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'American Idol 13': '10 Finalists Perform' recap

This season's top 13 contestants
This season's top 13 contestants
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tonight, March 19, the top 10 contestants on “American Idol” performed songs that have been in the top 10 on the charts anytime from 2011 until the present. Ryan chatted briefly with the judges about this week’s theme and the earthquake they had.

MK Nobilette was up first, with Pink’s “Perfect.” It was clear that something happened, and MK lost her place somewhere in the middle of the song. Keith commented on how well MK looked, her slip up in the middle of the song, and said she needs to work on dominating the stage and opening the space. Jennifer thought MK started out really strong, but she didn’t think she handled her mess up well at all. Harry didn’t think it was one of MK’s stronger performances because he didn’t feel she conveyed her feelings about the song well.

Dexter Roberts sang “Cruise,” by Florida Georgia Line. Jennifer thought it was really good, but she thought he could have done a little more rallying of the crowd to get them into it. Harry disagreed – he didn’t think it was a good performance because he didn’t do anything different with the song. Keith thought it was a good song choice, but he thought Dexter lost him a bit at the end.

Next up was Jena Irene, who sang Zedd’s “Clarity.” Harry felt Jena had found her wheelhouse and could see her living in that world. Keith said it wasn’t just about coming out and moving around – it was about looking comfortable while doing it. He also added that she made it her own. Jennifer loved Jena singing that song, but it almost seemed like she was unsure sometimes.

Alex Preston went a different route this week, with One Direction’s “Story of My Life.” Keith said he made it his own and always sounds and moves like himself. Jennifer loved it and thought his vocal was beautiful. She added that he was very comfortable and sounded great. Harry thought he hit the bulls-eye on being an artist and knowing who he is.

Malaya Watson chose another Bruno Mars song this week – “When I Was Your Man.” Jennifer admitted she was ready to hate on Malaya for choosing that song, but she ended up getting goosies and said it was beautiful. Harry liked Malaya’s sincerity in interpreting the words of the song and advised her to work with the music people to sing over the chords during the runs of the song. Keith said it was well done for not changing the words of the song and keeping the control in her voice.

Caleb Johnson sang Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.” Harry gave Caleb an “A” for originality. Keith thought it was an interesting song choice and didn’t dig the feel of it – he felt like it was lumbering instead of motoring along. Jennifer was in between her fellow judges (literally), but she thought it was lacking feeling. She didn’t feel like Caleb was singing about anything and was more so showing off vocally.

Next was C.J. Harris, who sang Hunter Hayes’ newest single, “Invisible.” Keith told C.J. he is rooting for him and really likes him because he was born with that voice. During rehearsal, he thought C.J. nailed it, but he thought the performance tonight was shaky in terms of staying in tune. Jennifer referred to C.J. as their little quiet killer. She agreed with Keith and added that she hoped his heart reached through to America to keep him here until next week. Harry really hammered home C.J. needing to get his pitch in check.

Jessica Meuse took on Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” Jennifer was really happy with this week’s performance – it fell right in her wheelhouse, and she did really well. Naturally, Harry disagreed because Jessica was just kind of standing there with a complacent smile on her face. He was waiting for her to come out of her box and start to emote. Keith thought it was good and liked it.

Majesty Rose sang Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” Harry really liked what Majesty did with the song and thought it was really smart. Keith disagreed – he said he likes Majesty a lot, but he didn’t feel it worked because of the arrangement. He did add that she delivered. Jennifer said she saw a little bit of fear in her and said she couldn’t let being in the bottom three last week affect her while on stage.

Sam Woolf was also trying to redeem himself from last week and went with Fun.’s “We Are Young.” Keith didn’t have time to say much and said he would tell him more next week, and Jennifer said he sounded really beautiful. Harry said he needed to own it.

What did you think of tonight’s show? Did you have any favorite performances? Leave a comment below!

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