American Idol recap: A Lovely Night

The final four perform three love songs by some big name artists while J. Lo starts to give the competition away.
Ep. 34 | Aired May 7, 2014

Caleb Johnson, "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney: Maybe I'm amazed? MAYBE? Holy cow, I'm absofrickinglutely amazed by Caleb's toned down, subdued performance. One a night with three solos, this is exactly the type of performance Caleb needed to end with. It showed a different attitude, a softer quality to his voice, and, again, his incredible range, topped off by a refreshingly sweet falsetto. The performance literally got Keith out of his seat partway through -- not so he could try to make the singer move (ahem, Jessica), but because he was so moved by what was happening onstage. Caleb knows what he's doing. He's more than the one to beat -- he's the one to learn from.

Jessica Meuse"You and I" by Lady Gaga: It could be because I just love this song -- it's very personal to me -- but Jessica finally had a decent performance after her first two misfires. I still don't think it will be strong enough to save her this week, but it was good to at least end on a high note. Jessica seems to be very aware that her time may be up soon; she mentioned a few times that it didn't matter what the judges were saying, because she was just having a good time. Unfortunately, she wouldn't tell Ryan who she was imagining having a good time with while singing that song. Still, all three judges agreed that vocally, it was a perfect choice. I don't know about perfect, but it was pretty good. Then again, pretty good isn't good enough at this point.

Jena Irene, "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley: I couldn't help but fall in love with Jena during her first audition, and it's really amazing to see what an amazing artist and performer she has become. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this performance. It took absolute control and power and, most importantly, courage. I mean, J. Lo literally got out of her seat to give Jena a kiss after the song, something she has never done before. Though a J. Lo kiss should be worth more than any vote, it's not. Keith called Jena a musical platypus because of her ability to make everything her own. Not sure I understood that reference, but I definitely got the point. I also love when Jena starts a song at the piano, mostly because a piano is not a guitar. Though it's becoming more and more obvious that Jena and Caleb will be the final two, it's actually becoming less clear who will actually win.

Alex Preston, "Yellow" by Coldplay: Like Jessica, Alex ended with his best performance of the night. Harry called it "incredible" and said he's happy that as a judge, he doesn't have to vote. But you know you still can vote, right? Wait -- can they? Keith pointed out that Alex's advantage is his vulnerability, but I argue this has been working both for and against him so far. I would really love for one performance where Alex doesn't look like he's in an immense amount of pain, or has something caught in his eye. His voice is so naturally beautiful that it's such a shame his performances can often be awkward.
Who did you love tonight, and who do you think needs to go? Discuss below!

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