'American Idol' recap: 12 of Top 24 artists sing solos, only a few contestants shine in a night of average performances
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/18/2016
American Idol featured the 12 remaining fifteenth-season Top 24 contestants performing solos during Wednesday night's broadcast on Fox.
After watching 12 hopefuls take the stage last week with solos and then duets with an Idol superstars of the past, the rest of the Top 24 performed solos for the judges last night.
In a night of subpar performances and poor song choices, Trent Harmon, Dalton Rapattoni and Olivia Rox had the best performances of the night by far.
Trent, a 25-year-old waiter from Amory, MS, sang "What Are You Listening To" by Chris Stapleton. Idol judge Jennifer Lopez loves him and said his tone and feeling reached her on a personal level. Judge Harry Connick Jr. dubbed him the "most gifted vocalist" in the competition, and fellow judge Keith Urban thought he made a "fantastic" song choice.
Dalton, a 19-year-old vocal coach from Dallas TX, performed "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol. Jennifer cheered so loudly it was notable, and she gushed about how good-looking he is. Harry dubbed it an "absolutely phenomenal performance," "powerful" and "tremendous," while Keith admitted Dalton never disappoints because he "daltonizes everything."
Olivia, a 16-year-old student from Agoura Hills, CA, took the stage with a rock version of "Confident" by Demi Lovato. Keith actually got up out of his chair and gave her a standing ovation. He told her she's so lucky to have her "amazing gift." Harry thought it was very strong and she sang the right type of music for her voice. Jennifer agreed it was really great.
Shelbie Zorn, a 23-year-old hair dresser from Sumiton, AL, was close on their heels for best performance of the night with "Work Hard, Play Harder" by Gretchen Wilson. Harry said it was "a solid performance," but Keith admitted she had sacrificed the whole song in a low key just to hit the big high note at the end. Lopez didn't think she hit the sweet spot in her voice.
Lee Jean, a 16-year-old student from Bluffton, SC, sang "Runaway" by Ed Sheeran. Keith said his voice is "so real" and he's a great storyteller, but they judges thought his song choice was questionable and he needs to learn how to sing and play the guitar simultaneously.
Manny Torres, a 20-year-old worship leader from Flushing, MI, took the stage with Coldplay's "Adventure of a Lifetime." Jennifer loves his voice but he could've connected with the audience a little more. The judges weren't overly enthusiastic about it.
Kory Wheeler, a 27-year-old barista from Nashville, TN, performed "Let It Go" by James Bay. Harry said it wasn't anything particularly special, but Jennifer complimented his stage presence and Keith commended his mix of confidence and vulnerability.
Amelia Eisenhauer, a 16-year-old student from Nashville, TN, sang "Wake Me Up" by Avicii. It wasn't the best song for her voice and Harry advised her to pick something quirky because her quirky personality is likable.
Jenn Blosil, a 23-year-old in child care from Brooklyn, NY, reinvented Justin Bieber's "Sorry." She's a breath of fresh air and has a clear fanbase, but Harry noted she sang extremely out of tune. However, Keith commended her originality, and while Jennifer said it was a little "shaky," she typically loves what the artist does.
CJ Johnson, a 28-year-old musician from Memphis, TN, performed "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. Keith thought it was the perfect song for CJ because of his vocal range and the key it was in, but Harry said he needed to match his energy with singing in tune.
Tristan McIntosh, a 15-year-old student from Nashville, TN, took the stage with "Good Girl" by Carrie Underwood. The judges could tell she was in her head too much. Harry called Tristan "super talented" but he thought this performance was "just okay." Keith agreed she needed to pick a better song.
Adam Lasher, a 27-year-old songwriter and performer from Danville, CA, sang "Black and Gold" by Sam Sparro. Harry said he needed to perform with a certain intensity to make the audience groove with him. Keith was absolutely "baffled" why he selected that song, and Jennifer admitted she just couldn't get into it and he's better than that.