American Idol Top 5 Performance Recap: Pay No Attention to the Kids in Front of the Curtain!

American Idol Top 5 recap jena irene my bodyWelcome to American Idol‘s Top 5 performance night — starring Ariana Grande, Zooey Deschanel, Jennifer Lopez’s thick mane of hair and Keith Urban’s solar-eclipse t-shirt. If that’s not enough star power, we’ve got Jason Mraz on mentor duty, trailed by The Ineffectual Bumbling of Randy Jackson (this summer’s tragicomic documentary outlining how to make a seven-figure salary by sitting on a couch in a total stupor).

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I know, I know, I’ve made this complaint before — particularly in the Reality Check video embedded at the bottom of this recap — that executive producer Per Blankens devotes far too much camera time on everything except for the guys and gals trying their darndest to achieve Kelly Clarkson success in a Redfoo world, but tonight was yet another example of shining a spotlight on the dinner rolls and house salad and treating the surf-and-turf main course like an afterthought.

At this rate, I’m half expecting the Season 13 finale to serve as a backdrop for a Kim-and-Kanye wedding special. (Yes, you have permission to unfollow me on Twitter if the previous sentence results in such blasphemous indignity.)

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I could continue this rant by calling out the inconsistent judging, the pre-critique commercial breaks (the better for J.Lo, Harry and Keith to memorize their producer-written sound bites?) and the lack of support for Idol grads’ excellent current releases (fun fact: Blake Lewis has a killer new CD coming soon to iTunes!), but let’s talk instead about the music. Because honestly, there were more good-to-excellent performances tonight than there were middling-to-poor ones. So let’s jump right to letter grades:

Alex Preston: The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” — Grade: B- | Question: Should Alex be required to successfully master at least one uptempo song during a live show if he wants to be the Season 13 champ? I know it sounds like an arbitrary rule, but I’d still vote “yes.” And alas, while He Whose Pants Must Be Cuffed hit most of his notes on “Sweater Weather,” his delivery had all the zest of a helium balloon 24 hours after the party, floating a couple feet above the dust bunnies behind the easy chair. I think the problem was that in Alex’s effort to keep pace with the rapid fire tempo, he completely lost his connection to the lyrics. I mean, in a song about sexual chemistry and seduction, there wasn’t an ounce of playfulness or a hint of crescendo — just words, scattered like buckshot in front of the mic stand. Which, naturally, prompted Harry to give him “an A+ for remembering all those words.” Damn, the bar does tend to get lowered for those who have a Y chromosome, no? (More on that theory in the next performance…)

Caleb Johnson: Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” — Grade: C | Wait a second, did J.Lo break out her “goosies” compliment for the night’s worst vocal performance? Or is it possible that somewhere between Season 11 and Season 13, the meaning of “goosies” changed (like the way today’s youth have determined that “sick” is a positive)? Whatever the case, as Caleb attempted his first stripped-down, delicate vocal in weeks/possibly ever, he ran into serious pitch problems — hitting a series of flat notes while almost sounding as if he was attempting a Steven Tyler impression. (Or, quite possibly, dude just had a cold?) To Caleb’s credit, he admitted in his post-commercial break interview that he’d struggled with intonation — something none of the judges mentioned — and mentioned his reservations about the song choice, too. But while that honesty deserves a hat tip, the limp arrangement — all strings and candelabras and ho-hum-ness — does not.

Jena, Alex & Sam: “Best Day of My Life” — Grade: B+ | A fun, energetic collaboration, with Jena’s harmonies proving particularly potent. I just have to ask, though, did Idol‘s powers-that-be turn down the volume on Alex’s mic? Conspiracy theorists, discuss! (Oh, and Question No. 2: How come J.Lo and Harry are always flapping their gums while the contestants are singing? #rude)

Jessica Meuse: Christina Perri’s “Human” — Grade: A- | I loved Jason Mraz’s instructions to Jess to widen her stance for a stronger, more commanding feel. And while girlfriend failed to take his last note and sling her guitar backwards on the final chorus, I still thought the end result was as emotionally stirring as it was beautifully sung. The way Jess’ quavery tone cut through the opening notes of the chorus, the drama she elicited on the “I can do it” refrain, even that fist pump action near the end, all contributed to Jessica successfully communicating the empowering message of a lyric (“Your words in my head, knives in my heart/ You build me up and then I fall apart“) that might just as well have been written from her to J.Lo, Harry and Keith, a trio of people who never can quite bring themselves to say “Great job!” and just leave it at that. To which I say, “Great job, Jessica!” And I’ll leave it at that.

Sam Woolf: Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” — Grade: B- | Look, I have to give Sam credit for at least attempting something new and slightly surprising by settling on a ditty with a driving, wickedly fast lyrical flow. (Yes, it was “America’s Choice,” but Fox’s official word was that the contestants were able to choose from a list of requested tunes, so let’s give Sam some credit here, yes?) The good news is that the opening verses, while not exactly a study in dynamics, were served up in tune and with a little bit of swagger, too. The bad news? As the Idol band — and especially Season 8’s Allison Iraheta on background vocals — mooved and grooved through the first repetition of the chorus, Sam fell so far behind the beat that it became very much a “weak impala straggling behind the herd” situation. As Harry sagely pointed out, the out-of-the-pocket approach sapped the tune of its funk, although in Sam’s defense, the wretchedly out-of-time movements of the SwayBots may have contributed to his difficulties. Making matters even more dire? J.Lo pointing out how the producers brought out Sam’s alleged celebrity crush (the aforementioned Ms. Grande) prior his performance, and her contention that it resulted in “butterflies and feelings.” Isn’t it adorable how sometimes we don’t think she’s reading from a script?

Jena Irene: Young the Giant’s “My Body” — Grade: A | Following Sam’s impala impression, Jena brought lioness ferocity to the stage for the night’s most electrifying performance. Every single note was in tune (although, if I’m being honest, Jena needs to watch her mic technique when she’s in motion, as she lost a word or two on the verse). The physicality was youthful and joyous — completely in keeping with the lyrics. And oh man, those massive high notes at the end were “just finished brushing my teeth” fresh — not in any way compromised by all the movement that came before it. More and more, Jena is looking and sounding like a star who could exist in the real world, and not just a reality-show contestant on a roll. I mean, seriously, if I paid $100 for a Jena Irene concert ticket and got 90 minutes of “My Body”-esque awesomeness, I’d be whipping out the credit card for a tour t-shirt on my way out of the venue. (Yes, that’s my request to the Idol Summer Tour merchandise folks to please make there are guys’ t-shirts in stock this summer, OK?)

Caleb & Jessica: The Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden” — Grade: B+ | Yeah, Jessica looked a little anchored to her spot on the stage. And yeah, Caleb didn’t really seem to know if he was supposed to be moving, but the duo’s faces registered genuine enjoyment and their voices blended beautifully, too. How nice of Jessica and Caleb, in fact, to set an upbeat tone via which Ryan could promote Ariana Grande’s new single! (It’s not like there are any Idol grads with recent releases to promote or anything.)

Alex Preston: A Great Big World (feat. Christina Aguilera)’s “Say Something” — Grade: A- | I was a little worried that this song — rocked twice on live TV last year (The Voice and the Grammys) by its original artists and twice on The X Factor by Season 3 champs Alex & Sierra — might feel a little like a threadbare hand-me-down at this point. But that bit of fretting underestimated how terrific Alex can be when he jumps off the diving board and straight into the deep end of a song. The sense of loss and impending heartbreaking percolating in the crannies of Alex’s voice made every single word of this ballad resonate. I’ll admit, I got distracted for a second trying to figure out the identity of Alex’s silhouetted duet partner/backup singer — for the record, it didn’t sound like Allison to me — but otherwise, this was close to perfect. Heck, I enjoyed this so earnestly that I didn’t even roll an eye over Harry’s remark about enjoying witnessing “a performer struggling with the emotion of a song but not giving into it.”

Jena Irene: The Zutons’/Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” — Grade: A- | PUT YOU HANDS UP…FOR ORIGINALITY! Yes, yes, yes…Jena could’ve chosen to follow Amy Winehouse’s template, neatly lining up note after note after note and getting gold stars from the judges in the process. Instead, she reinvented the uptempo track as a swaying, lite-jazz jam — one that brought out interesting colors in her vocal tone. On a gut level, I may have enjoyed “My Body” slightly more, but in terms of Idol strategy, “Valerie” was just as smart — if not smarter. I mean, by Top 5 week, isn’t it better to be owning your song choices rather than simply renting ‘em? Being female — and being a teenager — it’s not a shocker that Jena didn’t get any credit from the judges for her musicality or inventiveness, but here’s hoping the lack of fawning won’t lead to a shock boot. (Ugh, I seriously hate myself for even typing that primal fear.)

Sam Woolf: The Fray’s “How to Save a Life” — Grade: C+ | When even J.Lo is forced to admit the opening verse made her go “Yikes!”, you know you’re not dealing with a personal best showing. But while the verses were perhaps pitched a tad low for Sam’s comfort level, the bigger issue — as Harry pointed out — was the lack of dynamics, the way nearly every line of the song was delivered at the same exact intensity level (somewhere around a 6.5 out of 10). Naturally, the night’s second-weakest vocal drew J.Lo’s second set of “goosies!” — she’s just messing with our minds now, right? — but if saner ears prevail, the Reluctant Heartthrob may have to settle for his Idol journey getting labeled with the slogan, “Nice guys finish fifth.”

Jessica Meuse: Lana del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” — Grade: A- | First of all, are we discussing the most dramatically exposed leg since Angelina Jolie’s at the 2012 Oscars? Grrrrrllll, she works out! OK, with that out of the way, I’m gonna go out on a limb (leg? limb? get it?) and also say that with Jess’ husky lower register and her decision to slightly increase the song’s tempo, she actually upgraded it from Lana’s languid original. I loved that Keith pointed out the David Lynch mysticism of the performance, as Jessica’s voice transported me to humid, slightly ominous setting where, indeed, the “telephone wires above were sizzling like a snare.” That’s no small task — especially with the camera cutting to J.Lo’s face every 10 seconds — but Jessica achieved it by virtue of her impeccable phrasing and the way she stretched her voice to its peak on a very tricky bridge. Oh, sure, the whole thing left J.Lo cold, but then again, so did Haley Reinhart’s “Earth Song” and “You and I.” (Uh-huh, I went there.)

Caleb Johnson: Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” — Grade: B+ | Yeah, I know Caleb’s final performance got the pimp slot and a Standing O from two out of three judges (plus special strobe-tastic lighting and extra reverb), but it seemed to me more like great karaoke than genuine musical ownership — despite the guy’s howlization packing as much boom-boom-pow as Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks. Maybe if you didn’t grow up in the ’80s, maybe if Tawny Kitaen isn’t part of your pop-cultural vocab, then Caleb’s “Still of the Night” felt rainshower fresh. But from where I sat, the Season 13 rocker merely put the “cover” in David Coverdale — and this late in the competition, I expect — maybe even demand — more. I would’ve dug an a cappella opening verse, or maybe an unexpected bit of theatricality (a sitar or a didgeridoo or a dubstep breakdown…I dunno?…ok, scratch that last, truly terrible idea). But dude, do something to let me know you thought deeply and strategically about removing the smell of spilled beer and peanut shells from the room. C’mon, when you’re one of only two contestants to never land in the Bottom 3, there’s room to take a risk!

SHOULD BE BOTTOM 2: Sam and Caleb (Sam going home)
WILL BE BOTTOM 2: Sam and Alex (Sam going home)

What did you think of Top 5 performance night? 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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644 Comments
  1. Tonight was a good mix of some outstanding performances and some pretty good performances. I think Sam had the worst night of them all, but I think Alex, Caleb, Jessica and Jena each had at least one performance that was outstanding. They deserve to be Season 13’s Top 4.

    • LoveJess says:

      I agree about Sam having the worst night, but there was a best performer tonight… Jessica. I wanted Jessica to win AI this year with Alex second, but I worry that Jessica will be bused out tomorrow.

      • The question that’s been on my mind is who has been the third of the Bottom 3? Since Sam got saved they have only done Bottom 2’s. I felt they went to a Bottom 2 over a Bottom 3 a little earlier than they usually do because Sam was Bottom 3 and they didn’t want to lose face that someone the judges/producers saved was still a low performer. Like they wanted to justify the save being used on him so they shielded him. If Sam has been in the Bottom 3 the past number of weeks with Dexter, CJ, and Jessica then it most likely will be Sam tomorrow. If it was any of the other 3 Jena/Caleb/Alex in the Bottom then Jess could be the one gone tomorrow.

      • Foxfire says:

        If Jlo gets her way Jess will be going home tomorrow. I can’t believe how critical Jlo was of Jess’s last performance which I felt was excellent. There is nothing Jess can do to please Jlo I’ve decided.

        • Christine S. says:

          I love Jlo but I agree with you she is ridiculous regarding her hard critique on Jess..I’d say she’s jealous but Jennifer Lopez is too gorgeous to be jealous even though Jess is gorgeous too

          • Foxfire says:

            I can’t believe the camera cut away from Jess’s lovely performance to focus on JLO laughing at something Keith said. That was downright rude.

          • Slowride says:

            She might not need to be jealous about beauty but she gotta PLENTY of reasons to be jealous of someone else’s vocals ! (Meaning many many someone elses)

          • Shawn says:

            Seriously…it is J-Lo’s MO to hate the performances of any attractive, distinctively talented woman on the show. Even though last season, the producers stacked the deck against the dudes, the fact J-lo wasn’t there certainly helped with the ladies ruling the day. Plus, she was SO dismissive of most of Haley Reinhart’s performances. And her critique of “Valerie” last night? Utter BS. By the way, Slezak……..IMO you are RIGHT ON this week.

