American Idol Top 10 Performance Recap: To Thine Own Selfie Be True [Updated]

_MB13151On tomorrow’s American Idol results show, Jennifer Lopez will perform her new single “I Luh Ya Papi (Not a Typo),” and it will almost certainly be a debacle of sparkly fabric, preternaturally glowing skin, gyrating netherregions and Auto-Tune.

But to-ni-iii-iii-iii-iii-iii-ght, during the Season 13 Top 10 performance show, Jenny From the Block set the world on fire, and shone brighter than the su-uhh-uhh-uhh-uhh-nnn.

RELATED | American Idol‘s Keith Urban on Song Deconstruction, Blunt Feedback and Guaranteed Use of ‘The Save’

Seriously, on a night where Harry Connick Jr. broke out my new favorite phrase (#BereftOfJoy) and pledged not to attend contestants’ rehearsals (huzzah!) and where Keith Urban mixed a perfectly balanced cocktail of truth and warmth and exactitude, it was J.Lo who stood out for delivering what was unquestionably her finest night of critiques in three seasons on the panel.

The Season 13 Top 10, on the other hand, well, like Vanessa Williams (and the Isley Brothers before her), they’ve got work to do.

But don’t take the preceding sentence as a cantankerous dis: The kids are ai’ight all right! Sure, Majesty Rose needs to find a way to contain her “fear face” and 17-year-old Sam Woolf needs to steer clear of lyrics about a drunken barfly who left a scar on his girlfriend’s face during an unfortunate altercation, but these are the kinds of wrinkles that can be handled with a trip to the dry cleaners — or maybe even with one of those nifty sprays you can buy down at the local Target. (The Top 10 also proved highly amusing while posing with their voting numbers in staged “selfies.” Oh, Idol does love its buzzwords. #pow.)

_MB13043So, yes, I remain cautiously optimistic — emphasis on “cautiously” — that somebody (or several somebodys) are on the edge of glory, thisclose to proving worthy of inheriting the crown worn by Clarkson, Cook, Sparks, McCreery and their ilk.

On that note, let’s jump right to letter grades for tonight’s contestants:

M.K. Nobilette: Pink’s “Perfect” — Grade: D+ | When I first heard that M.K. — a vocalist who’s at her best when she’s mellow and lilting — was tackling a hard-charging belter like Pink, I assumed she’d be stripping back the arrangement, slowing down the tempo and remagining the jam as an inspirational lullabye. But nope, girlfriend pretty much took the route of least creativity, delivering a karaoke arrangement (and a “stare in the mirror” intro championed by The Voice‘s Michelle Chamuel) that exposed her inability to stay in the pocket and to convey real urgency in her singing. There was so much dead space in between M.K.’s phrases that my attention kept drifting — that is until she botched her segue into the second chorus and then tried to cover it with multiple downward glances and some tentative caterwauling. J.Lo and Harry gave pretty tough feedback, and even M.K.’s post-commercial defense — “I thought it was pretty solid, for what it was” — conveyed a certain sense of defeat, no?

Dexter Roberts: Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” — Grade: C- | To be fair, Dexter really did take his biggest/only risk to date by slowing down the tempo for the opening half of Florida Georgia Line’s propulsive party jam. Problem was that stripped of the steady, rhythmic movement — J.Lo did a nice recreation using stomps and claps — there’s not a whole lot to recommend “Cruise”: It’s hardly a vocal showcase (and even then, Dexter hit his fair share of bum notes) and the lyrical connection definitely suffered from Dexter’s mumbly drawl. Like a glass of water you drank three Thursdays ago or a Randy Jackson mentoring soundbite, this performance was so void of flavor, so lacking in oomph that it’ll be nothing more than a vague memory by the weekend.

Jena Irene: Zedd featuring Foxes’ “Clarity” — Grade: B+ | I wasn’t crazy about the staging of this performance — contestants, please don’t allow the show’s producers to lower you into the SwayBot pit under any circumstance, even if it’s to escape Randy’s “advice” — but vocally, this may have been the episode’s most impressive accomplishment. (Well, that and Jena managing to rock out in pink Doc Martens — and not the deadly high heels the Idol styling department tends to favor.) I loved the little liberties Jena took with the melody, the way her distinctive, rounded tone filled the entire stage, and the fact that she maintained solid pitch despite bouncing around like the audience had come by solely to catch the Jena Irene concert. Yeah, I worry a little that voters might not respond enthusiastically to electronic dance music (side note: Can anyone else imagine Jena singing Kristine W’s “Land of the Living” or Cher’s “Believe” or Hercules and Love Affair’s “Blind“?) but then again, isn’t that what all the kids are listening to on the radio anymore? Yeah, that was the Grampy McRickety-est sentence I’ve ever written in an Idol recap, so while I grab a mug of warm milk and a butterscotch candy, why don’t you jump ahead to the next sentence…

Alex Preston: One Direction’s “Story of My Life” — Grade: A- | I like that Alex is strategic enough that he’s already thinking about the entire Idol season as a concert set list. And while I’d like to see him tackle a selection or two that might shake up his “sensitive troubador” vibe — perhaps a radical rearrangement of an EDM track that could convey a sense of humor, or maybe a more raucous selection that forced him to work the stage — there’s no denying his delicate recreation of “Story of My Life” is the best rendition of the song I’ve ever heard. With those perfectly placed high notes he nailed on the chorus and the flawless phrasing that breathed new life into the lyrics, it’s no wonder Harry declared that he’s leading the pack at this point in the competition.

Malaya Watson: Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” — Grade: B+ | I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to shake Candice Glover’s soul-stirring Season 12 cover of this tune, but lo and behold, Malaya grabbed my attention from the first note — bringing palpable pain to the lyrics and an effortless beauty to those tricky “Ooh ooh oohs,” too. Keith was right that the Malaya of two weeks ago would’ve attacked every note of this ballad like a hyena to an antelope leg, but the season’s youngest contestant looks like she’s in the midst of a major growth arc — learning about restraint and shading at just the right point in the competition. And what Idoloonie doesn’t love a major growth arc?

Caleb Johnson: Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” — Grade: B- | “Lacks momentum.” That was the notation I made midway through Caleb’s Gaga cover — then underlined three times for emphasis. But Keith actually did a better job of summing up the problem with Caleb’s “half-time” rearrangement when he called it “lumbering.” Either way, though, by removing the urgency from the jam, by failing to capture the wild-eyed lunacy of Gaga howling the phrase “the edge, the edge, the edge,” Caleb wound up attaching a big old clunky hay wagon to the back of his Maserati. Musically speaking, of course. Plus, in an unexpected turn of events, I thought the Season 13 rocker struggled with pitch intonation a little on the verse, to boot.

C.J. Harris: Hunter Hayes’ “Invisible” — Grade: D+ | I know that at the end of this article, I predicted M.K. should and will go home on Thursday night — but if the zippy red streaks in her hair resonate with at-home viewers, C.J. would make a perfectly acceptible substitute. Yeah, the judges tried their darndest to praise C.J.’s passion (¡and his rehearsal performance!) but the Alabama native’s consistent sharpness rendered all other considerations moot. Seriously, if C.J. was a surgeon performing a heart transplant, you’d want him to be passionate about keeping you alive, but more important would be his use of the correct tools in the correct manner, his depth of knowledge about human anatomy and organ replacement. Suffice it to say, when Harry had to take a beat and explain the concept of pitch to C.J., it was like watching the doc drop a scalpel into the patient’s chest cavity, complete with a giddy “Whoopsie!” Bottom line: This guy might just not be ready for primetime.

Jessica Meuse: Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” — Grade: B | I had no problem whatsoever with the sly smile Jessica kept on her face throughout her number — especially since we had a pre-performance package in which she explained the song’s juxtaposition of happy melody and creepy lyrics. Yet while I continue to be completely enamoured of Jessica’s nasal-quavery tone and her ability to paint pictures with her words, I did agree with Harry in one regard — and that’s in wanting Jessica to take risks and use her glorious instrument in less expected ways. The verse of “Pumped Up Kicks,” for example, would’ve benefitted if Jessica had twisted the melody, gone for a couple of bigger notes, rather than accepting the minimal range of the original. Yeah, we got a big and delirious payoff with that final glory note Jessica floated atop the final refrain, but now that we know she’s capable, let’s see a little more, eh?

Majesty Rose: Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” — Grade: B | Aside from swallowing the ends of certain phrases — and maybe sounding a tiny bit breathy in spots — I enjoyed Majesty’s gentler, folksier rearrangement of Avicii’s driving pop hit. And yet it took J.Lo — aka The Artist Formerly Known as the Head of the Haley Reinhart Demoralization Society — to articulate what it was about the performance that stopped me from completely getting swept away in the Majesty-ness of the moment, like had happened on “Happy” and “Tightrope.” J.Lo noted she saw “a little bit of fear” playing out on Majesty’s face in the first half of the song — and it was totally true. “I felt like what happened last week really affected you,” said Ms. Lopez, noting Majesty’s Bottom 3 placement, to which the contestant blurted out, “Of course! Oh my gosh!” But J.Lo wasn’t done; she ignored the adorableness of Majesty’s smile, and instead sagely noted that criticism and mistakes are a part of show-biz — but that it’s an artist’s job to rehearse hard, gain confidence in her decisions and never let the audience in on that self-doubt. Coming from a woman who fell on her booty at the AMAs back in the day, that’s advice worth taking.

Sam Woolf: fun. featuring Janelle Monae’s “We Are Young” — Grade: B/B- | Sam definitely showed improvement off last week’s woeful “Come Together,” but the second of my grades tonight takes into account inappropriateness of/lack of connection to the lyrics for a high-school student. I mean, look, it’s Sam’s prerogative to select a verse that paints an uncomfortable picture of domestic violence — My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses/ Asking about a scar and/ I know I gave it to you months ago/ I know you’re trying to forget — but it’s my prerogative to say it makes me skittish. Worse still, though, there was a hollowness to the delivery that made me wonder if Sam actually sat down and read the lyrics and thought about their meaning prior to his performance. That said, though, the kid’s spotless pitch and clear enunciation came through right on schedule. That alone should ensure he’s not in the Bottom 3 this week. Speaking of…

Should Be Bottom 3: Dexter, M.K., C.J. (M.K. going home)
Will Be Bottom 3: Dexter, M.K., C.J. (M.K. going home)

What did you think of the Top 10? Who were your faves? Who’s in trouble? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! And for all my reality TV-related news, interviews and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bonquisha says:

    My Favorite Was Majesty!

    • The pack is starting to divide into the contenders and pretenders. MK, Dexter and CJ are doing what they think will get them votes and doing what they think they should do, while people like Jena, Alex, Jessica and Caleb are just being themselves and reaping the rewards of being so good. Those who don’t need to try so hard deliver more and sound so much better than those that look like they are being forced into being a certain way or acting a certain way. It’s natural or it’s not. Malaya, Majesty and Sam teeter back and forth between the two worlds of contenders and pretenders. I don’t know where to fully classify them.

      • Stormy says:

        I agree. i have to say that this is the first time i thought Harry was being a complete a$$hat.
        I got a bit of a Bobbie Gentry vibe from Jessica.
        Majestry gasps audibly for breath between phrases and that annoys me from any singer.
        I didn’t understand more than one out of three words from Cj, so that was disappointing.
        Caleb was barely adequate IMO.
        I’m not a fan of Sam or Alex, but they were both much improved tonight.
        For the first time I liked Malaya and not MK.
        The rest were just OK.

        • Danny says:

          @Stormy- Yea, that gasping is distracting eh? I would think any singer at this level should already know that.

        • I don’t think Harry was being overly harsh. I think the problem is is that he is MORE harsh on the people he think have MORE potential, like Jessica. Jessica can sing rock, pop, country, soul, etc. and yet she does keep picking these “safe” songs. I, too, want more from her and for someone who takes music and herself so seriously, sometimes the only way to get through to her is to tell her that what she’s doing just isn’t working. I still think Harry is an incredibly great addition to this panel and he’s brought out the best in Keith and Jennifer.

          • tiffanie says:

            I think the harshness comes from what he feels on himself on this terrible group of singers he had a hand in picking. Almost all are the worst ever I fastforward through mk so out of tune has to be one of the worst ever. I ask myself am I hearing the same everyone else is hearing. Omg no wonder the viewers keep dropping me included cant watch live anymore

          • Jaszy says:

            You’re completely right Andrew, in my opinion. Jessica is the one to me that I feel does have the most potential out of all the contestants. Her voice could be amazing if she just let it. There are glimpses where we hear her superb range. Her first audition with her original song “Blue Eyed Lie”, she showed a lot of range. She needs to harken back to that moment in time and just project what she felt in that audition moment onto her next performances. Yes, Harry is the toughest on Jessica and he is right in a way. Jessica, let loose, show emotion, don’t just sway back and forth, give your fans more. I am so rooting for this girl and she’s kind of letting me down simply because I know she can be amazing. If Jessica were to ever be the one to be in the bottom three and subsequently the one to leave, I have high hopes that the judges would use the save on her. The only other people I see getting the save would be Jena, Alex and Majesty (however if she keeps this bottom 3 streak going, the judges need to let her go).
            Jessica could be the real deal. I don’t think she realizes the immense talent she has. Jessica could win. I feel like a girl is going to win this season and if it were just my choice alone, Jessica would be it. I love her.

