American Idol recap: Back to the start

The "super eight" perform duets and the original audition songs that got them to Hollywood and began their Idol journey.
Ep. 23 | Aired Apr 2, 2014

Caleb Johnson, "Chain of Fools" by Aretha Franklin: Double Aretha alert! Who would have thought? Caleb originally auditioned back in season 10, and J.Lo thought he always had a great voice, but only now has he put it all together in a great package. Caleb is a gender-bending monster, absolutely nailing this performance of Franklin's hit after belting out Adele and Lady Gaga hits in the past. Caleb seems to be the only one who really understands that this is a competition and someone has to win by the end. He comes to play every week and delivers. Harry wants Caleb to try something new eventually and do something not as loud, though he agreed with Keith and J.Lo in praising the performance. Jennifer needs to just admit she has a crush on Caleb already, calling the performance "so perfect" and saying that it has always appeared he's been waiting for a moment like this to perform for all of his life. Caleb is definitely going to stay around for a lot more moments like this one, guaranteed.

Alex Preston, "Fairy Tales" by Alex Preston: The night started and finished with original tunes, which makes me think that it could be its own theme one night, because they were both actually well-written songs. The judges loved the song when they first heard it in Salt Lake City, so the pressure was already on Alex before he started. I wish Alex could loosen up a little more besides just shaking his head constantly to get vibrato, but there was no shortage of passion in his performance tonight. Alex is an incredible vocalist and musician and has proven that each week, but I'm still waiting for him to really show a different side to him while performing. It never seems like he's having that much fun. Maybe it's just nerves or maybe I'm too hard on him, but he always leaves me wanting more, and not in a good way. Alex won't be in any danger this week, but I think if he got into the competition a little more instead of trying to do his own thing every time, he would be more successful.

Was the final eight really super or super lame? I think Dexter is in trouble and may be making a return home to Alabama soon. What did you think? Discuss!

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