American Idol 13 Top 6 Song Spoilers

American Idol song spoilers via an exclusive from TV Line

Jena Irene
Country: Carrie Underwood’s “So Small”
Rock: Heart’s “Barracuda” – Download at iTunes

Alex Preston
Country: Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind”
Rock: Neon Trees’ “Animal” – D0wnload at iTunes

Caleb Johnson
Country: Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It”
Rock: The Black Crowes’ “Sting Me” – Download at iTunes

C.J. Harris
Country: Zac Brown Band’s “Whatever It Is”
Rock: The Guess Who’s “American Woman” – Download at iTunes

Jessica Meuse
Country: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” – Download at iTunes

Rock: Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love”

Sam Woolf
Country: Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” – Download at iTunes

Rock: Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time”

Performance order via Idol Insider

  1. Jena Irene – Barracuda by Heart
  2. CJ Harris – American Woman by Guess Who
  3. Sam Woolf – It’s Time by Imagine Dragons
  4. Alex Preston – Animal by Neon Trees
  5. Caleb Johnson – Sting Me by Black Crows
  6. Jessica Meuse – Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane
  7. Sam Woolf – You’re Still the One by Shania Twain
  8. Caleb Johnson – Undo It by Carrie Underwood
  9. Alex Preston – Always On My Mind by Willie Nelson
  10. Jena Irene – So Small by Carrie Underwood
  11. CJ Harris – Whatever It Is by Zac Brown Band
  12. Jessica Meuse – Jolene by Dolly Parton

UPDATE:  It looks like the contestants recorded only ONE iTunes studio recording this week.

TWO Carrie Underwood songs in the country picks! I wouldn’t have imagined Jena picking a song so schmaltzy, but she’s got the pipes for it. “Barracuda” is right in her wheelhouse.  Ditto, “Jolene” for Jessica Meuse, but she’s got to connect to make it work.  I didn’t even think of The Black Crowes for Caleb.  That’s pretty much a no brainer.  His choice of a Carrie Underwood song for the country theme is…interesting.  Alex could do a beautiful job on “Always on My Mind” but I’m not quite feeling “Animal.”  The point of a rock theme should be to sing rock songs in a rock style. Can Alex and Sam pull that off? Or will they be allowed to re-arrange rock songs to fit their singer/songwriter style?

  • MichaelG

    Oh God…Alex doing Animal by Neon Trees. Lol. Such a stretch. ;) Well, at least it’s fast—unless he strips it. yawn. Not sure about his country choice–Always on My mind–he might create a Lunesta moment for us.

    Re: Jess…Isn’t ‘Jolene’ the kiss of death? hmmmmm…

  • Cary Gonzalez

    The “I gotta pee” marching on this should be epic….

  • jms

    I always pictured a rocker doing Undo It, so that should be good.

    Jena looks like she’d kill. Jessica’s song choices aren’t bad, either.

    I’m kind of annoyed that Sam chose Imagine Dragons…. Imagine Dragons are a pretty interesting band (I forgot which song It’s Time is… lol). He’s gonna suck the life out of that one. And his other song choice? Lol bye Sam.

    Not too keen on Alex’s song choices, for once. Animal COULD be interesting, but I can’t picture him doing Always on My Mind. I also worry about the shift to two songs for him (and Jessica, for that matter).

    Interested in CJ’s American Woman, too. The intonation will probably be too distracting for me to even consider it, though.

  • KiaMichelle

    I love “Undo It” and “You’re Still the One”, hopefully those guys sound good on them. I must confess, I dont know any of the other songs lol, but go Jena and Sam!

  • Tinawina

    Overall these are not bad choices. They have the potential to be at least interesting. I will be curious to see how these turn out… especially Alex’s two and Jena singing Carrie Underwood

  • helo23

    That Shania song for Sam is questionable. I remember Lee doing it and butchering it. Could Sam be any better?

  • Dewayne Boyd

    So Sam still wants his grandma for life? :)

  • MV007

    I like Jena but she’s not endearing herself to me with her song choices the past two weeks. I hate “Creep” and I hate “Heart”. So Small will be a yawn fest and then the judges will say she’s “back” after her second performance.

  • KiaMichelle

    LOL…he needs to find a girlfriend to sing to ASAP

  • jga94

    Lee has always had problems staying on pitch which is why the Shania song Lee sang was not very good…..Sam doesn’t have that same problem,,,his is more on stage presence but he has been improving….

  • Thanh Quang

    i hope that Jena does not have to go 1st this week!
    Hey, Mj, did you get it right???.

  • Cary Gonzalez

    That’s what I thought too but didn’t David Cook sing this during DP week? Or was it Brooke?

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Eh, I don’t care if he’s thinking of his grandma, his puppy, the Easter Bunny, or either of the two leads from Divergent, as long as what he projects to the camera is convincing.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    No, “Jolene” was one of the songs fans thought Cook ought to sing. He actually did a stripped-down, Americana-style rearrangement of “Little Sparrow” that took it back to its folk roots (the song follows a traditional folk motif, right down to the bird metaphor).

