Fallen to grace front runner, Majesty Rose, left the competition after an inability to showcase the promise she initially exhibited. Tonight, we go back to the start as the final 8 perform once more their audition songs. But will they show any growth at all? .... This ... is American Idol!

Recap and videos after the jump ...

Jessica Meuse

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"Blue-Eyed Lie" - 9,5/10 - Ryan is asking the judges their first impressions on the contestants. Harry believe she has a certain intensity, staring holes at them when she walked in. She remembers getting a ticket on the way to the auditions because she was eating an ice-cream cone while driving. She was a horrible baby, she screamed all the time, yelled all the time. "I was evil" she says. She knew right away she was singing an original because that's who she is as a writer. She's the first contestant to sing an original during the liveshows. And what a better original to do so than this one? I'm completely obsessed with Jess' voice here, it's gritty sound is fascinating. Easily her best performance, she's way more committed on her own stuff. I may have preferred a more intimate arrangement but either way, the song sounds incredible. JLo thought it was really perfect. She can hear her album and the kind of stuff she will sing about.

C.J. Harris

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"Soulshine" - 6,5/10 - Keith loved his voice and the fact he got a cool way of being. When he was young, his parents spent a lot of time in prison, so he had a lot of help from his grandparents and foster care. A passionate delivery full of rasp and grit. Also full of pitch issues but by now, I don't care much. I remember liking his audition way more, maybe this song doesn't translate as well with a live band. Harry tells him his voice is special enough to be here and that he sees he's been working in the things they've told him. He thinks he's really close to correcting it.

Jena Irene & Alex Preston
"Just Give Me a Reason"

Sam Woolf

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"Lego House" - 7/10 -  JLo remembers how shy Sam was. Nothing's changed, according to her. Sam had the biggest head his grandparents have ever seen. Tonight he'll do a slower version of the song, since his audition was so fast. I kinda liked the faster version actually. This is very good though, his pitch is, as usual, perfection and his tone sounds amazing on this song, still not connecting. Harry suggests he acknowledges all the people screaming at him, that he looks at one of them and smiles.

Caleb Johnson & Jessica Meuse
"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"

Malaya Watson

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"Ain't No Way" - 7,5/10 -Malaya waited until the last minute to audition for the show since she felt she was too young. Her mom pushed her into auditioning. Harry remembers two words came to his mind: gold mine. He thinks she's a gold mine of talent. He may be right. The girl is insanely talented, her bluesy, soulful sound really gorgeous. The problem is that I don't know what she may end up doing when the show is done but as long as it sounds like this, I'm good. Harry felt it was a really strong performance and gives her the same advice he gave her last week, learn all the chords to sing the runs perfectly.

Dexter Roberts

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"One Mississippi" - 8/10 - He was gonna go try out in Atlanta but had to work so when he find out there was gonna be an audition bus, he drove there. His parents had many outfits they'll put Dexter on. "I don't know what they were thinking" he says. He's not as generic this week, mainly because he's singing a heartfelt country ballad, which is the thing he shines the most with. The chorus, which he sang with Alison, was phenomenal, they complemented each other perfectly. Jlo gives a shout out to Alison, saying they both sounded beautiful there.

Malaya Watson & Sam Woolf

Jena Irene

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"Rolling in the Deep" - 7,5/10 - Her mom always knew Jena was gonna do something big with her life because she was so independent. The song is rearranged to sound slower and loungy. I honestly prefer this version, at least it's different, yet it could have used more power during the chorus. Jena's voice sounded great though, very sultry. Kieth loved every second of it and thought the arrangement was incredibly bold.

C.J. Harris & Dexter Roberts

Caleb Johnson

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"Chain of Fools" - 8/10 -  JLo remembers him from both seasons. When she saw him this year, she knew he was gonna make it this year. According to his parents, Caleb was always an entertaining. He says he was annoying and a crazy kid. He's addicted to noise. This is an interesting version of such an iconic song. Caleb delivers it with so much intensity, it's hard to look away from him, plus his vocals are always so good. I want a ballad now. Harry would also love if he did something that wasn't so loud.

Alex Preston

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"Fairytales" - 9,5/10 - He wrote this song for a girl. They were together but then college happened and they split up. Alex always knew he wanted to be a musician. His dad used to sing when younger. This is another great original. I like Jess' a bit more cause I don't think this song will sound as great if it wasn't because of Alex's fantastic vocal dynamism. As with Jess, his best performance of the season. A final between the two of them would be so awesome. Harry liked the fact he did an original and enjoyed the arrangement.

  1. Jessica Meuse
  2. Alex Preston
  3. Caleb Johnson
  4. Dexter Roberts
  5. Jena Irene
  6. Malaya Watson
  7. Sam Woolf
  8. C.J. Harris

Bottom 3:

Sam Woolf
C.J. Harris
Malaya Watson


Sam Woolf

Sam's lack of connection ultimately did him in. He's a great singer but if there's nothing in there, what's the point of him being here? It's surprising though, I would've expected the teen girls to save him.

It seems the judges still believe in him after all! They are using the one and only save on Sam. Maybe that was what he needed to finally start connecting. We'll see. I wouldn't count on it though.



Sam Woolf
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