After time traveling to the '80s last week, the competition was put in the contestants' hands for this week's "Competitor's Pick" theme. Each finalist picked one song for each other and then picked the song they wanted to perform from their personalized list of six. I thought it was a pretty interesting idea for a theme, though I would have liked a little more sabotage just for fun. The show began to feel more like a competition this week as the frontrunners grew their lead with powerful and personal performances, while others continued to struggle with the same problems that have been holding them back.
The judges were in pretty good spirits all night, J. (yel)Lo(w) was especially bright which was a good contrast to Harry, who sounded a little under the weather. The best performances of the night came at the beginning and the end with Caleb and Jena respectively, who are quickly running away to prom together and with this competition.
Caleb Johnson, "Family Tree" by Kings of Leon (Alex's pick): I loved everything about this performance, from A-Z! Caleb rocked into the amazing groove of the song, the first Kings of Leon song to be performed on the Idol stage, and started the show off with more than one fluffy hair bang! J. Lo obviously loved it and was smirking at Caleb the entire time and proudly proclaimed her love for him and his "amazing performance". Harry and Keith both complimented the great song choice and great way to top off the show. Caleb is so consistent and dynamic, like Keith also said, but it always looks like he's still having the time of his life on stage and that he really belongs there. His comfort in front of an audience makes it enjoyable to watch, unlike some of his more unseasoned competitors who sometimes make me nervous. Caleb also said he was a big tennis fan so expect a doubles match soon Mr. Johnson, as long as I can have Harry as my partner!
Jessica Meuse, "Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert (Sam's pick): Again, Jessica needs to just let loose! She is one of the singers that I feel uncomfortable watching sometimes because she looks so uncomfortable on stage. At least her hair looked really good in that wind machine. J. Lo was booed for thinking Jessica was off vocally during the verses, but I disagree. I think she was vocally off the whole time. Jessica was trying a little too hard to be the bad ass the song required. Harry said Jessica lacks rhythmic delivery and needs to be able to match the pyrotechnics and musicians behind her on stage and once suggested she spend a little time in her hotel dancing to some James Brown in the mirror. Jessica needs to get on up because she is barely a July 4th sparkler right now and is not bringing any fireworks. A song with this much spunk and attitude should not have been so boring. If Jessica makes it next week, she needs to tone done the effects a bit and focus back on her vocals and performance technique cause she looked a little amateurish out there tonight.
Also - Jessica believes in aliens and thinks she may have been abducted once but only the aliens know the truth. If she can get the extraterrestrial vote, Jessica might still have a chance.
Ryan has a surprise for us backstage? Oh, it's just Demi Lovato, nevermind. Demi was there I guess cause both her U.S. tour and Fox singing competition show are over, and she has nothing better to do but hang out with Randy Jackson and critique the duets and one trio. However, her idea of critique was pretty much just repeating whatever Harry said, which was fine by him. ("If Demi Lovato says it's true, it's true.")
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