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14 April, 2014 7:16 PM
Published by MDS
The save was used last week after Sam Woolf's lack of connection got him eliminated. Whether this is what the kid needed remains to be seen but in the meantime, the last 8 finalists will perform songs from the 80s and after that, one will definitely leave us .... This ... is American Idol!
Recap and videos after the jump ...
"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" - 7/10 - She starts on the piano, with a very slowed down arrangement. Then she gets up, the band kicks in and the tempo gets faster. To me, her voice lacked the power it normally has, probably because of a lack of breath support. That said, she seemed extremely comfortable on stage, which helped sell the performance, even if it had vocal issues. Harry wasn't a fan of the arrangement but loved the fact Jena is trying and twisting and pushing. It felt very choreographed to him.
"Keep Your Hands to Yourself" - 6/10 - Yet another generic performance from Dexter. He has not taken a single risk this season. It's surprising he hasn't done more ballads since it's where he shines the most. Tonight he was entertaining and did sound pretty great but in the end, it was all very forgettable, as it usually is. Keith suggests he does something unexpected in the middle of the performance that will be really memorable.
Alex Preston & Sam Woolf
"The Girl Is Mine"
"Through the Fire" - 6,5/10 - She loves 80s music. A lot of people have told her that when she sings Chaka Khan, they just feel it. Malaya has been consistently improving, showing both growth and restraint the past few weeks, but tonight, she threw all that out the window. The first verses were lovely but then she overreached and her control started to drift. That last couple of notes were so unnecessary. JLo believes she needs to relax up there.
Jena Irene & Caleb Johnson
"It's Only Love"
"Call Me" - 7/10 - She chose this song because it has those strong rock undertones and she thinks she can transform it into something more modern. Vocally, this is outstanding. She completely nails this song with her raspy, sultry sound. Unfortunately, her delivery was so lifeless and utterly uncomfortable to watch. Jessica needs to start owning the stage as amazingly as she owns the vocals, fast. Harry thinks she needs to feel that groove, sing in that pocket. Keith is waiting for the rest of her release. It's like she's close to the door ready to go into the party.
"Time After Time" - 7,5/10 - Being saved last week was a wake up call for him. Sam asks David how he recommends how to connect. Oh, poor thing. It's not an act kid, you just have to feel it. The arrangement was fantastic and so was his radio-ready tone. That said, this was by far Sam's best vocal performance, even if the connection isn't really there yet. He's trying though, he really is. JLo felt he did a really good job tonight. She loves the way he sings and felt him really trying to feel it.
C.J. Harris & Malaya Watson
"I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
"Every Breath You Take" - 7/10 - This is an intriguing arrangement, one I'm digging a lot and one that may be more suitable for a more intimate setting. It wasn't as dynamic as it should've and it completely reworked the song's meaning, making in into something kinda sweet. I appreciate this risk and I liked this risk but I don't think it actually paid off. Harry really liked it sounded like a new tune but as he watches him week to week, it comes to his mind the difference between being a performer and an entertainer. A performer performs everywhere but an entertainer is someone that brings something slightly different but still has to make it stage-worthy. He wants Alex to think more about being an entertainer.
Jessica Meuse & Dexter Roberts
"Islands in the Stream"
"Free Fallin'" - 6/10 - While a great arrangement, CJ's voice was sharper than usual and that's starting to concern me, since he's been struggling with that same issue since he auditioned. He's able to connect every time and that's admirable but at some point, the vocals have to improve. JLo roots for him every single time. She thought it started a bit shaky but in the end, it really came together.
"Faithfully" - 7,5/10 - He calls this song one of his favourite songs of all time in the history of the planet of the universe. So Caleb is finally doing a ballad. He's a wonderful singer so I wasn't doubting his ability to sing the crap out of it but where was his originality? Caleb has always been karaoke, great karaoke, but in the end, no more than a copycat. Harry's been waiting for him to sing something with a little more subtlety since the first day he met him. He's proud of him.
- Sam Woolf
- Caleb Johnson
- Jessica Meuse
- Jena Irene
- Alex Preston
- Malaya Watson
- Dexter Roberts
- C.J. Harris
5 guys remain and only 2 women. It's kinda sad, since Malaya was improving, whereas, CJ and Dexter are not. She gave us some lovely performances and her fun personality will be really missed.