  • weareallinnocent

    No, he sang Little Sparrow.

  • Incipit

    “…Isn’t ‘Jolene’ the kiss of death?”

    IDK, MichaelG, I was happy to see so many fresh songs – but this one has only been around 2X before. Brooke White went Bottom 3 with “Jolene” – Alexis got eliminated – but they actually both scored mid pack, so there’s room for the song to do well with a good performance – IMO. It was just the competition was so much tighter in Seasons 7 & 8 , I think. Also – it’s best not to smile through “Jolene” – maybe Brooke was just nervous. I wonder if they will do the White Stripes version?

  • MichaelG

    Hmmm…who did it on The Voice then? Well, if Jess sits her arse on a stool and sings with her guitar, she might deliver. I hope she doesn’t feel the pressure to ‘connect’ again ala’ ‘Gunpowder and Lead’ (awkwardly straying around the stage and snarling).

  • Marko

    Or boyfriend.

  • Trina

    Last week she went last, she SHOULD go first or 2nd if they are fair.

  • Kirsten

    Jena Irene
    Country: Carrie Underwood’s “So Small” – I think it would be wise for Idols to stay away from Carrie. She’s amazing and most suffer in comparison.

    Rock: Heart’s “Barracuda” – This is not really the style of rock Jena excels at. Let’s see if she can keep the edge of this song when she swallows half the words. A “Bar-ah-u-ah” might not sound quite so menacing.

    Alex Preston
    Country: Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” – one of my favourite studio recordings ever was Anoop’s version of this song – and I generally found Anoop annoying. I think this is a good song choice because it is a song that one can really make their own.
    Rock: Neon Trees’ “Animal” – LOL. Love this song. Still one of the absolute best Idol Ford commercials ever and it was fantastic on tour. I think Alex will have to bit a little less introverted for this to work. I’m intrigued.

    Caleb Johnson
    Country: Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It” – Seriously, Carrie again? I just said not to cover her. I don’t see this working. The “Un-un-un-do it” is going to be tough for Caleb to pull off.

    Rock: The Black Crowes’ “Sting Me” – Don’t know it. Off to youtube

    C.J. Harris
    Country: Zac Brown Band’s “Whatever It Is” – Love ZBB. Interesting choice. It’s not who I see CJ covering. This theme should have been a gimmee to CJ where he could pick the perfect song. Why pick a song that he’s going to work at to show his best aspects? Don’t pick songs you like. Pick songs you can sing well. This song does not play to his strengths.

    Rock: The Guess Who’s “American Woman” – Stand well back people. this is going to be a train wreck. This song is all attitude – attitude that CJ does not have. It’s also all about featuring the guitar riff. Maybe he’s going to let Ricky do all the heavy lifting with the vibe setting.

    Jessica Meuse
    Country: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” – Overplayed on reality singing shows, but she is going to kill this. Dolly knows how to write songs with great bones.

    Rock: Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love” – She’s been compared to Grace Slick. Hmm….I think she has done a nice job here of picking two songs that will show different aspects of her talent. I hope she strips this one down a bit to allow some build for the urgency. If she goes with an over-baked arrangement, she’ll be buried.

    Sam Woolf

    Country: Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” – Good idea. Go with a pop Country female artist. Shania’s songs also have some deceptively good pop bones.

    Rock: Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time” – Finally something from him with a driving beat. He better connect with this one. You can’t just sing this one prettily. At least they are hot and current. This will either be a moment or another nail in the coffin.

  • Incipit

    “Jolene” was one of the songs fans thought Cook ought to sing.”

    Heh. As I recall, so was “American Woman” – curious to see what CJ does with that!

  • Marko

    Jolene is a death trap.

  • MichaelG

    and we all know how “fair” they are with the order of contestant performance on American Idol… ;)

  • MichaelG

    THAT is what I thought. I think I recall Vicci Martinez doing a respectable job of this song on The Voice, Season 1. but she’s about the only one…

  • Marko

    Sam and Lee share the same problem, stage presence.

  • Marko

    Performance order will not be an issue for Jena, Alex and Caleb. They all have stronger fanbases than the others IMO.

  • Barliro

    It was Brooke who sang Jolene

  • Kirsten

    The point of a rock theme should be to sing rock songs in a rock style. Can Alex and Sam pull that off?

    I will demand that Alex and Sam sing rock songs in rock style the day that Caleb and Jena are required to sing country songs in country style.

    In Season 8, I hated it that the judges called re-imagining Country songs artistic while they ripped people new ones for re-imagining Rock songs. Rock is not a hallowed format of music. If you can take a song and make it your own in a way that works, I don’t care what genre it originally came from.

    Besides…Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees are both Alt Rock. Rock is so much more than Classic Rock and the rock format is broad. Heck, Madonna is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  • Wui Zhuan Lim

    Based on iTunes clip, Alex ‘neon trees’ is like old school rock n roll.. It’s not a ROCK vocal performance, but it’s his most uptempo song so far

  • Barliro

    I don’t think so. Lee actually has the best stage presence among the contestants back in season 9.

