American Idol

Song by song grades for the Top 14 on American Idol

The American Idol Top 14, including: front row, from left, Nya, Julia Gagnon, Kaibrienne Richins, Abi Carter, Kayko, Mia Matthews, Emmy Russell; back rown, from left, Jayna Elise. Roman Collins, Jordan Anthony, Will Moseley, McKenna Breinholt, Jack Blocker and Tristan Harper. (ABC Photo).

The American Idol Top 14, including: front row, from left, Nya, Julia Gagnon, Kaibrienne Richins, Abi Carter, Kayko, Mia Matthews, Emmy Russell; back rown, from left, Jayna Elise. Roman Collins, Jordan Anthony, Will Moseley, McKenna Breinholt, Jack Blocker and Tristan Harper. (ABC Photo).


The American Idol Top 14 will be singing songs made famous by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members tonight.

And fans won’t be able to wait to vote until watching all the performances, as they have in past weeks.

Stay tuned, but the Idol app seems to indicate that voting will open at 8 p.m. tonight.

And it might close before the end of the show, allowing for the live elimination of the bottom two before the night ends.

Voting otherwise remains that same as past weeks, via the Idol app, the Idol website and by texting your favored contestants assigned number. Ten votes per method for a maximum of 30 per contestant.

Gene Simmons of Kiss fame will be on hand to mentor. Idol fans with really long memories know this won’t be his first appearance on the show.

In fact, he was a guest judge for the New Orleans auditions back in Season 4, the year Carrie Underwood won Idol.

Idol Chatter will be providing song by song grades, as usual, though the blog might be starting a bit late tonight.

Abi Carter, 21, Indio, Calif., “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John: Abi says she wasn’t allowed to listen to rock and roll — the devil’s music — growing up. Abi makes it clear she has no intention of rocking. Lovely opening. Folks, Abi is on the verge of something special. This is how you make a cover special, folks. She delivered the lyric and all sorts of magical vocal moments. Luke called it pro, pro, pro. Lionel complimented her on make the song her own. Grade: A

Emmy Russell, 24, Nashville, Tenn., “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt: How can anyone question Emmy’s vocals? There’s a delicate beauty to her tone. She’s also showing off more power in this performance than normal. That said, pitch problems did creep in a bit when she went big. Luke praises the realness and innocence in her voice. Lionel called it great: Grade: B–

Jack Blocker, 25, Dallas, Texas: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” by Bob Dylan: Gene Simmons wants him focus on the subtlety of the lyrics. I was with him until the tempo picked up. I also got the feeling he tried to do a little too much with a simple song. Luke called it a great job. Lionel called it fantastic. Katy calls him “so cool.” Grade: B–

Jayna Elise, 22, Washington, D.C., “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston: Hold it, this song on rock and roll night. Hmm. That said, Jayna sounded excellent on her opening. And she looked so classy draped in gold. And, of course, there it is. The song swells and Jayna is up to the task. I wasn’t thrilled with the match of song and theme, but Jayne delivered one of the night’s best vocals. Katy complimented her “big star energy.” Grade: A–

Jordan Anthony, 18, Perth Australia, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston: Hold it, a third Whitney Houston song on rock and roll night? Oh, my. Well, Julia and Jayne made it work. Jordan? Not so much. That seemed wobbly from the opening line. Jordan did provide a nice tender ending, but it didn’t seem in character with the rest of the performance. Lionel called it fantastic. Katy called it his best performance. Grade: C

Julia Gagnon, 21, Cumberland, Maine, “Run to You” by Whitney Houston: There was a mixup in the opening. But Julia recovers quickly and is in strong voice again tonight. Oh, my, I think she’s establishing herself as the most powerful vocalist among the ladies on Season 22. She delivered some glorious glory notes over the course of that performance. Luke called it amazing. Lionel said she commanded the stage. Katy loved her confidence. Grade: A–

