Tor's Take

Where I put things that I think about stuff.

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 3

This week the Idols sang three songs each - one picked by some idiot who won’t leave the theater, one picked by the judges, and an encore chosen by their home towns. The show started with a performance of the hit song, #Selfie, which seemed really fun at the highest speed Tivo would let me move forward. There was also an American Idol doctor to tell us about Caleb’s vocal hemorrhage but oddly not to tell us why Jennifer Lopez gyrates like she does when Caleb performs. She dances like too many people are watching.

Caleb Johnson - “Never Tear Us Apart,” “Demons” and “Dazed And Confused” - He was seriously sick and he did his best. At one point in “Demons,” he looked so heartbroken after his voice wouldn’t let him hit a note, I actually felt something in my cold, dark, Caleb-hating heart. What else could be changing in me? Do I like tomatoes now? How do I feel about the comedy of Tim Allen? (Answers: Nothing. Yuck. Also, yuck.) It should be noted that he was the first person to destroy a mic stand which was, I’ll say, cool? I just hope he doesn’t get a pity spot in the finals because he was sick. He’s as relevant as 67% of the songs he sang tonight and isn’t the winner American Idol needs.

Alex Preston - “Pompeii,” “Stay” and “Story Of My Life” - Alex was the winner of the night. He was the only one who had three great performances. He was serious tonight and wanted to prove he can be the winner. So it was single-cuffed pants for Alex because he didn’t want to show too much calf and distract the viewer from his awesome performances. It’s too bad his mic cut out when he switched from guitar to drums on “Pompeii” because I think it made a phenomenal performance merely good. Fortunately, “Stay” gave Alex the “Idol Moment” every winner needs to have (with the exception of Scotty McCreery). Tonight convinced me that Alex can be the winner of American Idol. They just better hope he’s not.

Jena Irene - “Titanium,” “Heart Attack” and “Creep” - Jena needs to win American Idol. She’s young, cute, supremely talented, and a star. Unfortunately, she did not have a good night with her two new songs. She hit the big notes on the choruses of “Titanium” and “Heart Attack” but the verses were rough. Like “How did she get this far? She should have gone home 8 weeks ago” rough. But then there was “Creep.” Jena is magical behind a piano. Especially at the end when she pulled a seemingly endless amount of colored scarves from the inside. She can be the next Idol superstar to follow Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. I hope she gets to prove me right.

Should Go Home: Caleb

Will Go Home: Caleb

Filed under american idol season 13 top 3 ryan seacrest keith urban harry connick jr randy jackson jennifer lopez caleb johnson alex preston jena irene

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 4

Tonight the Idols sang 3 songs each - A break up song, a dedication song, and a make up song. In all honesty, they could have saved 75 minutes and just sang the make up songs. Everybody’s last song was really good and one person had a performance that belonged on the All Time Idol list. Well done, Jessica! I’m just kidding. She sounds like a kazoo.

Caleb Johnson - “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “Travelin’ Band” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” - Caleb sang two songs from 1970 and one song from 1986. “Maybe I’m Amazed” was his best of the night because he finally showed he could sing in tune on the softer notes. But if you looked up “irrelevant” in the dictionary, you would get a definition that explains Caleb’s musical style in relation to today’s pop scene. He would make a cougar’s night, though. Some 45-year-old woman, lots of hairspray and animal print, hears his heavenly shout from the back of the bar. Next thing you know, Caleb’s got all the brownies he can eat while overly lipsticked lips whisper sweet nothings into his ear. “Caleb, I was your age when that song came out and I’ve had surgery to make my downstairs that age again. Want another? They’re Tollhouse!”

Jessica Meuse - “Since U Been Gone,” “So What” and “You And I” - I tried to keep an open mind with Jessica. I tried to ignore how she’s been eyeballing the camera like she’s got a lot riding on a staring contest. I tried but then the fist pumps happened. “Since U Been Gone” and “So What” were disasters. The arrangement on the first didn’t work and the vocal on the second was brutal. But it was Jessica’s attempts to pump up the crowd with her fists that were comedy gold. Her arms move like she’s a marionette with elbow and shoulder joints that had soda spilled on them. They don’t move quite right. Sometimes it’s really fast and other times it’s sticky and jerky. I will say that “You And I” was her best of the season. Unfortunately, she said she had fun in the face of brutal criticism from the judges which is guaranteed elimination. Idol breaks you until you win or say, “I had fun” with a shoulder shrug.

