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‘American Idol’ Recap: Alex Preston Owns The Night With ‘Say Something’

Wed, April 30, 2014 10:15pm EDT by 14 Comments

America’s Top 5 sang two songs each on the April 30 episode of ‘American Idol’, and the songs were viewers’ choice!

Everybody thinks that they would be sooo much better at choosing songs than the Idol hopefuls are, and on the April 30 episode, viewers got their chance to decide on what the Top 5 would sing. As one might imagine, some choices were more successful than others. Alex Preston, for example, totally killed it with his heartbreaking rendition of “Say Something” by A Great Big World, but his other song chosen by America did not go over nearly as well. Read on for our full recap and to find out how the Top 5 fared, and tell us who YOU’RE voting for!

‘American Idol’ Recap: Top 5 Perform — Jessica Meuse Sings ‘Only Human’

In an incredibly bizarre moment, the Idol hopefuls had to name their celebrity crushes. Jena Irene‘s is Harry StylesSam Woolf‘s is Ariana Grande, and Alex Preston‘s is Zooey Deschanel… and then she pops out from behind him! Whoa, what a surprise!! Alex had no idea!!! Just kidding, this was all painstakingly planned and Alex is a singer, not an actor!!!! Loving this New Girl/American Idol Fox synergy.

Oh, and Jason Mraz is a guest mentor along with regular Randy Jackson. Moving on!

1. Alex Preston, “Sweater Weather,” by The Neighbourhood
The mentors advised that Alex do more to connect with the audience, to look up and into the camera, and to move around a little more. He seemed to hit all those marks, and the judges were happy with him, though Jennifer Lopez did think that he needed to do a little more to kick off the show with a bang.

Jena Irene: Ariana Grande Told Me I Did A ‘Great Job’ On ‘American Idol’

2. Caleb Preston, “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” by Aerosmith
This seeeemed like it would be the perfect song for Caleb, but it wasn’t great until he hit the high/loud parts, I’ve got to say. Jennifer loved it since she’s Caleb’s #1 fan, but Harry Connick Jr. thought he was looking into the camera too much. Honestly, you can’t please these people. Keith Urban made his best point ever: that Caleb is not properly emoting; that he needs to be singing with his emotions first and his talent second. Does that make sense? That’s how Keith said it, anyway. That Caleb needs to start with the emotion of the song and to go from there. It made sense at the time, trust.

Jennifer Lopez’s New Song ‘First Love’ Leaks From New Album — Listen

3. Jessica Meuse, “Only Human,” by Christina Perri
To be kind, Jessica has often seemed a little… wooden. This was her most emotional performance yet, and it was vocally strong. It wasn’t Harry’s favorite performance, but he commended her on taking the judges’ advice seriously and on improving each week. Keith’s favorite part was when her voice cracked a tiny bit, because it was honest and real.

Oh my gosh. Right before Sam was about to sing, Ariana Grande came out to give Sam his mic and to have have an incredibly awkward moment with him! Sam was so surprised to see her there!!! This wasn’t rehearsed at all!!!! These kids are not actors, y’all. Honestly. So uncomfortable. They’re trying their best just to get up there and sing each week!

4. Sam Woolf, “Sing,” by Ed Sheeran
Sam promised to “get funky” with this performance, and he didn’t really deliver. His reaction to the judges’ criticism was pretty heartbreaking — he looked utterly defeated. The judges’ main issue with his performance was that it simply wasn’t energetic enough — that he wasn’t able to keep up with the band and that he was totally unable to “ride the groove,” as Harry put it.

5. Jena Irene, “My Body,” by Young The Giant
In her taped segment with Jason Mraz, Jena expressed concern that she’d have to compromise her vocals in order to move around the stage to get the crowd pumped like she’d need to. Well, she shouldn’t have worried so much — as always, she was great, I’m obsessed with her, and the judges loved her, too. Harry commended her on being the one who moves around the stage the most.

‘American Idol’ Recap: Duets

1. Jena, Alex & Sam, “Best Day Of My Life,” by American Authors
This is a super fun song, and watching them was a lot of fun, but Sam got totally smoked by Alex and by Jena, especially.

2. Jessica & Caleb, “Beast Of Burden,” by The Rolling Stones
OK, first, they did great. This was a perfect duet for the both of them. Second, what is the point of these duets? The judges are not supposed to judge them, but we’re the ones voting — the duets are obviously going to factor in to our decisions. We’re not in a courtroom; the duets can’t be stricken from the record.

‘American Idol’ Recap: Top 5 Perform — Alex Preston Kills It With ‘Say Something’

1. Alex Preston, “Say Something,” by Great Big World
Yooo, this was my jam. This super slow, super emotional song gave me a million feelings. Harry told him that watching a singer aaalmost give in to their emotions is more powerful than watching them weep and sob. Not only that, but for Harry, it was the performance of the night! Keith and Jennifer also agreed that Alex was just amaaaazing.

2. Jena Irene, “Valerie,” by Amy Winehouse
Does anybody else miss Jena’s piano? I love Jena when she’s on her piano, but I also love all sides of Jena. The judges didn’t think it was her best performance because the arrangement wasn’t fitting for her. Whatever, whatever! She still did great because she’s Jena, and because an Amy Winehouse song is a perfect choice.

3. Sam Woolf, “How To Save A Life,” by The Fray
This was possibly the best performance we’ve seen from Sam so far! Harry thought he was a bit shaky, and then also loved when his voice broke a bit toward the end. Harry, what’s up? How are you? You OK? Will anything make you happy, right now?

4. Jessica Meuse, “Summertime Sadness,” by Lana Del Rey
Goodness, how jarring. Jessica is wearing a “red dress tonight” with a huuge slit up the side, and she’s done her “hair up real big beauty queen style,” just like in the song. It’s way different from what she normally wears and it’s a little on-the-nose — not so sure I’m a fan! Her singing was great, though. The judges loved her vocals, told her that it was a perfect song for her, but that she stiiiill needs to up her skills as a performer.

5. Caleb Johnson, “Still Of The Night,” by Whitesnake
’80s hair metal? Yup, pretty sure that’s up Caleb’s alley. He did an incredible job. The judges were unanimously thrilled by his performance, and Jennifer commented that the band clearly can’t wait until they can perform with Caleb, who is a true lead singer.

What did you think of the April 30 episode, HollywoodLifers? Who’s got your vote? And the May 1 episode will take us to the Top 4! Couldn’t you just die? The season is nearing its end!

— Amanda Michelle Steiner

More ‘American Idol’:

  1. ‘American Idol’: How Sam Woolf Feels About Being Called A ‘Heartthrob’
  2. ‘American Idol’ Recap: Competitors Cry For Eliminated Contestant
  3. ‘American Idol’: CJ Harris Saw His Elimination Coming — Interview