The American Idol 2014 Top 8 took on their audition songs Wednesday night, which means we got to again hear some original songs. It turned out to be quite a solid night, despite mine and others’ doubts about the theme this week.
As always, I’ll be reviewing each of the performances and assigning the letter grades I think each deserves.
Jessica Meuse, “Blue Eyed Lie.” It was nice to get to hear her do her original song with a band backing her. I think it’s a pretty solid song, too. But I was a little bored. But that’s silly because that’s the song that got her a golden ticket. So I’m just being picky. But whatever, the vocals were great and most everything else was also solid. Performance grade: A
C.J. Harris, “Soul Shine.” I like this song a lot and the performance was entertaining because of that. But when I really listened I could hear how rough of a singer he is. It’s cool to be rough around the edges sometime, but this performance was just off a little too much. I understand why America isn’t exactly supporting him. But this song is so good, it might trick some people into voting for him. Performance grade: B+
Sam Woolf, “Lego House.” Finally, a song that really works for Sam. I think this was the performance he needed to keep him from being the next to go. The performance was smooth and tender and he seemed more connected to the audience then he’s ever been. I think people will respond well to this effort. Performance grade: B+
Malaya Watson, “Ain’t No Way.” Well this was the song that set the tone for what kind of singer she was going to be, so it was nice to hear it done on the Idol stage. I don’t think it was her best performance, oddly enough, but it was still solid. I love hearing her sing and this was time no different. Performance Grade: A-
Dexter Roberts, “One Mississippi.” Well, I think this is a dumb song, but I think country fans will like it. I think it was good for Dexter to have a good and tender moment after his trip to the bottom three the other week. I think this was definitely a solid performance, so maybe it’ll save him this week. Performance Grade: B+
Jena Irene, “Rolling in the Deep.” Well she did Adele, but at least she did a special version of it, so that makes it more forgivable. But then it got pretty weird at times, but her vocals were as good as they’ve ever been. I think she just made a game-changing moment. Maybe. I don’t think she’ll be finding herself in the bottom three again anytime soon. Performance grade: A
Caleb Johnson, “Chain of Fools.” I thought this was a weird song choice, but I liked the arrangement. It’s cool to see him take a song that is no where near his wheelhouse and totally make it his own. He’s a fantastic performer. He commands the stage and his vocals are never off. Performance grade: A+
Alex Preston, “Fairytales.” This is probably the best original song from anyone on the show. And it really does sound like a song that could be on the radio. I think this was definitely his best performance to date. And whereas I usually find him boring, I get the appeal after this performance. Performance grade: A+