FOXWednesday’s edition of American Idol featured the season’s first live show, with host Ryan Seacrest revealing which eight guys would get the chance to sing once again for America’s vote to secure a spot as a top finalist.
The top eight guys, as decided by America’s vote, are Daniel Seavey, Mark Andrews, Rayvon Owen, Adam Ezegelian, Clark Beckham, Nick Fradiani, Qaasim Middleton and Quentin Alexander.
It was the end of the line for Riley Bria, Trevor Douglas, Savion Wright and Michael Simeon.
The top eight girls will be revealed Thursday night.
The top eight guys took the stage at The Fillmore Detroit Theater in the Motor City and performed classic Motown songs for judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., as well as America’s votes.
Aretha Franklin opened the show with a performance of “I Will Survive.”
The first performer of the night was 15-year-old Daniel Seavey, who sang Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You).” Keith loved the performance, declaring, “For me, all you need is to just keep doing this.” Keith, however, did urge Seavey to play around with the melodies a little more. Jennifer was also pleased with the performance, overall, but thought the key was a little low for Seavey. Harry didn’t think Seavey was “singing and swingin’ hard enough,” and said the teen needed to feel the beat a little more.
Mark Andrews was the next artist called to the stage. He tackled The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” The performance felt a little flat for Lopez, who said she didn’t “connect” with it. Connick loved what he called Andrews’ “jam band” arrangement, but wondered how far he would go in the competition if he did too many of them.
The next act up on the stage was Rayvon Owen, who followed with another Temptations song, “My Girl.” Harry complimented Owen on the performance, as well as his stage presence, but wanted to see other sides of Rayvon’s personality in the future. J-Lo praised the singer for making the song his own.
Adam Ezegelian sang “I Want You Back,” by the Jackson 5. Urban thought it was a great song choice. Jennifer also thought Ezegelian did an amazing job on the song. Harry declared the singer’s voice was his most “dangerous” talent, noting he was able to tackle a lot of really high notes and nail every one of them.
The next name announced was Clark Beckham, who took on Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears.” The audience enjoyed it, as well as Lopez, who declared Beckham had one of the best voices in the competition. She did, however, pass on some advice Aretha Franklin gave her about singing live, noting Clark should “not think so much” and just “let loose and feel” the song. Connick thought the performance showcased all of the strategic things an Idol performance needs, including a lot of high notes, but it lacked “a beginning a middle and an end.” Urban would have liked to see Beckham ditch the band and deliver a more stripped down performance.
Nick Fradiani tackled Stevie Wonders’ “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” Connick thought it was a great arrangement and performance, showcasing Fradiani’s guitar-playing skills, as well as his vocals, but urged Nick to smile a little more. Urban didn’t think the singer looked comfortable playing the guitar, noting it seemed to prevent him from moving around the stage.
Qaasim Middleton followed with Wonder’s “I Wish,” complete with some flashy dance moves. Keith said when Middleton gets in front of an audience he "just explodes." Jennifer also thought Middleton owned the stage, but warned him not to forget the vocal aspect of his performance. Harry declared, “That’s what we’re looking for.”
The last act to sing for America’s vote was Quentin Alexander, who had the audience and judges bopping to yet another Stevie Wonder tune, “Master Blaster (Jammin’).” After gushing, “I’m glad you’re here,” Lopez called Alexander’s performance “easy and smooth” and declared him one of her favorites in the competition. Connick said Quentin “settled into the groove” of the song, but noticed a little reservation during the performance, chalking it up to Alexander being “freaked out because was the last guy to get put through.” Urban praised the performance and said Quentin knows who he is and what songs suit him.
American Idol continues Thursday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
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