        • AngD says:

          Do you not maybe see it as them really trying to bring out the best in her? I think they really love Jess but see the emptiness in her eyes as she sings. I totally get what they are saying. I think she has an amazing voice but I never see her connect with her songs. I think they are really trying to help her improve. When they spend time to give specific comments to help, it’s that helping. They could just not tell her anything to get her to improve. But they are trying to get her performance to another level. IMHO.

          • Aaron says:

            I agree with you – I don’t hear anything in the judges critiques of Jessica that is even remotely close to what happened to Haley back in the day. Everything they say about Jessica is TRUE – she looks like a deer caught in headlights OR like she is bored out of her mind during EVERY solo performance (she seems to be having fun when singing with her competitors) and the judges are trying to help her break through. Sorry, but if J-Lo or Keith hated her they wouldn’t say anything.

        • JimmyG says:

          Gosh, I told my wife this. I said Jlo just doesn’t like Jessica for some reason. I think it is jealousy over the fact that Jessica is a pure raw talent and not contrived with makeup and hip hop silly songs. I even think Keith doesn’t like Jessica because he thinks for some reason she doesn’t “belong”. He is rude too. I find Harry to be the most honest and helpful to the singers.

        • kelly says:

          Agree!

        • CaliGirl says:

          J-Ho hates young women with talent #haleyneverforget

        • karyn says:

          Yes – Lopez doesn’t like Jessica and lets it show with unfair criticism she doesn’t give lesser singers like Sam.

          No – it isn’t b/c she’s jealous of anyone on this show for any reason. She’s a huge star who has nothing to fear from up-and-comers (though if she were critiquing Katie Perry or something, the fur would no doubt fly).

          Yes – the unbalanced criticism of Jessica is still irritating, but we got to the right top 4. I don’t think Jessica should win (I think Alex is the clear winner of this group) but she deserved to make it to top 4. Whoever leaves now is really just a matter of taste.

        • Jessica…. I wish they let her sing Delta Dawn she sounds so much like Tanya Tucker did when she did that song she would knock it out of the ballpark then J Lo would have to swallow her pride and agree with it.

    • Erin says:

      This was a really good night for Idol. That was because CJ wasn’t singing. ABOOYA! Gotcha CJ!

    • antz says:

      I think Jess could’ve been more comfortable performing had the judges & even Jason Miraz shut their mouths. Jason’s good at doing his ‘thing’ but not as an American Idol mentor. Adam Lambert, David Cook, Chris Daughtry etc. know how unfocussed these contestants could be. Sometimes they got lost not knowing which performance aspect should be prioritized and they just forgot to give us ‘themselves’. Those are things that only AI alums know best.

    • Jeremy says:

      Jessica as a 23 year old looking like a middle aged woman of the 70s singing as a Stevie Nicks cover band just bothers me. Does this not bother anyone else? How is she allowed to copy Stevie Nicks like Phillip Phillips was able to copy Dave Matthews? The Human song I liked because it had less Stevie Nicks in it. But the last song, was like a Stevie Nicks copy and it simply annoys me. How does this not annoy anyone or do none of you even know who Stevie Nicks is? By the way, showing that leg tattoo, I bet will cost her votes. It seems when someone gets a little too intense and doesn’t stay humble, it doesn’t work out so well for them. I wish someone would exorcise the Stevie Nicks out of her.

      • I loved the leg tattoo. I disliked the second song, so I guess I don’t enjoy that Stevie Nicks aspect of her voice either. It doesn’t bother me if she sounds like Stevie Nicks. She sounds like what she sounds like. I just don’t like that sound. I hated her version of Jolene also. But I also thought Jess’s version of Human was awesome and the best performance of the night. When she sings like she did on a Human, I love her voice, but when she sings like she did on the second song, not so much.

        I don’t think Jessica showing a little leg will hurt her, though. I thought she looked awesome and it created a bit of a dramatic moment at the beginning of that song. I just didn’t like the song or the performance, but I really wanted to love it in part because of that cool beginning.

        • Jeremy says:

          It seems she is obviously copying Stevie Nicks not just simply some wild coincidence. Just too much! That is what I hate about AI, it is so hard to find a genuine singer not trying to be someone else.

      • Stormy says:

        Stevie Nicks sounds nasal, Jessica doesn’t. I agree that showcasing the leg tattoo was a bad idea. And yes, a lot of Idol viewers are unfamiliar with SN.

      • JimmyG says:

        I love Jessica and I like it that she has the Stevie quality/sound in her but yet writes great songs herself. Mark my words… Jess will get a contract based on her “Blue Eyed Lie” and it will be all over the radio in a year.

        • kelly says:

          I love her sound as well, love Stevie Nicks too!

        • SueT says:

          If Jessica doesn’t get a recording contract, I see successful writing carrer in her future. I’ve listened to a lot of her original songs on youtube and she is fantastic!

      • Kate Raye says:

        I agree- Jessica looks so old and just is not fresh. Her eyes and stage presence are empty and void. I get this sense that she really doesn’t want to be there, and would rather be singing in smoky clubs again.
        Jena is refreshing and doesn’t sound like any other artist. I love her voice & would have fun at her concerts.
        Caleb has energy and a great concert voice.
        Alex is a songwriter artist, but not a “star”.

    • LoveJess says:

      Jessica charted on iTunes #200
      I don’t see anyone else.

      • MamaLis says:

        Where do you find “Overall Charting?”

        Because when I look at American Idol overall song rankings, Jena’s Creep is #1, and then Alex Preston has 4 songs on the next 10, including Say Something from last night. Included in that 10 are Caleb and Phil Phillips. No one else currently on the season.

        • Diane says:

          Go to iTunes and click charts, Songs should be the number 1 option. No one from Idol is currently in the top 100

          • MamaLis says:

            Thanks Diane!

          • MamaLis says:

            WOW!
            *****
            Alex Preston is #37 on iTunes! Yeaaaaaaa!!!!!!!
            ******
            Right below Sam Smith, I might add, and right ABOVE Keith Urban!!! ;-)
            I am SO happy for him. I truly loved that performance.

    • OhMy says:

      Now if Caleb can get to work on that time machine he can go back to 1986 and become a singer in a hair metal band.

    • Vicki Moffett says:

      When is Harry going to perform? I am one of his OLDEST Fan Club members. I do mean old.
      I would like to see him without the hairy look.

  2. Mike says:

    I seriously want a Jena vs Jessica final!!!

    • Jase says:

      So do I! I get it that Jessica needs to work on her stage presence but MY GOD do J-Lo and Keith literally NOT HEAR what the rest of us are hearing?? Jessica is the second best singer in this competition after Jena and for my money tonight, she was even better than Jena. I’ll still never forgive the judges for not recognizing how beautiful and soulful her “White Flag” was — their muted praise started then and set the tone for the audience not to cheer for Jess (even though they did cheer for her after”White Flag” because they hadn’t been told week after week yet that they weren’t supposed to root for her).

      Sam SHOULD be going for the love of God, but I fear it will be Jessica. They never should’ve used the save.

      • Akash says:

        Also, why does Jessica get constantly reamed for not “performing” onstage when Alex always looks autistic when he performs and he gets, “You’re an artist!” Oh I get it. Only GUYS with guitars can be artists.

        • The Other Leah says:

          Please, I hope you meant “artistic” and not autistic. Sincerely.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Up-vote for my namesake. I have Asperger’s syndrome and do not appreciate being marginalized.

        • karen says:

          Because in person she looks like a mannequin from the waste down. She’s got a great voice and a beautiful face. It was so frustrating watching her sing the Stones’ duet, plus her first song. Her legs are like stuck in cement and it was really apparent with the black shorts. I see what the judges are saying about her lack of body connection with the music. Having said that, if she gets the stage presence problem solved, which shouldn’t be a big deal with a little coaching, she would be the total package.

          • sandi says:

            Karen – did you mean from the waist down

          • Danny says:

            Sandy- why would you go and “waist” a great comment by Karen?

          • Jill Moya says:

            Beautiful face???????? What planet are you from???????? She’s creepy looking.

          • Mike says:

            This is all on RANDY. What help has he really given these contestants?
            Randy:
            “A: I tell them to give it all everytime!”
            “B: I tell them to choose the right song!”
            “C: I tell them not to screw it up!”
            “D: I tell them to do better than they have last week!”
            “E: I tell them to perform the song rather than just sing it!”
            “F: I let them choose the song and mentor if it is the right song!”
            “G: I dont guide them to make them feel mature!”
            or… H: ALL OF THE ABOVE.

          • Jeremy says:

            Have you never heard Stevie Nicks? If you’ve heard Stevie Nicks before then how can you like Jessica Meuse in songs like her last one? It;s too much of a copy and her vibrato sounds like a goat! She is 23 and appears like a middle aged woman from the 70s like Stevie Nicks.

          • kaikenna says:

            Totally agree, most of the time like a mannequin. Finally tonight, she showed some emotion with the Human song. It was a great song for her and she sang it great. That is a heart wrenching song and I wished she had taken Jason Mraz’s advice and attacked it with more abandon. Keith keeps saying she has to let go. By the way, all you JLO haters, she’s not the only one saying that Jess needs to loosen up and give more. And they never deny her talent or her beautiful voice, just her performance. And let’s face it, she needs improvement. She even admitted it herself when she said, “I had no idea what it takes to perform!” She looked so uncomfortable singing with Caleb, she was about to burst out laughing. And that whole leg pose, was so forced and ridiculous. She needs to own it if she is going to do stuff like that. It comes off as not believable when she tries to be all sexy with the leg, and then she can’t sing a song like Beast of Burden with Caleb.

          • aud says:

            Sam doesn’t move at all either, yet the judges don’t mention that. Alex lifts his leg every one in awhile, but certainly doesn’t “move” around the stage. I agree with their comments on Jessica just standing there, but they apply to Sam and Alex as well in my opinion.

          • Jen-Xer says:

            I think the difference between Jessica and the two boys who also struggle with their stage presence is that Jessica is all “done up” with her hot pink hair and stage makeup and it is odd to see someone made up like that who can’t carry that attitude thru to the rest of their body. The boys, Sam and Alex, casual appearance is more in sync with their body language. I think J Lo and Keith are dancing in their seats because they are trying to “will” Jessica to mirror what they are doing. I find myself doing it at home as I watch her. It is a frustrating exercise. I’m sure we all knew a girl in High School who would dye her hair and wear thick makeup but her actual personality was very quiet and introverted. I think Jessica is one of those girls.Look at how she fared during Hollywood week, being misunderstood by that mom. No reason she can’t have Aspergers or ADHD either.

        • Atticus1 says:

          Seriously … What is the matter with you Akash?

        • Kiki says:

          I TOLD you guys that it’s very likely Alex has a twinge or more of Aspergers Syndrome, as SO many artists do. It means he’ll have a hard time showing the emotion on his face perhaps (Aspergers shows up in so many different ways, you can’t label every AS person with the same traits). But don’t you HEAR the emotion in his singing? It’s freaking breathtaking!!!

          As for Jessica, hell, she’s a great singer. But she has a hard time showing emotion through her body, too.

          But–and this is a big but–she doesn’t have the emotional range Alex does. He can get away with it.

          Stop talking gender prejudice, Michael. You sound like you’re getting really desperate for attention and creating a bunch of hoopla where none exists. I’m losing more and more respect for you, even though I love you and really enjoy you and Melinda on Reality Check. I’m starting to wish Melinda would write these recaps. She doesn’t lose her head the way you do.

          • kaikenna says:

            Would LOVEto hear Melinda’s take on everything instead of the little glimpses we get on reality check. Yay, Melinda how about a guest columnist! Would even love to see a comparative take on each performance by you and Michael.

        • Bong says:

          Autistic is the perfect description! Needs serous work to improve.

        • AngD says:

          I think they like Jess more than Alex so they’re spending more time helping her improve. The comments they give her are so specific and can really help her. She listens and each week you see that she is trying. Maybe they see that Alex doesn’t.

        • str says:

          I sincerely hope so too or you have more problems, Akash, than the rest of us. I honestly do think that Alex MAY have asperger’s…more power to him!!

        • JimmyG says:

          I agree. Both Alex and Sam just stand there. At least Jessica makes herself more interesting to look at (not because I’m a guy). These guys don’t do anything. Why can’t a singer just stand there and sound good? That’s what a good singer does. I love Jessica’s voice.

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        you are so right, my god…somehow JLo hears Sam’s emotionless one note performance and gets the “goosies” but Jessica’s absolutely stunning vocal on the Lana Del Ray song left her cold.
        It’s almost like it pains Keith and JLo to be forced to say something nice about Jessica, I just don’t get it.

        • Kaba says:

          They have the most obnoxious affection for Sam and it’s tiring. I swear they look at the poor boy like he’s an adorable 3 year old who can do no wrong.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          I am so over hearing about JLo’s goosies – especially when she pretends to have them for mediocre performances by her favorite dudes. It’s ridiculous. Sam murdered that song she goosed all over. Yeesh.

          • Danny says:

            No Teeny- I’m 110% POSITIVE, In it to win it even, that Lopez rejects invites to dine with Kings (real Kings, not Kings of Leon) so she can watch rebroadcasts of these performances. She really does love them that much. I’m shocked that you’re not grasping the “feeling” she has in her head bobbing.

