We have an all-new American Idol 2014 recap experience for you this week! The theme for the Top 7 songs has never been done before and we couldn’t wait to see what would happen with the American Idol performances as a result.
We were hoping that having the other American Idol season 13 finalists pick their songs for them was going to get some of these singers out of their comfort zones. It’s time to shake things up and give us some ‘wow’ moments ladies and gentlemen! We think a couple of the great song choices for the ‘Competitor’s Pick’ round may have delivered just that.
It was a night for several firsts on American Idol 2014 this week. Not only is this the first time contestants chose songs for each other, it’s also the first time the finalists were allowed to tweet live during the show! Keep an eye out on Twitter for #idolLive tweets from your favorite singer in future episodes.
Former The X Factor USA judge Demi Lovato was in the house this week as a little bit of a surprise. She’s going to be hanging out as kind of an unofficial ‘fourth judge’ with mentor Randy Jackson near the stage. Could this be a foreshadowing of a possible pick to replace Jennifer Lopez next season? (J-Lo booked a TV show for next year and we think she probably won’t be coming back.)
Demi Lovato talked about herself for a bit and how she just finished up her Neon Lights tour in the U.S. and she’s about to head out to South America. Nice to see you Demi, but we’re here for the music, not the self-promotion, okay?
More silliness here and there, and let’s just get on with the performances, shall we?
American Idol 2014 Top 7 Performances
Caleb Johnson: Kings of Leon’s “Family Tree”
Judges: Keith said that was “a good choice man!” He loves that friggin’ song and it was a great choice for Caleb. The way he took it way up really highlighted his strengths. He is just a consistent, dynamic performer week after week. Jennifer said she loved Caleb. “It’s dangerous for them to put you first in the lineup, because now everyone else has to raise their game… That was pretty amazing.” Harry thought it was a great song choice and he liked how Caleb changed the melody up.
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Jessica Meuse: Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”
Judges: J-Lo said she is a fan and really loved Jessica’s voice, but she was a little off in the verses and just seemed a little uncomfortable. “It just didn’t seem natural to me.” Harry gave Jess a long lecture about going home and dancing to hip-hop or funk in a mirror and learning how to get on the rhythm from the body to the neck up. Keith said said he loves Jessica’s voice and she can really speak to him when she gets the right song. On this one, however, there was a “dissipation of energy” and Jess just didn’t connect with the song and was just “sort of like wandering around.” He said she needs to get centered and get serious.
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Alex Preston and Sam Woolf – “Let Her Go” by Passenger (Duet)
Sweet, simple and easy on the ears, this duet was one of the better we’ve heard so far this season. Nothing big or showy here, just a nice harmony and pleasant.
C.J. Harris: John Mayer’s “Gravity”
Judges: Keith said that was one of his favorite John Mayer songs of all time and it was a good pick for him. He just wanted more of an “arc” of emotion in the song, but every time he hears his voice in songs like that, it’s a bullseye. JLo said CJ gets more comfortable up there every week and starting to believe he could win this thing. He has to start looking for those moments that will really lift the crowd and make it exciting. One of his best performances, but she wished for more. Harry said CJ has one of the greatest gifts, which is to always connect with the audience and he thought it was his best performance to date.
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Dexter Roberts: Luke Bryans “Muckalee Creek Water”
Judges: Keith said he liked that song but Dexter needs to be careful with songs that are intense but the melody is down and to watch that adrenaline doesn’t pull him off key. JLo liked the darker quality of the song and an edge that showed a different side of Dexter. He did a good job but these performances need to be spectacular at this point. Harry said we know he can sing this kind of tune really well, but he still really didn’t do anything different with the vocal. He is limiting himself by singing exactly like the original, like he is singing along to the radio.
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Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene – “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones (Duet)
These two are the best pairing for duets from the remaining finalists. Caleb brings out the hard rocker in Jena, and Jena gives Caleb a softer edge. We got a serious kick out of watching them perform this tune together.
Alex Preston: Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team”
Judges: The audience screams so long and so loud, it is hard for JLo to get a word in. JLo said she agrees with the audience and he deserved the applause. It was the perfect song for him. Harry also said it was the perfect song and there is great beauty in the smaller performances. It was his favorite performance of the night. Keith said he likes that Alex has his signature things that he does and it’s so natural that he just makes the songs he does his own.
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Sam Woolf: David Gray’s “Sail Away”
Judges: Harry said Sam is a work in progress and that’s a good thing, because he’s progressing every week. The biggest issue he had tonight though was song choice. Because at this point in the competition familiarity is your friend. A lot of people know the song but a song that everybody can sing along to would be better for him right now. Keith said he agrees with Harry that Sam is progressing and he is doing a really good job. JLo said she wasn’t really feeling it that much from a distance, but in the close ups on his face, she felt it more. Good job.
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Dexter Roberts, CJ Harris, and Jessica Meuse – “Compass” by Lady Antebellum (Triple)
There was just nothing special about this ‘threesome’ performance at all. They don’t really sound good together at all and it’s all over the place. Why do we get the feeling at least two of the next three singers who are going to be eliminated are in this group? Maybe all three?
Jena Irene: Radiohead’s “Creep”
Judges: Jena Irene gets a standing ovation from Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez. Not Harry though, because he just doesn’t think it’s appropriate in his role as a judge. Isn’t that kind of a smackdown to JLo and Keith? Yikes. Keith said he loved it, he loved her fearlessness, he loved how bold she is, he loved how she owned the song. JLo said Jena could sing anything and she makes every song she sings her own. She said Jena is going to be here for the long haul. Harry said Jena is a phenomenal talent and she sings with great humility and great intrigue. Best performance of the night, unquestionably, even topping Alex. She is extraordinarily talented, and he thought she did some major damage with that performance.
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