Senior Staff Writer
1. Jena Irene - "I Love Rock & Roll" by Joan Jett. Starting off at the piano was a risky choice, and I don't think it paid off. At all. While I think Jena sounded fine, the arrangement just didn't work for me. I couldn't really get into it. Sorry Jena.
2. Dexter Roberts - "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" by Georgia Satellites. Color me VERY impressed! Dexter really showed off his rock side with this performance, and it may just be my favorite Dexter performance yet. He really seemed comfortable and finaly showed some personality. I really do hope he can keep this up. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Time for a duet! Alex Preston and Sam Woolf joined up to sing the Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney track "The Girl Is Mine". Their voices really meshed well together, which was a pleasant surprise.
3. Malaya Watson - "Through The Fire" by Chaka Khan. Our pint sized diva took on a big name diva with her 80's track. With the exception of a few notes, Malaya sailed right through this. Her voice is out of this world, but I do agree with Keith Urban: You can see it in her face everytime she gets close to a big note. She needs to focus on the entire song and not just the big notes. Time for another duet! Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene took on the classic "It's Only Love" by Tina Turner and Bryan Adams. This was SO MUCH FUN. Their voices were killer together, and this may have been one of my favorite performances of the season.
4. Jessica Meuse - "Call Me" by Blondie. Um...Okay, I need to find something nice to say. I'm trying. She looked good? Well, she did. The vocal was not strong unfortunately, though, and the whole performanc just seemed incredibly uncomfortable. I didn't buy this for a second. Maybe it was just me, because the judges felt the vocal was good.
5. Sam Woolf - "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper.One of my ALL-TIME favorite songs, by one of my ALL-TIME favorite artists. No pressure. Following his save last week, Sam really needed a strong performance and vocally he DELIVERED. I truly felt this was his best vocal to date, but I still needed more of a connection. He was surrounded by all the girls in the crowd, but he still couldn't lock eyes with any of them. I do think there was a bit of a change, but there needs to be more. Another duet, this time between Malaya Watson and CJ Harris, who took on the Aretha/George Michael classic "I Knew You Were Waiting." Now, back in season 11, Joshua Ledet and runner up Jessica Sanchez did this song, and they SLAYED it. Malaya and CJ did not.
6. Alex Preston - "Every Breath You Take" by The Police.I don't think I've really ever complained about an Alex performance, but tonight did him no favors. Alex didn't just change the song, he COMPLETELY changed it. The song was pretty much unrecognizable and I really disliked the arrangement. Did Alex sound bad? No, not at all. I just couldn't get into the arrangement and it really hurt it for me. I'm really upset that this happened, because he is still a front-runner for me. This just didn't come close to what it needed to be. A rare swing & a miss for Mr. Preston. Last duet of the night, between Jessica Meuse and Dexter Roberts who took on Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream." Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of this either.
7. CJ Harris - "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty.There's something in the air with the arrangements tonight, because this was another miss. I'm not going to completely blame the arrangement however, because CJ's vocals were all over the place. He would hit a really sweet spot one note, and then completely lose it by the next. I'm not sure what the judges were listening to because they seemed to enjoy it. I really didn't get it at all. Maybe I'm just grumpy? Who knows.
8. Caleb Johnson - "Faithfully" by Journey.Oh man. PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT. This guy......let me tell you. Caleb took that stage and obliterated his competition with one classic rock song. The track was absolutely perfect for Caleb's voice and I couldn't have picked a better song. Okay, maybe "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" by Meatloaf. BUT THIS WAS AMAZING!!!!! 80's night provided some interesting performances, but we closed out with a killer one, thankfully. Who do you guys think will go home?? [yop_poll id="16"]
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