Although the Top 5 performance night basically is the conduit by which the five remaining "American Idol" finalists get into the Top 4, it actually set up the Top 3 and reinforced the vibe of just who the two finalists are that will most likely make the season finale. With each contestant tackling two fan requests (the Top 5 theme: "America's Choice") and a little mentoring from Jason Mraz, the Top 5, for the most part, showed America they were ready for artistic stardom.
As Lyndsey Parker at Yahoo TV recapped April 30, Caleb Johnson's show-ending performance of Whitesnake's "Still of the Night" was the Season 13 must-see performance. (And it was.) Caleb nailed the 80s blues metal classic, getting an "awesome" from Judge Keith Urban and a "you can't do that song better than that" from Judge Harry Connick Jr. During the performance, he had Judges Jennifer Lopez and Urban on their feet, dancing, and head-banging. It was a great pairing with Caleb's first requested song, Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," which didn't sound Steven Tyler-ish at all. More of a power ballad for Caleb, he handled it well and most likely cemented his trip to the season's finale.
Jena Irene kept up her cool Wildcard run alive, nailing her two fan requests, especially the second, a cover of Mark Ronsona and Amy Winehouse's "Valerie." Smooth, the girl just might be the season winner (although the aforementioned Caleb will be a strong contender), her vocals remaining on point. Her first song, Young The Giant's "My Body" was a solid move along a steady pop groove, although the song lacked the power many of her performances have of late. Still, she's headed to the finale.
Alex Preston seemed to stumble a bit on his first number (The Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather"), although the judge's seemed to like the so-so performance. Sort of. Judge Harry complimented Alex on his ability to learn the song's ton of words. But Alex picked himself back up and return with swagger on his second song, a great rendition of A Great Big World's "Say Something." Now, he was no Alex & Sierra (who won Season 3 of "X Factor"), but his vocal stylings twisted the tune into a work of art. Judge Harry told him it was the best of the night. (And is anyone else getting more of Paul Simon vibe from the New Hampshire singer, or is it more Jason Mraz-like, his personal idol?)
There's no way anyone watching the show could in good conscience vote for Sam Woolf -- which means that he will be eliminated on Thursday's results episode. (Or should be.) Good thing for him, good conscience or taste have nothing to do with the way America chooses its pop music artists. Still, after two bland performances (as per usual with Sam), he'll most likely be shown the exit. His performances: A little more livelier than monotone versions of "Sing" (Ed Sheeran) and "How To Save A Life" (The Fray). And someone should tell him that porkpie hats and tie-dyes are not hip, hipster, or anything but ridiculous when worn in tandem.
Jessica Meuse is still belting out her lyrics like a pro. However, she's also still a little stiff, somewhat wooden. She's not connecting well (unless the television viewing audience closes its collective eyes and just listens). After a strong cover of Christina Perri's "Human," her second number, Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" also showcased her vocals. But she still seemed a bit distant. And for that reason she won't make the Top 3, barring a miracle...
So, who makes the bottom two? It certainly looks as if it will be Jessica Meuse and Sam Woolf.
Who will go home? Sam Woolf. Why? He should've went home three eliminations ago -- and he hasn't really done anything but prompt the producers of the show to label him with a title -- "heartthrob" -- he is unquestionably uncomfortable with. In fact, except for the two David Gray songs he's done on the show ("Babylon" and "Sail Away"), his performances have left a lot to be desired (unless you listen to the judges' critiques, whereupon you will find that Sam could do nothing wrong, his near-monotone akin to "butter," according to Judge Keith Urban).
The "American Idol" Top 5 will lose another finalist Thursday night. The results show airs at 9 p.m. (EST) on Fox Television.