American Idol recap: Star power shines

American Idol judges (L-R) Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Hary Connick Jr. (Handout)

American Idol judges (L-R) Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Hary Connick Jr. (Handout)

Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

The theme was “music from the movies” on American Idol on Wednesday night and some contestants clearly showed more star power than others.

Leading the charge was Jena Irene, 17, who wisely returned to piano to perform Paramore’s Decode from Twilight, leading to a standing ovation from judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez.

“There’s a ferocity about the way you perform,” said Urban. “And it’s exhilarating.”

“I don’t know what you were doing in the bottom three last week,” added JLo. “America please get on board with this. Best performance of the night.”

Following closely behind was rock belter Caleb Johnson, 22, who delivered a restrained version of Adele’s SkyFall from the James Bond film of the same name.

“That was fantastic, you’re going to be very hard to beat,” said judge Harry Connick Jr.

And in the only memorable line from the contestants who were forced to perform silly screen tests of each other, Jessica Muese best described Johnson: “If Jack Black and Meatloaf had a baby it would be Caleb.”

Malaya Watson, 16, proved to be the show’s biggest female belter with her take on Beyonce’s I Am Changing from Dreamgirls leading to standing ovations from Urban and Lopez.

“That was killer,” said JLo.

And C.J.’s Harris, 23, and his version of Marshall Tucker’s Can’t You See from Blow produced another standing ovation from Urban.

“I think you just picked and sang your way to the forefront of this competition,” said Connick.

MK Nobillette, 20, with newly blond hair delivered a subtle if powerful take on Bob Dylan’s To Make You Feel My Love from Hope Floats with JLo comparing her to KD Lang in tone.

And Alex Preston, 20, also did justice to Falling Slowly from Once with the hardest to please Connick declaring it: “Simply stated and elegantly done.”

“It’s very raw and it’s fragile, your authenticity holds me,” added Urban.

However, a couple of the singers seemed to be going through an identity crisis.

Ben Briley, 24, on piano, did Elton John’s Bennie and The Jets from 27 Dresses leading to Lopez saying: “I’m so confused because you were so country last week.”

And Majesty Rose 22, and her version of Let It Go from Frozen had Connick declaring: “You really are a mystery.”

While other singers just didn’t make enough of an impression like 17-year-old Sam Woolf doing The Beatles’ Come Together from Across the Universe.

“It’s like baby rock star, we need big rock star,” said Lopez.

Or Dexter Roberts, 22, with his straight forward take on Lynryd Skynryd’s Sweet Home Alabama from Forrest Gump.

“You gotta put your Dexter-ism in there,” said Urban. “Is that a word?”

And Jessica Muese, 23, was just “off” with her version of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound Of Silence from The Graduate.

Showing all of them how it’s done, hopefully, will be Connick who is performing during Thursday night's results show.

 


Videos

Photos