American Idol Season 14 is keeping us all on our toes with this new format. As a person who has never seen Dancing With the Stars (nope, not a single episode) it's been an adjustment to see how this same-day elimination format works.
So far, so good. I like it.
Oh look! A group sing! These aren't at all just as cheesy as they've always been! (That's sarcasm, btw. These are easily the silliest part of any Idol episode ever.)
Tonight's theme is "Movie Night" and J.Lo will be "performing" a song from her new movie, Home. Performing is in quotes because this will obviously be a pre-recorded performance and she'll mysteriously disappear from the judges table for a trip to the powder room while she's "performing" only to return to the table as pristine as she was when she left despite radically different costuming, hair, makeup, the works.
The first person safe this week is Adanna Duru. She picks "I Love You, I Do" from Dreamgirls, which could be awesome. Or awful. It's definitely a middle of the road performance. She's pitchy and screamy and not great. Plus the energy is sort of boring.
Keith thought it was a good song choice. Jennifer thought she sounded nice on the high parts but not great on the low parts. She also didn't feel the emotional connection of the song. Harry starts his comment by telling her she looks nice and then tells her to sing to the audience instead of the camera. 5/10
Daniel Seavey is still here! He's chosen an Adam Levine song, "Lost Stars." He opts strip it down with just his guitar to begin before a cello comes in to back him. The beginning is rough. He hits a bum note and knows it. He's constantly pushing and it feels like his voice just isn't strong enough to carry the number.
Jennifer calls him a cutie and says he did an ok job. Harry tells him to rehearse. Keith thought it was a good performance and tells him to dig in and get into the song. 7/10
Rayvon Owen is up next, and he's chosen "Stayin' Alive." He has the potential to speed things up a little but it sounds like he's actually going to slow things down. The beginning is almost creepy and there's something about his hat tonight that is giving me a Nightmare on Elm Street vibe instead of Saturday Night Fever, but hey, he's jamming with Rickey Minor and Rickey Minor knows how to jam.
Harry admired the arrangement but doesn't think Rayvon is very interesting because he doesn't do much with substance. Keith wants Rayvon to do something where he's going to stand out more. Jennifer just wants to be excited by his performances and tonight she wasn't. 7/10
The fourth person safe is Nick Fradiani! He's going throwback with "Danger Zone" from Top Gun. (Half the contestants in the competition with him probably haven't even seen this movie.) He sounds great, he looks amazing, and he's not doing a park and bark. His is the best performance of the night so far.
Keith kicks off the commentary by saying Nick's getting more comfortable on the stage without his guitar. Jennifer thought he picked a great song but wants him to get out of his own head when he sings. Harry thought it was the wrong song. 9/10
Joey Cook is sticking around for another week! She picked "Mad World" from Donnie Darko. Adam Lambert KILLED THIS so she's got some big shoes to fill. She starts with her back to the judges and slowly turns around on her stool as the camera pans around her. THAT was her best performance to date on the show.
Jennifer called it beautiful and loved the different side Joey showed. Harry loves that she stays in her lane but finds ways to widen that lane. Keith loves the depth of her artistry and brings attention to the lyric of the song. 10/10
We're halfway through. The sixth contestant is Tyanna Jones! She's chosen "Circle of Life" from The Lion King. She ramps up fast to the more powerful parts of the song which doesn't really do her any favors. She gives a solid performance, but it's not my favorite of hers. There are a few pitch problems and it's like she's trying to be too powerful.
Harry loves that she has the ability to achieve great results with little effort but tonight wasn't her night. Keith noted her serious pitch issues but loves her. Jennifer knows she's going to be here again next week. 6.5/10
Quentin Alexander is the next safe contestant. He's chosen a song "You're The One That I Want" from Grease. The song's a duet, so this is going to be interesting. He's slowed the song allllllllll the way down and it's really, really haunting and beautiful. There's a bit of a pitch issue at the end, but that was so bizarrely beautiful.
Keith calls it an interesting performance and advises Quentin to relax. Jennifer calls it, and I quote "haunting and beautiful" and I swear I wrote my comment before hearing hers. Harry says if he's going to feature his vocals he has to have his pitch on point. 8/10
Maddie Walker is still in the game somehow with "Let's Hear It For the Boy" from Footloose. She tries Joey's move of turning away from the audience to begin which is a dumb move for this song plus now I'm dizzy. She does my least favorite thing in songs and that's when singers can't do vocal runs so they do them anyway and end up losing the ends of their words. This girl is just not a strong singer when it comes to the other competition in this season. She's a pageant girl.
Jennifer called it "cute" and "sweet." Harry didn't think it was good because he doesn't know who Maddie is. Maddie doesn't know either. Keith didn't think this was a good song choice and thought she should've chosen a ballad. 5/10
The 8th person to make it is Clark Beckham. He's picked "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5. He's not even finished and I already know this is my favorite performance of the night. His guitar is the only music on the stage which makes this such a stripped down performance it's impossible not to feel it.
Harry said Clark put his arrangement on that song and knocked it out of the park. Keith wants him to put a little smile on it. Jennifer calls it beautiful. 10/10
We're down to the final safe contestant for this week unless the judges use their save. Will it be Jax or Qaasim Middleton?
OH LOOK! Another commercial break and 20 minutes to go for only two songs!
Jax is safe. And now she has to sing. "Grow Old With You" to be exact. That's what she's singing. It's a very cool and different choice. I wish she had any idea what to do with her non-microphone holding hand when she sings. She's totally channeling Joey Cook here, but I like it? Yeah. I like it. It's pretty neat.
Keith loved that she chose that song. Jennifer thought it played well into the quirkiness in her voice. Harry calls her a "high risk, high reward" performer and says this paid off. 9/10
Now it's Qaasim Middleton singing for the save. It'll probably be his swan song, but he's chosen "Come Together." He's throwing it all out there, including a Joker card at that lyric. He really just lays it all out on the stage and gives the performance of a lifetime. That's what's so great about him is that he's just a straight up performer. A total character.
Ryan goes to Harry for the verdict and the verdict is...that was the best performance of the night and...they are saving him. Qaasim Middleton gets another week.
It could be all for naught. Next week there will be two eliminations. Maddie Walker should be there but she'll probably be safe. Qaasim could find himself there again because that's a common occurrence after a save. Adanna Duru might find herself on the way out next week, too.
We'll find out when American Idol Season 14 goes 80s!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.