Tonight’s songs on American Idol were chosen for the contestants by their competition. It’s an interesting idea but any thoughts of sabotaging the competition was nixed by Randy who moderated the decision-making process. One thing’s for sure, the singers know each other very well. Another thing’s for sure; the producers are letting more new songs be sung this year. Their adherence to a limited and overused song list is happily a thing of the past.
Caleb sang Family Tree by Kings of Leon, Alex’s choice. It w as a perfect song for him. The audience and the judges loved it. It was a good way to start the show.
Badass Jessica Meuse sang Miranda Lambert’s Gunpowder and Lead chosen by Sam. It was good but didn’t really excite me. Jennifer thought she was a bit off which naturally was met with audience boos. Harry didn’t think it was her best performance either. He suggested she get more in tune with the groove of the music by listening to R and B or hip hop in her hotel room and dancing to it in her hotel room until she felt the groove in her body. I would like to watch that. Keith felt Jessica was dissipated and not emotionally connected or committed to the music.
Demi Lovato and her bad haircut made a brief appearance for no apparent reason other than to plug herself. Then she went into the lounge and sat with Randy.
Sam and Alex did Let Her Go but didn’t do much with it. It was a lightweight bit of musical fluff. They were in tune most of the time and sounded pretty good together. Harry thought it was too saccharine. Keith thought it was cute but not in a good way. Jennifer nailed it when she said she thought the girls in the audience loved it. Demi, a former X-Factor judge wanted them to do more with it.
After the commercial, Terry Bradshaw came on stage for no good reason and said that Sam reminded him of Ricky Nelson. Ricky hasn’t gotten so much publicity in ages.
CJ sang Caleb’s choice of John Mayer’s Gravity . When he got intense, he went off key. It was far from good but it wasn’t his worst performance ever. Unlike Jessica, he is emotionally connected to his music and that’s what has kept him in the show far past any reasonable expectation. Keith and Jennifer wished his performance was more finessed. Harry thought it was his best performance of the season. Maybe having his baby son in the audience inspired him.
Ryan talked to a singer and a female boxer in the audience and killed a few minutes.
Dexter chose CJ’s selection, Muckalee Creek Water by Luke Bryan. It pretty much sounded like every other Dexter performance. I couldn’t tell if his enunciation was bad because his voice was mixed so poorly. Jennifer liked it because it was a bit darker than his usual song choice but then spent a minute or two saying how much everybody has to push themselves to be even better. Harry didn’t think he did anything original with it. In other words, it was too karaoke for Harry.
Jena and her best friend on the show and apparent prom date Caleb performed Gimme Shelter. She can match his power unlike any other singer this season.
Alex sang The A Team chosen by Dexter. It wasn’t a particularly inspired choice as it’s a song that is exactly in Alex’s comfort zone. It was even his online audition song. But it’s a popular song which usually works well for singers. The editing required to get it down to 90 seconds resulted in some abrupt melodic and lyrical jumps but it seemed to work for the most part. The audience ate it up big time. He got the best response of the night.
Jessica chose Sail Away for Sam. It was pretty good but not overly exciting. I blame the arrangement and the lackluster band. Harry told him to choose more familiar songs. All the judges noted his progress in connecting with the audience.
The three Alabamians, CJ, Dexter and Jessica performed Lady Antebellum’s Compass . I thought it was the best the three of them sounded tonight. Harry didn’t like it at all. It was out of tune for him and wants to forget about it entirely. Demi didn’t think it was so hot either. Maybe I was listening to a different song.
Apparently there was a lot of time to fill and kill tonight. Ryan spent a lot of time talking in the audience and talking to Demi and just chatting with the judges. This led to a rather loose and relaxed feel to the show which unfortunately transferred over to most of the performances. A sense of urgency and excitement was sorely lacking. Then when time ran short at the end, Jena performed Caleb’s choice, Radiohead’s Creep and rocked the house. The judges loved her but didn’t have time to say what they really felt.
If there’s a bottom three, I think CJ, Dexter and Sam will be there. Jessica might be in danger as well. There’s only seven left and I just named four who might be in the bottom three. If I don’t get a couple right, I would be shocked.