On American Idol tonight, the Elite 8 Perform episode, the 8 contestants who are left will be performing a song from the 1980s . This is the 1980s week, and a past American Idol winner, David Cook, will also be returning to act as an advisor. In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll hear who received the fewest votes and will be going home.
The host of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest, first mentioned that “last week, Sam Woolf got the one save of the season.” He then brought out the remaining competitors onto the stage, and after that, he introduced the judges, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. J-Lo helped Keith get his hair extensions off — it was meant to look as if he had a mullet.
Ryan said that tonight, American Idol would be going back into time, to the 80s. A past American Idol contestant who became the American Idol by winning it, David Cook, has come back to assist the remaining competitors.
Ryan reminded viewers of American Idol that voting is now open. He said “we have Sam and Alex coming up next.” First, though, was an obligatory commercial break.
First, we see David working with Jena Irene, as she practices singing “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett. To me, she starts it off way too slowly, but perhaps it’s her way to make the song her own.
The audience gives her a standing ovation — what will the judges say?
Keith: “Jena, that’s a great way to start! I love the originality you always bring to your performance.”
J-Lo: “I’m gonna get booed, but I thought the song languished somewhere in the middle. You put your stamp on it, and I did like it, though.”
Harry: “I didn’t really like the arrangement. At the end, I wanted you to be running around, you know–“
J-Lo: ‘What the American Idol people tell you is just a blueprint.” Jennifer says that she and the other competitors can add some elements of their own.
After the commercial break, David Cook then spent time with Dexter Roberts, who chose to sing “Keep Your Hands to Yourself.” David noticed that Dexter didn’t enunciate his words very well, so he worked with him on that aspect of his performance.
If seemed to have worked, as during the performance, Dexter made every word clear. The audience clapped along as he sang, and it sounded like a very ROCK version of the song — he NAILED it!
J-Lo: “You always come out and sing kinda perfect. You nailed it; congratulations!”
Harry: “Yes, it was another anthem song; but, coupled with what you did last week, I think it was fine. You did a really nice job.”
Keith: “You looked like you had a lot to remember. You should maybe do something unexpected, like kick the microphone stand.”
After the break, Ryan introduced the first duet of the night on American Idol, Sam Woolf and Alex Preston, singing “The Girl is Mine.”
The duets tonight won’t be judged; they are just meant to be entertainment, and to show off how well the contestants can sing together. Both played their guitars; it was a pretty cool duet! The audience loved it, also, and gave them a standing ovation.
Harry: “How do you feel since after last week?”
Sam: “I want to thank you for using your Save.”
The judges expressed how they thought Sam seemed more relaxed as he and Alex sang, and that he had taken their advice and used it with this performance. Both he and Alex did an AWESOME job singing this iconic song.
Back from the commercial break, Ryan mentioned that “the 80s was a decade when none of our finalists were born. That’s hysterical.”
Up next will be Malaya Watkins, a child of the 90s, singing the chaka Khan song, “Through the Fire.” David Cook gives her some advice, and Malaya calls it “a good opportunity, because the dude won!”
Malaya begins singing this cool tune sitting on a stool. Then, she got up, still singing, and owned the stage, as well as the song. Malaya has a powerful, resounding voice, and she gave a REMARKABLE performance, as she usually does. It KICKED BUTT!
Keith: “Firstly, there was never any doubt about your vocal ability. Try to lay back in it a little bit; if you had a voice that was limiting, you might have a bit of trouble.”
J-Lo: “You just need to relax up there. You don’t even have to try.”
Harry: “There’s not a lot of people who can hit that Chaka note. I felt you maybe sacrificed a little bit of the earlier part of the song, trying to hit the Chaka note. Did you feel that?”
Malaya: “Not really.” there will be more great performances on American Idol right after yet another break!
Ryan said that “coming up next will be another duet–” then he was interupted by Harry saying he couldn’t stand it any longer; he was going in.” he then went and at in the audience.
Jena and Caleb sang the duet “It’s Only Love.” The audience loved it; Harry had a girl on his shoulders as the song was being sung, and even went up onto the stage like that!
J-Lo said that she loved how the duets were going.
Harry: “I make dreams happen. It is what it is, bor — that’s how I role.”
Jessica Meuse will perform “Call Me” by Blondie. David Cook tells her “That’s lofty,” but it’s the song she’s chosen. He tells her he doesn’t think she’s looking like she’s “enjoying it,” singing the Blondie song. She has to make the performance look natural.
Jessica ROCKS it with her actual live performance! The audience clap their hands throughout. She definitely brought a high degree of energy to her performance and the audience with how well she did; her voice soared, and it was a great song to display her amazing vocal talents. PERFECTION!
Ryan says that American Idol will “take a quick break before we get the judges’ comments.”
The judges didn’t have quite the same impression of how well Jessica had sung the Blondie song.
Harry told her that she needed “to sing in the shuffle, girlfriend,” and asked her if she knew what he was talking about — he added “You need to sing in the pocket.”
Keith: “I was waiting for the release.”
J-Lo: “When you sing this song, you need to keep touch with the sexy part of you.”
Sam Woolf will be singing “Time After Time” by Cindy Lauper after the next commercial break on American Idol.