          • Agent Smith says:

            J. Lo should be given a goosie – right out the door. She has no value as a real talent show Judge, but then, few of them do. The show is built around a celebrity theme, dumping over 40 million into the Judges plus Randy.

            The good part for the kids is working with people like David Cook, Daughtry, Adam, Jason Mraz, etc. But J. Lo is wrongfully placed here. Maybe dancing shows for her, but not Idol.

        • MariMari says:

          I really like Jessica’s vocals most of the time. The Lana Del Ray song, for me, played up the part of Jessica’s voice I don’t like as much – -when she gets a bleating vibrato in low notes. I think that song is rather a bore – even when Lana does it. It’s kind of a gimmicky song, imo. I liked her first song A LOT. Besides her issues with moving and rhythm I think she has very little expression in her face – wanting it to, perhaps, stay so pretty. People make fun of Alex’s grimaces, when that is maybe exactly what Jess needs to do to show some emotional connection with the song. I think she’s been told how pretty she is all her life…

        • AngD says:

          I don’t know – on Sam’s first performance last night there was so much more emotion than Jess. Her voice is so much better but he’s really working on everything they are telling him to do. I guess everyone sees something different. One thing I know – these judges can’t please everyone. But I think they’re doing a good job.

        • aud says:

          I wonder if she offended them off-camera in some way? They truly do seem to have a personal dislike for her

      • PGV says:

        Keith just tweeted,
        @KeithUrban: Loved that song @JessMeuse!!! – KU #IdolLive

        Of course he couldn’t tweet or say that during the Live East Coast performance!😏 smh

        • Foxfire says:

          Sounds like damage control to me. He was very dismissive of Jess’s efforts on the live show even knowing by doing this he could be sending her home tomorrow.

        • Carl says:

          Keith is just doing damage control. I for one used to really like Keith but he has treated Jessica with such distain, it’s off-putting and has turned a lot of people against him. I for one. He’s been mean and ugly toward her and has treated her differently than the others. He has to know it bugs people so he’s playing nice. Sort of.

          • Foxfire says:

            After Keith’s treatment of Jessica this year I am through with him and hope he is replaced next year. I don’t suppose there’s any getting rid of JLO though.

          • Stormy says:

            IMO The blogs were harshing on Harry so much the last month that TPTB told him to pull back and told Keith to be the bad guy for a while.

        • Leslie says:

          He has all of my respect.

          • Leslie says:

            Oops, add a “lost” in there at the appropriate place. lol

          • Christine says:

            Well, he has all of mine. He’s right – there’s just something not there in her performances. As an avid concert go-er, I wouldn’t pay anything to go see her right now. She’s got a great voice and she’ll get there but she’s not ready yet.

        • AlyB says:

          Too bad he doesn’t have the courage to tell her that during the live shows when he should. They literally make me sick this season heaping false praise on mediocrity (can someone please tell Jen her “goodies” are cringeworthy?) then nitpicking Jessica to death. If they throw her a compliment it’s wrapped in bundles of criticism. With the others, if they say anything negative it all, they offset it by going ridiculously overboard on the “you’re really great” stuff . The improvements she needs on performance do not override the stellar quality of her vocals. Especially when Sam and Alex have some of the same performance issues. If she goes home tomorrow after those two killer songs tonight the blame lies squarely at their feet. But then again, that seems to be exactly the result they’re trying to achieve for reasons I can’t begin to understand.

          • Mary says:

            Personally I think they are trying to help her improve and for the most part I think she has made progress. The other two guys were a lost cause nothing will make them change. If Jessica goes home tonight, which I hope she doesn’t,, It will not be the judges fault. For some reason she is not reaching the VOTING audience and please don’t say it is because the judges give her a hard time. I think at this stage of the game Voters are smart enough to make their own decisions.

          • Roger says:

            Maybe if Jessica would wear a long dress it would hide all the things the judges seem to dislike about her legs and her tattos. At the same time she would look more feminine. She is a beautiful girl. Much more than Jlo even with all her make up. Jessica and Jenna would make a good top 2. I would like to see Jenna dress a little more feminine also. She is the worse dressed contestant.

          • JimmyG says:

            I agree… I have nothing against Jena, but my gosh.. talk about a contrived sounding vocal. That is forced and she worked on her “tongue rolling”. That’s what I call it. I cannot stand her voice and she has no where near the natural power of Jessica.

        • Roger says:

          I always thought Keith was the best judge they have but with JLo there he does seem to follow her lead. JLo is good at making movies but I was not in favor of her returning as a judge. She thinks american idol is her show. It is about the contestant and their voice. Why can’t the judges get that. Randy needs to go he has not helped the contestants at all. David and Daughtery would be great mentors.

          • SueT says:

            noticed that during the auditions. When JLo wanted to put someone through and Harry didn’t, Keith almost always sided with JLo. I ;thought he was being a nice guy at the time, but he keeps following her lead ever since.

        • MamaLis says:

          I’m glad you posted that, because I’m reading these posts/interpretations by people and I’m just ASTOUNDED by what people ** think ** the judges are saying and what is **actually ** being said to Jess!
          ~
          #1. The Judges as a whole were VERY affirming to Jessica last night. Harry was extremely, extremely complimentary – once again. All 3 of them said VERY positive things to her. The only constructive/”negative” feedback she received was pertaining to song #2, and it was mostly from JLo and so WHAT??!!!!

          Which brings me to:

          #2. What’s with this Jessica fan-base that seems unable to accept criticism? ALL of the contestants receive negative feedback. Every. single. one. Yet anytime Jess receives anything even resembling criticism, it inspires this dramatic indignation like she’s the second coming of Loretta Lynn.
          Yeesh!

      • kaikenna says:

        They are commenting on what they are SEEING not what they are hearing. They always says she has a killer voice. They just want her performance to match. Like Jena is really becoming a great performer and owning the stage and connecting with the audience.

      • JimmyG says:

        Jessica is the voice in this competition… and I watch this for the voice not the dancing or performance. If you want to dance like Jlo and lip synch go ahead but I won’t watch. I love that this girl can sing and write and stand there just fine doing what she does best. And I do love Stevie Nicks so maybe that’s part of what I like but also Stevie always stood mysteriously and twirled a bit and played the tambourine – always memorized me how beautiful she was and interesting.

        • SueT says:

          Speaking of being the voice, II wish Jessica was on The Voice. I think she would benefit from having a real coach (in place of Randy…..and I’m also a Jessica/Stevie Nicks fan (and proud of it).

      • kelly says:

        I agree, Sam should already be gone and should def be leaving tonight. Jessica should at the very least be in the top 3!

    • The Original Lamen says:

      LOL, Obviously, so does Michael. I mean, look at those grades.

      • as says:

        The Bell Curve is now being used at TV Line by teacher Michael Slezak…nothing less than a B for the producer favorites. Caleb’s first song was a D with ‘goosies’ from facial grimacing. Poor ‘deer in the headlight’ Sam gets high marks so that the producer save isn’t shown to be a big mistake. Really, the poor kid was awful last night. The judges yet again have no cred….they are total producer tools. The producers selected Sam ( a Philip Philips cute mixed with a Justin Bieber fan base) would win it all and Keith and even Harry (how could you sell out) have been promoting this all season. Jessica should just give Haley Reinhart a call.

    • Ryan P. says:

      Me too! We’ve seen versions of the three guys on past seasons, but Jena and Jessica are true originals.

    • antz says:

      Hoot hoot hoot !!! Jena deserves to win but I L.O.V.E. Jess!

  3. Jenna says:

    It was almost as if Caleb knew about and agreed with Slezak’s ‘Don’t Want to Miss a Thing Curse’ – impressive. He handled it well though.

    • The Original Lemon says:

      Maybe Caleb “threw the fight,” and was purposefully mediocre on the Aerosmith song, so he could display a mini growth arc from the beginning to the end of the show. People are always saying he’s too consistent. So…there’s his “growth.” Works for me.

    • tealeaves says:

      Caleb knows the show enough to know that was not a good song to perffom. Here;s a quote from when Ryan asked him if he would have picked that song for himself: “I don’t know if I would have picked that specific song, just because I know it has been done a lot on American Idol.”

      Personally, I think Caleb did a good job given the over done song selection. He slowed it down from what I would have expected.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      I happen to skip the performance because I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing is a song that doesn’t live up to its title (yes, no matter who sings it, one should miss out on it~). But I read on mjsbigblog that when asked by Ryan after finishing the performance, Caleb said he wouldn’t have chosen the song for him. And I was confused because I thought, even if the theme was America’s request, surely there were other choices beside that overdone power-ballad, weren’t there? I refused to believe that out of possibly millions of tweets, all he got was a bunch of terrible songs and I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing somehow happened to be the most decent one. The only reason that would happen is if the producers decided to sabotage him. But I’ve always considered him one of the chosen ones, or is he?

      • Mark says:

        I suspect that Caleb maybe had to fight with the producers to do “Still Of The Night”, and the cost was forcing him to do “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”. They probably have some arrangement with Diane Warren, and with this year’s loose themes her songs weren’t being used as much as in past years. They owed her, and Caleb got stuck paying the tab.

      • Shannon says:

        Someone looked through the tweets and Caleb really did get a lot of bad suggestions (like Meatloaf). Also, the contestants are not the ones who went through the tweets and picked the best songs. Instead, it was the producers who gave them a short list of songs that they could then pick from.

        Oddly, no one can find a tweet suggesting Jena sing “My Body”. Lucky for her it was a song that she apparently wanted to sing for awhile now …

  4. Flo says:

    How do I get a job and salary like Randy? Even I could sit like a bump on a log for 2 hrs to get a 7 figure pay check. He is useless. Judges aren’t too far behind.

    • OhMy says:

      I really have grown to dislike this panel.

      • Matrix says:

        Agreed. Plus you can’t enjoy contestant performances with all the camera pans to the judges. Very distracting!

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Up-vote! Whose idea was it to bring on a diva who wants to hog all the camera time?

        • Danny says:

          Matrix- I hear ya. Yeesh! I wish they’d stop showing the judges so many times during every song. I’ve only got so many rocks I can throw through my tv.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I agree – they don’t need to show the judges while the contestants are performing. Keep the cameras on the singers. I’m not going to blame the judges for being “camera hogs” – the cameramen need to stop focusing on the judges. It’s very annoying.

          • Mary says:

            Personally they are more entertaining than Alex and Sam and sometimes even Jessica. Those guys are cringe worthy to watch. I think they do us a favor buy not being forced to watch their facial or lack off expressions. However; Caleb and Jena entertains so I would like to see more of them.

          • Stormy says:

            I think they should do a split screen or picture in picture if they need to show the judges during a performance.

          • MAB says:

            The Voice does the same thing. They also cut to the judges during performances but I don’t hear anyone talking about that. One person siaid something about it a few weeks back and it is like a dog with a bone that does not want to let go of it. This is something that has been done like always.

      • Grumpy Fan says:

        I knew this was a failed panel… get rid of them, especially a$$hat Harry!

        • OhMy says:

          Harry is the least of the problems — first to go — J.Lo — then Keith (who I am convinced is being played by an imposter who knows next to nothing about music). But then Harry too who began as the only one who spoke truth and now has been bought off by the producers.

          • Stormy says:

            I’ve had about all I can take of A$$hat Harry. He’s turned into Needy Baby, Greedy Baby. I have news for you Harry, these kids are just starting their fling. You’re flung.

          • MamaLis says:

            I don’t understand what the beef is with Harry? When did everyone turn on him? I STILL think he’s intelligent, accurate, well spoken, and a great judge!!!

          • Stormy says:

            @MamaLis He’s become a camera hog and the class clown that drives the teacher crazy. All the jumping out of his seat, the high kicks, attacking Ryan or Keith etc. He thinks he’s the star of the show. He isn’t.

        • AndyP says:

          The judges failed when they went through tens of thousands of contestants and came up with 4 kids with true talent. There have to be thousands of kids sitting at home who got cut and listened to CJ who struggles to carry a tune make the top 6 and throw up. That is an epic failure by the judges.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Word. And they started off so promising….

    • bobsaccamanna says:

      and it was nice that they had his visiting nurse with him for most of the show too. We never did get to see her wiping the drool from his chin unfortunately.

    • The Original Lamen says:

      @ Flo: It’s called tenure. A lot of College Profs have the same deal.

    • Danny says:

      Flo- it’s easy. Ya find someone like Simon who will let ya be his lap dog. You’re going to have to deal with 9 seasons of knowing that no one will care about what you say because 2 judges comments later everyone will have forgotten it anyway.
      ..
      Once your own Simon leaves, you’ll get the privilege of being kept around because of the continuation factor.
      ..
      Randy’s gotten the biggest free ride since Christian Laetner. Sorry in advance to any Kentucky fans.

    • Becky says:

      @flo. That would be a dream job. Randy does not do anything. But how can you take the money and do nothing for it. These kids are depending on people to correctly guide them. He has no passion. Sad.

  5. OhMy says:

    Someone please tell Jena not to yell “Let’s Go!” unless the song is getting ready to kick.

  6. Matt says:

    Somebody clean out Slezak’s ears. Valerie better than Still of the Night? I doubt even Jena’s mom would agree.

    • Wendy says:

      I so agree! Still of the night was the best of the night!

      • Lu says:

        Agree with the agree! Caleb was by far the best!

        • Mary says:

          I wouldn’t say he was the best singer, entertainer maybe. Different strokes for different folks.

