It’s the 500th episode of ‘American Idol’, where the Top 3 — Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, and Alex Preston — performed three songs each for America’s votes!
It’s the penultimate week of American Idol and there are just three contestants left performing for America’s votes! On the May 14 episode — the 500th episode, we’ll have you know — the Idol hopefuls sang three songs each; one pick from Randy Jackson, one from the judges, and one from their respective hometowns. Read on to find out what they sang and how they fared, but we’ll give you a hint: Jena Irene sings “Creep” again. And it was amazing.
‘American Idol’ Recap: Literally What Is The Deal With Ryan Seacrest’s Obsession With Selfies?
Am starting to become deeply troubled by Ryan Seacrest‘s deep commitment to the #IdolSelfie. I’ve told you before, and I’ll tell you again: there is a smartphone in an attic with his true face on it, like a modern-day Dorian Gray, and as his true image ages, the only way he can continue to appear young is through audience selfies.
Because it’s the 500th episode, viewers were treated to a bit of an Idol retrospective — we saw everything from Kelly Clarkson‘s first audition to William Hung‘s first audition (remember him? Kidding — I know you do) to Season 1 when Brian Dunkleman was a co-host with Ryan!!! We have been waiting for this day. As has Brian, probably. We’ll never forget you, Brian.
Anyway, let’s move on to the performances! They’re sorted below by performer, as they should have been on the show, so that we can actually have a feel for how they would handle a concert situation, as Harry been angling for. Nitpicks, nitpicks.
‘American Idol’ Recap: Caleb Johnson’s Performances
2. “Demons,” by Imagine Dragons
Caleb was crazy sharp on a few of these notes, likely owing to his throat issues since he’s never been off-key before. The judges gave him credit for singing as well as he could given the circumstances, but it just wasn’t a good performance.
3. “Dazed And Confused,” by Led Zeppelin
Caleb’s hometown of Asheville, NC basically chose Caleb’s dream song for him to sing, which he also sang in the Top 9. It’s clear it’s a favorite of his, because this performance was incredible. It was as if he was never sick at all! The judges lost their marbles over it.
‘American Idol’ Recap: Alex Preston’s Performances
1. “Pompeii,” by Bastille
Alex Preston basically showed everyone up by doing double-time on instruments, first playing his acoustic guitar and then swinging it around to start playing on a huge drum — a kettle drum? I don’t know, I’m not a music teacher. Anyway, he finally stepped outside the 1-foot radius surrounding the mic stand and interacted with the audience. He pulled it all off extremely well — his vocals were also on point, and the judges praised him mightily.
2. “Stay,” by Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
This was the judges’ pick for Alex, and they picked well. As Jennifer put it, he owned it so hard (I’m paraphrasing) that you totally forgot it was a Rihanna song. Yay, Alex!
3. “Story Of My Life,” by One Direction
Alex brought it back to his roots with a cutesy acoustic cover and jeans rolled up past his ankles. Bless his hometown of Mount Vernon, NH, for choosing this for him — loved hearing him sing this again. The judges each loved it, although Keith Urban thought that he brought it down a bit because his performance of “Stay” was so incredible. Get outta here, Keith!
‘American Idol’ Recap: Jena Irene’s Performances
1. “Titanium,” by David Guetta feat. Sia
Woooof. This wasn’t great. This song needs a bit of a softer touch and Jena went super hard on it — the beginning of this song really shouldn’t be belted, as Jena did, but what do we know because the majority of the judges loved it. Harry Connick Jr. praised her for hitting all the high notes, which is all well and good, but the low ones didn’t sound so great. Jennifer Lopez also didn’t love the beginning of the song, however, and felt that Jena was a bit stiff.
2. “Heart Attack,” by Demi Lovato
Oh, Jena, what’s up? You OK tonight? I’ve always been emphatically #TeamJena, but this one didn’t sound so great, either. Harry and Keith liked it, though.
3. “Creep,” by Radiohead
I mean, Jena’s hometown of Farmington Hills, MI, would have dropped the ball majorly if they didn’t have her sing “Creep.” Her first performance of this was so emotional that I got a little teary-eyed, and while my delicate emotions were free from that this time around, her performance was just as incredible as the first time — if not more. Jena reaaally belongs behind a piano — it’s where her best performances happen.
And finally, a true highlight of the episode was when Ryan was in the pit with the audience and the Top 10 — you know, the Idols going on tour — and Malaya Watson showed that she got her braces off by taking her retainer out, laughing like a maniac, and then putting it back in her mouth, all on live television. BLESS! Bless that girl. Bless that little weirdo.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? The finale is next week!!! Who’s your pick for American Idol? Who’s getting the axe tomorrow? Vote above and comment below!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner