American Idol recap: Perform like a fanny pack

David Cook mentors the top eight for '80s night; Harry slowly starts losing it.
Ep. 25 | Aired Apr 9, 2014

Jessica Meuse, "Call Me" by Blondie: Jessica is a perfect example of taking advice to the extreme. After David Cook told her to play to the cameras more and to the different focal points around the room for the millions of people watching at home, Jessica did just that -- but then wouldn't stop. It was kind of cool how her shirt matched the awesome projection of her name behind her, and her hair, and the lights. But Jessica was overthinking the entire thing. She was so physically awkward that I wanted to just shake her out a bit and loosen her up, another common critique of the night from the judges. Well, clearly Harry was loose enough for the night, as he told Jessica she had to sing in the pocket more, but I'm pretty sure she didn't have any idea what he was talking about. Did anyone really, though? Keith noted Jessica was getting closer to completely nailing it but isn't quite there yet. J.Lo wanted more assertiveness from Jessica on the title. "Don't call any other girl, CALL ME!" Harry filmed J.Lo saying that to him on his phone so now it's on video and he has proof. Seriously, what is in this guy's Diet Coke tonight?

Sam Woolf, "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper: It's good to know that Sam received the wake-up call from America by getting the lowest number of votes last week. It would be even better if he actually woke up a bit! Sam sang the entire song in the middle of a group of female fans, and though musically it was very impressive to do the entire thing solo on acoustic guitar, he didn't have one genuine moment of emotion. J.Lo thought she saw him blushing a little, but I'm pretty sure that is his natural hue. She needed to remind him that it's OK to have feelings while you're singing, because that's the point. Sam needs to get his head in the game. He started off so strong in the beginning, but each week he seems less interested in the process and experience that he's going through. Harry suggested he go to YouTube and look up Ricky Nelson to see what he does and to learn how to perform with the same amount of subtlety, but still perform. As crazy as he may have been all night, it was great advice and we will see if Sam takes it next week -- should he make it.

C.J. Harris and Malaya Watson, "I Knew You Were Waiting" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael: I'm glad logistically there can't be duets next week, because I thought they were all kind of pointless. First, it definitely takes some guts to sing an Aretha Franklin song two weeks in a row, but it also shows lack of range and versatility, Malaya, so be careful! Now C.J., oh C.J. -- can you PLEASE start a song in tune for once? And how about standing up straight too. He performed the song slightly hunched over the entire time, and though they ended in an adorable side hug, Harry said it was regional-theater cute at best. Trust me, there's nothing wrong with regional theater, you guys! Most of the finalists will be appearing in regional theaters for the rest of their careers, so start embracing the Anthony Federov train now.

NEXT: Alex tackles the police in a good way

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