Kaibrienne (KB Richins), 20, Henefer, Utah, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett: Nice changeup from Kaibrienne, who’s been delivering one emotional ballad after another. Tonight, she’s belting out liked a scorned lover. She’s got a more powerful voice than she’d shown to this point. And that showed off her rasp. Wish she’d cut loose even a bit more with the on-stage theatrics. Luke said it was like she morphed into a different singeer. Lionel loved the “ugly face” she put on for the performance. Grade: B

Kayko, 23, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., “High and Dry” by Radiohead: Kayko’s been doing originals on Idol. Now he’s tasked with doing a cover. No problem. Kayko’s making it work, with vocals and emotion. He dials up the energy, perhaps a bit too much, as the song nears it’s close. But that was a solid performance. Lionel praises his versatility. Katy says he’s “got it.” Grade: B

McKenna Breinholt, 25, of Gilbert, Ariz., “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago: McKenna’s voice seems a little extra raspy tonight. And she hit a couple of wonky notes early in that performance. I’m guessing McKenna will advance, but that wasn’t one of her stronger performances. Ah, that’s what was wrong with her voice. She’s been sick. She still got glowing feedback from the judges. Grade: C+

Mia Matthews, 18, Centre, Ala., “These Memories of You” by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris: Gene said Mia’s pure country. He wasn’t joking. Mia looks like she jumped into a time machine and landed in the 1970s for this performance. Appropriate, perhaps, since the song was first released in 1978. Not my favorite Mia performance, but the show’s big country fan base will love it. Lionel called it fantastic. Luke called it amazing. Grade: B–

Nya, 27, Manhattan, N.Y.: “Say a Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin: Nya is changing this up from the opening note. No, this isn’t working for me. The arrangement sounds disjointed. Nya provided several vocal highlights, but the full performance didn’t come together as well as it needed to. The judges loved it. Katy called it her best performance so far. Grade: C+

Roman Collins, 24, Long Beach, Calif., “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye: Roman starts off delivering a straight cover while sitting on a stool. But you just knew he couldn’t contain his energy for long. Sure enough, he’s off the stool, ab libbing and working the crowd. Nice performance. Not his best. But certainly good enough to merit a spot in the Top 12. Lionel said he was “on fire.” Grade: B

Triston Harper, 15, McIntosh, Alabama, “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley: Triston is losing his cowboy hat and guitar for a performance of a song by one of his idols. This hasn’t changed, excellent vocals. And Triston is showing off some fun moves. And that ending, with all the ab libbing, was simply fabulous. A great performance to kick off the night. Way to go, Triston. Luke called it tremendous. Grade: A

Will Moseley, 23, of Hazelhurst, Ga., : “Night Moves” by Bob Seger: Like this song choice for Will. He’s putting a little extra umph into this performance. As I guessed it was a song that gives Will a chance to show off his rasp and his deep vocals to good effect. I wouldn’t call that his best, but it’s definitely going to get him into the Top 12. Lionel called it the perfect song for Will. Grade: B

And here comes the results …

The contestants eliminated are Nya and Jordan Anthony, two of the singers saved last week.

The Top 12 include Roman and Jayna, who were also saved last week, as well as the 10 singers voted in last week — Triston, Will, Kabrienne, Abi, McKenna, Emmy, Kayko, Jack, Julia and Mia.

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  1. HELENE April 22, 2024 at 11:13 am -  Reply

    My favorite is KB Richins
    She is the real deal. She sings with her heart and soul. She is a kind sweet you lady with dreams. That we can all help come true for her by Voting.

  2. Gelean Weaver April 22, 2024 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Triston Harper
    Is my favorite singer he’s got a God given talent and vision to become something for his mom and himself

  3. Martin April 23, 2024 at 12:21 am -  Reply

    Mia that’s not Rick and Roll???

  4. Jim April 28, 2024 at 7:26 am -  Reply

    Jack was one of the best performances of the night, second or third after Abi and KB imo. Meanwhile, Kayko sounded like garbage, especially on that awful falsetto, and he gets a B instead of a C? Get some Q-tips!

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