American Idol recap: Familiarity is Your Friend

The top 7 pick songs for each other to sing as the Alabama trio embarrass their home state.
Ep. 27 | Aired Apr 16, 2014

Sam & Alex, "Let Her Go" by Passenger: The judges and I agree that it's pretty hard to say anything about these duets, and it's a solo competition, so why do they keep doing them? The duo came up with the arrangement on the couch together, so of course, they also had to perform on one too. There definitely was a miscommunication somewhere between wardrobe and production because I'm pretty sure Sam's shirt was made out of the same fabric of the couch. Good thing he was sitting on the back or else he would have blended in. The song was cute but was nothing special.

C.J. Harris, "Gravity" by John Mayer (Caleb's pick): C.J. has been struggling a lot lately with simply singing on tune even though he already has a special way of connecting with the audience. Caleb thought the song would take the crowd down a river to C.J.'s soul and to church! Though I was not feeling anything particularly holy about it, C.J.'s performance was a vast improvement from last week and it seems that seeing his son for the first time in two months was the needed energy boost. I disagree with J. Lo, and I still don't think C.J. can win this competition at all, but I do agree that he does need to make his performances more exciting. C.J. was smart to pick a popular song from his favorite artist and though I could have done with a lot less fog on stage, I thought he was able to make it personal enough to him without isolating the original. And just in case any one was ever confused, if J. Lo gives you the stank face, don't worry cause it's a good thing. "Stank face is amazing."

Dexter Roberts, "Muckalee Creek Water" by Luke Bryan (C.J.'s pick): Dexter and I both like strawberries and our similarities end about there. I'm not a country music fan, but I do know who Luke Bryan is and thought Dexter's vocals were perfectly fine but nothing special -- at least what I could understand. Besides the title, which Ryan had to repeat a couple of times, Dexter had some enunciating problems again that really bug me. J. Lo liked the darker quality that the performance brought from Dexter but used him as an example for the rest of the contestants as a moment to tell them to all go out of their comfort zones more and push each performance to the next level. She's totally right at this point in the competition with only seven people left -- things can't be good, they need to be spectacular. Dexter does the same thing every week, in my opinion, and doesn't have the personality to back that up. He's a good performer and a good entertainer but hasn't excelled at being great in either.

After the performance, something was going on behind the camera that according to J. Lo, we didn't want to know about, but according to Ryan, what was going on behind J. Lo's dress was definitely something we wanted to see. "That dress is distracting from the back." There are so many jokes I could write at this point but let's keep this a family show...for now. Harry, who was both hoarse in the throat and harsh in his comments tonight, was able to get a pic of J. Lo's backside once she stood up for the cameras and our viewing pleasure. Then Ryan started singing with Caleb and though he apologized to America for the impromptu performance, Harry called it "one of the most special vocal performances of the century."

NEXT PAGE: "I'm going to let you have your moment" 

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