Singing with Past American Idols

Night Two of the so-called Semi-Finals round of American Idol Season 15 was made up of duets between the contestants and idols from past seasons. Since the viewers weren’t going to have a vote, TPTB had to do something to keep our attention. Another night of solo performances without a viewer vote, wouldn’t cut it.


Photo Credit: American Idol/Fox

So without any need to think about voting, I settled in to be entertained. And for the most part, I was. I really enjoyed seeing the contestants from the past. Specifically, I liked seeing Fantasia Barrino, Ruben Studdard, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. Fantasia’s duet and on-air discussion with La’Porsha Renae was exciting. Ruben’s duets with Stephany Negrete and Avalon Young reminded me of how smooth he can be. I forgot how Scotty is really a hoot onstage and his duet with Jeneve Rose Mitchell was certainly out there but it was very entertaining. The biggest surprise to me was Lauren Alaina. She has matured vocally and she seemed very comfortable engaging in onstage banter/flirtation which also provided entertainment.

I have to say that I wasn’t really interested in Caleb Johnson or Nick Fradiani and I think that’s a symptom of the fact that the seasons after Season 11 were not really compelling. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed Caleb’s and Nick’s duets with the contestants.

Since the show already knew who they’d be putting through, they were able to give each past idol a duet with at least one contestant who would go through to the next round. So they were all able to end up looking like helpful mentors. The episode had the feeling of a variety show of the past. Again, I found it enjoyable but it was focused more on the singing strengths of the mentors rather than the contestants. It was however, a decent way to fill an episode that would otherwise have been kind of a lame duck episode, given that the audience had no say and it seemed clear that the cuts had already been decided upon by the show.