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American Idol

American Idol 2014 Recap: Season 13 Top 8 Perform — April 2, 2014

American Idol fans, can you believe that in just over a month we'll have our Season 13 winner? We can't either but that's what's ahead! We've got just eight contestants left in the race to win Ryan Seacrest's heart wow America and win the title. Who will be the champion? We have our guess, but honestly, competition's so fierce this year we never quite know what to expect week to week.

Before forging ahead to the latest round of performances as brought to us by the Top 8, let's take a quick moment to look back on the great contestant we lost in last week's elimination episode. We had to wave goodbye to Majesty Rose, who was such a bright spot in this season. The teacher still had a smile on her face even as she heard the news the judges wouldn't be using their save (a choice we were a bit surprised by seeing as their days are numbered to actually make use of it this season).

With Majesty gone, who might take over her duties as cheermaster for Idol? We nominate Harry Connick, Jr. When he smiles, you can see his dimples.

Tune into two new hours of Idol tonight as the Top 8 performers take the stage once again. We'll be here recapping every detail so come join us! We've only got a handful of weeks left.

Live Recap Begins Here!
Tonight, we're learning more about our Top 8 contestants — and hearing them perform their original audition songs all over again. This is going to be an awesome opportunity to see how much they've grown since this season of Idol began... and also a good way to see who should go home during tomorrow night's elimination show.

Jess Meuse: "Blue-Eyed Lie" — Original Song
Jess finally got the opportunity to perform the song she wrote and sang in her audition with a full band for the first time ever — and she's definitely come a long way since the first time we met her at the Atlanta auditions in January. We aren't the only ones who noticed her growth, either. Aside from the standing ovation she received from the audience, J.Lo says she can really hear Jess's power as her own artist.

CJ Harris: "Soulshine" — The Allman Brothers
We root so hard for CJ, just because he seems like such a great guy... and his performance tonight really managed to keep the audience engaged. J.Lo, Harry, and Keith were all impressed with how much growth he's shown over the course of his Idol performances. And how precious was it when one of his fans came up on stage to meet him?

Duet No. 1: Alex Preston and Jena Irene

Sam Woolf: "Lego House" — Ed Sheeran
Sam is giving us a slower, more controlled version of his audition song this week. Now that he doesn't have those audition day jitters, he won't be so tempted to sing it "like an auction song." So how'd he do? Sam gave a super solid performance — and we still have a major crush on him. So that's happening.

Duet No. 2: Caleb Johnson and Jessica Meuse

Malaya Watson
: "Ain't No Way" — Aretha Franklin
Malaya — who's hair looks fantastic tonight, by the way — gave us her best rendition of the song that impressed the heck out of the judges when she auditioned as a 15-year-old, and this time, she sang her heart out with no reservations. She managed to get the best reviews from the judges all night, and J.Lo promised her she'll be a huge star, while Harry told her she's doing everything right. Wonder if their predictions for Malaya's success will come true? There's a pretty good chance.

Dexter Roberts: "One Mississippi" — Brett Eldredge
We totally forgot Dexter was a product of the American Idol audition bus — what a relief that he managed to make it! We love how sweet his mom is, talking about her son. How awesome is it that his hometown has a billboard up for him? This time around, he's singing a way more polished version of his audition song, looking pretty sharp while he's at it. As Harry said, he "sang the crap out of that song," and judging by the performances so far tonight, it's going to be a really hard call to make in deciding who gets sent home this week.

Duet No. 3: Sam Woolf and Malaya Watson

Jena Irene Asciutto: "Rolling in The Deep" — Adele
Jena's definitely stealing the show tonight — but who's surprised? Anyone? Jena managed to turn "Rolling in The Deep," a song we've all heard on the radio so many times we're all pretty much convinced we can sing it as well as Adele does (Spoiler alert: We can't) and turned it into a whole 'nother animal. How amazing was that?!

Duet No. 4: Dexter Roberts and CJ Harris

Caleb Johnson: "Chain of Fools" — Aretha Franklin
Caleb has a way of turning every song he performs into an intense rock ballad, and not even Aretha Franklin songs are immune. Caleb gives a predictably awesome performance of "Chain of Fools," tonight, although we must admit, we'd love to see him switch it up every now and then. The judges, of course, pronounced him "flawless," while Harry, like us, would also like to see him tone down the volume a bit and try out something different.

Alex Preston: "Fairytales" — Original Song
Alex was extra bold and performed an original song for his Idol auditions, so how did his performance go this time? His vocals are there, like usual, we just wish we could have gotten a little more energy out of him? Maybe it's just us, because the judges absolutely loved it.

The contestants have really stepped up their game next week, so we've got a feeling that America's vote is going to be a really close one. Tomorrow, we're turning the Top 8 into a Top 7 — who are you voting for? We'll see you then!

04.2.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Nicole Pomarico
Related: American Idol, Features, Recaps, TV, American Idol Season 13

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