          • Ray Dias says:

            I totally agree with Tiffanie. I am so disappointed with the singers this season. They are absolutely, hands down, the worst ever!! I still watch, with hope, but they just sound so awful. Are the acoustics during the auditions that different from what we are hearing via T.V.? No wonder they are starting to lose ratings. The judges do not know how to pick singers.

      • analythinker says:

        I think I pretty much agree on your analysis.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Love this line: “eeter back and forth between the two worlds of contenders and pretenders” – well said and so true.

      • Flicker says:

        I agree with you #idolbethejudge – we see different groups forming, and what’s great is that people who we previously might have thought were front runners (eg sam wolf) are not necessarily so. Here are my groups:
        1) bottom three: mk, cj, and dexter, with mk going home.
        2) middle of the pack: malaya, jessica, sam and caleb
        3) top tier: jena, majesty and alex

        Some additional thoughts on separation between people within these groups. Jessica has shown great potential, but she is not clearly not able to find herself and connect (I think mr Slezak continues to over-mark her). Also, the biggest drop from last week for me was Caleb – he took a risk with another female song, but the entire arrangement backfired. I’d place Sam Wolf somewhere in the middle there too – he has what Mr Slezak called “that something”, but then having average awkward moments. Malaya was the most improved in that group this week.

        In terms of the top tier, Alex sits on top, but to me Jena and Majesty can swoop in at any point. They are the only two contestants, who have the smarts, the artistry, and feel completely natural on stage.

        What do others think of these groupings following tonight?

        • James says:

          Ironic you think he over-marks Jessica but you have that train wreck of a performance from Jena listed as “top tier.” lmao

          • deedee says:

            I also didn’t love Jena this week. Her take on the song was a bit of a hot mess, I thought. And on the topic of Jena, Michael totally read my mind tonight! During her performance, I thought she sounded like Cher, and was imagining her singing “Believe”!

          • S. says:

            Yeah, I agree what Jena turned in was a hot mess, to the point that I think Dexter will be swapped out with her (although I personally can’t stand his mumble-sing pandering and wouldn’t mind it if he got voted out). I don’t get the judges’ (or Michael’s to an extent) love for Jena’s version of “Clarity.” It pales to Jessica Sanchez’s cover. I love that song so it’s not a problem with EDM. I adore Jena as a singer and thought last week was great, but c’mon. This is the first I’m hearing of her mad love for EDM to the point that she’d prefer to be doing that basically. Whenever contestants come out with that comment, it’s a red flag. What the heck was I supposed to be getting from the other stuff they were doing? If I liked it I shouldn’t because their album wouldn’t be like that, it’ll be like this other thing now? Were they being less authentic before? And since I didn’t like her take on an EDM song I otherwise really like, I’m not thrilled with this new direction because if she ends up in the bottom, the judges will assume it’s EDM-hatin’ on our part and it isn’t. On the plus side, they’d totally save her. Jena’s one I think would get the vote to save, esp. given how they feel about her this week. Side note: Jena Ascuitto was a perfectly good name. I kinda wish she hadn’t changed to Jena Irene.

          • Flicker says:

            I didn’t feel Jena’s performance was a hot mess. I’d say that more about Jessica’s actually. But that’s a difference in opinions and how we hear things to our ears. To clarify, my groupings were not based on last night’s performances, but rather an overall ranking of where people fit so far.

          • realmusiclover says:

            I do not understand the judges raving about Jena. I cannot listen to her, and as of last night – look at her. It seems they pick someone every year to vaunt, in spite of the public’s reaction. This year it’s Jena Gina Genna Jenna, whatever.

          • Karhleen says:

            Am I being super critical of Jena when I say she always sounds like she has a snoot full of snot when she sings?

        • Mary says:

          I liked Jena performance and I think Majesty is going down. I have her in the middle. The best performance tonight I thought was Jessica. Alex was also good but to be honest I don’t like his voice.

        • A says:

          I love Majesty. There is something about her voice that I find easy to listen to. I bought the single on iTunes and played it in the car today to see if I felt the same way – LOVED it. I could listen to a CD of her songs. I like Caleb just not sure I can handle a CD of his music. My boys like Alex and I think Jena has a great voice just not sure again if her music is something we would buy. Jessica I’m on the fence about. I totally agree with Harry. She’s one dimensional. She seems to have the same expression each week no matter what song she sings. We’ve all been fans from the beginning but I don’t see her feeling the lyrics she’s singing. That is starting to bug me a bit.

          • Sinc says:

            Some of these contestants have peaked early unfortunately–Majesty turned in her best performance week 1 with “Happy” and hasn’t matched it since. Same with Dexter, MK, CJ and maybe Caleb with earlier performances. Alex continues to impress but he is another WGWG. Jessica is edgy but is holding back. Sam needs to put that guitar down and make himself perform. Malaya is showing improvement. JMO

          • Rick says:

            She is all over the place, doesn’t know who she is and I can’t believe she escaped that horribly out of tune Frozen performance last week. Her days are numbered.

      • Ben says:

        I don’t think Malaya is teetering back and forth. She was a pretender, but now she is becoming a clear contender. She hasn’t teetered, she has moved her way in (oh no, I can’t hold back this pun) one direction the whole time.

      • Blank Slate says:

        Longest two hour show. So disappointed in what used to be the go-to tv event.
        I feel bad for MK. She looks troubled, depressed. Very alone out there. She can sing but she cannot entertain on stage.
        Caleb is the only one who looks like he could be on the edge of glory.
        No one else lights up the stage as he does.
        Applause for Malaya who is nicely blossoming before us.
        Alex is sure talented but I don’t feel his presence yet. Dark and brooding but does not pop.
        I’m over thinking this.
        It’s a ho hum season.
        Rooting or Caleb because he knows music and roots (Springsteen and Seger).
        Somebody make MK happy! I can’t help but feel for her.

        • steve s says:

          Blank, you hit the MK nail on the head. Watching her performance is one thing, but all the quick shots we get of her during the 2 hours reveals a very depressed and troubled person. Its alot like Russian figure skaters really. They can skate with the best of them but their miserable, repressed life shows thru in their faces.

      • GottaLoveKeith says:

        I thought the monotone pentatonic when it was inverted to the caribinational aspect of the whole genomial parallax was completely out of wax.

      • OhMy says:

        Don’t see this divide — they are all pretty bad.

    • shannon says:

      Malaga was horrible. She destroyed the high notes and so did jena. Jena was terrible. Why everyone keeps praising Malaga I just don’t get. I think it’s Caleb and no one else except alex.

  2. Danny says:

    MK- Oh ohhhhhhhhh, she wasn’t very good. I’m thinking maybe last week was the exception, not the rule for her.

    Dexter- Yipes. He wasn’t very good either.

    Jena- I thought she was decent, but I feel the judges over praised her. It wasn’t anything outstanding. I’ll agree it was the best of the night up to that point, but it’s not like it had a lot to beat.

    Alex- WOW!!! I’m not a big one direction fan. He nailed it though. I think he’d be better off if he didn’t play with the band. They’ve messed up a few times over the past few weeks. He’d be better off with him playing the guitar and maybe only have a drummer but nothing else.

    Malaya- Another good performance. She’s really improving. I’ve always rooted for her, but a few weeks ago felt maybe she was in over her head. I think now she belongs here. Good for her.

    Caleb- I hate agreeing with Lopez, but she was spot on. It was good, but I didn’t really feel anything. Where I think he might get some extra oomph is because Keith did such a great mimic of Harry. I re-wound that and played it a few times. The judges and their banter is part of the performance. Where NM, MC, and RJ botched it for so many contestants last year, Keith and Harry added a lil something to Caleb’s song this week. Caleb got another lil bump after the commercial break because of his skit w/ Ryan. His performance was good, but he’s going to get some like ability points added to his score.

    CJ- I thought he was pretty good. Not great. One of those middle of the pack songs. I really enjoyed how the judges gave him constructive criticism without bashing the guy. That’s one area where I’ll tip my hat to the panel. It seemed like his song was shorter than some of the others.

    Jessica- I thought that was really good. Yea she doesn’t have the emotion or something. I had never really listened to the lyrics of that song before it was brought up. I had just kind of taken in the tune. So she made me aware. I get what Harry was saying, but I still think it was a pretty solid performance. I’d say top 3 or 4.

    Majesty- Not sure what to make of this one. It wasn’t like she did a bad job. There’s something when people sing that I don’t enjoy when I hear it when they breathe in though. It’s like I could always hear her taking a breath and it was distracting.

    Sam- He did a pretty nice job. I don’t think he’s got to worry about bottom 3 this week.

    My top 3- 1) Alex 2) Malaya- 3 (tie) Jessica/Caleb/Sam
    Bottom 3- MK, Dexter, Majesty (not cuz of her singing but cuz of her breathing)

    • Name That Tune says:

      My bottom 3 are MK, Majesty and CJ with MK heading for the exit door.

    • Stormy says:

      I so agree about Majesty sucking in air at every pause. Very distracting.

    • tealeaves says:

      @Danny, I agree with all your comments. Spot on.

    • The Beach says:

      I can go along with most of your comments but not that CJ was “pretty good”. That was awful!

      • Elizabeth says:

        I couldn’t even hear the melody in CJ’s song. It sounded like the band was playing a different song from the one he was singing. The effect was discordant and jarring. I hated it!

    • RRM says:

      Wasn’t as distracted with the breathing…some pros commit that crime too I mean if you listen to Clarkson’s studio of Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You), she was breathing a lot in that song (is this valid argument? lol)

    • Mark says:

      My top 2: Alex and Malaya
      Bottom 1: MK
      Everyone else: Meh
      I too thought Jena was highly overrated this week. Her’s was the best of the night at that point, but she was buried by the performances that followed. After last week’s very good and highly surprising performance, this one was a letdown.
      I want so much to love one of Jessica’s songs, but she disappoints me almost every week (last week being the exception). My problem this week was not her facial expressions–I had no problem there–rather, I didn’t like anything about the countrified arrangement she put on that song. Country and creepy don’t really go together for me.
      As for Caleb, I admire his decision to step out of his box and try something different, but this one was a miss for me. I do agree with the judges that he needs to step back one time and turn down the volume. If he can, I’d like to see him try something slow and acoustic–just once–but if it fails in rehearsal don’t bring it to the stage. I don’t need to seem him flame out just to prove he can.
      I expect MK to go home, and I wish it had happened a week earlier. She didn’t deserve to go home after last week’s performance, but she is going to really suffer on the tour. Ben would have enjoyed it more, and been more entertaining, as long as he gives up his dream of singing songs with his name in the title.

      • MamaLis says:

        EXCELLENT point, Mark, about MK on the tour! I hadn’t even thought about that! As much as I wasn’t a fan of Ben’s last performance, I think you’re totally correct in that he would have made a MUCH better touring artist than MK. That’s unfortunate.
        I’m not entirely convinced (like many others) that MK is depressed, in as much as she might just be a more “shallow pond,” if you will. I saw some of her earlier posts on uTube when she was singing and hanging out with friends, and even at her happiest she always looks “blank stare” deadpan.
        I’ve met people like that in my life. They’re just not very introspective. “Intra” personal skills – which is the skill to assess and understand yourself, is one of the seven intelligences, after all. Not everyone possesses it.

  3. kate'shomesick says:

    MK C- speech level singing good but everything else technically -.- there’s just not much more she can give without learning how to sing, message of the song and style worked for her though
    Dexter D+ NO performance, nothing original, just walking around, slightly sharp on almost everything
    Jena C+ loved the idea of it, little disjointed especially the vocal- needs to change her technique (you can already hear the vocal chords giving in)
    Alex B+ perfect songchoice, interesting arrangement, very modern, smaller mistakes vocally but ending lovely
    Malaya B good….very simple…smart…I’m surprised I liked it at all….still she could be so much better if she’d fix her technique
    Caleb C pains me but that arrangement was AWFUL, Keiths critique was spot on, pity, did what he could though
    CJ D he still has NO singing technique, so sharp, so under…either very shaky or extremely pushed vocally. Phrasing off, musically meandering ..I want to like what he does but he is NOT a musician, it’s not a D- because of feeling
    Jessica C verse…soooo mooonoootooonooouuusss, she was trying hard to come off as friendly, what did the performance mean though?, same old vocal issues but chorus was ok
    Majesty C her vocal is just generally so weak (or shouty), she looked great (scared but gorgeous) , staging clever (very „Once“), not sure that was a good songchoice
    Sam C+ very good vocal, little blank facially, the fact that the critique was cut short could actually hurt him

    should be bottom 3: CJ, MK, Dexter (CJ going home- though honestly they could send all three home…they’re not going to win)
    will be bottom 3: Jessica, MK, CJ (trying to have faith: CJ)

    • Kaba says:

      Yeah, trust me. Jessica isn’t touching the bottom this week no matter how you liked her.

