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This week on American Idol, the contestants were challenged with a Country and Rock & Roll theme. Since there are only six contestants left in the competition, they will all be singing two songs this week; one from each genre.
Jena Irene kicked off the show in a big way. She performed a rocking version of “Barracuda” and set the bar extremely high for the other five contestants. Irene received outstanding comments from the judges, but they all agreed that she had to release her energy and not be so tense.
Sam Woolf performed a more mellowed version of Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time” while he played the guitar. The judges gave him great comments on his performance, but that he needed to show more emotion through his performances. Woolf was famously saved by the judges early on in the competition and now it seems as though America is keeping him in the competition for the long run.
C.J. Harris performed “American Woman” by Guess Who. His raspy voice worked well with the song and it sounded as if the song was originally his. Despite his great performance, the judges felt as if he didn’t connect with the audience enough.
Alex Preston took on “Animal” by Neon Trees. The song didn’t really fit in the rock genre, so the performance seemed a bit awkward. It didn’t help that his nerves got the best of him and the band overshadowed his performance.
Caleb Johnson performed “Sting Me”. He received some of the best comments from the judges. Randy Jackson even yelled on to say “that’s some real rock & roll!” Despite him dropping the microphone mid-performance, he rocked on like a champ and didn’t miss a beat.
Jessica Meuse took on “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane. Though fans would have loved to see her take on Queen’s song, she killed this performance and received praise from the judges. Like the other contestants, Meuse was told that she needs to loosen up on stage and really let her energy go.
Now, on to the country performances!
Woolf began the country performances with Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One.” These slower songs seem to work more in Sam’s favor. He still seemed a bit stiff on stage. He needs to learn how to let go on stage and really feel the music in order to show fans his passion for music.
Caleb Johnson set himself up for a less-stellar performance his second time around due to his amazing first performance. He sang Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It” and though it was good, it just didn’t compare to his rendition of “Sting Me.”
Alex Preston’s rendition of “Always on My Mind” was the best balance between artist and song on this episode. His smooth voice paired perfectly with Willie Nelson’s song and it made his performance shine above the rest of his competition.
Jena Irene once again shined as she sang “So Small” for the country portion of the show. The only judge who ruled against the performance was Keith Urban, but it’s one small bump in an otherwise smooth road to the finish line.
C. J. Harris once again took the stage and performed “Whatever It Is.” Unfortunately for C.J., the judges ripped him apart for his song choice. He has been told before to be careful with song choice in previous performances. Regardless of his great voice, this mistake could potentially put him in the bottom two on Thursday.
Jessica Meuse closed the show performing “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. Meuse took a darker sound to the otherwise energetic song, which didn’t sit well with Keith Urban. The other two judges loved the performance, though. Meuse knows how to deliver a song and this could possibly mean she could see the light of another week on American Idol.
Tune in Thursday at 9 p.m. for the results show and to see which of the six contestants will be eliminated from the competition!