Tuesday, April 16

‘American Idol’ Episode 10 performances ranked: All 12 Hawaii performances (Night 1) from worst to best


“American Idol” continued with the 10th episode of Season 20 on Sunday, April 10. This installment of the ABC reality TV competition saw judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie relinquish their power over to America. 12 of the Top 24 performed at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii on Sunday, April 10. The other half will perform on Monday, April 11. Two singers with the lowest amount of votes from each night will be eliminated.

“American Idol” alum Jimmie Allen served as mentor for this first night of performances. So who was the best from Sunday night? And did they step up their game since Hollywood Week performance? Below I rank each hopeful from the least impressive (but with room to grow) to a possible Season 20 frontrunner.

SEE Meet the Top 24 “American Idol” finalists for Season 20

Below are my rankings for all 12 Hawaii performances from Sunday, April 10, from worst to best:

12. Elli Rowe (“Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac): This was a great song choice for Elli’s voice. The choice of either using the band or not was key to success or lack thereof in the eyes of Jimmie, clearly. In the end, Elli opted for the band as well as her own guitar, which was a good choice, but nerves definitely came into play at the start of the performance. Do I think it was enough to get America’s vote? Not quite sure.

11. Dan Marshall (“Heaven” by Bryan Adams): Every time I hear this particular song I always think of the DJ Sammy and Yanou version. I truly think that Dan has a great voice, but this song might not have been the best choice. Do not get me wrong, Dan sounded good, but he failed to wow me. Losing the guitar was the best choice that he could make for that night. The beginning of the song seemed a bit tentative, but by the end he delivered a decent vocal. Choking the mic stand out of nervousness is something he absolutely needs to avoid down the road since it made his performance look awkward.

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10. Danielle Finn (“Your Song” by Elton John): “Your Song” is a classic, yet unassumingly difficult. Danielle sounded great after a bit of a shaky start. Was it a memorable performance? Not sure. This was definitely better than her last performance though, so redemption achieved. At this stage, “a good solid job,” as Luke Bryan said might not be enough.

9. Scarlet (“Levitating” by Dua Lipa): This song choice was a bit of a miss for me after her last choice of Alanis Morissette blew me away. Vocally, Scarlet sounded solid but she also seemed a bit nervous at the start of the performance, which resulted in a couple of pitchy notes. Saying that, she is absolutely a crowd pleaser.

8. Emyrson Flora (“Angels Like You” by Miley Cyrus): I almost forgot about this performance at the end of the night, which does not bode well for a performance that was at the top of the second hour of the show. Saying that, Emyrson sounded great on a song that seemed meant for her, but she lacked confidence on stage. Maybe it was just nerves? Either way, once she shakes whatever that is off, she could do really well with voters if she advances to the next round.

7. Sage (“Jolene” by Dolly Parton): This was an unexpected song choice that paid off big time. Sage might be the biggest surprise of the night. Delivering an excellent performance with the flair of an experienced performer that knows how to work a crowd, Sage had the audience in the palm of her hand. Katy’s critique left me scratching my head, but that seems to be the trend tonight for her.

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SEE Everything to know about ‘American Idol’ Season 20

6. Jay (“I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5): Jay and Jimmie would be amazing on a podcast together since they have such good chemistry. The song choice was brilliant. Jay was completely in his element and exuded confidence while supplying a great performance and vocal. This is the best we have seen him thus far in the competition. Katy questioning what Jay is all about surprised me since it’s fairly obvious that he is a versatile contestant that historically “Idol” judges love and tend to not push as hard.

5. Jacob Moran (“In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes): Last week I said that I had almost forgotten about Jacob until the airing of his performance that got him to this stage, which reminded me of how this show hid Blake Lewis from us in season 6 only to surprise viewers with him at the perfect moment. This tactic has been utilized again with this particular contestant. Jacob, in my opinion, sings this song better than Shawn Mendes. He delivered a great vocal and performance that will not be soon forgotten.

4. Mike Parker (“Best Shot” by Jimmie Allen): Mike meeting Jimmie was great to see. They actually had great chemistry, which made meeting Jimmie even more endearing. I thought he was emotional on “Dancing with the Stars,” but his ability to connect emotionally with the contestants makes me want to have Jimmie as a permanent mentor next season. Mike sounded incredible and he just soared with this song to my frontrunner list. There is something special about him that I still cannot quite pinpoint, but Mike is absolutely going to be one to watch out for.

3. HunterGirl (“Banjo” by Rascal Flatts): When Ryan Seacrest said that a Rascal Flatts song was up next, this was not the one I was expecting. Saying that, HunterGirl delivered a great vocal and a memorable performance. She worked that crowd like she has been doing this for years and just let loose on stage. Do I wish it was a better song? Yes.

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2. Tristen Gressett (“With A Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles): Tristen is captivating to watch. It’s also pretty rare to find a contestant that has improved this much so quickly from week to week. This classic song is one that “American Idol” contestants have utilized in the past and it’s a go-to on multiple singing competitions throughout the years, so Tristen had to really place his own stamp on it to stand out. This was his best performance thus far in this competition.

1. Nicolina (“Elastic Heart” by Sia): If we thought we had seen the best of Nicolina before this, geez were we wrong. Another contestant that has been consistent in terms of improvement and vocal ability. I had no doubt that Nicolina would deliver an amazing performance for the voters. I was surprised by how well she owned that stage and made it look easy. I truly believe that we will see Nicolina in the final four and that she will be tough to beat when the show goes completely live.

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