          • Alan Dvorkis says:

            Agree. Entertainer, not singer. Caleb is a one trick pony, a trick most seem to enjoy, but I turned off his unoriginal finale, and mumbled “not again”. Great singers sing ballads well. He was completely out of tune in his first, conveyed no emotion, not one ounce. The first performance was a D- and the 2nd a C. I think he should be gone, but the show has decided he should be the winner for some time now. That would be extremely sad.

      • Nancy Curry says:

        Agreed! Caleb at his worst is still better than the rest of the borings. He always brings an energy and excitement to his performances that the others desperately lack in their dirges.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      He loves Jena. I do too, but that tempo was so wrong in every way. Except for 2 songs – I kind of felt like the night was an Ode to Easy Listening Music.

      • Melanie says:

        I did not like her arrangement at all. Actually, I suggested last week for Jessica to sing Valerie because I thought she could’ve done a cool arrangement with it.

    • karen says:

      Valerie—the vocals were good but the arrangement and tempo were dated and distracting. I agree with JLo 100 percent.

    • Melanie Desi says:

      *Up Vote!*
      Still of the Night was far and away the best performance of the night. Caleb in the bottom? Nonsense, Mr. Slezak!

      • Emma says:

        I don’t know if it was the best of the night but I don’t think he’ll land in the bottom 2. My guess is Sam and one of the girls. I think Sam will probably be eliminated but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Jessica.

    • Tamara says:

      What a surprise, Michael rates Jena super highly and finds something to criticise about Caleb’s performance. If the judges this year are biased against Jessica, then Michael and majority of TVLine readers are biased against Caleb!

      • Danny says:

        Not me. I’m rooting for Jena, but I felt Caleb was easily the best of the night. I actually had Jena 5th this week.

      • Ben says:

        @Tamara – spot on, in that TVLine commenters are definitely being a biased bunch. I’m not sure they are really biased against Caleb though. Sam and Alex, it seems more. Perhaps all the boys.

      • Mark says:

        I thought Caleb had the best and the worst performances of the night. IDWTMAT was just bad. It was a bad choice, and not even Steven Tyler could have saved that one. “Still of the Night”, however, was head and shoulders above everything else.

    • Erin says:

      I love Slezak, but roll my eyes at his bias just as much as the judges’ biases. Valerie fell flat, and I was wondering if he would give her a better mark than most performances. sigh.

      • Catniss says:

        Agreed. Jana was not that great. Loved Caleb! He will not be in bottom 3. Caleb and Alex top 2.

      • Stormy says:

        In Michael’s eyes Jena is this year’s Haley. That’s all there is to say except I hope the season finishes up just as it did for HR.

    • Flicker says:

      What’s people’s beef with Jena? Could we just agree that we all like different things? Jena is the most comfortable and natural on stage, along with Caleb. You can’t teach people these things. Alex may have “artistry” but it is sometimes painful to watch him. Jessica has tons of uniqueness, but is a niche musician. Caleb is consistent but a one trick pony. Sam has great potential, but needs more time. Jena is the most all-round and ready to be an idol. That’s my two cents.

    • karl says:

      A hardcore rocker has never won and its time! Slezak is having a hard time believing that could happen. I think that he is setting himself up for disappointment so if Caleb does not win he can say “I told you so!”

    • Mark says:

      Once Slezak identifies his favorite, that person can do no wrong. Ever.

    • MamaLis says:

      Please! Valerie SUCKED.
      If there’s ever a song who’s tempo should be preserved as IS – it’s Valerie!! That was like a Valerie Castration!
      One of my favorite all-time Valerie’s is Amy Winehouse on youtube, sitting on someone’s couch singing the acoustic “Zutons” version of Valerie. She’s like, picking her nails and singing. But she’s still in the pocket! Heck, I even thought Bruno Mars rocked Valerie!
      But last night…. Amy yawned in her grave.

  7. Alice says:

    Loved Jessica this week. She didn’t have my fav performance of the week (That’s a toss up between Jena’s “My Body” and Caleb’s “Still of the night”), but I thought both of her songs were done fantastically

  8. Denise says:

    I wish we could merge Jena’s energy with Jessica’s voice.

    • Mike says:

      I think this is the only downside to Jessica as a whole. I do get it with the “energy” “groove” thing that Harry keeps pointing out the past few weeks, but damn, this girl can really sing and has been performing far better that what the judges are telling/judging her! I seriously hope Jessica or Jena dont go home tomorrow.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I think you just nailed how I feel about Jess. I voted for – because wow! … that voice, but I’d prefer not to “watch” her sing. I feel the same about Sam and Alex too. For me, the only ones that are fun to watch [most of the time] are Caleb and Jena. The rest just look hopelessly uncomfortable on stage.

    • PGV says:

      I thought Jess Nailed her performance, along with her vocals, on Human. I had tears in my eyes! Agree with Harry that that was one of her Best performances… along with Jolene. She was almost as good on Summertime Sadness. The only critique I would have on that one was her movement was a Little awkward, but she was still pretty great. Jess gets “most improved” this season for me!

      • grandma Jane says:

        Jessica has not been my favorite, and her voice frequently leaves me cold, even thoughI really do get that she’s talented. But I LOVED her first song. She was so good. My favorite of the night. And that’s saying alot considering Caleb’s In the still of the night, and Jena’s first song were super. Good night. I enjoyed this show more than I have in a long time.

    • Jill Moya says:

      Don’t you mean that whining screeching cat sound that leaves her face?????????

    • Dave says:

      I’d take Jena’s strong vocals any day over Jessica’s goat bleet.

  9. Danny says:

    The first round was decent, but not great. I thought they were all about even. The 2nd round I had it Caleb, Alex, Sam/Jessica tie, then Jena. Caleb and Alex I thought were really good.

    I live by a train track. On Sam’s 2nd song, the train went by. It wasn’t a loud siren, sorta quiet, because I heard it in the distance. For whatever reason, it added a really nice lil twist to his song.

    I think Caleb stays for sure. I think Jessica will be in the bottom 2 for sure. As for how the other 3 fit in, I have no clue.

  10. I love Sam. says:

    Jena will go home.

    • Nedsdag says:

      God, I hope so. She already thinks she’s a “star” by dropping her middle name.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Don’t forget. She prefers all CAPS. That’s JENA to you and me. LOL. :) I just think she’s an adorable kid having fun. I don’t get the obnoxious from her at all.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Yeah, she’s a kid fighting for a chance at stardom on national TV. What’s wrong with trying to design a stage name for herself? It’s all fun and games at this point.

      • Mary says:

        NO should be deer in the headlights Sam or PeePee dance Alex. They are just painful to watch.

        • MamaLis says:

          Ya, well “Pee Pee Dance Alex” has the most iTunes sales in multiple charts, than any other contestant – by far.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      I wish!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I have to say, sister – you’ve mentioned the accent and the way Jena pronounces some of her words before and tonight it was really, really obvious to me, particularly on “My Body”.

        • jo says:

          Isn’t this the same girl who tried to lead the judges into thinking she had an Italian accent, but somehow lost the accent when she sang during the auditions. What’s up with this girl? Now she trying to sing with another accent. She seems very phony to me. She sounds like she has a head cold when she sings. She needs to learn to annunciate. Stop pretending to be something she is not. She acts like she has this thing in the bag. Don’t get too confident!

          • LeahKittyS says:

            The fake Italian girl was not Jena; it was some Hollywood reject. I don’t think Jena is fake at all, just a little immature.

    • JENAinCAPS says:

      Impossible. “They” want JENA to WIN.

    • Erin says:

      I agree with Jason on this one: Jessica will go home. She’s fantastic, but after last week where she was arguably the very best, she was in the bottom. This week was not as strong: Jessica and Sam will be in the bottom.

      • PGV says:

        There are people who believe that Jess was Not in the bottom two last week, and the producers put her there to make it seem as if she’s not popular. After I read their comments, I went back and listened to Ryan. He never said that they were the bottom two “vote getters.” If you pay attention to Ryan, he is Very specific with how he says either, “Here are the bottom two” and “Here are the bottom two vote-getters.” The only time he mentioned “votes” last week was when he said that CJ received the least. Had to hand it to people for paying attention last week. As we know, that wouldn’t be the First time the producers have done that to someone!;)

        • Erin says:

          That is the kind of manipulation I detest about these “reality” shows. I mean at least it hasn’t been as bad as when Uncle Nigel was at the helm.

        • MamaLis says:

          That’s just crazy-talk. I agree that these shows have the potential to manipulate the vote. But
          #1. I think Jessica WAS in the bottom 2 last week.
          #2. If I was publicly speaking I wouldn’t say “Bottom 2 vote-getters” either! It sounds stupid! LoL

          • PGV says:

            #1. Sounds like the Idol Producers were successful in manipulating someone here! haha

            #2. We are not talking about what You would say or “public speaking” here, we’re talking about Reality singing competition Lingo. Ryan Has said “bottom 2 voter-getters.” It’s on video, look it up!;) It doesn’t matter that it “sounds stupid” to you, he’s said it before. I suggest you take it up with Ryan and the Idol producers if their lingo bothers you.

          • PGV says:

            *vote getters not “voter-getters” lol *face palm*

      • Name That Tune says:

        Bottom two will Jessica and Sam;
        Take a look at these YouTube numbers for last night’s performances

        1.Caleb- 33,864 views
        2.Alex- 29,637 views
        3.Jena- 19,518 views
        4.Jess- 17,728 views
        5.Sam- 17,557 views

        • Lynn says:

          Caleb’s tops because of the songs he selected (old) and you’re just looking at youtube, check out daily motion for video numbers too. Interesting numbers there. Unfortunately, Caleb’s nowhere near the top where it counts and that’s in iTunes sales. He and Jena didn’t even chart on iTunes this week. I’m way out on a limb here, but I think he’s going home this week.

  11. Is it new that both songs performed tonight are not on Itunes? I know this happened last week as well, but I thought that we would get both of their full version songs? Because I love Jessica’s “Human” but I only see “Summertime Sadness”. Same as last week “Somebody to Love” wasn’t posted, only Jolene. Did this happen in previous seasons that we only got 1 song from each contestant?

    • tealeaves says:

      Back in the day we would get one studio performance per week, but we could also buy the video clips of all the performances. So even if your favorite performance was not the one with a studio recording, you could buy the performance itself. I am not sure when they stopped offering the performance videos.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Season 9 was the last season they offered video clips on iTunes. They didn’t do it from Season 10 onward.

    • Emma says:

      Both songs have been available for past seasons however since ratings and thus ad revenue is way down this season they have to cut corners. Maybe if they weren’t paying miss goosies so much money, you’d be able to get both songs.

    • SueT says:

      yup, they have only been putting one song up on iTunes this season. They two I wanted to buy last week were not there.

  12. Lindsey says:

    I actually really liked Sam’s “How to Save a Life”…

    • Davey says:

      Me, too. You are not alone. There are a lot of Sam haters online … but his fans are busy voting.

      • Wendy says:

        He got my votes. I absolutely love his voice. Sure he is a little awkward, it doesn’t bother me. His voice is golden.

      • MamaLis says:

        I like Sam and I think his voice is golden. I even thought he did well last week.
        |
        But #1. Sing. If you’ve heard Ed do that song, especially live, he ROCKS that song like mad. He is TOTALLY in the pocket! His falsetto kills. The song has a sick groove. And none of these things did Sam bring.
        #2. How to Save a Life: When The Fray sing this, it breaks your heart in a serious way. The pain and angst just ooze from this song. As lovely a voice as Sam has, he really missed the message. You cannot miss the message on a song like this.

    • S7 Fan says:

      It may be cool to hate on Sam, but I’ve never claimed to be cool. Off to vote for Sam…….love his voice.

    • PGV says:

      Sorry, but at the beginning of that song Sam was soooo off-key. Ugh!! He did pull it together at the end.:)

      • Davey says:

        The thing is Sam is rarely off key. But he did sound good on the song at the end. And the iTunes version is good.

        • Mary says:

          That because he got Auto tune. If he cannot sing in front of a live audience he should not be the winner IMO.

      • Alan Dvorkis says:

        It is probably the first time all year he was out of tune, yet in Caleb’s very first ballad he is out of tune the entire first third, conveys no emotion the entire song, yet all we here is about his overrated show ender that we all have all seen before.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I liked it as well, but I thought “Sing” was his best performance to date.
      He sure didn’t sound any worst than The Fray on “How to Save a Life”.

  13. Guilherme Santos says:

    I wish you were right with your prediction,but I think you are waaaay of. Hope Jess and Jena´s fans know they are both in danger and vote, specially you Mr. Slezak! You saw enough of Idol to know that those girls are not safe.

  14. Vivi says:

    Jena’s voice works best when harmonizing with others. I’m convinced. First time I’ve truly enjoyed her singing.

    I still think she’s a bit overrated (sweet girl, tho). With that being said, I see her taking the crown. Caleb and Alex round up the Top 3. (Personal pick – Alex FTW).

  15. Charles says:

    Good lord, Summertime Sadness was absolutely STUNNING!!!!

    • Davey says:

      Why because she wore a red dress? I had to laugh when Jessica sang about a red dress and her hair up and they had styled her that way.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I’m not a fan of Lana Del Rey, but I do like that song, and Jessica made me love it. The dress, the hair, the staging, the lighting, the vocal, the face, everything was just right.

        • bobsaccamanna says:

          But Keith said she didn’t lean into it and JLo said it left her cold. If that left her cold then she must have felt like she was in a meat locker during Sam’s performance. Oh wait I forgot, Sam’s cute, so who cares if he can sing.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Who pays attention to the judges anymore? I give that up as soon as we hit the live shows. That’s part of why I enjoyed the last two seasons so much.

