On American Idol tonight, the Elite 8 Finalists Perform, and tomorrow, one of them will be eliminated, based on your votes, America! The competitors will be trying their best to sing their best; any less than that, could get them voted off of American Idol! They will be all reprising their audition songs, singing them once again, the songs that began their journey.The judges want to see how much each of the competitors has grown and improved since the original auditions.
Ryan Seacrest, the host of American Idol, introduced the remaining eight “American Idols,” and said that they all had their start auditioning “in front of one of these three.” Ryan then introduced the American Idol judges, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr., who came onto the stage and took their seats.
Ryan reminded America that voting is now open, said that the competitors would later also sing duets, and then he said that Jessica Meuse would be the first competitor to perform tonight.
There was a feature of Jessica, where we got to see her as a baby and heard her parents speak about her.
Then, Jessica said that she would be singing her original song, now with a full band to help bring it to life: “Blue-Eyed Lie.” It sounded pretty great — it would have been fine with just her, and the guitar, alone, really. The audience clapped right from the beginning of the song.
There were background singers that added some to the song, but it was great with just Jessica’s voice and her guitar, really. She got a standing ovation from the audience!
Keith: “That was a great start to the show! Your voice sounded a bit to me like Grace Slick — that’s a compliment. Your legs were just standing still, though — You could move around a bit — is she wearing your shoes, Harry?”
J-Lo: “This was a whole different experience for me. It was perfect. I loved the whole thing.”
Harry: “It was like Cher or Nancy Sinatra from the 60s or 70s. I disagree with Keith — you don’t really need to move around much if the intensity is there. It was a great way to open up the show. I loved that song.’
Jessica said that the song was “about an ex-boyfriend.” She then headed backstage, and Ryan said that C.J. would be performing next, right after a commercial break.
C.J. Harris was, Ryan remembered, “the last contestant of the day,” in Salt Lake, City. C.J. and his girlfriend drove “for 28 straight hours” to get to the auditions.
Then, we got to see a feature of C.J. and got to see photos of him at different stages of his life, when he was a baby, a boy, and a young man, and we saw his mom talking about him. He said that he “got off key” at the rehearsal, but because he was “so emotional.”
C.J. will once again be singing the song he sang for his first rehearsal, “Soul Shine” by the Allman Brothers. He did an AWESOME job, and played i it on his guitar as he sang. The audience clapped as he sang, and then gave him a standing ovation.
J-Lo: “You know that was better than the first time, and you know it, too. There is something that comes from you that just touches my heart. There’s something about how you sing that just touches people.’
Harry: “You are special, and I can tell you’ve been working on the things I’ve told you about: intonation and pitch. You’re getting smart, and doing the right thing. Really great job.”
Keith: “You really rang it in quite a bit better than the original audition. Really great job, C.J.!”
Ryan said that text voting closes two hours after the end of the show, and everything else closes at 10:00 a.m. ET tomorrow.” Then, American Idol went to the second commercial break of the show.
Jena and Alex were the first duet of American Idol tonight. They sang “Just Give Me a Reason,” really well together. They sat side-by-side, looking into each other’s eyes. It was an INCREDIBLE performance!
Ryan said that “there would be no judging on the duets.” They were for entertainment purposes, solely, but Jena and Alex did sound GREAT together. After another commercial break, Sam Woolf will be performing “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran.
J-Lo said that Sam seemed shy at the audition, and not much has changed in that regard. We got to see him featured, next, and saw photos of when he was a baby and a kid.
Sam has a FANTASTIC voice, and this performance was really AWESOME! Even J-Lo clapped along as Sam sang. His voice sounded so emotional, and the audience clapped along a she sang. The stage was lit up by floor lamps. Sam was AMAZING! This was possibly his best performance of the season. Ryan said that we’ll hear what the judges have to say, right after another commercial break.
When American Idol returned from the break, the judges complimented Sam on how well he sang, compared to his original audition.
Harry: ‘I have a tip for you. When you hear all these young people scream, all you have to do is acknowledge them. Pick one and point at them, it will change your world. I promise it will.”
Keith: “The great thing is that you’re getting better with each show. You’re getting looser, and soulful.”
J-Lo: “America got to see a glimpse of the magic that is Sam Woolf.”
Ryan said make sure you support the Idols by downloading their songs on iTunes. Then, he introduced Jessica Meuse and Caleb Johnson singing a duet of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” AWESOME CITY! I really love this song, and Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty music, in general. Keith Urban was doing a bit of head-bobbing as they sang. They ROCKED IT OUT!
Ryan then introduced Malaya Watson and her dad, Ron. We heard about how she first decided to audition — her dad said that she “procrastinated” waiting until two hours before the auditions to get ready. We saw Malaya as a baby, and heard how her dad played the guitar for her even when her mom was pregnant with her.
