There’s a lot that’s about to happen on American Idol in the next couple episodes. Not only will we find out who’s making it into the Top 12, but the contestants will also be performing twice in one week — on Wednesday and Thursday — then we’ll suddenly be down to the Top 10 next week when Idol slims down to airing only once a week. But let’s take things one step at a time and focus on who will advance to the Top 12.
In case you’re not aware of how the next episode will go down, let me explain: according to TVLine, 10 of the contestants will be voted through based on America’s votes. Then the judges will select two singers as Wild Card picks, leaving us with our Top 12 for season 14. Those 12 will reprise their audition songs during the same hour.
So who will be this year’s Top 12? Will there be any shockers? Let’s take a look at the Top 16 who performed Motown songs and their chances of staying or going.
Nick Fradiani: Nick’s first semifinals performance was by far the best of the night. So expectations were obviously going to be high for him going into the Top 16. His Motown performance of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” was good — there wasn’t really anything wrong with it — but I wanted to feel something more, like I did with “Thinking Out Loud.” Having said that, I’m confident he’s still riding high from the previous performance, and for now, he’s definitely a frontrunner, so he’s safe.
Qaasim Middleton: I apologize in advance if I end up saying every week that he’s an entertainer first and a singer last, but here comes the broken record because that statement is still ringing true. Having said that, during “I Wish,” there were some moments on the entertainment side of things that I did like, which made me appreciate the performance better than his Top 24 set, but the voice is still just okay. We all know he’s not going anywhere, though.
Quentin Alexander: Like with Qaasim’s, I feel that Quentin’s Top 16 performance was an improvement over his Top 24 number (though it was only towards the end that I started to like it). There’s not much else I can say about “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” other than to say he’ll be in the Top 12.
Tyanna Jones: Performing first or early on in the night isn’t always a good spot to be in. For Tyanna, though, the producers must have felt that she has a big enough fan base to keep her in that they were fine having her go first. And I believe she does. Her “Rockin’ Robin” performance was so much fun to watch and listen to, and it was a Tyanna Jones performance through and through.
Sarina-Joi Crowe: Again, Sarina-Joi provided one of the best performances of the night with her cover of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.” Singing a slower song doesn’t always work to a contestant’s benefit, but for Sarina, she brought that song to life in a beautiful way. Barring some big stumbles, she’ll be here for weeks and weeks to come.
Jax: Jax is one of the frontrunners, for sure. I loved her spin on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” — it’s risks like this that need to be made more on this show. Plus, it helps that she created buzz by wearing #TheDress. I was surprised, though, when the judges criticized her performance. Because of that, I’m wondering if America is more split on this than I would think they’d be. But it shouldn’t matter because what she has going for her overwhelmingly outweighs any non-existent mistakes the judges may have pointed out.
In the Middle
Rayvon Owen: I’m still thinking about Rayvon’s cover of “Jealous” and especially those falsettos, which he whipped out again for “My Girl.” While he sounded pretty good, at this point I can’t stand to listen to another cover of “My Girl” — this song has been done to death and needs to be banned, frankly. But I don’t think voters will be as frustrated with the song choice as I am. Even though he’s in the middle, I would like to see him continue on because I believe he has what it takes to bring back more top-notch performances like the Nick Jonas cover.
Clark Beckham: Well, I’ll admit that it was a mistake predicting Clark’s demise last time around. (I only did it because I was so sure supposed “fan-favorite” Savion Wright would stay.) I’m definitely not doing that again — at least not heading into the Top 12. I still don’t think he’s as good as others are making him out to be, and the reason is because while he always has moments where he’s really fantastic, there are just as many moments where he’s off — but he’s definitely got fans rooting for him, and that’ll keep him here.
Joey Cook: We all know the song “Shop Around,” so to see Joey turn it into more of a jazz number was really amazing. She pulled off the whole presentation of this performance really well. I get that not everyone is going to like her style, but for now, it’s enough for her to stick around.
Daniel Seavey: Oh, Daniel. Why are you still here? Even if you’ve never seen any of his performances before, just focusing on “How Sweet It is to Be Loved By You” is enough proof for why he needs to be eliminated. It was a very amateurish performance and his voice, as always, is still not mature enough (very thin sounding). While I had a feeling he’d make it this far, I have no idea what America and/or the judges will decide this time around when it comes to Daniel. If America votes him out, I really hope the judges don’t consider him for a Wild Card spot.
Adam Ezegelian: Adam is still delivering really fun performances. I’m a huge fan of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5’s music. For Adam to change the arrangement so drastically could have been a disaster, but I loved it. Maybe the majority of voters will disagree and he’ll go home … we’ll see.
Loren Lott: We know Loren has the pipes (and we heard that on display at times during both of her semifinals performances), but again, she needs to work on tightening up her vocals better so that she’s not as pitchy, dawg. “I Wanna Be Where You Are” was not a good song choice for her. Is there too much working against her to overcome elimination? She’s not in a good position at the moment.
Maddie Walker: I wouldn’t be surprised if Maddie is cut. Her voice was quite beautiful on “I’ll Be There.” But it wasn’t all that exciting. I think she has potential in this competition; I just hope she can take advantage of that and showcases herself better.
Alexis Gomez: I’m very torn on this decision. As you’ll see below, I’m predicting she’ll go home. But the reason why I’m torn is because she got the pimp spot, which could really help her out, especially since her “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” performance feels more suited to karaoke night not American Idol. If only she had performed earlier in the night, this would be an easy decision to call. If she stays (most likely resulting in Loren or Maddie’s exit instead), I’ll be kicking myself for not sticking with my initial feelings about this, that the pimp spot could save her.
Definitely Going Home
Mark Andrew: I’m a fan of Mark. I want to see him do well. But I can’t justify keeping him around anymore after “Papa was a Rolling Stone,” which was very underwhelming.
Adanna Duru: Maybe I’m making the same mistake again by predicting she’ll be eliminated after she advanced into the Top 16. If she does make the Top 12, I’ll have to try and figure out what America sees in her that I’m not seeing. Her take on “Hello” (which was a really good song choice) was better than “Rather Be,” but it was still very average and not a performance worthy of advancing her to the Top 12.
Top 12 Predictions
As mentioned earlier, America will choose 10 singers, then the judges will pick two for the Wild Card spots. While I haven’t heard if it has to be one guy and one girl, or if the judges can select two girls or two guys, I’m going on the assumption that the producers want the gender split to be even.
Who do you think will advance to the Top 12? Are there any singers you are sure will make it even though they don’t deserve to? Share your predictions in the comments section below (and please refrain from spoiling the results before the show airs).
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)