Last time on American Idol, one of the show’s most successful singers returned to the stage that started it all for him. Adam Lambert reprised his most iconic performance, “Mad World,” and performed a brand-new song called “Welcome to the Show.”
Oh, right, and there was a competition going on as well, with the contestants performing twice and one elimination. When there’s Idol nostalgia going on, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else sometimes. Anyway, with only five finalists left in the competition, who is on the chopping block next? Let’s make our predictions.
Last time, I said, ‘What else is there to say about La’Porsha?'” Well, here’s something to add: we’re used to seeing La’Porsha come out and sing these big showstopper songs. But what I found really interesting is that in the previous episode, she opted for something a little different than normal but no less extraordinary. “Ready for Love” started off more on the slow side (not boring, though) and she allowed the song to build during the performance. Then on “No More Drama,” La’Porsha ended the night in the most amazing way. It was the culmination of the story she shared and the emotion that came with it that created a powerful moment. When Kelly Clarkson performed “Piece by Piece” on Idol a few weeks ago, that was an extraordinary and emotional moment. I wondered if any of this season’s contestants had the ability to do something like that. Well, we now know La’Porsha does.
In the Middle
When performing two songs in one night, the contestants have the ability to redeem themselves if they have a misstep. That’s what happened with MacKenzie. He was completely forgettable in the first round on “Wild World,” then the complete opposite when he returned to the stage for “Billie Jean.” I wanted to hate his performance since David Cook has the best cover of this song ever. Fortunately, MacKenzie didn’t try to copy either the original or Cook’s rendition. Instead, he gave us a more intimate arrangement that worked perfectly for his style.
Trent had a similar situation as MacKenzie. “Counting Stars” was a mess. But he came back with “Simple Man” and delivered a performance that was better than I expected it to be. It never crossed my mind for Trent to do a Lynyrd Skynyrd song, but he succeeded with it. Both MacKenzie and Trent did a good job of redeeming themselves after their first performances.
The only thing that could save Sonika right now is Dalton. He just hasn’t lived up to how great he was in the beginning. That disappointment continued with both of his performances in the previous episode. “Numb” had some good vocals but wasn’t memorable. “The Sound of Silence” was better but still mixed — I didn’t like the first half of the performance, though he improved greatly during the second half and really connected with the lyrics. Something else that could negatively affect Dalton’s chances is his placement. During round two, his performance was broken up from the rest of the contestants by Adam Lambert premiering his new song. It’s almost as if the producers did that on purpose so people would forget Dalton.
I keep expecting Sonika to go home and she hasn’t. She’s been in trouble lately, and that’ll likely continue until she’s gone. Her voice was pretty good on “Let It Go,” but the arrangement felt clunky, likely because they’re only given a certain amount of time to sing and she tried to fit everything in. Because of that, she fell short of creating something special. And I liked Sonika’s take on “Clarity.” Since she’s been facing elimination the past couple weeks, I just don’t see her fans rallying around her enough to keep her out of the bottom two spots. But will she have enough support to stay over someone like Dalton? That’s the big question. The judges can’t save her anymore, so she’s on her own. And that could very well result in her elimination.
(Also, did anyone else notice that Sonika was the only singer to not have a sob story in their intro videos? She goes to a country club — not something most of us can relate to.)
Which singer is going home? Is it a given that Sonika’s saying goodbye or could there be a surprise? Vote in the poll below and share your predictions in the comments section.
American Idol airs Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)