Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Idol 13: And The Winner Is...

Well it's a wrap. American Idol Season 13 has concluded and the winner is...the rocker, Caleb Johnson. No, I am not surprised. Anyone who faithfully watches Idol should have seen this coming weeks ago. That doesn't mean I agree with the results, but it is what it is.

As disappointing as the results might be, parts of the finale show were actually pretty good. I will write about all of the performances manana (that's tomorrow for all of the non-Spanish comprehending peeps out there) so check back later.


Performances and commentary on the night:

The show started with "the box" everyone had to wait in before proceeding to see the judges. This time Caleb and Jena are there together and when the light flashes, they enter the stage for the finale. Caleb sings "We Will Rock You" by Queen and Jena sings "I'm Just A Girl" by No Doubt. Together they sing "It's Only Love" by Bryan Adams. They sound pretty good. I hope this is how the rest of the show proceeds.

Next up on the night "Home" with Sam Woolf. He sounds good, until Phillip Phillips comes on stage and then he loses the "ooooooo's" tone. Phillip takes over and sings his new single "Raging Fire" while Sam is now a backup singer in the band. Short-lived duet, but I love P2, so I won't complain too much.

Jennifer Nettles takes the stage to sing "That Girl," then she is joined by Jessica Meuese for, of all things, "Wrecking Ball." Jennifer and Jessica sound great together. I'm surprised how much more I like this song with Jennifer and Jessica singing it. Of course, I'd like it better if my cat meowed it rather than hearing Miley sing it.

We are now tortured by a performance from Jennifer Lopez of her new single, "First Love." If JLo put on some clothes and quit the sexually explicit gyrating all over the stage...Oh that's right, America's family show isn't for families any more...Keep going JLo. NOT MY CUP OF TEA!!!

"Love Gun/ Shout It Out Loud" by Caleb and KISS. Yes, Caleb's dream has come true. The old guys with the platform shoes and makeup have happily accepted the offer to sing with the next great rock star.  Lots of pyro and strobes for these guys. Caleb actually looks small next to the mega platforms. Keith and Harry are rockin' out. Harry looks a little out of place in the velvet tux jacket though. Ryan brings out Caleb's "little" brother to meet his Idols. Houston is as tall as the members of KISS, but he isn't wearing platform shoes, just the black and white face makeup.

Hey, my predication from last week came true. Aloe Blacc is performing with all of the Idol Guys tonight. "The Man" is the song for Aloe, Sam Woolf, Ben Briley, CJ Harris, Dexter Roberts, Alex Preston, and Caleb Johnson.

The final Ford video has Majesty and Sam filling Caleb and Jena's "riders," dressing room wish lists. Caleb and Jena are surprised with brand new 2015 Mustangs, to boot.
Then Jena and Caleb introduce us to their musical mentors. Dr Sheri Jaffurs is Jena's choir teacher and Josh Sawyer is Caleb's guitar teacher.(I didn't know Caleb played guitar. I've never seen him play.) The two mentors receive 2014 Ford Fusions. (and manage to act like they didn't know they would get cars, even though mentors have received Ford cars for the past 3 seasons, at least.)

Time for the Idol Girls to hit the stage, but first Demi Lovato sings "Don't Really Care." Then Majesty Rose, Kristen O'Connor, Emily Piriz, Malaya Watson, Jessica Meuse, and Jena join Demi on "Neon Lights."

Next we have Jena at the piano for a little of Paramore's "Decode." Then Paramore joins her on stage for "Ain't It Fun." Jena sounds pretty good with Haley Williams. This song is fun, especially when all of the big yellow balls/balloons are released and we can't find the stage or the judges table any more.

It's time for a legend. No, Wait! it's time for John Legend singing "You And I." Malaya Watson joins him for "All Of Me" which isn't as good as the Idol producers were hoping. Malaya's voice doesn't work quit right with Mr Legend's.  How sad.

Jason Mraz is obviously a very giving friend, because he is actually sharing the stage and his new single "Love Someone" with Alex Preston. This is by far the best performance of the evening,and maybe even the whole Idol season. These two sound awesome together.

Next we have a very bad idea. Randy and Ryan's family have talked Ryan into singing tonight. he will be singing Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting For You" and it is awful. Richard joins Ryan, but doesn't seem to pleased to have Ryan howling on stage with him. Thank goodness that is over. Stick to hosting, Ryan.

Time for a little country music from Darius Rucker as her performs "True Believers."  CJ Harris and Dexter Roberts join Darius for "Alright."  It it was alright.

Caleb and Jena do a singing intro for Lady Antebellum as they perform their new single "Bartender." No Idol were involved in this number.

In a "Idol First," Randy, Harry, Keith and Jennifer take to the stage together to perform Cyndi Laper's "True Color" and Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." JLo oddly sounds like a little girl on "True Colors," but Keith kills it on guitar during "Go You Own Way." Harry plays keys and piano and Randy is on bass. Jennifer shows her instrumentalist side by beating the heck out of a tambourine while spinning in circles. The producers should have recruited a "big name" drummer for this number. (Not to take anything away from the Idol Band drummer. He did a fine job. Just seemed weird not knowing who he is.)

And, finally, The Winner of Season 13 of American Idol is............. Caleb Johnson. (But I already told you that at the start of this post.)

Here's a little behind the scenes info not included on the program:

According to Twitter posts, MK Nobilette, who finished 10th this season, was absent from the show due to illness. (That must have been some illness, to miss the finale.) She will be on tour this summer.

Former Idol contestants spotted during the show and on the Idol Red Carpet:
Phillip Phillips - only Idol alum to perform - Winner, Season 11
Jessica Sanchez - Runner up, Season 11
Jeremy Rosado - 13th place, Season 11
Haley Reinhart - 3rd place, Season 10
Casey Abrams - 6th place, Season 10
Didi Benami - 10th place, Season 9
Scott McIntyre - 8th place, Season 8
Allison Iraheta - singing as a backup singer with Idol Band - 4th place, Season 8
Blake Lewis - Runner up, Season 6
Mikalah Gordon - 11th place, Season 4

(Out of the 12 previous seasons of American Idol, out of 120 top 10 finishers alone, these are the only Idol Alum the producers could muster up to represent the Idol dynasty. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me. Are all of the rest sick of TPTB or out on the road? Only one previous winner and two runners up. Please Idol. Get your act together for next season. )

Idol prognosticators had a few interesting points about how to predict the winner which I found interesting.
1. If you win the coin toss for placement in the finale and chose to go first, you will lose. (This is what Jena did.)
2. if your name does not have double letters in it, and especially if you shorten your name and lose the double letters, you will lose. (Jena did this also when she dropped her last name of Ascuitto.)
3. if you are from a Northern State and up against someone from a Southern state, you will lose. (That's three against Jena.)
4. the winner is never in the bottom 3. (Jena was a wild card pick to continue in the Top 13.)
5. majority gender in top 3 wins. Alex, Caleb and Jena were top 3. (Jena loses again.)
6. the contestant with the fewest hairstyle changes wins. (Jena loses that one too. Major change for her.)
Just a few weird things to make you think.

