After last weeks' SHOCKING elimination of 16 year old Tyanna Jones, an elimination I missed until the opening moments of tonight's episode because I was out of town sweating my face off so OMG I AM ACTUALLY SHOCKED, I'm just not sure what to make of the rest of this season.
There's no way Rayvon Owen should still be in this competition and I'm sort of thinking he's made some sort of deal with the devil or is secretly dating Taylor Swift or something to stay in this thing.
OUCH MY HEART.
Each of the four remaining contestants will sing three songs tonight: Scott Borchetta's choice, the hometown dedication, and the judges pick. Voting will be ongoing throughout the night which seems wildly unfair because they won't all have the same amount of time for voting.
What is actually going on this season, Idol?
Rayvon Owen is up first. Scott Borchetta chose "Want To Want Me" by Jason Derulo for his first round. Rayvon has a great falsetto for this and sounds fantastic. He's also learned to work the crowd a little bit and seems really comfortable on the stage, but I'm still bitter about him sending my girl Tyanna home. Gah. I hate that I like this guy, but I do. That was a solid way to open the night.
Keith called it a great song choice because of Rayvon's falsetto. Jennifer gave Scott the credit too and called it a nice way to start the night. Harry said he sees Rayvon as a ballad singer but thought the hat-wearing stud did a great job on that.
(I'm skipping the ratings because they don't really mean much when we're voting people off on the same night. Editorial decision making, FTW.)
Clark Beckham asked to be pushed out of his comfort zone so Scott handed him "Beautiful Day." The trouble with this song is that it's so oversaturated no one ever wants to hear it again. Clark is looking AMAZING tonight, but that opening verse was just so-so. Those girls in the front row would like to touch him and take him to that other place. Wait, what? Right. Singing. Clark seems to be having fun, but this isn't my favorite song of his.
Jennifer says Clark did a good job channeling his inner rock star. Harry thought it was pretty good and the band was exceptional. Keith loved Clark's reckless abandon around the 3/4 mark of the song.
The "pride of Connecticut," Nick Fradiani gets "Because the Night" by Bruce Springsteen for his first round song. His face scruff is absolutely perfect tonight. So is his performance. He gives off a Daughtry vibe and Idol was clearly a good move for him. Nice job, Nick! He sounded hot and he looked hot and it was an all-around excellent start for him.
Harry thought it was fantastic and loves how he's getting to know who Nick is as an artist. Keith makes a plug for iTunes and says he loves Nick's tone. Jennifer thought he sounded wonderful but cautions him to work on focusing with his lyrics.
The final contestant in round one, Jax, gets "My Generation" by The Who. She shows up wearing a British flag draped around her shoulders and lets it fall to the ground and I don't know about flag etiquette in the UK, but booooo to that. She sounds like typical Jax, trying to be sexy and edgy and sort of achieving both but mostly just being wildly over-choreographed.
Keith calls it "frigging awesome." He loved the key change. Jennifer agrees with Keith and thought she killed it. Harry said she made the most of her opportunity on the stage and called this her best performance so far.
Nick Fradiani had an excellent visit home, and Guilford, Connecticut chose "Back Home" for Nick. Or Nick chose this song for Guilford. It's not really clear how this works. I really dig this. It's a totally different side of him from the performance we just saw, so it's a good idea of how versatile he'll be as an artist. (Because let's face it. Scott Borchetta's totally putting a record deal on that.)
Jennifer loves that we've seen him get better and better each week and thought that he did a great job. Harry doesn't think a critique is really warranted and could only think about how Nick almost didn't audition. Keith just talked about Nick's dad and how great he and his dad are together.
Clark Beckham went home to White House, Tennessee but first set up on 3rd & Broadway in Nashville, the first spot he ever played. Then he played a little soccer. Tonight he's playing "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay." Now THIS is a performance to go and download from iTunes. Songs like this are so iconic it's hard to imagine them as current radio hits, but there's something about Clark's voice and demeanor that just makes people (i.e. me) want to listen.
