"American Idol" 2014 continued April 2 on FOX as the top eight finalists hit the stage to reprise the tunes that secured their golden tickets. Although several hopefuls turned in admirable offerings, Slapout, Ala. native Jessica Meuse started the show off with what was arguably the best performance of the night in her original song "Blue Eyed Lie."
Before she hit the stage to sing live, the judges shared their first impressions of the aspiring songstress. Harry Connick, Jr. remembered how she stared "holes into us" and called her "exciting to watch," while Jennifer Lopez recalled her dark threads and Keith Urban fixated on the distinct way she pops her right shoulder while strumming her guitar.
Looking striking in a red dress with her hair hanging in her face in an appropriately disheveled fashion, Jessica finally took to the "Idol" stage to sing live. Her delivery and tone were spot on, as was her expression. She has a clear sense of who she wants to be as an artist, and is well on her way to establishing herself as a truly legitimate competition threat.
Keith called it a "great start to the show" before likening Jessica's sound to that of Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick. Although he praised her "ferocity," he criticized her for what he considered a lack of motion and energy in her lower body. Jennifer called the performance "really perfect" and said she could "hear your album" and "the kind of stuff you're going to sing about." Harry likened her "really cool" performance stance atop a cylinder to that of the legendary Cher and Nancy Sinatra, and disagreed with Keith on the movement issues, asserting that she doesn't need to move if she delivers her vocals with enough intensity.
Although Jessica has yet to finish in the bottom three following a nationwide vote, the field of competitors is small and anything can happen. To see if she advances to the top seven, watch the "American Idol" 2014 top eight results show April 3 on FOX.