The American Idol 2014 Top 4 took on songs all about love Wednesday night and a lot of love is what they got in return. The judges loved most of the performances and most of my grades below would suggest I loved it as well. I won’t go that far, but it was a pretty solid night.
As always I’ll be reviewing each performance and assigning the letter grade I think each one deserves.
Caleb Johnson, “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Finally he sings a Bon Jovi song. It wasn’t one I had suggested for him ever and I don’t know why because it was a great choice. His vocals were on and his stage presence was great also. He now needs to work on his likability, though, because a lot of people are upset with things he said outside the show. Performance Grade: A
Jessica Meuse, “Since You Been Gone.” Good song choice. The start of the performance was super rocky though. She could get in tune and it sounded terrible. She finally got the right note but not until I was already cringing. Not her best performance, I must say. Performance Grade: B-
Alex Preston, “Too Close.” Great song choice. And a great performance. This was a perfect song for him. I want to hear him sing more songs like this. It was very believable and effortless. It was probably one of the times I wasn’t bored by him. So I’d call it my favorite Alex performance ever. Performance Grade: A+
Jena Irene, “Heartbreaker.” FINALLY, she’s singer Pat Benatar! Great song choice. And an even better performance. I loved the energy and the subtle changes to the arrangement of the song. It was my favorite performance of the first four. Performance Grade: A+
Caleb Johnson, “Travelin Band.” What part of the theme is this song? I don’t understand. Anyway, I like the song choice. CCR is a good band. And Caleb delivered the same amount of energy and his vocals were as good as always. There was something sort of boring and one-note about it, though. Performance Grade: B+
Jessica Meuse, “So What.” Another good song choice for Jessica but the performance was nothing special. There was nothing existing or spectacular about it. It’s almost like she’s giving us fourth place performances because she knows this is the end for her. Performance Grade: B
Jena Irene, “Bad Romance.” Eh. There was something not right about this performance. The chorus was super fast and the rest of the song was completely unrecognizable. This definitely was not my favorite performance of hers. Performance Grade: B-
Alex Preston, “I’m Yours.” Zzzzzzzzz. I want to be nice, but I hate this song. And the only thing worse than Jason Mraz singing it is a singing show contestant covering it. I mean it was fine and the vocals were great and Alex is a musical genius, but I’d rather hear him sing something else. Performance Grade: B
Caleb Johnson, “Maybe I’m Amazed.” It was nice for him to slow down (a little) one of his songs from the night. And this was another good song choice. I think I got pretty bored by the third song (that’s too much, Idol), but yeah. Another good one from Caleb. Performance Grade: A
Jessica Meuse, “You And I.” Two Lady Gaga songs in one night. OK. Of course Jessica’s effort was better than Jena’s. And this effort by Jessica was better than her first two. Her vocals were right and her connection to the audience was where it needed it to be. I liked it. Performance Grade: A
Jena Irene, “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.” Elvis? Seriously? OK. I hope Jena knows what she’s doing because this was not the night to make some of the choices she did. That being said, it doesn’t matter what I think (not that it ever does), but people loved it and I still have to think about how I felt. I think I liked it, but I might be under the influence of the judges. I do greatly appreciate how she made it her own. Performance Grade: A
Alex Preston, “Yellow.” Hmm. I think I liked this. I would have preferred a song that I actually knew was a love song. But I think the vocals were great and his connection to the audience has finally improved. I think Alex had a pretty solid night. Performance Grade: A