Harry loved the video piece because he got to see a different side of Clark and thought the performance was nice. Keith wants to see more struggle from Clark because he's so good. Jennifer knows that this sort of song is Clark's "home."
Perpetually in the bottom of the pack, Rayvon Owen learned from a neighbor that when he gets to stay each week he entire street can hear the rejoicing in his mother's house. And he got a surprise visit from Elliott Yamin. Tonight he's chosen Stevie Wonder's "As." If Keith needs more angst and grit from Clark he must need a truckload of it from Rayvon. This is okay, but I don't love it.
Keith called it "effortless" and then sort of made fun of Rayvon's pants. Jennifer loved the way he looked and called him a cat with nine lives and silky vocals. Harry wants to see him more like his pep rally self, moving around the stage.
Jax couldn't wait to get home to her baby brother. And her dog. Her adorable, adorable dog. She's singing "My Immortal" by Evanescence. It's actually a really strong choice for her since this sound is in her wheelhouse. The performance is very low key and pretty.
Jennifer says Jax' humility is integral to the kind of artist she is. Harry can't think of anything else to say besides what Jennifer said, so he just defers to her. Keith doesn't even get a chance to speak. Or doesn't have anything to say.
The judges chose a song from the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack for Clark Beckham, "Earned It" by The Weekend. J.Lo wanted to modernize him a little bit. Vocally the song fits with what he already does. There's a bluesy soul to it, a little falsetto, and he can throw in some of his trademark vocal grit. He seems mildly uncomfortable with the lyrics until he hits the bridge and then he and the song just open right up.
Keith gives out a "whooooooooo" and the audience can't stop clapping. Harry tells him to tap into whatever he tapped into in the end of the song and hang onto that from the beginning. Keith "saw and heard and felt" things he's never felt from Clark before. Jennifer loved that this was the Clark version of the song and felt the electricity in the end.
Now it's Rayvon Owen's turn. The judges have given him "You Are So Beautiful." He's chosen a very haunting arrangement so it starts sort of creepy and stalkerish. Maybe that's what he was going for to give the song something totally different. If so, it worked. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a really pretty vocal.
Keith thought it was a beautiful song and beautiful arrangement. Jennifer wanted him to sing to his mom again because that's when he connects emotionally. Harry disagrees with Jen and thought that Rayvon was singing it with emotion. He loved the new arrangement at the beginning too.
Jax hits the stage to sing "Misery Business" by Paramore. This isn't her strongest performance. She doesn't have trouble hitting all the lyrics, but she used up all her emotion on the middle number. It left me feeling a little meh. There wasn't a moment and it just sort of sat in one place.
Keith called it an odd arrangement and didn't think the vocals went with the acoustic arrangement. Jennifer said they chose it because they wanted her to dig into it and she just...didn't. Harry didn't feel it was as strong as the previous two songs and that she let the band upstage her.
Nick Fradiani is closing the night and then we'll get results. The judges chose "I'll Be" for him. It's a perfect song, totally beautiful, and ladies are going to swoon. I know I'm swooning. Seriously. This song takes me back to high school and since I could've gone to high school with Nick, it's basically perfect. He does a fantastic job and only really changes things up by adding an electric guitar into the arrangement.
Harry says it was a great vocal and it sounded like he was singing "the underbelly." (Basically, Nick nailed the lyrics.) Keith calls him a rock singer-songwriter. Jennifer just called it perfect and amazing.
And now we wait to find out which of these four singers will be heading back home not on a private plane but probably flying coach on a budget airline to fade into un-famous oblivion.
The American Idol Season 14 Top 3 are...Nick Fradiani, Clark Beckham, and Jax. Rayvon Owen, after having been in the bottom two for SIX WEEKS is finally going home. Crazy.
So that's the Top 3. They'll all take the stage in finale performances on TUESDAY night at 8:00 next week on Fox with the results to be revealed on Wednesday. Special night next week, guys! Don't forget!
I know I won't.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.