Alex Preston - “Too Close,” “I’m Yours” and “Yellow” - Alex had a tough night. He didn’t do anything particularly original with any of the three performances. “I’m Yours” and “Yellow” were practically carbon copies. And the former seemed like he was out of breath. Maybe it was too hot on stage from all the pyrotechnics they used for Caleb and Jessica. Alex should have rolled his pants up more to keep cool. Cuffed pants can be functional as well as fashionable. The upside for Alex was that “Too Close” proved he can do an uptempo song well, something he hadn’t shown to this point.

Jena Irene - “Heartbreaker,” “Bad Romance” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” - “Heartbreaker” was good karaoke and I say that to show that I’m not just picking on Caleb who is always good karaoke. “Bad Romance” was an attempt at changing a song up and it didn’t work. None of that mattered though because “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” was the performance of the season. It even had a sound mixup in the middle which happened to Candice Glover’s “Lovesong” last season. It’s foreshadowing. She will win because no one else deserves it. She’s the only star in field.

Bottom Two:

  1. Caleb Johnson
  2. Jessica Meuse

Should Go Home: Jessica

Will Go Home: Jessica (unless Caleb’s “retard” comments carry more weight)

Filed under american idol season 13 top 4 ryan seacrest harry connick jr keith urban jennifer lopez randy jackson caleb johnson jessica meuse alex preston jena irene

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 5

This week, the Idols had to sing two songs chosen by America. America (really the producers out of millions of choices) made some pretty good picks. The producers seemed to try to pick a song that was “right in their wheelhouse” and a song that was “almost a good fit.” I’m not going to fault anyone for song choice this week. Only effort, Sam.

Alex Preston - “Sweater Weather” and “Say Something” - “Sweater Weather” was fine. It was a good, middle of the Alex concert song. It won’t be a negative in his Idol resume but it won’t boost his chances of winning either. I have a theory that his pants cuffs go up one fold every time he has a good performance and goes down when it’s not. Alex can’t win Idol until he’s showing knees. “Sweater Weather” brings the cuff down. On the other hand, “Say Something,” was a great song for him. It almost made me not realize his black glittery oxfords. Alison was fantastic on the Christina Aguilera part as well. Cuff goes back up. Nothing gained, nothing lost on pants cuffs this week.

Caleb Johnson - “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” and “Still Of The Night” - I’ve never heard Caleb sound as bad as he did on “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.” He missed so many notes. If it wasn’t for his second song, I would have bet he was sick. Also, I don’t know if this song has ever been done well on that stage. Maybe David Cook. His second song was, to take from Simon Cowell, “indulgent.” It was an epic karaoke Whitesnake performance. Caleb would get free drinks the rest of the night if he broke that out at your local bar. (Bee Tee Dubs, I’m glad I don’t go to your local bar.) There’s a reason you can see Whitesnake, Motely Crue, Slayer, and Ratt all together at the Arts Center for $35. The music isn’t relevant anymore and neither was this performance. That’s why Harry gave a muted “You can’t sing that any better than that” that implied the “but who cares?” Therefore, I predict he will win American Idol.

Jessica Meuse - “Human” and “Summertime Sadness” - “Human” opened with Jessica emerging from the fog dressed like a sexy doctor. Imagine it - It’s late at night. Someone ran you off the road. You hit a tree and cut your head open on the steering wheel. You’re afraid to move. It’s raining. Animals make noises in the distance. Then Sexy Doc Jess appears to save you. But instead she sings this song and you back the car up a bit and really slam the gas into the tree. Not great. “Summertime Sadness” was just a bad song. Not her fault really. Has she improved since the beginning of the show? Absolutely. She’s trying on her performances now. The problem is that her voice makes my brain hurt. It’s a tone that finds that potential aneurysm and just gives it a little tap.

