The Top 8 took on songs from the ’80s last night on American Idol. This is one of most specific themes they’ve had all season, after many weeks of very broad themes that allowed them to choose almost anything.

Last week, the contestants revisited their audition songs, and it paid off with a pretty strong performance episode overall. But after going back 30 years to the ’80s, did the throwback pay off again? Well, not quite. Here are my thoughts and predictions for who’s safe, who’s in danger and which singer is going home this week.

American Idol Recap: Back to the ’80s with the Top 8 >>>


Caleb Johnson: It’s safe to say that Caleb had the only performance worth watching. Everyone else stumbled in some way, even if they sounded good. But Caleb went with a Journey hit and it paid off big time. He listened to the judges, especially Harry Connick, Jr., about taking it back a little and singing some softer notes, which “Faithfully” allowed him to do, while still maintaining that rock edge that we all love to hear from him. He’s the only one I see as absolutely safe.


Jessica Meuse: There was both good and bad to Jessica’s performance. On the one hand, her voice sounded fantastic, which isn’t surprising because that’s where she tends to excel the most at. But she was very awkward when she walked around the stage and the way she looked into the cameras. It didn’t feel natural for her, but rather forced. I believe mentor David Cook wanted her to do things like that, which was good advice, but unfortunately, the execution wasn’t there.

Alex Preston: I think of Alex’s rendition of “Every Breath You Take” as a middle-of-the-road performance. It wasn’t a disaster by any means, but neither am I going to remember it in a few weeks. Some didn’t like the completely different arrangement; I found it somewhat intriguing, but he wasn’t on his game this week like he normally is.


Jena Irene: Jena has been on a roll the past four weeks. But she took a huge step back with her performance last night. Her lower register was not good at all, and that was her biggest weakness on this song. She recovered somewhat by the end, but I wonder if it was too late by that point. The best part, for me, was the slower arrangement at the start. But this performance combined with going first could land her in the Bottom 3. It wouldn’t be completely surprising.

Sam Woolf: As we all know, Sam undeservedly was saved by the judges last week, which means it’s highly unlikely he’s heading home tonight. But could he still land in the Bottom 3? While it wouldn’t be out of the question to see that happen, I wonder if his fans have really rallied around him this week after the save was used. Tonight’s results will reveal a lot when it comes to Sam because if he does end up back in danger, it’ll show that his fan base isn’t strong enough even during a circumstance like this.


Dexter Roberts: It seems obvious that both Malaya and C.J. are bound for the Bottom 3, which I’ll talk about below, but the third spot is up in the air. I’m going with Dexter because he was just okay on “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” (was I the only one who couldn’t understand what he was singing most of the time?), but it could just as easily be Jena or Sam as well. Or if we’re in for a shocker following the Save, maybe Jessica?

Malaya Watson: There were some recent weeks where Malaya kept improving and getting better, which surprised us all. But lately, she’s been in a bit of a rut again, and it’s unclear if she can get out of it in time to save herself from elimination. I don’t really have anything good to say about her performance last night because she was boring most of the time and kept singing sharp note after sharp note.

C.J. Harris: C.J.’s another one who’s in a rut, and it seems obvious that he’ll be eliminated sometime soon. Everybody has noticed how C.J. can’t always stay on pitch, and that was very evident last night. The only thing helping him at this point is that he performed second to last.


Malaya Watson: As soon as Malaya was done performing, I thought to myself, she’s going home. How can she recover from this? Unless someone is worse or more forgettable than her, maybe it’ll change, but I doubt it. And by the end of the night, I still had the same thought about the results. We all know she’ll be in the Bottom 3 for sure, and I also believe that there’s a really strong chance it’s the end of the road for her.

Who do you think will land in the Bottom 3? Is it a given that Malaya’s heading home or is it someone else? And after the judges used their Save, is Sam completely safe this week? 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)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.