During rehearsal, David Cook told him “That was awesome! Go onstage, own that song. Own the stage. You’ve got too much talent not to do that.”
Sam started off the song way too slowly for my liking. He never really picked up the tempo nor speed much throughout. The judges thought he did pretty well, though….
Keith asked him what he felt like about the performance, and Sam said something to the effect that he thought it had gone well.
J-Lo told Sam that she thought he “did a great job. I felt you singing and expressing yourself.”
Harry told him he’d like Sam to sing not so much to the cameras, but to the ladies in the audience. “Look at them!” he told Sam, adding “Nice job!” Harry also recommended that Sam watch YouTube videos of Ricky Nelson, who he was similar to in the way he sang.
Ryan said that after another commercial break, American Idol will be back with Malaya Watkins and C.J. Harris performing a duet of “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).”
Malaya and C.J., Harris sang a duet next. They did a TERRIFIC job singing together, their voices meshing and harmonizing very well together. The audience clapped along as they sang.
J-Lo: “You guys were adorable together.”
Harry: It was more like regional theater to me” He got booed. “It was cute, though — it was fine.”
Alex Preston will be singing “Every Breath You Take,” by The Police. David gave him some pointers, and Alex called him “a true artist.” David said he wanted Alex to “evoke the song, to sound as if you give a damn.”
Alex played his guitar during the performance. He sang his own unique take on this song, and he did extremely well with it. violinists in the background added some extra flavor to the performance. He had the females in the audience screaming for him at one point as he sang.
Ryan said that we’ll hear what the judges have to say “right after the break — don’t move.”
Harry: “Here’s what I liked. You made it your own tune. A performer can perform anywhere, but an entertainer brings something different. You have to make it stage-worthy. Think of how you can be more of an entertainer.” He again got roundly booed.
Keith: ‘You grabbed my attention right away. It was a bold thing dismantling that song, and re-arranging it. Push and pull the phrasing a little bit. Take some more liberty with the tempo.”
J-Lo: “I disagree with the guys in the sense that — I love that song. It was such a transcending song. To change it that much for me was really losing the soul of that song.” She got booed, somewhat.
Harry: “You totally switched the vibe and meaning of the song, and that’s one of the things I liked the most.”
Ryan said that we will keep things moving with “two of our Alabama Idols.” Jessica Meuse and Dexter Roberts sang “Islands in the Stream,” of all songs, next. It sounded pretty good, thought — Jessica can sing country as well as rock. Dexter was great, as usual, also. They got a standing ovation from the audience.
Jessica and Dexter sat alongside J-Lo. The male judges had decided to both go into the audience and watch from there. J-Lo said that “I thought it was really great.”
Ryan then said “C.J. will take on Tom Petty next on American Idol after the break.” Maybe he’ll sing “Refugee.” That would be pretty cool!
Back from break, the American Idol judges did an impromptu version of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”They sounded great together.
Then, we saw C.J. with David, rehearsing the Tom Petty song he’d chosen, “Free Falling.” It’s not one of my personal Tom Petty faves, but, oh, well…
C.j. did okay, but maybe played his guitar a little bit better than he sang this version of the song. It’s a deceptively difficult song to perform well, though. The audience got into it, clapping along a she sang. C.J. did seem to get more comfortable with the song as he went on. What will the judges say?
J-Lo: “Yes, they love you. There’s never been a contestant I’ve rooted for more than you. You have the ability to touch peoples’ hearts.”
Harry: “You have a connection, and that’s an incredible gift. When you hit the high notes, you were more in tune. When you can do that, you’ve cracked it.”
Keith: “That was a great rendition of the song. You’ve got a survivor tone in your voice, that’s the bit that I l0ve, that optimism.”
Ryan asked how C.J. liked working with David Cook, and C.J. said that he helped him a lot, and helped him “figure out the bridge on that song.”
“After the break on American Idol, get ready for a Journey classic!” Ryan Seacrest said.
Randy brought a golden Spandex jacket onstage with him, and wanted Ryan to “try it on.” Ryan made a half-hearted attempt to do it, but then he stopped and introduced Caleb, who will be singing the Journey song, “Faithfully.”
David said that there are millions of people at home, and Caleb needed to make contact with them, as well as the people in the studio audience.
Caleb was AMAZING, giving another excellent performance. J-Lo sang along as she was sitting, listening to him. Caleb put a ton of emotion into the song — he’d said before he began he “wanted to make old ladies who were listening cry.”
He did perform a very emotional version of this Journey classic. The entire audience clapped along as he sang, screamed, and gave him a standing ovation.
Harry: “We’ve been wanting to hear you sing something with more subtlety. I’m proud of you — nice work.”
Keith: “It was perfect — I had my lighter out. I loved it, man!”
J-Lo: “It’s no small task to take on Steve Perry. It’s like one of the gods. When you got to the big moments of the song, you murdered it!”
Caleb’s performance was the last one of the night on American Idol. Ryan brought everyone back onto the stage again, and said that “each of the Idols need your support. Vote, vote, vote!” He added that “the Live Results will be tomorrow night.”
Tomorrow, we’ll find out who received the least amount of votes from you, America, and will be going home. Since there are no further Saves left, whoever gets the fewest votes will definitely be leaving American Idol by the end of tomorrow night’s episode. who do you think will be staying and going, America? Please leave your comments below!