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American Idol XIII Top 13: “This is Me”

The "American Idol XIII" Top 13 were all smiles before they took on "This is Me" theme week.
The "American Idol XIII" Top 13 were all smiles before they took on "This is Me" theme week.
Photo property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment

After thousands of auditions and one of the most brutal Hollywood Weeks in the show’s history, the American Idol XIII Top 13 took the stage to show their artistry to the viewers.

In addition to impressing the viewers, they also had to excite the people that put them in this position…Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban!

Who rose to the occasion? Which artist might be sent home tomorrow night? Read on to find out…

Up first to face the voters was Dexter Roberts. I thought that his performance of Chris Young’s “Aw Naw” was a little forced. While he looked like that he had fun, it was average and both Keith and Jennifer stated that he needed to take it “to the next level” and make the song his own. C+

High school student Malaya Watson tackled Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby.” I thought that her performance was WAY TOO AMATEURISH for the Idol stage. It had a lot of pitch issues and she shouted way too much! I suggest that everyone watches Joshua Ledet’s cover from Season 11 to see how an Idol contestant can truly slay this song! C-

Kristen O’Connor took a huge risk and tackled the original American Idol’s “Beautiful Disaster.” Before she went on stage to perform the song, Kristen reminded everyone why she was in the competition in the first place…the judges awarded her a Wild Card slot. Like the first two performers, she sang out of key! What is going on, Idol production team? You might be butchering their chances by making them sing off key! B-

Gallatin, TN native Ben Briley took on “Folsom Prison Blues.” While I admire Ben’s ability to keep the fast-paced tempo, he did not connect with me as a viewer. However, the judges were mixed…both Harry and Jennifer liked the up-tempo, while Keith said to not lose your artistry. If you really want to see an act rock the house, watch Midas Whale’s cover. C

When C.J. Harris sang the first few bars from Darius Rucker’s “Radio,” I immediately smiled! His vocals were impeccable and he gave me chills. Like Ben, the judges were split…both J.Lo and Keith liked the song, but Harry told him that he needed a better song. If Idol is continuing to post iTunes performances, I would immediately download it! B+

One of Idol’s most talked about performers, M.K. Nobilette, tackled on Alan Stone’s “Satisfaction.” I enjoyed seeing M.K. getting down and I loved hearing her alto-range on the song. Even though that a lot of the country does not know this song, I think that M.K. delivered a strong performance that can keep her in the competition. B+

Fan-favorite Majesty Rose saved the night from going south! Her performance of Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope” oozed so much soul and sass! In addition, Majesty Rose’s energy transmitted from Los Angeles to our homes! I have a feeling that she will going to the finals! A

Jena Irene covered Coldplay’s “The Scientist” for her “This is Me” selection. While it was rough in the beginning, she showed “Hudson-like” vocals as she belted the song. J.Lo stated she loved her uniqueness in Jena’s voice and I hope that she sings next week because could break the Pia curse. A-

Alex Preston did not make a “Beautiful Mess” while he was on stage. He took the Jason Mraz tune and made it simple for the viewer to follow. While Harry Connick, Jr. stated Alex was “brave” by tackling this song…but warned him to sing “more in tune,” I think he could be a dark horse. B

Jessica Meuse performed one of the darker songs that Idol viewers have heard. While I have not heard of “The Crow and The Butterfly,” it was great to see Jessica’s rocker edge come forward and I did not want the 90-seconds to end. Both Keith stated her choice was “bold” and Jennifer added that it was her “favorite vocal performance of the night.” B+

One of my least favorite contestants turned it around tonight! Emily Piriz delivered an amazing cover of P!nk’s “Glitter in the Air.” I liked her vocal runs and the way she activated the Swaybots. Her performance sent J.Lo into fan girl mode declaring her love with P!nk while Harry stated that she perfectly linked both the song and her Idol journey as a “Leap of Faith.” B

Sam Woolf played it safe tonight with his cover of Matchbox 20’s “Different Side of Me!” He is a great singer and guitar player…but he did not take risks. During this stage, contestants need to take risks and leave it out on the stage. I hope he tackles some more complex songs this season. B-

Rocker Caleb Johnson closed out the show with Rival Sons’ “Pressure and Time.” While I did not know the song, Caleb slayed the song! I loved his vocal performance and he perfectly captured the essence of the “This is Me” theme week! He received a standing ovation from both Jennifer and Keith and was an excellent choice to close the show! A

Tomorrow night, we lose an artist and reigning champ Candice Glover performs live!

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