McIntosh followed up her Top 10 nod with a rendition of Dan + Shay’s “Nothin’ Like You,” which some judges felt did not complement McIntosh’s vocal capabilities. Idol judge Jennifer Lopez addressed McIntosh after her performance, while also noting the large number of Top 10 contestants under 18 years old.
“I know you’re a country singer. That’s what you want to do. It’s about finding yourself,” Lopez said. “It’s about finding certain songs that you really feel comfortable in because I felt that one for you wasn’t everything it could be knowing how you sing.”
Lopez said it wasn’t McIntosh’s strongest performance and offered more advice for the young singer.
“Sometimes it’s about being who you are in the moment, and not trying to be the fully developed artist at 25 that you’re going to be,” she said.
Americal Idol Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson returned to the show this week and referred back to McIntosh’s audition. McIntosh covered Mickey Guyton’s “Why Baby Why,” and drew strong praise from the judges.
“Whatever you were singing, you were so lost in the moment. That’s the girl I was like, ‘Dang. She’s going to do well,’” said Clarkson, who suggested McIntosh find a better suited for her voice.
“I would love for you to sing just Tricia Yearwood, as well. I know you love country and your voice and your tone, if you sang a Trisha Yearwood song, I think you would really nail it,” she said.
McIntosh’s performance of “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts sparked her push into the Top 10 and received high remarks from another Idol judge.
“That was a beautiful song of choice for your voice and for the way you did it,” Keith Urban said. “I really felt like we saw and heard a side of you we haven’t seen yet.”
American Idol returns Thursday at 7 p.m. on Fox.