Well, that's it for Season 13 of American Idol. It is what it is. I'll see y'all next year for Season 14.

American Idol 13: Top 2 Performances

This week the show has moved to a bigger theater: Nokia Theater- LA Live. Ryan tells us the audience is over 7000.

We see a video of Jena taking Caleb to Prom (not) which is actually a chance for them to destroy the mock prom decorations as the fight it out for the Idol championship.

There are three rounds for this show: Idol creator Simon Fuller's pick, the reprisal of the artists favorite song, and the winner's single.

Round #1: Simon Fuller's pick

Jena - "Dog Days Are Over" - Florence and the Machine
6 drummers are on stage with Jena playing toms and basses. She moves around a lot, but her words seem mushed together on the up tempo parts.
Keith - Good song choice. the way you owned the stage is the sign of a real pro. You did have a few breath control issues from the adrenaline.
Jennifer - The energy in the room can be overwhelming. The little nerves were fine. Good start.
Harry - It was fantastic. You were walking in time to the drum s and then in double time.

Hey, Idol found a new job for Randy. He brings out the jumbo numbers for each contestant so the audience knows who to vote for.

Caleb - "Dream On" - Aerosmith
There is a string section on stage with Caleb.Caleb's pitch sounds off on the "softer" beginning. He's attached to that mic stand again. Hope he doesn't hit one of the little girls in the pit with that thing while he is throwing it around. and there is the screaming spot for Caleb.
Jennifer -That's what you got to do, Carpe Diem. That may have did it right there.
Harry - As powerful as the ending was, don't forget when you sing in your lower register to give it the same power too.
Keith - I thought the way you arched was great.

Round #2 - contestants favorite performance

Jena - "I Cant Help Falling In Love" - Elvis
She's at the piano again. It's good, but I'm not sure it's as good as the first time.
Harry - I can tell you have studied others performances of this, but what makes you different is you can make it unique and special. Absolutely beautiful.
Keith - You did this two weeks ago and it was so good you inspired someone else to do it (a finalist on The Voice). that shows your a leader, a trailblazer, and that's he mark of a true artist.
Jennifer - What happens is your soul comes through when you sit at the piano. I think you're amazing.

Caleb - "Maybe I'm Amazed -  Paul McCartney
Caleb starts out standing at the piano but he too quickly moves away to center stage. He moves into the power vocals too soon also.He makes this a "screamo" song this time.  The skull medallion he's wearing is very out of place for this song.
Keith - I love that Paul wrote that song for Linda. It's a deep, emotional song. Don't get caught up in the gymnastic element and loose the meaning of it.
Jennifer - Your power is so undeniable, and I felt you holding back the headbanging. This is a different song. This was missing more heart. Needed less power.
Harry - I share their sentiments. Changing gears - You two are heavyweight fighters. How did everyone vote so far? All three voted for Caleb for round one. Harry and Jennifer say Jena won round two, while Keith says it was a tie. So basically they are tied.

Round #3 - winner's single

Jena - "We Are One"
this song has that EDM feel she likes. It works for her. she's walking around a lot. Good stage presence.
Jennifer - I've never heard that song before. I thought it was really good. it suited you.
Harry - I wondered what that song would sound like live. It was just as strong as the studio.
Keith - I loved this song. it was perfect for you.

Caleb - "As Long As You Love Me"
Beginning sounds awkward and jumbled to me. whole thing done in the screamo voice. He needs to ditch the mic stand instead of walking around with it all the time. The performance was EH! And we end with flash pots and strobes.
Harry - The way I look at it, you were Joe Frazier and Jena was Muhammad Ali. the puncher vs. the boxer. Good luck America.
Keith - This is insane. I'm dying to see what happens tomorrow night. It's been an amazing night. Congrats to both of you.
Jennifer - You gave it everything. It's going to be a tough night for everyone. Good luck America.

And to end it all. the rest of the Top 13 come on stage to join Jena and Caleb in a rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Break Away."  Jena sounds much better than Caleb on this song.

And there you have it. I don't know who will win. I don't care who wins, for that matter. My favs didn't get to the end. Most didn't even get to the Top 13. Oh well. Let's see what happens on the finale. Idol found some big names to drop in and sing. That part should be good.

Friday, May 16, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 3 Results

So it has all boiled down to his night. One more goes "home" and we are left with the two people battling for this season's championship tile. It's really sad, but for the first time since I started watching AI back midway through season 6, I really don't care who wins this cheesy show.  And that is sad. I mean, I even had a favorite back in the debacle known as season 9. If I could have a favorite back then, I should have a favorite this season, right? I had favorites early in the game, but I have had to wave goodbye to them and have been left with mush and screaming. And that makes me sad. Well, it's too late now to just give up, so I'll finish off this season and then see what happens next year.

Ryan starts off the show by showing off his new puppy, a black Lab named Georgia.

Randy's comments and the Idols after show chow-down are combined into one clip and all I got out of it is Randy loved Jena, Caleb lost it and killed the mic stand, Alex had never played drums and sang at the same time before rehearsal, and Jena mutilated have hamburger.

The Ford commercial this week was also the announcement of the first single for the kids. Each of the Top 3 have already recorded the song that will be their first single. The songs for the top 2 go on sale on iTunes right after this show.
Alex - "I Love This Feeling"
Jena - "We Are One"
Caleb - "As Long As You Love Me"

Video from Jena's Hometown visit to Farmington Hills, Michigan
Announcement of Jena's Finale duet - Paramore

Alums visiting Idol tonight: Danny Gokey (3rd Season 8) and Elloit Yamin (3rd Season 5)

Scotty McCreery (Winner Season 10) performed his latest single, "Feelin' It"

Video of Alex's Hometown visit to Mont Vernon, New Hampshire
Announcement of Alex's Finale duet - Jason Mraz (No surprise there)

Video of Caleb's Hometown visit to Asheville, North Carolina
Announcement of Caleb's Finale duet - KISS

Results time:
Jena is safe.
Caleb is safe.
Alex is #3.
Alex sings his song "Fairytales" as his swan song. I don't think he opened his eyes once during the performance. Guess it's easier not to fall apart that way.

