This is it. We finally will be introduced to the Top 20 girls and Top 20 guys by the end of this show, but first we get to see some solo performances from the girls.
The show starts with a reminder of the girls from the previous seasons who have been triumphant. Background music: Jordin Sparks "Battlefield"
Tonight the girls can sing one of the songs from the pre-approved list or an original song. They are accompanied by the Idol band.
Angela Miller- singing an original song entitled "You Set Me Free". She is accompanying herself on baby grand and the band joins in also. I wonder if she wrote the whole thing or someone helped with the arrangement for the band? This is an incredible performance. The song is awesome and so is Angela. The judges are floored. Standing "O" from all 4 judges. She receives the highest praises I've heard from this crew this season. I THINK SHE IS MY NEW FAVORITE.
Candice Glover- "This Girl Is On Fire" -yes, she is. Nice job. More praises from the judges.
Janelle Arthur- "I Told You So" - Perfect song for her voice. Nice job.
Zoanette Johnson- She is accompanying herself on drums. OK. She had another song ready but changed her mind at rehearsal with band. She just made up this song. That could be the kiss of death, but since she sang the National Anthem at her original audition, I bet this won't phase the judges either. Oh, the song is about the judges. It's insane, disorganized and, yet somehow, scarily entertaining. The judges love it. Stroking those egos, are we?
First group results: Candice, Janelle, Jett (didn't see her performance), Angela, and Zoanette all advance.
Kiara Lanier (didn't see her performance either) is sent home.
Shubha Vedula- "When You Believe" - Very Nice. Mariah is touched by the performance as she and Whitney had the duet on it.
Juliana Chahayed- 15- Woodland Hills, CA- (we haven't seen her perform before) "Landslide"- She does a lovely job on it. I hope we get to hear more from this girl.
Kez Ban- We see that Zoanette took her shopping for a special dress for the performance. Kez is singing an original song, her favorite one. Of course she is playing her guitar. The song sounds like something that would have worked in a 1960's Beat-Nik coffee shop. Not bad at all, just not Idol material. Nicki sends her home right away. KezBan is sad to leave and Ryan puts her to work working with a boom mic.
Ashlee Feliciano- "A Thousand Years"- Ashlee says she isn't feeling well but she still sounds good. She hits a very high falsetto ending on the song.
Melinda Ademi- 19- Yonkers, NY- (Have we only seen her in the groups?) Finally an uptempo song. Nice job.
Kree Harrison- 22- Woodville, TX- Demo singer. (First time for background info on Kree) She has chosen to sing "Stars" by Grace Potter because it reminds her of her parents. She lost her dad when she was 12 and lost her mother when she was 19. She has a really nice voice. Keith got chills from her performance.
Next set of results: Lauren ?, Kree, and Melinda advance
Ashlee , Briana Oakley, and Sarina-Joi Crowe head home.
So at the end of the solo rounds there are still 24 girls remaining and only 20 are advancing. Lauren Mink, Holly Miller, and Ariel Sprague (I remember her from last season, but didn't even know she was there this year) are going home. We have a sing-off for the final spot.
Stephanie Schimel- "Home" It's sweet, but let's see what else we have.
Rachel Hale- the happy girl- Now this is a powerful performance. I think we have a winner.
Yep, I'm right. Rachel is safe and Stephanie heads home. We now have 20 girls.
Time for the slaughter in the guys group. They made them wait a week to see which 8 are not moving on in the competition. (I wonder if it was actually a week or that was just said for editing for television?)
Sing-off time for the guys.
Adam Sanders- He's from my hometown of San Antonio. Singing "Taking Chances" by Celine. He sounds a little flat, off from the band. We will see what else is offered up but Adam is only 19 and can come back next year.
Josh Holiday- 22- Celeste, Tx (No, not tow Texans against each other. Who do I route for?) Josh wants to be a gospel singer. Josh is singing "Georgia" and he is doing a really good job. Maybe a little too passionate. He falls to his knees and splits his pants.
Ok, time for who's going home.
Peter Garrett (first time to hear his full name), Marvin Calderon, Devin Jones, Kenny Harrison (never saw him before), Will White (haven't seen him either), Tony Foster, David Leather Jr, and Adam Sanders are all heading home. This is the second year in a row that David Leathers has been eliminated at the last cut..
So now we have 20 guys and 20 girls. Our next round is in Vegas. Each contestant will have one song and one chance to prove themselves. It's "Sudden Death."
So here are the names of the top 40 that I was able to spot on the stage or saw perform:
+ six more
Curtis Finch Jr
Gurpreet Singh Sarin
Right now my favorite guys are Charlie Askew and Lazaro Arbos.
My favorite girls are Angela Miller, Shubha Vedula, and ...I'm just not sure after that. Some very promising girls this year, but we will see who survives next week and who the Idol audience will vote for.