  • Barliro

    Slowed down version of the song maybe? I hope Jess pulls it off. She might get eliminated if otherwise.

  • dd999

    I really like Jessica’ choice of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’. Listening to Jessica’s recordings, is so much better than watching her live…love her voice. I think Jena and Caleb are collaborating too much..both singing Carrie U. songs. Jena picked a nice song of Carries’ but Caleb why? I don’t know either of the songs he chose, not a good move imo.

  • SloDancer

    I always thought that Crystal and Lynch had more presence than Lee. Crystal standing still would pull you into her performance like few others–any season.

  • Nostradamos

    My favorite version of Jolene http://youtu.be/tcDBgXbGskc

  • Nostradamos
  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    If people in the MLM’s core fanbase don’t know “Sting Me,” they really did turn off the radio after their salad days, even though radio played songs they would like. It spent two weeks at #1 in Album Rock (then the “hard rock” format) and the surrounding album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, was a Billboard 200 #1 album in 1992, as well as tying Tom Petty’s record of four #1 singles on the Album Rock chart.

  • http://untitlement.wordpress.com/ Caroline B

    My favorite Jolene: the actual Dolly Parton version but slowed waaay down. It still works, adding an almost menacing vibe. Yours is probably more appropriate, however :)
    http://youtu.be/CzYHllLv_IE
    (From http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/08/slowed-down-dolly-parton.html)

  • zubin

    Lenny Kravitz had a hit with a cover of American Woman some years ago, so I am expecting CJ’s version to crib from that. Wondering if he can sing sing two songs live and mostly in tune.

    I expect Sam will be in some trouble. I wonder if he will be able to connect to the Shania Twain song. I also recall It’s Time being the start of Matthew Schuler’s downward trajectory on the Voice 5. It’s kind of a boring, repetitive song, imo. Even if Sam sings both reasonably well, i wonder if he will be able to create two performances that are distinct enough in style for the theme to make sense. I can’t help thinking that this is a “let’s get rid of Sam” theme.

  • MichaelG

    The theme is ‘A little Bit Country, A Little bit Rock and Roll.’ I think categorising Neon Trees (Indy/alternativerock) as ‘rock and roll’ is a stretch. They’re an alternative band. But I suppose an argument can be made, either way. I’m not saying that he needs perform a classic ‘rock and roll’ number, but this theme allowed him (and probably others) to have quite a bit of flexibility and nebulous interpretation.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    I will demand that Alex and Sam sing rock songs in rock style the day
    that Caleb and Jena are required to sing country songs in country style.

    I would hope that they retain some country elements in their interpretations. I would expect it, to be honest. If Jena sings “So Small” as if it were a Paramore song? Uhm. No?

    If the theme is a genre, I think there should be at least be at least a tinge of the original sound in the final arrangement.

  • Roimeister

    You’re still the one… grandma

  • dd999

    “Sting Me” may be a song I’ll recognize when I hear it sung! Not a fan of hard rock! Lol!

  • Nostradamos

    Gotta love the picture…

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    I think categorising Neon Trees (Indy/alternativerock) as ‘rock and roll’ is a stretch.

    This isn’t a classic rock theme, though.”Animal” is an upbeat pop/rock song. I hope Alex doesn’t re-arrange it into an introspective ballad.

    The theme should challenge the Idols to reach out of the box a little and stretch themselves.

  • MB

    I think overall the song selections are pretty good. I actually like Caleb’s choices. I think he’ll rock Carrie’s Undo It. I also find Alex’s and Sam’s choices interesting, in a good way. Not too keen on Jena’s choices though. CJ and Jess’ songs are I think right in their alley.

  • dd999

    This is a nice version, but I don’t think it has the angst that Dolly Parton sings, and that I hope Jessica will put in the song!

  • thirdtime

    LOL

    ETA: Now let’s see if Harry rips on Sam for singing a song like You’re Still The One…he should if he is being fair. You know how much the lyrics mean to Harry (or does that only apply to the girls, Harry?).

  • Roimeister

    Heck, Madonna is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    just one reason I’ll never visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame

  • Thanh Quang

    Anyone has the link to preview their songs on Itunes. I can’t find it!

  • jga94

    I watched Lee doing the Shania song…and he actually had stage presence that time…only, he was pretty much in and out of pitch….

  • jcabby

    I’m not mad at these song choices by the contestants. I would actually prefer modern rock songs for Caleb and Jena, but seeing how these two are great performers, it will most likely turn out awesome. I can’t wait to hear Caleb sing “Undo It.”

    Alex picked two songs that I can picture him giving two good performances.

    Jess will be the interesting one to watch. Can’t wait to see how she performs this week.

  • jcabby

    Sam is actually getting better each week, since David Cook helped him out. He’s making some progress. I hope he does well tonight.

  • Marko

    “You’re still the one that I love
    The only one I dream of
    You’re still the one I kiss good night”.
    Creepy.

  • Barliro

    Crystal is my favorite that season. But I also see why other people find her a little boring. Lynch on the other hand, I just don’t get.

  • justmefornow

    Sting Me is right in MLM ‘s wheelhouse so he should cover it just fine. But why not pick a rock song that’s not 20 years old?

