Last week, 24 hopefuls took the stage in pursuit of the American Idol Season 14 crown. This week, the Top 16 will perform, guys tonight and girls tomorrow.
EIGHT contestants will be going home this week in our first round of eliminations under the new format. Let's get to it and see how this is all going to work.
We're back a the Fillmore in Detroit and kicking off the night with "I Will Survive" being performed by Aretha Franklin herself. This is...weird? Yes. Weird. All the guys are dressed in ties, too, so I'm guessing there's a theme in here somewhere.
All the guys except Riley Bria. He's not in a tie And Ryan's in a collared shirt and looking like he hasn't shaved in a week. He's so busy maybe he hasn't. No judging the scruff, Ryan.
OH! There's the hashtag. Tonight is #MotownIdol. We'll find out who'll be going home at the end of the night. Ryan will call the guys up one by one and whoever's left on the stools at the end of the night will be saying goodbye.
Daniel Seavey is the first to find out he's safe. He put down the guitar and decided to sing "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)." This isn't his strongest performance. Maybe it's nerves from going first. Maybe it's the fact that the song is a little too low for him (or his voice is choosing a very unfortunate time to continue breaking). He works a little choreography into the performance so it's not completely unsalvageable.
Keith says he's happy to see Daniel up there and loved his performance and his confidence. Jennifer thought he was a little more relaxed and having fun but the song was too low. Harry felt like Daniel wasn't feeling his band and that his choreography was too rehearsed. 6.5/10
The next guy to take the stage in Detroit is Mark Andrew. (Oh, t-shirt, no tie.) He chose "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by The Temptations. It's a perfect song choice but it also feels a smidge too low in the verses. He has so much fun when he sings, but this is not exactly wowing me.
Jennifer didn't feel like the song in that way moved her. Harry says his voice is his strong point but he doesn't want Mark to string too many jam band performances together. Keith agreed with Jennifer and he's glad Mark is here. 7/10
Rayvon Owen is the third guy through to the Top 8. He pulls out "My Girl" and is probably aided from his history of performing at weddings back home. This guy is like...butter. His performance is effortless every note of the way.
Harry kicks off the commentary by saying it was a great song choice and that he loved Rayvon's presence but he wants to see a little grit. Keith wants some weight in the performances too. Jennifer thought he did a great job. 10/10
In a bit of a shocker, Adam Ezegelian is safe for another week. He's singing "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5. I really want to like this performance, but his eyes get kind of creepy and that takes me out of the number. He makes some interesting arrangement choices and tries to put a little dirt in the vocals, but again, he feels like a comedian who happens to sing.
Keith thought the song was perfect and loved what Adam did with the song. Jennifer thought he did a great job on the song and liked the arrangement. Harry says his voice is his most dangerous quality because he hits some big notes. 8/10
Clark Beckham, Scott Foley's double, is the next guy to sing. He chose "Tracks Of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson and he's the first to pick up the guitar tonight, which is a good choice. I'm too busy watching him to comment. It's all just so enjoyable! I love him!
Jennifer loves him too and thinks he has one of the best voices here. She wants him to let loose and feel a little when he sings. Harry calls him a terrific talent but says that there wasn't a beginning, middle, and end to the number. Keith thought he should've lost the band and just played and sang. (Dear Harry, always leave them wanting more.) 10/10
Ryan lets the girls announce that Nick Fradiani is the 6th guy through. He kicks off "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" without the band and has them come in after the first verse. Smart choice. I almost wouldn't have minded if the band just stayed out of it and Nick just jammed on his guitar a little bit. He had absolutely zero issues with that performance.
Harry loved the arrangement and thought the vocal was strong. He just wants Nick to smile more. Keith didn't think he looked as comfortable playing the guitar there and wishes he'd moved more. Jennifer thought it was a good performance. 10/10
Qaasim Middleton is the next man to make it. He channels his inner Stevie Wonder for "I Wish" and breaks it down with a little dancing behind the microphone. Qaasim feels like an old soul so this week was made for him. He's leaving absolutely everything on the stage and has energy like WHOA. He's a little too concerned with his footwork to sing sometimes, but it's still pretty solid.
Keith just shouts "so good!" Jennifer says "you so damn funky, it's crazy!" Then she tells him to sing so he doesn't lose the vocal. Harry didn't think he lost the vocal at all and says he's what they're looking for. 9/10
The final spot in the Top 8 goes to...Quentin Alexander. He chooses "Master Blaster" for Motown night. This is the first performance of his I've really enjoyed. It's not nearly as over the top as some of his have been. It seems like a totally natural fit for him.
Jennifer is so glad Quentin is here. Harry's favorite part was how he settled into the song. Keith loves that Quentin knows who he is. 10/10
Savion Wright, Trevor Douglas, Riley Bria, and Michael Simeon are all gone. The first three deserved a spot in the Top 8, definitely above Adam, and prior to tonight's performance, I would've said above Quentin.
This is a really, really hard year for voters because there are some seriously talented individuals taking the stage every week, and beyond just talent, there's a hunger. It's weird.
If I had to guess, I would say Adam and Daniel could be in danger. Daniel's getting the cute vote but tonight wasn't his strongest. We'll see.
Tomorrow night the girls take the stage and we'll say goodbye to four of them.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.