          • Danny says:

            Bob- If you want a song that won’t leave you cold, may I suggest “Your Papi” by the one and only Jennifer Lopez? It’s a warm, glowing song chocked full of bullsh…. errr, I mean emotion. You’ll have tears in your eyes after listening to such a fine piece of classical, heartwarming, pitch perfect music.

          • Foxfire says:

            I’m sure JLO will cry fake tears tomorrow is Jess does wind up leaving the show.

          • Tess says:

            JLo won’t cry fake tears for Jess… but she will shoot daggers at her with her eyes if she’s not the one who goes home…

  16. Kaba says:

    Bread winner of the night: Caleb
    Why? His final performance not only redeemed him for the entire night, but it was so so sooo much more enjoyable and thrilling than every performance tonight combined that I’d be crazy to not put it at the top imo
    _____
    Middle of the pack: Everyone minus Sam…..I really don’t feel as though Alex, Jena, or Jess really out-did one another tonight
    _____
    Go home: Sam
    Better catch your Berklee Train cause the AI Finale one is long gone for you bud.
    Completely drained everything enjoyable out of “Sing”
    ___________________
    Can we talk about Alex’s right eyebrow? I think I genuinely hate his right eyebrow. Can’t stand watching it practically rise beyond his hairline for some reason.

    • Lena says:

      I agree100% Kaba. Caleb is just awesome!!! The guy has an amazing voice. Has been he most consistent and dynamic performer of the whole season. big deal that the first few notes of his first song were off. Give he guy a break especially since he has never missed a note all season. Iwon’t even begin to mention the countless times the other contestants were off key and it wasn’t just a few notes in the beginning of their songs. As for the other contestants. Jena was a great voice but I feel she’s still growing. Jessica is finally coming into he own. I really feel she looked the most comfortable and sounded her best tonight. Sam has a nice voice but he holds back. He’s just so nervous and shy his full potential really hasn’t shined through. As for Alex… Ok voice obviously a great musician but the guy is just so dull to watch. I always walk away from the television when he’s performing. He just isn’t interesting enough . I also think he really isn’t very marketable . Again this is my opinion . Too me Caleb is he whole package. I happened to go onto u tube and saw a video of Caleb singing a bluesy country rock song and just loved it. When he said he had written it I was blown away because it was that good!

    • The Beach says:

      Alex’s facial expressions while singing are distracting, for sure. I find myself often looking away from the screen and just listening. His expressions range from appendicitis pain to “who farted”.

      • Danny says:

        Beach, c’mon guy, his expression range isn’t that limited. You forgot to list his wild and crazy “wow, this milk sure is sour” look.

        • Lena says:

          It’s sad but true. Alex always looks so awkward when he’s singing. He’s a very average singer. It’s weird how the judges never get on his case about him always doing the same thing when he sings. Yet there always on Jessica’s back about moving around. I have never heard them tell Alex to try something different. It’s always the same everything. Very very Boring !

          • Foxfire says:

            Maybe they don’t expect anything better from Alex is why they never criticize his mediocre abilities.
            I still don’t understand how he’s still on the show.

          • Ben says:

            Ok, so you guys don’t like Alex, he isn’t your style. But average singer? No. I don’t think that is fair. I do, however, understand the complaint about ‘its always the same everything’ – which is why in the past I haven’t liked some singers such as last years Kree Harrison. But this season, that critique is basically true of everyone except Jena. I cannot understand how people cannot understand how Alex is still on the show. Have they watched the show? Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, Scotty McCreery, Phil Philips, ringing any bells here? Alex is the shoo-in for season champion. But, because Jena has definitely shown the most range and been the most, for want of a better word, interesting of the contestants, perhaps she can knock Alex off. Jess and Caleb have all the hallmarks of similar contestants who have fallen just short.

          • MamaLis says:

            Wow. I really, really love Alex. I think he’s brilliant. Nothing about his “facial features” bother me in the slightest. I “lean in” during EVERY performance. (Ok maybe not that fast one.) I find him earnest and sincere. I adore his voice and his arrangements.
            And as for “marketability,” last I checked this morning, Alex has FOUR of the Top 10 American Idol records on iTunes.
            Jena is #1, and has 1. Caleb is #10, and has 1. And a Phil Phillips American Idol cut is in the middle.

          • Danny says:

            Ben- I like Alex. I like em all for that matter. Even Sam I wish well, though I don’t feel he should win the thing. It doesn’t change that Alex has some funky expressions.

        • The Beach says:

          Ha…maybe he’s been watching too much Kerry Washington on “Scandal” ;-)

      • Lunakit says:

        I always love an Alex song…. as for his facial quirks, I think he would benefit from thick rimmed glasses. Sort of an Elvis Costello look …. It would downplay some of what others are taking issue with….

        • Stormy says:

          I’ve persuaded myself that Alex is a Disney character and when he sings, I just enjoy the music.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            That’s why I still enjoy this show after all this time, even at its weakest. I just think of the contestants as characters in my musical stories.

      • Mary says:

        @Ben I hope you are wrong. I usually love singer songwriters but Alex leaves me cold. At least three of those guys had personality and it showed when they sang. Kris never sounded the same each week, neither did PP for that matter. I won’t comment on Scotty because I wasn’t into that season and Lee lets just say I didn’t want him to win. I think Alex is creative and even though I do not care for his voice has talent, but IMO won’t be mainstream. Artist today needs to draw in a audience to survive and personally I don’t see that happening.

    • JM says:

      I think you should read Kiki’s comment above, because I think she’s right that Alex may have a twinge of Asperger’s. I have often noticed his facial twitches, which happen with no rhyme or reason. Maybe the judges are aware of this, and this is why they don’t comment on it.

      • MamaLis says:

        LoL!! I think you guys are SO hysterical!! That’s part of what makes him real and believable and NUANCED!
        As I watched back his performance (again) I was just so impressed by the levels of nuance and maturity in his vocals. Just as Sam sort of “flat-lined” Save a Life until the end… Alex did SO MUCH with his voice in that song. It was whispered then loud, tender then strong, tearful then…. it was just brilliant, actually. It really was.

  17. Kevin says:

    Jessica really killed it again this week. Unfortunately, she will be the one to go. I am wondering who will be in the bottom 2 with her. Maybe Sam, but definitely not Alex.
    Here is how I think it will go. 5. Jessica 4. Sắm 3. Caleb 2. Jena 1. Alex (winner)

    • Danny says:

      Kevin, I’d switch 1 and 3, otherwise I think your list is spot on. If Sam goes this week, I’d be fine with any combination of the other 4 making the finals.

      • Kevin says:

        I would like that to happen too. However, Caleb doesn’t get much support from iTunes and many other sites. He is always the least favorite contestant in polls and his songs chart lowest on iTunes while Alex’s dominate them.

    • Jill Moya says:

      Jessica needs to be “SLAPPED OUT” of this competition. Please America, get rid of J. Meuse! Please, please! I can’t even listen to her talk! She’s so ANNOYING and CREEPY.

  18. AprilD says:

    I will continue to disagree- Jessica’s voice is the weakest of the bunch. The best she sounded was on Beast of Burden. The rest of the time her voice reminds me of bleating goats. Don’t be offended Jess fans, I also cannot stand Jewel and most current country artists.

    • OhMy says:

      Weaker than Sam?

    • Wanted:2NewJudgesSTAT says:

      Sorry, but there’s no way you can rate her performances below Sam Woolf’s “How to Sing it Wrong”.

      • AprilD says:

        I didn’t say performances, I said voice. I still think Sam’s voice is better than Jess’s. Jess is the slightly better performer though. She has more experience and maybe, MAYBE has more potential than he does -especially in country where I’ll never hear her again anyway. Major props to the girl for being a Supernatural fan though. Can’t fault her taste in men. ;)

        • Wendy says:

          No doubt. Jensen Ackles is a beautiful man. His eyelashes kill me.

          • AprilD says:

            He is too gorgeous of a man. All other men should be jealous. :)

          • Stormy says:

            To each etc. He does nothing for me. Way behind Matt Bomer, Victor Webster, Ian Somerhalder, etc.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I don’t watch “Supernatural,” but the guys are pretty cute. But my Prince Charming is David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

      • Wendy says:

        I’m a big Sam fan, but this made me laugh. Nice.

    • N0S4AT2 says:

      and i thought i was the only one whoe thought Jess sounds like a goat! her voice is just not my cup of tea. i didn’t think she’d last this long with her goat voice but i guess a lot of people dig her singing…

      • The Orginal Lamen says:

        Bah Ram Ewe! Oh, wait…That’s sheep…

        • Danny says:

          I took a sheep out to dinner one time. I picked her up in my Sport Ewe Tility vehicle. At first I thought she was a nice girl, but she really pulled the wool over my eyes.

      • Ben says:

        Frankly – just my honest opinion – people are being way too vitriolic this season here on TVLine about who is a great singer and who is a terrible one. It’s patently clear, simply from basic sampling, that every one of these singers has a lot of people who really like them, and a lot of people who can’t stand them. I find it difficult to participate in this forum at the moment because of the amount of vitriol. It didn’t used to be like that. Which brings me on to my next point….

        I remember seasons 10 and 11, when everyone hated on the judging panel of JLo, Steven and Randy for being way to nice all the time and never calling out performances they didn’t like. Now they get dumped on for saying they don’t like performances. There is not a single judge who doesn’t get ripped around here for being a terrible judge. It’s frankly completely ridiculous. The TVLine community doesn’t even know what it wants out of judges. Twelve months ago, everyone lauded Harry Connick Jr for coming in as a guest judge and calling it as he saw it. Twelve months later, he is criticised for doing exactly the same. People have to make up their minds; but most of all you all need to recognise that just because they do not share your personal opinion does not make them bad at their job, producer pawns, undeserving of being considered from an objective point of view.

        For a singing show that one has to figure most of us aim to get enjoyment out of watching the singing (or else why are we watching??) there sure seems to be a whole lot more time focussed on ridiculata than on the actual performances of the singers.

        Sorry for whoever’s comment this is on – it was something you said that triggered this, but it wasn’t a response to you nor you who made me feel it should be said. I’ve been thinking it for two or three weeks now.

        • marie says:

          I agree with what you say about the amount of vitriol on this board this season, Ben. I too feel there’ve been considerably more insults and nastiness thrown around than in the past, and it disturbs me too. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until you articulated it but I know I’ve been less enthusiastic about commenting this season.

          • toadily says:

            IMHO Michael sets the vitriol and vinegar tone. Love you, usually, Michael, but think your wit and wisdom are completely wasted on the continued sludge hurled at Randy, especially because the Idoloonie Nation has been in agreement for some time that his time has passed. Kicking the dawg when he’s down us just ugly now and there are so many more interesting things you have to say. Tks

          • My Alter Ego says:

            @Ben & marie, I agree completely! It’s both unpleasant and disturbing!

          • Ben says:

            @toadily – one thing I will say; Michael is who he is and has never compromised that for anything, which I have a lot of respect for. But I do think there is something odd about feeling as though the show is treating the singing as an afterthought, when his review does exactly the same thing.

        • Jessamine says:

          Right on, Ben! I agree with you completely. I am, of course, occasionally upset by the judges’ comments, but mostly because I don’t agree with them, not because I feel they’ve been bought or because they’re only the producers’ tools. This is the first season in a while that I’ve enjoyed the judges AND the top 5 contestants. I have two complaints: 1) I agree 100% that the camera spends WAY too much time focused on the judges during the contestants’ performances; 2) The results show has been a waste of time this season. I would much prefer to watch former Idols perform than the random judges’ picks or worse, no one at all.

    • MariMari says:

      Oh – the dreaded bleating! I thought it was just me. She sounded better on ‘Human’ than the Lana song. I didn’t like that one at all.

      • Tommyo2000 says:

        Now its the dreaded bleating!! funny how people pick up on something and then just parrot it all around. three weeks ago it was “dead eyes” … or its “Alex has to pee” look … Ugh!! yeah bleating is a good word for a sheep, which is what most posters are because they just recite the same crap that someone else posted …

    • Jill Moya says:

      Agreed! Your description of her voice is being kind! She has a screeching, limited high pitched voice worse than a sick cat. And that personality and fakeness about her…..terrible performer! None of the 5 are good. Jess always gets high marks no matter what!

  19. Davey says:

    I can’t take Michael’s grades seriously anymore. Jess and Jessica’s second numbers were not A anything material. I hope Jessica goes home tomorrow.

  20. Lindsey says:

    I thought Jena’s “Valerie” was terribly boring. It just didn’t work. Her vocal was ok, but it lacked the necessary passion.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I was totally disappointed in Valerie. I am used it to being so upbeat and dance-worthy. Meh.

      • GuitarBlue says:

        I like the song Valarie and sometimes do it in live performance. Jena was hard to understand, diction of the words, but enjoyed the mood and style of the song.

    • S. says:

      Is Slezak serious? I thought Caleb’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing was rough (2nd worst and sure sounded like vocal strain), but Valerie was the worst vocal of the night to me. I feel like Jena’s one of the chosen ones right now and Slezak’s buying into it. She definitely shouldn’t get praised for ruining a song Amy famously covered. I’m a Jena fan and she was one of the ones I supervoted for but that was a terrible arrangement. At the time I called it a hot mess.

      • Julie says:

        Thank you for acknowledging that this was a cover! The original band is The Zutons and their version is the best (love Amy, don’t get me wrong!) Really wish they had mentioned that on the show, nice to see Michael did above.

