Nick Fradiani Earns A Spot In The "American Idol" Top 8 & His Performance Shows Us How He's Gotten This Far

What a breath of fresh air. I've always been intrigued by Nick Fradiani on American Idol , but for one reason or another I just haven't been inspired to write about him. Tonight was different. Fradiani took the stage singing "Catch My Breath" by Kelly Clarkson and completely made it his own. The 29-year-old finally came into his own on stage and his experience shined through. It's pretty big that Fradiani was called first, especially now that the contestants are fighting to make it to the Top 8. Fradiani's going to have to bring it in the next few weeks now that he's made it into this crucial part of the game, and tonight's performance proved that he's ready to play.

It's not easy to sing a Kelly Clarkson song, especially in front of the original Idol herself. Fradiani made it harder on himself by choosing the hardest possible Clarkson song according to the singer herself. But he tackled it head on. His performance was full of energy and great vocals. Fradiani's stage presence reminded me a lot of Adam Levine — he channeled his inner rockstar, owned the stage, and jumped around like a maniac (in the best way possible). This performance was his best of the season, and it's exciting to see him, as an already experienced artist, grow in this competition.

The Connecticut native heard some criticism from the judges, especially about his performance, but I'm starting to think they're actually insane. His performance screamed confidence and his vocals were better than they have been all season. Fradiani is the oldest and most experienced contestant of the season, and that shows in his performances. He is leagues ahead of many of the younger artists in this game, and that will help him get to the end. Though he lacks the originality to beat the true artists of the season, his talent will take him far in the game — and even farther in the music industry.

Image: Michael Becker/FOX