The American Idol 2018 Top 24, well half of them, took to the stage Sunday night for their final solo performances before the judges. And to be honest, it wasn’t that great. There were a few standout performances, but for the most part, I was pretty underwhelmed.
As always, I’ll be reviewing and grading each performance, so feel free to tell me how wrong you think I am in our comments section below! Let’s get to it!
Dominique, “Ain’t Nobody.” I really liked this song choice for him, but I didn’t love the performance. Something seemed off. And I don’t know if it was him or the sound or what, but it just didn’t sound great. He had a good energy though, and seemed really at home on the stage. The judges loved it. Grade: B-
Layla Spring, “A Broken Wing.” What a cute little firecracker. I can’t believe I just used that phrase, but it’s fitting for her. I think she had a great energy and gorgeous vibrato during this performance. She’s a true country girl and this was a great moment for her. Grade: A+
Catie Turner, “Call Me.” This is a great song, but not a great song for her. I appreciate that she chose a song that people wouldn’t expect from her, but this just didn’t work for me. It came off as very karaoke. It felt like she is a high school mathlete and her team just won their tournament and found a karaoke night going on in the bar of their Ramada Inn. Grade: C-
Dennis Lorenzo, “Rude.” Welcome to the Dennis Lorenzo concert. This guy was so at ease with the crowd and he made this song his own. It wasn’t the best song to showcase his vocals (other than that last note), but we already know Dennis can sing, so I’m grading him tonight mostly on his stage presence. Grade: A-
Michelle Sussett, “If I Were Boy.” OK, I don’t even understand why Beyonce sings this song. It NEVER sounds good to me. It always sounds off pitch, even when she sings it, so Michelle singing it was not a good idea. I really liked when she performed in Spanish, however. And you can’t deny she’s got a great energy. I just don’t think an entire Michelle concert would be tolerable. Grade: C+
Michael J. Woodard, “Golden Slumbers.” I think Michael is a musical genius. And I love his song choices, but I’m not sure the songs he picks will do him any favors when America is voting. He’s going to have to pick something more contemporary at some point or he’ll find himself in trouble. But whatever, this performance was great. He’s so good. Grade: A-
Trevor McBane, “Way Down We Go.” Trevor hasn’t been too much a standout so far (we’ve seen very little from him), so I’m not sure he’d do very well with America’s vote, but that’s just me thinking out loud. As for this performance, I wasn’t a fan. I think there’s a place for his kind of voice, but this song wasn’t it. Grade: C
Jonny Brenns, “Georgia.” There’s a charm Jonny has that is going to help him along. And his voice is great. I think he has the potential to be boring, so I hope he takes some chances soon. But this was a great vocal and he seems to be doing a little better with the stage presence. Grade: B+
Kay Kay, “Love On The Brain.” I love the song choice, but she tried to do too much with it. I think she confused emotion with over-singing. So that was disappointed. I still think she’s a great performer, but I don’t think the choices she made with this performance are going to do her any favors. Grade: B-
Brandon Diaz, “Hello.” That was a ballsy song choice to sing a Lionel Richie song in front of Lionel himself. And I wish it was a little better. There were great moments, but there were also a lot of shaky moments. The ending was great, though, so that helped. Lionel didn’t love it until the end either. Grade: C+
Gabby Barrett, “My Church.” No. This is such a fake country. She’s from Pennsylvania. Layla is the real deal and Gabby is just an imitation. I think she needs to figure out who she is. This just didn’t work for me at all. She was all over the place trying to sound country and then at the end she pulls out some solid pop vocals, which is how she should have performed the whole song. Grade: D+
Cade Foehner, “All Along the Watchtower.” First of all, this was a perfect song choice for him. He has such a 60s southern rock vibe to him, so this really worked. If he doesn’t sing Lynyrd Skynyrd soon, I’m going to call and complain. Anyway, back to this. I wish the band was a little louder because his vocals really need that or it kind of sounds like someone growling the whole time. But that was production’s fault. This was pretty solid. Grade: B+
So this was an interesting night. I didn’t think there was a really standout. I think Cade was supposed to be, which is why they chose him to close it, but to me, that was just average. I hope next week’s group is better (and I know it will be because Marcio Donaldson will be there).
Cade Foehner performs All Along the Watchtower on American Idol 2018