Sam Woolf - “Sing” and “How To Save A Life” - “Sing” is an unfair song for Sam to tackle. At his current rate of growth, he might be able to handle it during Top -45 Week but not yet. The biggest problem was the falsetto chorus. I’m not saying he had to do a falsetto but he had to do something. Even if he pulled out his cell phone and said, “One second, I have to take this.” That would have been better than barely singing it at all. The background singers had a look of “I thought we were singing ‘Sing.’ Did we go to commercial?” Not good. Next, like a tagless, white Hanes t-shirt,  “How To Save A Life” was a perfectly boring fit. He sang it fine but for the first time since he was saved, James Taylor was back. Fire and Rain 2: The Meandering!

Jena Irene - “My Body” and “Valerie” - For the second time this season, I didn’t make a single note during a performance. I was enjoying it too much to write. “My Body” wasn’t a moment in the true Idol sense but it was another example of Jena showing how far ahead of all the others she is in terms of star quality. (Although, recent 1984 polls show Caleb is ahead but I don’t put much stock in them.) Even “Valerie,” which was actually pretty terrible, had me smiling and deciding that it wasn’t bad by the end. I’m all in on Jena. I’ll be sad when she goes home before Caleb.

Bottom 2:

  1. Jessica Meuse
  2. Sam Woolf

Should Go Home - Jessica

Will Go Home - Sam

Filed under american idol season 13 top 5 ryan seacrest harry connick jr jennifer lopez keith urban randy jackson sam woolf alex preston caleb johnson jena irene jessica meuse

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 6

Tonight was a “A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll” night so the contestants sang two songs, one from each genre. Keith was obsessed with the word “release.” He said it so many times, it was like he was trying to signal the FBI guys in a van outside the theater to move in. “I’m saying ‘release.’ Where are they? Looks like you’re going to have to take them down yourself, Keith. You can do it. You’re trained in Australian martial arts. These bad guys don’t stand a chance. I’m Keith Urban and I’m dangerous. Wait, is my hair ok for combat?” As for the performances, they were good but not great. A few potential moments but nothing to go down in Idol lore.

Jena Irene - “Barracuda” and “So Small” - Just like with “I Love Rock And Roll” two weeks ago, the band overpowered her when she sang softer on “Barracuda.” The band should pull back when she pulls back. I don’t know why they do this to her. Maybe she forgot the band’s birthday and this is its passive aggressive way of showing its displeasure. Real petty, band. Real petty. “So Small” was half good, half not good. Jena’s voice is different, not Shakira-short bus different, but different. And that different voice doesn’t always work on the songs that she picks. What’s good is that she sings like she believes it works. It’s not delusional confidence. It’s a confidence that she knows she’ll win you over eventually. She won me over weeks ago.

Sam Woolf - “It’s Time” and “You’re Still The One” - Sam does this double bounce thing when he performs. It’s a tic that seems to either keep his rhythm or keep him from boring himself to sleep. Like when you just fell asleep and you feel like you’re falling so you throw yourself up off the pillow. That’s Sam every few boring bars of his songs. Sam singing Imagine Dragons is a step above asking Siri to read you the lyrics to Imagine Dragons. “Here are the lear jets to Azerbaijan, Kevin. Can I help you with anything else?” No Siri, you’ve done enough. I will admit that Sam ended “It’s Time” well but 20 seconds of emotion over two songs - “You’re Still The One” was sung like a dial tone - is not enough.

CJ Harris - “American Woman” and “Whatever It Is” - CJ came out on “American Woman” with an oversized guitar that he was probably given to crawl inside and hide at the end of his rough performance. I have nothing nice to say about “Whatever It Is” either. It’s time for him to go home and spend time with his son.

Alex Preston - “Animal” and “Always On My Mind”- “Animal” was a poor showing for Alex but I think it was a smart attempt. I believe he has such a strong hold on a Top 3 finish, he could afford to gamble. If it worked, great. Since it didn’t, it made “Always On My Mind” sound really really good by comparison. By my estimation, he was three missed notes away from having his own Idol moment. I think Alex chose the right week to have an off night. Dude’s got some tricks up his rolled pants.