So we have Jena Irene Asciutto and Caleb Johnson as the final two for season 13 of American Idol.

This year the kids perform on Tuesday, May 20 in a one hour show and we learn the results on Wednesday, May 21 in a two hour extravaganza. Well, we hope its an extravaganza. So far the guest lineup is pretty good. In addition to all of the partnering already mentioned during this week's performance and results show, Idol has announced Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc will also appear. Not sure who they will perform with. I'm thinking Aloe would be perfect with the guys, since Demi is with the girls. Not sure about Lady A.

Again here's what we know for sure.
Caleb - KISS
Jena - Paramore
#3 Alex - Jason Mraz
#4 Jessica - Jennifer Nettles
#5 Sam - Phillip Phillips
#6 CJ and #7 Dexter - Darius Rucker
#8 Malaya - John Legend
#9 Majesty -
#10 MK -
#11 Ben -
#12 Emily -
#13 Kristen -
The girls - Demi Lovato
The guys -
The top 10-

I'll be on the lookout for more updates as we get closer to Wednesday, so check back here for new additions to this list.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 3 Performances

This show is the 500th episode of American Idol so I hope to see some former Idols make an appearance.

We start out with a lengthy video celebrating the 12 previous winners of Idol. the video shows Ryan announcing each winner by name. (Except for season 7 - when we had the two David's waiting and Ryan has the long pause in "the winner of season seven of American Idol is David ..." and the clip doesn't actually say Cook instead of Archuleta.)

Ryan announces Caleb is sick and has the Idol doctor come out and explain what is wrong. Caleb has had bronchitis and sinusitis resulting in a vocal chord hemorrhage. The doctor clears him to sing, but not talk.

Keith has brought along a photo of his beautiful evening-gown clad wife, Nicole Kidman, who is attending the Cannes Film Fest without him.

There are 3 rounds for this show: Randy's Choice, the Judges' Choice, and the Hometown pick of a previously performed song.

First we have a little sneak peek at the Hometown visits.

Now there are two DJs on stage, The Chain Smokers, to perform the song "Selfie" while everyone takes selfies in the audience. DUMB!!!

Video clip from Carrie Underwood - Season 4 champion - congratulating Idol on the 500th episode and thanking American Idol for her start in the music business.

Round 1: randy Jackson's Choices

Randy's Pick
Caleb - "Never tear Us Apart" - INXS
Randy wanted something current for Caleb.
*Caleb is cracking a few notes. He is definitely sick. Not a good performance.  This song is boring.
Keith - Great job. Great song for you. I could hear the voice (crack) in certain parts, but you worked through it.
Jennifer - On your worst night, you are much better than most on their best night. Pace yourself. Stellar job.
Harry - I have to compliment Randy. My only concern is that you don't hurt yourself tonight. Nice job.
Randy - I think he did a great job. He used falsetto he usually doesn't show.

Video clip from Phillip Phillips - Season 11 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats

Randy's Pick
Alex - "Pompeii" - Bastille
Randy wanted an up tempo song for Alex.
*Alex is on stage with his guitar and 4 tom tom players and his own tom tom as well. He switches over to play drum and sing. Oops- mic is not switched on in time. And for another first, Alex leaves the mic stand and walks around the stage some. He also looks like he is about to faint in doing this.
Jennifer - We've told you to try and create a moment, and you did. this was a different Alex, playing drums, walking to the crowd. great performance.
Harry - Great credit to Randy. He gave you a young, hip song. It showcased a little bit of everything.The only problem, I could see the wheels turning, (thinking) too much. Nice job.
Keith - I agree with Harry. there were a few shaky bits because there was so much to remember. The coolest moment was when you went to the drum.
Randy - Dope performance. The idea of the drum was Alex's.

Video clip of Kris Allen - Season 8 champion - 500th episode - "I made you a cupcake to celebrate the 500th episode!" Congrats!

Randy's Pick
Jena - "Titanium" - David Guetta
*Jena is harnessed on a raised platform and looks uncomfortable. She sounds uncomfortable too. She can't get the harness off when the platform is lowered. finally she is off the stairs too and the singing sounds better. This was an awkward performance. Not a fan.
Harry - Another great song choice by Randy. (This is turning into the Praise Randy Jackson Show) with that song, everyone is waiting to see if you hit the high notes, and fortunately, that is nothing for you. Great job on a song normally sung in the studio.
Keith - what I love about the way you perform is that you have fun. Really good job.
Jennifer - You hit all the right notes, but, for me, it felt shaky and you never loosened up the way you normally do. for me, it wasn't your best.
Randy - I agree it started slow, but by the middle, you sailed.

Video clip from David Cook - Season 7 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats

Round 2: Judges' Choices - Chosen at the end of last week's show

Judges' Pick
Caleb - "Demons" - Imagine Dragons
*Caleb is probably thinking the judges are demons now. They didn't know he would be so sick this week and this song would really kick him. I don't like this performance either. Caleb actually sounds sharp in parts.
Keith - I'm so feeling for you right now. We have all been through this. I have even had vocal surgery. considering, you killed it.
Jennifer - We've all been there and you will recover. As performers, it makes us rely on other things. When you started, you were thinking too much. You got the emotion of the words in the middle.
Harry - Instead of a critique, I have a question. What kind of album and music would you do in the future? "Originals influenced by classic rock."

Video clip from Candice Glover - Season 12 champion - 500th episode - Congrats!

Update on auditions for next season:
5 audition cities
10 bus stops across the country
audition online
nominate someone else
#TheNextIdol - audition using social media - Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram - call backs for audition with judges.

Judges' Pick
Alex - "Stay" - Rhianna
* Alex is center stage with guitar and 4-piece string accompaniment. This is a really nice choice for him and he sounds great.
Jennifer - I knew you would sing the heck out of that song. It was beautiful and all yours.
Harry - Beautiful! What would your concert be like? "Even for the hometown show with the band, 6 minutes of jams."
Keith - You owned that song. the audience responded. I loved it.

Video clip from Lee DeWyze - Season 9 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats.

Ryan is in the audience pit with this season's Idols #4 thru #13.
Idol shows a small clip of Jessica's home town throwing her a parade too.
Info on the Finale:
CJ and Dexter will be performing with Darius Rucker
Jessica will be performing with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.
Malaya will be performing with John Legend.
Sam will be performing with Phillip Phillips.
More info on the results show.

Judges' Pick
Jena - Heart Attack - Demi Lovato
*I don't know this song and after listening to Jena, I still don't know this song. Mush words. EHHH!!!
Harry - You always find a way to make it your own. If there are no cameras around and you were just on tour, what do you want to do on stage? "I want instrumental breaks so I can just rage with the crowd. I want to be all over the place to connect with the audience."
Keith - That was great. I love when the band is on stage with you.
Jennifer - On this you felt lose and free. It was great.

Ryan  announces that Demi Lovato will be performing on the Finale with all of the girls.

Video clip from Fantasia - Season 3 champion - 500th episode - Humble thanks for launching her career and Congrats.

Hometown Choices - Bringing back their favorite performance

Ashville, NC Mayor announces their pick
Caleb - "Dazed and Confused" Led Zeppelin
*Nice a cappella opening. Jennifer and Keith are on their feet, jamming to Caleb's performance. And Caleb beats up the mic stand and probably his vocal chords too. this was a much better performance, but I'm afraid he might not be able to sing for a while after that.
Keith - If ever there was a complete moment of miraculous healing, that was it. I just want to throw stuff.
Jennifer - That was a true Idol moment. That was ridiculous.
Harry - That was awesome. That was taking advantage of an opportunity.

Video clip from Scotty McCreery - Season 10 champion - 500th episode -Thanks! Congrats and see you soon.

New Hampshire governor announces the Hometown pick
Alex - "Story Of My Life" - One Direction
*Center stage with his guitar. Very distracting moving scene going on behind Alex. The performance was ok. Not much different than before though.
Jennifer - This is hard for America. I see three people who want to be in the Finale. Good job.
Harry - Good choice. Another classic Alex performance.
Keith - For me, it was hard to come out after "Stay" which was so good. this came down a little.

Video clip from Jordin Sparks - Season 6 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats

North Farmington High School (her high school) chose the song, announced by her brother and choir teacher
Jena - "Creep" - Radiohead
*She is at the piano. Good job. Not unlike the original performance though.
Keith and Jennifer give her a Standing O.
Harry - Something happens when you sit behind the piano. Even better than when you sang it before.
Keith - You so belong here, Jena. Your progress from that first audition until now is so mind blowing. Magnificent!
Jennifer - Brilliant. Its so easy for you. You will be so hard to beat.

And there we have it. The top 3 have performed, and for the first time since I started watching Idol, I don't have an opinion on who should advance. In fact, I don't even care who wins this thing this season. I am looking forward to the Finale to see which Idol alum appear and which perform.

And speaking of alum appearing, three winners were absent from the video clips tonight: Season 1 - Kelly Clarkson (who is very pregnant), Season 2 - Ruben Studdard, and Season 5 - Taylor Hicks. No mention by Ryan as to why.

Friday, May 9, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 4 Results

They want to go home --- American Idol style. (Thanks Idol for showing a quick glimpse of Season 7's David Archuleta and his Hometown Visit during the video about the Top Three Hometown Visits.)

Ford video - Alex and Jessica visit a guitar shop, Caleb and Jena visit a record shop, then they all have coneys from a street vendor.

Randy says:
Jena was on fire last night That was one of the greatest performances in Idol history. (referring to her performance of Elvis' 'Can't Help Falling In Love.")
Caleb had an amazing night.
Jessica had very mixed results. At the very end she nailed something great for her. (referring to her performance of "You And I.")
Alex had a good night. In the end, when he did Coldplay, that was the money. (referring to his performance of "Yellow".)

Jena is safe and going to visit her hometown.

The kids were sent to the park for some fun, pizza picnic, and talk about hometown visits.

Caleb is safe and going to visit his hometown.
Alex is safe and going to visit his hometown.

Which means, Jessica is heading home, but without the Idol parade. Maybe her hometown can throw their own parade like Jason Castro's home of Rockwall, Texas did for him when he came in 4th in Season 7. You don't need Idol to have a parade. In any case, we know this will just be a short visit to Slapout, AL, because Jessica has to be back in LA for rehearsals for the finale.

Jessica looked like she would hold herself together until Ryan made her watch the highlights reel.  She did get to sing her self-penned song "Blue-eyed Lie" as her swan song, so that was good.

Jessica, if by any chance you read this post, know that you will be fine. Maybe even better than if you won the whole thing. Ask any of the "almost winners" of AI and I bet they will tell you the same thing. You have gained great exposure to an international audience while on AI. You can still pursue your dream without the constraints of the Idol powers holding you back. I'm a fan and will be watching to see what you do next. Good luck in your future career. And I better be seeing you in Austin, Texas sometime soon. You know, we are the "Live Music Capital of the World."

*Breaking News: The judges will be back for season 14 of Idol. (That is probably a good thing since three of the audition cities are their hometowns.)

***So here's what we know so far about the next two weeks on Idol:
1) Next Wednesday, May 14, is the 500th episode of American Idol.
2) Next week's song choices:
     Judge's Choice
     Randy's Choice
     Hometown's Choice - Reprisal of previous performance
3) Scotty McCreery will be performing on the one-hour results show on May 15.

The 2-night season finale will take place on May 20 and 21.
No details on that so far.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 4 Performances

Well, this should be an interesting week. After Caleb's disrespectful commenst about his "fans" and the controversy over the split vote by the contestants last week on the results show, I wonder how America will vote for these guys, especially Caleb. He needs to be careful what he says. We have already seen one apology from him this season relating to the insensitive "peanut allergy" comment. He doesn't need to make America mad.

Idol starts the show with a recap of last week's dumb elimination ploy: get the contestants to make the call. Not a wise choice from TPTB.

Randy tells us "It's all in or nothing."  (We want nothing from you Jackson. Go home.)

I'm not sure what's up with Ryan, but he is sporting several day's beard growth and no tie tonight. Not his normal dapper look.

There will be three songs from each contestant this week. (I remember when they did that to Season 7's top 4 and Jason Castro had a melt down on the lyrics and was sadly booted that week. Three songs seems a little extreme to me when they are all new songs.)

