This week on American Idol was the first of two parts where the judges cut the Top 24 down to 14 before the live rounds begin. Wednesday night was solo performances, and Thursday was duets with former Idols, including Ruben Studdard and Scotty McCreery. La'Porsha Renae, Sonika Vaid, Avalon Young, Gianna Isabella, Thomas Stringfellow, MacKenzie Bourg and Jeneva Rose Mitchell made it through. We said goodbye to James VIII, Jordan Sasser, Emily Brooke, Stephany Negrete and Jenna Renae.
Here are the highlights.
Gianna Isabella solo performance
Gianna smoked everyone during her solo performance. Her voice is astonishingly strong for someone so young (she's only 15). "I think you have the most privileged voice maybe in the competition," J.Lo says. "It's so strong." The judges weren't blown away by her stage presence, but there's no denying that voice. "I Put A Spell On You" was a great song choice, too.
Sonika Vaid & Caleb Johnson
Pride of Martha's Vineyard Sonika Vaid teamed up with Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson for a striking performance of Adele's Bond theme "Skyfall." She wasn't perfect, but her low harmony was a classy surprise. And her dress was cool.
Stephany Negrete & Ruben Studdard
This was a fun pairing, because Ruben is about three times the size of Stephany, and he gives great advice, telling her not to be intimidated by him, because he's not competition. Stephany wasn't good enough to make it through, but this wasn't a bad way to go out.
Jeneve Rose Mitchell & Scotty McCreery
Jeneve is great. She has such a crush on lil' Scotty. Her performance was so hilariously hammy, too, with her goofy faces, character voices and crazy cowgirl costume. Keith Urban hated it, calling it "bizarre" and basically saying "let's pretend this never happened." She made it through on the strength of her persona.
Next week is the same format with the next dozen, including my favorite, Trent Harmon, who will probably be wearing a big dumb hat.
Watch our video on American Idol's final season with Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.