American Idol Recap, The Top 11 Perform

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For Wednesday night’s theme, the Top 11 had to perform songs from a movie’s soundtrack, or a song that was heavily featured in the movie. That gave them a little bit of wiggle room when it came to song choices, but it’s not like there aren’t hundreds of popular songs for them to sing. Luckily, they all made the right picks and everyone sounded pretty good. So it seems, for now, that we’ve gotten over that huge pitch issue.

 

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The Top 11

 

Sam Woolf was up first with “Come Together” by The Beatles. This was technically from the film “Across The Universe” which featured a number of Beatles tunes, but something tells me Sam was going to perform this song as some point anyways. Even though he got a little bouncy, I thought he needed way more energy for this. Though he told Ryan Seacrest that he wanted to show more of his personality, this particular performance backfired on him. The judges told him that it was a “nice start” to the show, but they needed him to be more of a rock star.

Jessica Meuse sang “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel. This is a very recognizable song, but I’m sure more than half of the audience probably didn’t even know what the name of it was. Since Jessica plays this song all the time, it must have felt like second nature singing it again. Though it was good, she has shown that she can do better, but at least it wasn’t as bad as last week’s performance. Harry Connick Jr. chalked it up to the band being off, it seemed like the judges wanted to blame everything but her.

CJ Harris sang “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band. Ok so this was played, maybe once, (I’ve never watched the whole movie), in the movie ‘Blow‘ but i’ll let that slide because CJ did a fine job with this. He can really do no wrong, and unlike a couple of his fellow contestants, he already knows who he is and what works best for his voice. The judges loved it, especially Keith, and they all thought he “nailed it.”

Dexter Roberts picked another very familiar song, “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynard Skynard. The song was credited to being from ‘Forest Gump,’ but they could have just as well said it was from that stupid Reese Witherspoon movie of the same name. Anyways, I don’t have a bad thing to say about his performance. This isn’t a hard song to sing and he probably chose it because of it’s familiarity. Harry, though, told him that he needed to do bigger songs. At least his haircut looked nice.

Ben Briley chose Elton John‘s “Bennie & The Jets” which was apparently played in the movie ‘27 Dresses.’ Oh God, let’s not do this theme next season, ok? For his first time at the piano, Ben was good. The arrangement allowed him to start off solo and then let the band kick in. I don’t think his falsetto is up to par, but you could tell he was really feeling this song. The judges didn’t like it because they thought it didn’t fit who he was, but I saw kudos to him for trying something a little different.

Majesty Rose sang the song that won’t go away, “Let It Go” from ‘Frozen.’ Well at least the got the theme right, and why not piggyback off of it’s massive success and recent Oscar win. I’m not surprised Majesty chose this, I mean, look at the child, but everything about this was so ugh to me and it’s not really Majesty’s fault. Ok, maybe a little of it was. Her voice simply isn’t strong enough to sing those big notes and you could hear her straining. The judges kind of skirted around their criticism and just talked about how much their kids like the movie. Perhaps Majesty thought she could cute this one up and hope for the best.

Caleb Johnson chose “Skyfall” from that last James Bond movie. Kind of interesting choice. Obviously he wasn’t going to hit all those notes like Adele, but it was technically good and he did enough to bring out the emotion of the song. So nothing really exciting for me, but judges loved how un-predictable it was.

MK Nobilette sang “To Make You Feel My Love.” A Bob Dylan song that was from that movie that Harry did with Sandra Bullock. Vocally, I can’t say it was her best, but it was enjoyable. My biggest complain with her is that she needed to work on her stage presence, so she went a little out of her box by walking right up to the judges table and singing to them, or at them rather. It was a little awkward, but also kind of cute. I also have to point out her makeover. She is highly styled, but in the right way. Jennifer Lopez compared her voice to K.D. Lang‘s which wasn’t totally wrong but also sort of not right.

Alex Preston had one of the better song choices with “Falling Slowly” from the film, ‘Once.’ He kept it nice and simple but did change the arrangement a little. He also kept the emotion of this duet, giving one of the better performance of the night and making judges proud.

Jena Irene sang “Decode” by Paramore. A song that was actually written for a movie, Jena did a good piano driven version of this. Her voice doesn’t sound exactly like Hayley Williams‘, but I think she did good on not trying to mimic her. Keith Urban noted her “ferocity” and JLo hoped that this performance would keep her out of the Bottom 3.

Last singer of the night, Malaya Watson, sang “I Am Changing” from ‘Dreamgirls.’ I wouldn’t sing anything that Jennifer Hudson has belted out. As nice as Malaya’s voice can be, she just doesn’t have the chops. Some of the notes were all over the place, and there were a couple that she should have dragged out but didn’t. It wasn’t as satisfying as her last performance, but she got a standing ovation anyways, and maybe too much praise. The show was closed better than it was opened, though.

Okay, so I expect to see Sam, Jessica and maybe Ben in the Bottom 3. It would be the first time that one of the male contestants has been in the bottom since the live shows started. So which contestants do you think did the best, and who do you think is going home. Let us know!

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