    • Name That Tune says:

      But I am agreeing with kate on Jessica. She’s learned to sing a set of songs and she phones it in. And I’m finding I don’t really enjoy the tone of her voice. I am not ready to place her in the bottom 3, but she’s heading there.

      • Danny says:

        @Name- I’ve got Jessica finishing anywhere from 4th-6th. I do like her. I think she sings pretty well. There’s something missing with her though. She’s had some pretty good performances so far. This show has had 5 live performances. She’s been good on 3, decent on 2. Based on that I should have her higher, but again something is lacking in her.

        • Lynn says:

          Once the low-hanging fruit has been picked (in the next few weeks) Jessica is going to be in trouble. She’ll have to go head to head with the producers’ and judges’ favorites and I think she’ll really struggle. What’s keeping her in now is the judges’ attitudes toward her and some very poor performances by the other contestants.

        • irish1139 says:

          I wish Jessica would get rid of the guitar, hold a microphone in her hand, shake her ass and move around the stage. For someone who has been singing in bars for so long, she has no stage presence. I think her voice is great but no stage presence.

      • deedee says:

        Mm-hmm, she does phone it in every week. I’d like to see her fully commit to a song for once and make me feel something. It’s like she ‘hovers’ over the music and never gets inside it. She always leaves me cold – which is too bad because she has all the ingredients of greatness, but never puts them all together to create something great.

    • MC says:

      Great job with the very realistic grades! Your comments were also right on the money.

    • Owen says:

      Well, if Jess was trying to come off friendly this was the wrong song to do it! Unfortunate, as I think this was the best vocal performance she’s given. And JLo is right, one can play with the ironies of a lyric, though when the music is playing up the irony already, it might do well not to smile in the patented way Jess was. Something a little more dry, perhaps?

      • Tess says:

        When it comes to that specific song – I don’t think Jess could’ve done anything different with her face that would please Harry (frankly, it just doesn’t seem like she can do anything right in his eyes anyway). Think about the lyrics, it’s like the internal dialog of a kid who’s thinking he’s going to get revenge on those who think they are better than him and how, surely that kid would have some sick delight in that if that’s what he’s thinking. So if Jess is embodying the lyrics, then a smile isn’t inappropriate at all. I think Harry just doesn’t get her for whatever reason and feels the need each week to be overly critical about that, but frankly who else there is connecting to their song choices any better? He’s not calling them all out on that as much as he does with her. Jess is probably just used to no one really looking at her when she’s playing in bars and stuff, but she’s trying to change that and not come off as unlikeable by not smiling and such but in this instance, I don’t think it was distracting or inappropriate given the actual tone of the song.

        • Ange says:

          I agree that she was singing as the kid/embodying the lyrics. I thought the smiling added to the creepiness factor of the song lyrics which is a great juxtaposition to the music.

        • Lauren says:

          Jessica’s performance was perfectly realized and presented. I just think most people don’t *get* the song. And some people just don’t like her for some reason, so it’s damned if you, damned if you don’t pretty much. One week she is a b1tch and the next she’s “too happy,”

          • GuitarBlue says:

            Good point. One thing about Jessica, is that she is pretty good in whatever she does; but should go Country if she wants to compete for top 3.

          • chris says:

            I get the song. It’s Jessica I don’t get. It was just weird hearing a song that seems so urban to me sung with a Southern twang. She looks rock and roll but doesn’t sing like rock and roll. I just don’t find her tone pleasing.

        • Mike says:

          Agree with you 100 percent…just watched a youtube of Mark Foster singing his song live and he was smiling the whole time too.

          • Jaszy says:

            well, there you go Harry Connick Jr. You don’t have to be right ALL the time. J-Lo understood where Jess was coming from. I did too. Maybe she was smiling a little too much, but still, I get what she was trying to convey. Jessica needs to stick around for a long time.

        • Kayk says:

          I agree with guitarblue’s comment…I really think Jess’ voice is best suited to country, though she does not look like a traditional country singer. I like her lots and hope she puts a country take on whatever theme she’s given each week! I think it could work in her favor.

          • The Other Leah says:

            Interesting that you’d say that she should be a country singer based solely on her twang. It’s obvious that her twang is natural. It IS not forced, she is not pretending. The twang is just a by-product of where she’s from. It doesn’t mean she has to be a country singer if she doesn’t WANT to be.

        • pmet says:

          Last week Harry praised Jessica for remaining focus and in tune when the band screwed up and came in at the wrong time or with the wrong timing. He told her it was a strong performance and commended her. So, I don’t agree that he doesn’t “get” her. In this instance, I agreed with him that the smile was inappropriate and for me it didn’t come across as sly. Jessica is quite talented but I keep waiting for more oomph from her, more depth of conviction in her singing. Maybe she is too closed off from showing that side of herself which is a shame because if she showed a raw vulnerability I think it could be magical for her.

        • Mary says:

          I will be the first to admit that I never really listen to the lyrics of that song closely. JLo was right in her critique, sometimes a song just has the melody you can get into. I find it ironic that he went after Jessica but said nothing about Sam song. I am beginning to wonder if Harry listens to any current music. He is definitely an old crooner. I love Jessica voice, she does have to work on stage presence, but I think she is trying. In fact I think Alex needs more work in that than she does.

        • Carla says:

          Seriously does Harry expect her to look sad/angry singing that?! Then she would have gotten some “lighten up” comment from him

        • Tom22 says:

          Some people really don’t appreciate irony. Some people take a statement as its made. Others see words as evocative like a color or type of brush stroke on a oil painting canvas… harsh brush strokes in a Monet can paint a beucolic scene. For me, its unclear that the words are truly directed at others despite them literally saying that. But I think the opposite an be true too… where a buccolic scene really hides something more alientating than the face of it…. or a scene of strife isn’t about the tradgedy around the scene but a focus in one corner of a person overcoming the bedlam around them.

          If I sung the words to the song, I think they’d be more essentially self directed.. .. even though you’re saying “you better run from my gun”.. are you not saying that to your self.. are you not addressing yourself as a third party… saying “I better not self destruct here… I need to out run the stupid side of myself ?”

          I take it much more like that… or perhaps a venting in hyperbole. Don’t many of you swear outloud at the “stuping fing a-hole” who cut you off on the road, then see “oh its an old lady, that was silly of me” or really just find , no matter who it was, that you were really actually upset at someone at work and needed to take it out, privately and safely within your car, verbally on another person.. without really ever meaning it? Don’t you guys say things like “I could shoot him” with a smile on your face but some lingering anger abuout the lack of courtesy if say, a spouse deleted a program you wanted to watch on your DVR ?

          It feels good to say somethings and really, very often we mean mutiple things at once….we could mean “I should get the f past these stupid self-destrutive thoughts of mine, while at the same time saying … don’t get in my way and upset my life you old lady with a hat on …with a smile of course because.. well you don’t in anyway actually mean you’re mad at the old lady in the way on the road that’s f—-ing with your rush because its your fault and you didn’t leave on time. You’re calling her names but you know in your heart you were an idiot not to leave on time… you’re partly yelling at yourself.

          Songs, lyrics etc…really help us vent and really heal sometimes by voicing things we really don’t mean. The can run the whole gammut. “Run” means something in itself.. “Gun means something in itself”. They mean something together literally in a sentence.. but I can’t utter the word run without also quickly thinking of the exhilaration I got from running a 10 k race.. even if the sentence refers to someone else running the race.

          Harry… jeez.. misses the whole meaning of lyrics by trying to string them together… I suppose he’s actually

          • Name This Tune says:

            See it’s offensive if you live someplace where people you know have died because someone pulled a gun and wanted to create a situation where people are running from the gun.
            I have to pull back from any support for her because she now strikes me as a smart ass. I won’t vote for her. But I won’t listen and I won’t comment on her performance anymore. She is trying to win a crown on the deaths of people I know. In my opinion, she is done.

          • Tom22 says:

            I can hear you on that Name that Tune. It is important to know that some-people will find it far too close to their hearts to treat as they regard as flippantly. It is one thing to say something inside a car and another to say it to someones face. I was excusing motive YET, you are correct, there is no excuse for brining up hurtful images. (putting on the tinfoil hat… Washington redskins anyone? even if its only 2% doesn’t make it right .. and I believe this song might be well over 10% or even 20% who take it wrong as clearly the most literal meaning is atrocious.).

            You have convinced me on that after more thought. Defending intent is different from defending judgement of what might hurt others. I missed the bigger picture by only considering my own viewpoint.

          • Tom22 says:

            There might be some times and places for using shocking dichotomies for artistic effect but again I now do agree with you that a family entertainment show isn’t that place.

        • Jaszy says:

          I don’t agree that she’s unlikeable. I really like her personality. I feel that Jessica’s simply a bit shy, not awkwardly…bordering on painfully shy like Alex (in his package before he sang, he seemed pretty nervous when he was talking to Randy), or timid like Sam, but just…shy. I know it comes off as cold and like she’s not friendly, but really, the little I’ve seen of her, she seems really sweet.

      • Name This Tune says:

        Not friendly but more like pulling your leg. Did you get any of that? Did you feel like she was teasing you?

        I suspect you can get that from the original song. But this performance wasn’t different from any of her others.

        Expect to see the same thing next week. Jessica stands rock still at the mike and sings one of her set songs in a monotonous way. Maybe she will vary it with a frown. Maybe she will control the rougher part of her vibrato. But it will look pretty much the same.

        • Laura Mipsome says:

          I agree that there was just a little something missing from Jessica’s performance that might have made the smiling come across more as intended. The kicky/catchy song chorus is already bringing the “feel-good”, so I don’t think that needs to be reinforced too much. Any smiles during singing should have a sad/dark edge to them, but Jessica is not yet bringing real emotion to the surface. Her protective life shell is inhibiting her at present, but i think if she can drop that wall she will be very powerful. It may cause her to have a mental breakdown (as i get the sense this wall wasnt built overnight, and there are probably some very real causes for it) but it is imperative that she break through and start baring her heart if she wants to really reach people.
          I for one am hoping we get to see this happen.

        • Mary says:

          How do you feel about Alex, because he just stands there every week? I get no emotion from him what so ever.

      • marie says:

        I’ll admit I wasn’t familiar with most of the songs tonight, but that one in particular horrified me on a very basic, deep gut level. What an awful song – seemed to me to be of a piece with those disturbing TV shows these days that take us down into the minds of sociopaths, like Criminal Minds and The Following, which I don’t watch. I kind of got the impression that Harry reacted somewhat similarly.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          marie, I believe at least one contestant sang that song for their audition and at least one sang it in the airplane hanger. A number of Mr. Slezak’s followers suggested it as a possible song for Jessica. I rather liked the country twist she gave the song. While the lyrics are a bit disturbing her performance was good, IMO. It would bother me more to hear a very young girl singing the song.
          Like a lot of other readers here I’m surprised Harry didn’t say something to Sam about his song choice since he criticized Jessica’s smiling. Honestly, I think Sam was literally “saved by the bell” – they ran out of time! “We are Young” is a similarly weird song – starts out kind of dark, with lyrics about drug use in the bathroom and the singer giving his girlfriend a scar and then suddenly breaks out into a “sing-along, anthem” ditty on the chorus.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Great review. But I am pretty sure Jessica will not see the bottom this week. You are dead on about CJ, MK and Dexter. I think it’s time for all of them to go – though CJ is so dang likable. He emotes the heck out of a song, but the singing has a long way to go. For me, Dexter is the worse – it’s like he’s not even trying. It’s just weird.

      • Ben says:

        I agree. I’d prefer to see Dexter go. I think MK, but I think Michael is right that she WILL go. The moment I saw her song choice I thought so, and her performance did nothing to change my mind. CJ is more interesting than Dexter, and more likeable, but I also think he is generally speaking the weakest singer left.

  4. Marta says:

    “the second grade takes into account inappropriateness of/lack of connection to the lyrics for a high-school student”
    Slezak…teenagers actually do some of the things mentioned in the song…surprising, right? No.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Leaving a scar on his girlfriend’s face from a physical altercation? Blerg!

      • Marta says:

        It’s not really a song that calls for an emotional or even lyrical understanding.
        Just needs to sound as big and anthemic as possible

        • Ben says:

          EVERY song calls for lyrical and emotional understanding.

          • Matrix says:

            Is this Ben or Harry Connick Jr incognito?