    I want to hear him cover a modern rock song. This song doesn’t sound like anything being played on hard rock radio anymore.
    He needs to go more current, IMO.

  • EvenMoreron

    I liked Cody Belew’s version of Jolene.

  • Wui Zhuan Lim

    based on his iTunes clip, not a ballad. So should be good

  • jga94

    Why should he rip Sam for the song choice? It’s a love song…nothing sexually inappropriate or violent about it….I bet he dedicates this song to his grandparents who I presume have been together for a very long time….then the song would make sense….

  • jga94

    On the contrary, I like It’s Time better than Radioactive or Demons…it’s very anthemic….Sam heeds the judges advice…Harry told him to pick a song everyone can sing to….exactly this one…

  • thirdtime

    Because Harry always says they should sing songs appropriate for their age and life experience. We all know that Sam has not had a long time love that is “still the one”. And if he dedicates it to his grandma, sorry but that’s kind of creepy.

  • Nostradamos

    Seems like the right attitude… ;)

  • Joey
  • Amy Beth

    It would have been fun if someone took the Donny and Marie theme to heart.

    Sam singing Puppy Love would have been quite, iDK, but something!!

  • Tommyo2000

    American Woman is a war protest song … the lyrics are harsh, and the singing style is fast and angry … Interesting to see if CJ can pull this off?

  • Marko

    “It’s all wrong, but it’s all right” dedicated to grandma will be seriously creepy.

  • zubin

    When you think of Sam, do you think “anthemic” and “sing-along”? To make something an anthem, you need to have the charisma to be the focal point of the crowd’s aspirations. If not, it falls kind of flat. I’m sure he’ll sound fine, I just don’t think it will live up to these expectations.

  • Marko

    If angry=pitchy than no problem.

  • http://www.celebritybug.net Celebrity Bug

    Carrie is a hard cover, it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

  • Marko

    Matt Giraud performed a very good version in season 8. He rearranged the song himself.

  • sdmama

    Oh goody! Forcing somebody to sing something outside of their comfort zone is a opportunity for a disaster or jaw dropping American Idol moment. It does not have to be in its style at all. Heck no. Does anybody remember Adam’s Ring of Fire? Call it rubbish or master piece, it was fun. I want to see another one of those, please.

  • zubin

    Yes, this week will be a test of Jess’s talents as an arranger. Neither song is too far out of her wheelhouse vocally, but she needs to put a twist on each. Jolene’s a classic song that requires the singer offer their own take on it, and Somebody to Love will sound dated and clash with Jess’s aesthetic if the band plays the original psychedelic rock arrangement. Seems like both are manageable risks, but we’ll see.

  • Nostradamos

    Really?

  • Larc

    Don’t hold your breath. ;)

  • carola99

    Yes Matt did an AWESOME job with that song. It was his moment during the season IMO.

  • quang thanh

    It seems like they only record 1 song for this week

  • Seed

    Good picks. The only trainwreck I can see heading our way is CJ’s “American Woman.” He’s gonna try to work the stage and mic stand, and… oof, it’s gonna be bad.

  • b_james

    Very interesting. I’ve been wanting Jena to sing Barracuda for weeks now, so definitely excited for that!

    What happened to the fan requests they were asking for a couple weeks ago?

  • http://untitlement.wordpress.com/ Caroline B

    I only found Jolene for Jessica. I was hoping they’d add her second song later, but I think you’re right.

  • kcostell

    Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time” already has quite a bit of singer/songwriter aspect to it. This comes out especially in some of the more stripped-down acoustic performances by the band that are up on YouTube. I find it less of a stretch for Sam than most Imagine Dragons songs would be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3LkQ3BUjWI

  • Sassycatz

    Great. If she had bangs, she’d look a bit like Grace Slick … which obviously is the idea.

  • Sassycatz

    Carrie’s fine and all, but do we really need two of her songs?

  • thirdtime

    I agree. Everyone thinks of him as a throw back already, why not show everyone as often as he can that he can fit in with today’s music? He should do some Foo Fighters or something.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    “It’s all wrong, but it’s all right” dedicated to grandma will be seriously creepy.

    I’ve looked through multiple sources for lyrics for “You’re Still the One” and cannot find that phrase in any of them. So if Twain sings it in some versions, it’s clearly not in the chorus or integral to the song.

  • Marko

    Lol. I was referring to Dolly Parton’s “It’s all wrong…”.

  • Marko

    Last week he sung Kings of Leon and still sounded like 70s rock.

  • kcostell

    Allowing contestants to re-imagine songs in their style for genre theme weeks can lead to gems like Kris Allen doing “She Works Hard for the Money”.

    Danny Gokey thinking “It’s Rock Week, I have to act like a Rocker” is part of what let do “Scream On”.

  • LeoCS

    American Woman has everything to send CJ straight to home.

  • MV007

    Thats true, CJ is singing.

  • Pat H

    I think the worst train wreck will be Sam’s Shania Twain song! Don’t Shania’s songs have a bad record, for contestants? Hoping Jena has the band on stage for Barracuda.

