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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 30 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

American Idol XIV: Hollywood Week #4

Our writer and Idol expert, Andrew Rogers is back this season covering the popular FOX reality show, “American Idol“. The pressure is on and the stakes are high as the musical competition searches for a real superstar in its fourteenth year. With weekly recaps discussing the contestants’ performances and choices, Rogers looks ahead at what’s in-store each week in his exclusive Idol recap series.

Tonight, it was do or die for the remaining Idol hopefuls as the judges narrowed it down to just 48 who would advance and sing at the House of Blues next week. Some of those who advanced did, in fact, bring their A-game while others may have skirted by on the basis of previous performances. We saw a few noteworthy names stumble and fall right out of the competition, but before that, let’s talk about the contestants that gave us something to think about going into next week:

Loren sings “Skyfall”. [Credit: FOX Entertainment]

Loren Lott singing “Skyfall” by Adele – Loren was the night’s first performance a showed off some soaring vocals as she got deeper into the song. Honestly, I thought Loren was a little bit of a floater, but this performance gave me Candice Glover vibes and that isn’t a compliment I hand out easily. She definitely made herself one to watch.

Quentin sings “Riptide”. [Credit: FOX Entertainment]

Quentin Alexander singing “Riptide” by Vance Joy – Quentin’s playfulness with his fashion and the judges warmed me to him right off the bat but his slowed down, soulful version of the song really pegged him as more than just the token weird contestant. He’s got a voice and its very current. He’s intrigued me to see more.

Jax singing “Let It Be” by the Beatles – Jax’s performance was the background music to a montage of several other contestants, but when they actually cut to her, I realized it wasn’t just a beautiful recording of the song but her actually singing it. That kind of effortlessness and uniqueness is what makes her standout from the pack and what, I think, makes her a frontrunner amongst an already pretty darn talented lot.

Nick Fradiani singing “Babylon” by David Gray – I don’t know if you remember when Sam Woolf sang this last season. Sam’s voice was perfect for the song, but the judges after said he looked like a deer in the headlights and was missing the emotion. Nick gave us the version Sam should have given and I, like the judges, chalk it up to experience. I hadn’t really taken notice of Nick in the early weeks, but now I’m paying attention.

Clark Beckham singing “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding – Clark’s performance always start off very simple and unassuming, but by the time he gets into them, his voice gets this amazing grit and passion that – based on the reaction of the judges and his fellow contestants – really blows people away. I see why he, amongst all the “White Guys With Guitars” this season has advanced as far as he has. And he’s got a funny personality to boot.

Frontrunners Joey Cook (singing “Across the Universe” by the Beatles) and Mark Andrew (singing “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver) both messed up their words, but were given a pass based on their unique voices. We also saw short but memorable clips of Riley Bria (singing “Riding In My Car” by Keith Urban) and Tyanna Jones (singing “Try” by Colbie Callait). All in all, I agreed with all the advances and cuts tonight. We lost Ron “Big Sexy” Wilson for his inability to work well with the band, Adam Lasher for a rather odd version of “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty and Jess Lamb for reasons unknown.

In the category of contestants I still need more from are:

Maddie Walker – I get it, she’s got that young, pretty country thing but so far none of her performance have captivated me. Give me something with attitude or emotion, make me feel something.

Daniel Seavey – The kid is cute and talented, but his version of “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran fell flat in comparison to Trevor’s inventive version at the beginning of Hollywood Week. On top of that, it was a predictable song choice for him. Give me something unexpected.

Trevor Douglas – I love his personality, but none of his performances have given me creative, interesting song choices in the way that say, Qaasim Middleton’s have. I want him to go out on a limb and pick something original before the live rounds start.

Shi Scott – She’s very pretty and her voice definitely has a cool tone to it, but nothing she’s picked has fit her in the way I want it too. I need her to maybe ease into her performances a bit more, to seem comfortable and to pick a song that she can deliver on.

Michael Simeon – Again, I’ve just yet to feel anything from this guy. He’s got a pretty voice but that just doesn’t cut it when it comes to picking favorites. Even on Colbie Calliat’s “Try” he barely had a hint of the feeling that goes into that song.

That’s it for tonight. A bit longer than usual, but I want to hear what you thought. Is there anyone you want more from? Do you have any favorites yet? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll see you next week as the Final 48 take the stage at the House of Blues!

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