"American Idol" 2014 resumed March 5 on FOX with the top 12 performance show, which featured the talented contestants singing songs that remind them of home. One of the evening's most touching performances belonged to aspiring country singer Dexter Roberts, who earned universal praise for his take on a Montgomery Gentry hit.
During his pre-performance segment, the Fayette, Ala. native talked about the tremendous support he's received from his hometown during his "AI" journey, sharing that photos of himself and his dog appear on billboards all around the state. Although he admitted to missing his dogs and the new litter of puppies he's yet to meet, he said he planned to think of his family and friends and hoped to make them proud with his "mellow" spin on "Lucky Man."
Looking casual with a white baseball cap perched backward on his head and his guitar in hand, Dexter hit the stage the to perform live. He delivered a lovely take on the duo's popular tune that showed off his clear tone and pure country roots. He had a steel guitar player and two back-up singers on hand, but could easily have handled the performance on his own.
The judges loved the effort. Country mega star Keith Urban called it "the perfect song" for Dexter, and appreciated how he "took liberties" with the lyrics. He was particularly taken with a moment near the end of the performance when Dexter seemed to forget the words, but carried on and made it his own anyway. Jennifer Lopez waxed poetic on former "Idol" winner Scotty McCreery, who she praised for his versatility, and told Dexter that he needed to show the same kind of talent. But even with that said, she still liked the performance. Finally, Harry Connick, Jr. called it "unquestionably the best performance" of the first four, and jokingly criticized Dexter for not changing a reference to the Cincinatti Bengals to the Saints.
To see if Dexter successfully advances to the top 11, watch the "American Idol" 2014 top 12 results show March 6 on FOX.