American Idol recap: Behind the Funky Candelabras

Jason Mraz mentors the final five singing America's picks as things get funky and dark.
Ep. 32 | Aired Apr 30, 2014

Jessica and Caleb, "Beast of Burden" by The Rolling Stones: Once Caleb shook some life into Jessica and she started to smile, the duet was fine. Again, Keith seemed to be getting into it more than the two on stage, and this was nothing but a time-filler that didn't help or hurt either of them.

Alex Preston, "Say Something" by Great Big World: Alex gave a beautiful and simple performance with a mystery backup singer hidden in a shadow the entire time. Besides that little distraction, Alex was able to hold focus while sitting in a stool with his guitar, which I thought was actually a great choice. With all the extreme close-ups, though, I secretly wanted Alex to cry a little. I mean, if that won't get you votes, I don't know what will. Harry liked the struggle with the emotion of the song and Alex not giving into it, saying it made it more powerful for him. It was definitely the performance of the night and proved Alex's worth in the competition after some shaky weeks. He is a truly original musician, and his performing flaws are becoming less and less apparent as his confidence grows.

Jena Irene, "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse: Jena chose to do a very different arrangement of the usually uptempo Winehouse cover (originally a Zutons song), which J.Lo said made Jena seem too old and not know where she belongs. I personally liked the beginning of it but agreed that it kind of got repetitive in a boring way. Jena made a mistake with this one. America chose for her to sing the song the way that they know it. I don't think this will put her in any jeopardy, but it shows she isn't invincible either. Harry didn't really bother giving Jena any critiques and just asked about what her stage name would be. He suggested Jena in all caps with a dollar sign and a dash but I don't think JENA$!- will look good on an album cover.

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