Caleb Johnson - “Sting Me” and “Undo It” - He really sings this style of “no chance to be in the Top 40” music fantastically. When America is ready to go back to that Classic Rock of the 70s and 80s, we will look no further than Caleb. Just wait by the phone, Caleb. We’re totally going to call you. While it was impressive that he managed to slide across the stage, pick up his mic, and continue singing the song after dropping it, maybe we should think about how the mic tried to get away from him. Mics are the first to know when something’s not right. We should heed the warnings.

Jessica Meuse - “Somebody To Love” and “Jolene” - She looks like every doll I would never want my daughter to own. “Somebody To Love” was ok but I can’t separate it from Jim Carrey’s version in “Cable Guy.” He just did it so much better. As for “Jolene,” I found it was too heavy. I’ll give her some credit for experimentation but I didn’t enjoy it. You don’t mess with Dolly Parton unless you are a licensed(ish) plastic surgeon. She’s done nothing to warrant making the Top 3. Unfortunately, I think she might.

Bottom 2:

  1. CJ Harris
  2. Sam Woolf

Should Go Home: CJ

Will Go Home: CJ

Filed under american idol season 13 top 6 ryan seacrest keith urban harry connick jr jennifer lopez randy jackson jena irene jessica meuse cj harris caleb johnson alex preston sam woolf

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 7

This week each Idol had to pick from of list of songs chosen by the other Idols. There was no sabotage unless you count picking obvious songs that showed zero growth for the majority of the contestants sabotage. However, amidst the expected, was our first Idol moment of the season so there was that.

Caleb Johnson - “Family Tree” - He struggles when he’s not belting so the song didn’t get going until the first verse ended. He looks like what would have happened to the kid from Problem Child if his parents had had enough of him and kicked him out of the house in the middle of the movie. “I’m John Ritter and I said get out!” It bothers me that he’s growing on me. He’s probably the third most deserving of the Idol crown (Jena and Alex) and I don’t want him to be. Damn my open mind!

Jessica Meuse - “Gunpowder And Lead” - I wish I hadn’t seen Skylar Laine do this song 2 seasons ago. That would have made this bearable. She seems incapable of showing attitude. The couple of sassy head bobs were an attempt at something she heard girls do when they show ‘tude. It didn’t work and that wind machine was set to “weather intern on first storm assignment.” How has she not been in the bottom yet?

CJ Harris - “Gravity” - He did a really good job this week but it wasn’t much different than the original. Singing with passion is not a signature style. There’s nothing exceptional about him no matter how much I want there to be. How do you go 2 months without seeing your kid? I’m actually asking. I’ve been trapped with mine for almost 4 years and I don’t know where to begin.  

Dexter Roberts - “Muckalee Creek Water” - This was fine. I don’t know the song so I don’t know what he did differently. The hand gestures at the guitar bothered me. He barely played the guitar. What was it even doing there? Does he like heavy things hanging from his neck? Does that give him comfort like Flava Flav with the clocks? Next week, because they can’t all go home, he needs to perform without the guitar. He can hold a 6-foot sub sandwich. It would be just as useful.

Alex Preston - “The A-Team” - He sounds so much like Ed Sheeran and Jason Mraz that he only does a good job instead a great job when he tackles them. Though, he probably got a page of 3 Jason Mraz songs and 3 Ed Sheeran songs so there was nothing he could do this week. Phillip Phillips was Dave Matthews until Top 3 week when he did “We’ve Got Tonight” and subsequently, “Home.” Alex is good but he needs one of those moments to elevate himself.

Sam Woolf - “Sail Away” - This was his second David Gray song of the season. Even though his performances are getting better, he’s still finding ways to be boring. Impressive. Did he just lip sync the real song? It sounded so much like it. Loved the Life Aquatic makeover though with the red hat and the artsy background. Adding Wes Anderson to Sam is a nice way of seeing if two borings make an exciting. (Nope.)

Jena Irene - “Creep” - Best performance of the season. First moment of the season. She needs to win!

