American Idol Season 13 - Top 10 Week Recap - Top Billboard Hits 2011 to Now
This...is American Idol!
I debated for several weeks about whether I'd be back this year to recap all if the episodes starting with the Top 10 week. Since I enjoyed it so much last year, and have met several new Idol friends along the way, I decided to take the ride again. Woo-hoo!
Idol's Top 10 this year is full of a bunch of great potentially successful artists - and there isn't anyone I really don't like (ok...maybe Sam). But no matter, they're all going on tour this summer! To get them prepared for the rigorous life on the road, Ryan brought them each into his luxurious studio (with a gold microphone!), and primed them for early morning radio interviews.
This week the contestants are singing any top ten hit from 2011 to today. Let's join Keith, Jennifer and Harry do this thing!
MK Nobilette - "Perfect" (Pink)
MK tells Ryan that she chose this song because "there are a lot of people on social media that are saying that I helped them get through depression. It's about singing to other people."
Keith - "You recovered from it really well. [You need] to own the stage more."
Jennifer - "When you get thrown off on stage, you need to just go for it and keep going."
Harry - "I didn't think that was one of your strongest performances. If you're not going to sing it as well or better than Pink, it's not gonna work out for you."
That was rough. It's a shame because I thought that when she started the song that it was her best song choice and performance thus far. But J-Lo is right. You will get lost in the timing once in a while. It will definitely happen. But you have to forget about it instantly and plow ahead. She didn't do that. C-
Dexter Roberts - "Cruise" (Florida Georgia Line)
This year's resident mentor, and Idol's dawg for the last 12 years, Randy Jackson, gave Dexter advice on his diction due to his thick southern accent. Dexter thinks he has to keep picking great songs.
Keith - "I think it was a good song choice for you. You're being consistent. Your talent tells me what you can do, but your artistry tells me who you are."
Jennifer - "That was good. That was really good. I felt like you could have done more rallying to get the crowd involved."
Harry - "I didn't think that was a good performance. You didn't do anything different. You have to be bigger than the song."
Again the judges are making good points. I think if you were just listening, that it was a very good vocal performance of a very popular song. By meandering around the stage, Dexter simply lacks the charisma that he has when he plays guitar, which he's done in all of his previous performances. He also wasn't dressed very "country," so the visual performance was just so-so. B-
Jena Irene - "Clarity" (Zedd featuring Foxes)
Electronic music is Jena's thing. She wants to entertain, and she thinks that this song will help push herself to the next level.
Keith - "That's the best performance of the night so far...easily. You looked really comfortable up there."
Jennifer - "I love you singing that song. It was perfect for you."
Harry - "It's really exciting to see what you can. I'm starting to get a clear idea of who you are and I really like it."
Since this is my first week recapping Idol this season, you don't know that I already love this girl. Her original song during Rush week was killer, and she's been giving solid performances ever since. I loved how she looked tonight, how she commanded the audience and even showed off some dance moves. I love the girl's voice and I would buy her record today. A-
Alex Preston - "Story of My Life" (One Direction)
Although Alex is a little scared about doing this song justice, due to 1D's huge following, he thinks it's a more powerful song than last week. He likened the entire season of Idol to a concert, where you need to switch things up as you go along. I guess he feels he'll be around for a while!
Keith - "You made it you own. I thought that was really good.'
Jennifer - "I was so in the song with you the entire time. You remind me a little bit of Buddy Holly."
Harry - "You just hit the bulls-eye on the artistry target."
One of the great things about Idol - or any singing show for that matter - is it provides an opportunity for people like Alex to be seen and heard, where he may not have otherwise been. This dude is clearly very talented, knows who he is, looks comfortable, and is most importantly - unique. This was a perfect song choice and performance. A
Malaya Watson - "When I Was Your Man" (Bruno Mars)
Malaya feels like this song hits home as it describes something one of her family members is going through. She wants to sing it for them, through their eyes.
Keith - "Well done leaving it just like it was. I'm hearing more control in your voice. Great job, baby."
