American Idol 2014 Top 3 Performances: Who Will Make Final Two? [VIDEOS]

In our American Idol 2014 recap tonight, the Top 3 finalists will have to give it everything they have in hope of making it to the finale next week. Caleb Johnson, Alex Preston, and Jena Irene Ascuitto have three songs tonight to prove they deserve to be in the American Idol season 13 finale. Everyone one of them has to count. This is the last American Idol performances show before the Top 2, and no one — and we mean NO ONE — is safe.

American Idol 2014 Top 3 and Ryan Seacrest

While it may seem like front-runners Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene Ascuitto have it in the bag, we know better. There have been plenty of times before in American Idol results show history when there has been a shocking elimination from the Top 3. Even just last year, many fans were astounded when former favorite Angie Miller was voted off  and did not make the American Idol finale.

Just because the American Idol betting odds and the fan polls had Alex Preston languishing in third place behind Caleb and Jena last week, does not automatically mean he’ll be going home this week. If he manages to drag enough of previously eliminated contestants Sam Woolf and Jessica Meuse’s fans behind him, he might just pull a surprise on everyone by bumping Caleb Johnson or Jena Irene from the final two. We don’t think it is likely, but we’ve seen weirder things on American Idol.

So whether you are the current favorite to win, like Jena Irene, or the underdog no one thinks can make the finale, like Alex Preston, you just have to give it everything you’ve got tonight regardless. We hope there will be some seriously fabulous American Idol 2014 performances this evening to show us who truly deserves to be in that finale next week.

Join us for our live American Idol recap of the Top 3 performances show right here below at 8PM ET and watch with us!

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And here we go! It’s hometown week on American Idol, so you can expect a whole lot of footage of the Top 3 enjoying the spoils of going home a hero to parades and mass concerts.

Along with the usual introductions and chatter from host Ryan Seacrest and the American Idol judges, we have bad news to report for Caleb Johnson fans!

It looks like the rocker is going to have serious problems this week because he had a vocal chord hemorrhage from singing too hard! Plus he’s had bronchitis and sinusitis as well. Ouch! They actually have a doctor come out to explain just so no one thinks he’s faking it or something. No talking for Caleb tonight, only singing!

For the performances tonight we’ll have one song chosen by the American Idol judges, one by Randy Jackson, and one picked by the contestant’s home town. Before all of that, however, we have a weird guest performance from The Chainsmokers doing “Selfie” with — you guessed it — more selfie crap going on. We are so over this craze.

American Idol 2014 Performances: Randy Jackson’s Picks

Caleb Johnson: “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS

Judges: Keith Urban says Caleb has a bluesy soul thing in his voice, a fusion of soul, rock, and gossip. It was a great job tonight. He could hear the voice problem in certain spots, but he worked right through it. Great call by Randy on that song, a great song for Caleb.

Jennifer Lopez says she knows that Caleb wanted to do way more with the song but just couldn’t. Even so, it was still a great performance and on his worst night is better than most. Stellar performance.

Harry Connick Jr. thinks this song forces Caleb to work within confines. An interesting choice for him. He cautions Caleb not to hurt himself tonight. Nice job.

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Alex Preston: “Pompeii” by Bastille

Judges: Jennifer Lopez, who is looking very SHINY tonight, says she sees him and she sees what he is doing. They have been telling him to be different and to create moments and when he picked up the drumsticks and went to town, he had her. It was a different Alex, congratulations.

Harry Connick Jr. says that song gave Alex everything he needed at this point in the competition. A young, hip song that showcased a bit of everything. However, he could see the wheels turning, which is not something he wanted to see. He would have liked more joy and less piecemeal.

Keith says when Alex is playing and singing and not paying attention too much, that is when he is in the zone. Great performance.

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Jena Irene: “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia

Judges: Harry says it was another great song choice by Randy. With the high notes in this song that everyone wants to hear it was a high risk choice but it was like nothing for her. The song was strong and she killed all the important notes, which is tough to do with a song that usually lives in the studio. Great job.

Keith loves the way Jena performs with balance of being a stellar singer and having fun. She inspired because she knows how to mix the fun with the conviction. Really good job.

Jennifer is not as loving this week as last week. She says Jena hit all the high notes and that’s what people were listening for. In the beginning though she was a little shaky. And she never felt Jena loosen up the way she usually does. It was a little stiff, maybe because of those high notes. But she’s not worried about Jena, she’s going to kill the song the judges picked for her.