          • Stormy says:

            Even Mairzy Doats? Or In A Gadda Da Vida in which the stoned lead singer meant to say In the garden of eden? Yeah okay.

          • JM says:

            Thank you, Stormy, for clearing up the ‘In a Gadda Da Vida’ mystery that I have been wondering about for years!

          • Ben says:

            @stormy – you forgot the alphabet song. So let me clarify my comment. Not every song in the world. Every song sung on idol. You are in a competition for votes. If you simply sing, instead of connecting, you will not win.

          • Stormy says:

            Isn’t the alphabet song the same melody as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Yes, it is. It’s also the tune of “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” So three children’s songs all go to the same tune. What kind of cheap production is this?

          • Marta says:

            Not really.

  5. Kristi says:

    So does Randy do anything besides stand there and nod his head during rehearsals?

    Aside from MK, CJ, and maybe Dexter, I thought this was the best live show yet. The fact that I knew all but one song probably helped too.

  6. Z says:

    I found tonight’s Harry bashing annoying. The notion that the judges shouldn’t be technical and precise in their critique (hello JLo) is typical of the simpleminded approach to so much on television. This year’s crop of kids in many cases need a lot of coaching. Harry’s remarks addressed many of the issues (intonation, emotion, lyric interpretation, stage presence, etc etc). Jennifer’s and Keith’s frequent veiled dismissals of those remarks tonight lowered my view of them. I read Michael’s interview with Keith and although I mostly agreed with the latter’s remarks, tonight was not balanced. Judges need to judge, not engage in dishonest ego soothing exercises.

    Tonight’s performances were a step back from last week. Especially poor were CJ and MK, with Dexter and Majesty below par. Improvements came from Alex and Malaya, while Jessica, Jena, Caleb and Sam were roughly equal to their recent efforts.

    Other than CJ and MK, who should be in the bottom 3, I think the gap between the remaining 8 is getting narrower as many of them are starting to find their groove. I’d say the top three tonight were Jena, Malaya and Alex, but the rest are not far behind. The differences are mostly a matter of taste.

    • Name That Tune says:

      And I 100% agree with him about not listening to the rehearsals. He’s judging their live performance and that’s what these guys want to be – live performers. It’s what you and I hear every time we watch the show.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Word. Who cares about rehearsal? No one sees that and we are not voting on that performance. Harry make a lot of sense to me.

        • Blank Slate says:

          But if “they” (yeah, right) didn’t o to rehearsal, how would they have their stacks of pre-scripted comments on the desk to say when the cameras roll?

      • Ben says:

        Sure, but the way Harry took Keith’s comment was ‘defense of CJ’. The way I took Keith’s comment was ‘CJ, the problem isn’t that you can’t sing in tune. The problem is that you let the live environment effect you’. And Keith was in a position to know this, but Harry was not.

        Keith was, on this occasion, in a better position to identify what CJs issue was because he was also listening to rehearsals and not seeing the mistakes mirrored there. When your job is to provide constructive criticism, putting yourself in the best possible position to give the best possible criticism isn’t a bad thing.

        • Mary says:

          Bingo, I agree 100%.

        • Name This Tune says:

          If you go to a CJ concert, you are not going to care that he sang perfectly during rehearsal. You are going to be po’d because he gave a lousy performance.

          • Ben says:

            Did you even read my post? In your scenario, I would be a paying customer. Keith is not a paying customer. He is PAID to help CJ get better. If I’m paid to help CJ get better, I’m not only going to show up to his live show.

          • Name This Tune says:

            Yeah, and I don’t think that the judges should watch the rehearsal. You are advocating that they do.

          • Ben says:

            I think there is value in both, and I think it is good that there is at least one judge who does each. But I don’t think Harry is ‘right’ and you seem to be advocating judges should only take that one approach. I just think there are different approaches to judging that achieve different things.

    • The Beach says:

      Thank you, thank you. You expressed very well what I was feeling, While Michael Slezak was praising JLo for her critiques, I felt she was incredibly childish from her smirks and leading the booing every time Harry didn’t agree with her to her sticking out her tongue. She just came across as a spoiled brat!

      • chris says:

        I completely agreed with Harry tonight but I didn’t mind Jennifer disagreeing with him. It’s good to see the other judges sticking up for their point of view. I think they’ve been trying to be so different from last year’s squabbling that they’ve been a bit boring. One of the things I miss from the Paula/Simon years is their sparring with each other in a friendly way. Harry’s great at the musical technicalities but Jennifer knows how to perform. They both gave good instructions to the singers tonight.

      • Mary says:

        I disagree, this is the first time that I think Jlo was spot on. I get the impression if Harry doesn’t like a song, the contestant is screwed. Lyrics are important but sometimes the melody just takes over and you can’t help but get into the song. Her smiling didn’t take away from the performance.

      • Tom22 says:

        I find the way Harry spins his comments the issue more than the comments themselves (although even I don’t agree with the subtance too, that isn’t the issue.). Bag the term “judge” entirely. They are coaches. A judge would need an eniterly different set of criteria and assign numerical scores within the criteria and tablutlate them etc. What they are doing is giving commentary and the commentary is both part of the entertainment
        …(not just humor but by adding undertsanding from a professionals viewpoint for the audience to contemplate themselves– its interesting to hear Accomplished starts talk about the craft they know about)
        … and live advice for the singers. Advice does focus a lot on what went wrong but also has a lot to do with “see what you did there, do that again next time..” Coaches pull players out of sporting games and tell them soemthing like.. they were winning the matchup cutting inside.. stop cutting oustide” or something like that. They don’t say “that was bad that you cut outside”.

    • Erin says:

      Well said, Z. I don’t usually read a post longer than 4 lines (or write one) but you got me.

    • JM says:

      Amen 100%. I was so happy to see Harry back to his old self telling the truth. The other two just looked silly in comparison. Anyone can tell that Harry is the true professional.

      • Mary says:

        I personally find Keith more professional. He gives positive and negatives which Harry doesn’t always do. Tonight Harry reminded me of Simon, the part I didn’t like, if he doesn’t get or like a song he attacks. I have no problem if he critiques the performance but lets be real, did her smiling take away from the performance, not in my eyes. She even explained why she did it.

        • JM says:

          Yeah, I should have clarified my meaning. I meant that they looked silly the way they disagreed with Harry, i.e. JLo booing, etc. I DO think that some of the actual critiques they gave were valid, however.

    • marie says:

      Totally agree about Harry. He is really doing what he should do, i.e., offer actionable criticism. Koi was really grating on my nerves with her silly booing (although I do think this year she is finally doing more of what she’s paid so much to do).

  7. David says:

    CAN’T BELIEVE you have Majesty lower than jena, but interested to read your thinking behind that. I loved Majesty tonight and her itunes recording is amazing.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Oh, thanks. I’ll check out ITunes. I voted for Majesty. I thought her performance was authentic and touching. I just like Jena at the piano. That is when she is most powerful. I thought she was okay tonight. But nothing compelling.

      • The Beach says:

        I agree with you about Jena tonight. I thought she was just ok (and she was terrific last week). I was surprised she got such effusive praise from all the judges.

        • Idolhead Ed says:

          The reason they were so effusive, is the first two were hideously horrible. A Duck call would have gotten the same praise. I am a Jena fan and was wondering at the time if she sounded relatively good or really good. I had to go back and watch and she was good but not up to last week’s high bar she set. .

          • Kevin says:

            vocally not as good as last week, but If you look at Jena’s top 13/12 performance where she’s also not at the piano, her stage presence has grown tremendously! Hope she stays!

    • Ben says:

      I agree with you tonight David. When I voted my top 3, I felt Alex and Malaya were clearly out in front with a gap, but ultimately I had Majesty third. Jena, on the other hand, I felt had one of her weaker performances. It says something to me that the thing I enjoyed most about it was seeing the whole room filled with glow sticks. I don’t feel like there were comparisons between that and her Paramore cover last week. This week was, for me, just basically bad song choice.

      • Mary says:

        I guess that’s what makes the world go round. I liked Jena performance, but I will admit that last week was better. She could of sat behind the piano and probably had a more stellar performance but she took a chance and I thought she did an admirable job. Majesty is loosing ground in my eyes. I think she is to young for this competition. I said it a couple of weeks back. JLo hit the nail on the head, she has to toughen up. Alex can rearrange a song like no other, but his performances always leave me flat and personally I do not like his voice.

  8. David says:

    Do they ever announce if any of the itunes recordings have charted?

  9. Mike says:

    MK – I would have preferred if she stayed infront of the large glass/mirror and sang the sung very slow. Stripped it off ala All Of Me. Cause anytime she starts singing that needs interaction with the crowd – it goes downhill.

    Alex & Jena – well what else do you expect? They’re here to stay!!!

    Malaya is starting to really play the game.

    Caleb is just F fantastic! I’d rather see him do songs like this. Pop-rock is his genre not plain rock. As they told him weeks ago, what can you bring to rock & roll, I really think his pop-rock sense and tone are perfect for this genre.

    Sam’s voice = dope. Really like how pure his voice is. Loved how he only slowed down some parts of the song as many are expecting him to sing a very slow subdued song to save his ass up from last week’s disaster. This was really good for me. But I want more.

    Jessica – Strong performance. Strong voice!! But gotta agree with HCJ, she needs to stop smiling if the song doesn’t warrant it.

    Should be bottom 3: CJ, Dexter, MK
    Will be bottom 3: CJ, MK and Jessica (I do hope Dexter but if the country votes save him)
    Should go home: Dexter
    Will go home: CJ

    • Pbodyandpreach says:

      I totally freaking agreeeee

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I think MK is a goner.

      • Mary says:

        Me too unless she still gets the sympathy votes, then it will be CJ. I think most of us are agreeing on the bottom three. MK, CJ and Dexter. I will be surprise if Jessica is in the bottom Mike, can’t see that happening.

    • JM says:

      While I agree that Caleb singing pop-rock makes him stand out more vocally, I didn’t like his song choice tonight. It just didn’t suit him.
      Sam slowed the Fun song down too much for my taste.
      But I agree about Jessica. Loved her vocals, but the mannequin smiling has got to go.

      • Mike says:

        I agree too! I just like that Caleb has been spot on with his performances and song choices. Last week’s brilliance is still in my head. I’ll forgive him for an “okay” song choice this week.

        • The Beach says:

          Yeah, I had to kinda chuckle at Caleb The Rocker’s choices that last 2 weeks…first Adele and now Gaga.

          • Mike says:

            I bet his friends are ridiculing him for the artists he has chosen the past 2 weeks – why? Cause his Caleb the “rocker”! BUT NO ONE CAN DENY HOW TALENTED HE IS! He is fantastic. And doing Gaga and Adele (and making it WORK!!) will buy him more fans. I really didnt like him that much to begin with, but he has grown on me. This is what happens when talented people SING!

          • The Beach says:

            I’m with ya, Mike. He didn’t start out on my radar but has proven himself over and over again and he his now at or near the top. It probably did indeed broaden his audience by doing the Adele and Gaga songs.

          • Mike says:

            What’s the theme for next week? I feel like Caleb is gunning for One Direction!!! Hahaha

          • justsaying says:

            he’s a music theater kid. his friends are right with him on his choices i’m sure.

    • ThatBob says:

      Dexter should have been shipped back home weeks ago, but he wasn’t and now we’re going to be stuck with him for a long time. He won’t even be bottom three this week. The WGWG force is with him: if lumbering bar-band country doofus Tate could win X Factor, Dex could even win this thing.

    • deedee says:

      Completely agree about Caleb. As a straight rocker, he can’t add much to the genre, and comes off as a tribute band front-man. As a pop-rock singer he adds a little muscle to current songs. I wrote him off as a gimmick act in the early rounds, but in the last 2 weeks he’s really turned me around.

  10. Davey says:

    I honeatly don’t think any of the contestants deserve to win but I do like listening to Alex, Caleb, Majesty — and Sam because though he’s bland at times he doesn’t sing off key. He’s just so young and could be something in a few years.

    • ChrissieK says:

      Well someone will win and then just fall back into obscurity?

      • MamaLis says:

        I absolutely can see Alex having a LONG career in music. His JOY is music. He plays 15 instruments. And he’s genius in his approach to arrangements. Besides that, I dig what he does.

        BTW. Did anyone see that article that charted the past winners of IDOL in order of “Millionaire Net Worth?” Holy buckets! MANY are doing quite well!!

  11. Owen says:

    The most disturbing thing on tonight’s American Idol was not the first half of my Majesty’s song…it’s how many people apparently have never listened to the very dark lyrics of “Pumped Up Kicks”…

    • Danny says:

      @Owen- Guilty as charged. Amazing at how more than once you’ve said something and I’m reading it and thinking “yupppppp, that’s me.” DOH!! You do bring up good points though. Keep up the good work.

