‘American Idol’ Recap: Sam Woolf’s ‘Hey There Delilah’ Melts Hearts

Wed, March 26, 2014 10:23pm EDT by 8 Comments

On the March 26 episode of ‘American Idol,’ the Top 9 performed for your votes! The theme was ‘I’m With The Band,’ where they sang songs from rock royalty — also, Plain White T’s.

American Idol is now in its Top 9, and the theme for the March 26 episode is “I’m With The Band,” where the contestants covered songs from “rock royalty” — also, Plain White T’s and Evanescence. There were a lot of great performances, but Sam Woolf definitely melted some hearts with his rendition of every girl’s favorite acoustic jam that they like to think is about them — “Hey There Delilah!”

Alex Preston, Majesty Rose & Dexter Roberts Perform

Tonight, the band will be onstage and visible during the performances. So we can see the exact moment when they mess up and derail the Idol contestants…? Too mean? Too real?

Jennifer Lopez Drops F-Bomb On LIVE ‘American Idol’ Taping — Watch

During Ryan Seacrest‘s pre-show judges table chitter chatter, he asked Jennifer Lopez if she had any regrets about choosing not to use the save and deciding to send MK Nobilette packing. She responded, “every time she sang, I felt something.” This checks out — for basically every performance of MK’s, Jennifer was teary-eyed. MK definitely inspires a reaction — many fans were supremely unhappy and supremely vocal about their unhappiness in her being sent home. Ryan asked Harry Connick Jr. who he thinks he’d use the save on, but Harry hedged — he said he hasn’t really thought about who would deserve the save more than someone else. This seems like a big fat lie, though, because he would save Jena Irene or Alex Preston in one second. Who wouldn’t? Frontrunners are frontrunner are frontrunners.

Anyway, on to the performances!

1. Alex Preston, “Don’t Speak,” by No Doubt
Pre-performance, Alex told cameras in his taped segment that he likes that the band is onstage; that he thinks they’ll provide a great energy. It looks like Alex is feeding off of it incredibly well — he delivered a very , very compelling performance, very different from the original. It wasn’t a straight cover, as the judges have lambasted him for in the past. However, Keith Urban told him that he wanted to see more of an edge.  Jennifer kind of agreed with Keith — and got her first boo! Good! We thought his performance was perfect. Get outta here, judges. Not on board.

2. Majesty Rose, “Shake It Out,” by Florence And The Machine
Majesty’s last two performances have been fairly lackluster; “Let It Go” was kind of a disaster (sorry, Majesty), and last week’s “Wake Me Up” was not much better. However, Majesty seemed to have… well, shaken those performances off. She was back in perfect form and the judges were as happy with her as we were. “That’s the Majesty that I love,” Jennifer told her. Harry told her that she’s getting better at connecting with the audience, but Keith told her that the energy of the audience is a bit too catching with her; she gets frenetic and loses the plot a little bit.

3. Dexter Roberts, “Boondocks,” by Little Big Town
Dexter sang a country song and people were into it and it was fine! We dunno, you guys. We dunno. Harry told him what he’s been telling him in the past: that his performances are a bit generic, that he’s not really making them his own. More importantly, Harry was gifted a giant gummy bear and he chewed its giant ear off. Then Jennifer did the same and the audience catcalled, because…?

Malaya Watson, Sam Woolf & Jessica Meuse Perform

4. Malaya Watson, “The Long & Winding Road,” The Beatles
Malaya can do no wrong. Alex and Jena have seemed more exciting to us for some reason, but we keep forgetting that whenever Malaya does a thing, it’s just the best ever thing. The song started off kind of slow, but when it hit its crescendo, she just sounded so perfect. Harry gave her the award for “most consistently improving” for listening to everything that the judges have to say.

5. Sam Woolf, “Hey There Delilah,” by Plain White T’s
Similar to Majesty, it’s been a week or so since Sam has blown us away. This song, however, was right in Sam’s wheelhouse. Cute, acoustic song, appealed to his female audience… Jennifer told him that there needs to be a “Delilah” — to extrapolate, even if there isn’t necessarily a girl that he’s singing about, he needs to at least pretend. He needs to be less timid, and to connect more. Harry called him out for a “one-dimensional reading of the words.” Makes sense! It was still a perfect choice for him, though. Still love you, Sam. Call us.

6. Jessica Meuse, “Rhiannon,” by Fleetwood Mac
We’ve been waiting to like Jessica, to really appreciate the hype; well, here it is. Finally, this was the perfect song for her. She was the perfect amount of twangy, and thank goodness, she put down the guitar. We’re kinda in sync with the judges, tonight — Harry told her that it was his favorite performance of hers so far. Yeah!

CJ Harris, Caleb Johnson & Jena Irene Perform

7. CJ Harris, “If It Hadn’t Been For Love,” by Steel Drivers
Have we mentioned that we’re cooling on CJ? ‘Cause we’re cooling on CJ. His performance was fine, nothing technically wrong with it, but it didn’t have the kind of magnetism that we’ve grown to expect from some of the other contestants. But hey, maybe he’s just not our jam! Which is totally fine. Keith told him that he likes CJ as a person, as do we, but that he needs to be careful about the difference between the sound of expressing, versus the feeling of expressing. Basically: he doesn’t need to make such an effort to make his voice sound rough or emotional as he sings, because the expression should come from within, and not how much you can make your voice get gruff. 

8. Caleb Johnson, “Dazed & Confused,” by Led Zeppelin
You can tell that Caleb was literally thrilled to be singing a Led Zeppelin song on Idol. He sounded fantastic, and couldn’t have been more high energy or more enthusiastic — the crowd, too, could barely keep quiet long enough to hear the judges. Keith told him that, instead of him being “with the band,” as per the theme, that the band was with the singer. The general consensus from the judges is that he did an amazing job as a frontman — even Harry thought so!

9. Jena Irene, “Bring Me To Life,” by Evanescence
This kinda seemed like the perfect opportunity for Jena to start on her piano, but hey, what do we know. Jena didn’t sing this song the way you may be used to hearing it, but as usual, she switched up the melody and did an amazing job. She really is in her own class right now. Team Jena all the way! …But also Team Alex. Life is rough.

What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Who’s your fave to win? Can somebody explain the appeal of Dexter Roberts’ musical stylings to me? Vote and comment below!

— Amanda Michelle Steiner

More ‘American Idol':

  1. ‘American Idol’ Recap: Jennifer Lopez Cries For Eliminated Contestant
  2. Alex Preston Needs To Be The Next ‘American Idol’
  3. ‘American Idol’ Recap: Alex Preston Wows Judges With ‘Story Of My Life’