AMERICAN IDOL Recap: Going Solo!

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Solo Performance night of Hollywood Week is ‘Idol’s’ first major attempt to get us to care about this season’s contestants and decide if we’re interested in seeing more of them.
The contestants get a full band, an audience and a big stage on which to perform. It’s the real crucible to see if they’re cut out to make it on the live shows and, of course, to see if they can make an impact and make us care about them going forward.
Here’s my assessment of the contestants from whom we got to see a full performance last night.

Loren Lott opened the show with “Skyfall” from Adele. She couldn’t quite handle the size of the song and had a pretty generic sound. A total lack of charisma had me forgetting her lackluster almost immediately. That doesn’t bode well, but the judges let her stick around anyway.
Verdict: I Don’t Care

Everybody’s favorite little pre-pubescent 75-pounder Daniel Seavey took the stage to take on Ed Sheeran. I’m actually not sure who would win in that fight. Daniel managed to get over his voice cracking but is still so young that he seems like somebody doing an impression of a singer. Still, he actually has a pretty good sound. Of course he got through. This kid could actually end up winning.
Verdict: I’m Interested

After an odd backstage battle with Rickey Minor over who actually knows more about music (I’ll take Minor), Big Ron sang “Let’s Get it On” like a cruise ship singer complete with a weird safari hat. He then proceeded to further rip Minor, accusing him of having a Napoleon complex in front of everybody. Surprising nobody, the judges sent him home quite quickly.
Verdict: I Don’t Care

Shi Scott was one big nervous twitch before her performance to the point that she seemed unable to breathe before she took the mic. Once the music started; however, all her nerves disappeared and she absolutely rocked some James while looking like an absolute pop goddess. I’m looking forward to hearing more of her, but I’m really looking forward to seeing more of her.
Verdict: I’m Interested

I’m usually inclined to hate any dude who takes the stage in a fedora, but Adam Lasher did such a cool alt-country/blues version of “Free Fallin’” that I’m giving him the rare fedora pass. The judges, though, did not send him through for reasons I can’t quite grasp. He’ll make money as a musician though. I’m sure of it.
Verdict: I’m Interested

Much more was made of how Quentin Alexander was dressed than his vocals. His re-work of “Riptide” was pretty cool, but I’d prefer him to be more than just a wild outfit. We’ll get to see if he transcends that as the judges gave him another shot.
Verdict: I’m Not Interested

Everybody’s favorite hypochondriac Alexis Granville managed to take the stage without another fainting spell. She wasn’t able to actually sing in the same key as the band in one of the biggest bombs of a performance we’ve ever seen at this stage. Harry simply stopped her cold after she failed not once, but twice to find the band’s key. She should just be thankful JK Simmons wasn’t the judge. “Not My Key!”
Verdict: I’m Interested

Undeserved mononym Jax did a very Jax version of “Let it Be” with her crazy unique tone and, of course, looking like an 18-year-old blonde super model. I’m not sure if I hate or dig her, but I definitely want to see what exactly she’ll do on this show as it progresses.
Verdict: I’m Interested

Nick Fradiani is 28 and looks about 38, especially when compared to all the youngsters they keep trotting out on this show. He’s a pretty typical emo lead singer about ten years too late with not much to make him stand out. The judges let him hang around, but I don’t see that lasting much longer.
Verdict: I’m Not Interested

Oh God, it’s the psychic cat girl Katherine Skinner corking her bat with “Alone” by Heart and absolutely failing with it. I didn’t know that was possible. Ever since Allison Iraheta sang this song in season eight, it’s been a total sure thing that it leads to a good performance. Well, the streak has ended with Skinner. And she got sent back to her late psychic cat for her trouble.
Verdict: I’m Not Interested

I like this Clark Beckham guy. He sounds like the Sanford –Townsend Band which is a pretty big compliment from me because I just love that AM Radio stuff. There’s not really been a contestant quite like him yet on this show because nobody under the age of fifty would probably ever strive for this sound. The judges dug it though, so I get to see more of my early favorite.
Verdict: I’m Interested

Mark Andrew has a real authenticity to his Joe Cocker tone despite looking like a Zac Brown Band reject. He may have made up half the words to the song he sang, but they sure sounded good coming out of his throat. The judges agreed and we’ll get to see more of him.
Verdict: I’m Interested

Be sure to check back next week as we recap live performances from the contestants at The House of Blues and then assess the contestants who get to America’s vote. That’s right, last week before the live shows is next!

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