'American Idol' Recap: Caleb Johnson, Alex Preston & Jenna Irene Emerge As Judges' Favorites During 'Movie Night'
American Idol returned on Wednesday with “Movie Night,” where the contestants performed songs made famous by a film. Judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban appeared more satisfied on Wednesday than they’ve been in past weeks as they heard the Top 11 singers perform.
American Idol Recap
First up was Sam Woolf, who sang The Beatles’ "Come Together," which appeared on the Across the Universe movie soundtrack. Though Woolf left his guitar behind in order to achieve a more dynamic performance, the judges still felt that the Florida teen could break out of his shell a bit more to better engage the audience.
Jess Meuse took on "Sounds of Silence" from The Graduate. With her guitar strapped on, Meuse gave an earnest performance that showcased her gritty voclas. Unfortuantely for the singer, the band botched the song somewhere in the middle, making for a bumpy patch in the number.
Singing Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” C.J. Harris earned a much deserved standing ovation from the crowd. Rocking his signature hat and stumming his guitar, Harris never looked more at home on the Idol stage. The judges, for the first time this season, seemed satisfied with the Alabama country rocker’s vocals.
Dexter Roberts chose to please the crowd with a rendition of Lynrd Syknryd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” which has been in a number of flicks – from Forest Gump to the eponymous Reese Witherspoon vehicle. Roberts proved himself a capable musical mimic, but failed to add any originality to the song, much to the judges’ chagrin.
Ben Briley, sporting a classy makeover, took to the piano keys to sing Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jet’s” that Katherine Heigl and James Marsden sang in 27 Dresses. The general consensus from the judges' panel was that the country singer missed the mark and should not sing in falsetto – ever again.
Majesty Rose boldly chose to sing “Let It Go,” which Broadway star Idina Menzel sang for the animated movie Frozen. Though Rose is arguably one of the more consistent performers on this season of Idol, she struggled a bit with the feel-good anthem. Connick worried about Majesty Rose’s eclectic song choices, but Lopez saw it as a strength.
Caleb Johnson made a surprising song selection for movie night, going with “Skyfall” from the latest James Bond flick. Johnson brought the drama, the voice and the originality that the judges were hoping to see. The rocker likely gave the night’s best performance once again.
M.K. Nobillete may have managed to get herself out of the bottom three this week with her rendition of Hope Floats soundtrack song, “To Make You Feel My Love.” Nobilette still has some work to do in regard to her stage presence, but she was on top of her vocal game on Wednesday night.
Alex Preston delivered a unique performance of Once song “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa. Preston wowed the judges once again with his undeniabe musicality, which is likely why they haven’t bothered him too much about his consistent choice to hold on to his guitar.
Jenna Irene could have won the award for best song choice on Wednesday, singing Paramour’s “Decode” from Twilight. Her voice perfectly fitting the powerful number, Irene pounded away at the piano, giving one of her best performances of the competition. The judges, hoping to see her stick around, sung her praises enthusiastically, with Lopez and Urban even giving her a standing ovation.
Lastly, singing “I Am Changing,” which Idol alum Jennifer Hudson sang in Dreamgirls, was Malaya Watson. Although Watson didn’t quite match up to Hudson with her performance, it was a good number for the soulful contestant.
On Tuesday night, American Idol will reveal the Top 10 on Fox at 8/7c.
– Chelsea Regan
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