The American Idol 2014 Top 13 take the stage tonight for their first live performances in the finals! After the judges’ wild card picks left us shaking our heads in shock, we are glad to finally be really for America to choose who gets through to the next round. We love American Idol judges Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez, but it’s time for the voters to totally take over the reins!
The song theme tonight in our live American Idol recap is ‘This Is Me,” which is about as wide open of a theme as you could possibly make. We’re guessing that is part of the whole new vow by producers to allow the contestants to have more choice over what they will get to perform on stage in season 13.
Here are the American Idol Top 13 singers up for your votes tonight:
Which contestants will end up winning your votes tonight? Read on for our live American Idol recap of the Top 13 performances show and watch with us!
[Please refresh this page frequently for the latest updates and performance videos from tonight’s show.]
Dexter Roberts wants America to know that he is F-U-N, fun. After a fun, upbeat performance of “Aw Naw” by Chris Young, Keith notes that Dexter is a very likable guy. He definitely got the crowd going, and it was a good performance, but overall it was a little forgettable.
Malaya Watson LOVES EVERYBODY! She is singing “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars. Jennifer points out that Malaya commands the stage when she performs, but this time went “off the rails” toward then end, and we agree. This girl can definitely sing, but it was almost too energetic. I think she will go far if she can rein it in.
Kristen O’Connor didn’t really help herself by not being able to think of five interesting America should know about her. She is going big with Kelly Clarkson’s “Beautiful Disaster” and though it was a good effort, she has a lot of work to do. Most of the performance was out of tune, which may be due to the equipment (Harry pointed this out in Dexter’s performance as well), so maybe she gets a pass. She definitely has the looks but she also has some tough competition.
Ben Briley is singing an uptempo version of “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. I didn’t think I would like this (don’t mess with Johnny Cash!), but I really enjoyed it! Keith was critical of the beat, but I thought it kept it from being just another karaoke performance of the song. Ben did it well and it was a fun performance, so I wouldn’t expect him to be in trouble this week. He seems like a really nice guy too, so that certainly won’t hurt!
CJ Harris performs “Radio” by Darius Rucker. Harry wasn’t thrilled with the song choice, but Keith disagreed and thought it merged country and soul to showcase a different side of CJ. It was a good performance, but maybe not enough to keep him in the competition.
MK Nobilette is singing “Satisfaction” by Allen Stone. This performance was much different from what we have seen from her so far, and the judges praise her. I would agree that her voice was good, but I didn’t love the performance. I think it was enough to get her through this week.
Majesty Rose chose Janelle Monae’s “Tight Rope” and the judges think it was an excellent song choice. It suited her voice and her energy, and she seemed comfortable moving around the stage. Overall, a good performance and I think she will be safe this week.
Jena Irene‘s hair is actually brown, surprise! She is singing “The Scientist” by Coldplay, which she has been signing since she was 9 years old. She has a very unique voice, and as Harry says she make interesting choices. She is talented and confident, which will be to her benefit, but I can also see her style being polarizing.
Alex Preston is singing “A Beautiful Mess” by Jason Mraz. Harry thought it was out of tune and too introspective. It did the opposite for Keith and Jennifer. As Jennifer pointed out, it was different from the other performances and I think that will set him apart from the other performers.
Jessica Meuse is performing Shinedown’s “The Crow and the Butterfly” and the judges praise her for both the song choice and the performance. Could this be the first time Jennifer had “goosies” this season?! The performance was polished and entertaining, with an eerie, gritty aspect that Jessica pulled off really well. I hope Jessica will stay around for awhile.
Emily Piriz is singing “Glitter in the Air” by P!nk. Not an easy song to sing, but she did it well. Even Harry liked it. Keith is looking for more edge or balance, more yang and not all yin…if you understand what he meant by all of that, please explain in the comments! Emily is pretty and gave a good performance so I would expect her to be safe.
Sam Woolf is the second contestant who is afraid of spiders. He probably wishes he had bigger than size 10 feet to stomp them. He should remember to be selective as to what he stomps (i.e., do not stomp sea urchins, ouch!). Sam is singing “Unwell” by Matchbox 20. It seems a little slow. I keep wanting the tempo to pick up. The crowd loved it! Harry thought it was nice. Keith agrees with me, it was too slow! Jennifer recommends that Sam loosen up a little. So the general consensus seems to be it was a solid if not great performance.
Caleb Johnson closes the show with “Pressure and Time” by Rival Sons. And the crowd goes wild! It was a great, polished rock performance, very high-energy and it is easy to see why he got the pimp spot. Caleb isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Now get out there and start voting for the Top 13 singers to support your favorite!