Reaching the semifinals on American Idol is a big deal. For those who can snag a spot in the Top 31, they’ll not only be able to perform on live TV, but viewers will have the chance to vote them into the Top 13. No pressure or anything.

This week, the judges will reveal their decisions on this year’s semifinalists. So the final performance before that crucial announcement is critical. FOX has released three previews from Thursday’s episode showcasing a few more final performances.

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American Idol has 12 seasons under its belt, and throughout the years, we’ve seen many contestants fall ill or have some sort of health issues that can affect their performances. That’s what’s happens to Neco Starr. They don’t say exactly what’s wrong with his throat, but he does seem a little off his game when singing Beyonce’s “Halo.”

Overall, he does well, but it’s those higher notes that throw him off. Will the judges give him a pass or is this going to derail his chances of becoming a semifinalist?

Performing original songs have become a trend this year, and Savion Wright does just that for his final performance before finding out his fate. Unfortunately, here’s another singer not sounding quite as good he has before. I don’t know if it’s the song itself or the way he sings it (or maybe a combination of both), but something’s not right here.

Savion has been featured quite a bit in previous episodes, so the judges might end up disregarding this performance and making their decision just on what they’ve heard from him before.

At the end of the above clip, Savion is with the judges. Keith Urban commends him on various things like playing an original tune. But his tone when he’s talking almost seems like there’s a ‘but’ about to happen.¬†

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Idol aired Marrialle Sellars’ audition twice, so obviously the producers are pegging her as a favorite. But she’s not as good as they’re making her out to be. Case in point: here, she performs Miley Cyrus‘ “Wrecking Ball” and her voice most of the time just isn’t as good as the producers want us to believe.

But on the flip side, what the below clip does showcase is her command of the stage, like when she directs the band to “bring it down,” as Harry Connick, Jr. says. Hey, it’s better than singers who get up there and don’t have any stage presence whatsoever.

What do you think of these performance previews? Did anybody stand out to you? Will Neco’s throat issue affect his chances? And are the producers being too obvious in their support of Marrialle or is she that good?

American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.