'American Idol' Top 20 women: Zoanette Johnson over Jett Hermano, what is happening?

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zoanette-johnson-american-idol-top-20.jpgIt's time for the second half of the "American Idol" Top 20 women. Last week, there were a handful of killer performances -- can this week live up?

Once again, we've previously seen about half of the women performing. It's a good thing the public isn't voting yet, half of them wouldn't stand a chance.

1. Melinda Ademi, "Nobody's Perfect," Jessie J

This is the same song Angela Miller did last week, but it's barely recognizable this go-round. The verse is way too low, her voice is inaudible in parts and muddy when you can hear it. Not a great key for her. The chorus gets better, but this still isn't showing off her voice at all and it's all very lackluster.

Keith Urban is strangely complimentary. We found that to be a pretty big dud. Nicki points out how it's hard not to compare her to Angela from last week, which is true. Angela was one of the best last week, we would not have chosen a repeat song. Randy also cites the lack of big moments, which is also true.

2. Candice Glover, "Natural Woman," Aretha Franklin

We figured they'd save Candice for the last spot, this is interesting. Anyway, this is a dynamite song choice for her. Her voice is so rich and full on the verse and then on the chorus, she does a nice build and brings it back down. The bridge is super sultry and she nails the key change and the ending. Great job. Super.

The judges love it, as they should. Nothing more to say, great way to kick it off (no offense, Melinda). Mariah and her boobs liked the key change.

Watch Candice's performance here.

3. Juliana Chahayed, "Skyscraper," Demi Lovato


First off, great choice in terms of age-appropriateness. Secondly, love the acoustic guitar. Makes her seem mature without aging her, does that make sense? She's a little thin on some of the high notes, but overall, this is just very pretty. Not blowing the doors off the place, but pretty solid. It makes me want to see more from her, which is a pretty big compliment at this stage in the game. Love her Jewel-Julianna Hatfield vibe. She just needs to grow into herself a little bit.

Urban says she was pitchy, but we'd have to listen again. We didn't actually hear many problems. Nicki likes her signature sound, which is a very astute thing to say. She also wants to see Juliana come out of her shell more. Mariah's bosom calls it "celestial."

4. Jett Hermano, "Only Girl," Rihanna

It's a shame we haven't seen this girl before now, she's good. The emotional connection to the song is really palpable and she's got great stage presence, which is hard sitting behind a piano. Speaking of the piano, love it and the arrangement. This was really good. Her phrasing and control is gorgeous. We have a feeling the judges will have some hard choices for the last couple spots tonight.

Urban praises the arrangement, which -- yes. Great musicianship. He says she brought out the sexiness in a different way from Rihanna, but what he probably means is that Rihanna's sex is too much in your face, while this was a quiet sexiness. Meanwhile, Randy and Nicki wanted more of a climax. Hmm. Disagree. We're with Keith.

5. Cristabel Clack, "No One," Alicia Keys


Vocally, this is pretty rough. She's throwing in too many runs for our taste, plus she's having some major pitch issues. This is just ... blah. There's no there there, totally boring. Also, you definitely don't need to act out the lyrics. You're not performing at a four-year-old's birthday party. Her vocal gymnastics at the end feel very forced and unnecessary. Not our favorite at all.

Keith praises her voice and her potential, while Nicki is more with us -- the rasp was out of control. You can also tell she didn't really like it that much, but doesn't really speak up because the audience is booing so hard. Randy points out that she oversang at moments, but he mostly liked it. Mariah didn't love the song choice, talking about when she sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow." Wish we could've seen that.

6. Aubrey Cleland, "Sweet Dreams," Beyonce

This is good -- she's got a big ol' voice and seems very mature. The way she brings it down at the end is gorgeous. She got a little pageanty at moments, but again -- just really solid. There's not much else to say, it was just really good.

The judges loved it. Nicki praises her texture and richness. For sure. It is a real shame the guys were so sucky last week because tonight, almost any of these women could advance and only five will get to go through, plus we haven't even gotten to Rachel Hale, Janelle Arthur and whoever they put in the last spot.

Watch Aubrey's performance here.

7. Rachel Hale, "Nothing But the Water," Grace Potter

Not the choice we were expecting from her. It's a little weird until she gets to the a capella part, when she really blows it out. Hmph. This is a great song, but she's got a couple pitch problems and it just doesn't seem to fit her at all. There's just something about it we didn't love, which is a shame because we like her voice. Would've liked to see more of a country song. Not to shove her into a box, but this wasn't the song for her.

Urban is glad to have seen that side of her, but says that the song got on top of her a little bit in parts, which is true. Nicki liked to see her come to life on stage, which is nice, sure, but it wasn't her best.

8. Breanna Steer, "Bust Your Windows," Jazmine Sullivan

Interesting song choice. It makes her very contemporary and she sounds like the original artist quite a bit. This is another performance tonight that is vocally solid, but not blowing us away. One big last note doesn't automatically make it amazing, plus that was a little melodramatic.

Keith likes her vibe, while Nicki screams, "Work, work, work." She likes how current Breanna is and also cites how much Breanna sounds like Jazmine Sullivan. Randy likes the drama, but we think she could've dialed it back a little.

9. Janelle Arthur, "Just a Kiss," Lady Antebellum

This is not the song we would've chosen for her because without the male voice, the song is really empty. Oh, dear. Janelle is so good and the field needs a solid female country voice, but this is not it. She totally flubs the key change. What was she thinking? She should've done some Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert, something that is designed for a solo female voice.

If she advances, it will be because of her overall body of work and not just based on tonight. That was pretty rough. Keith immediately jumps on how it's a limiting melody and it's not a song for a soloist. Nicki says she was disconnected, which she definitely was. This felt so blah.

At this point in the competition (because let's be honest -- Zoanette should not advance), Candice Glover is the easy stand out. The other four spots? Jett Hermano kind of came out nowhere, as did Aubrey Cleland. We think Candice, Jett and Aubrey for sure, then Breanna and Janelle as the last two spots, though Rachel could sneak in there. It's really hard to say how the judges will vote. We just hope Jett doesn't get lost in the shuffle because she was one of the best tonight.

10. Zoanette Johnson, "The Circle of Life," Elton John


OK, honestly? This is ridiculous. It's not like she's devoid of talent, but this is such a joke. Have they just decided to keep voting for the worst, since that website folded? This is such a waste of time.

Judging time. Zoanette is thankfully sent home W.T.F., y'all. Double-u tee eff. What a joke. Do they honestly think this will drive ratings? Terrible. Anyway. Melinda Ademi is sent home and so is Juliana Chahayed. That's the right choice. I liked Juliana, but she needs some seasoning.

Then Aubrey Cleland advances, while Cristabel Clack is sent home. Candice Glover takes spot no. 3 on the stools, then Jett Hermano is sent home, which is a huge mistake. She was very good tonight and Zoanette advancing over here is disgusting.

Breanna Steer is the fourth person to advance, leaving the two country girls, Janelle Arthur and Rachel Hale, for the final spot. Janelle advances, which is good. We hope she can come back from this stumble.

Honestly, we're very happy with four of those picks. Zoanette should've gone home and Jett should've advanced, that was really unfortunate.

What do you think, "Idol" fans?
Photo/Video credit: FOX