Tonight, the Top 10 Finalists will perform on American Idol. America, your votes will determine who the next competitor to be sent home will be. At the start of the episode, the remaining competitors had a little bit of fun by taking selfies. The Top 10 finalists will take on the Top of the Billboard Charts tonight, according to American Idol‘s host, Ryan Seacrest.
At the start of American Idol, Ryan introduced the three judges, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. Ryan repeated that the competitors will be taking on the Top of the Billboard Charts, and he asked Keith to explain a bit more about it.
Keith said that the competitors could have selected any of the Billboard Top Ten songs to sing from 2011 to today. The song choice was up to them.
Ryan then had the Top 10 Finalists come up onto the stage, and he said that they would be performing also this summer on tour with each other. Ryan spoke to them on his radio show, “at 6:58” in the morning. Ryan said that people at home could start voting, even now, before any of the performers have sung.
MK Nobilette, 20, will be singing “You are Perfect” by Pink tonight. Randy told her that the main thing was “to deliver that vocal.”
I really liked how she began the song, low-keyed and subtle, and she built from there, her voice getting more and more powerful. I think, IMHO, it was her best performance so far this season on American Idol. The audience sure seemed to think so, giving her a standing ovation.
Keith: “How do you feel right now?”
MK: “I feel pretty good.”
Keith: “Just work on owning the stage and dominating it.”
J-Lo: “I have to say that the beginning of the song you showed the most emotion. That part of it will really, really help you. That was great. Later, you looked like you got thrown off. You have to recover with so much conviction that people wonder if you did make a mistake.”
Harry: “I don’t think that this was at all one of your stronger performances. What kind of show could you put together? this basically sounded like the Pink version too much to me.”
I, personally, liked this version; but, then again, I like Pink, so if it sounded similar, that was cool by me.
Ryan said that “the race is getting tight.” He introduced Deter Roberts, and on his radio on show, Ryan said “so you’re going to do “Florida Georgia Line.” That is, he’ll be singing “Cruise,” by Florida Georgia Line.
Dexter may be a little difficult for some people to understand because of his Southern accent, but he’s an excellent singer. He pretty much NAILEd this song, and he had the audience in the palm of his hand. J-Lo was dancing as she was sitting in her chair. He got a standing ovation.
J-Lo: “Dexter, how are you tonight? That was good — that was very good. Get the audience clapping, right from the very beginning of the song. You’ve got to keep the crow with you, get the energy going.”
Harry: “I disagree with Jennifer. I don’t think that was a good performance at all. Dexter, to be honest, we could have taken you out and put MK in. Remember when you did ‘Lucky Man’? That was a great performance; this was not.”
Keith: “It’s tricky, we either do it the same as the original and get criticized, or change it, and people wonder why we changed it. Keep working at what you did at the beginning of the song.”
J-Lo: “You have to own the song.”
Ryan reminded viewers at home that you can vote now. He also said that after the next commercial break, Jena Irene will be singing “Clarity,” by Zedd. It’s a great song. On his radio show, Ryan spoke to her about it, and later, Randy said “this is really a performance song.”
She began it softly, maybe a little bit too softly. Jena is a terrific singer, though, and she quickly got into the performance, and also got the audience into it. They had glow sticks, even, and she told the audience “Let’s go!” Jena did a great job getting the audience more into the tune.
Harry: “I was really interested in seeing how you could get into it. I can really hear you succeeding at this, living in the world of electronic music. I think you’re a really strong singer. It reminded me of Ultra.”
Keith: “I loved that ‘tune.'”
J-Lo: “I did, too!”
Keith: “You changed the melody at times, that’s how you make it your own.”
J-Lo: “I love you singing that song. I think that you have to hold the middle of the stage a little bit. You can get the whole audience with you. Your place is the middle of the stage. It was a great job.”
Right after the next commercial break, Ryan said that American Idol will be back with Alex Preston singing “The Story of My Life,” by One Direction. It’s a great song, but also one I sort of wouldn’t picture Alex singing, as he has sang more unusual, quirky songs, but very good ones.
Ryan then introduced Alex Preston, and we heard them talk together on Ryan’s radio show. Alex told Randy Jackson that he hoped he wouldn’t mess it up and annoy the fans of One Direction.
He needn’t have worried about that, as he ROCKED the song OUT. He played the guitar as he sang. The audience clapped along as he sang. Alex did an AWESOME job, and got some vibrato into his voice.He got a standing ovation from the audience.
Keith: ‘I think we’re starting to see where the artists come in. You made it your own! I think it was really good, brother.”
J-Lo: When we talk about owning the stage, that was it. You reminded me of Buddy Holly. You evoke greatness.”
Harry: “To me, you hit the bullseye on the artistry target. I think I am really starting to understand who you are.”
Ryan asked him if singing all of the vocal parts of the song was tough. Alex said he just had fun with the band. He has such a wide vocal range, and is such a talented singer, he made singing all of the parts look easy, though I’m sure it wasn’t.
Ryan: “We started off a little slow tonight, but that last song kicked it into high gear.”
J-Lo: ‘That’s the target that the other competitors must try to hit.”
Malaya will be singing “When I was Your Man,” by Bruno Mars. She said that she wanted people to focus on her vocals more, so she will not be playing the piano as she sings.
Malaya has a TREMENDOUS voice! She put pauses into the song in just the right places, and she showcased her wide vocal range, really getting the audience into her performance. The audience screamed and cheered as she sang, and gave her a standing ovation.
J-Lo: ‘I was ready to kind of hate on you at the beginning. I had goosies, when you hit the middle of that song it was filled with such tenderness and love. It was awesome!”
Harry: “I think you were present in each and every word. that is rare. It was awesome! Nice job!”
