The decision of who to send home and who to move forward was undoubtedly tough after watching the top girls and guys sing for their lives this week. But with millions of votes cast, America has chose the following contestants to continue on in the competition. We’ve rated each singer based on their Top 10 performance below:
Paul Jolley: B- Recovering from a tough round in front of the judges during Hollywood Week, Paul attempted to wow them with his take on Christina Aguilera's "Just a Fool" during the Top 10 guys semi-finals. Must like last week, the judges were split on their opinions about his performance, but they all agreed that he has a strong voice. For his celebratory song, Paul Jolley chose to sing Heart’s “Alone,” which Keith Urban praised as being much better than the previous night’s performance. We can see potential in Paul, but nerves often seem to get the best of him and cause his singing to become pitchy. Let’s hope he can conquer his stage jitters is the coming weeks!
Burnell Taylor: A- Burnell reprised his Baton Rouge audition with his rendition of "I'm Here" from The Color Purple for the Top 10 guys semi-finals round. The judges agreed that his voice is instantly recognizable and filled with genuine emotion. Much to no one’s surprise, Burnell made the cut to be in the Season 12 Top 10 and performed gorgeous version India.Arie’s “Ready for Love.” Mariah Carey complimented the intricacies of his vocal stylings and said that she really felt the emotion in his performance. While we can’t deny that Burnell has an outstanding voice and did a beautiful job with the India.Arie song, we’d love to see him do an upbeat song next time around!
Curtis Finch Jr.: B+ Coming off a great performance during Hollywood Week, Curtis wowed the judges again with his version of R.Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" during the Top 10 guys semi-finals round. He was the first singer of the night to get a standing ovation from all four judges. After hearing his name called for the Top 10, Curtis looked genuinely surprised. For his celebratory song, he performed John Legend’s “So High.” Randy Jackson commented that Curtis has yet to let the judges down with a performance. While we’re totally impressed by his vocal range, we also hope to see Curtis step up his game and do a song that will make the audience want to get their dancing shoes on.
Devin Velez: B Devin Velez impressed the judges yet again with his take on the classic tune "It's Impossible" during the Top 10 guys semi-finals round, switching again from English to Spanish mid-song. Randy Jackson praised the tone of Devin's voice, while Mariah Carey called his performance "incredible.” For his victory song, Devin performed a solid version Israel Houghton’s “The Power of One.” Nicki Minaj encouraged him to continue in the bilingual vein he’s been following, singing songs in English and Spanish. While we agree it’s important to find a niche early on as an artist, we’d like to see Devin sing something more modern.
Lazaro Arbos: B Rebounding from Hollywood Week’s shaky performance, Lazaro chose to perform Michael Buble's "Feeling Good" during the Top 10 guys semi-finals round. While it didn't showcase the full range of his voice, the judges seemed pleased with the song choice overall. America seemed to like it too and chose to advance Lazaro into the Season 12 Top 10! For his celebratory song, he reprised his version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which he sang at his original audition. Let’s hope Lazaro has more than just ballads and loungey songs in him, because we really sincerely want him to succeed!
Janelle Arthur: A Bouncing back from her lackluster song choice from last week, Janelle took on Elvis Presley's "If I Can Dream" during the girls semi-finals round. The judges all seemed to agree that she had a album-ready image and voice to back it up. To celebrate making it into the Season 12 Top 10, Janelle sang Dierks Bentley’s “Home,” which garnered a standing ovation from the judges. “You came alive today,” said Nicki, who also said she thinks Janelle could be a huge country star. We think she gave her best performance so far tonight, and look forward to seeing more of Janelle! Candice Glover: A Candice wowed the judges with her version of John Legend's "Ordinary People" during the Top 10 girls semi-finals. Words literally failed Nicki, who simply saluted Candice, and Randy said he considered her to have the best voice in the competition. “This girl can really, really sing,” said Randy after her victory performance of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Goin’ Down.” The judges gave her a standing ovation, and we got to see her best performance of the competition so far.
Angela Miller: B+ Angela took a seat at the piano again to perform Colton Dixon's "Never Gone" during the girls semi-finals, wowing the judges with her strong vocals and excelleng piano playing. They all agreed that Angela commanded the stage well, and that she's already seemed to have found her signature sound. We weren’t crazy about her choice to sing Beyonce’s “I Was Here,” but the judges gave her a standing-O nonetheless. Hopefully her next song will have us falling in love with her again, like we did during her Hollywood Week solo performance.
Amber Holcomb: B+ Her legs may have taken center stage during Hollywood Week, but this time around, the judges took notice of Amber's big voice. The singer performed Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me" during the girls semi-finals and received the only standing ovation from all four judges of the evening. She sang Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” for her victory song, a tune we fully endorse. But her stage presence didn’t quite match the energy of the song. Hopefully we’ll see a change in Amber in the coming weeks!
Kree Harrison: A- Kree took on Faith Hill's "Stronger" during the Top 10 girls semi-finals. Keith Urban gave her another standing ovation, and Mariah Carey noted that Kree could definitely make it in the music industry on her own, even if she does not make it to the next round of American Idol. Fortunately for Kree, she did make the cut for the Season 12 Top 10 and sang Susan Tedeschi’s “Evidence” as her victory song. We loved her stage presence, and the tune smartly showed off her vocal talents. We just hope Kree will go for a more contemporary song next time around!