American Idol recap: Release the rockers

The Top 6 get a little bit country and not enough rock 'n' roll as they sing two solos for the first time.
Ep. 30 | Aired Apr 23, 2013

Sam Woolf, "You're Still the One" by Shania Twain: I thought this was a bold choice for Sam to pick for his country selection and really appreciated he didn't use his guitar, though I actually think it would have served him better on this song than the first. Again, I really did like the way Sam sang the song, but it wasn't personal at all. He has no one to really sing to, not even those girls that somebody clearly forced him to go to in the middle of the performance, which was just awkward. Keith told him that he needs to relax more, which is just another way of saying release. J. Lo was giggling too much with another one of her school-girl crushes and was apparently distracted by Sam's cuteness to say anything of merit. Harry asked if Sam knew what dynamics were, which to me was a shocking question to even consider cause if he didn't, he should be disqualified. But the fact that Harry even thought he had to ask that question, shows a lack of complete confidence and ownership in Sam's own belief in himself and as an artist. He obviously doesn't see himself as the heartthrob that everyone else does.

Maybe the one for Sam is Grumpy Cat, the VIP guest of the night. But probably not cause I think she and Caleb may have a thing going on now that he kissed her. Or maybe the cat would be less grumpy if Ryan could figure out how to hold her properly.

Caleb Johnson, "Undo It" by Carrie Underwood: The beginning of the song actually showed a nice, lighter quality to Caleb's voice that we hadn't really seen before. But then he pretty much just did the rock version of the song; good but not different than anything he's done before. I'm pretty sure Keith actually got a little upset about it with a nice dig in his comment saying, "It was great and I can't wait to hear what country song you do later." Get it? Cause that was suppose to be his country song. I partly blame the purposely vague theme, but this one definitely felt a little forced, which got J. Lo booed for saying so even though she still thought it was an extremely strong performance. I think he is slowly becoming his own worst enemy in this competition because you naturally expect each performance to be better than the last, and now that they are singing more than once alone on these nights, that will get harder for someone like Caleb. We will begin to see his lack of range. Not vocally, of course. It must be fun to be on national TV for your birthday, though.

Alex Preston, "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson: Did anyone else notice some weird facial ticks that Alex was doing that looked like he thought he was messing up? It was really distracting for me because I actually couldn't decide if he was or not. I agree with J. Lo that it was a better blend of the original version (though I like the Elvis one better, personally) and Alex making it his own. I was impressed by how Alex was really able to take control of the tone and environment of the room with the most tender and personal song of the night, at that point, but it kind of crescendo a little too soon for me and eventually, it had no place to go by the end. And what was that ending? Was that suppose to be a riff or did he accidentally burp while singing? The judges comments seemed a little too generous to me, maybe because they sense he may be in trouble with two okay performances tonight.

NEXT PAGE: Let's get back to releasing


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