'American Idol' XIII Top 10: Alex Preston and Malaya Watson nail their contemporary songs
1. MK Nobilette, "Perfect," Pink
OK, there are three big things wrong with this song: MK is not being rock enough for the edginess that Pink has to her singing -- she has no grit, no emotional connection. Secondly, her pitch is all over the map, she is so, so flat for most of it, and then in the middle, it's like she just stops singing for a bit. Finally, her stage presence is still incredibly blah. She just wanders around. Where's the energy? Are you on cough syrup? She's just plodding around the stage like a zombie. Blech, terrible. That was not a good performance.
2. Dexter Roberts, "Cruise," Florida Georgia Line
He starts off a little shaky but by the time he gets to the chorus, he's more comfortable. There are pitch issues here and there, but he's definitely better when the driving backing music starts and the energy picks up. Not Dexter's best, not by a mile, but he's in no danger of going home. I do think his energy could have been higher.
HCJ wanted him to be bigger and stop meandering around, which is fair. The same could be said of both Dexter and MK. It was a good song choice, but he needed to do more with it.
3. Jena Irene, "Clarity," Zedd
OK, the first two performances were boring and this one ... was definitely not boring. But wow. First, there are bedazzled pants and pink boots. Secondly, glowsticks?! Thirdly, the vocal is completely boring, repetitive and not on pitch. Yikes. Jena Irene is one of my faves, but this was her weakest performance.
HCJ is complimentary in the studio, so perhaps it sounded much better live. It did not sound strong on TV. It's funny that Keith and HCJ disagree about how "massive" the melody is -- they're both right. Urban says it has big intervals, which it does at times, but HCJ means that the song is repetitive. It's the same over and over, there's not much to the song.
4. Alex Preston, "Story of My Life," One Direction
Great choice for him. Not only is it super popular and in the right demo for the voters, but he's changing up the song to make it his own. Finally the night has started. Well done, Alex.
5. Malaya Watson, "When I Was Your Man," Bruno Mars
Beautiful, especially the "hoo hooos" in her upper register. You know what's great about this performance? She reined it in a little. Malaya has a big instrument and that's great, but it's nice to hear someone with such a big voice scale it back at times. Gorgeous. She and Alex are definitely stepping this night up.
6. Caleb Johnson, "Edge of Glory," Lady Gaga
Love the choice, just for stepping so far outside what we're used to hearing from Caleb. Excited to hear this -- and he doesn't disappoint, though he could have had a more driving arrangement. Caleb has the voice to compete with huge accompaniment, so it's a shame he has such a milquetoast version. Was that his choice? Hmm. Either way, he's not going anywhere, but he could have really done more with that.
7. C.J. Harris, "Invisible," Hunter Hayes
When do we get to hear him do "Wagon Wheel"? Can we politely request that he do that ASAP? Anyway, this is ... huh. It's a huge mess pitch-wise. What is with these singers this year? Some of them can't carry a tune in a bucket sometimes. Also, sleepy performance. If you're going to sit on a stool and do a quiet song, you have to have a quiet energy and stay connected with the audience. I didn't feel the connection, even if Keith Urban says he did.
8. Jessica Meuse, "Pumped Up Kicks," Foster the People
Good choice for her, really good performance. I barely typed anything while I watched because I was so sucked in. Love what she did to the melody line at the end. Jessica is ready for her week to have a "moment." She's like right there, on the edge, ready.
Though HCJ has a good point -- she can connect more. She definitely can. But the way this night is going, it's just nice to hear a good vocal performance because there haven't been very many.
9. Majesty Rose, "Wake Me Up," Avicii
But hey, speaking of someone doing a good vocal performance and connecting, ask and ye shall receive. It's so hard to enumerate what Majesty has that Jessica doesn't, but they both stood there, played their guitars and sounded nice, but Majesty felt more present in the performance than Jessica. She's quite a talented little thing, isn't she?
10. Sam Woolf, "We Are Young," fun
We actually could not remember who was left and we find Woolf as a surprising pick for the pimp spot -- however, he does a really nice job. His voice is very current and he picked a perfect song for his voice.
So, who's in trouble? MK, CJ, Jena and Dexter were the weakest for me, with CJ and MK significantly below Jena and Dexter. We aren't sure who will make up the Bottom 3, but we definitely think MK or CJ should be the one going home.
What do you think, "Idol" fans?