Host Ryan Seacrest announced one by one which contestants America had voted into the Top 8. The aspiring singers then had to perform solos in front of judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban. After Seacrest revealed seven of the Top 8 finalists, the remaining three contestants had to perform and the judges picked which one would take the remaining spot as a finalist.
The first “American Idol” hopeful to make it to the Top 8 was Dalton Rapattoni. The young rocker and vocal coach performed Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive.” Over the past few weeks, Dalton has been a favorite among the judges but received mixed critiques following his performance. Urban said “Radioactive” wasn’t a good song choice for him. Lopez told Dalton it’s clear he understands the art of the show and Connick Jr. said he thinks Dalton is very talented, but he didn’t seem to be present during the performance.
Next up to make it to the Top 8 was Lee John. This week Lee decided to step outside his comfort zone and not sing an Ed Sheeran song. Instead, Lee chose “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. Urban praised Lee for doing something different but ultimately said it wasn’t a good song choice for him. The other two judges — Connick Jr. and Lopez — seemed to like it and told Lee the performance was good.
Last week, contestant Sonika Vaid really showed off her vocal skills singing “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence. This week, however, her performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” fell a little flat with the judges. Urban told her she needed to perform the song with more attitude, and Connick Jr. said the hook needed a “lift.” Lopez agreed, telling Sonika that the next time she sings she needs to let go and not think about the notes in the song.
Following Sonika’s performance was La’Porsha Renae, who sang “Halo” by Beyoncé. Last week, guest judge Kelly Clarkson predicted that La’Porsha was going to win the competition. This week, Lopez told the single mom she’s the one to beat. The “I Luh Ya Papi” singer said she’s enjoyed watching La’Porsha turn into a star throughout her time on the show. Connick Jr. praised La’Porsha for always knowing how to find the “arch” of a song, and Urban simply said the performance was beautiful.
Another contestant who impressed the judges was MacKenzie Bourg, who did his own rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).” All three judges agreed that it was a good song choice for MacKenzie, but Connick Jr. suggested he be more inventive with songs in order to win over America and get votes.
Rounding out the performances to see who was automatically in the Top 8 were Tristan McIntosh and Trent Harmon. Both contestants did a really good job and Tristan’s performance of Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High On That Mountain” got her a standing ovation from Lopez and Urban. However, Lopez told Trent she can see him and La’Porsha making it to the final two.
After that round of performances, Seacrest revealed that Gianna Isabella, Avalon Young and Olivia Rox were in the bottom three. The judges could only save one contestant and after watching them perform, they chose Avalon to remain in the competition.
Now it’s once again up to America to vote to decide which contestants will make it to the Top 6 next week.
“American Idol” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.