    • Ayelet says:

      Yeah, although I think what Jennifer was trying to say but didn’t articulate very well is that it’s a song built on lyrical dissonance. The listener is supposed to jam out to it all happily until they pause and realize how creepy it all is…

      • The Beach says:

        But JLo said she didn’t have a clue what the lyrics were to that song, which in itself is pretty shocking.

      • JM says:

        This is exactly how I reacted to the song. Jammed to it, then wait a minute…

        • TH says:

          That is exactly what was supposed to happen the song was written about columbine. The kids were going about their happy high school day not realizing the darkness of the two kids and what they plan to do. It was Harry who did not understand dark lyrics mask by upbeat tune.
          Jess comes of like been there done that I just need exposer. She is cocky and not as good as she think she is but she is consistent. I believe thats the disconnect we feel. She says she’s a rocker but always sound country I don’t think we will see growth form her.
          Poor MK she needs guidance but isn’t getting it . she needed to do like Malaya, Stand still until you get better control but I still like her. Caleb missed the mark tonight gaga starts out vulnerable just piano then rises in the song thats the dynamic he missed.

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      True. It was probably the only song tonight that I’ve heard of, but I had never really Heard it.
      Jessica has a way of making me listen when she sings. So many of the others I just kind of tune out.

  12. David says:

    Totally agree that this was by far Jennifer’s best night. So sad that tomorrow all that credibility will go out the window with that God-awful “song”.

    • Mike says:

      Hey now! We dont know if the song will suck! Hahahahaha I’m kidding.

      But as a young adult man, I do hope she wears something ummm nice! That should cover my time. I’ll just mute the television Ha ha ;)

    • Danny says:

      @David- Ok, I couldn’t help but laugh at that quip. It’s 100% spot on though.

  13. Pbodyandpreach says:

    Totally agree!!!

  14. Bartleby says:

    The one thing I learned tonight is that the “popular” songs from the last 3 years have sucked horribly.

  15. LeahKittyS says:

    Alex wins everything. He’s from my school, he plays guitar, he can really sing, he picked a One Direction song, and he made it his own. Close second was Jessica. Love that song, love her, and the band didn’t mess her up this time, yay! And Majesty is back in action! Double yay! MK went first and didn’t deliver like I hoped she would…not so yay. But I’m still voting for her. Her, Majesty, Jess, and Jena get my votes for the girls.
    Also, I had no problem with Sam singing “We Are Young.” Why is it not okay for teenagers to sing lyrics about drugs or sex? We’re not as innocent as we were in the 1950s.
    As for Dexter: OMG why is nobody seeing through him? He is as generic as store-brand cereal. Did you notice he had to say “brand new pickup with the lift kick?” Apparently you can’t say “Chevy” on Idol LOL. Sorry, bro, as much as I love Labradors and country music, I don’t know how much more of you I want right now. But I’ll see you on the tour.

    • Mike says:

      Also, I had no problem with Sam singing “We Are Young.” Why is it not okay for teenagers to sing lyrics about drugs or sex? We’re not as innocent as we were in the 1950s. —- yep, totally agree!!!! EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!

    • Name That Tune says:

      I had no problem with him singing it. But he was duller than dishwater.

    • Wait, you went to Souheegan? Where do you live? I’m from Manchester.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        No, I live in Massachusetts. But Alex went to UNH, where I am now a student.

        • Ah, okay. I go to UNH Manchester, and a bunch of my friends went to Souheegan. Alex is friends with my friends Derek and Lucas. Small world.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Small world, indeed. I’m on the Durham campus. Alex is friends with the guys in a band called Pants Are a Myth, who plays the Grind like I do. Do you follow UNH Confessions? Every week we get the reminder to vote for Alex.

    • Nedsdag says:

      Alex is good, but as Angie proved last season, being from an area that doesn’t support AI contestants (New England) doesn’t bode well for him. Can he break the cycle? It remains to be seen.

      • MamaLis says:

        Um…… Alex – Angie = NO Comparison!
        Angie was good but….. Alex is in an ENTIRELY different league than Angie.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      My issue with Sam is not the lyrics, but that he remains stiff and tentative. I am sure he will grow out of this in time, but he can’t pull off a song that requires sheer abandon and bravado – and a youthful arrogance. That song requires a lion to sound authentic – or interesting for that matter – but we got a sweet little kitten instead.

      • Mytake says:

        Everytime I watch him sing all I can think to myself is “they need to stop pumping that boys face full of Botox!” Watching him sing is like hearing music coming from a blank wall. It sounds good but there is zero engagement.

  16. osborn1116 says:

    If we are dinging Sam for lyrical choice why aren’t we for Jessica?

    • Bartleby says:

      Because she was actually aware of what she was singing about.

      • osborn1116 says:

        So if Sam knows he’s singing about bars and physical abuse he wouldn’t be dinged for singing those lyrics? yea that makes sense. Plus he dinged him for inappropriateness and lack of connection….so Jessica’s was apporpriate and she connected to a homicidal school shooting?

        • Mike says:

          Tell them!!!!!

        • Bartleby says:

          Did we “ding” Foster the People for singing that song in the first place? That song was incredibly popular despite pretty awful lyrical content. But the pre-song packages at least showed that she knew what she was getting herself into with that song. Not saying it was a great song choice by her, but it was pretty clear that Sam really didn’t get what he was singing.

          • osborn1116 says:

            So by your logic did we ding .fun for the lyrical content? I mean you can’t have it both ways. It’s either appropriate or not. Even if she knew, it doesn’t make it appropriate or make her connect to a song any better.

            I also have a hard time beliving that Sam didn’t know what he was singing about when the actual lyric is “asking bout a scar, I know i gave it to you months ago”. I can at least conclude that Sam can read. There isn’t much in that left to interpretation. Inapproriate yes but I think he understood what he was singing there

          • Bartleby says:

            Not trying to have it both ways. I think the Foster the People song is awful on so many levels, and in no way do I think she should have sang it. But to me there was a clear difference in interpretation of the lyrics between the two. And honestly, I can’t say with any certainty that Sam knew what he was singing about because he has had no emotional connection to anything he has sang in the live shows and if he was smart enough to read, he wouldn’t have picked that song. Remember, she is in her 20’s and has been doing this for a while and he’s a vulnerable high school kid.

        • Bartleby says:

          Truthfully, neither of them should have sang the songs they did.

          • osborn1116 says:

            I agree! I just don’t like dinging some contestants when others should be too or at least it should be acknowledged. I know Jessica is one of Michael’s favorites but you’ve got to call them all out equally

          • GuitarBlue says:

            True – there’s still a line that some of us hope should not be crossed on this show. Anybody listened to the lyrics or seen the videos on some of today’s popular rap songs? And young kids in their early teens just love it, link it on their social pages. Nikki Minaj has several, and she was an esteemed Judge for Idol.

        • Tahoe Mike says:

          Sam isn’t old enough to have ever been in a bar, so it seems weird when he sings about one. Honestly he would have been even freakier singing the song that Jessica did, because it is so often kids just like Sam who actually feel and do the things it her song. That is not to say anything about Sam, just that it is so often the seemingly normal middle class kid who does those things. Sam singing “Pumped Up Kicks,” in his disconnected way would have been creepy as hell!

      • OhMy says:

        Not convinced she understood.

    • tealeaves says:

      Yikes, I had to go back and reread Slezak’s comments to understand what was wrong with Sam’s song! Seriously, I am very familiar with the song, the lyrics, and the video. It has NEVER occurred to me We Are Young indicates the singer physically scarred his girl’s face! Never.
      As for Jessica’s song, the song became very popular before people realized what the lyrics where because the original sort of slurs the provocative words. I think Jessica did a great job with that song.

    • Mary says:

      I think Harry kind of did.

  17. Kaba says:

    I actually thought CJ was worse than MK.
    At least MK started off in tune and her real issue was how off she was with the rhythm.
    I don’t think CJ sang a single note NOT sharp.

    • Owen says:

      I also think CJ was worse than MK. But they both will and should be in the bottom. What’s sorta nice is, I’m not sure there is a definite third this week.

    • Erin C says:

      totally agree….CJ definitely deserves to go home before MK

    • lla says:

      He was def worst than MK. He seems like a great guy–but that was bad tonite.

    • The Beach says:

      They were both really painful to watch. The judges were too kind to MK saying she got back into it after a flub of the lyrics. That wasn’t a flub but a total brain fart that seemed to go on forever. CJ was just plain terrible…badly off-key the entire song. This would be a good week for one of their double eliminations.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        This X 10000. Thank you.

      • justsaying says:

        I’m surprised noone has commented on her expression for the rest of the show. she looked seriously dejected and miserable. and all i could think was, man, you’re not doing yourself any favors by looking like you know you’re going home already. and people that are rooting for you might get turned off if they think you look “surly”. we’ve seen that other years, whether it’s “fair” or not.

        • Michelle says:

          I was wondering if anyone else noticed too. She was visibly upset the rest of the show. Tough night for her. I don’t know that I could mask my disappointment in her shows either.

          • MamaLis says:

            Quick Question: Having watched what now equates to probably…10 hours worth of American Idol, what exactly would be the difference between MK’s “visibly upset” look and say…..
            – her “visibly excited” look?
            – Or perhaps, her “visibly flustered” look?
            – Or even her “visibly ecstatic” look?

            I’m just curious because in my mind… I’m picturing her one “look” and I don’t know that I’ve seen another. =0

          • Mark says:

            Her other look features a backward ball cap.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I think I know the problem. Look up MK and her girlfriend, Casey Ellis, on Instagram or Twitter. When they are together MK looks happier. I think she really misses Casey.

        • Blank Slate says:

          I noticed as I wrote above in a separate moment. Seeing her sadness depressed ME.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Ha, just listened to both performances. Those are bad!! And I agree, CJ was actually way worse than MK. Since the judges’ comments aren’t included on youtube, did they crucify him for being a half step pitch sharp for almost the entire duration of the song? MK’s voice is not bad, but it sounds like she came in 2 beats before her entrance. Yikes.

      Any good ones I should listen to? Anything that would give Kat Perkins a run for her money?

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Do I risk humiliation by asking who Kat Perkins is?

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          She’s an awesome front runner on a show that you don’t like. :)

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Oh. Okay. And I can’t really say I don’t like what I haven’t seen. I just never liked the idea of an Idol knockoff, plus I’m way too busy to start watching another reality show. At least scripted shows I can catch in full on Hulu.

        • Mytake says:

          Contestant on the voice

      • JM says:

        Alex was fav tonight.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Listened to Alex. He’s not bad! I don’t know the song he was singing, but he’s got a style. Even if it’s not my style, I respect that he’s got a signature thing going on.

        • MamaLis says:

          TOTALLY agree. I became a huge fan of Alex literally during Hollywood week when I saw his youtube Balcony TV performance of Fairytales. To me, this guy is so leaps and bounds advanced in his musicianship and sense of musicality, you can FEEL his joy of music and literally, that music is his LIFE. I LOVE it!!

          I also agree with an earlier post that the gap is widening between contestants that are “getting it” and those that are not. When Harry delivers precise feedback (that may not be pleasant), the contestants that use that to grow – are really growing! (Alex, Malaya, for example.) Some are harboring in the middle… and others are starting to fall WAY behind.

      • Kaba says:

        Though you might like the way Malaya changed up “When I was Your Man” simply because it’s a bit different and not all big and bold like she usually is.
        Everyone was nothing amazing. I’d say Malaya was the best of the night.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Ah, she’s running into the same problem Jacquie Lee had on the Voice: doesn’t quite know how to sing softly. It wasn’t bad though. You’re right. And I liked that she was really working with the lyrics the way she was. Yup, not bad.

          • Kaba says:

            I think she can pull it off better than Jacquie. I kind of like to think that it isn’t that singers like her and Jacquie cannot sing low, it’s that they’re only interesting when big and bold. Or at least Jacquie was.
            I came across a few vines of her singing softly, it’s rather good. If only Christina had picked better songs for her to do that. Though, it seems kind of….(hate this word) affected when she’s singing. She sounds like she has some speech impediment or accent.
            I have high hopes for Malaya because she appears to be growing the most out of all of them.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            When I was still watching more closely, I thought Malaya was underrated. I heard she majorly flubbed a big performance, which I fortunately missed. But I approve of her doing well. She’s got talent, that girl.
            I guess what I meant with singing softly is both Jacquie and Malaya lose their breath support, which turns into whisper singing as opposed to singing. With a mic that’s less of an issue, and given their type of music I’m guessing it won’t hold either of them back a ton. Listen to the hot Latina chick from last night’s final battle round to hear what I mean (MJ?). She’s still connected to the breath even when she’s singing softly.

          • Kaba says:

            Ah I see what you mean looking at that battle and Malaya again. Yeah, she flubbed a song that, truth be told, I think everyone expected her to flub. Bruno Mars isn’t always an artist people can just sing so easily and she picked a pretty weird song.
            Though as I said I enjoy Malaya and hope she continues to just keep getting better as a result of this.

