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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: Top 12 Girls

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.

On Thursday night, the girls got the chance to take the stage in the Motor City and show America what they had to offer with their minute-and-a-half set. Some rose to the occasion while others made questionable song choices that may hurt them next week when one-third of their group is sent home. But enough with the numbers, let’s talk performances…

Lovey James – “Love Runs Out” (OneRepublic) – I haven’t really liked or seen anything I’ve been impressed with from Lovey so far in the competition but I, like the judges, thought this performance got better once it got going. It definitely started a little low for her though, but at least she realizes that her sweet spot is that edgy-pop, so I give her credit. But going first and being “just okay” never did anyone favours. Rating: C-

Adanna Duru – “Rather Be” (Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne) – Unlike Lovey, Adanna’s performance suffered from a smattering of sharp notes in the chorus. Did I appreciate her attempt at turning the song into something different? Sure. And the performance had it’s moments, but overall I think it might be a little forgettable. Rating: C

Alexis Gomez – “Gunpowder and Lead” (Miranda Lambert) – While Alexis’ version of this song wasn’t terrible, I think she might have done well to go back through Idol history and watch Skylar Laine’s version. This song requires a bit of attitude, not just straight forward singing. I do give her credit for getting the crowd engaged and using her experience as a performer to her advantage. I just hope it pays off for her. Rating: B-

Joey Cook – “Somebody Like You” (Keith Urban) – If you’ve ever heard New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel sing in her band She & Him, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Joey’s voice is reminiscent of her’s. Major kudos for busting out her “squeezebox” and flipping Keith’s country-pop hit on it’s head. I do think that she’s going to have to do a few straight-up-the-middle covers here and there though to avoid polarizing the half of the Idol audience that just doesn’t get her shtick. Rating: B

Katherine Winston – “Safe and Sound (The Civil Wars feat. Taylor Swift)” –While Katherine’s tone and attention to detail came through crystal-clear in this performance, her stage fright showed a little on her face and, like the judges said, seemed to suck the life out of a song that should be very tender and emotional. I’m still of the disposition that Katherine is one of the more vocally talented contestants this year, but I think this timid performance could cost her a spot in next week’s show. She needed a standout performance. Rating: C+

Jax after her performance. [Credit: FOX Entertainment]

Shannon Berthiaume – “Who Knew (Pink)” – Shannon missed the mark completely on her song choice. I do agree that she has the raspy chops to take on a Pink song, but Who Knew is a sleepy little track that didn’t give her a chance to ever really dig into it. I would have preferred “Try” or even the track Pink penned for Idol Alum Adam Lambert, “Whattaya Want From Me”. I think Shannon’s in a bit of trouble after this. Rating: C-

Loren Lott – “Note to God (Charice)” – While Loren’s performance was cheesy and more than a bit over-the-top, I did think there were moments that reminded us of the vocal talent she displayed in her performance of “Skyfall” a few weeks back. If she advances, I hope she can tone it down a little while still using her powerful instrument wisely. Rating: C+

Shi Scott – “Umbrella (Rihanna)” – And the award for the worst song choice of the night goes to… Shi. I really thought this girl had the potential to go far with her Amy Winehouse-type voice, but this song was just not the right fit for her at all. At times she seemed to be growling her way through it and I almost couldn’t wait for it to end. Sorry Shi, but if you miraculously survive this one, pick something more up your alley next week. Rating: D-

Maddie Walker – “Love Gets Me Everytime (Shania Twain)” – Like Lovey, I came into tonight with no positive feelings about her, so she had an uphill battle and while the Shania track that she chose was lesser known and a bit mid-tempo, like Keith said, I thought she nailed it on the song choice front and really seemed comfortable in this one. Rating: B+

Sarina-Joi Crowe – “Mama Knows Best” (Jessie J) – A bad rendition of this song can sound like a cat yelping on the neighbour’s fence, but Sarina owned every aspect of this performance from the attitude to the great vocals to the control of the band. Normally I hate hyperboles from the judges about contestants doing something “better than the original”, but I have to say I agree with JLo that Sarina could give Jessie J a run for her money with this performance. Rating: A+

Jax – “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) (Nancy Sinatra)” – Jax knows who she is and it’s never boring to watch her explore her niche because it isn’t so narrow as to turn people off, like Joey’s sometimes might be. The subdued beginning of this performance really played into the breathy, sandpapered-edges tone of Jax’s voice and when she picked it up and gave it a bit of oompfh, I wasn’t made in the slightest. Everything in this performance felt perfectly rehearsed and executed, but still natural. Ladies and gents, we have a contender! Rating: A

Tyanna Jones – “Lips Are Movin’ (Meghan Trainor)” – This song was perfect for Tyanna’s old-school charm turned modern and poppy. She’s basically the new and improved version of Majesty York from last season. I say that because she doesn’t overthink her performances and while her vocals are “blow you out of the water” impressive like Sarina’s, she does know what she’s doing with her voice and inserts the occasional lick to remind you that she’s got the goods to pull off a fun uptempo performance like this, which is a rarity on Idol these days. Rating: A-

In terms of eliminations, if I had to pick I’d say the four boots will be some combination of Shi, Shannon, Katherine, Adanna and Lovey. It all depends on who America is wiling to give a second chance with their votes.

Next week, we’ll find out which eight are going home, but until then, vote in the poll below for your 3 favourite females. Plus, check out my recap on the Top 12 guys and vote in that poll if you haven’t already!

Also, Kelly Clarkson’s new album “Piece By Piece” is out next Tuesday March 3rd, so go take a listen to some of the tracks that are already up on iTunes. I’ll be posting a review of the album the day after it’s released to let you know what I think of the Idol Winner’s first post-marriage and baby album.

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2 Comments on “American Idol XIV: Top 12 Girls”

  1. Todd February 27, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    I voted for Loren and Joey last night. Jax was good, but she’s almost too confident, in my opinion, trying to pause to make the audience anticipate her, etc, and it’s a little bit of a turn off to me. Loren acts confident, but is shocked and ecstatic each time she gets praise. She’s much more humble and likeable. I like her crazy.

    Joey… I just loved last night. She’s quirky and different, and that should take her to Top 6 or so unless she messes up somewhere along the way. There are better singers than Joey, but they’re not standing out like Joey, presently (like Adanna), so I feel like Joey is in a better position.

    I don’t like how people are calling this a guy’s competition after last night. The guys were overall stronger, yes, but this was one week, and some of the ladies have been hella strong throughout the entire competition. I still think a female can take this.

    Honestly, I’d like a female to take the crown this year. I was almost done with Idol around Season 12 because I was tired of the WGWG winning each year, but then Candice won, and it got me excited again. A girl does not have to win for me to be happy, but I would prefer it not be a white guy with a guitar. Quaasim or Quentin could take it home too and change up peoples’ expectations.

  2. Elizabeth Rosalyn The February 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    The last three were the best three. Sarina, Jax, and Tyanna are such engaging performers and talented vocalists. I also really like Joey’s originality. I think those four in particular will make Season 14 thrilling to watch!

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