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American Idol 2014 Performances: Judges’ Picks

Caleb Johnson: “Demons” by Imagine Dragons

Judges: Keith says he is so feeling for Caleb tonight with his voice issues. But if you closed your eyes, you really wouldn’t even know it. Keith says he has had vocal surgery and he knows what it is like to be fragile. He knows what it is like to feel vulnerable and how it effects your confidence. But he killed it anyway.

Jennifer also says she knows what it is like to worry about your voice and if it will recover. But when you can’t sing it at your best, you have to rely on other things. At first he was thinking too much but by the end he connected with the emotion and it was much better. He needs to think about singing with his soul.

Harry says that instead of a critique, he wants to know what Caleb would want to do with his album. Forgetting, apparently, that Caleb is supposed to speak as little as possible. Caleb says he wants to make a powerful, soulful, rock n’ roll record. Heavily influenced by the classics, but all original.

Alex Preston: “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko

Judges: Standing ovation from JLo and Keith. Jennifer says she knew Alex would sing the heck out of that song. OMG, it was beautiful and it was all yours. You forgot about Rihanna, you forgot about Mikky Ekko, it was all his. Nice job.

Harry says it was beautiful and really strong. He could go on and on about everything he loved about it. But he wants to know what it would be like for Alex in concert. Would he go from song to song to song, would he talk to the audience, what? Alex talks about doing six minute jams with the band when he went back home. His concerts would be fun.

Keith says it is great how Alex takes artistic choices to own a song. He just owned that song beginning to end. The arrangement was killer and so were Alex’s stylistic choices that really made the audience respond. He loved it, he says, in between sniffing his mic cover and saying it is “weird.”

Jena Irene: “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato

Judges: Harry says he is going to keep the critique short because he wants to ask her a question. He loves that even in songs where there is not a lot of room to be original, she still always finds a way to do that. From the first note, however, she needs to have the same energy as she has in the end. If there were no cameras around and she was just on tour, what would she be like on stage in concert. She says she would have a lot of room for instrumental breaks so she could just “rage with the crowd” and be all over the place.

Keith says it was great and she is always bullet with her pitch, her phrasing and her range, he doesn’t know where it ends, it’s crazy.  The notes just keep coming babe. It was really good. He loves it when she is with the band on stage. From Infinity Hour (her old band) all the way to here on Idol, excellent.

Jennifer says that was what she was talking about from her last performance to this one. She felt very loose, very in control, there were no nerves, she was just free. And it was perfect. That was a great song for her. It was awesome. Great job. That’s her Jena.

American Idol 2014 Performances: Hometown Picks

Caleb Johnson: “Dazed and Confused” by Let Zeppelin

Judges: JLo and Keith are out of their seats halfway through the song. JLo looks like she is getting hot under the collar and wiggling very sexy time. Harry, of course, stays seated and looks very serious like he is evaluating everything minute detail. We can’t believe Caleb smashed his mic stand all over the floor like a mad man. The judges can’t even talk, the audience just keeps screaming.

Keith says if ever there was a complete moment of miraculous healing, that would have been it. He wants to throw stuff too. Insane, just insane. Awesome.

Jennifer says she is not a thrower but if she was, she would want to throw stuff. That was a true Idol moment. That was bananas. Ridiculous. Great.

Harry thinks it was awesome, it was great. This show is all about opportunity, and singers taking advantage of opportunities. He loves watching Caleb take full advantage. It was absolutely fantastic.

Alex Preston: “Story of My Life” by One Direction

Judges: Jennifer says this is so hard. America really has their work cut out for them because she sees three people who really want in this finale so badly. All of you are amazing and they have a tough choice. JLo is actually getting a little weepy.

Harry says Alex’s hometown really cares for him because this song really strikes a chord with people. He doesn’t know anyone who doesn’t love that song. It was another classic Alex moment. It was very strong.

Keith says for him personally that it was very hard for Alex to do this after his version of “Stay” because it was so good. That was coming down a bit from that, but since he nailed that one tonight, his averages are really good.

Jena Irene: “Creep” by Radiohead

Judges: Harry says there are so many different ways that Jena takes the stage. Something happens though when Jena sits behind the piano. He thinks it was even better than the last time he sang it. It is a great way to end the show and the message it sends to Harry, for the voters at home, he really doesn’t envy them. They’ve seen some amazing things tonight.