        • The Beach says:

          By far the best Malaya has sung on this show. I actually enjoyed her tonight.

          • marie says:

            I did too, for the first time, and voted for her for the first time.

          • Kayk says:

            My first time really enjoying Malaya too! I love her normal exuberance but it seems to make her sing all shouty..not this week, though! Finally!!

      • del says:

        As much as I would like to tell you differently, there is no one here that would even come close to Kat. I thought this would be a very different AI year, and in so many ways it is….but not with the caliber of singing I thought we would get. That’s why I’m enjoying The Voice so much more. Even the singers that I don’t love on there don’t make me sleep through them like Idol does.

      • tealeaves says:

        Everything would give Kat Perkins a run for her money except MK, CJ, and Dexter

      • marie says:

        I wouldn’t essay Harry “crucified” CJ for being sharp throughout, but he did, very professionally, counsel him to work hard on staying in tune.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Agree. Harry did what he’s being paid to do.

        • The Beach says:

          I’m not trying to be mean, honestly I’m not…I just don’t think CJ realizes he sings off-key. Even listening back on his performances I think he feels like he sang well. He just may not have an “ear” for pitch.

          • Ben says:

            Keith says CJ does have a good ear, and that he doesn’t sing off pitch when he isn’t live, so I’m inclined to believe that… which just makes it even more odd really.

      • justsaying says:

        yes. harry even sung him the half pitch difference just to make it clear to him. cause i think he was worried that CJ just wasn’t getting it since he keeps doing it.

    • marie says:

      I didn’t like either performance. CJ was sharp throughout, and MK was vocally shaky and tentative. Based on tonight, I’m over both of them, at least for now (can’t predict anything on this nutty season).

  18. Visions of Johanna says:

    I really wanted to like Majesty but I found the way she kept gasping for breath after every phrase really distracting.

    • Erin says:

      I think being in the bottom knocked the sparkle out of Majesty and now she is just another mortal gasping for the breath of life in this competition, quite literally. Did I just rock a metaphor?. Slezak you’re helping people! Unless I didn’t, then you’re just entertaining, which is still pretty good.

      • Mary says:

        In the minority, I liked it. Jena has a voice either you like or don’t and sometimes certain songs helps pull it out more. She looked relax and got into the song, which it was nice to see since most of these contestants are stiff. I will say it wasn’t perfect and last week was better, but she better not be in the bottom three.

  19. How could you give anything other than a D- to Jena’s badly sung, trainwrecky, glowsticky performance? I’m so confused.

    • For sizzle though, even Kimberley Locke tweeted that she ruined that Zed song, and she’s one of the nicest people ever.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Yeah, I didn’t get Jena at all.

    • JM says:

      I so agree with you. When the judges were praising her, I thought ‘Did we hear different performances?’, because that was awful! So much so that her performance was one of the ones I FF thru the second half of the song.

    • Lauren says:

      It was an absolutely terrible performance and easily one of the worst of the night, but I think she’s Michael’s favorite so even if she came out on stage and vomited he wouldn’t rate it below a “B-“

    • justsaying says:

      since it was the same melody on repeat, she finally did get it right a few times about halfway through. but it started horrendously. Jena’s grown on me. Last week’s performance was almost perfect. But her voice is out of control, and it doesn’t always work. It’s great to have a unique voice but not so great when you don’t know how and when to use it. I would like to know if she can actually sing withOUT all that overvibrato and sliding between pitches that she does. if she’s going to do that, she can only do songs that work with that. i also think she got more comfortable once the audience really got into it with the glow sticks and that might’ve helped her relax her voice a bit as well.

  20. I also think Alex, Majesty, and Sam didn’t deserve above a C+. They were all so dulllllllllllllllllllll.

    • JM says:

      Sorry, but I disagree about Alex. He was the best tonight.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      But did they sing well? Dull doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Take Katy Perry as the perfect anti-example. She’s not dull at all and she’s bleepin’ horrible.

      • Nope, they all sang perfectly fine. That’s why they deserve to be in the higher Cs. The probably was that they sucked all the energy out of the songs they were given and managed to bore me to tears. Majesty was terrified and put me to sleep instead of “Waking Me Up” and Sam just wasn’t connecting to the song at all…he really turned that performance in. Alex is the only one I understand why people liked because he tried something a little different, but he still wasn’t animated at any point in his performance and the arrangement didn’t work for me.

  21. OhMy says:

    This is not a stellar bunch.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      You’ve just noticed? LOL but my expectations were never high for this season, just because the show is old. So I’m happy with what I’m getting from them now.

    • Stormy says:

      That’s a masterpiece of understatement. Some of them barely escape being black holes.

  22. tealeaves says:

    I loved the show tonight. There were many delightful performances. The judges were a lot of fun. This is by far the best judging panel. They sincerely have different opinions and for the most part were able to express them succinctly.

  23. Kristal Watters says:

    I thought it was a good show. There were at least 2 great performances, 5, good, and the rest were a bit meh. I did disagree with Harry about Jessica’s performance. It’s an ironic song. There was nothing wrong with the way she performed it. The song has unhappy lyrics, but a happy sound.

    • tealeaves says:

      I agree. i loved the show tonight. I think Harry was too harsh on Jessica because I think the original song has a tune/mood that does not match the lyrics so there is no problem with her not singing it more darkly. Overall, I loved the performances AND the judging.

  24. I was one of that persons who never pay attention to the lyrics of Pumped up Kicks

    • All the Elekids with the pumped up kicks better run better run, outrun my Furret!

    • tealeaves says:

      Pumped Up Kicks is one of those songs where it is not initially clear what the lyrics are. The song became a hit because people loved the sound and mood of the song without realizing what the lyrics were.

    • The Beach says:

      That’s why I think this little song is such a jewel. They paired a totally catchy, can’t help but sing along with it melody with scary dark lyrics.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I up-vote what The Beach said. I love this song and understood the lyrics and the irony from the first listen.

    • Zoo says:

      Me, too. My husband started talking about the lyrics while I was sitting there enjoying the peppy tune and not listening to the words. I was also thinking how pretty Jessica looked tonight. What planet was I on?

  25. Mytake says:

    I may have to cut off my tongue or rather my fingers after I say this, but I was really surprised at the astuteness of JLo’s defense and explanation of how Jess interpreted her song. It’s why she was smiling part of the time while singing. It was sort of a “wink wink” I’m sliding the meaning of the song underneath the fun bop of the music which was the whole intent of the original. Harry just didn’t get it.
    I also seriously loved Keith’s imitation of Harry with the gobbledegoop music terms. I had to rewind and watch that a few times it made me laugh so hard. As in past Idol with Keith as a judge, he has these subtle moments where you understand his immense intelligence and corresponding razor sharp wit.

    • tealeaves says:

      Honestly, I really appreciated JLo tonight. She held her own with valid observations and often a different point of view from the others. She was right on point telling MK that she was best at the start of the song when she was looking in the mirror. But I think with MK what was important is she is best when she is standing still and singing. For the second singer, Dexter, Jlo apparently was making the correct point but she took the Mariah Carey route to saying it. But overall, she had a great night. It was a great night of judging all around IMO.

    • Tom22 says:

      Keith is immensely intelligent. It is really remarkable how some people can be extremely intelligent yet express themselves in ways that have no pretension and actually make extraordinarily complex ideas approachable and more understandable. They give people fresh insights to let people make their own decisions instead of sharing thoughts in ways that sound like lecturing angling toward a given conclusion. I wish I had Keith’s abilities to express himself.. even a little bit of it. (I waxed on more about it in the Keith urban interview thread).

  26. :( says:

    Jessica seems to be the most polarizing contestant of the pack, and I think it’s only helping her. She might be the last girl standing.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      Good point. Plus in a battle-round, she would be a tough cookie to sing against.

    • Jaszy says:

      and that would make my day. I definitely wouldn’t mind Jess being the last girl. She’s just great to me. She does need to step it up, however. The pack is only going to keep getting smaller and smaller, so she needs to push herself more. and if I have to hear the words ‘set list’ from her one more time I’m going to SCREAM. Jessica is SO much more than her set list.

  27. billnyc says:

    I really like that all of the judges are continuing to give articulate, real and actionable feedback. Harry doesn’t hold back! I also appreciate when all three of them go back and forth with each other on their opinions. Sooooo much better than since Simon. Actually like it better than with Simon too because now all three judges are giving nuanced feedback plus if Harry is the “new Simon,” he does it better because he goes deeper into what is wrong and right so that the contestant and audience have an opportunity to learn.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Yup, I like that critiques as well. All of the judges are doing a really smart job of arguing their opinions. And there is definitely no sugar coating. I think the real winner this season is the judging panel.

      • Tom22 says:

        I’d mostly agree.. although I think Harry is still learning how to spin the content of his comments in ways that inspire deeper appreciation of music in the audience and using more complimentary examples of other artists to explore what was missing ? I know they don’t have all the time in the world and understand that sort of thing takes lots of practice, but I think Keith has got it down… how to express what he (Keith) feels in a way that is less deflating while still expressing misgivings and areas for improvement..
        The real loser of the season it the producer who either gave inadequate funding for the band to hire the best, or insufficient funding for a new group to have a month of paid practice time together to gel (yes , I understand that’s hundreds of thousands of extra dollars.. but this is a music show that lives and dies by the quality of the musical performances the contestants give. The arrangements and practice time and over all grace of the entirety of the performance where voice compliments band and band compliments and showcases the strengths of the voices (sometimes by holding back and only giving very subtle symbol brushes to accentuate a tone of a particular singer etc). There was something that was not broke that they broke even though they’ve improved so many things it was an important thing they broke.

  28. Khs says:

    I’m fairly certain the “scar” in Fun.’s “We are Young” signifies emotional scarring, rather than a literal physical scar. Not to mention this song first became popular after it was covered on Glee, a high school show! Not the best performance from Sam but I actually really enjoyed the beginning. Loved Jessica and Alex. Caleb and Malaya continue to impress (surprisingly). Sorry but Majesty does not seem to be learning or growing in a positive way; however this has to be the week that CJ goes home, right ?

    • justsaying says:

      Oh sigh… This song was popular before glee, thank you. Not everyone is into that show (and i say this as someone who watched it weekly the first season). Classic case of transference.

  29. Lynn says:

    This show has hit a new low. I’m guessing (hoping) that this is a curved grading system, because none of those performances was anywhere near wow or even semi wow. The most entertaining part was watching Harry and Keith trade barbs about lyrics and melody and also listening to Keith and Jennifer scramble to try to explain why smiling while you’re talking about shooting other people is OK. If there is any justice in the world, they will put poor MK out of her misery and send her home. She clearly doesn’t want to be there. I find it interesting that the humble and earnest contestants seem to be struggling while the two that beat the same tired dead horse every week seem smug and obnoxious, even when criticized.You want to know what a top 10 show should be? Check out season 8’s top 10. A fantastic show with the dreaded theme of “Motown.” This season is pitiful.

    • Jojo says:

      Other than Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, and Adam Lambert, I feel that season 8 was incredibly lacking. Maybe Season 11 top 10?

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I don’t feel that Season 8 was lacking at all. I think 5, 8, and 11 were very strong groups all around, with some shocking eliminations but nobody who stayed too long.

      • Lynn says:

        Sure, the Billy Joel week was great. Loved Piano Man, and I actually never cared for Billy Joel’s version. Take the worst performance of that week or season 8’s, and it will be a million times better than anything on tonight.

        • Jojo says:

          I disagree with the worst performances from those nights, because there were some definite stinkers. Of the current contestants, I personally feel that the only ones who’ve been consistent so far have been Caleb, Alex, and Malaya(minus her top 13 performance, which was some what of a train wreck).

      • tealeaves says:

        Jojo, I agree with you on Season 8, except I also liked Matt Giraud a lot.
        Season 8 was a season where based on the auditions and Hollywood I had a bunch of early favorites. But after that Adam’s the only early favorite that held up. Kris and Allison came out of nowhere and were great. Most of the top 10 were okay but really only had 1 or maybe 2 good performances.

        • Danny says:

          @Tea- Yea, Matt had a coolness about him that I liked. He had that jazzy feel. I thought he was better than everyone except for Allison that year. Allison is my #2 or 3 all time Idol. She was dynamite. For whatever reason though, she couldn’t get any judging love.

      • Ben says:

        I liked season 8s top 10, but I don’t rank them as highly as this years. Agree with you, other top 10s are much better (like season 11).

    • tealeaves says:

      @Lynn I completely disagree except that I do think MK is going home. I loved the show tonight. I think every single one of these contestants is different style and they all have something special. This is an episode I will replay many times. In fact, I am replaying it now.

