Wednesday, April 2, 2014

American Idol Season 13: The Top 8 Take it Back to the Start

This week was something new but old. I don't think American Idol has ever done this before, but the top 8 performed their audition songs again.

Jessica Meuse sang Blue Eyed Lie (an original song)-- Jenn said you always get an idea of who people are when they sing their own original music. She loved it. Harry said it's like when you watch Cher or Nancy Sinatra from the 70s. He said there was an odd dead space near the end of the song. I liked this performance, I didn't love it, but it was strong overall, and it's always nice to hear someone sing original material because it does let you know who they are as artists or who they want to be at the very least.
Score: a strong 7 out of 10

CJ Harris sang Soul Shine by The Allman Brothers Band-- Jenn felt it was better than the first time that he did it. She feels he touches people's hearts. Harry said you're special enough to be here and so is your voice, you've been working on the things we've spoken to you about. He said work on pitch cause when you get a record deal, which I hope you will cause you're that good, if you sing on pitch they aren't going to auto tune your voice the way they would if you're singing in tune. Keith agreed it was better than the first time. I was listening intently as he sang cause I know Harry has picked on him since the beginning about pitch and singing in tune, and it was something that was sticking out to me. I feel like this was his best performance to date. He took the notes and he used the criticism to his advantage.
Score: 8 out of 10

Alex and Jena sang Just Give Me a Reason by Pink and Nate Ruess-- Started out rough but finished strong, I liked this pairing. The song suited both of their styles.

Sam Woolf sang Lego House by Ed Sheeran-- Harry said the wrong word gets thrown around with you, you're competent as a singer. When these young people are screaming for you, acknowledge it, and pick someone in the audience and smile at that. Keith said he is getting looser and more soulful, and he feels he improves every week and is happy with where he is headed. I liked this performance very much, the vocal was honest. That's a tough song to sing, and he sang it effortlessly. It seems as though he did gain some confidence from the first time he sang the song.
Score: 9 out of 10

Jessica and Caleb sang Stop Dragging My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty-- Aside from Jessica being a little bit screamy at the end, this was good. They both sounded like authentic rockers.

Malaya Watson sang Ain't No Way by Aretha Franklin-- Keith gave her a standing ovation. Wow, Malaya's performance really touched me, I had chills and there were tears by the end. Her voice was so strong and emotional; she is so beyond her years. Jenn said she has so much more control and poise than when she started, and Jenn feels she could run away with this competition. Harry said you have such incredible access to such musicians, learn how to sing runs so that you're in tune with the chords underneath you. Keep singing, because you're great.
Score: 10 out of 10

Dexter Roberts sang One Mississippi by Brett Eldredge-- Jenn said everything we've been asking you to do, you did. Harry said you sang the crap out of that song, and you sang it beautifully. I was touched, and you have great ideas by the way. Keith commented on how great the song was. He said you've grown leaps and bounds; pay less attention to the sound of your voice,  and think about communicating the lyrics. That was my favorite performance by Dexter ever, and one of my favorite performances of this whole season. I found Dexter believable and genuine, and the song was touching and right in his wheelhouse. How amazing!
Score: 10 out of 10

Malaya and Sam sang Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat-- Sam sounded outstanding at the beginning of the song. The way that their voices mixed seemed a little bit labored.

Jena Irene sang Rolling in the Deep by Adele-- Keith gave Jena a standing ovation. Harry thought she did a great job. Keith said what I loved about that performance is that you made it your own and you never let that go. It was bold and I loved every second of it. Jenn told her to come out and destroy everyone with her performances. This was my favorite Jena performance ever. This was like a slowed down disco version of Rolling in the Deep; the performance was cosmic. Her voice sparkled and her range was incredible; she might be the most improved contestant.
Score: 10 out of 10

CJ and Dexter sang All Right by Darius Rucker-- This performance got stronger and stronger as it went along. Initially the harmonies were a little weird but they worked it out.

Caleb Johnson sang Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin-- Keith said you're a blues warrior, a soul conqueror, you're a viking. Jenn said you always do what you set out to do, well done. Harry said your stakes are so firmly planted in this competition. He said I would like to hear you sing something that's not so loud. I appreciate how Caleb changed this song up and made it more of a blues rock oriented song. I have to say that I agree with the points that the judges brought up. I am especially in agreement with Harry. I have heard him slow it down, but I haven't hear him get quiet.
Score: 9 out of 10

Alex Preston sang Fairytales (an original song)-- Jenn said you're more comfortable now. Harry said I loved it, you did an original song, and I loved that. Keith said he was so proud of him and so proud of everyone. Amazing! If I was there, behind the judges table, I would have been on my feet with tears running down my face. Alex's performance hit it out of the park, his verbratto was incredible. There was just so much feeling and emotion in that, and that's how I see him as an artist.
Score: 10 out of 10

Who is going home tomorrow? Sadly Jessica and CJ could be in some trouble.

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