'American Idol' Recap: Caleb Johnson, Sam Woolf & Jena Irene Impress On 'Competitor's Pick' Night
American Idol’s top seven singers squared off on Wednesday night, singing songs selected for them by the fellow singers trying for a chance to be crowned the next Idol winner, as Demi Lovato joined Randy Jackson and judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban in offering them advice.
American Idol Recap
Rocker Caleb Johnson was first up on stage, singing Kings of Leon track “Family Tree,” which Alex Preston had selected for him. The song perfectly suited Johnson, who’s become known on the show for making the songs he takes on his own – and “Family Tree” was no exception. All of the judges were in agreement that he knocked another performance out of the park.
Singing Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead,” selected by Sam Woolf, Jessica Meuse tried to apply some of the judges' suggestions. Instead of solely focusing on her pitch and how on-key she was, Meuse gave more of a concert performance, playing into both the live audience and cameras. The judges, perhaps wanting to get the most out of the talented singer, were a bit harsh in their critiques.
C.J. Harris took on Caleb Johnson-selected song “Gravity” by John Mayer. As Johnson predicted, the hit number brought out the bluesiness in Harris’ voice. By far, this was Harris’ best performance to date, as he stayed in pitch and seemed to feel completely comfortable with the song. The only criticism he received was that he still struggles to provide much excitement on stage.
As suggested by Harris, Dexter Roberts sang Luke Bryan’s “Muckalee Creek Water.” Returning to his early Idol look, Roberts rocked his baseball cap and provided some grittier vocals for the country song. However, again, Roberts didn’t offer anything new to the song – a point that the judges have brought up week after week.
Preston chose to sing Ed Sheeran’s the A-Team, the “Competitor’s Pick” from Roberts, who watched Preston perform the song on YouTube and thought the Idol audience should be treated to his rendition. His take on the song included a high note towards the end, which he perfectly and effortlessly executed, Connick, Urban and Lopez were in agreement that the song perfected suited him and appreciated him making it his own.
Woolf sang David Gray’s “Sail Away,” which was picked for him by Meuse. With his performance, Woolf proved that he has a bit more soul to his voice than he’s previously put on display with his mellow song choices. Urban was Woolf’s biggest fan from the judges panel, while Connick and Lopez wasn’t sure if he connected enough with voters.
Jena Irene opted to sing the song Caleb Johnson selected for her – “Creep” by Radiohead. The dark song and Irene’s sometimes haunting voices were a perfect match. Irene decided to take on the song from the piano and gave a performance that got the audience, Urban and Lopez on their feet for a standing ovation. Connick mused that she might be the “one to beat.”
Tonight, the Idol contestants will be narrowed down to six.
– Chelsea Regan
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