After the anxiety of the auditions, the drama of Hollywood and the high stakes and harsh cuts of the Las Vegas Round, the Top 42 move on to the Final Judgement. The contestants will sing one song in front of the Judges at the Wynn Theater in Vegas in hopes of making it to the Top 24 and compete in the live voting rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday with results on Thursday. Who continued to shine? Who fell just short? And the most important question of all: Did your favorites make it? Keep reading! This.. Is American Idol!

Recap and videos after the JUMP...

Jen Hirsh- "Baby I Love You" by The Ronettes
Her final performance is a bit similar to her previous ones, just not as good. I'm not a fan of the twangy guitar in the background. It's not her best performance, but her voice is undeniably good. She can belt and her falsettos are always great. The Judges don't think it was her best song.  
Result: Advances to the Top 24

Creighton Fraker- "New York State of Mind" by Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys

It turns out Creighton's birth father was the lead singer of a Heavy Metal band named Flotsam and Jetsam in the '80s. This snippet is pretty good. In a lot of ways, he's like a male version of Jen Hirsh. Haha.. He stays in key, the last note is solid except for that croak at the end. Ooof... The Judges are wowed. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Lauren Gray- "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James

She's one of the most overrated contestants this year.This is the best performance we've seen from her. Her voice has massive potential but it still needs a lot of work. She's really soulful and raspy but there are other contestants with similar soulfulness that are just more skilled with their sound. Result: Eliminated


Joshua Ledet- "Up to the Mountain" by Patti Griffin
The rasp and grind in Joshua's voice is simply unreal. He really oversings the hell out of this final performance but I don't care, he's one of the best singers this year. He shows more restraint and control toward the end. If he does more of that, he will surely be a force to be reckoned with. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24
Blaire Sieber, Naomi Rae Gillies: Eliminated

Haley Johnsen
- Unfortunately, we don't get to see her performance because Nigel Lythgoe would much rather waste time showing look-alike Brittany Zika's audition and people throwing up in Hollywood then showcase this awesome gal with a powerful voice. I hate how the editing department sets people up to fail, Haley has a beautiful voice and it deserves airtime. It really is a shame, I hope this girl can wow once given 90 seconds next week. That's more than she's ever been given, I hope she uses her time wisely. 
 Result: Advances to the Top 24


Neco Starr- The Lady in My Life" by Michael Jackson
Ugh.. Bad song choice. It doesn't sound relevant and he isn't hitting every note. The song doesn't really go anywhere. On the other hand, he never really wowed me anyway... Result: Eliminated

Clayton Farhat, River St. James: Eliminated

Caleb Johnson- "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" by Bob Seger

The way he dresses comes off as arrogant to me and I'm turned off by it. He totally forgets the lyrics and then stops and asks to start over, the Judges don't seem too happy. It sucks, because he really is a good singer.
Result: Eliminated


Elise Testone- "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World" by James Brown

 My favorite. Perhaps the best vocalist out of everyone remaining. This girl has definitely sharpened her singing skills over the years. She has her own sound and style. Her soulful rasp is hard to resist and I love that scream she pulled out. She is a natural at what she does and best of all, she doesn't oversing. She always leaves me wanting more. America, please tell me you are smart enough to put Elise through to the Top 13.
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Reed Grimm- "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" by Duke Ellington
We recap his journey and learn his Dad passed away a few years ago. Yay, he's playing drums again! We don't see much of his performance, but the scatting we do hear is the best we've heard from him yet. I can't help but constantly replay it, it came out so naturally and perfect. I wish they showed more but singing while playing drums isn't easy to do and this guy's talent is undeniable. Again, glad to see Reed scaling back a bit. 
 Result: Advances to the Top 24


Erika Van Pelt- "Don't You Remember" by Adele
The girl with the rich, belty alto. Another favorite contestant of mine. Something about her really reminds me of Kelly Clarkson. Sadly, this performance just does not fit her at all. She still sounds good, something just seems off. The Judges didn't like the song either but they believe in her.
 Result: Advances to the Top 24


Chelsea Sorrell -
We see her space out and forget the words in her Hollywood performance but Steven asked her to start over. She does well the second time. She has a great Country sound. Sadly, they skip showing her performance too. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24

Baylie Brown- "Here Comes Goodbye" by Rascal Flatts

Ooh! I really like how she looks now that she went back to blonde. The first part is nice and pretty, she sounds out of breath and weak in the second part to me. I'm not so sure this was a good song choice. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Richie Law- "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash

 I'm not a Johnny Cash fan but I do think this was Richie's best vocal performance. He sounds real smooth and in his comfort zone, always a nice thing to hear. However, it doesn't sound like he finishes the word "fire" on the last note. He probably would have gotten through if it weren't for the winner of the previous season but alas, that isn't the case.
Result: Eliminated


Heejun Han- "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys
Something we didn't know previously, Heejun works with special needs kids. They helped pull him out of a bad depression. This performance brings out another side of Heejun's voice we haven't seen before. Seems a little weird and shaky in some parts to me but I like it. He needs to work on his pronunciation when he sings but he's funny and well liked, should be interesting to see where he goes going forward. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Jessica Sanchez- "The Prayer" by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
I still have a hard time believing she's 16 with that voice of her's. I think she overdoes it a bit on the vibrato but all things considered, it's very haunting, soaring and beautiful. Her eyes are watery, definite connection to the song. Love this performance, this made her a serious contender. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Phil Phillips- "Nice and Slow" by Usher

