American Idol recap: Twilight of the Idols

The Top 12 take on 'Songs from the Cinema'; Harsh Harry mellows out
Ep. 17 | Aired Mar 11, 2014


Dexter Roberts, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" from Forrest Gump: Of all the nights to start not wearing a hat! He totally could have gotten away with it for Forrest Gump night. (Dexter's girlfriend -- sorry ladies -- made up for her beau's lack of headgear by wearing a sparkly forehead-band.) But nope! And it was the right move, too. Take it from J. Lo: "I do see you up there with your haircut, and I'm starting to believe that you could win, too." WHAT was that sentence.

Ehhhhh. Dexter didn't do much with this song, and while I understand Keith Urban's repeated request for him to "put some Dexterism" into his performances to make them more his own, I'm not convinced that will ever happen. What is Dexterism? Dexter might not even know, but he might slap you upside the head for asking such a silly question, as we found out from Jena. But as Harry astutely pointed out, Dexter might not ever need to answer that question. "If you keep stringing these popular tunes together with solid performances, I think you're tough to beat."

Ben Briley, Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" from 27 Dresses: First of all, HELLO, this song is originally from My Girl 2. And, I guess, the year 1973. But most importantly My Girl 2. With that settled, oof, this was so cheesy, and with that tight velvet jacket and slicked-back hair (it was the night of no hats!) I could not stop wondering if tonight's reinvented "Ben Briley" was actually a stealth satirical "reality TV weirdo" character portrayed by Zach Galifianakis. Actually, that helped me enjoy this bizarre/creepy performance (what Harry called "a lackadaisical walk"), so I don't know why I'm complaining. I was not a fan of the nasal quality of Ben's voice. Harry condemned Ben's "affectation… it sounds like a play or something. It's hard to describe."

"I can do a lot more, and there's a lot more in here," insisted Ben, pointing…. up his sleeve. I don't know, though. It was a pretty tight jacket!

Majesty Rose, Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" from Frozen: Good God, girl! Absolutely not. What a disaster. This song was way too huge for our gentle flower girl, who excels when she scampers playfully within the land of modern folk and whimsy. Who the heck let her think taking on everyone's current favorite Disney song -- an Adele Dazim classic -- would lead to anything other than embarrassment? Ugh! And someone could have advised her to sure, do "Let It Go," but tone it WAY down and put her own gentle spin on it. I'd rather hear an acoustic guitar version with Majesty's light touch than the vicious blender full of ice this turned out to be.

Anyway, the cold did bother me. But the judges went easy on Majesty. Harry pointed out the danger of foregoing stylistic familiarity by jumping around so much, but concluded, "I think that was strong." "I think that's a positive. You choose!" offered J. Lo. Keith's kids love Frozen. You've gotta see Frozen. Again. I know I do.

NEXT: M.K. kills 'em with calmness

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