Jennifer - "I had goosies. It was sung so beautifully and tenderly."
Harry - "I liked how sincere you were in interpreting the lyrics."
That was a fantastic vocal. No matter what happens, this girl has a long career ahead of her. I love the restrain she showed. It made me feel as if she wanted to explode but pushed up to just before that point. Her tone between her falsetto and belt was sublime. Very well done. A
Who is your favorite so far?
Caleb Johnson - "Edge of Glory" (Lady Gaga)
Caleb looked the most comfortable with Ryan in the studio early in the morning. He feels this song hearkens back to some of his classic rock favorites, like Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen..
Keith - "You deliver [on your tone] every week. I didn't dig the half-time feel. For me energy-wise there felt an in-balance.
Jennifer - "I thought the half-time suited you better, but I didn't feel it."
Harry - "I like that you put your own spin on it."
I love Caleb, and I feel like he might win this whole thing. I liked this performance a lot - mainly due to it being a great song, and his consistently amazing tone and vocal range. Harry gave it an A+. I give it an A-
C.J. Harris - "Invisible" (Hunter Hayes)
Last year he was working at a barbecue joint. Now he's in front of millions of people every week. C.J feels that this song coveys a positive message, and that music is the only way he can release emotion.
Keith - "Tonight is was really shaky with staying in tune."
Jennifer - "There's no doubt that your heart is in it, but this wasn't what it should have been."
Harry - "You really seemed to feel the lyrics, but you must get the pitch in check."
Between the fact that I didn't know this song, the off-key notes peppered throughout, and the couple instances of spittle fired out of his mouth, I really didn't enjoy much of anything about this performance and I hope I never have to see it again. D
Jessica Meuse - "Pumped Up Kicks" (Foster The People)
The lyrics are intense and "creepy," but Jess feels that the misleading, happy melody gives her and the fans the chance to bob their head and move. Ryan schooled her on the function of a cough button on a radio microphone.
Keith - "I thought it was good. You took it and made it your own."
Jennifer - "This week it felt right in your wheelhouse.'
Harry - "I wasn't really sure how you were interpreting those lyrics. I waited for you to emote on a different level."
I really kinda like this girl. That was a better performance vocally than the last few weeks. I like this song too, and I understand the debate that the judges were engaged in about the lyrics, but I'm with Jen on this one. It's a happy melody, and despite the lyrical content, it's ok to throw in a smile. B
Majesty Rose - "Wake Me Up" (Avicii)
Majesty was in the bottom three last week, and Randy and Ryan both recommended that she put the fear behind her. Majesty wants to connect with people's hearts.
Keith - "For me, it doesn't work [as] a straight Folk [song]."
Jennifer - "Tonight I saw a little bit of fear. You can't let it do that when you're on stage. You can't let it affect you."
Harry - "I really like what you did with that tune. I think you're really smart."
I saw the fear, too. Some of the lower notes got completely lost. I felt like that song swallowed her up, even with the pared down arrangement. She still does have a pretty voice, though. C+
Sam Woolf - "We Are Young" (Fun featuring
Sam feels it was a wake-up call being in the bottom three last week. He chose this song because he's really comfortable with it and it shows who he is.
Keith - "I'll get to talk to you next week,"
Jennifer - "I loved it. You sounded really beautiful."
Harry - "Self-assertion. You have to own it. I still feel like you're timid."
This kid is in over his head at this point. He has a nice voice, but lacks the conviction to deliver an honest performance. He looks scared to me - which is understandable given the platform - but he's just not quite "there" yet. C
It was a pretty entertaining show all around. The addition of Harry Connick, Jr. has made for a panel that is both more fun and more serious at the same time (as I wrote about when auditions first started). The impressions that the stars are doing of each other is roll-on-the-floor funny and great for spontaneous, live television.
It's unclear how they will announce the fates of the contestets on the results show. Last year they mixed it up, so I'll give both my top and bottom three, and predict who's leaving, and if the judges will use the save. Play along at home!
Going home: MK
Use save?: No
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