FOXThursday’s edition of American Idol featured host Ryan Seacrest revealing which eight girls would get the chance to sing once again for America’s vote to secure a spot as a top finalist.
The top eight girls, as decided by America’s vote, are Tyanna Jones, Loren Lott, Maddie Walker, Joey Cook, Sarina-Joi Crowe, Adanna Duru, Jax and Alexis Gomez.
It was the end of the line for Lovey James, Katherine Winston, Shannon Berthiaume and Shi Scott.
The top eight guys were revealed Wednesday night.
The show returns to Los Angeles next week, where the top 12 guys and girls will be revealed.
Aretha Franklin, who performed on Wednesday’s show, took some time out during Thursday's program to give the contestants helpful advice. She also cheered them on by declaring, “Fifty years ago, myself, Smokey Robinson, Diana , and Gladys , we all met the challenge, and you guys can meet the challenge too.”
The top eight girls 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.
The first girl called up to the stage was 16-year-old Tyanna Jones, who sang the classic pop hit “Rockin’ Robin.” Keith thought it was a perfect song choice that played to all of Tyanna’s vocal strengths. Jennifer said Tyanna's performance gave her a “throwback vibe,” reminding her of those legendary Motown performers. The only question Harry had for the teen dynamo was, “What can’t you sing?”
Next up was San Diego's Loren Lott, who tackled Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are.” Lopez said Lott made her smile, noting the strong vocals and strong performance. Connick thought Lott raised the bar for the other singers.
Maddie Walker was the next name called and the 17-year-old student sang The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be there.” Harry said the performance erased any doubt she belonged in the competition, but she needed to work on her pitch and dynamics. Keith thought Maddie made some great choices when it came to adding her own touches to the song. Keith had noticed that Maddie was nervous and told her she could calm herself by thinking about the lyrics and forgetting about the execution. Jennifer also felt Maddie was visibly nervous, but thought the teen demonstrated great control in spite of that.
New Orleans street musician Joey Cook delivered a jazzed up version of The Miracles’ “Shop Around.” Keith complimented the singer on taking the song and making it her own. Jennifer enjoyed the way Cook, who was visibly excited, wasn’t afraid to let her emotions show and use them throughout the performance. Harry loved Joey’s “artistry,” but feared people might tire of her “highly stylized” sound.
Sarina-Joi Crowe performed a stripped down, torchy version of another Miracles’ classic, “You've Really Got a Hold on Me,” backed only by a guitar. J-Lo declared Crowe was “probably one of the best singers” in the competition. Lopez said she was happy to see the singer make it this far in the competition after three unsuccessful attempts. Connick called Sarina-Joi’s arrangement of the song “a smart choice,” but urged her to work on her intonation. Urban was impressed with the way Crowe stayed focused when the audience reacted to her hitting a big note.
Seacrest then revealed that Adanna Duru was among the top eight girls. She gave a dramatic version Lionel Richie’s “Hello” that earned an "A- plus" from Harry for lyrical interpretation. Harry did note that her pitch was a little off. Keith thought there were points when Adanna “owned the song” and he wanted to see her do it more often in the future. Jennifer said she liked the performance, but didn’t love it.
Jax delivered a sultry version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Urban praised her “strong artistry” and “gritty” voice. Lopez agreed, but thought Jax took too many liberties with the song. Connick agreed, calling the arrangement “dull.”
The final lady advancing was Alexis Gomez, who tackled The Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honeybunch).” Jennifer, noting how she’s not as fussy about pitch as her fellow judges, thought the song was so “out of key” it even bothered her. Harry agreed and said Gomez also needed to keep her emotions from getting the better of her. He urged her to just “settle down and do thing.” Keith was also disappointed with the performance, blaming it on a poor song choice.
American Idol continues Wednesday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
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