Jena Irene solidified herself as a contender during the Top 9 this week on American Idol. And she was so good, in fact, that she deserves some recognition in our latest Music Battle.
This time, I’m not venturing out to any of the other singing or talent shows, instead keeping it within the show that started it all — American Idol. And the song? Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life.”
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During the Top 7 of season 12, Angie Miller closed out “Classic Rock (No Ballads)” night (or maybe I should say a loose version of this theme considering “Bring Me to Life” is not classic rock at all) with this very song.
Angie had just come off of her worst performance to date, so this was her opportunity to rebound. She started at the piano, which we all remember was her security blanket. (Don’t get me wrong, she was one of the few contestants who could almost always pull off using an instrument without it becoming annoying.)
During the first half of the performance, there were some moments where she didn’t sound quite on the mark. But that was fleeting because once she stepped up onto the small platform, she was fantastic the rest of the way through.
Then we come to Jena Irene, who I said also took on the Evanescence hit. And that’s not the only thing these two had in common with this performance. Both of them got the pimp spot with this song. Then again, it might have been for two different reasons: for Angie, it was to make sure she was safe after an off night the week before, and for Jena, it was to save one of the best for last.
Anyway, Jena had the unfortunate task of following Caleb Johnson, who put on quite the show with “Dazed and Confused.” But she didn’t need to worry because she had her own show to put on, which she did with full force, holding nothing back.
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If we want to get really nitpicky, we could probably find a few areas where Jena’s voice wavered a little bit, but Angie had her trouble spots too. And while I really liked Angie’s rendition, the biggest difference is that Jena wasn’t in a competition during that moment. As with Caleb, she was showing us a taste of the Jena Irene concert.
And this was the third song in a row that let us in to see what kind of an artist Jena wants to be; it’s obvious she should go down the Paramore/Evanescence route.
I could probably make the case for either to win this battle. Angie’s voice is more clear and clean than Jena’s, if that makes sense. Jena, on the other hand, stole the show, along with Caleb, this week. She really got into it, being “messy” and all, to quote Jennifer Lopez, who thought she could go even further if she had wanted to.
For me, Jena Irene’s version of “Bring Me to Life” is the winner for all of the reasons that I’ve mentioned above. She was all about putting on a show — and that’s exactly what she did, further cementing herself as a contender along the way.
Do you have a favorite rendition of “Bring Me to Life”? Do you prefer Angie’s cleaner vocals or Jena’s showstopping performance? Vote in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)