  21. Kaba says:

    Also…I think Keith Urban has officially lost all right to judge any future seasons so I will need him replaced/removed/sent home asap considering I’ve heard (and seen, didn’t watch much of tonight) he’s become the vessel of TPTB

    • Matrix says:

      This!!

    • gigi says:

      What is TPTB?

    • Mary says:

      DISAGREE, I think he calls it like he sees it even if you and obviously Michael and some others on this board do not agree. His critiques have been right on regarding Jessica. I actually think he is trying to help her out but the majority of this board thinks it is a personal attack against her.
      FACT is Jessica has been trying and slowly improving her stage presence every week. I will say that maybe the judges helped keep her in longer. Someone can have a beautiful voice but not make it due to the inability to draw in a crowd. I actually think the judges have been great this year even if I don’t agree with them.

      • kaikenna says:

        I agree.

      • Kaba says:

        I’ve never really for once disagreed with what they’ve had to say about Jess. It’s more about how insistingly tough they are on her in regard to everyone else. Of course Jess has poor stage charisma, but looking back at when Keith said:
        ______
        “If I just say, ‘Here are all the things you can work on,’ and I don’t mention one thing that was good, then I run the risk of the audience thinking the contestant just isn’t very good. Even if in my head, I’m thinking, ‘The person is excellent — they just need to work on these three things.’”
        ______
        I can understand being tough on Jessica because they see all the potential, but at some point last week he just gave me this vibe as though he simply refused to look for any saving grace about her rather impressive performances last week. And from what I saw of last night as well.
        I just dislike the imbalance in what he says throughout the night.

        • Mary says:

          I think Keith always compliments her voice. People tend to forget but they were hard on Sam to, with good reason. That is why we have to suffer through the staging he gets now, they realize he wasn’t going to improve so they give us smoke and mirrors, I think you know what I mean. Alex although uncomfortable to watch does emote and is known for his peepee dance. I guess we will agree to disagree. I love Jessica voice and I vote for her because of the singing. What I am trying to say is if she wants a career in music, she needs to improve and I think she should and has tried to incorporate the judges suggestions.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Hard on Sam but they have softened the blows because they think he’s too young.
            Hard on CJ
            Hard on Dexter
            Hard on Ben
            But you can only throw softballs at Jessica, even if they are right.

    • toadily says:

      So the judges aren’t allowed to have their own opinions, ones that differ from yours? I love watching Keith groove to the music, getting completely into the performances; it’s one of the things that keeps me watching with genuine enjoyment. I really get involved in watching these kids grow and try so hard to do well and put themselves out there for us, and I appreciate the feedback from seasoned, successful artists who clearly want these kids to succeed. And maybe many of you are now immune after so many seasons to the fact that these kids are giving their all to make their dream come true and risking a great deal along the way. Any of you want to try it? Sure, when a judge, or columnist, or Idoloonie hears something different from what I hear and how it makes me feel, I think Buzz Kill! But as someone else so aptly put it, music is a big tent and there’s room for all, and this is supposed to be fun!

      • Kaba says:

        His judgments have gone from constructive to (imo) simply blind, and sometimes unwarranted, praise and just sheer attacks hidden behind the idea of being constructive.
        About two weeks ago I didn’t really have much of an issue with his judgment, but considering in an interview with Michael he said he had to, as a judge, be careful how he worded things so that voting public wouldn’t turn against an artist even if he meant well yet needed to be constructive.
        That isn’t to say he is the only judge who I feel has become less constructive, it just appears that he’s become the least of the three.

        • Mary says:

          I guess that is your perception which I do not agree with. He has given positives and negatives to all the contestants. To be honest if a voter can be that easily swayed they are not fans of the contestants to begin with.

  22. Sarah says:

    Jena could literally barf on the stage and Slezak wouldn’t grade her below a C.

    • The Original Lamen says:

      He would give her an A- for uniquely creative, and artistically meaningful barfing. I do luh ya though Slezak! You are consistent with your love for the ladies on Idol. ;-)

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      LOL, C, Sarah. Slezak would never dare give JENA a C, unless C is the new A or it means “cute” or something. ;)

    • Erin says:

      “Did she barf onstage on live tv? Yes. Did she recover well and stay in tune most of the song? I would argue YES!” —- it is only because I so love you MS, Idoloonie 4eva.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Is it the first time Slezak’s chosen one has been polarizing? I’ve only been here for two seasons, but have seen several posts that said his past favorites–who would be getting a flower bouquet by the end of the season during their interview–were Melinda, Carly, Allison, Crystal, Haley, Skylar, and Candice. I didn’t see anyone vehemently disagreeing with him on Candice, and judging from how much people love Melinda, Allison, Crystal, and Haley, one would assume that his favorites were not too far off with the general public’s (I for one strongly disliked Carly though). Did it happen with Skylar? (I know I’ve engaged in a debate with HTGR on that girl’s adeptness).

    • Jeremy says:

      Funny Sarah since when she sings it sounds like she is barfing.I call her Throw Up Girl.

  23. Akash says:

    She’s the best singer here, but Jena is clearly full of herself. “I’m going to call myself just Jena.” Um…no. She hides it well, but every now and then you can see that Jena has read her own press.

    • bobsaccamanna says:

      In defense of Jena though, Harry kind of put her into a position by asking her that question, so pretty much whatever she said was going to end up sounding like she is full of herself. I’m not saying she isn’t by the way, but, the dopey question led her there.

      • Idolhead Ed says:

        You are dead right there

      • Catniss says:

        Finally someone said it. Couldn’t agree with you more.

      • Ben says:

        Completely right. Not sure why people get so focussed on trying to perceive arrogance on idol. Very few, if any, get to this stage on idol by being arrogant – yet are constantly required to act as though their mere presence on American Idol is going to be their chariot to superstardom. It’s the show that wants them to talk and act as though they are going to be the next great thing – its not the contestants.

    • Danny says:

      She’s local, not that I know her personally. From what I’ve read she’s always been considered a sweet girl. Not that anyone who calls her a witch will get any time on local news, but I’m under the impression she’s a pretty decent person.

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        I actually like her personality, seems to me from day one she has always just been herself. Whether people like that or not, I guess that’s a matter of preference, but I don’t think she has changed at all since the show started. I knew she would catch some crap tonight about her answer to Harry’s question, but to me, Harry put her on the spot, there was no good answer.

        • Erin says:

          Agree. She is also very young. I would suggest that she add an e to her name, the spelling is so distracting. Shame on you, parents.

          • JENAinCAPS says:

            I think adding an “a” solves the problem… Jeana.

          • Ben says:

            I honestly don’t think it matters how you spell your name. Pharrell could be said like Colin Farrell (and often is) by people who don’t know him. So what? People listen on the radio, they hear ‘this is Gina’… whatever, they find how to spell the name, and its really not that hard. It’s not some kind of big obstacle in music life.

      • GuitarBlue says:

        Any young aspiring artist or someone who starts their own business, has to believe in what they have to offer and promote themselves as best they can. Jena is only doing what she needs to do in actually looking to brand herself and she is already a good performer.

  24. LeahKittyS says:

    “Best Day of My Life?” More like “Best Show of the Season.” When the worst performances were just okay, that says something. The chaff is gone, and now we’re left with bushels of delicious golden wheat (see, Michael’s not the only one who can wax poetic).
    Jena is a star. The Caleb/Jessica duet was awesome. And Alex’s “Say Something” was indeed the highlight of the night.
    As for who’s going home tonight…um…I want to say Sam? But will Jess’ fans get out in droves and vote to save her after two Bottom 2 appearances? I should hope so after her showing tonight.
    Also, props to Caleb for calling out his own pitch issues after “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.”
    And Jason Mraz makes everything better.
    And Alex and Sam reacting to Zooey Deschanel and Ariana Grande were adorable.
    And the selfie thing with Austin Mahone was stupid.
    And, finally, what’s the verdict on my link? Did it work? Can you read it? If so, I’m going to transfer my results show saga to that page and just post the link here, so as not to take up so much space.

    • Danny says:

      I don’t see your link, if that’s what you’re asking.

    • Foxfire says:

      Hopefully the former CJ fans will now vote for Jessica Meuse.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      I agree that it was the best Idol show of the season tonight – the top 5 left have their strengths as either singers or performers..

    • JENAinCAPS says:

      Leah, a link? Seriously?

      • LeahKittyS says:

        It’s either that or I keep posting the story here. And I don’t want people lying just to make me stop. Danny, Elizabeth, Lana, or anyone who’s actually reading it, please check the link and tell me if my Deviant Art page is accessible to you. Then I can send you guys there instead of posting it here and getting heckled to death.

        • JENAinCAPS says:

          But where is the link? I don’t see it. Is it on your Twitter bio?

          • LeahKittyS says:

            It’s in my reply to Danny. Look below my original comment, and then Danny is the first reply. I answered him; the link is in there.

          • JENAinCAPS says:

            Leah, I just can’t see your link for some reason. Danny posted that he doesn’t see it either. You should post it again. What’s Diviant Art?

          • Danny says:

            Leah- No, I still don’t see it. What I see is: . Comment by LeahKittyS – April 30, 2014 11:34 PM PDT REPLY TO THIS POST- There’s no link there.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Danny, it appears my link keeps getting removed by a webmaster. Don’t worry; tomorrow night I will post instructions on how to find the next installment. Then you can find your way there, just like the Idol adventurers have been finding their way through the kingdoms LOL.

          • JENAinCAPS says:

            Leah, I just found the Diviant Art website. It’s quite lovely with all that artwork. I see a list of categories. If your link on this board was removed by a webmaster, post directions to locate your fan fiction on that website. Have you posted last weeks as an experiment?

          • LeahKittyS says:

            If my link keeps getting removed here, then I will post instructions to get there for those who are following the story. It will especially be good for the final installment, as that part is going to be particularly long.

        • AlyB says:

          There is a commenter here whose name escapes me at the moment, that has a link to their blog pop up as part of their name. I wonder why the webmaster would remove your link if that kind of thing is clearly allowed. Just so you know, I have no issue with you posting your installments here. It has become part of the comment section experience :D The couple of cranky ones that feel the need to make a nasty crack about the posts are a) arrogant to assume they speak for the regulars around here b) so lazy they can’t simply croll past something they don’t want to read without complaining c) some combination of those two. I think it’s awesome that your fan fiction is posted here. It’s creative and fun.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Aw, thanks <3 So this goes out to everyone: what you guys rather have me do? Continue posting the installments here, or send you to my Deviant Art page? Please be polite. :)

          • JENAinCAPS says:

            At this point, Leah, you may as well finish the season posting your fan fiction here. You’ll be posting the Top 5 episode tonight and then before you know it, the season will be over. I personally don’t believe fan fiction belongs on Michael Slezak’s board even though he didn’t discourage you from posting it, however you belong here with your sweet posts and positive opinions. The reactions of outrage to your fan fiction have taken on a life of their own. There is a hilarity and insanity that takes place now and I think this hurts you. : ( If I were your Mom, I would encourage your to think about not putting yourself in this same position next year. And then I’d hug you. (((Leah)))

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Yeah, forget the link. I’ll just keep posting it here, and I don’t think I’ll do one next year. I wasn’t originally going to do a story this year, but Danny and a few others asked for it after they liked my “American Idol Horror Story” last year. Did you see that one? The reaction to that one was way more positive. I wonder what made the difference this year.

    • Lana says:

      I don’t see a link LeahKittyS so don’t transfer your saga until the link really works.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Lana, we’ve already established that the webmaster keeps removing my link. So tonight I will post instructions on how to get to the latest installment. Don’t worry, it won’t be a riddle :)

    • A link! I look forward to seeing your site. As for your comments, I completely agree. I thought the night was great and am excited that I genuinely like all of the top 5. It was hard to decide where to cast my votes!

  25. Mitch says:

    Jessica’s leg tho!!! Was so sexy!

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      And that tattoo was huge! What was it?
      .
      I really enjoyed her performance of ‘Summertime Sadness,’ but I wonder a little if I wasn’t just thrilled that someone was singing ‘Summertime Sadness’ on American Idol. I was hoping she would bring a liiiiiiiite more theatricality to it, like she did in the beginning with that pose. Her eyes are showing more emotion, though- I was true for both songs. She’s improving and I hope she stays another week.

    • Jill Moya says:

      Yea, as sexy as a wet noodle!

    • Erin says:

      I dunno, I found her pose as contrived as Sam’s hand touches to the girls. She sang great, tho. Too bad it wouldn’t matter if her song cured cancer they would just mutely and tell her more about what they’ve been telling her.

  26. Wanted:2NewJudgesSTAT says:

    9 times. The amount of times the camera cut over to JNo Talent during Caleb’s Still of the Night. But the bigger outrage was hearing Keith (again) find fault with Jessica’s Summertime Sadness, followed by the Fly Girl saying the same thing, only with more cliches.

    I’m sorry, but if I want to see Jennifer Lopez bounce around aimlessly to somebody else’s song, I’ll watch In Living Color reruns.

    • bobsaccamanna says:

      It really has become almost a joke at this point, Jessica’s last 4 performances starting last week have all been fantastic, yet somehow it literally pains Keith and J Lo to say something good about her, and when the do manage to muster up some faint praise , it’s always muted with some kind of dopey critique like Keith saying he wants her to “lean” into the song. What the hell does that mean, does it mean close her legs like she has to take a leak like Alex, or does it mean stare off into space like one of The Children of the Corn like Sam.
      I just don’t get it.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        My only problem with Keith and JLo is that they are not consistent with their critiques. Yes, Jess could do “lots” of things better, but so could the rest. She is this year’s Haley apparently… I expect that nonsense from JLo, but not Keith. Mr. Urban. Tsk. Tsk.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I remember the judges being much harder on Haley than they are on Jessica.

