American Idol 2018 Hollywood Week Final Round Recap

American Idol 2018 Hollywood Week was back Sunday night, leaving a lot of people confused, me especially. I, and many others, thought last week’s two rounds was it before the showcase rounds. But nope, we were wrong. Hey, it’s been two years and we are rusty. We have one final round of solo performances before learning the the American Idol Top 50.

Let’s get to the solo rounds recap.

Gabby Barrett, “Ain’t No Way.” I think I was supposed to like this more than I did based on how the judges were acting, but I don’t enjoy her singing out of her nose at all. And there’s just something off-putting about her. Grade: B

Marcio Donaldson, “Natural Woman.” I love this guy. We didn’t see much of the audition, but what we did see was fantastic. And I loved the brave song choice. Grade: A

Effie Passero, “Alone.” Well American Idol is officially back because here’s the first “Alone” of the season. I loved Effie in her audition, but I didn’t love this performance. It was pretty sharp at times and of course the song choice was lazy. Grade: B

Amelia Hammer Harris, “Feel it Still.” Well, we only got to see like 10 seconds of her audition, so I think it was probably OK? Grade: B+

Cade Foehner, “Feel it Still.” I knew this would be the song everyone sang this season. I don’t like this version of it though. I think Cade has a very specific talent and is probably amazing to those who like that, but it’s just not my thing. Grade: B-

Harper Grace, “Rest in Peace.” What a beautiful artist. She has it all. She has the look, the voice, the song-writing skills. She’s a natural and this performance proved it. Grade: A

Noah Davis, “Piece by Piece.” He did the slow and heart-breaking version of the Kelly Clarkson song and he delivered for the most part. He was shaky and nervous, but I like him. Grade: A-

Catie Turner, “Pity.” I don’t think the song worked. It just didn’t flow well at all. I mean she’s clearly talented and has an interesting voice, but I just don’t get her as a whole. Grade: B

Dennis Lorenzo, “Home.” This was a solid audition. I don’t think it was the right song for him, but he’s a very talented. Grade: B+

Brandon Elder, “Home.” Was this is an ironic song choice? If you remember, it was one of the “Idol” goodbye songs several seasons ago. It definitely wasn’t as good as Brandon’s audition. So he may be going home. Grade: B-

Maddie Poppe, “Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up.” I think she and Catie are similar – the both play guitar and write their own songs – only Maddie is better. This was a much better song and a better performance overall. Grade: B+

Michelle Sussett, “I’m Coming Out.” I liked her energy and the fact that earlier in the day her voice was almost completely gone, she did a great job with this performance. Grade: A

Ron Bultongez, “Home.” This is the best American Idol winner’s song (Phillip Phillips) and Ron took it and made it his own. It wasn’t perfect, but he showed who he is as a performer. Grade: B+

Jonny Brenns, “I Lived.” Jonny has stood out this entire time and he may have just gone in the wrong direction. He doesn’t have the best stage presence, either. I think he looks better with a guitar. Grade: C+

Crystal Alicea, “Set Fire To The Rain.” No, she doesn’t have the right kind of voice to sing an Adele song. The fact that she’s only been a karaoke singer came out during this performance. That just wasn’t very good. Grade: C+

Deontae Baker, “Too Good At Goodbye.” Well he sure has some confidence. I mean he’s a good singer, but gee, try a little modesty sometime. And his audition wasn’t even perfect. He was loud and off key a few times. Grade: C+

Jurnee, “One Last Time.” We didn’t see much of her audition, but it seemed ok. Grade: B

Trevor Holmes,”Home.” Another brief glimpse. What we heard was pretty good. Grade: B+

Maddie Zahm, “Up To The Mountain.” I’ve loved Maddie this entire time and this was no different. I love her voice and her heart. I really liked this. Grade: A

Shannon O’Hara. I just wish she’d ONE TIME act like she enjoys singing. Every time she’s on stage, she just seems like is being forced to be there. It’s really hard for me to get past that. Her audition was perfectly fine, but she’ll have a hard time connecting with her audience, I think. Grade: B+

Garrett Jacobs, “Wicked Game.” Love the song choice, but his voice is really tired. He still made the performance his own. I think the way he adapted to his voice issues is proof he’s a pro in the making. Grade: B+

Britney Holmes, “Dive.” I know she’s had a rocky journey on the show so far, but this was one of the best performances of the night. I really liked this. Good job. Grade: A+

Gabbii Jones, “Stay.” I really like Gabbii. This wasn’t the best performance though. In fact it was pretty bad, but I really want her to make it through. I just really like her, so it’s going to be hard to grade her. Grade: C

Thaddeus Johnson, “Rise.” He was brave to pick a Katy Perry song, but he really took it and ran with it. It was powerful and emotional and it just worked. Grade: A+

Kay Kay, “Set Fire to the Rain.” Another short look at another not-so-good audition. Grade: B-

Laine Hardy, “Fire Away.” I really like Laine’s raspy voice. I’m glad to see he recovered after the group rounds fiasco. I thought this was a far from perfect performance, but I think he was true to his artistry. Grade: B+

Caleb Lee Hutchinson, “Your Man.” No one can do this like Scotty McCreery, but I think it was a pretty solid audition. You can tell he’s tired, but he’s pretty natural. Grade: B+

Michael Woodard, “Maybe This Time.” This guy is so unique and that was such an interesting song choice, but it really worked. He told a story with the song by starting low and it just continued to build. He’s good. Grade: A+

It’s time to find out the official Top 50. And here they are:

The American Idol 2018 Top 50


Kay Kay Alexis
Gabby Barrett
Julia Cole
Harper Grace
Amelia Harris
Britney Holmes
Christina Jones
Mara Justine
Kassy Levels
Victoria McQueen
Carly Moffa
Shannon O’Hara
Effie Passero
Maddie Poppe
Alyssa Raghu
Kaitlann Runnels
Kourtney Smith
Layla Spring
Michelle Sussett
Catie Turner
Lee Vasi
Amalia Watty
Maddie Zahm


Jonny Brenns
Ephraim Bugumba
Ron Bultongez
William Casanova
Noah Davis
Brandon Diaz
Marcio Donaldson
Cade Foehner
Les Greene
Laine Hardy
Trevor Holmes
Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Garrett Jacobs
Thaddeus Johnson
Dennis Lorenzo
Ricky Manning
Cody Martin
Trevor McBane
Stephen Quinn
Justin Ray
Adam Sanders A.K.A. Ada Vox
Samothias Sohmer
Milo Sposato
Taylor Williams
Michael Woodard

If you don’t want to wait until Monday night to find out which of the Top 50 make it to the American Idol Season 16 Top 24, then check out our spoilers.



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