‘American Idol’ 2016 Recap: The Top 6 Perform America’s Choice Songs; Top 5 Revealed

American Idol-Tristan and Sonika Top 5

Blink and you might miss this final season of American Idol. Rapidly, the show approaches its final hour. In what feels like overnight, we now only have five remaining contestants fighting for that final American Idol crown.

Last night, another Idol hopeful left the competition, which was followed by one of the strongest American Idol performance nights of 2016. With such stellar performances, we cannot even begin to predict whose Idol journey ends next week.

Top 6 Performances Recap:

Trent Harmon

“Counting Stars” by One Republic

Judges’ Comments: Keith Urban said that Trent failed to grab the audience into his performance. Jennifer Lopez said that he tried his best but that was not the right song for him. Harry Connick Jr. said that it was a tough performance for Trent but he gives him “a pass” because America picked it and not him.

Our Impressions: “Counting Stars” was one of Trent’s weakest performances all year. He just did not connect with the song at all. Vocally, he sounded all right.

Dalton Rapattoni

“Numb” by Linkin Park

Judges’ Comments: Jennifer said that Dalton is a crowd favorite but he just skated through that performance. It lacked excitement. Harry said that he pours his gut into his performance. Keith said it was somewhere in between uptempo and acoustic. He wanted a more stripped version.

Our Impressions: The problem we had with this performance was that Dalton tried to turn the song into a more emotionally driven, somber song. They lyrics definitely allow “Numb” to become a really reflexive, acoustic song. However, Dalton didn’t give it enough of real, raw emotions. He could have made the performance a little more introverted. We agreed with Keith: we wanted a more stripped version.

La’Porsha Renae

“Ready for Love” by India-Arie

Judges’ Comments: Harry said it was “phenomenal.” Keith said that it captivated him. Jennifer said that she has a similar soul and spirit to India-Arie. It was a complete performance.

Our Impressions: La’Porsha gave “Ready for Love” everything. It was another fantastic performance from her.

Mackenzie Bourg

“Wild World” by Cat Stevens

Judges’ Comments: Keith said that Mackenzie “is like cake batter: Even when it’s not cooked, it is still really good.” Jennifer said that she enjoyed every second of it. Harry said that it was a really good song for Mackenzie.

Our Impressions: Mackenzie gave the second best performance of the America’s choice song round. The song fit him very well.

Bottom Two:

Tristan McIntosh

“Independence Day” by Martina McBride

Judges’ Comments: Jennifer said that Tristan needs to try new things. Harry said that she needs to grow. She needs time to improve and live more. Keith said that Tristan needed to give it a definitive style. It needed to become a power anthem or a slow ballad. It fell somewhere in the middle with Tristan’s performance, but he thinks that her voice is really beautiful.

Our Impressions: America was correct for picking another Martina McBride song for Tristan, because of how well she did with her song last week. It definitely was not as good as last week, but Tristan is showing consistent improvement every week on Idol.

Sonika Vaid

“Let It Go” by Demi Lovato

Judges’ Comments: Harry said it was really good. He said that Sonika needs to work on not getting lost when she has more upbeat music undercurrents. However, Harry said that Sonika worked with the sound pretty well during her performance of “Let It Go.” Keith said that her performance is starting to come alive. Jennifer said that she is fierce and a fighter.

Our Impressions: Sonika did a pretty good job on “Let it Go.” However, we wish she picked another song. People have tried to cover “Let it Go” on singing competitions before and it never matches the power of Idina Menzel, who we can’t help thinking about every time we hear this song.

Saved: Sonika

Eliminated: Tristan

Top 5 Performance Recap:

Dalton Rappatoni

“The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel

Judges’ Comments: Keith said that it was really good. Jennifer said it was powerful and felt like they were getting a piece of his soul. Harry said that it was a beautiful piece of poetry.

Our Impressions: This Dalton performance worked really well, especially compared to the first one. He sounded great and gave it the right mix of emotions and heart.

Mackenzie Bourg

“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

Judges’ Comments: Jennifer said that it showed everyone why he was still in the competition. She said it was the most special version that they have ever seen on Idol. Mackenzie kept her riveted the whole time. Harry said that it was really great. It was a terrific job. Keith said that he is a big fan of Mackenzie.

Our Impressions: Mackenzie had a really good night. This was the perfect way for him to cover “Billie Jean.” It had soul in a singer-songwriter way. It got better as it continued, and then became a really captivating performance.

Trent Harmon

‘Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Judges’ Comments: Harry said that it was a great rendition. He can feel Trent’s experience when he sang this song. Keith said that it is a song made for him. Jennifer said it made her remember why she loves Idol. He sang it so beautifully.

Our Impressions: “Simple Man” gave Trent the comeback he needed after “Counting Stars.” It was the perfect song for him, in every possible way.

Sonika Vaid

“Clarity” by Zedd

Judges’ Comments: Keith said that she needs to keep letting go. She is too controlled with everything she does when performing. Jennifer said she did not love the song for Sonika. She needs to find a balance of being grounded and giving an exciting performance. Harry said that she needs to work on showing herself off.

Our Impressions: Sonika gave an all right performance. She just needed a better song to showcase her vocals and spirit.

La’Porsha Renae

“No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige

Judges’ Comments: Jennifer said that “you are an inspiration.” It was powerful.

Our Impressions: La’Porsha is basically running away with the title at this point in Idol.

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