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American Idol – Recap & Review – Top 9

photo: fox
photo: fox
American Idol
Top 9
Original Air Date: Mar 26, 2014

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer

I have no idea why the Fall Out Boys were on the show, giving advice to the contestants. It felt canned and awkward.

This week the band moved on stage for the “I’m With the Band” theme. After a medley of rock songs (lip synced, of course), the contestants rolled out their own rock tunes. Here’s how they did:

It’s more jazz club than rock, but I really loved that it was completely his own version. Yet another one that I will be buying on iTunes. Keith loved his consistent sound, but he wants Alex to put in more edge in the vocal delivery. JLo said that was the soft version of the kick butt song and he sucked energy out of it. Harry thought he could afford to take chances and more around the stage more.

She still struggled with pitch, but her delivery was far more confident, which made a huge difference. JLo called it a 10, performance-wise, but said it vocally wasn’t all there. Harry said she was a fantastic singer and he liked the arrangement—she is so close to owning the stage. Keith applauded the song choice, yet could see the adrenaline of the crowd leading her off the notes.

He’s back to his Country roots. It’s much better and he got the crowd really going. Harry said he has to find a way to make these songs his own. Keith wants to see another side of him because he has something special in his voice. JLo loved it and thought he did a great job.

MALAYA WATSON: The Long and Winding Road
This is one of her best. She showed real restraint and sang it as a ballad. I still don’t think her voice is good enough to win. Keith called it beautiful and that it showed her spirit. JLo applauded her control because it made her voice sound out. Harry called her the most improved.

SAM WOOLF: Hey There Delilah
He has a beautiful voice, but nothing they’re trying to get him to do — smile, make a connection with the audience, move around the stage — is sinking in. JLo said the song was perfectly suited to him, but felt he could connect more with the lyrics. Harry liked the stripped down version and it was the most comfortable he’d seen him. But he agreed with Jennifer that he needs to connect with the song. Keith liked the tone of his voice, but felt he could be looser with the notes, rounded notes off.

She sounded great. She didn’t do much to change it up, but it still worked. Harry called it his favorite performance of hers. Keith said she needed to perform without an instrument. JLo noticed that her confidence is growing, but felt she has to draw us in.

C.J. HARRIS: If It Hadn’t Been for Love
He’s back in good form again. The song is ragged enough it disguises his sliding for the notes. Excellent song choice.
Keith thought it was a clever choice because it tapped into his soulful side, but he needed to be careful to really feel the music. JLo said it started off and ended well, but the middle got off. He needed to be more consistent. Harry said he really needs to work on his pitch.

CALEB JOHNSON: Dazed & Confused
While Led Zepplin isn’t my cup of musical tea, no one can deny he tore this song to pieces. What a voice!
JLo thought the performance was sexy, which he needed to be a frontman of a band. Harry didn’t know how he could have sung that song any better. Keith thought it was “the band is with the singer.”

JENA IRENE: Bring Me to Life
This is an excellent song choice that really lets her natural wail shine. And we haven’t heard her do pure rock yet. Who knew that she could handle such a powerful song? Harry liked everything about it and thought it was really strong. Keith said she always delivered. JLo thought she sounded phenomenal.

This week is was hard to choose anyone who didn’t do fairly well. Jena and Caleb each did a beautiful, star-making job. I hope that Alex being the first singer doesn’t hurt his vote count.

Did you like Harry stealing Ryan’s shoe? Would you eat the huge gummy bear that Keith gave Harry? Who do you think is in trouble? Give us your TwoCents…

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