Bottom 2:

  1. Jessica Meuse
  2. CJ Harris

Should Go Home: Jessica

Will Go Home: CJ

Filed under american idol season 13 top 7 ryan seacrest randy jackson harry connick jr keith urban jennifer lopez jessica meuse cj harris jena irene alex preston caleb johnson dexter roberts sam woolf

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 8 (Again)

It’s 80s week which means a lot of terrible, fit-the-decade styling for the contestants. Nice to see David Cook mentoring. He’s one of my favorite all-time Idol contestants. Sam was saved last week which upsets me less because he didn’t deserve it and more because I have to write about 8 people this week instead of 7. I’m tired and writing about 7 people would make me go to bed faster than writing about 8. (I guess I could have skipped that sentence and gone to bed earlier.*)

*And also that one.

Jena Irene - “I Love Rock & Roll” - She should have picked a different song. Sometimes experiments work (last week) and sometimes they don’t (this week). The piano was nice at the beginning but then the band came in louder than Jena was singing. This would have been a good time to do that cool “pulling out the in ear” thing that lets you know an Idol contestant is right on the verge of figuring it all out. “Did you see her pull her ear thing out? She looked so professional.” Maybe next week.

Dexter Roberts - “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” - Dexter went back to what he knows, Friday-night-at-the-bar jamming. No sense being good two weeks in a row. That’s a lot to strive for. I’ll give my thoughts in Dexter-speak. Grms nobba burv ervay donk sumpin ferk snobbidoo yomma. But I’m only saying that because I watched it three times and I noticed those things.

Malaya Watson - “Through The Fire” - There were six notes that sounded pretty good there. Otherwise, it was brutal. She really goes for it whether she hits the notes or not. She has no fear. Her outfit almost distracted me from her vocal. It looked like she stole Santa’s pants in an effort to sing the carol that ruined Christmas. Too harsh? I’ve had a rough day. Give me a cookie and maybe my heart will grow three sizes.

Jessica Meuse - “Call Me” - Hey, she smiled. She can check that off the list. She really just doesn’t know how to enjoy herself. When you ask her what she wants for her birthday, does she answer, “I don’t know, maybe a sweet form of nourishment and an object I don’t already have. Is that what humans say?” I think I’d rather her go back to phoning in a performance over this trying thing she’s been doing lately.

Sam Woolf - “Time After Time” - I think the save shocked him into trying harder this week. It was the best he’s been. He still has a hesitancy to him. He constantly looks down at his hands like they might disappear. That’s it! He’s from the future and he’s trying not to make too big of an impact on the past. He doesn’t want to stop his parents from getting together. That means his grandparents are really his great-great-great grandparents. So crazy. It’s also nice that he and his however-many-greats grandma have the same haircut. I bet they use Gladys over in Building L. She does all the dos in the community.

Alex Preston - “Every Breath You Take” - That was really really good. He took this universally understood to be creepy song and made it adorable. I don’t really like the original and he changed it up in a way that made me really like it. He does sound the same every week but he sounds like Alex so I don’t see why that is a problem. Hint: It’s not.

CJ Harris - “Free Fallin’” - The low notes didn’t sound right but the emotion was there. That and $5 will get you FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS which he can use to get some gum at the airport. Don’t want those ears to hurt on the plane ride home this week. It’s been too long for him. Even his girlfriend wasn’t there for the cameras to cut to so we can see how much we should love him through her watery eyes. I think this is it for him. Too bad.

Caleb Johnson - “Faithfully” - Coming out of the dark, his silhouette looked like he was going to kill teens in the 80s more than sing in the 80s. It was a subdued Caleb and it unfortunately worked. I hate that he’s doing what he needs to do but I guess it’s nice that he listened to the judges about doing a softer song. Shows he’s not as full of himself as I was sensing. He even stayed away from those terrible, dismissive Thank Yous. He’s making a push and I don’t like it.

Bottom 3:

  1. Malaya Watson
  2. CJ Harris
  3. Jessica Meuse

Should Go Home: Malaya

Will Go Home: CJ

Filed under american idol season 13 top 8 ryan seacrest harry connick jr keith urban jennifer lopez randy jackson david cook jena irene alex preston cj harris caleb johnson malaya watson jessica meuse sam woolf dexter roberts

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 8

Tonight the Idols got to show how far they’ve come by re-performing their audition songs. Everyone sounded so much better. It’s almost like being backed by professional musicians and singers makes a difference. This was actually a really good show top to bottom and save might have to be used.