        • Danny says:

          DET- Yea, Jessica is sorta like Haley Lite in terms of harshness. She gets slammed the most this year. And it does bug me that every year Idol picks out a female to find fault with. Compared to Haley though, Jessica’s treatment is mild. I’d compare Jessica more to Elise or someone along those lines.

        • Idolhead Ed says:

          You recall when Randy said it was a tie between, Scotty,Lauren and Durbin? It hurt Haley so much she had to turn away so as to not let the audience see her cry. She then came back with “I Who Have Nothing” and make them all stand up.

          • Emma says:

            Yes, what nonsense! At least Jessica doesn’t have Randy at the “judges” table telling her everyone won that round except for you. I’m still so impressed that Haley was able to come out just minutes later and slay IWHN. Great moment.

  27. Sandee says:

    Jessica had the best performances of the night, but she will be eliminated. The judges keep throwing her under the bus. Sam and Caleb were the worst, but Caleb doesn’t deserve to leave. I have a feeling Jena is in trouble too, even though she had solid performances. She went early both songs.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Didn’t Jena perform last on the first round?
      .
      I think Jena may be in trouble, too. Alex, Jessica, and Caleb all had one standout performance (Say Something, Summertime Sadness, and Still Of The Night, respectively), whereas she just had two competent ones. Sam’s probably the one who deserves to leave, but he’s got the judges on his side.

      • MariMari says:

        Jena’s first song was much better than “competent”. Judges gave it high praise. I believe Michael tweeted a screenshot showing it at #1 and Jess’s Lana song #2 on iTunes.

        • Amy says:

          Michael’s screenshot was of his ‘recently added’ section on iTunes, not the actual iTunes chart. :)

        • Miscelaneopolan says:

          Yeah, Slezak also thinks that Jena rearranged Valerie herself, even though she just sang Amy Winehouse’s own slower, more laid-back recorded version. For that matter, I’m pretty sure the radio version of Summertime Sadness is sped up and that that’s the version Jessica was singing. I like Slezak- no one wields a metaphor with such lusty aplomb- but dude can be pretty biased and I wouldn’t hold up his opinion as proof that a performance was great.

  28. Lynn says:

    There was one good (maybe even great) thing about the off-pitch, lackluster “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” – it showcased perfectly Caleb’s weakness.He is a one-trick pony, and I don’t want to hear any more wanna-be Whitesnake numbers. News flash, Caleb, it ain’t the song, it’s you, bro.

  29. Lora says:

    I feel that Caleb and Jessica pulled apart from the pack tonight. If there is any justice, Jessica will not see Bottom 3 this week. Alex’s “Say Something” was good enough for third place. I love Jena, but she was overshadowed tonight in a big way by the other three, but can Sam please go home now? lol

  30. Julie Anderson says:

    As the judges mentioned, memorizing the lyrics for Sweater Weather along with learning all three songs is something to be commended. I don’t like the song at ALL, but thought 1. Alex made it better. 2. Looked noticeable more comfortable and connected (and that earned him more points) 3. Was impressed he didn’t falter with tricky lyrics 4. Cut him slack for having to open.

    He didn’t exactly get great slots tonight. Thankfully, I think his talent rose above that.

    • Erin says:

      I am Alex all the way, and never hear much good about him here or on Reality Check. Seriously, nothing to say at all about Always on My Mind? I know he has a “look” problem and “performance” issue, but to me his songs make me not care if he moves. That voice!

      • MamaLis says:

        I adored Alex’s performance tonight of Say Something. OMgosh. So amazing.
        And no – Melinda Doolittle praises Alex all the time on Reality Check. She loves him.

    • Jeremy says:

      Haha like it’s a huge accomplishment to memorize the lyrics to a song.

  31. Caleb should be in the bottom two? I have read this column since the beginning and have always looked as Slezak as a breath of fresh with his weekly analysis but I just don’t know what’s going on this year. I think he’s drinking too much wine while watching the show or something.

    PS…Say Something has quickly rocketed into the pantheon of songs I don’t want to hear on singing competitions anymore. Joining Hallelujah, Summertime and It’s a Man’s World.

    • The Original Lamen says:

      He prefers Sauvignon Blanc, thank you very much. At least a bottle and a half before the show starts. Makes it better. I’ve heard.

    • Owen says:

      Who is Slezak going to put in the Bottom Two with Sam? He’d lose any cred if he said Alex, and there’s no way he’d put Jessica there. He seems to have confused Jessica Meuse with Haley Reinhart. Slezak’s fellow Idol Internet recappers all loved Haley and were upset by the thrashing she got by the judges. Jessica is almost universally disliked by other bloggers in the Idolverse. Could Keith and JLo actually, truthfully, just not like Jess instead of being guided by the PTB? Cause outside of TV Line, the country’s other Idol Judges (the AI bloggers) don’t like her either and are probably not being told to dis her by the show’s producers.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        MJ goes nuts for Jessica. So does Lyndsey Parker. And I think Jim Cantiello had some nice things to say about her. Michael’s not the only blogger in her corner.

        • Owen says:

          Jim Cantiello has some “nice” things to say about Jess, yes. Cause she deserves it. But he certainly has had problems with her performances and doesn’t gush the way Slezak does as if she’s the second coming of Haley. I don’t know who Lynsey Parker is, but Dave Holmes dislikes her, and you obviously haven’t been keeping up with MJ! She might like a performance here or there but she certainly has never gone “nuts” for her, Jess is obviously one of MJ’s least favorites.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Lyndsey Parker works for Yahoo! on their Reality Rocks blog. She likes classic rock and badass chicks. I have never heard of Dave Holmes. And MJ is power voting for Jessica tonight, look on her Twitter.

          • MAB says:

            Lyndsey Parker’s favorite is Alex. She says it all the time.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Yes, but she still likes Jessica and appreciates it when she gives a good performance. None of the bloggers I follow hate Jessica, is my point.

          • Owen says:

            She must have really liked the second song then. I only read her live blog for the first half of the show and she called Jess’s performance flat and closed off. Which is nicer than a lot of things she’s said about her.

          • JENAinCAPS says:

            Where is Jim these days? I don’t see Idol in 60 Seconds anywhere. Didn’t Jim move to LA for X-Factor? I hope he didn’t give up a rent controlled apartment in NYC for that career move.

          • Mary says:

            @JENAincaps Jim moved to California because his wife got a great position at one of the colleges. Jim has guest hosted with Lindsey Parker on her idol recap a couple of times. He said he took a break on reality TV after working on XFactor.

          • Tommyo2000 says:

            So I guess MJ tweet from lat night of “off to vote for Jess! all my votes going to save her tihs week #idol” last night was due to a hacking … must be that Carlos Danger guy …

          • JENAinCAPS says:

            Thanks, Mary, I’m glad to hear that his wife is doing well. I think Jim’s Idol in 60 Seconds was original and comic displays of lunacy. Jim was wonderful.

      • Christina says:

        I see a lot of positive about her on various blogs I read. I think you are way off there. Actually I see about an even spread of positive and negative for all five performers.

      • PGV says:

        I’ve read the exact Opposite from the Idol bloggers regarding Jess. The majority Love her and are Also calling out the Idol judges for throwing her under the bus. Michael is not alone!

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Can I add Alicia Keys’ “No one” and every single Whitney Houston song to your list?

    • The Beach says:

      I would love to never hear it again, not just on singing competitions.

  32. MAB says:

    I thought Jason Mraz was an excellent mentor. He seemed to be pretty on target with the contestants.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Up-vote. He and David Cook made everything better.

      • Owen says:

        Well…we do have to remember that David Cook mentored on possibly the worst Idol performance episode in Season Thirteen.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Maybe, but I don’t think that was his fault.

        • Danny says:

          I’ve got to run with Owen on this one. David was great when he was on the show. Obviously he won and I felt he was the best that year. I enjoyed seeing him as a mentor. The fact is though, no matter who’s fault it was, the night he was on it wasn’t a very good show.

    • Danny says:

      Yea, he added quite a bit to the show. I’m trying to recall other mentors I enjoyed this much. Stevie Nicks comes to mind. I know there’s a few others though they’re escaping me. I too thought Jason did a great job.

    • tealeaves says:

      Jason Mraz did a good job. It seemed like he had real working sessions with them. That’s the same feeling we got when David Cook mentored a few weeks ago. A lot of times it feels like the mentors spend much less time with them and mostly give the stamp of approval to whatever they were already going to do.

      • sheba says:

        Great to have a singer-songwriter who performs with a guitar help these contestants overcome the inward, static performance styles that tend to come with just standing at a mic with a guitar.

  33. McFudge says:

    Sam got “relatively funky”. Little girls can now vote for him conscience-free, I guess.

  34. Christina says:

    Can Sam go home now? Loved Jessica and Alex the most tonight!

  35. Margot says:

    What the heck happened to Caleb during “I don’t want to miss a thing?” It’s unlike him to be so off! And the judges said nothing about it?! At least Caleb himself commented on his pitch problems. That Ariana chick kinda acted like she was doing Idol a favor by gracing them with her presence. It looked like she was wearing a long sweater with no pants on. I thought Jena should have gotten more credit for “Valerie,” and I don’t think it was fair to give Sam “Sing”–that song would be hard for anyone but Ed Sheeren to get right.

    • Owen says:

      Good on Caleb!! He knew the song had been done to death on Idol and he knew he’d gone off-pitch and freely admitted it!

    • Timmah says:

      It made me want to puke when J-Lo said she got goosies on Caleb’s first song. It was horrendous.

      • Owen says:

        No, I understood. Toward the end of the song he really did pull it out. As much as I was aghast at how bad the first part was…I think I liked the last part of “Miss a Thing” more than I liked the Whitesnake song….

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Here’s why I think Caleb struggled with the Aerosmith song. It’s powerful, which he can do, but it’s also very emotional when you read into the lyrics. Caleb doesn’t strike me as someone who’s had that kind of relationship. He comes off to me as more of a guy who likes to love ‘em and leave ‘em. He might be even more emotionally distant than Sam LOL.

          • Timmah says:

            I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Leah. That’s what keeps me from liking Caleb more, there’s a complete lack of emotional vulnerability.

        • Danny says:

          Owen- or anyone really. I’ve never really understood how come someone can mess up the start of a song and then recover by singing 20 good seconds at the end. Usually on those songs I think it was just a not so good rendition.
          ..
          I get once in awhile there can be a glitch or something. It seems that since I’ve been watching Idol the judges will so often say something like “the song didn’t start well, but ya picked it up at the end.”
          ..
          They’re only singing for 90 seconds or so. For it to be a great song, they should have to do the whole thing well.

          • Owen says:

            Its called “recovering” and yes, if a singer can finally find the groove, pocket or emotion in a song half way through and have the talent to pull it off so that it can move you, I’m sure these judges have had it happen to them so they are sympathetic.

          • Danny says:

            Keith and Harry may have recovered at times over the years. Lopez has never missed a note in her life. Pretty incredible considering all the rear end shaking she does.

      • tealeaves says:

        Then later in the night should could not remember what song it was that had given her goosies earlier. Classic.

        • tealeaves says:

          *she could not remember.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          That was almost as funny as Paula Abdul critiquing Jason Casto’s second song before he sang it.

          • Danny says:

            I remember that. But as Paula said, this is difficult. (or hard, or something like that). As loony as Paula was, she’s still my favorite judge of all time. What I wouldn’t do to have her back.

          • tealeaves says:

            In recent years I often think of how outraged I was at Paula for that Jason Castro incident. Given all the terrible judging since, it is not longer the biggest offense from any judge not named Simon. At least she was possibly just being air headed.
            One thing I truly appreciated about Paula, both then and now, is that she could appreciate a wide range of genres and performance styles.

          • Idolhead Ed says:

            tThat was fricking hilarious!

  36. Chablis says:

    Jena is 17. She’ll learn as she natured. Yet many have no Problem with Caleb’s cheesiness ?

  37. Chablis says:

    ^ matures. Why is there not an edit button….9

  38. tealeaves says:

    I really like this top 5.

  39. J says:

    Caleb, Alex and Jessica were the best tonight. No one else came close to them. I hope they are our top 3.

    Their second performances won the night for me. Alex’s gorgeous “Say Something.” He tapped into the emotion of the song beautifully. Jessica’s “Summertime Sadness” was sultry and fit her like a glove! The red dress, leg, voice, song, etc. BRILLIANT. Caleb slayed the Whitesnake song like the showman he is.

  40. Owen says:

    It’s all about Jena now. She is the one to beat. Caleb might, but as phenomenal as he can be, Jena has to win. She’s got a unique voice, she’s developed a killer stage presence and she does “sparkle” with star quality. Even Caleb can’t keep up there. She is the type of winner this show needs (sorry Candice) at this moment. So contemporary, so youthful. Paired with the right song (and there’s the rub) Jena could have Kelly Clarkson potential. I’m not kidding. That girl has blossomed EXACTLY the way Kelly did on the show (though I don’t think Kelly ever Bottom Three’d). Jess and/or Alex have a place in today’s music as well, but neither has the potential (again, I said potential) to hit as hard as Jena Irene. For the safety of Idol as a franchise, I really hope Jena can take this.

    • Wendy says:

      No. Just NO. Kelly Clarkson has a phenomenal voice. She also has an unaffected attitude. Jena does not come close to Kelly. Ever. Idol will just have to rely on someone else.