 This week's theme: Love songs

First round: Break-up songs

Caleb - "You Give Love A Bad Name" - Bon Jovi
He needs a hair cut, although his hair does look washed this week. Rockers do wash their hair sometimes. This sounds just like the Bon Jovi version, but not as good. Caleb is singing to Keith. Weird. It's just ok for me.
Keith - Killer man! At the end, you made it your own.
Jennifer - Caleb is ready for prime time.
Harry - Fantastic! Food for thought - you add the same licks. You need more runs and licks for multiple songs in setlist.

Jessica - "Since You Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
She is center stage with an electric guitar. Song is too low and the beginning is rocky. She recovers some. Not a great performance.
Jennifer - The attitude was right, but the song didn't compliment your style.
Harry - I know you can do better than that.
Keith - I want to see you pull out all the stops.

Ryan announces the audition cities for Season 14. (Yes, it will return. for another season.)
Minneapolis;  the judges home towns of New Orleans, New York, and Nashville; San Francisco
There will also be 10 bus stops covered by two buses. One west coast and central US, starting in Portland, OR, and the other, east coast and southeast, ending in Portland, ME.
Also next week we will hear about a "game changer" to the audition process.

Alex - "Too Close" - Alex Clare
He is center stage, on platform, with guitar. He sound decent and has limited the weird body movements this time.
Harry - I liked that. You deconstruct the music and rebuild it in your own style.
Keith - I liked that too. Occasionally, I miss the weight of the song when you do your won thing to it.
Jennifer - You're so unique, but I'm concerned that you miss creating the "moment" when you change it up.

Jena - "Heartbreaker" - Pat Benatar
Ryan lets us know that Jena just completed her last class of high school and will be able to walk with her class in June.
She is center stage with not much movement. Eh. She's not Pat.
Keith - Great vocals as always, but you just didn't seem fully committed to the song.
Jennifer - Controlled performance. I loved it.
Harry - Vocally you were a 10 out of 10, but there was a disconnect between the singing and the movement.
Jena says her heels limited her movement.

Round two: Dedication songs

Caleb - "Travelin' Band" - Credence Clearwater Revival
Dedicated to his band back home in Ashville, NC
Good jam band. I think Caleb is screaming too much. CCR happens to be one of my favorite bands of all time, so this performance fell short for me.
Jennifer - That's so in your wheelhouse.
Harry - That was fantastic.
Keith - Excellent.
(Well, I guess I'm just a touch biased on that song. Judges heard something I didn't.)

Jessica - "So What" - Pink
Dedicated to all those who DIDN'T believe in her.
No guitar this time. Jess seems to move freely with this song. Good attitude displayed in face and movements. Lots of fire on stage too. I liked it. Great job.
Harry - Not the best song for you.
Keith - I agree with Harry. That song wasn't right for your voice.
Jennifer - I agree. song not right for you.
(Was I listening to the same thing as the judges? I thought that was just right. I liked it and it felt like Jessica liked it too.)

Jena - "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
Dedicated to her fans
Her voice is dropping off at times. No breath support. And the overabundance of laser lights totally distracted from the performance which didn't need any more problems. The whole set up on stage was just awkward with the guitars on raised platforms and Jena standing between them most of the time. No like .
Keith - I like how you changed the melody of the chorus. Really good.
Jennifer - I didn't like the melody change and you didn't finish the song with the band.
Harry - Interesting choice. Nice job.

Alex - "I'm Yours" - Jason Mraz
Dedicated to girlfriend (who happens to be Jillian Jenson who made it to Hollywood Week)
Alex is center stage (No surprise) with a ukulele. Looks like he is in his head too much. Not hitting some of the high notes.
Jennifer - I love watching what you do, but I'm worried. You need to take it up a level.
Harry - You only change one chord. Always put your spin on it.
Keith - I realize you all are learning a lot at one time.

Celebrity sighting of the night: Carol Bayer Sager is in the house. Grammy Award winning songwriter, for you youngsters out there.

Final round: Make-up songs

Caleb - "Maybe I'm Amazed" - Paul McCartney
Hey! Caleb can do kind of subdued after all. Good job.
Standing O from Jennifer and Keith.
Harry - So nice to hear you sing softly. Absolutely phenomenal.
Keith - Killer Performance.
Jennifer - Your best performance since the beginning.
(Well, I'm not really sure it deserves all that praise.)

Jessica - "You And I" - Lady Gaga
Center stage with acoustic guitar. This is her song. Awesome.
Keith - That is the perfect song for you. Killer!
Jennifer - I agree. Perfect for you.
Harry - That song was perfectly suited for you. Killed It!
(I actually think the judges should have been a little more exuberant for this performance.)

Jena - "Can't Help Falling In Love" - Elvis
Jena is seated at the piano for this one. She has slowed it down. Awesome job. Best I've heard from her. Standing o from Jennifer and Keith. Jennifer goes on stage to give her a kiss.
Jennifer - You just reinvented that. I could cry. Awesome.
Harry - That took eminence courage. Incredible.
Keith - So beautiful. You are a musical platypus.

Alex - "Yellow" - Coldplay
He is center stage with a guitar again. No surprises. Kind of flat to me. This sound doesn't really have any high points in it. Not that great.
Harry - You needed that tonight. great performance on that one. (Really?)
Keith - That was a song perfectly suited to you.
Jennifer - You needed that. Great job.
(I totally disagree with the judges on Alex's performance. I thought it was boring.)

Well, there you have it.

I give round one to Alex.
Round two goes to Jessica.
Round three is easily Jena's, but Jessica was awesome too.

MY Bottom 2: Caleb and Alex
I think Caleb should go home. He burned too many bridges with comments this past week and his performances were ok, but not stellar. My opinion; I'm entitled to it.

America will probably send Jessica home, and she will be fine with that. She has the exposure she wanted and a strong group of new fans. She probably wouldn't appreciate the label forcing her to do songs she doesn't like anyway. Her career has been jump-started. She can sign to an indie label or do it herself. Winning isn't always the best option on Idol.

Friday, May 2, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 5 Results

Ryan tells us that we have a "Shocking Twist" that none of the Idols see coming.

It's a "Game Changer" where the Idols must make a difficult decision.

Recap of after the show: The contestants think America picked good songs for them to perform. Sam was embarrassed by tripping on the steps. Alex didn't get a selfie with Zooey, but he did with Ariana. The others are amazed by Caleb's high falsetto notes. The contestants think it will be a close vote and they get to work voting (for themselves).

Ford video - (Not what they used to be back in the day.) The kids are driving around to get party supplies and then attend their own Fav Five Party.

Keith Urban performs his latest single from his Fuse album, "Good Thing." (And it was a good thing.)

Recap of the performances: (Only one of the two solo performances of each contestant is reviewed.)
Randy says:
Jena - She had an amazing night. She killed it. (My Body)
Alex - He's so proud of Alex. Alex gave everything to that song. (Say Something)
Jessica - She has an amazing strong voice, but performance wise she didn't have the best of nights. (Summertime Sadness)
Sam - He had a very interesting night. He started off shaky, but, by the end, he really got it going. (How To Save A Life)
Caleb - He really turned the place upside down. He tore the roof off the whole thing. (Still Of The Night)

I'm not really sure if Randy was listening to the same things I was. Time for Randy Jackson to retire from Idol altogether. Please.

Ryan has a "Dramatic Proposal" for the contestants. Normally the power is in the hands of the judges or America, but tonight it's in their hands.
Each must vote in a secret ballot. Remain together as a group this week, but send home two next week, or send someone home tonight.

Vote is 3 to 2 (I'm still confused as to which vote was stay and which was go, but it didn't matter since it wasn't unanimous) so...
Going home this week is ... Sam Woolf. ( Told Ya.)

Yep, the Woolf Pack did NOT do their jobs this week.

TPTB tried to keep Sam another week, but two of the contestants decided it was better to go with America's vote. This was a ridiculous attempt by the Idol producers to save Sam. I doubt they would have used this ploy if Jessica would have been the one with the lowest votes.

TPTB have not been able to convince the youth of America to watch AI and vote after all.

Tune in next week to see what new tactics TPTB throw at us in an attempt to raise the ratings.

Next week's theme:
Love: Break-ups and Make-ups

And I think we are still on track for the 500th episode of Idol to take place during the Top 3, possibly the results show. It would be a boost to the ratings to have a major shindig with returning Idols, but we will see if anything comes of it. They might just wait and celebrate with the finale of this season. Who knows what TPTB have in store?

UPDATE: Alex and Jena were the two contestants who voted to go with America's vote and send someone home this week.  On Twitter, Alex was quite upset that this secret ballot thing was thrown at them.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 5 Performances

This week's theme: "America's Choice" - viewers sent in suggestions for songs and contestants picked two songs from the list complied by the producers.

First, we have a viewer question? "Who are your celebrity crushes?"
Caleb - Rose McGowan
Jena - Harry Styles
Sam - Ariana Grande
Jessica - ?? (I don't know who she said.)
Alex - Zooey Deschanel
Oh, look. Zooey is in the house and on the stage. Alex is still so awkward. Ryan has Zooey intro the show.

Mentoring this week by Jason Mraz.

Alex - "Sweater Weather" - The Neighbourhood  (Never heard of them or this song.)
Jason works with Alex on movement and standing up, being more open.
This song has a limited range. Alex seemed to get all of the words out on the rapped part. He looks a little less awkward tonight. Maybe Mraz rubbed off on him. Not a bad performance.
Keith - I wouldn't have minded more soaring. This song is limited that way. Good job.
Jennifer - Your face was beaming working with Jason. (Jason is his Idol.) You pulled this song off easily. I agree with Keith. I would have liked a little more, to kick the show off with a bang.
Harry - I give you an A+ for remembering all of those words. You sound similar to the lead of The Neighbourhood so this was a good choice for you. Strong opening. Nice job.

Austin Mahone is hanging out backstage with Ryan. Ryan and Austin pose together and ask America to tweet in selfies with the two of them in the pic. (Idol is desperate for the young voters tonight.)

Caleb - "Don't Want to Miss A Thing" - Aerosmith
Jason calls Caleb the underdog rock and Roller. He says Caleb has his own voice. he instructs Caleb on opening up and telling the story in a believable way to connect to the audience.
We have a string section and candelabras on stage. Caleb sounds sick, as in ill. Pitch problems at the beginning. He seems nervous or just off. Not good at all.
Jennifer - That was a challenging song for you. More of a ballad then Steven's version. I got goosies when you soared at the end. (???)
Harry - You looked down the camera too much at the beginning. Sing to the audience here too for a better connection.
Keith - That was a great song for you. You must learn to let your feelings drive your ability not the other way around. feel the song and then use your talents to perform it.

Group performance -
Alex, Jena, Sam - "Best Day Of My Life" - American Authors
Sounds good. Looks odd to have the two awkward guys walking around the stage and Jena stuck bouncing around in the middle of the stage.

Jessica - "Human"-  Christine Perri
Jason says Jessica is Country Cool. He advises her on how to hold the guitar to appear more open.
Jessica is standing center stage with her guitar but is swallowed up by too much fog as the music begins. Oh, her lower register sounds beautiful on this song. Perfect song choice for her. Powerful. Really good.
Harry - My favorite part of the performance was that it is obvious you are listening to all of the advise and want to get better. You focused on the meaning of the song. Every week you get better.
Keith - I thought that was a really good song for you. Mu favorite part was 3/4 of the way through and your voice started to break a little bit. That was the most human part.
Jennifer - When you tap into the emotion of the song, something happens. When you stopped and then came back in so powerful, you got lost in the song, and the audience felt the emotion.

Sam - "Sing" - Ed Sheeran (Again?)
Viewer Question - Hardest part of the competition for you? Being away from home. He misses his dg, Buddy. We get a pic of Buddy.  Ryan says he just got a dog and we see a pic of a little lab puppy amed Georgia.
Time to perform but Sam doesn't have a mic. Oh, wait. Here comes Ariana Grande with Sam's mic. He turns very red, gets two hugs and finally its time to sing; almost.
Jason calls Sam America's little brother. Jason says not to do the same movements all the way through a song. Sam needs to let go and get funky.
Funky does not work for Sam. He's too loose and losing the rhythm of the song. This was a very odd performance. It never felt comfortable to me.
Keith - First, when Ariana came out you went as red as the Coke sign behind you. Very endearing. That's a tough song. Ed has a strong falsetto hook that isn't in your wheelhouse. You did as good as you could. Tough Song.
Jennifer - That's the most comfortable I've seen you singing a song. Maybe Ariana had something to do with that. You were more funky.
Harry - The good part was that you did something totally different. I think of you as a melody singer. If you do Funk, rhythm is paramount. You laid back on your vocals, but the band was plugging the groove. You needed to keep the rhythm.
And poor Sam trips while going up the steps to the lounge where Ariana is hanging with Randy.

