American Idol Season 11: Week One, The Top 24 Perform

So it’s that time of the season again, folks – brutal cuts are made as America begins voting for their next American Idol. I’m writing this intro after the results have been announced and I have to say, I’m both upset and happy with how things went. Not sure how that’s possible but there it is. Let’s look back at this week’s performances and this week’s eliminations.

The Boys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTFgBNfEJlg

Reed Grimm

Performed: Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5
Rating Out of 10: 8
I love, love, love Reed. I’m extremely concerned that he isn’t going to make it through America’s first vote. The first slot is a notoriously tough one and America isn’t always known to respond to the quirky guys. All the same, this guy has a fan in me regardless of how long he’s on Idol.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc4O1twQjFc

Adam Brock

Performed: Think by Aretha Franklin
Rating Out of 10: 8
As much as I love Adam and as great as I thought his performance was, I’m worried he’ll be overshadowed by the later performances in the show. Again, the opening slots are hard on contestants. I love him though and I’m hoping he sticks around.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEQb4_x7O3s

DeAndre Brackensick

Performed: Reasons by Earth, Wind & Fire
Rating Out of 10: 9
This performance was pretty near close to perfection. I love this kid. I really respond to unique and original artists and both of those words definitely apply to DeAndre. I don’t think it would be possible for me to love this kid more. I’m quite certain we’ll see him again next week.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sThw1Iho0MU

Colton Dixon

Performed: Decode by Paramore
Rating Out of 10: 7
Kills me to give Colton such a low rating but I honestly don’t think it matters. Colton has a huge fan base already and I don’t imagine you’ll see him going anywhere this week. Colton was among my favorites last year and I’m thrilled to see him back, I’m just not sure this was his best performance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpwLCN24I3Y

Jeremy Rosado

Performed: Gravity by Sara Bareilles
Rating Out of 10: 10
I struggled with what to rate this one because while I loved it, I also found it a tad but sleepy at times. I can’t wait to see what else Jeremy throws at us in this competition because he definitely deserves to stick around. While he might not get America’s votes behind him this time, he’s a sure thing for a Wild Card spot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHNdgRTWFPA

Aaron Marcellus

Performed: Never Can Say Goodbye by The Jackson 5
Rating Out of 10: 7
I love Aaron. I think he gets overlooked far too often on this show. With that said, I wasn’t a huge fan of this performance. It was good but it kind of got lost in the shuffle for me. I’m not convinced he’ll be around next week but if he is, I really am looking forward to seeing him again.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt4Sgmq_814

Chase Likens

Performed: Storm Warning by Hunter Hayes
Rating Out of 10: 5
I know this rating might piss some people off, but I really didn’t think this was the best performance Chase could’ve offered up and it’s a very, very bad time to have an off week. This one actually started an argument between my husband and I. I felt the country fans out there that brought Scotty the win last season will get behind Chase. My husband feels Chase is headed home. Guess we’ll see who was right on Thursday night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nswxxxC8tw0

Creighton Fraker

Performed: True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
Rating Out of 10: 10
I think Creighton has the raw talent to be a truly exciting performer. I really hope America keeps him in the race. I have never seen a performance by him that I wasn’t in love with and this one was just another example of that. The judges seem to think Creighton’s going to be sent packing. I’m not sure I agree.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vkRejuHd3o

Phillip Phillips

Performed: In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
Rating Out of 10: 10
Phillip Phillips isn’t going anywhere. Even if America doesn’t vote to keep him around this week, the judges will give him a Wild Card and he’ll just come back twice as strong next week. I love this guy. There’s no way he doesn’t deserve a place on the show.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNPhBwS7Vuc

Eben Franckewitz

Performed: Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
Rating Out of 10: 3
Yeah I know. He’s adorable and I do like the kid but this performance was not only not his best but it was painful to watch. The fact that the judges gave it such a glowing review leads me to believe either A) they are going out of their way to avoid hurting his feelings or B) we watched two completely different performances. For clarity’s sake, I’d like to state I think the culprit here was poor song choice. That’s a tough song to sing and I don’t think it worked for Eben’s voice. He is a talented kid. I just don’t think this particular performance was a great moment for him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-tJ2UNdXMk

