“Can we take one second to acknowledge [that] the amount of talent that has come through the ranks of ‘American Idol’ is overwhelming,” Harry Connick Jr. said at one point.
Jennifer Lopez, for her part, repeatedly fangirled out, marveling at her exciting proximity to old-school “Idol” veterans Studdard and Fantasia.
In many cases, they seemed to discount the duets, which often revealed little except the greenness of this year’s contenders in relation to their more experienced “Idol” counterparts.
In a greater mismatch, delicate Thomas Stringfellow was paired with potent Nick Fradiani to sing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” which Stringfellow noted straightaway was “Out of [his] wheelhouse.” He did what he could as Lopez noted, the song “Felt very Nick,” and not “Quite Thomas.” Connick said he was “Willing to bypass” the performance and keep in mind Stringfellow’s past, stronger showings.
In a show highlight, Fantasia and La’Porsha Renae riffed off each other’s remarkable runs, turning in a hot performance of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime.” Lopez called it “Mind-blowing.” Connick said they’d both “Killed it.” Urban called it a beautiful match, adding, “It’s like an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.”
Avalon Young distinguished herself on her duet with Studdard, soaring alongside him on his “Flying Without Wings.” Lopez thought they were “Equally matched” and that it felt like a real duet.
Sasser won’t get another chance to rein it in on the “Idol” stage, as he and Brooke, Negrete, Jenna Renae and James VIII are heading home.
‘American Idol’ recap: Twelve show off their solos.
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