I have had to avoid Twitter all week. That is the problem with following this show in the UK, trying to avoid the news! Normally I fail miserably and then have to try and write reviews as if it is all a surprise. This year, I can genuinely say that I do not know who makes the final three. I am assuming that there will one more week when the Final comes and we all know who wins so that is the week I have to go into hibernation big time.
My guess is that La'Porsha, Mackenzie and Trent are the ones that make it. My personal preference would be for Dalton to be there and win the thing. So let's see.
Three rounds. First a Home Town performance. Second their own choice. Third the Judges' choices.
Mackenzie may seem to be the weakest competitor remaining but remember Phillip Phillips? American Idol seems to favour the less obvious stars on many occasions. Adam Lambert lost out to little David, of whom little has been heard of since over here! Even here on X Factor we have had some odd winners, like Leon Jackson, never to be heard of again, and The Voice is almost famous for not making winners famous in this country! He is also very original, writes his own stuff and that I admire and respect. He could be a success with some marketing support and, judging by the early tracks we heard during auditions, he may have what it takes to move into what is currently a popular folk-rock genre. So I am saying that Mackenzie needs to be there.
His song is the classic Hallelujah. Nice choice. I am never sure about this song as a soft option, though. My preference is the original and most since have been a bit soft or commercial. This is good but I didn't really feel moved by the song as others have done before. Not at all bad, though, and it hasn't been that much done in American Idol so the public may like it and I am sure it won't harm his chances. 'Nice job', as Harry says.
Dalton, as I have said, is the one I feel should win. He has a natural talent, looks good on screen and I can imagine him capturing a huge bundle of fans and enjoying his fame, reaching across the Atlantic to UK too. he really should get the whole of the teen vote. I particularly like how he understands what is going on on stage and what he needs to do and show when performing. He is bright and I do hope he makes it, however tough that will be on one of the others. He is the star in many ways and would serve the brand well in future.
His song is Calling You. It's not one I recognise. But it is 2016, modern and coms across as a real performance that enlivens the audience. He can work with the camera too and that was great, Is it his last, though? The vote has already been taken so nothing he does now will make any difference. He was good. Jennifer says it'll be interesting to see where he goes during the night. What does she know? I am sure the judges do know and I am looking for a hint. I didn't see a sign that he's going. But it will be a close call.
Trent deserves his place here but I think he would be the one I would put in 4th place. He has been really good, he hasn't put a foot or note wrong all the way through but he hasn't been, how can I put it, very interesting. He has all the 'classic' American, all American Boy stuff going for him and that has to count for something and has launched many previous winners. So it really is anybody's game this year and he stands as good a chance as anyone of making it through.
His song I didn't recognise either but it was a classic sort of ballad that suited him well. I didn't think it suited a young audience that well but many will have appreciated his superb delivery and spot-on tuning throughout. the judges were very complimentary.
Now Trent has said that his family would only come to the show if he made the Final. Ryan surprises him big time by bringing them on stage! Quite what that means I don't know. If I were Trent I'd be assuming that theyw ere brought in to make at least this show as the numbers were looking close for him. However, this might just be a bluff by Idol producers to get us to assume he hasn't made it. And, to be honest, at this stage, if I were his dad I would have insisted on coming as it really is anyone who could be going home now.
La'Porsha seems to be a shoe-in to the Final and, in many people's books, the title too. I can see torms hat. She has been pretty amazing and is certainly one hell of a good singer and she can interpret lyrics very well with all the suffering she's had in the past. I do have a doubt, though, about where she'll fit in in the modern pop world. She'll sell well amongst the over 30s for sure but unless she can bring some new flavour of soul and Motown to the 21st Century and today's charts I just see her as an album seller who will do well but just never get that well known outside a limited area. I would still put money on her winning, though!
She performs Glory very well indeed. The judges didn't want to critique her any more as she is just so good.
Ryan announces who is through.
Trent is first to be announced. And yes! Dalton makes it!! La'Porsha too. So Mackemzie goes. He's done well, though, and should get a contract anyway. He'd better.
It seems that La'Porsha may not have won the public vote and the producers must be a bit worried about that. I think there would have been a revolt had she not made the Final. I also feel she will have to make the Top 2, come what may.
So now they can relax a bit and do the mentor's choice. Bruce Springstein's great Dancing In The Dark is ideal for Dalton. Nice choice. He starts well, slowly but then burst into a really fast and spiced up version that set the stage and audience alight. Jennifer was almost uncontrollable and we learn at the end that she was almost reasy to be dragged on stage to join Dalton. Now that would have been a moment but, of course, not quite as even-handed as the panel needs to be I suppose! That was good. Too short, ending a bit weakly, but good. It won't have lost him any of his fans and may even have brought in some new ones who were supporting Mackenzie. Now he can win this thing, especially bearing mind the vulnerability of La'Porsha's support in terms of actual votes.
La'Porsha gets Stay With Me Baby which she puts her heart and soul into. An excellent cover but I wouldn't rush to see that again. She probably won't either as we discover later that she really didn't like the lyrics of a woman begging a man to stay with her. Now there is something going on here that I am not so sure all of America will appreciate. The song is fair enough, lyrically, for a girl who does love someone that much. If La'Porsha doesn't like it never mind. The judges spot that she was 'acting'. Interesting.
Oh dear, what has the mentor guy given to Trent? It's a Justin Timberlake number I Can Drink You Away. Rubbish. Not at all a pleasant noise. He did his best but I didn't like that at all. He had a guitar but no-one actually knows why. To be fair he gets a lot of credit for how he sang and worked with the band. he is good at that.
Keith Urban ings his new single Wasted Time. He's had 20 No.1s over there apparently. Gosh!
That was pretty good, with a double guitar thing that was an electric banjo as well as a guitar.
Back to the competition. For Dalton the judges choose Everybody Wants To Rule The World. Why? That was average and, as Jennifer points out, the key was low and it didn't work. There was not the energy and Dalton had droped it because he wasn't sure about hitting the notes in a higher key. The ending was dreadful, though, and I think everyone knew that so he is very much relying upon his first two (thankfully impressive) performances. The panel really didn't do him any favours there. It's an old song, stuck in the 80s and no amount of Daltonization can drag it back here and now.
La'Porsha is next and I am sure the panel will have chosen better for her. Yes, they play very safe with Adele's Hello. No problem there at all. She does that very well and you know she'll be through. If it's at Dalton's expense then he should demand a contract anyway!
Trent gets a decent track too. it isn't one I know but suits him very well. A far better performance than the others. He ought to stand a good chance and I reckon the votes could be close all round between the three. Nice choice. Keith chose it and he is talented at putting people and tracks together.
So that's it. Voters will by now have chosen the two who get to perform in the Final itself, although there'll be two shows: the Top 3 going to 2 Show and the Final itself. I wouldn't want to call this one. I am tempted to say Trent may take this after all. I would like Dalton to win. La'Porsha is the one expected to win. You choose, America.
Now to avoid Twitter and any site that may bear the news of the shows now being shown over there.