Heejun Han

Performed: Angels by Robbie Williams
Rating Out of 10: 9
I have no idea what’s going on. The sound must be off on my television or something because I thought Heejun did a great job and I thought Angels (another personal favorite) was a great song choice for him. I don’t think he has anything to worry about though. People love this guy. We’ll see him next week.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rikbY-YePU

Joshua Ledet

Performed: You Pulled Me Through by Jennifer Hudson
Rating Out of 10: 10
Holy sweet Mother – what a brilliant, brilliant, stunning, amazing performance. If Joshua keeps turning out performances like this, we’ll see him in the finals for sure. What a showstopper. If I was willing to give a rating higher than a 10 for anything, it would’ve been this performance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShCXVyoC5YY

Jermaine Jones

Performed: Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
Rating Out of 10: 10
Beautiful, emotional and unlike anything I’ve heard on American Idol before, there was nothing about this performance I didn’t absolutely love. I can’t honestly see Jermaine sticking around a terribly long time as I think he’s really going to struggle with theme nights but I can see why the judges chose to bring him back.

The Girls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wodP4TZup8

Chelsea Sorrell

Performed: Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood
Rating Out of 10: 6
I like Chelsea Sorrell and I really, really wanted her to do well but I just didn’t care for this performance. It’s a shame too. I think she could be something really special but this just wasn’t her night. I’m hoping America gives her another show but I’m not counting on it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3870AJSPQo

Erika Van Pelt

Performed: What About Love by Heart
Rating Out of 10: 8
I love, love, love Erika and I loved this performance. I might be one of the only people in the world that isn’t familiar with the ins and outs of the original song and I think that really biased me. My husband didn’t care for Erika’s performance but he knows the Heart version well. I thought it was laid back, relaxed but still very impressive. Not sure it’ll be enough to get her through to the next round though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsriBMfaEaY

Jen Hirsh

Performed: One and Only by Adele
Rating Out of 10: 8
Let me start this off by saying Jen has been one of my favorites since Hollywood week and I really think she has what it takes to make it to the finals. The problem? I think One and Only was the wrong song for her. Either that or she didn’t connect with it as much as she thought she did. I didn’t feel any of the emotion of the song and to pull off an Adele song well, that emotion needs to be there. All that said, I will be immeasurably devastated if Jen isn’t still in the competition next week. She deserves to be.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPJUyBdD5kQ

Brielle Von Hugel

Performed: Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
Rating Out of 10: 9
I have many problems with Brielle. She’s arrogant and her mother is the stage Mom from hell. My problems with her personality aside, she put on an incredible show with this one. Her voice is far better than I thought and her stage presence? On fire. Will she stick around? Not a chance. America has never liked voting for a diva and they’ll send Brielle packing regardless of her talent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFQP7yylhXg

Hallie Day

Performed: Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Rating Out of 10: 9
Gotta admit, I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would. Hallie kind of came out of nowhere for me and I’m always a sucker for that. She chose the perfect time to come out strong. With that said, I’m not sure I get what Randy’s “what kind of artist do you want to be” question came from. I remember him pulling that crap with Haley Reinhart last year. Quit picking favorites, Randy. It’s not becoming of you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqT3i4k1dQc

Skylar Laine

Performed: Stay With Me by Faces
Rating Out of 10: 10
Well holy cow! Look at little Skylar Laine totally rockin’ the house. There isn’t a damn thing about this performance I wasn’t wild about. I’m not a huge fan of country music but Skylar is really something else. Charismatic, talented and full of passion, I could see this girl taking the whole thing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUMDOQG0KLE

Baylie Brown

Performed: Amazed by Lonestar
Rating Out of 10: 3
Nothing to say. I loved Baylie when she auditioned at sixteen. I loved Baylie this year. No idea what happened for this performance but I’m completely heartbroken about it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul4vOI6gTJ4

Hollie Cavanagh

Performed: Reflection by Christina Aguilera
Rating Out of 10: 9
I was pissed Hollie didn’t make it into the top 24 last season and thrilled when she came back and took a spot this season so how did she do on her first live performance show? Incredible. There were a few pitch problems here and there but overall, she showed America exactly what she can do. I’ll be stunned if she isn’t in the top 10.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBWUrxxKHaY

