American Idol 2014 Top 5 Performances: America’s Request [VIDEOS]

On the American Idol 2014 performances show tonight, the season 13 Top 5 finalists will be doing songs suggested by fans on Twitter. From the American Idol spoilers we’ve seen for the song choices, it looks like a bit of a mixed bag. We hope that in our American Idol recap tonight, we aren’t about to see a couple of our favorite singers about to get themselves in trouble.

American Idol 2014 Top 5

And here we go! The viewers have sent in thousands of song requests via Twitter to #idolrequest. The producers have taken those songs and narrowed them down to a list for the finalists to choose from. Now it’s time for the Top 5 to rock America’s Requests.

Before that though, we have a brief interlude of the Top 5 answering the question of who their celebrity crushes are. Alex Preston’s crush happens to be Zooey Deschanel, who pops up ‘booing’ to introduce the show. And this is American Idol!

And here come American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban. Wow, J-Lo is wearing what appears to just be a slightly long shirt. Not even a dress, this thing is like a shirt that you put on after you failed to go home last night… Hope she doesn’t drop a pen or something and have to bend over.

Before the performances being, we have a bit of video of guest mentor Jason Mraz talking about being on American Idol this week. We’ll get clips of him talking about working with each of the contestants before their songs, starting with Alex Preston.

Let’s go!

American Idol Performances: Top 5 ‘America’s Request’ Round 1

Alex Preston: “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood

Judges: Keith asks how it was working with Jason and Alex said it was awesome because Jason is like his idol. Keith wanted to hear more ‘soaring’ in the vocal but good job. JLo says Alex was beaming to work with Jason. She thinks he really pulled off this song off nicely and he could have done it in his sleep. She also wishes he had pumped it up a bit more. Harry seems to have really liked and thought it was a great way to start off the show. He could hear Alex singing something like this on a record.

Brief interruption for a weird promotion of Austin Mahone talking about his new album coming out and then doing some kind of bizarre television selfie together with America. Okay, can we please get over the selfie thing already?

Caleb Johnson: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith

Judges: JLo says she felt it was a challenging song for him, but he sang it beautifully and amazingly. She thinks he took it more to a ballad, which was good because he couldn’t match how Steven Tyler did it with the screaming, etc. She got her “goosies” on. Harry says every week he shows them how powerful his voice is. He would like Caleb to “preach to the people in the room” and not follow the camera so much. Keith thinks it was a great song for him, but now he has to figure out how to get to the next level. He needs to let his feelings drive the ability, not the other way around.

(TRIO) Jena Irene, Alex Preston, and Sam Woolf: “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors

After the trio performance, which was kind of fun but kind of dominated by Jena, we have a commercial break followed by shameless self-promotion from the Top 5 about this summer’s American Idol tour.

Jessica Meuse: “Human” by Christina Perri

Judges: Harry says he thinks the audience liked it based on their yells. His favorite part of the performance was that it’s obvious she really listened and wants to do better. He does note there were pitch issues. It wasn’t his favorite performance she’s done, but really nice job. Keith says he thought it was a really good song for her, she’s really country cool. JLo says when Jess taps into the feeling and emotion of a song, something happens. It’s all about what comes from inside. She had a great moment when she lost herself in the feeling of the song.

Sam Woolf: “Sing” by Ed Sheeran

Judges: We have to wonder if Sam was a little flustered at having Ariana Grande deliver his mic before his performance. Keith says that was a tough song for Sam, especially with a strong falsetto hook, which isn’t really in his wheelhouse. He did as good a job as he could with it though. JLo says it was the most comfortable he has seen Sam singing a song. She did like it and he was ‘more funky’ than usual. Harry says Sam did something totally different (um, okay… more Ed Sheeran is different?) but Sam needs to get in the groove and get in the pocket more.

Before we launch into round two of tonight’s performances, we have a duet with Caleb Johnson and Jessica Meuse. We have a soft spot for seeing Caleb and Jena duet together, but this is a nice change.

Jena Irene Ascuitto: “My Body” by Young and the Giant

Judges: Keith Urban gives Jena a standing ovation by himself, which looks a little weird. JLo says Jena sounded really good as she always does and makes it her own every week. She’s making signatures that are going to define her as an artist and it’s exciting. Good job. Harry says Jena might be surprised at how much those little signatures matter in the long run. She moves to the beat, she looks like she is having fun, and it really felt like a performance. Keith says Jena is a ‘lean-in’ performer, and she can also play the piano and write songs, she’s killer.

