‘American Idol XIII’ top 4 review: Jessica Meuse, Jena Irene, Alex Preston take on love songsMay 7, 2014
Tonight on “American Idol,” love was a theme. Specifically, the top 4 contestants were forced to sing all about it. There was nary a mention of the controversy of the past few weeks, and everyone was given a whopping three opportunities to shine. We are at least happy about that!
The only thing that we didn’t like? The judges seemingly throwing Alex and Jessica under the bus at times just because they don’t have the same vocal range as the other contestants. We’re going to rank all of these now from worst to first, so get ready!
12. Jessica Meuse, “So What” – This was Jessica’s second performance, and we’re starting to feel like she is really not getting the songs she should be doing. We really want to pull for her! Unfortunately, this is just too pop and not enough rock / country to suit her.
11. Jessica Meuse, “Since U Been Gone” - A good performance from Jessica, but it just wasn’t a great song for her. Doing Kelly Clarkson is an almost impossible task, mostly because Jessica shouldn’t try to match her vocally. What she should be focusing on instead is trying to get her artistry to shine.
10. Caleb Johnson, “You Give Love a Bad Name” - This was decent, but also overrated by the judges. Since when is being a good frontman for a bar band considered reinvention? This was competent, but really nothing special at all.
9. Alex Preston, “I’m Yours” - Not a terrible performance from Alex, but this is not a song that really should be messed with in any way. It’s too stylized, and suits more Jason Mraz’s unique style. Alex couldn’t really make it his own.
8. Jena Irene, “Bad Romance” - Some of the crescendos and the runs didn’t really work with her voice. There was still energy and high notes, but it was far from perfect.
7. Caleb Johnson, “Travelin’ Band” - Another good Caleb performance, and one that at least gave him an opportunity to do something very different than his usual screaming.
6. Alex Preston, “Too Close” - The thing about Alex is that while this is a hard song to have a “moment” with, he is still good enough to change things up enough for us to care. This was a very nice cover.
5. Jena Irene, “Heartbreaker” - It was a little too similar to her version of “Barracuda,” but compared to the other songs in this first round, there isn’t really that much of a question who was the best.
4. Caleb Johnson, “Maybe I’m Amazed” - We really don’t like what Caleb said this past week, but this is all about the performances … and this was a very great performance. Great range, great emotion, and something Caleb should try to tap more into.
3. Alex Preston, “Yellow” - A lovely vocal that relied mostly on emotion. It really wasn’t that good if you are just thinking about it when it comes to vocals alone.
2. Jessica Meuse, “You and I” - This was all about what Jessica can do. A perfect song choice for her, and you could just tell she was feeling this. Thanks to that, we were totally feeling it too! We hope that Jessica gets to do a longer version of this to rock out to.
1. Jena Irene, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” - Did anyone else have a weird cut in the middle of this? Jennifer Lopez freaking out was a bit much, but this really was fantastic. One of Jena’s best performances, and one that truly is among the best of the season.