Keith says the only thing that he disagreed with is when at the end Jena sang that she doesn’t belong here. She SO belongs here. Her progress from her audition to here has been mind-blowing. Everything about her has grown in leaps and bounds. That’s what American Idol is about.

Jennifer says it was brilliant. Jena is such a baby but it is so easy for her. She just thinks Jena is going to be so hard to beat.




  1. I’m so sick of people whining about Jena’s supposed “screaming”. It’s called projecting while singing, not “screaming”. She’s not a screamo singer, she belts it out like Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Hayley Williams, Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, and I could go on. Jena just has a different TONE. If you don’t like it, I get that, but seriously, it’s not screaming. Anyone who knows anything about technical singing knows the difference.

    Anyway, to me it was Jena’s night. It’s sad that Caleb had the vocal issues, because he might have been better, but Jena & Alex really out-shined him, and Alex did have two good performances, compared to Caleb’s one.

    • Alex outshined both Caleb and Jena. Jena’s first 2 performances were not good. Titanium was downright awful, and to me proved she doesn’t deserve to be in the final 2

      • It’s not her fault they gave her sh*t songs! I think its bs they can’t choose their own songs on top 3 night. That’s a must be on my game night and they have no control over what they sing and it sucks!!

      • And, they have all of 2 days to get it right. All 3 of the singers flubbed their first 2 songs. It was a wasted opportunity, in my opinion.

        Jena — why the heck did someone put her 6′ off the floor? She was struggling with the harness or whatever she was attached to, which distracted her halfway through the song.

        I understand them wanting to plug a Demi Lovato song, but Titanium is NOT in Jena’s wheelhouse. A song like Delerium’s ‘After all’ would have been so much more suited to Jena. No need to throw Jena under-the-bus to plug Demi. Jena even had the Demi hair style going….

    • She is no Christina no Whitney none of the above. Everyone has opinions Jena is not even as good as anyone who has left. She needs to improve.

    • Then she projects through her nose. Very nasal sounding tone of voice. Go Caleb.

  2. My biggest thing is that why must the judges or the show it self tell the viewers that Caleb is sick….. So what! Might as well say oh if he has a off night it’s because he’s sick but still vote for him. After watching the show tonight the best performers were Alex and Jena even though Jena did struggle at times but in reality we all know the judges basically helped the hype for a Jena and Caleb finale and even though I’m going for Alex he will go home because of the judges influence on the voting. And like Ive said Jena and Caleb are great but if I was picking the finale it should be Alex and Jena because of there artistry and style of music. Caleb doesn’t have much to offer with artistry hes a talented singer but Idk let me know what you all think

    • I agree with your comments bout Caleb. Vocal chord issue or not, I think Caleb is a one-trick pony. He may be great at what he does but has no versatility whereas Jena and Alex show signs that they could produce some great concerts.

      • Funny, I remember a few years ago people calling Scotty a “one trick Pony” and look at how well he has done. Caleb’s music might not be your style, but he is really amazing at it. Let’s count all the really famous, successful folk singers like Alex, and then all the rock singers like Caleb, which ones would have more albums sold, hit singles? Alex is talented, no doubt, but his music doesn’t sell nearly as well as rock does and remember, though we may think of this show as a “discover hidden talent” show, it’s really a “make money for the producers” show.

    • That was the most planned moment of this whole, sorry, said season. The Judges/producers don’t want him to talk (pink elephant in the room), you know what I’m talking about. But after dragging his Dr. out and his first song, he bantered with the judges. WTF? It gave AI a reason to get rid of him. I was amazed at how well he sang that the INXS song. That is not a good song. I actually, thought Alex, had surprisingly the worst night of the 3. “Pompeii” – which I love, was a disaster on a lot of levels. Did the judges not hear his sound go out?

      • The sound going out was not Alex’s fault, and his second song, Stay, was one of the best all season from all of the performers. All three are talented, but their styles are different. It is hard to judge. It comes down to personal preferences I think.

      • Connie, I agree, it was not his fault, but this AI season has had so MANY sound issues which are just mind blowing. I was shocked by “Stay” and how good he was, because I don’t like that song. I thought it better than the original. And, I do not get this Jena scream thing that people complain about. Watch “Carrie Manolaklos” broadway singer sing it. Yes more depth, but that is the song!

      • I couldn’t tell for certain, but it seemed to me Alex forgot to sing at that moment; he was too busy trying to grab drumsticks and get set for his Pound-It-Out session… I think he got flustered and the judges were apathetic.

