12 of the Top 24 sing their own choice solo tonight and then tomorrow night duet with some Idols from the past series. 5 will leave this week and next, reducing the numbers to 14 which, presumably, will be the Live Show contestants.
Harry says that these solo rounds will be the most important, the solos being more a guide to how they can work with someone else but not as crucial as how they display themselves,
Stephanie Ngrete starts with a Jessie J number and does it justice for sure. She is a natural on stage and reminds me of Cher, especially in the black leather she has this evening. That was impressive. She has one match in Sonika Vaid and I don't see both going through. The judges seem to think she lacks connection although I thought she did a good job there.
Mackenzie Borg does Say Something which some will recall took Alex & Sierra to the top of X Factor USA. Comparisons aren't always so good and, much as I like this guy, I am not sure the song helped him as much as it might have done. He does put his own turn on songs and did a good job, just not a brilliant job. He is, though, one of the few guys with a chance of getting through.
Jeneve Rose Mitchell sings Angel Sarah McLoughlan, playing a harp too! Amazing. She is simply superb and this performance may be the one that we all look back upon when she is crowned the winner. She is extraordinary and I have a good feeling about this girl from the middle of nowhere where electricity is scarce and goodness knws what life is actually like.
Jenna Rae is also a Country singer. I am not so sure about her. She is clearly aware of the world and can sing superbly and put on a good show but it is a bit full on and lacking shade. She's fine and could be relied upon to perform well in Live Shows but she has a huge amount of competition.
James VIII sings Love Lockdown, a Kanye West song that has escaped my attention to date and, quite frankly, I feel none the worse for that. Pretty tedious stuff. James is sound and knows what he's doing but he doesn't strike me as someone who will make it through any further. Nothing wrong with the guy but I don't see him as an Idol winner. Harry isn't sure about how far he can go. Keith thinks he might be indulgent and needs to come out and kill it every time, not assume he'll go through.
Sonika sings a Taylor Swift number and puts a big gap between herself and Stephanie, dressed in a beautiful and glamorous dress and it's a standing, gentle performance that reaches out to people. I still want her to put across the lyrics better. Everyone loves her voice, though. She is very interesting and may be a surprise competitor later.
Gianna Isabella is the one whose mum was in the Live Shows some years back. Her version of I Put A Spell On You was great. She can really sing, possibly one of the strongest voices there with rock steady notes and seems to know how to appeal. I like her and think she'll do well. Win? Maybe not but she'll be there for a while.
Emily Brooke is possibly the only blonde this evening. She is not at her best, though, and the performance starts quite nervously and it takes a while before she can come across more comfortably. Harry says her talent is unquestionable but she missed the pitch and chose the wrong song. That could be sad for a previously potential star.
Avalon Young may not be as attractive as Emily but she is incredibly accurate with her notes and sings the Justin Beiber number extremely effectively. She seems very relaxed and quite mature on stage yet sings a teen song. She seems in tune with herself as much as anyone. Very reliable and I reckon she'll get through although I don't know how popular she'll be when the votes start being needed.
Jordan Sasser sings All By Myself which is a classic. He is a great singer, handling that very difficult track well. He is a true professional and it is difficult to come up with any reason he shouldn't make the Live Shows. Does he connect though? Keith didn't think he gets the emotion across and Harry didn't like the showing off. Interesting and quite sad for the guy when everyone else is being told to give it their all! He does and gets slammed for it! As I said, I can't think of a good reason for him not to make the Live Shows. But he won't.
Thomas Stringfellow must have guaranteed his place in the Live Shows with his remarkable Creep. He is excellent and puts his true self into almost every word. You can feel him sing even if he looks a bit silly in the check shirt and big hat. He is a potential Idol Runner Up. I see him in a Finale. Great reviews from Harry, Jennifer and Keith. Compelling stuff.
La Porsha Renae is the girl with the big woolly hair who looks round and either 14 or 44. Proud Mary is a classic for her and she is excellent. I can't fault this girl's singing or performance. I don't find her easy to watch but she is damn good and has to make the Live Shows, being head and shoulders above the others in terms of professionalism. Remarkable. Harry says she'll make the other competitors either want to do a lot better or quit!! I imagine she mist be the favourite but will she get the votes?
A good set of performances. Emily, Jordan and James would seem to be the obvious ones in trouble. Let's see how they manage with the duets next.