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

Sam Woolf, "How to Save a Life" by The Fray: It's all about potential with Sam for me at this point. I didn't think the beginning was as bad as J.Lo thought ("Yikes") and I know he's only 18, but there is more than just a dynamic volume issue with Sam; there is a dynamic issue in general. You know when you hear stories of certain celebrities or artists about when they were discovered or first making it in the business and people would say that they just have "it"? Sam doesn't have "it," and I don't think he even knows to be looking for it. Unlike Alex, Sam hasn't been able to create a strong personal identity for himself beyond the shy-guy persona he keeps hiding behind. It's okay to be shy, but not if you want to win American Idol. For lack of a better term, Sam needs to grow some balls and make America rediscover who he wants to be if he's going to make it much farther.

Jessica Meuse, "Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Ray: Jessica finally took the competition to a more adult level with a sultry opening pose, stealing a tip from Angelina Jolie at the Oscars a couple of years back and revealing a nice leg tattoo. Don't pretend you didn't notice it, Keith. Jessica had all the tools to make this a really strong performance: good song choice, outfit, big hair. And even when she started singing, it got my attention in a way I hadn't noticed from her or any of the contestants before. But then the song continued and I forgot about all of that. Like J.Lo commented, the song didn't really go anywhere and it left her cold. Oh I get it, 'cause the song is about summer? Nice burn J.Lo! Harry seems to really like Jessica and has been pretty kind to her the past two weeks, calling the song a natural fit. Unfortunately, I think Jessica's summertime sadness will be touring around the country finishing in fifth place.

Caleb Johnson, "Still of the Night" by Whitesnake: Apparently all of America wanted Caleb to sing this song to show off his power, range, and attitude, and holy cow wow did he not disappoint. Sure, the performance was pretty similar to things we've seen Caleb do before, and is beginning to be a little bit of a problem for him. But I mean, holy sh-- this guy can sing and command an audience's attention. He was a little better this time looking into the camera, though he definitely pays way too much attention to those logistics than he should. The crowd absolutely went crazy, as did the band. J.Lo said that there was an energy between all of them that she always sees and a comfort in the musicians when they are playing with Caleb knowing that they have a real lead singer on their hands. Caleb knows what he's good at, and until it stops working for him, I guess he has no reason to change it.

Who will be the Final Four? Did America pick right? Discuss below!

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