Jessica Meuse - “Blue Eyed Lie” - In her audition, they made a big deal about the way she moved her shoulder while strumming. It looked like she was really trying to do the shoulder thing at the beginning. It’s what the people wanted. Her booties looked more like black socks an old man would wear with shorts in Boca Raton. She sounded great. All it took was her own song for her not to seem bored. Good thing next week’s theme is “The Songbook of Jessice Meuse.” Late April Fools!

CJ Harris - “Soul Shine” - He’s a good singer and a nice guy but that’s not enough for a Top 7 Idol. Watching his wife sing along with tears in her eyes every week is something I’m going to miss. They must love each other so much. Like wolves. FYI - Wolves mate for life. Also, wolves will kill any girl that Ryan brings up to hug CJ. Did you see her face? Scary.

Alex Preston and Jena Irene - “Just Give Me A Reason” - Alex was dressed like he washed up naked on the Gilligan’s Island island and the castaways gave him whatever they weren’t using. Jena won the duet. It ended really good but the start was pretty bad. I loved that Jena cuffed her pants to look more cohesive. Right, Michael Kors?

Sam Woolf - “Lego House” - We’ve established that he’s boring. I thought for sure they surrounded him with a lot of lamps so he could so some really funny slapstick clumsy thing and break them all. Then we’d laugh and say, “That Sam’s alright!” I bet he gets really mad that only his grandfather can pull a quarter from behind his ear. “Sam, your ear is bleeding. It’s just a magic trick. Next time, ask me for a quarter. I’ll give you one. Now get a band-aid.” Anyway, he sounded fine but he also sounded the least progressed of the contestants.

Jessica Meuse and Caleb Johnson - “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” - It was ok. It looked like the most fun Jessica has ever had. That’s why she barely smiled. What did those dive bars do to you, Jessica?  

Malaya Watson - “Ain’t No Way” - I have a hard time looking at her when she sings songs that she’s good at. Big passionate songs. Diva songs. She gets lost in them and makes stank faces with no regard for vanity. It’s admirable but she looks like a killer is chasing her and she just needs you to open the door. Or like she should be holding a sign saying “The World Ends Tomorrow! I Know The Future!” There is such a thing as too much passion.

Dexter Roberts - “One Mississippi” - It was actually very good. He looked dapper. It was also nice of him to point out how good Season 8’s Alison Iraheta was on the harmonies. He made the largest leap back into the competition tonight. I think he might even avoid the Silver Stools tomorrow.

Malaya Watson and Sam Woolf - “Lucky” - This performance was the equivalent of an 8th grade dance. Sam was acting like girls are scary and Malaya was acting like she went to American Pie’s Band Camp.

Jena Irene - “Rolling In The Deep” - That was the closest thing to an Idol moment that there has been all season. It was really really close to being a moment. I felt like the middle went on a little too long. Otherwise, it had that magic that we get once or twice a season. Jena is really making a case to win. I just hope her confidence doesn’t turn to cockiness. It’s a fine line.

Dexter Roberts and CJ Harris - “Alright” - A lot of denim. Even CJ’s wife didn’t sing. That should be all you need to know.

Caleb Johnson - “Chain Of Fools” - My wife can’t look at him. She closes her eyes when he’s onscreen. Caleb has been known to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Talk to your doctor about Caleb. Caleb is not for everyone. Stop living in a world without terrible 80s rock. Try Caleb. As for his performance, it was not great. When is the chorus the bad part of a song? Why is he so popular?

Alex Preston - “Fairytales” - This song is so good. He reminds me a lot of Phillip Phillips. Now he just needs to find his “We’ve Got Tonight” performance to clinch the American Idol title. Best of the night.

