American Idol review: Alejandro Aranda, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, & duets

American Idol
Welcome to American Idol … albeit a really unusual American Idol. For the first time ever, Ryan Seacrest isn’t there to host! No, this didn’t have anything to do with Brian Dunkleman’s revenge; instead, it’s tied more to Seacrest getting sick. Bobby Bones is here, it feels weird, but not as weird as that time people got legitimately mad that he won a silly dance competition. (Does winning Dancing with the Stars really mean anything?)

Anyhow, we’re going to be updating this article with more of our take on various artists and duets.

Want more American Idol video coverage? Then check out some of the latest on the acts below! For more discussion/insight now, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube! We’ve also got an American Idol playlist to make your search for video coverage all the easier.

Alyssa Raghu and Julia Michaels, “Issues” – Our first performance tonight! Alyssa was excited to be able to go out on stage with someone she considers to be a musical inspiration. The interplay between the two was here, but there’s something about the specific arrangement and staging that felt off. We didn’t get enough of them in the same spot and some of the intonation on Alyssa’s part was a little bit sloppy. C+.

Eddie Island and Lukas Graham, “7 Years” – Eddie is a strange dude with his stuffed animal and his wild “Mayor of Nashville” side, and it was interesting to see him take on a more vulnerable song. There was an odd sort of childlike innocence to what Eddie brought to the table here. This was memorable — he’s still not the best singer this season, but we’re not going to forget about this. B-.

Wade Cota and Lovelytheband, “Broken” – Good on Wade for being more than just a singer tonight — we saw more of a stage persona from him and a guy who was confident and ready to have a good time. This was a song with some painful subject matter wedged in there, but he still carried himself in a way where there was more energy and we were totally on board with his experience and vibe. Probably one of our favorites from Wade this season. B+.

Ryan Hammond and Cynthia Erivo, “Hold On, I’m Coming” – How had Ryan never heard this song growing up? This had some real POWER to it! We can’t say that Ryan and Cynthia necessarily did anything new to this song — it felt a lot like every other rendition we’ve heard over time — but that doesn’t mean that it has to be any less outstanding. The vocals in here were fierce and this was a collaboration with energy. A-.

Evelyn Cormier and Chris Isaak, “Wicked Game” – Awesome. Chris is a really generous duet partner and Evelyn did such a wonderful job bringing the emotion and haunting pain to this song. This just felt natural, like these two were meant to actually do this song together. We know that we’re judging the singers here, but how crazy was that one note that Chris just held out near the end of the song? A.

Logan Johnson and Julia Michaels, “What a Time” – There was a sweetness to this performance, but it was almost like a pretty good piece of bubble gum that you enjoy while you’re chewing on it but forget about immediately you spit it out, hopefully not in a place where people are going to step on it. This was just airy and forgettable; Logan didn’t add anything new to it. C-.

Raquel Trinidad and Lonelytheband, “Tiny Dancer” – After hearing that Raquel didn’t know this song, coupled with Ryan’s own admission earlier, almost made us throw our head through the TV. What are these people listening to? We do at least think that she brought a lot of sass and energy to the Elton John classic, rocking along and making it seem like she was game for everything. B.

Alejandro Aranda and Ben Harper, “There Will be a Light” – This was such a powerful but gentle performance between the two guys. While we don’t think that this is going to be a firework (Katy Perry pun intended) online, there was something just so soft and lovely about watching these two men work and play the guitar alongside each other. Lovely from start to finish. A.

Dimitrius Graham and Lukas Graham, “Love Someone” – You had to love the connection that these two guys have. It felt like they really understood where each other was coming from and that led to them delivering on such an emotive performance. Dimitrius doesn’t need to hit every note under the sun in order to be great and we like to think this performance proves it. B+.

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon and Cynthia, “Time After Time” – It’s not easy to have a big moment for yourself in a duet, but Jeremiah had that near the conclusion of this cover. He nailed this and Cynthia seemed to be thoroughly psyched to be able to sing with him. This is a song that we’ve heard SO many times that because of that, it could’ve easily become “meh” and kinda commonplace. We’re happy that this wasn’t the end result here and instead, it was powerful and there was just enough creativity. A.

For the results tonight, all you gotta do is visit this link

For some more American Idol news…

Head over here to read our review for Sunday night’s new episode and those performances!

What do you think about some of the performances from tonight’s American Idol episode? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: ABC.)

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