‘American Idol’ Top 10 video recap: Who will win and are the judges ‘gaslighting the audience’? [WATCH]

“I don’t think any of them shocked me,” says Gold Derby contributor Denton Davidson when responding to the elimination of Evelyn Cormier, Ashley Hess, Eddie Island and Riley Thompson during the Top 14 results episode of “American Idol.” “I sort of thought that Luke Bryan was going to save Riley … but she had such a bad performance I think that really hurt her.” Davidson joins senior editors Marcus James Dixon and Susan Wloszczyna to discuss the recently revealed Top 10, the four singers sent packing and the sickeningly sweet critiques of judges Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

“The [elimination that] didn’t surprise me was Eddie,” adds Wloszczyna referring to his exit from the competition. “Nobody should sing ‘Bennie and the Jets.’ He shouted every note and it wasn’t even singing at some points.” Wloszczyna feels the artists are misguided and told to try new things at this stage and it hurts their performances. “Alejandro [Aranda] is doing his beat machine and Uche‘s is dancing like he’s in a Vegas act. It goes crazy off the rails!”

Dixon is adamant the judges need to stop sugarcoating their critiques, adding, “My issue with Eddie was the judges critiqued him saying, ‘That was not the right song.’ They should have said, ‘You didn’t hit any of the notes in the song. The entire thing was off pitch!'” Davidson agrees the judges are coddling this season’s contestants and refers to Lionel’s over-the-top save of Uche. “When he yells ‘This is an entertainer!’ it feels like they’re gaslighting the audience!” Davidson exclaims. “It’s like the audience can’t see [a true entertainer]. No, we know the difference between Uche and Prince.”

When discussing who had the strongest week, Wloszczyna was most impressed with Walker Burroughs. “I thought, ‘Oh my God,’ he’s really singing a song from “The Sound of Music’?” she asks. “But he sold it! And that is incredible.” Davidson believes Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon and Madison VanDenburg had the strongest week. “Jeremiah had the best combination of performances,” he says. “I think Madison was also very consistent with both. I liked Laci [Kaye Booth] during her Blink 182 performance, but I did not care for her song on Monday.”

“I’m worried about Dimitrius [Graham],” says Dixon when discussing who may be the next to go home. “Luke had to save him, but I think he could make it one more week?” Davidson finds Dimitrius vocally and stylistically inconsistent. “I don’t think people relate to his style because he’s not really in any specific genre,” he says. “I don’t know if he’s developing a fan base at the pace that the others are.” Davidson, Dixon and Wloszczyna all agree Alyssa Raghu is also on the chopping block. For the panel’s full thoughts on those contestants as well as Wade Cota and Laine Hardy, watch the video above.

SEE exclusive predictions: Who will win ‘American Idol’?

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