Bottom 3:

  1. Sam Woolf
  2. CJ Harris
  3. Malaya Watson

Should Go Home - CJ

Will Go Home - CJ (Besides Sam, anyone else gets saved)

Filed under american idol season 13 top 8 ryan seacrest harry connick jr keith urban jennifer lopez randy jackson jessica meuse cj harris sam woolf alex preston jena irene caleb johnson dexter roberts malaya watson

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American Idol Season 13 - Top 9

It’s “I’m With The Band” night on Idol which means the band gets to be on the stage with the performers instead of next to the stage with the performers. I’m guessing it was supposed to encourage the Idols to unleash their inner rock star lead singers but it played more like a platform to get more votes for Caleb. Most of the performers barely acted like the band was 10 feet closer to them than usual. Poor theme.

Alex Preston - “Don’t Speak” - The cuffed pants are back this week! I know he had to prove to us that he could do it without them for a week. Cuffed pants can become a crutch. But it’s good to have those ankle knobs back on our screens. Glad there was nothing true about those rumors I made up that one of Sam’s crazy female fans took out Alex’s ankles. Anyway, the opening was really cool with guitar tapping percussion. I also liked the use of Mrazian scatting throughout. It was a good performance.

Majesty Rose - “Shake It Out” - This is a great song and she pulled it off while dressed like a chic diner waitress. In honor of that, the rest of this critique will be done diner style. It was good for her to 86 the fear from last week. Throw some awesome tambourine grooving in the alley and you have a performance as slick as axle grease. Hamburger like a hockey puck, Majesty!

Dexter Roberts - “Boondocks” - I think this was good but I don’t know how much of that is attributed to the song and how much is attributed to Dexter. Based on how the rest of the season has gone, it’s probably not Dexter. He took a chance last week and it didn’t pay off so he went back to karaoke. You know the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, stop! Just stop it, you failure! Give up! Sing a country song exactly like the original, Dexter!” It’s a pretty specific saying.

Malaya Watson - “The Long And Winding Road” - If I am her, I would get the braces removed. You can straighten your teeth later after you compete in a singing contest. It’s not a visual thing. She sings so well but some pronunciations are off (because of braces) which is distracting. She has a real chance to win especially if they stop styling her like the cat lady on The Simpsons.

Sam Woolf - “Hey There Delilah” - The opening was good but the rest of the performance was Sam’s usual boring. He doesn’t sing with any feelings. It’s too clinical. He’s in trouble. Now, let’s talk about the Hawaiian shirt. Was this to “fun” him up like he’s the CEO trying to show his employees he can let loose while on a retreat? You’re still wearing Italian leather shoes, Mr. Woolf! We see right through you!

Jessica Meuse - “Rhiannon” - There was a lot going on with her outfit. The zebra pantsuit was awful. Her flamingo earrings were weird. Second Simpsons Reference - She’s like Mr. Burns in the episode where he wants to turn the puppies into a fur tuxedo. The one where she wear he sings “See My Vest.” As for her performance, singing without the guitar forced her to sing in the moment a little. She didn’t phone it in like the last few weeks. Too bad a lion mauled her at the end. Easy mistake.

CJ Harris - “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” - The opening was really good. The chorus was a little rough when he pushed harder. Every week they talk to him about staying on pitch and he doesn’t do it. Maybe he gets too excited. Maybe it’s the weird Forest Whitaker eye thing he has going on. Whatever it is, he’s going home either tonight or next week.

Caleb Johnson - “Dazed & Confused” - I’m not going to talk about the performance which was a little unnerving. He’s a great singer but he’s not sexy like JLo suggested. He’s Meatloaf 2.0. Tell me you can’t see him doing anything for love except that. Or finding paradise by the light of the dashboard. Is the world ready for the second coming of The Loaf? A resounding Y………..No.

Jena Irene - “Bring Me To Life” - I find myself not writing notes when she performs which is a good thing. She’s picking really good songs right now and has to be a frontrunner. It’s exciting to watch her. Plus, she deserves credit for following Caleb on a night tailored to him and after the praise he received. Favorite of the night! Good job, Jabben!


  1. Dexter Roberts
  2. CJ Harris
  3. Majesty Rose

Should Go Home: Dexter

Will Go Home: Majesty (and possibly saved)

Filed under american idol season 13 top 9 ryan seacrest keith urban randy jackson harry connick jr jennifer lopez alex preston majesty rose malaya watson dexter roberts sam woolf jena irene caleb johnson cj harris jessica meuse