And Then There Were Ten

We’re getting close to somebody becoming the next American Idol and putting out a record. So, where I’m at now is discerning who sounds most like their own artist. While I am grading the quality of the performances, I‘m also factoring in whose performances I would intentionally choose to download, stream, or YouTube long after the season is over. In other words, I’m starting to imagine the Idolists as post-Idol artists.

The goal of the evening was to cut the field of eleven down to ten with a twist. Tonight was the first Judges Song Contest, a (cynical?) mashup of Idol’s competitors, The Great American Song Contest and The Voice. Each Idolist was given three song choices, one from each judge. The game for the judges was to see whose song choices were picked the most. And the twist was the winning judge would save one of the two Idolists receiving the fewest votes,

Here are my rankings in order of their performances using my usual scale:

  • A – Superior
  • B – Good, often meaning positive moments out-weighed negative ones
  • C – Meh, nothing memorable or distinctive
  • D – Ugh
  • F – A Gots-to-Go Situation

Nicolina (Kelly Clarkson Since You Been Gone/Lionel’s choice) Rock is not her thing. There is a big difference between singing a pop ballad and a rock song. Kelly Clarkson can sing everything. Nicolina cannot. She didn’t have the attack a rock song like Since You Been Gone needs. C

Mike Parker (Morgan Wallen Chasin’ You/Luke’s choice) I didn’t like this song choice for Mike. It did nothing for his voice. I didn’t feel the usual soul or country. And he was off-key several times. C

Fritz Hager (Oasis Wonderwall/Luke’s choice) Of his possible choices, I would have picked God Only Knows, but he was AMAZING on Wonderwall. I agree with Katy that his performance of it was brilliant. I like that he took on the challenge of choosing an unlikely song for him – AND was able to pull it off.[1] A

Christian Guardino (Sam Smith I’m Not the Only One/Katy’s choice) He’s too shouty for me. I’d love to hear him sing at 30 mph rather than flooring it to 100. C

Noah Thompson (John Mayer Heartbreak Warfare/Luke’s choice) I wish Mike had gotten this song. He would have slayed it. But Noah did OK. It was a bit sleepy. He’s got a nice voice, but nice voices are a dime a dozen. B

Lady K (Olivia Rodrigo traitor/Lionel’s choice) I didn’t like this song for her. It lost Lady K’s special sauce that makes her distinctive. She should have stuck with Carrie’s Jesus Take the Wheel. In rehearsal, she sounded so good on that. C

Huntergirl (Dolly 9-5/Luke’s choice) Just OK. I wouldn’t choose to listen to this version. I’d go to Dolly. Or I bet there are other good covers out there. She’s not that good a singer, which is why she’s better on her own material. Great stage presence as always, though. And I agree with my good friend and loyal long-time reader of these Musings that Huntergirl should have gone with the Chicks and “one of their best” Wide Open Spaces. B

Leah Marlene (Dylan Make You Feel My Love/Katy’s choice) Tender. Restrained. Evocative. Hers. A

Tristen Garrett (Rolling Stones You Can’t Always Get What You Want/Lionel’s choice) Cheesy lounge singer vocals. The performance was borderline SNL parody. F

Emyrson Flora (Billie Eilish feat. Khalid lovely/Katy’s choice) It was OK. Nothing special. I always like her better when she’s singing in her soft voice, which is a problem because that will eventually get boring. B

Jay (Jeff Buckley Lilac Wine/Katy’s choice) Immaculate. Best performance of the season. Best performance of several seasons. A+

Bottom Two in Votes: Lady K and Tristen.

Saved by Katy and Luke: Lady K. Luke and Katy were tied 4-4 in Idolists singing their choices, and they made the right choice between Lady K and Tristen.

See you next week.


[1] I’d still love to hear him cover God Only Knows. I think it could be a hit.

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