      • Lynn says:

        Weren’t you the one that asked me if I was dumb because I predicted Sam would be in the bottom 3 last week?

        • tealeaves says:

          ha ha, no, that was not me. In fact, I noted the person who bet we would NOT be in the bottom and thought I should go back and comment if that really did happen… but then I did not bother.

        • Ben says:

          Lol Lynn I remember that post!!! The kind of person who thinks that people like Scotty and Phil only succeeded because they were good looking white guys with guitars, and miss the fact that they also had an x factor that Sam often lacks (and certainly did last week, while performing first).

        • tealeaves says:

          @Lynn, I just had to go back and check. It is someone called “greenleaf” that called you dumb last week. Not me.

    • Kaba says:

      Nobody would continue this process if they didn’t want to be there. We’ve seen people leave before.
      The problem is she doesn’t know how to show how much she wants to be there, though I think that’s thanks to her lax personality in general. I often got that “you don’t take this serious” comment all the time because of my demeanor and just the sound of my voice when the truth is I was very, very serious about certain things.
      It’s all about showing, and she can’t really show it quite well.

      • Lynn says:

        I’m not disrespecting her or her talent, or suggesting she doesn’t take it seriously. I agree with Harry’s assessment. She would do great in a studio recording but being a stage performer is very different. I’m saying she doesn’t do very well with all the trappings that go along with a TV show. All the production, I mean, and she seems uncomfortable with it.

    • Danny says:

      @Lynn- I agree that Season 8 was better than this year. Last week a few of us discussed if this season was better than last. At least w/ Season 8 you’ve got a point. I thought the top 6 were all real good. I had Allison as #1, Matt as #2, Kris as #3, Adam #4. Danny got ripped a lot, but I thought he was pretty solid for most of the year. In his case I think the story of his wife turned against him since it seemed the producers were trying to milk it (plus a brutal Dream On- but by that time a lot of people were sick of him). Lil Rounds was good too. She was that years designated punching bag though. She couldn’t catch a break.

      I felt Season 11 topped it by a nudge, since it had 7 good singers. Still, Season 8 was flippin awesome. So yea, if you’re gonna compare this year to Season 8, it falls short. Then again, most seasons fall short when compared to that one. I remember that Motown week. I thought pretty much every song was well done. Michael Jackson week that year was pretty dang good. Even the 3rd set of 12 in the previous round was fantastic. There were other weeks too where pretty much everyone shined. Those are just the ones off the top of my head. That was definitely an awesome year.

      • Mary says:

        Danny and Lynn I agree – season 8 was the best for me, first time I even voted. Although I don’t agree with your order Danny I will say that the whole top ten were entertaining even Megan Joy.
        Lil couldn’t catch a break because she is like majesty this year. Audition well, but never came across on stage. Danny was alright but I thought he was over praised. His dream on performance was classic example of producers manipulation, A for effort my a… and fan base pushing him through. For me only two or maybe three contestants stand out for me that I would actually purchase music from, but I still think the worst year was season 9. I only liked Crystal.

        • Danny says:

          Oh wow!! Forgot all about Megan Joy that year. I knew an uncle of hers from online. Sorta like I know the people here. I remember feeling bad cuz I thought at least 6 and I think maybe even 7 or 8 were better than her. I was torn. I wished her well. I wanted her to sing better, but I couldn’t honestly say she should win.
          Season 9 was overall bad. I loved Crystal (top 10 all time) but my fav was Siobhan. I also loved Didi’s voice. She wasn’t the best singer, but her voice drove me up the wall in a good way. For some reason I also enjoyed Tim. No, I didn’t think he was good. It’s not like I enjoy bad singing. He kept a positive attitude and smiled as the judges nuked him every week. Since that year was so bad, in a demented way I wanted him to finish 4th behind Siobhan, Crystal, and Didi.

          • Mary says:

            I never wanted her to win, but I did think she had a nice voice but came across as a kook. She has a new album on ITune, really good, surprised me. Love the song Sweet Love. I forgot about Didi, I did like her.

  30. CallumL says:

    My ranking, best to worst:

    1. Alex

    2. Sam

    3. Jena

    4. Jessica

    5. Malaya

    6. Majesty

    7. Caleb

    8. M.K.

    9. Dexter

    10. C.J.

    But the last 2 are the ones that are really close. CJ is SO off it’s getting annoying, yet Dexter is just annoying because he’s boring and when he tries to change up the songs it just sounds bad. I really hope one of them goes tomorrow.

  31. Kaba says:

    These broad themes suck. None of the songs these contestants pick are worthwhile nor worth mentioning as an idol performance.
    Anyone noticed that most current songs on idol are NEVER moment giving songs?
    It’s always the older stuff that sticks to our heads better because they were either infinitely more dynamic, or just more melodic.
    All the songs these folk have been singing are simply catchy. Nothing else to them.
    I don’t think this group is bad, but good God I actually think they’d be better off with the old themes at the current moment. Or at least an infusion of older themes with these new ones. Makes for much less disheartening performances. All of these songs performed were just radio spam worthy. Not something timeless, ever.

    • Stormy says:

      I wish they’d do better theme weeks. Not necessarily same old, but maybe a John Mellencamp week, Jim Croce, Bee Gees, British Invasion, Kris Kristofferson? IMO so far the songs this season have sucked.

      • Danny says:

        @Stormy- They’ve had a British Invasion Week. I’d go for another one though, since there’s only been one so far that I can think of. I loved that week. Even Sanjaya was good. I like the Bee Gees too. Kris Kristofferson’s “Watch Closely Now” is a song I played as a kid 1000 times. Thank god my mom also loved it, cuz I drove my dad bananas.

        A lil story on John Mellencamp is that my friend was walking down the highway and of all people John Cougar (as he was known back then) gave him a ride on his motorcycle. This would have been back in 1980 or so. He told my friend he hated the name John Cougar and told my buddy his real name. Shortly afterwards he came out as John Cougar Mellencamp and then as John Mellencamp. I kinda felt like I had an advance notice that he was gonna start using his real name.

        • Stormy says:

          Cool story. I love the way John M and Kris K kind of ride the line between rock and country and both have song catalogs that would give any singer a pretty good variety.

    • Mytake says:

      Totally agree!

    • justsaying says:

      yes. many popular modern songs have catchy hooks and beats but lack in basic melodic structure. i’m glad that harry is calling this out sometimes and educating the public about it. most people don’t seem to realize that their favorite song is just four notes. beyonce (who can sing a real song when she wants to) seems to only right songs like that in her range. it’s why most people sound like crap covering her song. she’s found one little spot that works for her. it’s the sweet spot of her voice, and simplistic enough that she dance around a lot while still singing live. smart on her part as a performer but will it stand the test of time? heck no. same goes for rihanna etc…

      • Mary says:

        I agree but none of these kids except maybe Alex knows how to rearrange a song. Yes it is nice that Harry points it out, but the kids work with what they have. I find it ironic that everyone complained about the themes and now the contestants are singing current songs and everyone still complains. The one thing about current music is it is hard not to judge against the original and to be honest nobody will be as good as it.

  32. GuitarBlue says:

    I think CJ picked a lukewarm song for dynamics, then sang out-of-tune most of the time. I f he doesn’t hit bottom 3 this week, it will be a surprise, but not a shock – because boys draw more votes as a rule……………..

    MK is bottom 3, had to sing first, which is never good unless you set a high bar for your followers. and the song did not work well at all. Agree with Michael, probably out-the-door tomorrow. …………

    Sam & Majesty got the best performance rotation tonight – 9th & 10th — after finishing bottom 3 last week. Was that accidental by the draw??

    • tealeaves says:

      It seems they have been consist this year with giving later performance slots to contestants that were in the bottom 3 the week before.

    • Kayk says:

      I also noticed that they ditched the ridiculous progress reports on the vote standings during the performance show last night. What a dumb idea THAT mid-show voting update was, good riddance!

    • Mary says:

      CJ has sung out of tune every week, this week was just more noticeable. I liked his audition but my God I have not enjoyed one of his performance, correction, last week wasn’t bad. If he isn’t in the bottom three, then there is no hope for anyone except the Alabama peeps to win. I actually think he might leave before MK, she might get some sympathy votes.

  33. JM says:

    To me, the best were Alex and Jessica. The rest were either ‘meh’ or just baaaaad.

    I thought some were so bad and/or boring that I found myself FF thru the rest of their song. Jena was overpraised. Dexter – I used to love him (before the live performances), but what happened? And Jennifer was spot-on about Majesty, so scared at first, then finally fell into her familiar sound.

    All and all, I was disappointed.

  34. Adam Fachry says:

    Jena got a B+? I thought her performance was pretty terrible. She got swallowed by the band and went sharp a lot during the chorus. Michelle Chamuel did a much better job than her on that song.

    My favorite tonight was Jessica. However, I wish she didn’t use the initial arrangement and stripped everything down to give it a more pensive, even darker mood to the song. She should pay attention to how Tom Waits covers a song that’s completely out of his wheelhouse (i.e. the Hey Ho song from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). The problem with Pumped Up Kicks is how gratuitous the production is. It tries too hard to juxtapose the morbid lyrics with hook-laden production. You see, the chorus alone already allows for juxtaposition because of how sing-along its structure is, it doesn’t need the dance-infused, melodic sonic palette to emphasize how deliberately contradictory the song sounds. That’s why I always imagine the song being much better if it’s delivered in a severe, austere way. A sparse guitar would describe how grim the minds of the shooter are, and when it goes to the chorus, the happy demeanor he possesses when hunting down his friends would accentuate the disturbing psychological aspect of a killer’s pleasure.Jessica has the tone to bring out such an interpretation of the song.

    I think my dislike towards Harry grows even stronger this episode. “His “it’s not a pop song” commentary when criticizing Jessica and trying to prove that he’s smarter than JLo was honestly downright ridiculous. Pop is an undefined term in music. Sure, it’s usually highlighted by how much a song can demonstrate hooks, but once a song, no matter how experimental and cerebral it is gets popular on the chart, it can be deemed POPular.

    • Timmah says:

      I thought Jena was pretty terrible too. Actually I thought the whole night was embarrassingly bad.

    • JM says:

      Tom Waits!!! Love his unique style of music. Also, have you ever seen him in Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Down By Law’? Love that movie and the soundtrack!

      • Adam Fachry says:

        I have! The soundtrack is filled with many songs from Rain Dogs, which is one of my personal best albums of all time. The guy’s a national treasure. Speaking of him in movies, don’t you think he often gets overlooked? I like his small performance in Altman’s Short Cuts.

        • The Beach says:

          Yeah, Short Cuts. What an underrated and underappreciated little gem of a movie. Thanks for reminding me of it. And I love the older lady singing “To Hell with Love”…great!

        • JM says:

          I have Rain Dogs, too, and I love it! Also, Swordfish Trombone and Frank’s Wild Years. Also have a live recording of him on Austin City Limits.
          Yes, I loved him in Short Cuts – he is very underrated, but I guess he’s just a little to ‘out there’ even for Hollywood.
          Have you seen the movie, ‘Smoke’? The final scenes when they play ‘Innocent When You Dream’ just brought tears to my eyes. He just has a way of singing that breaks my heart.

  35. Laura says:

    Loved Sams performance , I don’t think he’s boring at all I think he just needs to stay engaged more instead of his eyes wondering everywhere! But I just love his sincerity and tone of his voice

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Up-vote. I’m still predicting at least a Top 4 finish for him.

      • MamaLis says:

        Well, last week when there was talk about whether the Judges would have used the Save on Sam or not, I commented that I thought IDOL got the sh*t scared out of them by having him place in the Bottom 3. Like, I don’t think they saw that coming.

        How scared was Idol? I predicted Sam would be immediately placed in Pimp Spot #10 this week.
        HA! Had to chuckle.
        Sam and Majesty both, actually. 9 & 10.

  36. The Orginal Lemon says:

    I say this with sadness, but Majesty’s frontrunner status is gone. She’s so, so talented and pretty, but I think there’s just something with her personality that isn’t working for a performer. I hope I’m wrong, because she is so talented.

    Caleb has one of the most amazing voices ever on the show, and last weeks Skyfall was gorgeous. This week I felt he was phoning it in. Of course he was phoning it in with that voice, so I almost don’t care.

    Alex would be a great winner….he has it all.

  37. Mytake says:

    Did the stylists go on strike this week? I think 8 out of 10 contestants were wearing scraggly baggy jeans and cheap sweaters/t-shirts that looked like they were pulled from corner dumpster.
    Come on IDOL we all know you are losing money but for heavens sake deduct a couple hundred from the stupidly insane millions you pay everyone BUT the contestants (who are the reason we watch the show at all) and get them some worthy looking outfits! Sheesh.

    • Lynn says:

      Note to cameramen and production crew: Please, no more shots of contestants from the back in their droopy drawers. Thank you and carry on.

