American Idol Season 15, Episode 15 Recap: So Cheap, Not Easy

Photo: Ray Mickshaw/FOX.
On Wednesday’s jam-packed yet utterly pointless performance show, 10 of the Top 14 revisited their “favorite moments of the season” (thinly veiled code for “We’re too cheap to clear new songs so suck it, viewers!”). America gets to vote starting this week — but just in case America is an idiot, the judges awarded four Fast Passes (golden tickets to Keith Urban’s hair salon) to the most promising commercial entities of the Farewell Season: Dalton Rapattoni, Olivia Rox, Trent Harmon and La'Porsha Renae. As the other 10 vied for the remaining six spots, these chosen four got to save their voices and loaf around in padded thrones like they were judges on The Voice or something. Ugh, they wish!

Here’s my ranking of the Lessers, from Rags to Roses:

Jeneve Rose Mitchell, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” Leave it to Harry Connick Jr. to condescend to voters regarding an emotionally overwrought 15-year-old with a cringeworthy collection of embroidered vests. “Your talent is different than everyone else on the stage,” he told Jeneve. “It may take some people a little bit of time to catch up to it.” Sorry, chief. No one cares about Mountain Girl or living up to your intellectual standards; the end.

Thomas Stringfellow, One Direction’s “Story of My Life” Harry finally addressed the only story of Thomas’ young life: the absurd hiccuping he does after basically every word. “There’s a big difference between an idiosyncrasy and a bad habit,” he scolded. “You have to stop. It gets annoying.” Well done, professor, and bonus points for name-dropping “the lead singer of the Cranberries” as the only lady or fancy boy who could get away with this.

Lee Jean, Ed Sheeran’s “Make It Rain” Such a big guitar for such a small boy! Too bad I didn’t believe he was playing it. Enough’s enough with this kid’s nerves already — it’s too off-putting unless the song is about fear. Cheers to Keith for trying to meditate his way — and ours — out of the rain and to a vague happy place: “so unique, chill, like walking on a shelly eastern beach, laid back…” Mmmm. Yeah. I’m there.

Gianna Isabella, Annie Lennox’s “I Put A Spell On You” Damnit, this new teen’s stupid spell snapped me out of fantasy beach mode and into reality, a jarring realm in which Gianna is still too overall gawky to have real Idol potential despite obvious visual upgrades. A vote for the same song she did last week will be a vote for this week’s swanky black jumpsuit and straightened hair. Seriously, why are they even bothering with this episode?

Manny Torres, Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster” The 21-year-old worship leader keeps getting sacked with the first performance slot of the evening, so even though he has “such a RAZZ about him” according to Keith, he probably escaped people’s minds as soon as they lunged to “Supervote” at 10 p.m. Cool song choice, though. For a few seconds I was back under a spell again, a pleasant reverie in which Season 11’s DeAndre Brackensick’s luscious curls cascaded all around me. Sadly a commercial break broke the spell, it’s no longer 2012, and Idol is still dying.

Tristan McIntosh, Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most” More straight hair. The only difference is her hair! They are asking us to vote for straight hair!!!
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Avalon Young, Chris Brown’s “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” Yet another hair-over and maybe the best of the night: the 21-year-old’s glossy waves contrasted beautifully with her oversize cargo jacket. I cannot abide by Chris Brown so that’s the nicest thing I have to say. “You’re getting more smooth, like butter,” said J.Lo, possibly in reference to her own braids, which she was intently stroking throughout Avalon’s meet-and-greet with the SwayBots.

Jenn Blosil, Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” Two words: Bedazzled eyebrows. Love them or hate them (I love them because hello, she’s clearly an alien and why even front), they made sense for the song. You with the sad eyes / Don’t be discouraged…/You can lose sight of it all… Sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you want — and if that means getting voted off for wearing your jewels on your face, then whatever! At least Jenn’s song was in tune this time.

MacKenzie Bourg, original song “Roses” Season 15’s manic pixie dream boy had an easy stage presence and perfect pitch, but I couldn’t understand most of the words and hated how he punctuated the end of the lyric "take off thaaaat… dress!" as if he’d just thought of something clever. Eh, I’m probably just jealous.

Sonika Vaid, Celine Dion’s “I Surrender” The gap-toothed beauty with a “voice from God” glammed it up with a sparkly tattered gown and high notes that gave J.Lo goosies on her face. “Usually I’ve got it on my legs and arms, but this time I’ve got it in my cheeks,” she explained, making the most of the 10-second-total critique time for Wednesday’s performances. So, good. Face goosies. That’s…something.
Get ready for Thursday’s “massive live Top 10 show!” Kelly Clarkson will be there, so it can’t be that pointless. Right?!
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