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

Jena and Caleb, "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones: There aren't many negative things you can say about this pair who rocked out together for the second week in a row. I mean, they are prom dates, after all. The song was pretty fantastic and their performance was even better. Their stage experience clearly shows, and they were able to build off each other's dynamic energy to really create a moment, according to J. Lo.

Alex Preston, "The A Team" by Ed Sheeran (Dexter's pick): I'm not saying that he totally took my advice and it worked, but Alex totally took my advice and it worked! Always one to really try and make a song his own, Alex stayed true enough to the original that it was familiar, but was able to make it unique in a way that really showed his musical skills and wasn't distracting like it has been in the past. The performance made J. Lo giggle and the girls in the audience scream...and scream....and scream. Ok J. Lo, it's nice to let Alex have his moment and all, but those girls need limits. Harry seemed to go back on a comment that he said last week about Alex's coffeehouse-style of performing not being big enough to win a show like this, saying tonight he saw a great beauty and strong conviction in the smaller performance. Keith added that Alex already has signature things that he is adding to his performances and it's beginning to sound more natural. Alex needs to be careful not to overdo those things and change too many things about a song, but tonight's performance was definitely on the right track.

Sam Woolf, "Sail Away" by David Gray (Jessica's pick): Sam (and everyone) knew that he needed to be able to connect with the audience more, especially his female fan base no matter how much his shy persona makes him uncomfortable. Harry called Sam a work-in-progress and did not like the song choice and said because most people didn't know the song, it already made it harder for him to connect. Against the distracting backdrop, however, Sam's vocals were still consistent, and you can definitely tell his is trying to make improvements, but I think time may run out for him. Keith said Sam was doing a good job considering the fact that he's only 17 and is being asked to convey a lifetime's worth of emotion and experience every week. J. Lo said she liked the performance better by watching it on the monitor because she could see the close up of Sam's face and the emotion he was trying to convey. I really wanted one of the judges to ask who his "honey" was that he was singing to and see if he was able to come up with a better Delilah response from a couple of weeks ago. I think Sam will still be safe another week with the save giving him a little momentum with the fan base, but needs to do something different soon -- take a bigger risk and lose the guitar, look straight out the entire time he sings, and let loose a little. Or else he might sail away out of this competition.

NEXT PAGE: Alabama may not want to hear this one

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