American Idol

Song by song grades for the American Idol Top 10

American Idol's Top 10 for Season 20, including (front from left) Noah Thompson, Christian Guardino, Jay Copeland, Leah Marlene, Lady K; (back from left) Nicolina Bozzo, Emyrson Flora, Fritz Hager, Mike Weaver, HunterGirl. (ABC Photo)

American Idol’s Top 10 for Season 20, including (front from left) Noah Thompson, Christian Guardino, Jay Copeland, Leah Marlene, Lady K; (back from left) Nicolina Bozzo, Emyrson Flora, Fritz Hager, Mike Parker, HunterGirl. (ABC Photo)


American Idol’s Top 10 visited Disney this week and will sing Disney songs during a live show tonight.

Think there’s not much at stake?

Well, three singers — 30 percent of the cast — head home at the end of the night, leaving Season 20 with a Top 7.

That mean’s it’ll be especially important for the contestants who have needed saves in the past — Lady K, Mike Parker and Jay Copeland — to deliver standout performances.

I’ll be back at 8 p.m. with another live blog, complete with song by song grades.

Meanwhile, here’s a list of the songs the Top 10 will be tackling tonight.

See also …
Ranking the Top 10
Song by song grades on Top 11 night (with videos)
Song by song grades on Top 14 night (with videos)

Before we get down to individual performances, there will be a group number — “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Everyone sounded great on this except Noah Thompson.

And then Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie wheel out Katy Perry in a mermaid costume. They struggle, but finally manage to get her into a chair.

And then the chair topples over. Have no fear. Katy’s okay.

1. Lady K, 25, Tuskegee, Ala., “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana — Having been saved last week, Lady K needs to kick off the show strong tonight. She starts strong. And she seems to be doing a better job tonight of controlling the big notes. That vocal was better than either of the ones Lady K delivered last week. Lionel says she sounded like a star. Luke said the performance was “validating” of the save the judges gave her last week. Grade: B

2. Noah Thompson, 19, Louisa, Ky., “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story — Noah is dedicating this performance to the friend who signed him up to Idol. He’s delivering it with a country twang. That intro featuring Noah’s young son should help round up some votes. This vocal isn’t going to be one of Noah’s best. But he’s such a likeable guy, I have a feeling he’s advancing regardless. Katy loved the way he country-fied the song. Grade: C+

3. Emyrson Flora, 16, Cleveland, Ohio, “Carried Me with You” from Onward — Hey, Emyrson followed Derek Hough’s advice and seemed very focused during that performance. It was also one of my favorite vocals to date from Emyrson. A sound really well suited to her unique tone. Plus, she delivered a fabulous ending. Great job by Emyrson, who didn’t seem the least bit phased by Idol’s pressure. Luke loved how comfortable she seemed. Grade: A–

4. HunterGirl, 23, Winchester, Tenn., “I See the Light” from Tangled — This is so much better than her “9 to 5” cover from last Monday. Not sure it was the perfect song for HunterGirls’ country twang, but she delivered a vocal that soared over a band that I thought was playing a bit too loud. Katy said HunterGirl has never sounded better. Luke loved the elegance and beauty of her performance. Grade: B+

5. Jay Copeland, 23, Salisbury, Md., “Remember Me” from Coco — Torn between singing an upbeat song and a ballad, Jay goes with the latter. It allows him to show off his range and his vocal acrobatic skills. The ending glory note was fabulous. But, for some reason, I didn’t feel very connected to it. Perhaps something with a bit more emotional would have been more effective. Lionel Richie called his performance “amazing.” Grade: B

6. Leah Marlene, 20, Normal, Ill., “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2 — She was undecided about whether or not to start at piano. There’s a piano on stage, but Leah is at the mic. Leah is delivering another top-notch vocal, not to mention the most heartfelt performance we’ve seen so far tonight. If there are two contestants I want to see make it through tonight, it’s Leah and Nicolina. Lionel says she knocked it out of the park. Grade: B+

7. Nicolina Bozzo, 18, Toronto, “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid — This is a risky sound choice. But I’m loving Nicolina’s performance. Theatrical? Oh, yeah. It was also the most dynamic performance of the night. Loaded with glory notes that showed off Nicolina’s vocal firepower. Katy said she stole the show. Nicolina took a risk and it paid off big time. Grade: A

8. Mike Parker, 27, Warrenton, Va., “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan — He’s dedicating the song to his mom, who is battling leukemia. Really strong start for Mike. I wasn’t thrilled by the way he sounded on the chorus, the first time through, but the background singers kicked in on subsequent run-throughs. And Mike delivered the song with lots of passion. Nice ending too. Luke called it a great job. Grade: B

9. Christian Guardino, 21, Patchogue, N.Y., “Circle of Life” from The Lion King — Christian started that performance at 100 and never let up. The crowd and judges probably loved it more than I did. Luke Bryan said he nailed the performance. Lionel called it amazing. Katy Perry said she’s glad he didn’t overdo it, and liked the confidence with which he performed. She called it his best performance yet. Grade: B+

Fritz Hager, 22, Tyler, Texas, “Go the Distance” from Hercules — That was a superb opening by Fritz, playing just acoustic guitar. This song is quite fitting considering his journey on Idol. Given the strong support fans have shown for guitar-slinging guys, I can see Fritz going the distance on Idol Season 20. Another very nice performance by Fritz, who will be one of the seven to advance tonight. Grade: B+

Advancing on American Idol are:

* Leah Marlene
* Jay Copeland
* Noah Thompson
* Fritz Hager
* HunterGirl
* Nicolina Bozzo
* Christian Guardino

That means Lady K, Mike Parker and Emyrson Flora head home. Emyrson delivered one of tonight’s best performances. The other two eliminations weren’t a surprise.

Related Posts

Leave a reply

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