It was all Top 10 all the time on Wednesday's American Idol, with the 10 finalists performing Top 10 songs from 2011 or later (a.k.a. songs that will make viewers of a certain age feel very old if they are ...
It was all Top 10 all the time on Wednesday's American Idol, with the 10 finalists performing Top 10 songs from 2011 or later (a.k.a. songs that will make viewers of a certain age feel very old if they are unfamiliar with them).
Throughout the course of the evening, selfies were taken, judges Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban did amazing impersonations of each other, and Malaya got her first bouquet of flowers (aww) from Ryan Seacrest and the Idol crew. But let's get to the performances:
Is this the most boring group of Idol contestants ever?
MKSong: "Perfect" by PinkThe performance: MK seems to have gotten a real confidence boost in the past week. She's rocking an awesome red and blonde hairstyle and punky outfit tonight, and walks around the stage and works the crowd. Her voice strains at times though, and she misses a cue/forgets the words towards the end of the song.What the judges say: Keith compliments MK on how well she recovered from coming in at the wrong moment, but Jennifer Lopez says she could have handled it a lot better. Harry says it wasn't one of her stronger performances.
DexterSong: "Cruise" by Florida Georgia LineThe performance: Yawn. His voice is smooth as usual, but even Dexter looks bored during this performance. Aside from the occasional fist pump, his energy level's at about a 2 when it should be at least a 9. How is the audience supposed to get excited when he can't?What the judges say: J-Lo says Dexter should have pumped the crowd up more but says it was a "good" performance. Harry disagrees and says Dexter was "bereft of joy" during the song. Keith applauds Dexter for putting his own spin on the song at the beginning and says he should have stuck to that.
Jena Song: "Clarity" by ZeddThe performance: Holy purple eyeshadow, Jena. Is this the best song choice for her? Eh. The chorus is tailor-made for her voice, but she loses it a little bit in the more subdued lines. She does a great job of pumping the crowd up, however. (Dexter, take note.)What the judges say: Harry says he's starting to get a good idea of who Jena is as an artist, and says electronic music may be her "wheelhouse." Keith loves her signature voice, and J-Lo says it was the perfect song choice, but advises Jena to own the middle of the stage.
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AlexSong: "Story of My Life" by One DirectionThe performance: Wary of disappointing the Directioner Army, Alex turns in an indie-folk version of "Story of My Life" that's even sweeter and catchier than the original (at least to this non-tween listener). We love the sped-up tempo he uses at the end - and so does the crowd!What the judges say: "It was like you merged American Authors with 1D," Keith marvels. J-Lo also loved it and says Alex reminds her of Buddy Holly (but that he should smile more). Even Harry says he "hit the bullseye on the artistry target."
MalayaSong: "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno MarsThe performance: It's a bad call for Malaya to stay seated for the entire performance, because her vocals are perfectly earnest and heartfelt. But they'd pack more of a punch if she was walking around the stage or at least standing. Still, it's probably her best performance of the season so far.What the judges say: Thankfully, Harry and J-Lo didn't have as much of an issue with Malaya's lyrical gender-bending as they did with Keith London's "If I Were a Boy" from the early rounds. Keith even compliments Malaya for not changing the words, and says she "knocked it out of the park" vocally. Jennifer calls the performance "beautiful" and says it gave her goosebumps. Harry praises Malaya's presence and sincerity, but tells her to watch her runs.
CalebSong: "The Edge of Glory" by Lady GagaThe performance: After last week's "Skyfall," Caleb continues to win the Most Inventive award. He turns Gaga's dancepop track into a Monster Ballad, and it partially works but is kind of a shrill, one-note rendition that doesn't do much to highlight Caleb's range.What the judges say: Harry gives Caleb an "A for originality," but says he's seen better performances. Keith is on the fence about the song choice and "lumbering" arrangement. J-Lo likes the arrangement, but says the performance "lacked feeling."
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CJSong: "Invisible" by Hunter HayesThe performance: CJ follows up his knockout performance from last week with one that unfortunately lives up to its name. His voice is fine, but the song is kind of a snoozefest and CJ falls out of tune with the band at times.What the judges say: Keith calls the performance "shaky," and J-Lo agrees that it "wasn't what it should have been." Harry gives CJ a lesson in pitch and intonation, and begs him to stop singing sharp all the time.
JessicaSong: "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the PeopleThe performance: This is a great song choice and Jessica's voice gives the song a different flavor. She gets immediate points for not being thrown by the obnoxious clapping from the audience, and the long note she holds at the end is also a nice touch.What the judges say: Jennifer and Keith love it, but Harry disagrees and says Jessica needs to emote more - or at least not smile while she's singing a song about kids getting shot. That prompts a lengthy debate among the judges about whether such dark lyrics belong in such an upbeat song.
MajestySong: "Wake Me Up" by AviciiThe performance: Majesty's slowed-down, country-tinged version of "Wake Me Up" is simply gorgeous, and the perfect vehicle to showcase her vocal strengths. And though she throws in a couple big moments at the end, she maintains control (with one exception), unlike she did on "Fix You" a couple of weeks ago. We're betting there will be no Bottom 3 for her this week!What the judges say: Harry has nothing bad to say (for once!) but Keith does. The country singer isn't a fan of the folk arrangement, but says Majesty's voice was great. Jennifer says that she could tell Majesty was scared at the beginning of the song, and chides her for letting last week's vote creep into her performance.
SamSong: "We Are Young" by fun.The performance: Sam offers a pretty straightforward cover version of the ubiquitous tune, and really gets the crowd into it during the chorus. There's nothing mind-blowing about this performance, but it should be enough to keep Sam out of the Bottom 3.What the judges say: Keith says Sam will definitely be back next week and J-Lo says it's an improvement over last week's performance. Harry says he's still too timid.
What did you think? Who gave the best performance of the night? Whose impersonation was better, Harry's of Keith or Keith's of Harry? And who do you think will be sent home tomorrow? Sound off in the comments!
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8/7c and Thursdays at 9/8c on Fox.
View original American Idol: The Top 10 Sing Modern Hits at TVGuide.com
Other Links From TVGuide.com American IdolJennifer LopezRyan SeacrestHarry Connick Jr.Keith UrbanPinkLady GaGaBruno MarsFoster the PeopleHunter HayesOne DirectionFlorida Georgia LineZeddAlex PrestonC.J. HarrisCaleb JohnsonDexter RobertsJena IreneJessica MeuseMalaya WatsonMK NobiletteTV Guide iPhone App TV Listings New Tonight on TV