        By all means, though, it certainly could have been the Audio Engineer blowing yet another circuit.

      • OK, so chalk up another bungle to A.I. staff this year.

        I want you to go back and listen to his Pompeii again. And, yes, close your eyes.

        >> He misses plenty of notes. Even in the first few bars, he’s sharp.

        >> He gave up on the last refrain, instead of a third upper-register, he came back down with a lame ‘… if-you-close-your-eyes’.
        >> And, for all those who insinuate that Jena & Caleb are but ‘screamers’, Alex ‘screamed’ in that song. Twice.

        It was awkward. It was far from a perfect performance.

      • Hello the mic was out!!! Did you not hear Jena and her awful voice when she sings low???? You can’t understand a word she sings!!!! Alex for the win!

      • Hi. Alex missed pah-lenty, too. He mumbled Pompeii. He screamed Pompeii. He gave up on a few spots, because he cannot hold a note like Jena or Caleb can.

    • of course they did, they had to make up for his behavior, so it would not be obvious that the votings were rigged.

  3. Alex showed with Stay just how talented hr is. Jena will probably win because she is like a lot of popular female singers although less vulgar and more talented. But Alex is just more interesting. Now If he would stop scrunching up his face so often.

    • I absolutely agree that Alex’s talent really shined in the finale. I also believe he is the most talented musician of the three finalists. However, all his songs just seem the same. Same tempo, same dynamic. I can’t imagine sitting at a two-hour long Alex concert. I just don’t see him being able to pull off 10,000+ seat concert venues, do you?

      • Guess what he had over 7,000 at a arena filled to the max!! He rocked that stage!

  4. Obviously the musicians on american Idol love to destroy classic songs. The drummer that played the drums on Dazed and Confused did a terrible job of turning the snare around to be on 1 instead of 4 which kills the entire 6/8 feel of the song. Not to mention that the contestants don’t ever even sing their own songs on the show, and get instant fame for a surprisingly small amount of actual talent.

  5. Well Caleb’s voice couldn’t take the stress of competition. Gotta go strong all the way to the end, and his performances were weak… top two Jena and Alex

    • Can one even imagine how Alex’s voice box would be if he tried anything but soft, weepy ballads day in and day out?

  6. Alex is TOO GOOD not to make the finale. He is one of the best overall artists the show has EVER had!!!!

    • I absolutely agree BUT….. American Idol is not looking fo the next indy artists (which is what Alex will be whether he wins Idol or not), they are looking for an artist that will tear-up the music charts and become a music “Idol” that helps to promote their brand. However, I also think that Jena’s got a lot in her tank and if contestants were allowed to do original songs, we would have seen a very different Jena on the show.

  7. How come the Heart Attack video of Jena Irene isn’t on here I want to hear it.

  8. According to your grades Jena should be the one who goes home tomorrow. I’m really hoping it’s Alex but he’s obviously gonna win. In the end, I actually think it will be Caleb going home tomorrow but we’ll see.

  9. I have not seen the show yet, as I see it the following day, here in the Philippines then it is shown in USA. But, if Alex sang the version of “Stay” that is by that male and female country duo (the name of the group escapes me for some reason) I see that as a huge, HUGE performance for him. And from I hear of Caleb losing his voice … Alex the back runner very well might be the current front runner. I will let you know when I watch it in about 4 hours.

  10. Alex prob wont make the finals because America believes screaming consists of talent. But for me, Alex brings so much more with his music than the other artists. He is true talent

    • I am so tired of the worn out battle cry Alex fans always use … That he is screaming. He sings a different and much more high energy type of music than Alex does. And to call that “screaming”, just because it does not fit into the very limited type of music that touches your soul … Only makes me fell sorry for you and all other fans who continue to think he is “screaming”. I can not imagine how boring life would be for me, if I saw music the way in the same way.

      • I’m talking more about the low register range of vocals where Caleb is weak (don’t want to miss a thing by Aerosmith) Jena is a little better but not by much. They tend to pick songs with high range points because of their strengths… I’m not saying they are horrible, but unfortunately people judge one’s talent only on the high range vocals

  11. i would love to see alex win he deserves it because no one sees him as a strong winner but again the tables could turn and make him walk away with the title never under estimate the under dog alex is not a fall guy he is an artist of music and a very good one at that go alex i hope you are in the final 2 sorry caleb but not this time

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