Malaya sang “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin a cappella –tonight, she’ll be singing it with a band and back-up singers. Malaya has a TERRIFIC voice, and her voice really soared as she sang. She has such a great vocal range — WOW! The audience gave her a standing ovation, ‘natch.
Keith: “You were in such good control tonight!”
J-Lo: “It’s like you’re blossoming into a star right before our very eyes! You’re going to be such a huge star — you’re going to run away with this competition.”
Harry: “You have such incredible access to so many musician. When you sing runs, make sure that you hear them all — you can do it! I wouldn’t waste my time if I didn’t think you can do it. You can do it — you were great!”
Ryan showed the faces from Facebook of people voting, the Super Vote format, and he said he’d show how the first four competitors were doing so far right after the next commercial break of American Idol.
With people 21 and older, Jessica is out in front. With younger voters, Sam is in the lead, according to Ryan Seacrest.
Dexter Roberts is next. He says he “barely made it” to the auditions. We got to see Dexter as a baby, and his mom said how proud she was of Dexter. He was a bit intimidated but he said that “they put on their pants one leg at a time like anyone else.” He called the audition” the biggest one of his life.”
Dexter Roberts will be singing his original audition song, “One Mississippi” by Brett Eldredge. It sounded great in the original audition, and even better tonight as he sang it on American Idol, accompanied by a piano and back-up singers. He sat on a stool as he sang. Dexter packed a lot of emotion into his voice, singing his heart out. The audience erupted in applause as he finished singing.
J-Lo: ‘Dexter! I got to hear so many different nuances in your voice. That was a beautiful thing you did. Really, really great job”
Harry: “Hey, man! I want to compliment you for complimenting the musicians behind you. Sitting on that stool, you sang the
CRAP out of that song!”
Keith: ‘You’ve got the voice, you’ve got everything else going on. Think about the lyric, and sell that lyric.”
Ryan said that after another break, Malaya and Sam will sing a duet. They will be singing “Lucky.”
Sam Woolf started off the song, and did great — when Malaya joined in, the audience screamed. They sounded GREAT together! Malaya really sold the song, and they both were amazing. The audience cheered, screamed, and applauded as they finished singing.
Jena was up next on American Idol. Ryan and Jena talked about her original audition, and how she was nervous and dead quiet the whole time. Her mom talked about her in the feature, saying that she had “an independent nature.” She will be singing “Rollin’ in the Deep” by Adele, which was her original audition song.
Jena sang her own unique version of the Adele song, but she sounded GREAT doing so. The audience clapped along as she sang, and gave her a standing ovation as she finished it. She sang the CRAP out of this song — Ryan said that the judges will give their reactions right after another commercial break, then we’ll hear Dexter and C.J. perform a duet together.
Harry: “I thought you did a great job, what really ran through my mind as you were singing was how tough this competition is getting”
Keith: “I loved every second of it.”
J-Lo: ‘My advice to you is to come out and blow everyone away, destroy everyone else’s performances.”
Ryan said the next duet would be Dexter and C.J. singing “Alright,” a Darius Rutger song. Dexter looked like he was in his element, but C.J. also is no stranger to singing country music. They sang very well together.
Caleb Johnson will be singing on American Idol right after another commercial break.It will be his original audition song, Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.”
As with the other contestants, we got to hear about Caleb when he was a boy in the feature about him. His Mom said he would wear a cape and sing around the house.
Caleb WAILED on this song, giving a very powerful performance of it. He KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK!
Keith called him a “Rock ‘n’ Roll Viking.”
J-Lo: “You deliver it every single time! Well done!”
Harry: “Your stakes are so firmly planted in this competition, that I would love to hear you sang something softly — try something else next week.” The audience roundly “booed” this comment.
Back from yet another commercial break, next on American Idol, it was time to hear about Alex Preston and his younger life in another feature. He said that he would open up his violin case and play for money. He sang an original song he wrote, “Fairy Tales,” and that will be also what he sings tonight.
Alex has a SPECTACULAR voice — he sings with so many nuances. The audience clapped along as he sang and played his guitar. Alex has an incredible vocal range, and he put on a veritable clinic, and sang with a ton of emotion in his voice.
J-Lo: “You stayed true to yourself from the very beginning! You stayed true to yourself.”
Harry: You were shaking that vibrato out! That’s a good thing.’
Keith: “These guys were singing right along with you.” That, Keith said, was very good, as it was an original song Alex wrote himself.
Ryan again said how the votes were stacking up in real time, but added that could all change. As American Idol ended, Ryan had Randy Jackson come up onto the stage, and said that tomorrow night, we’ll see how America voted and find out who will stay and who will be going.
The were many amazing performances on American Idol tonight — despite these being songs we’ve heard the remaining competitors sing before, we got to see their growth as musical artists, and see how they took the advice the judges and advisors gave them to improve. Of course, having a band and back-up singers helped, as well. Please leave your comments below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb