‘American Idol’ Recap: Caleb Crushes Again, But He Better Watch His Back

Jena Irene is coming up hard.

This time it’s on you, America. For the first time in show history, you picked the songs for the “American Idol” top five to sing on Wednesday (April 30). So if you didn’t like what Caleb, Jena, Jessica and Sam and Alex served up, then maybe you should clear the cobwebs from your playlists.

Regardless of the theme, we’re sticking with our conviction that big Caleb Johnson is the one to beat, even if potential runner-up Jena Irene put some serious heat to his feet this week.

Here’s how Wednesday’s show went down:

Alex Bundles Up, Strips It Down
America wanted to hear Alex Preston sing “Sweater Weather” by the Neighbourhood and, well, the judges pretended that he was pleasantly rocking it with another uncharacteristically uptempo tune. But really it was a cold fish. “I wouldn’t have minded hearing a bit more soaring,” Keith Urban said of the straight-line arrangement. And when Jennifer Lopez says “you could do this in your sleep,” in this case that’s not a great thing.

Alex was back in his emotional ballad lane with a teary, unplugged take on A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” which earned a standing ovation from Urban. “It was a beautiful performance,” said Harry Connick Jr., dubbing it the best of the night.

Caleb Swings And Misses, Then Hits A Grand Slam
Johnson is stomping his way to the finale and Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” was practically a layup at this point. He started off a bit shaky, but eventually brought his typical intensity and vocal fireworks. Lopez said it was both tender and beautiful (yet “challenging”), while Harry encouraged Caleb to eyeball the audience, not the camera.

Urban dinged the big man a bit for not bringing the right emotional intensity, marking one of the first times in a long time that Johnson got some not perfect marks.

But man was he back on top with Whitesnake’s hair metal anthem “Still of the Night.” CJ killed the high wailers, the seductive middle section and a bluesy scream that got JLo bouncing around like a fan girl. “Awesome!” Urban gushed. “Dude, it was killer!”

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