Posted: 6:14 pm Thursday, February 20th, 2014
By Rodney Ho
The top 10 from the public vote were announced relatively quickly. Then five of the remaining 10 singers were given a shot to sing for the other three judges’ spots.
- All the favorites got in, though it took C.J. Harris a wild-card pick to make it. The favs included Sam Woolf (our next “American Idol”!), Majesty Rose, Jessica Meuse, Malaya Watson and Caleb Johnson.
- The five guys voted in by the public were white. That left four African American males out in the cold. That’s just an observation. Arguably, only one of those four black males really deserved to be in the top 5 and that was C.J. Harris. So I’m not going to yell racism here. Plus, two out of the five women voted in are black. So there!
- Both country guys made it in. There was some thought by us with no scientific basis that Dexter Roberts and Ben Briley would split the country vote. But obviously, the country vote is huge. (Think back to season ten when Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery made it into the final two.)
- Emily Piriz got the votes. I didn’t think much of her but I wonder if her extended argument with Harry Connick Jr. over whether her song was lyrics-appropriate for someone her age might have garnered her some support. Personally, it felt very karaoke to me.
- Why all this love for M.K. Nobilette? She seems nice enough and her voice is pretty. But otherwise, she’s a blank on stage. What’s the big deal?
- Quirky and dorky wins out: Both Alex Preston and Malaya Watson received votes to get in. Warms my nerdy heart.
- Kristen O’Connor as a wild card? Worst choice of the night. She was not good. She won’t last.
- I’m going to miss you Spencer Lloyd! I found him incredibly annoying in so many ways but he could sing. At least he’s not boring – like Kristen.
Anyway, here’s the top 10 in votes:
- Malaya Watson
- Ben Briley
- Emily Piriz
- Alex Preston
- Jessica Meuse
- Dexter Roberts
- Caleb Johnson
- Majesty Rose
- Sam Woolf
- MK Nobilette
C.J. Harris (“Bring It On Home” by Sam Cooke) – With no other black males in the competition, he’s IN for sure. Despite some rough points, he brings on the emotion and that works for the audience. HCJ noted that he and the band didn’t connect. J. Lo said his soul came through for him. Keith said he had to stay emotionally connected to the song.
Jena Ascuitto (original song) – Impressive under pressure. Kill the swaybots, though. She’s talented. Keith liked that she stayed in her lane and was vulnerable. She’s IN.
Spencer Lloyd (original song) – I liked it despite not wanting to. J. Lo wasn’t happy with it. But he’s OUT.
Bria Anai (“It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” James Brown) – Started strong, got a little wonky after awhile but she sung her heart out. Yet…. OUT!
Kristen O’Connor (“Unconditionally” Katy Perry) Not impressed. Yet she gets IN!
So who’s out? Five black folks (just observing, not making any commentary on the voters per se. I’m sure all five of them are thinking it themselves.) Briana Oakley, Marialle Sellers, Emmanuel Zidor, George Lovett, Malcolm Allen
The two Atlanta representatives Bria Anai and Emmanuel didn’t make the cut.
About the Author
I'm the media writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution and ajc.com. I've been following radio since 2001, TV since 2005. I cover everything from the local radio and TV news scene to shows shot in Atlanta ("The Walking Dead," "Real Housewives of Atlanta") to networks based here (CNN, TBS, Up, Weather Channel) to celebrities who visit town.