No one expected the Monday episode of American idol – which reduced the number of finalists to 10 – to be easy, but I don't think anyone expected it to be so messy.
From the uncomfortable performances and speeches of Ryan Seacrest with the competitors (most of whom responded with one-word answers in a desperate attempt to move forward) to his super annoying announcements of individual results (the fake ones were … bad), the first official live episode of the season was … kind of confusing. And this doesn't even include the times when the judges have literally discussed how embarrassing the process of eliminating this show is.
Let's start with the artists that America voted for the Top 10: Madison VanDenburg, Walker Burroughs, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Wade Cota, Laci Kaye Booth, Laine Hardy and Alejandro Aranda. Those finalists treated the audience to some pieces of the victory, while the less fortunate – Evelyn Cormier, Riley Thompson, Alyssa Raghu, Dimitrius Graham, Ashley Hess, Eddie Island and Uche – had to sing for … their … lives. (Where's RuPaul when you need her ?!)
Before getting to the final results, let's analyze each of the shows tonight:
MADISON VANDENBURG (Lady Gaga, "You and I") | Although VanDenburg did not seem ready for rock & # 39; n & # 39; roll – the first of many unpleasant moments of tonight's live show – pulled it off, starting gently and growing into a dramatic vocal explosion. It was a good start for a tense evening, and I never doubted for a second that he had a place in the Top 10. Degree: B
EVELYN CORMIER (Kansas, "Dust in the Wind") | I seem to appreciate Cormier much more than your average Idol viewer, so I wasn't surprised to learn that America didn't choose to put it in the Top 10. And this classic folksy was a much better musical choice than last night's Jimmy Eat World jam, which turned out to be a bit too aggressive for Cormier's airy style. It was a good show – despite its understandable nerves, caused by the "embarrassing" elimination process of the show – but it was exactly the kind of thing we've always had in the past. It has an exceptional tone, but a very small range. And at that moment, I realized that I was fine losing it tonight. Degree: B- (Click here to see!)
WALKER BURROUGHS (Jonas Brothers, "Lovebug") | I was starting to question myself about Burroughs' place in this competition after last night Sound of music Curve, but my doubts have vanished after witnessing his performance of this Jonas jam (certainly already taken for granted). The energy was there, the voice was there … but us really need to talk about this wink:
How, how do we feel? I hated it, but I won't deduct the points for that. Degree: B (Click here to see!)
RILEY THOMPSON (Alan Jackson, "Must be love") | Surrounded by sparkling hearts and wearing something from Glinda's closet evil, Thompson looked like a Valentine's card in human form. And his performance of this optimistic country bop was just as sweet and sugary, while remaining vocally solid. Luke Bryan couldn't believe that America hadn't voted, but I could. America is a hater. Degree: A-
JEREMIAH LLOYD HARMON ("Almost heaven") | As a thank you for entering him into the Top 10, Harmon – after a super-embarrassing walk-and-talk with the Seacrest backstage – treated America with an exhibit of the original song he used for his audition. unforgettable. From the point of view of the exhibition, this was a brilliant choice by Harmon; this former church keeper managed to turn a song he wrote into an authentic worm, one that can take a long time after his time on Idol. That said, it was not as impressive this time (although it is now supported by a full orchestra), and Harmon's voice was not as loud as I expected. Degree: B (Click here to see!)
ALYSSA RAGHU (Katy Perry, "The only one leaving") | America might not have voted Raghu in the Top 10, but that sauce was cooking tonight, in the service of a truly heartfelt surrender of this success of Perry. (Honestly, I only give her credit for singing this in Perry's presence.) As far as I'm concerned, this performance has allowed Raghu to save. Degree: A-
WADE COTA (Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Simple Man") | I was glad to see that America put it in the middle, and I wasn't at all surprised by the killer performance he thanked with them. It was all the growl and the energy we expected from him at this point. What else is there to say? Degree: A
DIMITRIUS GRAHAM (Billie Eilish, "When the party is over") | There is no doubt that Graham has put all his heart and soul into this performance. He sang like someone who He knew his days in the competition were numbered. And while I was rooting for him all season, there was very little to enjoy here, except for some sharp change. Degree: B- (Click here to see!)
LACI KAYE BOOTH (Fleetwood Mac, "As long as you follow") | I always thought that Booth was one of the coolest competitors this season, and he showed it again tonight with his effortless performance. Waltzing on stage as if he had been doing it for decades, gave us all the sultry sensations and harsh tones that we came to desire from this country crooner. Degree: A-
EDDIE ISLAND (Kings of Leon, "Use Somebody") | As someone who really enjoyed whatever it was that Island had sold us up to this point, I'm not happy to say that this was the worst performance of the season – and not just that of Island. That voice was everywhere, and at that moment they took the time to introduce themselves. Seacrest did his best to make a happy face during the post-song interview, but there was no way to hide this mess of a performance. Degree: D (Click here to see!)
ASHLEY HESS (Stevie Wonder, "Sir Duke") | America was 100% wrong for not having included Hess in the Top 10, which reminded them of rocking with this Motown classic, while swinging a sparkling black trouser. A natural artist, behind a piano or standing, is simply fantastic. Degree: A- (Click here to see!)
LAINE HARDY (The Heathens band, "Hurricane") | Last night, I said that Hardy was so comfortable on stage, he looked almost bored. Well, tonight it was my he gets bored, because I can barely stay awake through the same old Hardy trick. Did he sing it well? Sure. But we deserve better. (And I could do with about 50 percent less than Perry fawning on "smoking hot" Hardy.) Degree: B (Click here to see!)
ALEJANDRO ARANDA ("Cholo Love") | It comes to mind every time the word "dishwasher" flashes on the screen under the name of Aranda. Surely, he should say "multi-platinum recording artist", right? Every original song we heard from him seems ready for the radio, and this is no exception. I'm glad the America voted for it in the Top 10, but I'd be curious to see how far it came to the competition. Regardless, he will be a star. Degree: A- (Click here to see!)
UCHE (Rihanna, "Diamonds") | The spirit of La Porsha Renae was with Uche tonight when he delivered one of the most dramatic interpretations of this song I've ever heard. It wasn't perfect, but it was powerful, especially because you could feel Uche's grief – even before he received two hugs of solidarity from Seacrest and Lionel Richie (this one maybe he was just trying to steal the essence of Uche, I did not get a good look). Degree: B +
But the heartbreak quickly paved the way for victory, as Richie voted to put Uche among the Top 10, leaving two points at stake: Bryan, who changed his mind three times tonight, chose to save Graham while Perry chose to keep Raghu. Shocker.
Ladies and gentlemen, your official Top 10: Madison VanDenburg, Walker Burroughs, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Wade Cota, Laci Kaye Booth, Laine Hardy, Alejandro Aranda, Uche, Dimitrius Graham and Alyssa Raghu.
Do you think the four right competitors were drawn from the competition tonight? Vote for your favorite performances in our survey below, then leave a comment with more than your thoughts.