‘American Idol’ review: Zoanette Johnson, Breanna Steer rock Las Vegas

American IdolLadies’ night arrived again on “American Idol” Wednesday night, and we really have to say that this was a heck of a show. The girls are just so far ahead of the guys right now that it’s not even funny, and we also don’t even blame the producers for wanting to hype these people out of control. There were only a few weaker singers of the bunch, and this is with us wearing the critics’ hat.

At the end of the day, though, the woman that we are probably going to be talking about for some time is a passionate, super-creative lady who we at first wondered why she made it to Hollywood Week in the first place. Now, Zoanette Johnson is starting to be who we want to see deep in this competition.

The performances

Melinda Ademi – We were big-time fans of her “Price Tag” performance from Hollywood Week … but doing another Jessie J song, especially when it was covered last week? It at least felt a little bit different, but her quirky standard and decent vocal was washed out with the background music. She just needs a little more power in her voice, but she’ll get there.

Candice Glover – There is a part of us that is worried about Candice’s run on the show. Is she going to just cover songs that have already been done on the show all season long? We hope not; but with that being said, she’s still likely to go very far so long as she keeps singing the heck out of songs like she did here with “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

Juliana Chahayed – We really have no recollection of Juliana at all, but it was a pretty darn smart idea for her to take on a current hit like Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” It would probably help if her voice was a little less breathy, the song was sped up at least a few ticks to get a little more life in it, and she was not under the note for about a quarter of the song.

Jett Hermano – Jett would certainly have a voting block similar to Jessica Sanchez’s and This Megia if she made it to the live rounds, but for whatever reason she chose to turn Rihanna’s “Only Girl” into a lounge act. She actually sang the song really well for the most part, though, which is not easy to do with one of RiRi’s most-challenging vocals.

Cristabel Clack – What’s with all of the ballads in the middle of this show? We didn’t enjoy Cristabel as much as Jett’s take on “Only Girl,” mostly because her voice felt strained at times, and she tried a little too hard to make “No One” by Alicia Keys into some sort of vocal masterpiece with runs all over the place. She would have fared better had she taken a step back and allowed the song to subtly come to her.

Aubrey Cleland – Anyone who tries to sing Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams” deserves a trophy in itself; but this was also a massive risk given that Jessica Sanchez tore the roof off of the place. She did do a great job with the song, but it was (sigh) yet another ballad. These ladies are talented, but why try to put us to sleep?

Rachel Hale – This is what we’re talking about! Rachel had so much energy, was a complete blast to watch, and she just really seemed to take advantage of the stage to take a bit risk. She may not be as fantastic as Skylar Laine, but we really liked this vocal nonetheless.

Breanna Steer – Where in the world did you come from? We talked about Jett singing a Rihanna song, but Breanna actually looks a little like Rihanna. She also pulls off a great “fierce face” while she is singing, and goes for it much more than some of the more insecure contestants on the season. There was not necessarily anything in the vocal that blew us away, but it was pretty entertaining just in terms of style and energy.

Janelle Arthur– You knew with Rachel and Janelle in the same show that only one of them would probably get through, and while we do think that Janelle is probably the better singer of the two, we really didn’t get anything original or artistic out of her take of Lady Antebellum’s “Just a Kiss.” It was a standard country music performance on “American Idol.”

Zoanette Johnson – You knew that this was going to be entertaining … and then she started to sing “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King.” Zoanette is out of her mind, but in all of the right ways. Even when she doesn’t hit every note, she’s captivating. She’s easily the most intriguing singer on this show in at least the past two seasons, and we honestly have to say that we can’t wait to see what she does every week. We don’t even care that most “Idol” critics out there hate her; we’re frankly tired of seeing the same thing week after week.

The results

If we were making the picks, our list would probably look like this: Zoanette, Rachel, Melanie (based on history more so than this performance), Candice, and Breanna. In the end, we only got 60% of it right this time. Breanna, Zoanette, and Candice all advanced, but Janelle made it through over Rachel, and Melanie was lost in favor of Aubrey.

With that, we now have our top ten girls: a group that is diverse, entertaining, and could very far in the competition if people actually start voting for them this year. We don’t have a problem with a guy winning if they deserve it … but so far, there are a few ladies far more worthy of the winners’ circle.

Who was your favorite tonight? We want to hear some of your thoughts below, and be sure to also click here in order to check out who we predicted in advance to be the shining stars of Vegas.

Photo: Fox

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