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American Idol Season 19 - Solos & Duets #1


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The talent has been whittled down to 24 and now your judges are turning the decisions over to you you. Tonight, the first 12 will perform 24 songs. The second 12 will perform Monday night. Performing before a live audience of masked and pod-separated Idol superfans, voting is now open for your favorite. This is American Idol!


Each artist will perform a solo song of their choosing to demonstrate their artistry. Then the idols will perform a duet with one of their Idols. The top 8 from each night will continue into the Top 16, to be revealed next Sunday night. They will be critiqued by the judges: Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and the iconic Lionel Ritchie. 


First up is 19 year old Alanis Sophia, singing Alive (Sia). Dramatic and confident, her vocal is powerful and performance is stage comfortable. For her Duet, she is singing with AI Alumnus Jimmie Allen, who offers advice from experience. They are singing Shallow (Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper). The performance shows she can also practice control and deliver nuance. Katy thought Alanis's solo showed her in the driver's seat and in the duet, you were a little overwhelmed by a star's presence, which was right for the song. Luke says get in the head space where you own the stage, build on character. Lionel says the more you do this, the more you'll understand. If you have to think about it, it's wrong. Your nerves were getting in the way of enjoying the experience.


The next artist is 24yr old Cassandra Coleman, singing Find Me (Sigma featuring Birdy). Standing behind the mic, she looked swallowed up by the state, and it felt like nerves affected her breakout vocal. Her duet with Ryan Tedder (One Republic) of Apologize (One Republic) was emotional and stronger, more comfortable and confident in the shared experience. Lionel tells Cassandra she is trying to concentrate while she sings and it shows, but it was a great performance. Luke says she is in her own lane but must watch the nerves and own the moment. Katy says her voice is a spiritual experience, angelic, and she had full body chills.


Next is 18yr old Alyssa Wray, singing Something In The Water (Carrie Underwood). Her voice is confident, focused and dynamic, owning the stage and audience. This was not a performance but an announcement: I am here. For her duet, she paired up with AI alumnus Katharine McPhee to sing I'm Your Baby Tonight (Whitney Houston). Up tempo, she gave no quarter and maybe even outperformed her partner with an exciting and top-level performance. Lionel said watching her perform is like trying to cap a volcano, you looked like you've been doing this for 100 years. Katy says you held your own in the duet. but don't be afraid to get dirty in your solo, it doesn't have to be polished and perfect. Luke said you are giving star sparkle even when on stage with a star.


Next is 20yr old Wyatt Pike, singing rubberband (Tate McRae). Playing the acoustc, his vocal is soft and folksy as he delivers an emotional, personal, confessional performance. For his duet with Ben Rector, they are singing Brand New. He defers the guitar to his partner in favor of some awkward dance moves, but his vocal performance is equal in intensity, honesty and confidence as if not in awe at all and having the time of his life. Kelly says it looks like you rolled out of bed, you are an authentic superstar musician who could tour today. Luke said his performance was emotional because it was just great, you are so right in your moment. Nothing to do different. Lionel says what you cannot teach is stage presence and you owned that moment.


Next to perform is 22yr old Alana, singing Blow Your Mind (MHAH) (Dua Lipa). Strolling seductively and confidently across the stage, her vocal exuded passion and attitude, easily mixing melody and hip hop. In her duet with Brian McKnight singing Back At One, she offers a softer, more sensitive vocal, but it came off more like a feature backup vocal assist to the more magnetic lead singer - a solid but outmatched vocal. Luke says great energy on the solo performance and at the end of the duet. Lionel says she has the stage presence and energy to be a star but needs to give more attitude. Katy said she lit the stage up, worked the audience, just needs to take a few more vocal risks, let it fly.


20yr old Anilee List is next, singing my future (Billie Eilish). Her vocal is soft and ethereal, her emotion worn on her face, powerful and strong if maybe just slightly off pitch. For her duet with Joss Stone, they are singing Tell Me Something Good (Rufus & Chaka Khan). The two singers R&B solo styles were notably different but they leaned into the chorus and her runs were confident and explosive. Lionel said she ran head on into someone so comfortable on stage - you have to use her as the example of relaxation with concentration - you rose to the next level. Katy said you have a powerhouse gospel voice - just wanted you to push your voice a little more, roll the dice. Luke says you are close to next-level greatness, having a great time barefoot, you enjoyed it and had fun.


