C.J. Harris, "American Woman" by The Guess Who: Calling the song a sing-along classic is just asking for the judges to join along, but this one actually didn't get Keith or me moving much at all. Even though it worked for J. Lo, I didn't like his look -- it felt very disconnected to who he is as a performer. The whole thing did and again, Keith and I were thinking the same thing -- he just wasn't "bad" enough for this song, but in a good way. He didn't have the edge or attitude to make it his own like a certain Lenny Kravitz did, and this performance felt like the inverse of that. But seriously, C.J.'s intonation problems are really laughable at this point. How can someone be in the Top 6 of the competition and still never manage to start a song on key? And here's a thought -- don't pick a song that ends "I gotta go. Bye, bye" because the irony of that statement may sting tomorrow.
Alex Preston, "Animal" by Neon Trees: We all know Alex is the pride of New Hampshire and an artist and apparently, Jason Mraz's best friend, but can he rock? Eh, kind of? I liked the song choice but agreed with J. Lo when she said that something was missing and Keith wanted him to release a bit more. Hmm...sound familiar? How about they release all the guitars from the competition? I found them to be especially distracting tonight for some reason. First off, let's be honest that at least from a TV viewer's perspective, musically it makes very little difference most of the time whether or not the contestant is accompanying themselves. And if it makes a difference for the Idol themselves, then I think that's a problem because to win this competition, you should easily be able to do both. I think Sam gets the edge over his buddy tonight because he was at least trying to take some risks (and did lose his guitar for his second song), while Alex seemed to get a little lazy.
Caleb Johnson, "Sting Me" by Black Crowes: Caleb apparently did something incredible in the middle of this performance when he dropped his mic and it went rolling, but, of course, the cameras didn't catch it even though the judges were freaking out about it. I was left dazed and confused. I thought this performance was good, but I didn't like it as much as the judges seemed to, mainly because they were just talking about his amazing recovery in the moment, J. Lo calling it the mark of a true performer. With such a strong rocker reputation already, I thought he could have picked a better song but I think my expectations might have been high. Caleb is such a consistent performer and as long as he doesn't get too cocky after Harry said that he was pretty much impossible to beat, he will easily make it into the finals. Caleb is such a fun performer to watch regardless of mic malfunctions because he seems excited to be there every time. And maybe because he never plays the guitar.
Jessica Meuse, "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane: Jessica makes me a little uncomfortable, I'll admit it. I thought her time should have ended long ago and though she has been able to prove herself a little in the last couple of weeks, her lack of charisma onstage is simply boring to me. The judges always compliment Jessica on her strong vocals, and Harry actually liked that she just stood there the entire time and had her body inform the rhythmic delivery of the song, cause that's totally what she meant to do. I've said in past weeks that I wanted to just shake Jessica out a little bit because she seems so stiff all the time, but I guess Harry likes things stiff (Insert your own joke here). Once again, Keith and I were seeing eye-to-eye in that Jessica's own eyes looked completely dead the entire time and were completely disconnected. I didn't think she either wanted or needed somebody to love at all.
NEXT PAGE: A little bit country, a little bit grumpy