“American Idol XIII” really needs to get some of its you-know what together. The second performance show since the declaration of the top 13 brought contestants singing about “home,” and at least one of them will be going back there after a series of nervous, uncomfortable numbers. There were a few standouts, but plenty of disappointments.
As we do with all of our “American Idol” reviews at this stage, we’re giving you our personal rankings of all of the performances from start to finish below. At the very bottom, we’ll give you our overall grade … and that’s where you come in to vote!
12. MK Nobilette, “Drops of Jupiter” – After being a part of the bottom last week, MK is not going to be helping herself at all with this. There were pitch problems throughout, and it really shows with her just how important finding a right song can be. Her vocals are limited compared to the other contestants, and this isn’t going to help her build an audience.
11. Emily Piriz, “Let’ Get Loud” – Well, this is a way to get Jennifer Lopez on her side: Perform one of her songs! To Emily’s credit, she did at least put a ton of effort into it. She just couldn’t match everything going on around her with the band and the production … and we also blame the video message from her Marine boyfriend as a big reason for that. (However, great way to get votes!)
10. Sam Woolf, “Just One” – Sam is one of those contestants who is just a move or two away from greatness, but hasn’t tapped into it just yet. What are we talking about here? Think along the lines of him being very one-note (musical pun intended) in most of his songs.
9. Jessica Meuse, “White Flag” – A bit of a surprising song choice from Jessica … and one that showed her to be even more of the poster child for inconsistency on this show. Her big note was completely off-base, and it felt like she was distracted. It wasn’t that she didn’t care about the performance, but there was a disconnect.
8. Alex Preston, “I Don’t Want To Be” – This was a nice performance from Alex … but also his weakest of the entire competition. At least he tired to make the song his own, right? It sounded different than the Gavin DeGraw version / the one done a million times on the show already.
7. Jena Irene, “Suddenly I See” – This was not a bad performance at all for Jena! We feel like sometimes, critics are a little too hard on these sort of mid-tempo numbers since they don’t really show off huge notes or anything that revolutionary. Jena did a nice job with it! There wasn’t an iconic “Idol moment” in it, but that doesn’t mean there was anything to hate on.
6. Caleb Johnson, “Working Man” – In terms of quality, there is no denying that Caleb brought it … and he always does. What we are a little more worried about with is that somewhere in the middle of doing the same sort performance every week, people are going to eventually forget about him and stop voting.
5. CJ Harris, “Waiting on the World to Change” – On a night when many contestants bombed, CJ brought it for us with a performance that felt real and genuine. It wasn’t the best vocal, but he seems to recognize that there is importance in actually just hitting the stage and being vulnerable.
4. Malaya Watson, “Take Me To the King” – This was the Malaya that was not around last week! There was soul, there was heart, and there was some real SINGING. It wasn’t perfect, but this is what she needed to do after being in the bottom three.
3. Majesty Rose, “Fix You” – We were mostly with Majesty throughout this, but not when it comes to that high note near the end. That was a little bit messy. But overall? Nice job on doing something with a performance that was completely overdone. She really likes Coldplay, though, doesn’t she?
2. Dexter Roberts, “Lucky Man” – Where in the world was this version of Dexter last week? Mr. Dog Trainer redeemed himself mightily from that pretty-awful performance ironically named “Aw Naw” from last week. There was emotion, great vocals, and even a standing ovation. We don’t know if we would’ve gone THAT far with it, but kudos for Dexter for managing to impress.
1. Ben Briley, “Turning Home” – We weren’t that familiar with this song as some of the others, but Ben really made us love it. For a guy who barely made it into the top 30, he’s found a way to continually impress since getting there. Great artistry, a nice voice, a some musicianship to go along with it.
Who was your favorite from this “American Idol” performance show? Share your thoughts below, and visit the link here if you want to see where we ranked these contestants beforehand. Also, sign up now for our CarterMatt Newsletter to get some additional TV updates worth singing over.