in this competition longer.
The top 12 will be revealed next week. Who won your vote tonight?
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