American Idol recap: Down With This Ship

Is 'American Idol' waving a 'White Flag' with these mediocre Top 12 performances?
Ep. 16 | Aired Mar 5, 2014

Fox

M.K. Nobilette, Train's "Drops of Jupiter": Yikes. Awkward. Train?! I feel I can just end the M.K. discussion right there. Well, I should discuss the disturbing animated kaleidoscope of San Francisco imagery. Agh! I get that there are a lot of hills and one can feel disoriented there, but come on. Vocally this was a mess, almost an embarrassment. Bring it home, Harsh Harry!

"I still get the feeling you don't really want to be here." Whoa. Harry! Where did that come from? He's said in the past that he wants M.K. to feel more confident, like she belongs there, but never that he questioned her actual desire. And yet, I get where he's coming from. When I picture M.K., a buoy comes to mind. A buoy in an incredibly still pond. It never travels. It's fine with its lot in life and the fact that it's bobbling along in water. Nothing's better than a swim. But is that all there is? Will she ever plunge for something beyond the surface?

Really think about buoys.

I did like the rest of what Harry suggested to M.K., which was basically to please find a way to get excited and look alive.

C.J. Harris, John Mayer's "Waiting On the World to Change": Speaking of deep thoughts, "There's a problem in the South," said C.J. "I don't think it should be that way -- everyone should love each other no matter what the color of their skin, rich or poor." He's the perfect mouthpiece for this compelling sentiment, and so is this song, which C.J. sang exactly like the original. I thought he did it well, though Harry said he was consistently sharp. But Keith wondered where C.J.'s artistic take on it was. He has to do more than a straight cov-ah.

Sam Woolf, Blind Pilot's "Just One": Realizing that Sam is never going to switch up his performance style of calmly singing things very well while making so-so eye contact with the camera, someone had the bright idea to plant him in the middle of a swarm of googly-eyed teen girls. Just bring the horse to water, and the water will drink in him! It's the famous "move the stool" strategy.

Weird Santa vibe?

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 7.50.14 PM

The hat worked for him. (This is one of the very few times I've ever said that.)

Harry demanded some emotional growth from Sam, and Keith got that, but Keith also thought Sam's voice was "like buttah" and would buy an album of original songs from him tomorrow.

NEXT PAGE: Harsh Harry for the soul-crush!

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