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Wednesday night on American Idol, it was time for the 10 remaining girls to take part in the intense sudden death round to decide which five girls would be joining the five girls who advanced last week. 1,500 fans gathered in Las Vegas to see the girls perform, and they sure got an interesting show.
19-year-old Melinda Ademi starts the night off by singing “Nobody’s Perfect” by Jessie J. Although Keith Urban loves it, despite noting that her nerves were apparent, the other judges weren’t so crazy about her performance. Randy Jackson tells her, “My problem was that it was OK, but you didn’t have enough moments in there.”
Candice Glover, 24, is the second contestant of the night. She sings “You Make Me Feel” by Aretha Franklin and gets a standing ovation from Urban. Nicki Minaj says, “You definitely were born to do this. It boggles my brain that you didn’t make it past Vegas [last year]. You have one of the strongest voices in the competition.” To which Jackson responds with, “Last year was such a different time. I think you’ve grown since then. I don’t think it was your best performance. The star in you is your voice, use it freely. Go for stuff that no one else can do but you.”
15-year-old Juliana Chahayed then takes the stage and sings a slower version of Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” Urban says, “There’s a purity about your voice that I love. It’s just real, I believe you when you sing.” Mariah Carey also says, “There was an angelic quality that I felt. I just felt like your vulnerability sitting there, 15 years old, in front of the world, was just a beautiful thing to witness.”
Jett Hermano, 25, then sings “Only Girl” by Rihanna. Urban tells her, “I love that you did this unique arrangement of that song. I so applaud taking a song and making it your own.” Although Minaj and Jackson weren’t so thrilled with it, Carey then says, “I always felt you were an interesting, unique addition to this contest. I’m not sure exactly where you’re going to go, but it is very intriguing.”
Cristabel Clack, 29, then sings “No One” by Alicia Keys and Jackson gives her a standing ovation. Urban says, “Gosh, I love your voice. I love that thing in there. I think you’ve got crazy potential.” Minaj adds that although she loves the rasp in her voice, she let it get out of control. Jackson disagrees, saying, “I think you were on point. What you allowed yourself was the freedom to just let go.”
Aubrey Cleland, 19, follows by singing Beyonce’s “Beautiful Nightmare.” Urban tells her, “You came out and did your own thing. What I love about you is the balance you have of poise and fire.” Minaj adds, “I am obsessed with you. Listen, for the first time, somebody came out here looking like a current artist, feeling like one. You are absolutely stunning. I felt like I was at your concert.” Carey also says, “I think you’re limitless.”
Rachel Hale, 22, then takes the stage to sing “Nothing But The Water” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Urban says, “I felt that the song maybe got on top of you a little bit, in part. But what I love about you is your spirit.” Minaj also says, “So, where did this burst of crazy confidence come from? I’m excited that you came alive.”
Breanna Steer, 18, next sings “I’ll Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan. Urban tells her, “I like the whole vibe you had going on. You sang it right. You made me believe you could literally bust the windows out of my car.” Minaj adds, “You were believable. You looked like an artist on your own show. You gave me sexy on a stick right now.” Carey also says, “I’ve been saying from the beginning that you were extremely marketable and gorgeous and talented.”
Janelle Arthur, 23, then follows by singing “Just A Kiss” by Lady Antebellum. Minaj tells her, “I was really excited to see you and a lot of that fell a little bit flat. You do not have to overdo it. You know that you are a star. Don’t do that again. Don’t try too hard. You don’t have to try too hard.” Jackson also tells her, “You are my favorite country singer in this competition because you are very pure and real. That song is not the right song for you. I think it was just one of those nights for you.”
Zoanette Johnson, 20, closes the show with her performance of The Lion King's “The Circle of Life.” The crowd loves it and Urban, Minaj and Jackson give her a standing ovation. Minaj tells her, “You make me so emotional. I am so proud of you. I don’t care what people say about you. You’re the one we’re going to remember after tonight. That song was such a smart choice because it matches who you are and who you’re going to be.” Jackson adds, “That spirit, it’s infectious. We’re all up here feeling something. That emotion is what it’s about.”
The judges then deliberate to decide which five girls will stay and which five girls will leave the competition.
After each girl gets called to the stage, Melinda Ademi, Juliana Chahayed, Cristabel Clack, Jett Hermano and Rachel Hale learn they are being sent home.
This means Zoanette Johnson, Aubrey Cleland, Candice Glover, Breanna Steer and Janelle Arthur join the five girls who advance last week, and will continue competing next week, where America will get to decide who stays and who goes home.
Tonight on Idol, the remaining 10 guys will sing to round out the Top 20 contestants of the competition.