American Idol

Song by song grades for American Idol’s Top 14

The American Idol Top 14, including (from left) Jay Copeland, Lady K, HunterGirl, Mike Parker, Nicolina Bozzo, Ava Maybee, Fritz Hager, Leah Marlene, Dan Marshall, Noah Thompsn, Allegra Miles, Emyrson Flora, Christian Guardino, Tristen Gressett (ABC Photo)

The American Idol Top 14, including (from left) Jay Copeland, Lady K, HunterGirl, Mike Parker, Nicolina Bozzo, Ava Maybee, Fritz Hager, Leah Marlene, Dan Marshall, Noah Thompsn, Allegra Miles, Emyrson Flora, Christian Guardino, Tristen Gressett (ABC Photo),



American Idol’s Top 14 become a Top 11 tonight with live voting and results at the end of the show.

Obviously, the contestants most in danger are the four who needed wild card berths to make it this far — Jay Copeland, Mike Parker, Allegra Miles and Tristen Gressett.

So get ready to vote when the show starts, though I hate writing that because it minimizes the impact of tonight’s performance.

I’ll be blogging live too, and providing song by song grades throughout the show.

Idol is also planning a two-hour Monday night performance show called the Judges Song Contest. Each judge will recommend a song for the Top 11 to sing. The Top 11 will choose one of the three suggested songs, not knowing which judge recommended it.

No word yet on how many singers will be eliminated.

See also
Ranking the Top 14
Song by song grades from the Top 14 reveal show
Song by song grades for the Top 20 show
Song by song grades for the Top 24, Night 1
Song by song grades for the Top 24, Night 2

1. Jay Copeland, 23, Salisbury, Md., “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars — A platinum ticket recipient, Jay needed a wild card save to make it this far. So the judges reward him with what amounts to the pimp spot in a live show. Hmm. Jay’s a good performer and he’s showing off his silky smooth vocals and his range here. Nice song choice for him, but I’m not sure it’s going to be a game-changer if America isn’t already behind him. Grade: B+

2. HunterGirl, 23, Winchester, Tenn., “Baby Girl” by Sugarland — So the other platinum ticket recipient follows Jay to the stage. As Gabby said, HunterGirl has a classic country voice. Not sure this song is as good a fit for the voice as some of her past picks. It got a little shouty a couple times. But HunterGirl delivered a very nice ending. Katy says everyone in American wants to see her win. And she’d be so happy if HunterGirl won. A little early for such a declaration? Hey, Katy, this is Top 14. Grade: B

3. Christian Guardino, 21, Patchogue, N.Y., “Take My to Church” by Hozier — Great mentoring by Gabby, trying to get Christian to cut down on the frills. He’s a fine singer, but he’s been delivering way too much extra. Christian followed her advice and sounded solid on that opening verse. But, yikes, that chorus. His vocals did not swell the way I imagined they would. If you can’t belt that chorus, don’t pick this song. Grade: C

4. Dan Marshall, 24, Chesapeake, Va., “She’s Got It All” by Kenny Chesney — And tonight, Dan’s sounding a little nervous again. At least he isn’t projecting the way he did last week. I was having trouble making out the opening verse over the backing band. Nice ending line. Overall, that wasn’t as good as either of Dan’s performances last week. Katy was slightly critical, but I have no idea what point she was trying to make. Grade: C

5. Leah Marlene, 20, Normal, Ill., “Happy Together” — Great opening from Leah, who is about to get this show back on track vocally. This young woman should be finals bound if she keeps serving up performances like she has so far. That said, I would have loved to have heard her version of “Mad World.” Leah manages to go big on the chorus hear and stay on pitch and in tune. Another very, very pro performance from Leah. Grade: A–

6. Fritz Hager, 22, Tyler, Texas, “Let It Go” by James Bay — Interesting song choice for Fritz, who’s at his best when he’s pouring his heart out on stage. That wasn’t quite a song of that ilk, but I think Fritz is going to breeze into the Top 11. He’s one of the more likeable male singers on the show. Ryan has dubbed him heartthrob Hager. Enough already. Grade: B

7. Tristen Gressett, 17, Pell City, Ala., “WhatDoYaWhatFromMe” by Adam Lambert — Brave song choice by Tristen, considering Adam Lambert is one of the best male singers ever to grace the Idol stage. Tristen is one of the best performers among the Top 14. Tonight, he’s delivering one of his better vocals. But it isn’t Adam Lambert quality, so I’m wondering how this choice will work out for him. That said, Tristen delivered a killer ending. Grade: B+

8. Lady K, 25, Tuskegee, Ala., ” I Believe” by Fantasia — Another big risk. Lady K is going to take on a song by another of the former Idol greats. This one might be even more risky, because Lady K isn’t relying on the stage presence that helped Tristen through. She starts strong, but the song swells. And … yikes. That’s my opinion. The judges loved it. Grade: C–

9. Allegra Miles, 19, West Palm Beach, Fla., “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish — Allegra is going to perform from behind the piano tonight. She was a wild card pick into the Top 14, but she’s one of my favorite singers on the show. Halfway through the song, she leaves the piano and steps center stage. Another strong performance from Allegra. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to get her into the Top 11. Grade: B+

10. Ava Maybee, 21, Los Angeles, “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles — Not sure we needed the chorus to accompany Ava on that opening. Ava has a unique sound, and she’s been doing a much better job of showcasing it in the last couple rounds. Right here, she’s delivering one of the night’s most powerful, heartfelt vocals. Very nice job, Ava. Lionel says there’s no maybe about Ava. Grade: A–

11. Mike Parker, 27, Warrenton, Va., “Hurricane” by Luke Combs — Weak start to the song by Mike. He got better from the midway point on. And showed nice stage presence. But nothing that happened on stage changed my belief that he should be one of the three singers going home tonight. Unless Dan goes home instead. Grade: C

12. Emyrson Flora, 16, Cleveland, Ohio, “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo — She seemed a bit nervous on the first line, but quickly shook it off and delivered a nice heartfelt performance. I would have advised against the big smile at the end because it didn’t fit the mood of the song. But Emyrson’s unique sound shined through. Grade: B

13. Noah Thompson, 19, Louisa, Ky., “Stand By Me” — He was originally going to sing a Chris Stapleton song, but was strongly encouraged to change because of a lack of connection. Noah seems connected to this tune. It’s the best of the male country performances we’ve heard tonight, coming across as earnest, something Noah’s especially good at. Grade: B–

14. Nicolina Bozzo, 18, Toronto, “Hallelujah” — Okay, Nicolina will nail this. Surprised that Idol pulled out the “Hallelujah” card this early in the competition. I deliberately didn’t give anyone an “A” yet tonight because I knew Nicolina still had to perform. Her voice, her emotion and this song were sure to be a magical combination. Grade: A

Vote, vote, vote! Three singers are going home tonight.

My picks to depart would be: Mike Parker, Dan Marshall and Noah Thompson.

But that ain’t gonna happen.

Advancing to the Top 11 are:

Leah Marlene
Jay Copeland
Fritz Hager
Nicolina Bozzo
Noah Thompson
Christian Guardino
Lady K
Emyrson Flora
Mike Parker
Tristen Gressett

That means Allegra Miles, Ava Maybee and Dan Marshall are eliminated.

I agree with only one of those (Dan), but am not surprised to see Allegra depart.

Ava is the shocker. Mike should have gone home instead.

More song by song grades coming tomorrow not, but I’ll be blogging after the show, not during it.

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *