Melinda Ademi kicks things off as “American Idol” sends another five women on to the semifinals; she's one of my faves, talks in the bio piece about how her family arrived a few years ago as refugees from Kosovo.
In purple-pink tights, singing Jessie J's “Nobody's Perfect.“ Lots of energy and a good voice, but a bit all over the place — feel like she's trying a bit too hard.
Keith Urban says, “great job,“ that he thinks she was fighting nerves but likes her “raw talent” and potential.
Nicki Minaj wasn't a big fan, says “I liked it, I didn't love it” and wants her to show more versatility in her song choice (it's her second Jessie J song). Randy Jackson is worried she didn't hit the big notes, says “you could be in a little bit of trouble tonight.“ Mariah Carey also thinks “the nerves got to you,“ isn't sure she's going to survive the night either.
Candice Glover up next, singing "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman" -- it's classic and vocally powerful. She nails the last note, gets the audience screaming.
Urban loved her song choice, says that she's a “natural singer.“ Minaj says “clearly you have one of the strongest voices in the competition,“ and likes her confidence. Jackson calls her one of his “favorites,“ tells her to let loose even more. Carey praises her arrangement, tells her “very nice.“
Fifteen-year-old Juliana Chahayed next up, playing the guitar on “Skyscraper.“ She's excellent; in total command, puts herself out there and makes herself vulnerable, totally nails the high notes; hushed audience is hanging on her every note. Wow, I really enjoyed that.
Urban compares her to Jewel and Taylor Swift, loves the “purity” of her tone. Minaj likes her “easy” voice, but thinks she's coming across as “very timid” and is afraid she's going to get lost amid the big voices and personalities. Jackson loves her, praises the honesty of her performance; Carey calls it “angelic,“ and also loved her vulnerability.