Next we have 19yr old Deshawn Goncalves, singing Forever Young (Bob Dylan). Opening with an A Capella prayer, he owns the stage and camera as the band kicks in, delivering a simple but powerful vocal performance that shows off the dynamic range of his voice. Ryan Tedder returns for Deshawn's duet, singing  I Lived (One Republic). Looking a  little nervous, he delivers a nuanced vocal, relaxing as the song progresses, finding a groove in the chorus, growing in confidence throughout the performance. Katy says his unique is Top 3 unique, instant identity, just don't be stiff and have fun. Luke says you have great tone and maneuvers, just shake it out and be the star. Lionel says don't think about it - enjoy the audience and the stage.


At 27, Graham DeFranco is the oldest artist, singing Raye (John Splithoff). Dishing out some subtle R&B vocal in his coffee-house knit cap, his vocal is smooth and easy listening, a little breathless. Singing with Ben Rector, they are singing Love Like This for his duet. With Ben playing the the keyboards and Graham perched on a stool, the ballad is not a reach from his first performance, soft and sensitive, with just a tinge but no real venture into his untapped power. Luke says his voice is so listenable, turning songs into your style, right song for your solo performance. Lionel says singing is singing but being able to move people is everything, and you moved us. Katy thought his first song had vibe but no emotion; the second song was storytelling with the lyrics, lock the audience into your lyrics.


Next is 23yr old Andrea Valles, singing Lo Vas A Olvidar (Billie Eilish/Rosalia). Starting out in Spanish, the vocal is moody, serious, and empassioned and strong. For her duet with Brian McKnight, they are singing Careless Whisper (George Michael). With the mood set by Sax, the vocal is sensual and seductive, soft and floating, a euphoric performance, but once again, Brian's presence and voice overshadowed his softer vocaled partner. Lionel says you matched one of the smoothest vocalists with your own, standing on your own. Katy says you're the only singing with one eye today and you are making it look really fashionable; incredible Spanish, so many tricks up your sleeve. Luke says you've got to catch people's eyes and ears with more than just surgery, but this performance got you back on the map. 


Next is 20yr old Cecil Ray, singing Paint Me Birmingham (Tracy Lawrence), with a low energy but solid vocal, he presents a raw honesty and sincerity with his unique countrified voice. Paired with Jimmie Allen for his duet, they are singing Freedom Was A Highway (Jimmie Allen/Brad Paisley). Cecil was dressed plainly to Jimmie's cowboy getup but it was Cecil's vocal that got out and stole the stage, free to express himself with the comfort of not having to carry the performance alone, his vocal more at ease with the style of song than the solo he picked for himself. Katy calls him the underdog, you have to take that turn at one point, roll the dice, in your head for the solo but in your comfort zone for the duet. Luke says you got swallowed up with some pitch problems, maybe just fromt he craziness of live, but it will get harder each round. Lionel says I saw myself on stage 100 years ago - your hand got stuck in your pocket - we need more attitude. 


21yr old Willie Spence is next, singing Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler), his voice is smooth and silky, with a touch of rasp, strong and powerful vocals with huge pipes and a hint of sensitivity that needs to be explored more. Paired with Katharine McPhee, their duet is The Prayer (Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli). Strong with a touch of spiritual softness, he harmonized beautifully, but the solo sections did not stand out. Luke says he does no wrong in his eyes, he's in love with him and how he is on stage and where his singing comes from. Lionel says you don't want to be a singer, you want to be a stylist and you have your own mesmerizing lane. Katy says the duet was your lane, goosebumps central, to win it will be about powerhouse song choice.


20 year old Grace Kinstler is the last performance of the night, singing Queen (Jessie J). She jumps right into her performance with attitude and swag, strutting across the stage and using her vocal and stage presence to make a statement. For her duet pairing with Joss Stone, they are singing Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knight & The Pips), she slid easily into the more R&B ballad, enjoying her vocal experience, perhaps not in line with the feel of the song but more certainly in line with her power vocal performance. Lionel says your voice quality and confidence are a winning package. Katy said the duet was timeless, soaring on a different level, that's your gift. Luke says I can't believe I have a front row seat to watch you grow, great job on the duet.


Get  your votes in now - voting closes at 6am ET on Monday. Who from these 12 will be in your Top 8 next week? Morty wants to know!

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