Haley Johnson

Performed: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics
Rating Out of 10: 2
I wanted to like this because I love this song and I love Haley but this was just bad all over. This was another one of those performances when I questioned whether the judges and I are watching the same performance until Randy called it like he saw it. It was a nightmare. Vocally, it was a mess and that’s really sad. With that said, I’d like to see her get a Wild Card spot because I know she can do better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRAbynmM1Dw

Shannon Magrane

Performed: Go Light Your World by Kathy Troccoli
Rating Out of 10: 8
Shannon sounded great but I didn’t love the song or the performance. In order for a ballad like this one to really work for me, it has to have something extra that grabs me and pulls me in. This one just didn’t. I don’t really think that’s Shannon’s fault. I just personally wasn’t feeling the performance. She sounded beautiful and on a rather rocky, uneven night for the girls, I suppose that’s half the battle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AcV3aB-K3s

Jessica Sanchez

Performed: Love You I Do by Jennifer Hudson (from Dreamgirls)
Rating Out of 10: 10
Holy freaking crow! What a performance on every level. Barring a Pia Toscano style shocker, I’d say Jessica is going to be in the finals for sure. She has an incredible voice capable of handling a ballad but also well suited for more up tempo numbers. This girl is a well rounded performer and I’m exited to see her in this competition for a long time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBcve8vfe4M

Elise Testone

Performed: One and Only by Adele
Rating Out of 10: 10
How did the producers allow two girls to hit the stage with the same song? I don’t get it. Regardless, since two people took on this Adele number (Jen Hirsh was first), it’s impossible not to compare the two. Sadly, Jen – whom I love – was the contestant who came up short for me. Elise’s performance had the emotional oomph Jen’s performance was missing for me but honestly, both ladies did a great job.

The Results

While there have been tough cuts before now, this is the one that really stings. You lose a lot of people you’ve come to really care about. At the same time, you know you there are those three Wild Card spots the judges can fill so not all hope is lost if America let you down. So who did America vote into the top 10?
For the boys:

  • Colton Dixon
  • Heejun Han
  • Jermaine Jones
  • Joshua Ledet
  • Phillip Phillips

For the girls:

  • Elise Testone
  • Hollie Cavanagh
  • Jessica Sanchez
  • Shannon Magrane
  • Skylar Laine

Before we got to the Wild Cards, allow me a moment to vent. Please. What the eff, America? No Creighton? No DeAndre? I was concerned about Reed as much as I loved him but… no Reed? Don’t get me wrong, I love Jermaine Jones but DeAndre, Creighton and even Reed have far more range than Jermaine and they all have a chance when it comes time for theme night. I agree with Jimmy. I would buy a Jermaine Jones album but that doesn’t mean he’s right for American Idol. As far as the girls go, I’m pretty happy with who went through. I really liked Jen Hirsh and Erika Van Pelt though so I was hoping for them for the wild card spots.

Six contestants were given the chance to sing for a Wild Card spot:

  • Brielle Von Hugel (sang Someone Like You by Adele)
  • DeAndre Brackensick (sang Georgia on my Mind by Ray Charles)
  • Erika Van Pelt (sang The Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga)
  • Jen Hirsh (sang Oh! Darling by The Beatles)
  • Jeremy Rosado (sang I Know You Won’t by Carrie Underwood)
  • Reed Grimm (sang Use Me by Bill Withers)

Out of those six contestants, three were given another shot with a Wild Card – DeAndre Brackensick, Erika Van Pelt and Jeremy Rosado. Gotta say I’m gonna miss the hell out of Reed Grimm. I hope to see a lot more of him in the future through other venues. I’m also going to miss Jen Hirsh. She’s incredibly talented. I can see her making a career for herself as well. Other than that, I’m pretty happy about how things went. So all that said, meet your top thirteen, America!

  • Colton Dixon
  • DeAndre Brackensick
  • Elise Testone
  • Erika Van Pelt
  • Heejun Han
  • Hollie Cavanagh
  • Jeremy Rosado
  • Jermaine Jones
  • Jessica Sanchez
  • Joshua Ledet
  • Phillip Phillips
  • Shannon Magrane
  • Skylar Laine

What do you think of this season’s top 13? Will you miss Reed Grimm or Creighton Fraker as much as I will? Do you think Baylie Brown and Haley Johnson should’ve had the chance to Sing for the Lives after poor song choices for their first live performances? Hit up the comments section below to share your opinion!

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