'American Idol' Recap: Alex Preston & Jess Meuse Shine Singing Viewer-Picked Songs
American Idol Wednesday night featured guest mentor Jason Mraz helping the Top 5 singers master songs picked for them by viewers.
American Idol Recap
Alex Preston was first up, singing “Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood. Preston was strong vocally, hitting all of his notes with a bit more power than usual. The judges weren’t bothered that Preston didn’t change up the song too much. They did, however, encourage him to focus on bringing more energy and range to his performances.
Preston’s second number was A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” which proved to be even more successful than his first number. Preston stripped down the popular song, and delivered an emotionally powerful take on it that rivaled that of The X Factor’s Alex and Sierra. All three judges were wowed by the heartfelt performance.
Idol fans chose Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” for Caleb Johnson, who decided to turn the song into a ballad. It definitely wasn’t one of Johnson’s strongest performances, but the rocker still managed to give Jennifer Lopez “goosies.” Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. were a bit more critical about his overall presence during the song.
Johnson made a massive comeback with his second number, performing “Still of the Night” by Whitesnake. He took over the entire stage, hamming it up with the band behind him. For a part of the song, Johnson slowed it down and showed that he’s capable of mastering the more tender vocal parts of a song – in addition to his commendable rock star screaming.
Jessica Meuse’s first song of the night was “Human” by Christina Perri, which turned out to be a great fit for her. Mraz really came through for Meuse, who soaked up his advice about improving her stage presence and really getting into the emotion of the song. All of the judges praised Meuse for her turn on the stage.
Meuse followed up her first successful performance with another, singing Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness.” Connick, who’s been particularly hard on Meuse, really enjoyed her vocals on the hit, while both Urban and Lopez urged the singer to dig deeper into the meaning of the song and to appear less cold on stage.
Sam Woolf went with something a bit different with his performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Sing,” one of the more difficult songs he’s taken on thus far. Mraz encouraged him to get into the funk of the tune. Although Woolf opted not to sing in falsetto as Sheeran does, he still made the performance interesting. The judges appreciated him doing something a little out of his element.
Woolf later took on “How to Save a Life” by The Fray. For the most part, Woolf’s consistent vocals stayed true, though he did have a couple of pitch issues, which Connick pointed out. Overall, it was a solid turn on the Idol stage by the young musician.
Fans of American Idol chose Young the Giant’s “My Body” for power vocalist Jena Irene. Irene took over the auditorium for her rendition of the alternative rock song, getting the audience up on their feet and waving their arms, completely throwing herself into the performance. All the judges lavished her with praise.
Irene, for her second song of the night, sang "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse. In a surprising choice, Irene toned the song down and delivered a more jazzy version. While it was a good performance, it failed to match the energy and perfect execution of her first of the night.
For their group numbers, Woolf, Irene and Preston sang “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors and Johnson and Meuse teamed up for The Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden."
By Chelsea Regan
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