I must say, this rendition is brilliant. My favorite performance by him that we've seen. If he can keep his performances modern and fresh like this, he will do very well in the competition but it remains to be seen how well he'll do without the guitar and how versatile he can be with live show themes.  
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Colton Dixon- "Fix You" by Coldplay
After we recap Colton and his sister Schyler's Idol journey over 2 years in the making, we see him dedicate his performance to her. I think he's getting better, the breaks in his voice aren't as abrupt and whiny as usual and I really like his diction in this performance. I've never heard him go into falsetto before. Before it ends, Steven Tyler seems to have this look of amazement on his face. Come on, did you really think they would drag him all the way here to cut him again? 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Brielle Von Hugel- "Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Roberta Flack

They show her two-faced stage mom again, just in case we forgot why we shouldn't vote for Brielle. Anyway, the actual performance is really good. The beginning part of what is shown is very strong and I enjoy her phrasing here. She turns out to be a pretty nice singer, it's a shame her mom put a dent in her edit. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Adam Brock- "You Don't Know Me" by Ray Charles

Good song choice, he's playing to his soulful roots. There are parts that sound good. In others, he sounds like he's straining or way off-key. Not his best performance and certainly not my favorite, he has a decent voice but I think I'm over him at this point. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Jeremy Rosado- "I Know You Won't" by Carrie Underwood
Very interesting song choice and he manages to twist it in his favor. He sounds very relevant and powerful in this performance, the long notes he hits are just beautiful. Not something I would have ever expected from Jeremy. His yellow tongue is a little distracting but I think we may have a sleeper on our hands.
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Shannon Magrane- "The Trouble With Love Is" by Kelly Clarkson
I'm sorry. She's just bland and uninteresting. She's a good singer, she just lacks artistic style. I really wish she waited a few more years.  
Result: Advances to the Top 24

Scott Dangerfield- "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash
Scott was seen as a frontrunner last season before he decided to drop out for school. I love the acoustic guitar and dancing but the vocals are a bit of a letdown. It just didn't go anywhere and sounded weak. It's a shame, I've heard him sound so much more amazing. Hopefully he comes back next year. 
Result: Eliminated


Skylar Laine- "Fancy" by Reba McEntire

This isn't Skylar's best performance but I really enjoy it. There is a rawness about her style that is different from the other Country contestants. Skylar doesn't think it was her best either and is worried of her chances. The Judges admire her consistency throughout the competition. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24

Hallie Day, Chase Likens, Aaron Marcellus: Advance to the Top 24

DeAndre Brackensick- "This Woman's Work" by Maxwell

He decides to use his signature falsetto and apply it to a song by an artist that he is often compared to: Maxwell. He really does have a nice falsetto, his chest voice is also surprisingly good. Excellent showcasing on his part. 
Result: Advances to the Top 24


Jermaine Jones- "I Believe In You and Me" by The Four Tops

What the hell is he wearing? I feel bad for this guy but everything about him annoys me. Especially the voice. I just don't think he's Idol quality at all. After spending a ridiculous amount of time watching Jermaine crying uncontrollably, we finally see what happens. 
Result: Eliminated

Hollie Cavanagh- "Change" by Carrie Underwood

There is now one spot left on the girls side and three girls remaining. We quickly recap Ariel and Shelby and go to the main event. Hollie auditioned last year and made it to the Top 40. She got cut right before the live shows but Jennifer told her she should take a year, get better and come back and that she believed Hollie could win this whole thing. Based off of what I'm hearing in Hollie's performance right now, Jennifer could be right. She has improved so much, it's unreal. Powerful voice and gorgeous falsetto. Well done, Hollie! 
Result: Advances to the Top 24

Ariel Sprague, Shelby Tweten: Eliminated

David Leathers- "I Want You Back" by The Jackson

2 boys and 1 spot left. David started out as a frontrunner and ended up having a rollercoaster ride of a performance record. He sounds great here and, of course, choosing to showcase the Michael Jackson similarities was smart. The Judges acknowledge his bumpy ride in Hollywood and Vegas. "Your overconfidence makes you sing a little sharp and flat" Steven tells David. I can't believe he just told him that. Steven is right, it's just surprising to see that honesty here. 
Result: Eliminated

Eben Franckewitz- "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker

Not much to say here. Eben is a bland, theatrical singer who often sounds shrill and immature. However, while David was the more marketable out of the 2, Eben is the better technical singer. The Judges made an interesting choice, I wouldn't be surprised if we see David next year.  
Result: Advances to the Top 24


In a last minute show of desperation for higher ratings, Nigel Lythgoe took a page out of the U.S. X-Factor book and decided more people deserve to be in the live shows with the rest of the Top 24. One of David Leathers, Jermaine Jones, Johnny Keyser and Richie Law will be picked to return to the Idol competition and compete with the other 24. Who will it be? Find out when the guys perform on Tuesday.

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