The American Idol XIII Top 12 will perform songs with the theme “Home”. We’re live blogging the show right here! Recap and Videos inside.
Damn. Things are not going well for this season of American Idol. With the ratings falling, the kids aren’t helping when they deliver mediocre performances as they did tonight. There’s so much right happening here. Kudos to the producers for opening up the song choices. There were many unusual song picks tonight, including tunes by David Nail and Blind Pilot. A song by the rock band, Rush, was performed for the first time. Some really interesting song choices, delivered underwhelmingly.
The best performances tonight were from the country boys, Dexter Roberts, Ben Briley and CJ Harris. The girls are going to get their butts kicked if they don’t step it up. My favorite girls–Jena Irene, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette and Majesty Rose were ALL disappointing tonight. Majesty and Jessica have enough good will stored up to save them. But Jena and MK could both land in the bottom 3 tomorrow. Last week’s bottom 2 dweller, Malaya Watson, saved herself this week with a spiritual performance of “Take Me To The King.”
Alex Preston gets points for re-imaging songs, but his arrangement of “I Don’t Want to Be” didn’t quite land. Sam Woolf had another disembodied performance this week. He’s lucky that his sweet voice and countenance will likely carry him for at least several more weeks. Caleb Johnson has to quit performing like a lounge act.
And Emily Piriz. She’s so foddery, I almost forgot her. Nobody had even close to a moment tonight.
The judges frustration with this bunch is palpable. Could there be chaos backstage that’s keeping the kids from being able to rehearse properly? Choose songs? Work out issues with the band? I still believe this is a talented bunch, but something is not happening here. I have to say, that I’m frustrated too.
The focus tonight is on the HOMETOWNS. A video montage of the Top 12 and their city of origin flash on the screen.
Harry suggests the crowd clap for Ryan’s suit. Jlo, dressed in white, is sporting a giant, ratty ponytail. She says the “talented twelve” has to start delivering. America just ain’t going to put up with that! Harry loves his hometown, New Orleans. HIS CITY. Ohh. We’re going to check into the results in real time this week!
Jena Irene – Farmington, MI – Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall – The song reminds her of taking long trips with her family when she was a kid. Her mom and aunts are here. Her delivery is peppy, and she’s working the stage, but this feels a little subdued. Jena has the tendency to swallow her words. Her vocal is sounding a little thin here. Keith liked her stage presence and the different side of her. He’s not crazy about the song choice. I agree. Jennifer appreciates the uniqueness of her tone. Harry liked that she made different choices in the melody. He was waiting for her to bust out. He wanted more. Harry also makes a good point. Jena shines on her originals. On covers, not so much. If she doesn’t step it up, she’ll wind up a mid-packer at best – Call 1 855 4 IDOL 08(1 855 443 6508) or Text 8 to 83676
Alex Preston – Mt. Vernon, NH – “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw – Alex’s grandma sends a good luck message. She’s from Quincy, MA. We pronounce that Quinzy. Oh right! Alex opened a MIX 104 show for Gavin. He’s a big inspiration. Alex straps on the electric guitar for this. And you know how this song has been done to death on Idol? He totally makes the song his own. I’m not mad at him at all. He completely transforms the arrangement into something new. He’s got a few pitch issues, though. Jlo loves his blue suit. She didn’t like the vocal arrangement. Didn’t think it suited the song. Harry liked that he ended on the 9 again. He thinks Alex is best singing intimate songs. He likes that he stepped out of his comfort zone. He felt Alex was overpowered. Alex admits that the arrangement was his idea. Keith felt the song was around him, rather him being centered in the song. The lack of breath control and pitchiness was a clue. Keith gave the best critique. I think he nailed it. The arrangement wasn’t so much the problem, as Alex wasn’t quite in the middle of it. Call 1 855 4 IDOL 09(1 855 443 6509) or Text 9 to 83676
Jessica Meuse – Slapout, AL – “White Flag” by Dido – Jess has included this song in her sets for years. I love Jessica’s raspy tone and quivery vibrato so much. She brings a bit of a country vibe to her rendition, but is a bit too…languid here. And she trails off pitch on her phrases. Last week was a much better performance. It’s like she just woke up from a nap. Harry felt the performance was blase. She was sharp and nobody clapped at her high note, because she was so off. He didn’t feel she was present in the performance. Keith loves the way that she sings. He’s OK with pitch problems if the singer backs it up with passion. Jennifer loves her look. But she agrees, the conviction was missing. Jessica plans to review the performance backstage. She respects the feedback. Call 1 855 4 IDOL 10(1 855 443 651o) or Text 10 to 83676
Oh…Keith and Harry don’t agree on the pitch issue. Harry sees no reason to sing out of tune. Hm.
Dexter Roberts – Fayette, AL – “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry – He misses his DAWGS. He trains labs. He dedicates the song to someone back home who has passed on. Whoever that person is has inspired Dexter to deliver a heartfelt and emotional performance. This was a fantastic song choice for Dexter. His delivery is vulnerable, simple, with beautiful intonation. Dexter has totally redeemed himself from last week’s lackluster bro country bore. He gets a standing ovation. The best performance of the night so far. Keith calls it the perfect song song choice. He liked the liberties he took with the phrasing. He showed his vulnerable side. Jennifer namechecks Scotty McCreery. Every week he did a song that was so him but also surprising. She thinks Dexter did that. Harry calls it “unquestionably the best performance of the night.” He’s disappointed he didn’t sing about the Saints! Call 1 855 4 IDOL 01(1 855 443 6501) or Text 1 to 83676
Emily Piriz – Orlando FL – Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez – She gets the red room treatment. Aw. Her Marine boyfriend sends a video message. Great way to throw her off the game with an emotional surprise, guys! She’s got a horn section behind her as she works the stage. She needs to kick the energy up a notch or two. While she implores the audience to “get loud,” she needs to take some of that advice herself. Kind of snoozy, despte a solid vocal. Jennifer is honored. She closes her concerts with “Loud”. She can’t bring herself to be critical at all. Harry admires her courage. The song is like a locomotion train, and she needed to match it, he says. The production was too big for her. Keith loved it. Oh. Jlo demonstrates a hair whip. So why did Keith love it? He doesn’t say, but he’s sure she’ll be here next week. Harry was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT correct in his assessment. If you’re going to sing a barn burner, you better set a fire first. Call 1 855 4 IDOL 11(1 855 443 6511) or Text 11 to 83676
Caleb Johnson – Asheville, NC – Working Man by Rush – Asheville is music city, if you didn’t know that. I’m not liking this song choice. There’s no melody to speak of. It’s droney in that metal way that’s pretty awesome if you’re in the middle of a loud party. But as a competition song, not so much. It was kind of a snooze. There’s no denying Caleb’s vocal prowess, however. He also knows how to work a mic. Harry calls him the most consistent of all the contestants. Harry cautions him not to be predictable. “What can you bring to rock n roll to push it forward?” Keith calls his voice an amazing gift. Keith feels it was too much of a band song. Jennifer says she’s been waiting for what he brings to the stage all night tonight. Call 1 855 4 IDOL 13(1 855 443 6513) or Text 13 to 83676
Somebody needs to bring out some 5 hour energy drinks for these kids.
REAL TIME VOTING RESULTS! 1. Dexter 2. Jess 3. Caleb 4. Jena 5. Alex 6. Emily
MK Nobilette – San Francisco, CA – Drops of Jupiter by Train – She’s adopted, and also has 2 moms. and 2 step moms. It’s a big gay party! Ugh. I hate this song. It’s another subdued performance from MK. But against such a boring song, she doesn’t stand a chance. There are some pitch problems too. Her most awkward performance yet. I wonder if she was going for something more commercial this week. It didn’t feel like her. She’s definitely headed for the bottom 3 again, and maybe elimination. Keith liked the song choice, but believes she’s still having connection problems. She needs to do something with her guitar when she’s not playing it, he says. She’s just NOT comfortable on stage. Jennifer feels her pushing, but she’s not quite there yet. A sweet performance. Harry is getting the feeling that she doesn’t want to be here. He suggests she practice the things that make her feel uncomfortable in front of a mirror. 1 855 4 IDOL 06(1 855 443 6506) or Text 6 to 83676
CJ Harris – Jaspar, AL – Waiting On The World To Change by John Mayer – His momma and his girlfriend are in the audience tonight. Oh hey. CJ is back. A perfect song choice for his soulful rasp. He’s feeling this song. The question he needs to ask himself before he chooses a song is does this mean something to me? He’s still a little sharp, but I forgive him. Jennifer loves his look AND his performance tonight. Harry notes that he sang sharp, but he’s not mad either! Honestly, I typed my comment first. Keith says all that’s missing is for him to figure out how to make a song his own. – Call 1 855 4 IDOL 05(1 855 443 6505) or Text 5 to 83676
JAMES DURBIN AND CASEY ABRAMS IN THE HOUSE. The “spiritual advisors” are in the house. Lol at Ryan snarking on them.
Sam Woolf – Bradenton FL – Just One by Blind Pilot – Sam’s cute grandpa is his guardian in Hollywood. His cousin and uncle are in the audience tonight. Check out Sam bringing some country flavor to his performance. He’s seated amongst the sway bots. They are blessedly not swaying. Probably clapping off the beat, though. I’m not familiar with this song. This is very pleasant. But, once again: Beautiful tone. Gorgeous intonation. I am not moved. Harry feels he’s lacking emotional dynamics. Harry is correct. He’s one beat. Keith compares his tone to butter. He’d buy his record. Jennifer wants to see more super wow performances. The kid is 17, which is probably half the problem. This young man has had some hard experiences in his short life. Dad couldn’t take care of him, his mom abandoned him! I wonder if his way of dealing with the tough stuff is to bottle up his feelings. It’s scary, but if he could tap into that pain, there would be no stopping him. Call 1 855 4 IDOL 12(1 855 443 6512) or Text 12 to 83676
Malaya Watson – Southfield, MI – Take Me To The King by Tamala Mann – This was the first gospel song she ever learned. Being in the bottom 3 last week rattled her. She doesn’t want to go back there. Malaya CALMS DOWN to sing a Gospel ballad. Her trembly voice, in control, reveals an emotional vulnerability. She hits the notes. The high notes aren’t completely on pitch. But they are powerful. The crowd goes nuts. Malaya just saved her ass. Good job, girl. Jen got the goosies. Keith loved the song choice. Vulnerability, power and range. She had it all, says Keith. It was like you were telling a story to us, says Jlo. The performance felt focused to Harry. A few little problems, but the message was there. He’s proud that she stayed in control and saw it all the way through. Call 1 855 4 IDOL 02(1 855 443 6502) or Text 2 to 83676
Ben Briley – Gallatin, TN – Turning Home by David Nail – Ben comes from a BIG family. And they’re all voting for him! He’s a simple guy who grew up in a simple town. Aw. Poor Ben has no one in the audience. He says they got confused by the theme and thought they were supposed to watch from home. He’s a funny guy. Now THIS is a good song choice. A great one, in fact. Ben delivers the tune with so much passion. I’m buying this 100 percent. Jennifer felt it too. She thought the song had a shaky start, but she was with him by the end. Harry didn’t connect to that. He felt like he was being shouted at. I disagree! Keith thought there was too much focus on the technicals. He lost the emotion. Were we listening to the same performance? This is very odd. Aw. Ryan brings out some deviled eggs, Ben’s favorite food. How is it that I’m agreeing with Jennifer here? Call 1 855 4 IDOL 04 (1 855 443 6504) or Text 4 to 83676
Majesty Rose – Fix You by Coldplay – Goldsboro – NC – She misses her preschool kids! The thing about Majesty, is she always connectx to the emotion in a song, no matter what she sings. Having said that. The verse is delicate, and beautifully phrased. Unfortunately, Majesty goes completely off pitch during the chorus as she attempts to land some big big notes. Jlo tells her she doesn’t always have to go for those big notes. Keith recognizes her misstep, but is sure she’ll be back next week. Wow. I wonder if that sounded the same in rehearsal. She completely lost the plot in the chorus. Call 1 855 4 IDOL 07(1 855 443 6507) or Text 7 to 83676
REAL TIME VOTING RESULTS FOR THE LAST SIX 1. CJ 2. Sam 3. Ben 4. MK 5. Malaya 6. Majesty
Jennifer says the kids HAVE TO BRING it next week. No screaming required.