  • Pat H

    I think she looks gorgeous!

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    The MLM’s version sounds very much like the KOL original, other than his vocals being more vocal-y and the Idol band surprising the hell out of me by being more chill in the groove. That kind of funk groove was hot in 2013.

  • kayell

    I can’t see Jena doing So Small as good as future finalist Bryan Watt did during his audition
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dspq9i6u0Hw

  • KrisAllenLists

    Here’s another reason why the Idol video clips should’ve been unblocked sooner, Jess would’ve known not to pick Jolene.

  • KrisAllenLists

    Matt Giraud’s version is one of my all time favorite Idol performances so Jena’s got a high bar for me.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Do we think Teen Woolf is going to sneak a bit of a Dolly Parton song into YStO, the way Archuleta threw a snippet of something else into “Stand By Me”?

    I’m not up for worrying that it might be creepy if Teen Woolf did something that there’s no reason he’d do, since his stated intent is to do something else.

  • http://untitlement.wordpress.com/ Caroline B

    Go to the bottom of the page in iTunes Store, change your country to Philippines, then search for each contestant, and you’ll get their previews. It’s easy to switch your country back and forth.

  • dd999

    Jessica would be a great addition to country music. So many of the female country singers are pop, and Jessica has a wonderful sound of her own that is bluesy and country. sounding! Loved her version of ‘Gunpowder and Lead’.

  • Vetle

    Like these choices a lot.

  • MickeiKnight

    Harry and the other judges are gonna be too busy to rip Sam. Tonight they’re going to imply that Jess killed Jimmy Hoffa, blame her for The Voice having good ratings and out her as a member of the Tea Party.

  • jt45

    The songs for Jena are very promising. Same with Jess, although I could see Jess just being so-so. As badly as I want CJ to outlast Sam, I have a feeling Sam’s choices will be more “charming” to the ladies than CJ’s. American Woman might sound good for CJ but I don’t think he’ll do super well with it and I’m assuming that will be his second song aka his last impression.

  • Roimeister

    or worse, a card carrying member of the ACLU…

  • Roimeister

    Sam sneaking anything into any song, whether it’s lyrics, melody changes, or … well.. emotion, would be the shock of the season, for me…

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    …also, Meuse knows what happened to D.B. Cooper, and she once shot a man in Reno just to see him die.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Teen Woolf reworked “Time After Time” as an acoustic ballad in the live performance just two weeks ago (the studio version was not reworked, so the change really qualifies as “sneaking in”).

  • zubin

    Ha! Seriously, though, I’m sure she’s dressed up like that only to shoot the phone number video.

  • Roimeister

    she once shot a man in Reno just to see him die.

    that was Tessa Kate… the girl with the magic guitar who completely disappeared once she got a golden ticket…

    http://localtvwjw.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/idolguitar.jpg

  • Marko

    Smiling all the time. It was the happiest performance.

  • Aaron Krandel

    Jena sounds AMAZING on the studio recording preview. Can’t wait to hear the full version!

  • Incipit

    Thanks for the video, kcostel. I didn’t know that song. Saved me one trip to Google. So this is supposed to be a “little bit Rock and Roll”? Heh. I guess anything goes then – smh.

  • wordnerdarchie

    Every time I hear Sam’s recordings, I’m impressed with how he sounds recorded. But, they really made “You’re Still the One” AC.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    “It’s Time” was moderately large on alt-rock radio. Perhaps you’re more familiar with the studio version, which is not stripped-down? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sENM2wA_FTg

  • amadcow2

    I think that Jena and Caleb should be fine. Alex should be okay, but those are iffy choices. Jessica’s choices could almost be called pandering, but should be fine. Sam is boring as usual. CJ is the odd one of the bunch with the biggest sink/swim quotient of the bunch.

    My prediction is that Sam is B2. The other will either be CJ with a bullet or the shock boot of Alex or Jessica.

  • Vetle

    If Jess does the White Stripes version of Jolene, I will be so happy.

  • wordnerdarchie

    So are we only getting one studio version for each? Everyone has one up now. I’m really digging CJ’s version. ;)

  • amadcow2

    A song ripe for Sam to neuter and sing under among a new array of light fixtures… perhaps some track lighting tonight.

  • Marko

    She’s serving a life sentence in prison.

  • Vetle

    YAS. Now I have to Youtube it.

  • Nikki Sliepcevic

    SAM IS GONNA KILL IT ON ‘YOU’RE STILL THE ONE’

  • halo9125

    Jena better not over sing “So Small”….

  • tati83
  • Marko

    So Jess is safe, CJ is doomed.

  • Marko

    She won’t. She’s a smart girl.

  • Marko

    His grandma will be very pleased.

  • Marko

    He had some pitch issues but the arrangement was fantastic. Matt never got enough credit for this performance.

  • Landon Cox

    Did they do this on Glee too?

  • nycguy

    Two Carrie Underwood songs? Really?? CJ could kill with his rock song. Great choice!

  • Incipit

    Eilonwy, I really never heard that song before in any incarnation. This has a little more groove to it than the other version did, but I still wouldn’t call it a”Little Bit Rock and Roll” by any stretch of the imagination – so if the song qualifies for that category, I still smh.

    But I know Idol’s rules are just as flexible as they need to be for their purposes, so I’m certainly not surprised. JMO.

  • nycguy

    Why isn’t Rock closing out the show??

  • Marko

    Country is more popular than rock.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    but I still wouldn’t call it a”Little Bit Rock and Roll” by any stretch of the imagination – so if the song qualifies for that category, I still smh.

    When the song finished #9 on Billboard’s year-end Rock Songs chart for 2012 and #6 on the same chart for 2013, that would seem to indicate that listeners to rock radio formats believe it’s a rock song. [Yes, this chart became not pure airplay in late 2012, but airplay is still a major component and the song did very well on radio.) We’re not talking some borderline case of a song that snuck onto the weekly rock-whatever-format radio charts in the 40s and then snuck right off.

  • wordnerdarchie

    The “American Woman” song he has up on iTunes sounds good, the bit we could hear.

  • FinalFantasy13

    didn’t steven tyler sing undo it with carre in a duet.. I wonder if that’s where caleb got the idea from.

  • tomr

    It’s pretty obvious from the performance order who is being bussed this week:(

  • Guest

    Full studio version of Jena’s Barracuda:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MznMU4C_B3Y

  • Guest

    Full studio versions of Jessica’s ‘Jolene’, Caleb’s ‘Sting Me’, Jena’s ‘Barrucuda’, Alex’s ‘Animal’, Sam’s ‘You’re Stil The One’, CJ’s ‘American Women:::

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLbctnE3_fE&list=PLFJvwkjMiMdacoNryLMoj8QSjRO8qKEFz

  • nycguy

    It’s also not a show closer.

  • Marko

    Hope she’ll do better with the other song. This is not great :(

  • Aaron Krandel

    I objectively think that this is good! What’s wrong with it?

  • Ringo Pascual

    I don’t share your confidence. I can’t recall a single song she has done that she has not powered through at full tilt.

  • Marko

    I’m glad you liked it. Somehow I expected more original & exciting version.

  • Aaron Krandel

    do you think the judges will hate it?

  • Marko

    I get your point but IMO her problem is inexperience & vocal control, not so much over singing.

  • Marko

    I predict “you can do better” after the 1st song and standing ovation (not from Harry, of course) for the 2nd song :)

  • Tom22

    I really liked Scotty McCreery ‘s Elvis week “that’s all right there mamma”.. probably my favorite performance of his just because I’m not as into the type of country music he sings.

    I agree there are plenty of good examples in the past, and when a contestant does actually take the challenge head on and pulls it off, they DO get Credit for pulling it off from voters (and its how people vote, not what the judges say which chooses who will stay)!

    Not all the winners were versatile but those contestants that could show some easy flexibility really did seem to get a boost from it to stay around longer than they might have, even if they didn’t win the popularity of style-with-execution in the end.

  • Incipit

    Working from the bottom up to check songs – since two kind folks have posted versions of “It’s Time” – so I click on “Still the One” in WIKI and immediately had to laugh at myself. BIG Notice –

    “Still the One”

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Not to be confused with “You’re Still the One”.

    Because of course, that’s what I did – I just figured Shania had covered “Still the One” the Popular song from the 70′s that resurfaced in the 80′s and 90′s- I had no idea it was a separate country song. (In my defense, there was a country cover.) I’m rather inclined to just sit back and read the comments on what Sam does with these songs – because I have no expectations of or for either one.

    The rest of the list may be just as interesting and/or confusing. *snerk* @Myself.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    I ‘m really pleased with how much control she shows in this song — the big notes are there, but they’re doled out tactically and with great power and effect.

  • standtotheright

    The presence of a mandolin and some studio enhancements does not negate the bass line or big choruses. It is an alternative rock song and the band has already become a festival mainstay based on their acceptance from rock radio listeners.

  • Tom22

    Not bad at all!(not that I love the song itself that much) She made some real progress in increasing her use of rhythms and variations on vocal coloring of words to bring some movement to a song that is pretty darn high on the how-the-heck-do-I-make-this-monotonous-song-exciting quotient.

    I think they get the studio recordings done by Monday? If she continued to play with images in her mind that will help what she’s already done seem like a vivid expression of the images she’s seeing.. she’ll have made an enormous step forward and it could be really good..

  • BrightLights

    I’m glad that I will not be around tonight to watch Alex kill “Animal”. And I don’t mean “kill” as in “slay” as in what I hope Caleb will do with the Black Crowes song.

  • JustJam

    Based on these song choices, CJ is probably going home. This is a perfect week for Jessica Meuse because she’s a country-rock singer :-)
    Hope Top 2 will be Jena & Jessica, two females just like last year!!

  • sue

    Just listened to the studio recording of Animal and Alex made it work. It sounds fabulous. Jess sounds great too. This is going to be a great show, I hope. lols

  • Incipit

    “It is an alternative rock song”

    Oh, I believe you, standtotheright, it’s absolutely Alternative Rock. I’m commenting on Idol’s flexible rules – calling that “Rock and Roll” – and I wonder if they will be just that flexible with allowing Alternative Country songs, for the “little bit Country” part – or do they have to be Old School Country?

    On the plus side – I may be getting a handle on what much of this Alternative Rock thing does that tends to annoy me so much that I don’t want to hear it – although it’s a theory I would have to have the interest and the energy to pursue – which is chancy. You were talking mandolin – and I was thinking – WTH are the drums? Through much of the cut – there is no instrument having a conversation with the bass. So I think it’s when the percussion section has been warped – and replaced – - and the groove is just – gone. Gimme back the guitars and “The Whole Rhythm Section”, KWIM?

    But that’s OT, I think – and Idol PTB will do whatever they want, as they always have.

  • maymirabella

    Jessica may do fine this week as her song choices seem to suit her very well. I am laughing thinking of Sam doing a rock song. I am not familiar with his song, I may have to look it up to see if it is actually rock per se.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    “It’s Time” was in the top 10 end-of-year chart for Billboard’s Rock Songs chart in both 2012 and 2013. Imagine Dragons was considered the breakout alt-rock act of 2013.

    So yeah, it’s rock by any reasonable definition.

  • dd999

    Right on, I agree with you! Scotty nailed Elvis’s ‘That’s Alright Mama’!

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Her Top 8 version of RITD would be an obvious example, since she took it down to a much more understated song.

    Her Top 8-part 2 song had a non-power opening before getting to the loud, fast parts.

    Her Top 7 song was mostly understated; “Creep” isn’t a belter song and she didn’t change it to be one.

    So that’s three examples in the past three consecutive weeks.

  • maymirabella

    Listening to the studio recordings, Alex is making his rock song sound like a pop folk song, i think. I am rather impressed with CJ’s American Woman. Maybe I am going deaf or crazy or both, but CJ sounds good on that song. Now that all can change when he does the live show as the judges seem to indicate he does great in dress rehearsal and then goes all sharp on live shows.

  • maymirabella

    Thanks as I am not up to date on a lot of more current songs.

  • Aaron Krandel

    what do you think about jena?

  • Incipit

    Eilonwy, we’re not talking about the same thing. Rock is a BIG umbrella – and Alternative lives under it with all the rest of the variations – and there are people who like it…but it isn’t Old School “Rock and Roll” – and that’s what Idol called one half of this theme. That’s what I’m commenting on.

    If they were just being cute with the title, and they ‘didn’t really mean “Rock and Roll”‘ – then, as I said – I guess anything goes. IMO.

  • maymirabella

    Who? Do you mean Sam who performs in the middle mostly….as i would think they want CJ out next but he may perform 2nd but then he is next to last with his second song…but Sam appears right in the middle group and Jess finally gets the last spot.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    This one sounds like it has slide guitar or some such, but Woolf just doesn’t have the “country cry” in his voice.

    He’s really improved on putting “feeling the lyrics” into the songs, though. This feels like something, not just pretty notes, nicely phrased. (I keep going back to check that I didn’t loathe it, as I do the original, and it’s all “no, he sells it… I dunno if I’d buy it on its own, but put what he’s doing emotionally with the vocals into the soundtrack of the kind of teen blockbuster movie that I disgrace myself by paying money to see because I’m a flibbertigibbet, and I’d have no objections whatever.”)

  • maymirabella

    Amazingly I was impressed and liked CJ’s American Woman, I expected a trainwreck but the recording was great. It all comes down to his live performance, if he can sound half that good live…that could help him a lot.

  • maymirabella

    How so? I thought second to last was better than being stuck in the middle like Sam for instance.? I am confused as to why CJ is doomed by performance order? of course with this new voting system, some vote early on in the show now.

  • maymirabella

    No the country choices come last..so it will be his country song last and American woman early in the show.

  • Guest

    CJ’s American Women studio is fairly good… if he can dress like Lenny and put on sun glasses… and be a rock star. It would be amazing!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzWHE32IxUc

  • maymirabella

    Agreed, I think he did it on tour. I was more impressed by both Matt and Anoop on the tour than I was during their time on Idol.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    but it isn’t Old School “Rock and Roll” – and that’s what Idol called one half of this theme.

    Huh? The requirement to be “old school” rock is nowhere in the description of the theme.

    When I look for definitions of “rock and roll” in music sources, I get two conflicting answers:

    (1) it’s a synonym for “rock music” (thus encompassing the entire broad umbrella); or

    (2) It’s limited to the 1950s movement in the U.S., ending in 1959, plus its immediately subsequent UK version, which ends when blues becomes a major influence on rock in the late 1960s (thus leaving out at least half of what’s now considered “classic rock”).

  • Matthew Kitson

    Sam and CJ are poised to failure. Really like the song choices for jena, Caleb and jess. Alex’s seem typical . and jess closing on Jolene should be great

  • maymirabella

    Perhaps but his studio recording is surprisingly very good. I was surprised to be very impressed but what he does on the live show matters and that does always worry me about him.