(DUET) Caleb Johnson and Jessica MeuseL “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones

American Idol Performances: Top 5 ‘America’s Request’ Round 2

Alex Preston: “Say Something” by A Great Big World

Judges: We feel a little bad that we felt Alex’s background vocalist duet partner actually overshadowed him a bit in places. Keith Urban gives Alex a standing ovation. He seems big on those tonight. Harry says one of the things he likes to see the most is a performer struggling with the emotion of a song but not giving in to it. He’s such a talented guy and he thinks that was the performance of the night. Keith says that was the perfect marriage of song and artistry and it was absolutely beautiful. JLo says she would be saying the same thing. He also looked great too. Beautiful performance.

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Jena Irene: “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse

Judges: Keith Urban thought Jena’s vocals on this song were totally killer, but he’s not as enthusiastic as his words kind of make it sound. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t think that was Jena’s best performance and we rather agree with her on that. Harry wants to know what exactly Jena wants to be known as, and Jena says… “Jena.”

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Sam Woolf: “How to Save a Life” by Fray

Judges: JLo says it was a little bit shaky in the beginning but then when he hit the “sweet spot” in his voice it all of a sudden become perfect for him. Something beautiful happens when he hits that spot. She had her second goosies of the night. Really good toward the end. Harry says it was a perfect song choice for Sam but there were some pitch issues and there are still some dynamic issues. It all seems like the same volume. He needs to experiment with dynamics in his voice, loud and soft, etc. Keith agrees but he thinks Sam really started to own the song by the end.

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Jessica Meuse:

Judges: Harry says the people watching American Idol really care for her because that’s such a perfect song for her. It’s such a natural fit. She’s here for her incredible voice and it was just a perfect marriage of voice and song. Keith says this was a good song for her and this song has kind of a David Lynch mysticism to it and that really goes with her voice. He wants her to emotionally and dramatically ‘lean-in’ to the song more. JLo agrees with Keith that she needs to find a little bit more in her body with the song and the feeling in it. She was left a tiny bit cold and wants Jess to dig in more.

Vote for Jessica Meuse: “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Ray

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Caleb Johnson: “Still of the Night” by Whitesnake

Judges: Keith Urban says that was a killer performance and we have to agree. We don’t even think it matters all that much that most of the younger viewers probably never heard of this song before. Jennifer Lopez says this is the kind of performance they call bringing down the house. Harry Connick Jr. says Caleb just couldn’t have sung this song any better than he did. We say Caleb deserved the pimp spot tonight with that one!

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Don’t forget to get in your votes tonight and make sure your favorite does not go home tomorrow!




  1. Jessica had good emotion through the song but vocally it was strong through first half but it’s almost like her voice was trying to give out second half.

  2. Regarding Jessica’s connection this week, this is not a good thing when we are watching the top 5… she should have done so ages ago!! I think she connected better than she had before, but, mainly aided by the lyrics that literally said the words “I’m only Human”. And she still didn’t kill it.

    • Jessica did a fine job. Instead of just standing there with a guitar, she moved out of her comfort zone and did two numbers that showcased her vocals.

  3. Aside from Caleb’s performance at the end, what a train wreck of a show. Jena gave some good vocals, but the whole show lacked luster… of any sort.

    Caleb’s first Aerosmith song was far from perfect. Jena sang in tune,… when she was not mumbling. Didn’t any ever tell her to stop mumbling the low parts?? Sam was flat most of the evening; put me to sleep. Not sure what the judges see / hear in Alex’s songs. His second song put me in a deep slumber… wincing from time-to-time. Oh, Jessica’s got a tatoo way up on her leg… something I didn’t really want to know about her.

    I get the sense everyone’s trying WAY too HARD to over-dramatize their performances, and the vocals are going to the wayside. Caleb and Jena can pull that off since they have the experience and talent to do so. Even then, though, it looks weird in parts—like when Caleb tried to stare down the cam in his first opening lines. Felt way too contrived. And, Jessica’s opening stance in her Summertime Sadness bit… sigh, is selling sexiness her only gambit now?

    and, oh my, I don’t want to think about that TRIO – ever.

    Overall, I think that was their worst show in a number of weeks now. No pizazz aside from Caleb’s closer.


  4. Caleb did it again, What a performance He sometimes reminds me of Meatloaf. Jessica’s voice at times sounds so much like Stevie Nicks that it’s spooky. Sam did a decent job tonight as well as Alex. I do think that Jena slipped a bit although she played the audience well.

  5. Caleb is great. Seriously, you know what he should do more often? Take an old rock song, something by a band like Whitesnake or the Black Crowes, and shout the lyrics while he stomps around the stage frowning and twirling the microphone stand. I’d love to see him do that like every week.

  6. Jena really stepped up last night. Caleb nailed it. Ergo, Jena and Caleb are the two to beat.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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