Kelly Clarkson returns to “Idol” as the Top 10 are revealed

For one night only, the original "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson returned to assist the judges in finding the final winner! (Photo property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

For one night only, the original “American Idol” Kelly Clarkson returned to assist the judges in finding the final winner! (Photo property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Last night, the American Idol XV judges awarded Dalton Rapattoni, Olivia Rox, La’Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon spaces in the final Idol Top 10.

With four spots claimed, six spots are up for grabs and the remaining members of the Top 14 duked it out for the remaining spots.   In addition to the all crucial results, three-time Grammy winner and the original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson will return home to not only perform but also judge alongside Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban for one night only!

Who joined Dalton, Olivia, La’Porsha and Trent in the Top 10? Whose dreams came crashing down?  Read on to find out…

But before we got to the performances, it was time to reveal the final members of the Top 10: Tristan McIntosh, Sonika Vaid, Gianna Isabella, MacKenzie Bourg, Avalon Young & Lee Jean (WTF)!  As Jenn, Thomas, Manny and Jeneve left the stage, it was time to bring out the final judge of the evening: Kelly Clarkson!

As Kelly sat down next to Jennifer and Harry, longtime Idol fan Olivia Rox kicked off the night with her interpretation of Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally.” It was a very strong way to kick off the night. Her impeccable falsetto made me smile and I think that she just threw down the gauntlet. A-

Gianna Isabella tackled Beyonce’s “Listen.” This is one of the most difficult songs to anyone to sing on a Reality TV show.  That being said, Gianna’s cover was okay…not inspiring like Melanie Amaro’s impeccable cover! D+

Lee Jean grew up on American Idol and his favorite moment was when Season 10 fan-favorite Chris Medina auditioned for the show.  Lee was so much better tonight on Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” than he was on Wednesday. He is slowly redeeming himself from shush-gate! However, with double eliminations coming up, I think Lee might be one of the first ones to go. C+

After checking in with in-house Idol mentor Scott Borchetta revealed that he already has eyes on working with a bulk of them at Big Machine Records, Avalon Young remembered her first Idol crush Justin Guarini and delivered a perky cover of Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches.” Her voice continues to impress me and l think she has a bright future in this competition. B

Before he performed, Dalton Rapattoni thanked both Chris Daughtry and David Cook for inspiring his Idol journey.  I liked that Dalton sped up Pretty White T’s “Hey There Delilah” and turned it into an arena rock anthem. If I was on the judging panel, I would tell him: “I can see you running all the way to the finale!” A

Tristan’s favorite Idol alum is Jessica Sanchez. It was Jessica that inspired Tristan to chase her Idol dreams. She chose Dan + Shay’s “Nothin’ Like You.” First, this performance was so much better than last night’s “What Hurts the Most, but I thought that song was way too big for her! I hope that Scott works with her on picking songs that fit her like a glove. B

MacKenzie Bourg became the first Voice alumni to be in the Top 10. He stated that William Hung was one of the most memorable characters from his time watching Idol. For his Top 10 performance, he sang Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” and this was the first time this season that MacKenzie gave me the chills. I think that he delivered a sturdy performance and it is safe to say that he is going to be around for a while. A-

La’Porsha Renae admitted that her favorite inspiration was Kelly Clarkson. Tonight came full circle for La’Porsha as she sang Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in front of her heroine and inspiration. She not only delivered one of the best vocal performances of the night, but also claimed a spot in this year’s Final Three. A+

Like La’Porsha, Sonika Vaid was inspired by Kelly Clarkson and hoped that she could be confident like Kelly. She definitely delivered with her cover of Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life.” It was very hard to follow La’Porsha, but I believe that Sonika delivered a stellar performance that will advance her to the Top Eight. A

Trent Harmon started that David Archuleta inspired him to begin his Idol journey. For his Top 10 performance, he chose Sam Smith’s “Like I Can.” This was one of my favorite Trent performances because he showcased some vocal gymnastics that I missed from the remaining guys. Speaking of amazing male vocalists, I am glad that the cameras caught Clark Beckham and Rayvon Owen watching the performance. I hope that Trent can follow in their footsteps and get to the Final Five. A-

The night ended with a special performance from tonight’s guest judge, Kelly Clarkson, who performed the title track from her latest studio album: “Piece by Piece.” She gave the audience chills and delivered a superb vocal performance that reminded everyone why she is will always be the original American Idol.

Next week, two singers must go home!

Melanie Amaro’s “X Factor USA” belongs to  FOX, FremantleMedia and SYCO Entertainment.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar