The Top 6 on American Idol went a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll this week.
Looking at who is left in the competition, this theme catered to certain singers more than others: Jena and Caleb with rock, C.J. with country and Jessica with both. But neither Sam nor Alex fit into these categories. So did they rise up to the challenge? Did any of the contestants falter when they should have succeeded? And who’s going home? Let’s jump right in and see.
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Jena Irene: As I said above, out of everybody on the show right now, the rock theme catered to both Jena and Caleb perfectly. And they absolutely nailed it — as they should have. Considering how strong they are, it would have been embarrassing to see them fail. For Jena, “Barracuda” was a brilliant song choice and she was perfect. Going first won’t hurt her because she’s riding some positive momentum at the moment. Unfortunately, she didn’t quite hit the mark with her country tune, “So Small.” I hate to say this, but it felt a little messy at times. If she really wanted to go with Carrie Underwood, she should have done what Caleb did and performed one of her upbeat songs like “Blown Away.”
Caleb Johnson: Speaking of Caleb, he was the best of the night, managing to blow everyone away on both songs. “Sting Me” was more memorable, but I can’t fault him for going the unconventional route with Carrie Underwood and absolutely rocking out in the way that we’ve come to expect from him, regardless of the genre/theme. Again, no question that he’s safe.
IN THE MIDDLE
Jessica Meuse: Jessica had the chance Wednesday night to make a comeback and prove to the judges that they were wrong for unnecessarily throwing her under the bus last week. Fortunately, Harry Connick Jr. got the memo and not only was positive, but he even backtracked and tried to correct himself for what he said before. But unfortunately, neither Keith Urban nor Jennifer Lopez followed suit because they were still on the hate train. (Jen in particular — she gave Sam a pass on things that she would criticize Jess for; stop with the double standards, judges.) But Jessica did what she needed to do and picked songs in her wheelhouse. The producers must be on her side, though, because she got the pimp spot for both themes — the only singer to be given the same position.
Alex Preston: This week, Alex is more in danger of hitting the Bottom 2 than he’s ever been. And the reason is because his take on “Animal” just didn’t work. It was great to see him make a comeback for round two and deliver a beautiful performance with “Always on My Mind,” but was it too late? Did the first round derail him enough to send him home or at least be close to it? I hope not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he lands in the Bottom 2 tonight with either Sam or C.J. And if Jessica can survive a trip to the danger zone, then I’m confident Alex can too.
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BOTTOM 2 PREDICTIONS
Sam Woolf: Sam had the same issue last night that Jena had: both were great during their first performance, then faltered on the second. I really enjoyed his voice on “It’s Time.” But did he really have to come out and do Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One”? As soon as they said he’d be covering this, I groaned. Not because it’s a bad song, but because it doesn’t fit Sam at all. I was bored throughout the performance and it felt very karaoke.
C.J. Harris: Some of the contestants hit the mark with both songs, and for others they were good on one but not the other. Then there’s C.J., who was by far the worst of the night — he picked two songs that didn’t showcase him very well. “American Woman” was kind of a joke, even though his voice sounded good. But he’s a country/soul singer, so the country theme should have worked for him. And because it didn’t, that puts up a big red flag.
C.J. Harris: It seems like the Bottom 2 will either be C.J. and Sam or C.J. and Alex. But we’ve got a pattern because C.J.’s name shows up twice. It’s his own fault for choosing songs that failed to deliver when he should have been great on at least the country theme. With Dexter gone, I wonder if his votes have now gone to C.J. And if that’s the case, is it enough to save him? Not likely. I know I predicted his demise last week, but if he can survive after two terrible performances in the same night, then maybe he can survive anything. At the very least, he deserves to go home.
Who do you think is heading home? Did Jessica do enough to save herself after being thrown under the bus last week? Will Alex land in the Bottom 2 for the very first time (and will we have a shocking elimination)? Do you agree that it comes down to either C.J. and Sam or C.J. and Alex? And has C.J.’s journey on Idol come to an end? Take the poll below and let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments section.
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)