    • JM says:

      I’ve been upset with the styling for awhile now. The worst tonight was Jena’s bare midriff and way too sparkly jeans. The outfit made her look cheap.

      • Mary says:

        That is what kids are wearing today, like it or not. I thought she looked current not cheap. Some midriffs are a lot shorter than what she wore.

  38. Lauren says:

    B+ for Jena. That was TERRIBLE!

  39. J says:

    Alex, Caleb, and Malaya were the best of the night.

    Alex was clearly the crowd pleaser. He invited everyone along for the ride to his version of One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” and it was tremendous.

    Malaya stepped it up. This was her best night. She’s getting better and has such great personality.

    Speaking of personality, Caleb no doubt has the best vocals of the show, but I expect more ‘edge’ in “Edge of Glory.” I think he could of rocked that song out. However, it was good. I am still a fan of his stupendous voice.

    Props to Majesty for coming back up. She needed that boost of confidence heading to next week. She clearly was apprehensive tonight, but a lot better than the past two weeks. I want to see that self-assured gal I’ve seen for the first few weeks in the competition.

    Major props to Jennifer Lopez. She was sensational tonight, as were Keith and Harry. But I think she especially brought clarity and told the kids what they needed to hear, and in a good way. She was forthright while giving advice to the kids. I agree Michael, this was her finest night. Although, I must say, she was good for the past several weeks.

  40. kcostell says:

    I’ll admit it was amusing watching the judges frantically try to backpedal as soon as they started to criticize Jena’s performance.

    Definitely a lot more pleasant than listing to the strain in her voice as she actually sang it. Probably her weakest performance so far.

    • MamaLis says:

      Okay, I’ve now read about 30 things just like this.
      What is it about Jena that people don’t like much? I’m not a fan myself so I can’t help her.
      But on the surface it would seem she should be placing higher than she is with fans.

      • kcostell says:

        It’s not so much disliking Jena as disliking the massive disconnect between what the judges were saying and her performance.

        Last week Jena was absolutely amazing, and the judges (rightfully) praised her to the sky for it. This week she wasn’t nearly as good, but the judges kept on praising her for it.

        It’s the same thing they did last week with two of the favorites who had a terrible week (Majesty and Sam).

  41. Lauren says:

    By the way, the people bashing Jessica for smiling (Harry included) have NO CLUE what they are talking about. The original song is designed as a sunny, happy pop tune with dark lyrics and that is *precisely* how Jessica presented the song. She performed it with complete respect and reverence to the original and fully understood what she was doing.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Thank you! At least someone else gets it.

    • Mytake says:

      Yup. Read my post way above. Glad someone else gets what she was doing. Further she pretty much explained it in the pre-package with Ryan, and the judges and audience see that as well as us prior to them singing so what didn’t Harry understand. Was he in the bathroom? Actually, week after week he finds something to bash Jess
      about and it’s becoming abundantly clear he just doesn’t like her. How he could give MK the review he did which was pretty positive (and she was terrible in every aspect) then bash Jess is beyond me.

      • Z says:

        I think you should see it on a relative basis. I’m pretty sure he thinks Jess is the superior musician/singer and because of her prior experience he’s pushing her. In MK’s case I think he feels a bit sorry for her and knows her days are numbered so why beat her up more.

    • Timmah says:

      Harry doesn’t understand satire apparently.

  42. Kaba says:

    Why is it weird that Jess was smiling during the song?
    I thought the entire point of the upbeat was the make it sound psychotic? Aka…smiley, yet dark.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Nothing weird. It’s just Harry being Harry.~

    • Lynn says:

      The answer to why are you smiling during a song about shooting other people is not “because it makes me look psychotic.” Besides, she looks and sings the exact same way on every single performance. That was partly Harry’s point. She doesn’t seem to have any emotional connection to anything she sings, and apparently she found a song that worked in her favor. Although, probably didn’t quite come across as “friendly.”

    • Name This Tune says:

      Well if that was the point, she missed the mark. It just across as listless and lifeless. She has a problem with underperforming. Wish she would take a few notes from Caleb, who might not always pull it off, but he gets the emotions right.

      She’s lazy.

    • Name This Tune says:

      BTW, I was wondering when Harry was going to call her on it. He’s making excuses for her every frickin week.

    • Lauren says:

      She had a complete understanding of what the song was about; it’s the general public who doesn’t have a clue. I can’t believe Slezak rated “White Flag” higher than this. This was SOOOO much better in every way possible; vocals, connection, presentation.

      • Name This Tune says:

        You know I watched the thing again. She may think that she is presenting the song a certain way – like a bouncy little tune or psychotic, like Kara suggested, but her performance failed. It’s just her strumming her guitar and laying out that vibrato that annoys your ears. It’s like every performance she has had. She has learned it well enough for the bar but it’s god awful monotonous.

        • Mytake says:

          ” It’s just her strumming her guitar and laying out that vibrato that annoys your ears.”
          I think judging by the poll and comments on here, that most of “our” ears appreciate her guitar strumming and her vibrato. Just sayin.

        • Lynn says:

          Totally agreed. I, for one (and clearly I am in the minority) am completely put off by her faux weirdness with her nose ring and pink stripe in her hair, her lost goat vibrato, pageanty smile, and most of all her mailed-in, set-list performances. Maybe that’s why she identified with the song she did last night. She’s up there singing a song she’s done a couple hundred times at least (in the same monotonous way) grinning like a loon and having a private laugh at everyone who thinks she’s one of the best when she’s just giving them lukewarm.

          • MamaLis says:

            Oh my…. that was funny in a terrible way.

            What does tend to bother me about Jess is the pulling from the “Been There, Done That” set list, every week. For instance, Alex goes back to his room on Thursday, and immediately begins planning his next “concert arrangement.” It DRIVES him to generate something NEW and creative and different. Jessica, by comparison, returns back and (thus far) has said, “How can I align this week’s theme with one of the songs I already know really well?”

            It’s worked for her on several instances and she’s done well, I just need and want to see more.

          • Mark says:

            This. This is 90% of my problem with Jess. I want her to be my edgy, tough girl rocker chick. I get choosing songs from a variety of genres to broaden her fan base and show that she’s more than a one trick pony (I’m looking at you Caleb and Dexter). But more than anything, her performances come off as rote, over-rehearsed selections from a set list that she has been performing for years. She’s going to lose me if she can’t give us a fresh, engaged, and lively performance. She needs to do this soon.

          • MamaLis says:

            ^^ THIS right back at ya,’ Mark!!! =)

      • Ben says:

        @Lauren – I agree with the criticisms of Jess, she is not connecting. But I also agree with you, that I felt like that was her best performance. Back at White Flag, she still did not connect, but she also was visibly scared.

    • Zoey says:

      It’s exactly what the original did, so Harry missed the entire point of the song.

  43. Elena says:

    Bottom 3: M.K., Malaya, C.J.
    Eliminated: C.J.

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  45. Jenny says:

    I was willing to kick some votes towards Sam if he made a face. Any face. Sad face. Happy face. He furrowed his brows for a second, but it just wasn’t enough. If nothing happens on your face, I just don’t know how the audience can connect to the song. I felt the same way about MK, but she spent the rest of the show scowling after her performance, so she can bust out a face if she really wants to.

    • tealeaves says:

      lol. I usually don’t watch when they are singing… at least not the first time I listen to the show. But this is a TV show. As the herd is thinned, the visual while they are singing becomes more and more important.

  46. tealeaves says:

    Malaya gave her best performance by a mile! She needs to sing this song on the tour.
    MK and Dexter should be in the bottom 3. I am afraid to think of who else will be there.

    • BobL says:

      C.J. really should join the two you mention, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s Sam or Majesty again. Neither one did much to atone for last week.

    • BobL says:

      And I agree completely about Malaya. I loved her control and restraint. For once, nothing sounded strained. She and Alex were the stars of the night.

  47. Name This Tune says:

    Voted only 5 this week. First time I voted for Malaya. I dropped Jessica, Majesty, and Sam. Have not been voting for CJ or MK.

  48. Z says:

    After tonight it’s clear that your next “American Idol” (in my best Ryan Seacrest voice) will be one of….


    Maybe even in that order.

    • Ben says:

      There is little chance its Jessica or Jena (unless something changes big time). There is still a chance it could be Majesty or Sam. And isn’t it amazing that Malaya actually legitimately makes that list, but the fact she does is, in itself, proof of why it is actually impossible to make a list of who it is ‘clear’ will be the next American Idol – given she would have been nowhere near your list two weeks ago.

      • MamaLis says:

        Ya…. Z’s List really made me think a minute. It’s an interesting year, in that different people are pulling ahead and falling behind – somewhat unpredictably.

        IF, however, I was a Vegas Oddsmaker.. and in thinking about Z’s “Next American Idol” List:

        I’m going to say Alex and Caleb are the BOYS still standing.

        While I initially thought Sam was a frontrunner, his fall into the bottom last week gives me pause and thus I’m unsure as to his true longevity.

        As for the GIRLS: That’s a tougher “call” because frankly NONE of them are REALLY strong right now. Jena has the voice, but seems to lack the “like ability” factor. Jessica has her own strengths and weaknesses right now though I don’t think she’s (yet) to be in the Bottom 3. Malaya is really growing but…?? And Majesty WAS a frontrunner the question is… can she continue to grow and maintain the necessary confidence?

        So I’m gonna say the last three GIRLS standing are: Jessica, Malaya and Majesty.

  49. Tedatbent says:

    This is the first time the results of the TV Line poll are exactly my ranking. Alex, Jess and Jena were so far ahead of the pack this week. Judges were on point tonight, except for Harry. Jess was great!

    • LeahKittyS says:

      It matches up exactly with mine, too.

    • karen says:

      Jessica is not doing it for me. She continues to fall short of what she could be. Malaya was the surprise of the night. Her authenticity really came through.

      • Jaszy says:

        Many people on here are coming to a general consensus about Jess: she’s clearly better than she’s allowing herself to be. Does she not believe in her wonderful talent?
        Some people call her cocky, which is just absolutely WRONG. I think she’s afraid of taking risks. A cocky person would take risks. Jessica is very humble, in my opinion.
        Obviously, people like her well enough because she hasn’t been in the bottom 3 yet. But I’m thinking, maybe she needs to be in the bottom 3 so she can WAKE UP! She’s playing it too safe when she clearly has the voice to blow all the contestants out of the water ( in a good way). What Jessica could be is what I’m anxiously waiting to see. It has to be coming, right? Maybe she’s holding out on us, slowly gaining momentum and then when we get deep into the belly of the competition, she’s just going to slay EVERY single song from there on out! These are my hopes for Jessica. She’s fantastic!

  50. Zoey says:

    I have no idea what Harry was critiquing Jessica about – “Pumped Up Kicks” is indeed very dark lyrically but what got it popular and memorable was its light, wistful melody and musical arrangement. Ergo, JLo (in a stunningly rare moment) understood its sardonic nature and Jessica’s rather upbeat cover was actually quite appropriate.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      What does Ergo mean? Because when I read it, I immediately thought of Argo, which is a film by Jen’s Ex’s lol.

      • The Beach says:

        It basically means “therefore”. You see it a lot written as “e.g.”

        • Adam Fachry says:

          Ah, I see. English is not my first language, and I saw more use of either “e.g.” or “therefore” than “Ergo”. Thank you.

        • S. says:

          No you don’t. “e.g.” is exempli gratia. It means “for example.” Ergo has nothing to do with e.g. and e.g. doesn’t mean therefore (although ergo does). You follow e.g. with examples not with the 2nd part of a logical thought, e.g. (do you see what I did there?) cogito ergo sum: I think, therefore I am. Why would people abbreviate ergo as e.g.? With the .’s it would have the same number of characters. People on the internet just got dumber thinking e.g. and ergo are the same. *facepalm*

    • Rachel says:

      I think the Harry’s (and my) problem with Jessica’s interpretation of “Pumped Up Kicks” is that she did not seem to grasp the gravity of the lyrics. In the original, there is a haunting, anti-melodic undertone to the “poppy” beat. What she did was smile and bounce to a song about a school shooting. And then she described it as “weird [like her]” and made a joke about not being homicidal. I am not easily offended, but I really think she just thought the song was about PEOPLE killing PEOPLE…and we are so desensitized to that; I don’t think she realized it was about kids…even though it is inherit in the song. Or maybe she did. Regardless, I wanted to see some impact from her face, from her explanation. She had ample opportunity to address it and made it a joke. I love her voice, but I was extremely turned-off by it. I’m not, at all, attacking her character, or her as a person in general. I am just pointing out why I did not connect with what she was doing, and I completely agree with Harry. I think when J-Lo came to her defense, that’s when Jessica was like, “Oh, yeah…that’s TOTALLY what I meant by that performance…” Just because you sound good all the time…it doesn’t necessarily make you a great artist. I hope she returns to form next week.


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