Keith: “I say, well done for leaving it like it is. You knocked it out of the park! Great job, Malaya!”
Ryan gave Malaya a lot of flowers, with a card saying “Enjoy the flowers. Charge them to the credit card of Mr. Harry Connick, Jr.”
American Idol will come back from the break with Caleb Johnson singing a song by Lady GaGa, “The Edge of Glory.” Lady GaGa sings it so well, and fills it with so much heart and emotion; can Caleb do the song justice?
Caleb confided to Ryan that he liked to play practical jokes on the other contestants. On Ryan’s radio show, Caleb said he was going with “Edge of Glory” by Lady GaGa for his next song. Randy questioned him about it, and brought up that there was an issue with the tempo of the song.
Caleb did an INCREDIBLE job with this song, IMHO! It’s a cool song, and not a hard rock one, which Caleb seems to like more; but, he made it his own, and did really well with it. The audience seemed to really enjoy it, also. He finished the song powerfully, as well.
Harry: “I like the fact that you chose a straight-up, middle-of-the-road pop song. I’ve seen you give better performances, but I gave it an “A’ for originality.”
Keith: “You have a killer tone, and that’s really good. It was an interesting song choice. I didn’t like the half-time tone of it, though. It seemed as if your voice was too big for it. Vocally, you did great, as usual.”
J-Lo: “I’m somewhere in-between these two. It sounded great, but it lacked the feeling for me. It just seemed like you were showing off vocally. Make sure you feel every single word she wrote, if you sing a Lady GaGa song.”
Then, Harry imitated Keith, and Keith did a great imitation of Harry’s sometimes unusual addition of musical vocabulary into his critiques.
Back from the break, Caleb read Ryan’s part of the cue cards. Ryan shouted out random things, trying to act like Caleb sometimes acts.
CJ Harris will be singing “Invisible,” by Hunter Hayes on American Idol tonight. Randy said “Dude, now I believe you.”
It sounded like it would be a difficult song to sing. CJ was accompanied by violins, and he played his guitar as he sang. He filled the song with emotion, and the audience erupted into applause a she finished.
Keith: “CJ — here’s the thing. First of all, I’m rooting for you. I heard you at rehearsal, and you NAILED that song. You seemed to have a hard time staying in tune and staying in pitch. I’s really hard — it’s pressure. I understand it. Really work on that; you have everything else going for you.”
J-Lo: “You killed it in rehearsal. I’m really for you, CJ.”
Harry: It’s discipline. I know you can do it. You have to work with the people American Idol has graciously provided for you.”
Coming up next will be Jessica Meuse, Ryan Seacrest said. She will be singing a song I really like, “Pumped Up Kicks,” by Foster the People.
I love Jessica’s voice, but she did sing a somewhat different version of this song than I am used to hearing. The chorus was pretty much the same, but the tempo of the rest was different. I still liked how she sang it, though.
Ryan interviewed her on his radio show, as he has done with the other competitors so far. Jessica tells Randy that she did a “Spin” class. Randy said he wasn’t too into “Spin” classes.
Ryan mentions to Jess that “the lyrics are intense.” He asked her if she changed it much. She said “Not really.”
Jess didn’t change the words, but she definitely changed the tempo, except for the song’s chorus. She had the audience clapping as she sang right from the beginning of the song. Will the rest of the song outweigh the slow start of it int he minds of the judges?
J-Lo: I think they liked you, Jessica. I was really happy with your performance. It felt really good to me.”
Harry: I disagreed with J-Lo. I wondered where the cry was, where th joy was, the anger, and the laughter. Also, why were you smiling as you sang it?”
Jessica: ‘I think it’s clever how they masked the craziness and violence of the lyrics.”
The judges disagreed over the interpretation of the song, and how it should be sang. Ryan said that Majesty would be performing next on American Idol singing “Wake Me Up,” by Avicii, another electronic song. Will she do as well as Jena did?
Ryan had Majesty on his show next, and spoke with her. Majesty has an AMAZING voice, and she did great singing “Wake Me Up.” The audience clapped along as she sang, and gave her a standing ovation.
Harry: ‘I really like what you did with that tune. I thought you ‘re really smart. That was complex. That’s the Majesty I like. Nice job.”
Keith: “I disagree with Harry. The reason that song works is that it’s a fusion. I didn’t really care for the arrangement of it, but your voice is always great.”
J-Lo: “Halfway through, I heard the Majesty that we all love.”
After the next commercial break, Ryan said we’ll hear the final singer of the evening on American Idol, Sam Woolf. He’ll be singing “We Are Young” by Fun/Janelle Monáe.
Ryan interviewed Sam on his radio show, and Randy told him to “give as much performance as you can.”
Sam WAILED on this song, and he played the guitar as he sang. He gave a really, really good performance — as with the other singers, the audience clapped along as he sang. Keith and J-Lo were rocking out in their seats, too.
J-Lo: “I loved it I thought it was so much better than how you did last week.”
Harry: ‘I still thought you weren’t assertive enough. You can do this, Sam.”
J-Lo said that the challenge for next week was for the competitors who are left, the Final Nine, to hold the center of the stage, and make it their own.
What did you think of tonight’s episode of American Idol? I think it started off kind of slow, though the performance were good ones; then, the competitors started to really rock it out. Alex Preston’s version of “The Story of My Life” by One Direction was one of the earlier highlights of the episode; but, I also thought Malaya’s performance of “When I was Your Man,” by Bruno Mars and Jena Irene’s version of “Clarity” was excellent, as well as the performances of Majesty, Caleb, and Sam Woolf.
Tomorrow night, please stay tuned with me, and hear who received the fewest votes from you, America! Then, come back here to read my Recap/Review of American Idol. Please leave your comments and thoughts about this episode of American Idol below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb