The final season of American Idol has its Top 10!
After some fierce performances Wednesday night (Feb. 24), Thursday’s show kicked off with the results of America’s vote. Thanks to the judges, Dalton Rapattoni, Olivia Rox, Trent Harmon and La’Porsha Renae were already safe. Joining them in the Top 10 was MacKenzie Bourg, Tristan McIntosh, Avalon Young, Gianna Isabella, Lee Jean and Sonika Vaid, meaning Jenn Blosil, Jeneve Rose Mitchell, Thomas Stringfellow and Manny Torres said goodbye to the competition.
After the live results, host Ryan Seacrest brought out the one who started it all, Kelly Clarkson, as a guest judge. Clarkson, who is very much pregnant with her second child, also took the stage for a very emotional performance of her song “Piece By Piece” at the end of the show.
15-year-old Nashville native Tristan McIntosh kept things current with her rendition of Dan + Shay’s “Nothin’ Like You.”
“I know you love… you’re a country singer, that’s what you want to do. It’s about finding certain songs that you really feel comfortable with,” Jennifer Lopez explained. “I felt like that one, for you, wasn’t everything it could be, knowing how you sing. I didn’t think it was the strongest performance that you could’ve given, but again, that’s what made me start thinking that you were 15. So it’s just about kind of finding the right thing so you feel really comfortable. Never stretching yourself out of 15. Sometimes it’s just about being who you are in the moment and not trying to be the fully-developed artist at 25 that you’re going to be.”
“I saw you, and I want to say it was the performance, they surprised you with your mom, what song did you sing? You reminded me of Alicia Keys. You were sitting at a piano, but you didn’t sing Alicia I don’t think. But what I love about that is, whatever you were singing, you were so lost in the moment, that that’s the girl I was like, ‘dang, she’s going to do well.’ And that’s a young thing too. I would love for you to just sing Trisha Yearwood as well. I know you love country and I just think that your voice and your tone, like if you sang a Trisha Yearwood song, I mean, I think you would really nail it,” Clarkson echoed. “I want to hear you sing a song that you have felt, like really felt. And I think that you could be heartbreaking to watch.”
This is a very lyric-y song and I think it was a very popular recent country song, but I would choose songs that have more crossover appeal that everyone knows, not just in the country world,” said Harry Connick, Jr. “Also, if you’re going to go and talk to the people in the crowd and play that whole thing, you can’t let it affect your vocal. That’s like doing tricks. Stand there and sing because when you stop doing that, you sang it a little bit better.”
“I don’t totally agree with Harry because I think the familiarity with a song is one thing, but if you find a song that plays to your strengths and you can kill it, it doesn’t matter what the song is,” Keith Urban contested. “I think that song, for you, that’s a really cool song. Dan and Shay… Shay is an amazing singer, deceptively so. That’s a tricky song to sing. It really is. It sounds easy, but it ain’t once you get into it because of big intervals as well. But I thought you did pretty good, but you really gotta watch the pitch, baby. You really do.”
Dan + Shay also took to Twitter to praise McIntosh’s performance of their song. “Pretty cool to hear #NothinLikeYou on @AmericanIdol! Great job @tristanmcintosh + thanks for the kind words @KeithUrban!”
At the conclusion of the show, voting opened and America had the chance to cast a ballot for their favorite contestant. Does Tristan have what it takes to move on another week? Find out on FOX next Thursday, March 3 at 8/7c.
Tristan McIntosh performs Dan + Shay’s “Nothin’ Like You”
American Idol Top 10 Revealed