      • Owen says:

        Jena has one of the best “white-girl” voices this show has ever had. It’s not Kelly Clarkson yet (and I don’t mean she sounds like Kelly–Jena has a gorgeous tone all of her own) but the girl is only 17. And, heck, she’s already a star. Just watch her!!

        • Wendy says:

          I think we will have to agree to disagree. I’m not a fan of her affected singing. It annoys me, but I respect your opinion.

          • Mary says:

            I am with Owen on this one. Love her or hate her she has star potential with good music and representation. I understand you might not like her voice, I am the same way about Alex but no denying she has talent in spades.

        • Timmah says:

          I thought you were going to say, just ask her :).

    • Christina says:

      Oh I wondered why you were bashing Jessica further on up but now it makes sense. You’re a Jena fan and you guys tend to spew venom any time someone likes one of Jessica’s performances. And lol @ comparing Jena to Clarkson!

    • kcostell says:

      Jena combined the enunciation of Dexter with the low notes of Marcel Marceau. How can she lose?

    • Kaba says:

      “Jena could have Kelly Clarkson potential. I’m not kidding. That girl has blossomed EXACTLY the way Kelly did on the show”
      I almost choked on my midnight snack as I was torn between laughter and a massive gasp. Thanks for nothing 0.o

    • Idolhead Ed says:

      Owen you are spot on. There is no one in the Idol history books as complete as Jena and she’s only 17. She has all the goods. And think about this; we have had 6 white guys,three black females, one black male,and two white female winners. What do the white females have in common? They are the only superstars the show has produced. I think Jena will be the next one. In fact I think this year Idol will have its 3rd and the voice will have its 1st in Christina Grimmie.

      • Not says:

        Christina Grimme is so modest, pretty and curvy…a real star about to shine.

      • Jeremy says:

        But I do not like Jena’s growl style voice. It isn’t pleasant for everyone. She has moments of greatness but I keep hearing her sound like she is throwing up. I don’t dig it.

    • Mark says:

      I’m sure the producers would like nothing more than a Jena/Sam finale, but I think either Caleb or Alex is going to crash that party. As much as I love her, I’m pretty sure that Jessica is going home tonight, and then it will be a scramble to see who takes down Jena in the finale. To win she would have to take out two WGWGs and simply the best rocker ever to compete on AI. I don’t see that happening. But I’ve been wrong before.

  41. Gina (not JENA) says:

    I liked Jena at the beginning but…the funky, affected pronunciations are getting to me. You don’t speak like that…why sing that way? It’s just reached a point where it’s annoying. Still…when I heard she was going to do Valerie? I thought would be perfect for her but…no. I thought it was awful. And, then…there is the inflated head sydrome. Cher, Madonna…and JENA…don’t call me anything but Gina, though because any idiot knows that Jena is Gina and our is ow-er! Oy. But, I thnk she’ll be top 2 with Caleb taking the competition. It’s what the powers that be want. Both have good voices, don’t get me wrong. But, I wouldn’t spend a nickle to download their music or see them in concert. And, that’s how I judge things. Would I spend money to hear them sing for an hour or more?

    I know Jessica will either go this week or next. How could she survive week after week of outright pans or damning with faint praise? The swaybots in the audience don’t even know when to move unless someone panders to them and shows them the way. How would they know how to vote without the “judgement” of Ms. Autotune and her two male cohorts?
    Funny that Caleb was extremely pitchy in song #1 and they ignored it, while Jessica wasn’t pitchy at all and Harry called her on “pitch issues.” They loved her song but “it wasn’t her best,” or it “left them cold.” And, I don’t know what would satisfy Keith as far as Jess is concerned.

    Guys…Caleb did a great job on song 2. Song 1…eh. I hate that overused tune. Sam…is the weakest but will probably stay another week (it’s him or Jess going, I think). Alex … I wasn’t overly fond of either song but #2 was better than #1, I thought.
    Jess is my favorite. I know she has no chance at winning but there is something clear and lovely about her voice. It’s an honest voice. Not dependent on runs or funky phrasing…but, whenever her elimination occurs, she should really be proud of herself. And…of course…change her stage name to JESS! (Exclamation point included).

    • Leslie says:

      My primary issue with Jena (aside from her overdone affected pronunciations) is that her lower register is absolutely terrible. Honestly, listen to her first performance again and see if you can make out any of the words when she’s not cranked up to a 10 singing loudly. It’s like “mumble mumble scream” and repeated every single song. Actually even her pitch was off tonight and she usually doesn’t have that problem so much (nerves perhaps). Michael is in serious denial giving her the highest grades of the evening. Neither were deserving of an “A” and then to give Caleb a “B+” for what was clearly one of the best performances of the night shows blatant favoritism and bias over reality. Based on the night’s performances, Jena and Sam deserve to be in the Bottom 2.

  42. Harold says:

    No one has pointed out that Harry and Keith both like to over use the word pocket as much as Harry likes to say intonation. I’d be thrilled to never hear those songs again.

    Also, Jess deserves to stay another week. Great job tonight with no praise. Judges need to get with the program.

    • Name This Tune says:

      Well, the coaches on The Voice talk about it all the time. Means something if you’re trying to stay with the beat.

    • tealeaves says:

      I think this was not even the first time this season that Harry asked a contestant if they know what “the pocket” means. I think it is a useful term, it is just used too much.

  43. M says:

    I’m convinced that AI turns the camera over to JLo so much for the sake of providing us with an easy to follow drinking game to help us get through the low points of this season.
    Why did I catch onto this back when Majesty was prancing around like some new deaf Disney Princess?

  44. Danny says:

    There seems to be a wide variety of opinions on who was the best/worst. Tonight has one of those feels where pretty much everyone is right. In the end it is just our opinions. Even ones I don’t agree with, I can see where they’re coming from if they explain it.

    • GuitarBlue says:

      With just 5 left now, everyone is starting to get their share of high praise and bad critique by bloggers around the net. The quality of the speakers on the tv set or computer might be a hidden factor. And not everyone “connects/likes” certain songs or genres.

      Phillip Phillips is doing very well in today’s current music scene, and he had plenty of critics when he was on the show. I also remember how some were adamantly claiming Amber Holcom was going to be a great new star, the new whitney, etc., last year, but haven’t heard much about her since.

      • Mary says:

        Well in all fairness PP did have pitch problem on the show and lets face it his first record was the best idol song ever. Amber Holcomb got pregnant so who knows if she would of gone further. The bottom line is it is all about good representation after the show and songs. At this stage I believe fan bases have been formed and unless a contestant really blows it, we will see who has the strongest one.

  45. Lynn Roche says:

    Don’t we all miss Keri Lynn Roche??? I think she would be rocking that stage, just sayin’

  46. Name This Tune says:

    We’re a mere 24 hours past Kat Perkins killing Ooh La La last night, and we’re trying to pretend that anything remotely interesting happened on that Idol stage except Caleb singing White Snake.
    I was more than bored tonight.
    Doesn’t matter to me who the Bottom 2 is but it’s way past the time for Sam to go.

    • Owen says:

      The problem with Kat Perkins is her time has passed. She will never be a star. She has a voice of death, yes. But one of the problems of a second chance show like The Voice…is once a singer has had one chance, or a singer gets to a certain age, the elusive spark that makes a star is long gone (or was never there to begin with). Give me the youthful excitement and heart pounding potential of an Idol performer/performance any day!

      • Name This Tune says:

        And the only performance we saw tonight that matches the level of talent on the other show was given by Caleb.
        The rest of them were flat out dull.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          We agree NTT, but we’re probably on the wrong board. It’s kind of a wipeout comparing one to the other this year. I’ve given up trying.
          But yes, Paris (ooh la la) was epic. If she can keep that up, she’s got a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the finale. Ok, maybe not, but hopefully we can enjoy at least two more weeks of her performances before she heads into obscurity like everyone from both Voice and Idol.

      • Davey says:

        Well if there is youthful excitement on Idol this year I’m missing it.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Hate to break it to ya, Owen, but Kat has a way bigger chance of becoming a star than anyone from Idol this year. Talent still means something. I know the industry is ageist, but when you have vocal ability and stage charisma like Kat’s, it’s hardly too late. Not to mention she’s got some pretty damn relevant friends to help with the jumpstart (i.e., Bret Michaels). Jena is probably the best this year at commanding a stage, but watch (almost) anyone from The Voice this year work a stage and then compare it to the kids on Idol. It’s like comparing apples to giraffes.
        And with that, I’m back to bed. Peace out.

    • tealeaves says:

      Paris Ooh la la is another song that needs to be retired from these shows.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        That’s funny, I’d never even heard of it before this season. In terms of Grace Potter, I only know “Stars” because it’s a hit and “The Lion the Beast the Beat” because one of the a cappella groups as my school has done it. It was actually another campus a cappella group that introduced me to “My Body,” so I could sing along with Jena LOL.

        • tealeaves says:

          This year on Idol it was performed by Emily, by the Patriots cheerleader in auditions, and by at least one other auditioner. On X-Factor it was famously performed by Jennel Garia for her audition in 2012 and seemed to propel her to front runner status (until the live shows). It has been performed on The Voice before, too.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I remember all of those; you misunderstood me. I had HEARD the song all those times you mentioned, but until the auditions I have never heard OF it. And I don’t watch The Voice and gave up on The X Factor after Season 1.

          • JENAinCAPS says:

            Omg, Demi totally destroyed Jennel with a makeover. Delilah and Samson.

  47. Kaba says:

    Currently going through Sheeran therapy to help me re-adjust to Ed Sheeran after Sam ruined Sing for me.

  48. Renee says:

    I’m really enjoying the consistently talented younglings of this seasons top 5 – who’d a thought? And another huge plus for me is adding truly contemporary music – I love The Neighbourhood, Young the Giant, Great Big World. So much better than tired old Idol catalog. And I would like to add it wasn’t Jess’ performance that left JLo cold – it was that empty place where La Lopez’s heart is supposed to be.

  49. Christina says:

    LMAO at “Valerie” with a higher score than “Still of the Night.” I could not understand hardly any of the words in Jena’s first performance when she wasn’t belting and that merits an “A?” Please. Caleb kicked her ass all over the stage tonight and so did Jessica and Alex!

    • Stormy says:

      It’s time to start regarding Michael as a delusional uncle when it comes to his favorites. I love him to death, but can’t begin to fathom his logic.

  50. AlyB says:

    I liked both of Jessica’s songs. The vocals on both were fantastic. I thought the performance on Human was better but she sounded great on both songs. Sam wasn’t terrible on either but they were both kind of middle of the road for me. I just find him dull. Everyone else had a good and bad performance. I have to disagree with you on Jena. I thought Valerie was just awful. The tone of her voice just didn’t sound good on that song and it ended up being kind of grating. I really liked My Body though. She does have a great command of the stage and that was a good vocal and a fun performance. Alex’s Say Something was really well done. The vocal was beautiful and the song was perfect for him. Sweater Weather was a total yawn and uncharacteristically pitchy for Alex. I would say Caleb redeemed himself with the Whitesnake song except I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing was just so awful that his being so good on Still Of The Night just reinforced the idea that he is simply incapable of doing anything besides that type of song. His voice just doesn’t sound good in anything but a full throated rock wail. He’s great at what he does but what he can do is extremely limited. That said, my pick for final 4 is Jessica, Jena, Alex and Caleb. I hope it happens. They’d give us the best show.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I don’t even watch “The Voice,” but I have to agree with you. So up-vote.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Well said. At this point, I’d prefer a good show as I am struggling to care who wins.

    • Lena says:

      I beg to differ AlyB. Did you see Caleb sing Faithfully ? It was pitch perfect. Sure the first few notes in the beginning of his first song were off but after that he sounded great. That’s such an overplayed song and so many people dislike it . But Caleb actually sounded really good . Go on u tube and watch him sing heart shaped box by Nirvava . He’s amazing !! In my opinion the top 3 should be Caleb , Jena and Jessica. I like Sam but he holds back too much. Oh and then there’s Alex. I just don’t understand the appeal . His voice is average. He is obviously a great musician. But he is so so so so Boring… I have problems sitting through his performances . I would never buy a cd of his .

      • Davey says:

        Funny, Alex is probably the only one left whose CD I’d buy.

        • Timmah says:

          Me too. As Harry said, I can hear him on the radio right now. I don’t even know what kind of record the other ones would make. Except for Caleb doing the greatest hits of the 70s.

        • Amy says:

          You aren’t the only one (I agree!). His songs seem to do relatively well on iTunes, too.

        • Ben says:

          He is the only one whose CD I would buy too – the only other one from this season at all I’d even consider is Majesty; and then she would have to be doing the right thing. She didn’t know who she was yet, but Alex does.

        • MamaLis says:

          Completely agree. I don’t typically buy American Idol songs and I’ve bought probably four of Alex’s now. Judging by his iTunes numbers, we’re obviously not alone in liking him (a lot!)

        • Julie Anderson says:

          Yep, me too. Alex is the only Idol whose music I have bought and can imagine enjoying in the future. I cannot wait until he starts getting his own stuff out there. He is also making a lot of interesting musical connections with songwriters, so I’m quite optimistic about his future endeavors.

          In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I think Jena was in the bottom two and Idol didn’t want that known. They do need someone who is more of an extrovert, but I think we will learn that Alex led the vote every week once the show is over.

          • MAB says:

            Alex’s music is really good. He has a couple of songs on iTunes from before Idol that are great. I bought most of his stuff.