American Idol Season 13 Top 5 Performances: America’s Request

For this week’s song theme, the American Idol Top 5 finalists were given a list of songs selected for them from fan suggestions via #idolrequest on Twitter.They did not just get to randomly pick a song from the thousands of hopeful Tweets sent their way.

*UPDATE: Click here for our full recap of the Top 5 performances show!

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In essence, the producers kind of had a hand in helping to pick out the songs for each of the contestants by narrowing down the ‘requests’ to an approved list. Color us not surprised. Of course, they had to screen songs for permissions and rights. We’re guessing, however, they also did not select songs they just didn’t want the contestants to choose for some reason or another. You know the producers can’t help putting their own influence and stamp in there anyway they can.

Of all the fan requests that were sent in, we are frankly crazy annoyed that somehow Caleb Johnson ended up choosing “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith as one of his two songs this week. It is such a predictable, and highly overdone, song choice that we don’t even want to hear Caleb do it. We’re sure he will rock it out and it will be a good performance, but it is so boring and stereotyping of a song choice that we feel it could hurt him anyway.

We’re hoping Caleb’s rendition of “Still of the Night” by Whitesnake will be more of a ‘wow’ choice considering the insane vocals on it, although it’s really old school… we’re not sure how the younger voters are going to feel about it.

For Jena Irene Ascuitto, we kind of have an opposite problem. One of her song choices tonight, “My Body” by Young the Giant” is certainly not overdone and many people probably will never have heard of it. It’s also kind of a different song for Jena and we’re not quite sure how she is going to come across on this one. However, even if it is unfamiliar to some viewers, if Jena can grab it, make it her own, and rock it out hard — she could have a big performance with this one.

Jena’s second choice leaves us feeling… ambivalent. She could totally own “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, but that is a tough comparison to put in people’s minds. If she doesn’t manage to give it her own Jena twist, she could come off sounding like a weak copy of an astounding vocalist.

We are also feeling hesitant about Alex Preston doing “Say Something” by A Great Big World. Now, we think he’s probably going to do a great performance of this song. It is really the kind of song Alex is best at and we’re sure his unique style will likely shine with it. However, this song has also been overdone quite a bit on reality TV singing competitions and people may just be sick of hearing it.

More interesting to us, but perhaps less familiar and thus ‘likeable’ to the audience is Alex’s pick of “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhoods. This is so quirky Alex it isn’t even funny, and a great choice for him as a musician. We’re very curious how he’ll sound on this, and if the viewers will love it as much as we hope we’re going to.

We think Sam Woolf may have picked a good one for himself with “How to Save a Life” by The Fray. It’s a very pop music song, which is his wheelhouse, but it’s also a very emotional song with powerful, somewhat dark lyrics. If he can finally really tap into the meaning behind the words, dig deep, and show an emotive connection to the song, he could potentially save his own life on the show this week.

As for Sam’s second song, we cannot believe he picked another Ed Sheeran tune. How many times are we going to hear him sing Ed Sheeran from his pre-American Idol days, through his audition round and all the way up until today? All it does is make us compare him to Ed Sheeran, and it does not come out favorably. Still, we can only hope that this particular tune will not make us once again think more about Ed Sheeran than Sam while he’s singing it.

And then we have Jessica Meuse, the singer we think most likely to go home on American Idol 2014 this week unless she pulls off two stellar performances this evening. We are actually really digging her choice of “Only Human” by Christina Perri because it is really different than the usual songs she’s been doing. This is a chance for Jessica to truly show off her pipes in a big ballad. She can be soft and belt, be vulnerable and strong — if she can do it. She could also fail to connect emotionally to the song, thus resulting in a crash and burn.

Jessica’s other song, “Summertime Sadness” by Lana del Rey, is also a bit of a departure from her usual part country/part classic rock/Stevie Nicks kind of vibe. It’s also a song about vocals and emoting, both things Jess really needs to show off if she hopes to survive another week in this competition.

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22 Comments

      • Demi Lovato?! Jena and Demi don’t sound anything alike, and Jena has a much stronger voice than Demi. I don’t mind Demi, but I would much rather listen to Jena over her. That, and they would do two entirely different genre’s of music. Jena wants to do Paramore/Evanescence-esque songs, not Demi Lovato pure pop songs.
        Corky, Jena won’t be going home anytime soon. Or at all, from the look of things.

      • before Jena goes home, I believe Jessica will get the plane ride home first!! Jena has clearly proven that she deserves to win, more then what Jessica has anyway! I believe Jena has a spot in the finale!! Jena’s only competition is Caleb!!

  1. I REALLY hope Jena’s second choice isn’t Amy Winehouse like someone said, but either way….I’m not sure why you think most people won’t have heard “My Body” by Young the Giant, because that song was played all over the place! I’m pretty sure it was on TV, too. The lyrics are perfect for Jena, and it’s a great upbeat tune. Her doing that song is going to be a moment for her, and this will most likely be her night based on the song choices I’m seeing (other than Alex if he doesn’t annoy people with “Say Something”– I don’t care for that song).

  2. Why, oh why, isn’t Caleb singing Meat Loaf instead of the ever-irritating, screeching Steven Tyler? I’m soooooooooooooooooo disappointed!

  3. I am the only one here who thinks that this site is drinking the Jena Kool-Aid and is being completely biased?

    I feel like that this site is obviously bashing on Caleb on every occasion that they can find just to make Jena look superior to Caleb when in reality; Jena isn’t even close to being in the same league as Caleb.