Jena - "My Body" - Young The Giant
Jason says Jena sparkles, like a toothpaste commercial. Jena asks for help moving around and not hurting vocals. Jason says she can express big moments without doing big things. Jason and Randy discuss sitting on the steps to start the song.
So Jena didn't listen to the right advise. She starts in the audience pit and walks all over the place touching hands before landing center stage. In the process, we lose the softer words.
Jennifer - You sounded really good. (???) Good job.
Harry - You would be surprised how much little things like the glow sticks help you. You move the most of everyone. You move to the beat.
Keith - You're a lean-in performer. Even if you don't know where you are or what you're doing, you just lean-in and keep going. ( Is Keith trying to say what I said, without saying it?)

Duet -
Caleb and Jessica - Beast of Burden - The Rolling Stones  (Really???)
They sound good together, but this song has such awkward lyrics for friends to be singing together in a competition. It's just not right.
Ryan acknowledges the odd lyric choice.

Alex - "Say Something" - A Great Big World
Alex is seated with his guitar. This is a simple and beautiful beginning. The string section and single female backup singer covering Christina Aguilera's part come in at chorus. This is a great cover. Perfect song choice.
Harry - I like to see a performer struggle with the emotion of the song and not give in to it. Beautiful performance. Best of the night.
Keith - If ever there was a perfect marriage of a song and an artist, that was it. Beautiful.
Jennifer - You looked amazing and then your vocals took it to another level. Beautiful performance.

Jena - "Valerie" - Amy Winehouse
NO - not the right version of the song. The tempo is all wrong for Jena.
Keith - I love that song, but the version with more tempo. But your vocals are killer.
Jennifer - You always kill it, but that wasn't your best one. The tempo and arrangement was wrong for you.
Harry - I thought it was right in the middle; not best or worst. Nice job tonight.

Sam - "How To Save A Life" - The Fray
Center stage with guitar. His pitch is off at the beginning of the song and a couple of other spots too. Intonation get better later in song, but the whole performance is just not interesting. And I am tired of the dumb hat he is wearing. Just saying.
Jennifer - You started off shaky, but it became perfect for you. Second goosies of the night. (Someone get the girl a blanket. The air conditioner must be too low, because that singing could not have given her goosies.)
Harry - That was a perfect song choice for you, but you had pitch issues. You're still having dynamics issues also. The last line you had a cry in your voice. I wish you had sung the whole thing that way.
Keith - Dynamics is the thing. the beginning was shaky, but you opened up at the end.

Jessica - "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Ray
No guitar this time. Jessica is seated center stage on a platform, with a tat on her thigh showing through the slit in her long red dress. I don't know this song, but Jessica sounds good. Showing off her lower register again. Nice job.
Harry - I think the people watching AI really care for you. That's such a perfect song for you. I love that you stood there and sang. That was the perfect marriage of voice and song. Congratulations.
Keith - I love that song. It was a good choice. The song has a David Lynch mysticism about it and you have that in the tone of your voice.
Jennifer - I wanted you to dig in even more. It's about finding a little bit more in your body.

Caleb - "Still Of The Night" - Whitesnake
This is definitely the right song for Caleb. The band is awesome and really jamming. Jennifer and Keith are on their feet half way through the performance, jamming.
Keith - Awesome. Killer.
Jennifer - That's what we call bringing down the house. And I love the band when they perform with you like that.
Harry - You can't sing that song any better than that.

Ryan tells us that Keith will be performing on the results show. NICE!

Well, this will be a difficult night to rank. Caleb was really good on one song and not so good on the other song. Caleb and Jessica's duet was not so hot, but they didn't pick the song, I'm sure. Jena didn't impress me on either song. Alex was totally awesome on one and ok on the other. Sam didn't impress me tonight. I liked both of Jessica's performances, although I wasn't really familiar with either song. This will be a tough one for America.
I say Alex, Jessica, Caleb, Jena, Sam. No clue who will be sent home. I just hope it isn't Jessica. Might be time for Sam to take a break.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 6 Results

We start the show with Ryan still hanging out with Grumpy Cat. Give it a rest Seacrest.

My, my, my!!! Keith is wearing a suit tonight.

Carrie Underwood tweeted Caleb and Jena to congratulate them on their performances of her songs last night.

Dinner after the show was Caleb's birthday dinner cooked by his mom.

This week's Ford video has family members calling in the tell secrets about their contestants.

Results: Caleb, Sam, CJ

Randy says:
Caleb was amazing. He won the night.
Sam had a good, solid night. Should be safe.
CJ's first song was good. The second, not so much. He could be in trouble.

Sam and Caleb are safe.
CJ in the Bottom 2.

Results: Jena, Alex, Jessica

Randy says:
Jena was incredibly strong. She is safe.
Alex continues to show artistry.
Jessica had a solid night.
Alex and Jessica could both be in trouble tonight.

 Jena and Alex are safe.
Jessica is in the Bottom 2.

Jessica and CJ are the Bottom 2.
And CJ is heading home this week.

Sorry CJ. You seem like a really nice guy, but I agree with this result.

Next week, Jason Mraz will be mentoring the contestants.  Now that's interesting.

I'm hearing rumors that next week's theme will be "America's Request."  A couple of weeks ago, Ryan asked fans to tweet in requests for song choices they want the kids to sing. Lists will be made for each contestant and they will pick two songs off of the list  to sing.  I'll let you know if this rumor is true.

American Idol 13: Top 6 Performances

To begin tonight's show we have a video entitled Meet The Idols in which each of the kids are given a title.
Caleb - The Hard Rocker
Sam - The Heart Throb
Jessica - The Rebel
CJ - The Roots Rocker
Alex - The Troubadour
Jena - The Wildcard
I'm not quite sure I agree with all of these titles, especially CJ's and Jessica's.

This week's theme: A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock N Roll.

The band is on the stage this week.

First up, the rock songs.
Jena - "Barracuda" - Heart
She sounds just ok. Oops, maybe not fading out on the Barracuda line. She is really hard to hear on the softer parts. I can't tell if the band is too loud , she is too soft, or she is chopping off the words. The judges better not say she was perfect.
Keith - Great way to start the show. I want you to cut loose more.
Jennifer - (She continues on the loosen up and let go theme.) Push yourself more. Every little thing can help you win.
Harry - Your strong voice is a perfect match for that song. (He also follows up on the loosen up and let go theme.) You need to think about what you can do to relax before you come out.

Sam - "It's Time" - Imagine Dragons
Sam has his guitar and is standing on a platform in front of the band. I guess that's one way to avoid the not moving around critique. I wouldn't really call this a true rock song the way Sam is performing it. The beginning sounded off, like he was struggling to find his way, but it got better towards the end.
Jennifer - I got goosies on that one. I believed you when you sang that song.
Harry - That's a great song for you. You're blossoming.
Keith - Good performance. At two points in the song you made a different strong connection. Learn to tap into that place.
Ryan calls us that Sam just celebrated his 18th birthday.

CJ - "American Woman" - The Guess Who
With his trusty guitar in hand. CJ's gritty voice works for this song. Not too bad a performance. CJ seems like a nice guy, but his singing has not developed as much as some of the others.
Harry - I thought it was a good performance. Good song choice. Watch your intonation.
Keith - That song is all about attitude. If you're not that person, pull from somewhere else in your life for the attitude.
Jennifer - I love the look. You look the part of a rocker. The beginning was a little shaky, but it came together.

Alex - "Animal" - Neon Trees
Viewer question - His biggest musical influences? Jeff Buckley and Jason Mraz
Alex is playing his electric guitar this time. He is just so awkward on the stage. He is so hard to watch, but he sounds ok. The ending seemed to be off from the band.
Keith - I wanted you to release a little bit more.
Jennifer - There was a little bit something missing.
Harry - You're really consistent, but it's not right to say you get a pass tonight. It sounded like you couldn't get your breath. It wasn't your best , but I liked that is was up tempo.

Caleb - "Sting Me" - The Black Crowes
He actually looks like MeatLoaf more tonight than ever before. Scary. This is definitely his genre and his show to win or lose tonight.  Looks like something weird happened, but the cameras were on the drummer at the time, so we only caught a small glimpse. Nice high rock scream at the end.
The judges are laughing and cheering. Hope they tell us what happened.
Jennifer - That was some real Rock and Roll. the lost mic made it real. (OK, so I guess Caleb lost the mic when the drummer was doing his short solo, but recovered it in time to continue song.)
Harry - When you take a perfect song choice and couple that with an incredible performance, its virtually impossible to beat.
Keith - We've all had that moment in a show where something goes wrong and it should be a mess, but it turns out to be one of the best moments of the night.The recovery of that was killer. You slide into the microphone, pick it up and don't miss a beat of the song. "Despite the big crack in the performance, you just spackled right over it."

Jessica - "Somebody To Love" - Jefferson Airplane
Performing with her guitar. This is a great song for her voice. She looks serious after last week's bottom 2. She does a really good job.
Harry - Really strong. You stood there and you delivered a really strong vocal. You understood what I said last week.
Keith - I agree, you were vocally strong. You need to connect a little more with your eyes.
Jennifer - We want the energy of your body to match the energy coming from your mouth. Powerful, beautiful vocal.

Half way point and the Realtime vote recap is back.
In order of votes: Jena, Caleb, Sam, CJ, Jessica, Alex

Time for the Country songs.
Sam - "You're Still The One" - Shania Twain
No guitar this time. He is actually looking around at the audience more since he can't look down at the guitar. Sam actually walks over to the pit of screaming girls. LOL  He still looks like he is in pain singing this song.
Keith - Good song for you lyrically. You still need to relax more.
Jennifer - You're so cute its crazy. Good song for you. You sang it well.
Harry - You have found the people. Now don't sing so perfectly. It was so rhythmically perfect, but at the same time had no dynamics.

Ryan has Grumpy Cat on stage with him. Odd, to say the least.

Caleb - "Undo It" - Carrie Underwood
Caleb is smart. He found a country song that sounds like rock and roll. Good job.
Ryan tells us that Caleb is 23 today.
Jennifer - Its hard to top your last performance. This was good.
Harry - The magic happened the first song. This was still an extremely strong performance.
Keith - I thought it was great. I can't wait to hear what country song you do later. ( LOL Keith.)

Alex - "Always On My Mind" - Willie Nelson
(For anyone who doesn't know me, Willie Nelson is my favorite male country singer of all time and has been since I was in high school. Alex better not butcher this song up too much. Willie is an American institution and country fans will not take too kindly to any injury to this classic song.)
Alex is playing his acoustic guitar now. He has some nice talent on the guitar. Not sure I like what he is doing to the song vocally. Something is way off when the band comes in. Is the keyboard playing in a different key?
Harry - I feel lucky to have heard you sing that tonight. (Is something wrong with Harry? That was not a good performance.)
Keith - You have a strong style that when you play everyone knows its you. I love that song because it is so heartbreaking. I would have liked to hear more heartbreak.
Jennifer - It's hard to hit the bulls eye every time. You did it beautifully.

Jena - "So Small" - Carrie Underwood
Her diction is not clear to me on this. Sounds like she is chopping the words. I don't like it. It no longer sounds country.
Keith - You are such a good singer. You are like everything Idol is about.
Jennifer - Sometimes when I'm watching the vocals take over and the band gores away. That's what happened. Goosies.
Harry - When Carrie sings this, the song has so many ornaments, its hard to hear the melody. I disagree with Jen and Keith. The ornaments you chose to sing didn't match what was going on beneath you. it didn't work for me, but I don't think it will matter.

CJ - "Whatever It Is" - Zac Brown Band
With his guitar. NOT!!!!  Please stop him. This is not working, AT ALL.
Jennifer - this was more your style, but it didn't hit the mark.
Harry - Not your best performance. If you stay, make sure you chose better songs.
Keith - You need to chose better songs. This was not right for you. When Zac sings this there are harmonies and the whole band works.

Jessica - "Jolene" - Dolly Parton
With guitar. This song works with her voice. A few changes. A dramatic halftime of just Jessica. Nice job.
Harry - You stood there and delivered the song. I felt you thought about the lyrics. Nice job.
Keith - A strong vocal. Honestly, I hated the arrangement because I love the way Dolly does it.
Jennifer - Your vocal was really strong. I could see the lyrics in your voice.

Ryan gives us the Realtime vote results so far for Tennessee:
Caleb, Jena, Jessica, Sam, CJ, Alex  (Oops. I told you, don't mess with a Willie song.)

I say for me:
Top 2: Caleb and Jessica
Bottom 2: Alex and CJ

It's time for CJ to head home, but it very well could be a surprise "boot" of Alex heading out. (Get the country pun - boot.) LOL

And for the closing credits, Randy comes on stage holding Grumpy Cat. I'd be grumpy too if someone was holding me like that.