Season 13 of American Idol is quickly become the season with the most vague and general themes ever. Tonight, the contestants got all Donny and Marie with one country and one rock 'n' roll song. But don't worry, if you forget the theme at any point during the night, it's plastered all over the set to remind you. The judges seemed a little too kind as the contestants had to sing two solos for the first time, revealing some interesting flaws in some frontrunners. Ryan also showed some interesting flaws tonight, like his lack of singing ability (once again) and admitting he can barely even host sometimes. Poor Ryan, don't be grumpy! Besides -- that's the cat's job. By the way, what makes a recording contract insane?
First up - ROCK 'N' ROLL!
Jena Irene, "Barracuda" by Heart: Jena started the show two weeks ago but showed some nerves being the first one out tonight. The song was a great choice to show off her ridiculous range and overall, it was a great way to start. I think the problem with most of the contestants (and Jena's in this case) is that they really don't know how to perform on well on TV. She seems too focused on the cameras and logistics and needs to release a bit more, something Keith mentioned in his critique for pretty much everybody tonight. Jena is a frontrunner, no doubt, and we don't need J. Lo to verify that, Ryan, for it to be true, ok? Jena has been one of my favorites since her first audition, and I think her humbleness is both getting in her way and helping her succeed. She doesn't have to worry about coming back next week, she'll be here, but as J. Lo said, the stakes are getting higher and eventually to win this thing, she will have to take it to another level.
I guess Ryan really is struggling in the hosting department, totally stealing Ellen's Oscar selfie bit with R5, cause I guess Fox needed to promote them in someway. Fun fact, though -- I own that Elvis mug shot shirt.
Sam Woolf, "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons: From the second this song started, I questioned the decision to use a guitar. Again, he needs to let loose a little bit more and having a guitar strapped around you is only going to make it harder and clapping your hands barely above your face doesn't really work either. Fortunately, Sam kind of kicked it up a notch with the ending of the song when he actually started showing some attitude and edge. Keith thought so too. He and I were pretty much on the same page the entire night, actually, except for his obsessive singing-along. It was really bad on this song and on several others throughout the night -- and usually J. Lo is the bad one! Maybe she was too distracted by the goosies she got! Sam just turned 18 so you know what that means...no guardians! Wow, is that really as exciting as it gets for this kid? As I like his vocals more and more every week, I just like him less and less as a performer.
NEXT PAGE: C.J. has gotta go bye-bye