    And as for the song choice, I will agree that it is an overdone song on the show. But here’s the thing, if someone can bring something new to the table with said song that is considered “overdone”, then I don’t see why it should matter. Which is exactly what Caleb did here. if you heard Caleb’s Studio version of the song (which is on iTunes now), it’s actually very subtle. Not just in comparison to the original Aerosmith version, but compared every other performance Caleb has done thus far. He does go for the high notes during the third act of the song, but not to the point where he’s belting it. Personally, I think this is one of, if not, THE best song choice from Caleb.

    See, this why I think Caleb is so much better than Jena ever will be. Caleb is always bringing something new to table with his song choices and makes the song his own (And nowhere is it more apparent than with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”). Aside from that, he is consistently great on the show and he is very unpredictable with his song choices whether it’s the song choice itself or it’s the way it’s presented. I think Caleb should and will win American Idol this year.
    Jena on the other hand is incredibly generic since she vocals sounds the same every week, her performances are the same every week and worst of all, I’ve seen so many female contestants and finalists on the show that sound just like her; such as Haley Reinhart and Angie Miller. ESSPECIALLY Angie Miller. Which is the MAJOR disadvantage that Jena has on the show. But the difference between those two performers and Jena is that the two performers I’ve brought up actually brought something new to the table every week and were one of the best contestants of their seasons. Jena is bringing nothing new to the table and there’s nothing about her that makes her stand out compared to other female contestants and finalists. And the song “My Body” that she did (which, again, is on iTunes) sounds EXACTLY like every other performance she has done thus far in the show.
    Which is why I think Jena will not win (or possibly make it to the finale for that matter).

    • Well isn’t it pretty subjective? If you don’t like her, you won’t like her, and won’t be interested in anything she does. You can say that she hasn’t brought anything new and sounds like Angie or Haley, but most people who like her don’t feel that way. I didn’t like Haley’s singing, and while I liked Angies, I felt like SHE always sounded the same and rarely brought anything new. I feel like Jena has changed up several arrangements and choruses at this point, and that her voice stands out against anyone else’s I’ve heard on the show, ever. I felt like this site was biased AGAINST Jena for quite a while, and even in this article they aren’t exactly drinking the Jena Kool Aid like you say. Maye you’re seeing what you want to see?

      Caleb is great, too, but I think HE does the same thing every week and sings the same way. You can always predict how he will sing. This isn’t a bad thing like you make it out to be, though. Being predictable is okay if you’re doing a consistently good job. I feel both Caleb and Jena have been on the same level, and it’s just been a matter of song choice lately.

      I’m not trying to argue with you, I’m just saying opinions and facts are two different things, and when you’re a huge fan of someone, you’re going to be biased no matter what, which it sounds like you are for Caleb (as I am for Jena, though I also like Caleb).

      • You’re right. It is subjective and I apologize for coming of as if I was passing my opinions off as fact. And this is purely my opinion, it’s not fact.
        But as far as the performances go (to me anyways) they sound and feel the same every week imo. But I will admit that her performance of “creep” and “decode” were the only performances from her that I enjoyed. Barracuda was good as well, but nothing great.
        As for this site, I don’t think they were ever biased AGAINST her. And it’s not just this article where they were drinking the Jena Kool Aid, it’s been like that ever since Jena did creep. And they gave Jena an A+ last week. And this bothers me because an A+ indicates that there were no flaws in her performance what so ever and it was amazing. I can definitely see someone liking the performance (which there’s nothing with it), but I personally don’t think it was worthy of an wan A+.
        So yeah, I personal think Caleb has been consistently great this season (some performances were better than others, I will admit). I don’t expect to see an A+ for Caleb, I just think this site is being biased by bashing and nitpicking on Caleb for the dumbest reasons and giving him much lower scores than what he deserves for no good valid reasons to make Jena look superior. That’s what bothering me.
        Again, this is just my opinion.

      • Well, I’m just glad we’re being civilized!

        I actually do agree that since “Creep” her performances last week were overrated (I would have given them a B+, because I didn’t like the song choices). I just thought that some songs she did were underrated, like “Decode”, “The Scientist”, “Bring Me to Life”, and “Rolling in the Deep”. Almost like, before “Creep” she wasn’t a serious contender, when I thought she gave knock out performances long before that, and “Creep” was just a well known song choice.

        You don’t remember the articles from around top 10 time? I was pretty sure they were anti-Jena from those, and not expecting much from her. I noticed the same on IMDB and other sites, too. They were about as hard on her then as everyone is on Jessica now, it’s strange.

        I thought this site was bashing CJ and Sam much more than Caleb, who they seem to like, just not every song choice. I’m really not liking the Aerosmith choice, myself, only because of how over done it’s been & that when I heard his Itunes version, I got really bored. I want him & Jena in the finale, but that IS me being biased. I think tonight could be anyone’s game, based on the song choices.

    • My problem with Jena is that she begins every song mumbling and then shifts into borderline screaming, neither of which is pleasant to listen to.

  4. Jena should go..she’s limited on what she can do ..changing a song around just doesn’t cut it..half of the time she has no idea what the song is really about lyrically. The enunciation /tongue issue.. It is not something I think a majority of people would enjoy listening to on a regular basis. In addition, it’s how much appeal she can hold over a wide audience. and I think she is limited to those who like her style of music.

  5. jessica did it… not jena, ….jessica delivered different side of her talent this time.. and sam woolf will be leaving the show tomorrow night…he had the voice but not enough to be the winner.. i would prefer jessica for that crown..

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