  • justmefornow

    The problem is the classification of “rock” is so broad now. Imagine Dragons is a band right smack in the heart of alt rock which, IMO, has strayed from what was considered rock years ago.

    There’s a reason there are alt rock stations and hard rock stations and usually there is very little crossover. Imagine Dragons is never played on the stations I listen too, but Avenged Sevenfold, Of Mice & Men, Chevelle, etc. aren’t played on alt rock stations either.

    It’s just a matter of degrees now on how hard you want to rock. My personal opinion also is that a lot of alt rock I don’t consider rock either, but that’s usually the case with most harder rock fans.

  • halo9125

    I agree- I found it to be completely boring.

  • Incipit

    Ahh. Then we have an unsolvable semantics problem – and I ought to have addressed that from the very beginning. After all – the first rule of discussion is to define your terms. There’s nowhere to go from here. ~sadz~ these discussions are always interesting.

    For definitions of “Rock & Roll” – I am not in the branch who finds that title synonymous with the singular Rock….never have been, since I first began to listen to it … it’s a separate and early branch under the Rock umbrella that has certainly influenced the various divisions of Rock music – but music where those influences predominate makes up a distinct and identifiable category called “Rock & Roll”, to me. (Like RockaBilly, which is even earlier, and Alternative Rock, which is much later – but both are separate categories.)

    If you just say “Rock” – you are talking about the whole umbrella. IMO.

  • MichaelG

    He always ‘sounds’ great, as he consistently delivers a very good, clear, on-pitch vocal. That’s not his problem. If he didn’t change it from the original (And I see no reason why he would…), then I’m sure it will be good. :)

  • colette

    Jess better summon up some emotion for “Jolene” and especially “Somebody to Love.” You gotta SELL that one:

    acid flashback:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AihWtmn9IOM

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    The full studio version of “Jolene” suggests that Meuse found lots and lots of emotion. It’s chilling. If I were Jolene, I wouldn’t be in a room alone with Meuse, and I mean that in the best possible way.

  • dd999

    I’ve enjoyed this discussion on what constitutes Rock and Roll. I think “Rock and Roll” is a sound of its own. Didn’t Rock or Hard Rock introduce the distorted electric guitars and of course extremely loud vocals…a totally different sound!

  • Vetle

    I just hope Jena’s vocal pulls through in a major way on Barracuda, she has a wicked show on stage and that she rocks it out. Could be so cool. If the band brings it too, it could be really great. So Small is a chance to show vulnerability again, so it can work. I have a feeling I would wish Barracuda was last, though.

  • jcabby

    I really like that Alex chose a modern, upbeat rock/pop song. Something different. I have to say, I do like the studio version he did. Can’t wait to see how he performs it live.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    If the live performances are on a par with the studio recordings, this should be a really good night. I enjoyed these from end to end, including several where the singer definitely had to sell me on a song I wouldn’t ordinarily choose to listen to.

  • Guest

    She good on Barracuda and if she works the stage tonight… HOME RUN!

  • supersonic

    She will.

  • supersonic

    From the besties, too. I wonder if they got together on that.

  • Nostradamos

    Sorry, but hearing Jena sing the word BarracUda is laughable….
    And for that matter, why does the recorded band ALWAYS sound like a muzak version…no life what so ever.

  • BonnieDee

    I like the idea of CJ singing a Zac Brown Band song a lot.

  • mchcat

    You should see him do it now – he does it as part of his show

  • Pat H

    So Jess gets the pimp spot? Maybe they don’t want her gone after all!

  • Pat H

    As long as the judges don’t talk too much & run out of time for her critique!

  • BonnieDee

    I just listened to the ITunes preview of Jolene. Her voice is nice, but there’s no pain, no cry. Dolly Parton tears this song up with emotion. Jess sings “don’t take my man” like it’s no big deal.

  • BonnieDee

    I listened to the ITunes preview of Jolene. No emotion at all.

  • zubin

    Maybe they saw the controversy the busing created on the blogs last week and decided they better try to milk the storyline a few more weeks to keep viewers interested. Little else they’ve tried to get viewers engaged has worked as well.

  • BonnieDee

    I think Caleb singing Undo It is going to be fun. I remember Steven Tyler singing it with Carrie.

  • standtotheright

    Considering that the title of the night comes from a song by the Osmonds, the idea that this was ever intended to be a narrow definition of classic rock and roll seems far-fetched.

    As for this song, they’re using hi-hats. If you want a louder beat, Radioactive (by the same band) has an exceptionally obvious one.

  • standtotheright

    Chevelle’s Jars was huge on alt rock (and still gets a decent amount of recurrent airplay). Mostly because the chord progression was clear and the lyrics were substantive. A7X releases the singles, but they don’t usually go that far because the callout isn’t that great.
    Alternative came out of the perceived need for a format for listeners who didn’t object to electronic instrumentation in rock music (New Wave) and who did object to riffs taking all the precedence over melody and lyrics (songwriter-focused material). (That this started with college stations is not astonishing.) That doesn’t make it “not rock.” Rock is about a lot more than volume. And the definition should be broad.