American Idol 2014 Recap: Season 13 Top 12 Perform — March 5, 2014
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX © 2014 FOX Broadcasting Co.    

American Idol

American Idol 2014 Recap: Season 13 Top 12 Perform — March 5, 2014

American Idol Season 13 is well underway. Can you believe it started almost two months ago?

We can't either but here we are gearing up to hear the Top 12 perform! This week's theme is "Home" and if the contestants play their cards right (read: actually figure out the sound gear) they'll be able to avoid heading home for at least one more week.

After last week's Live Shows we bid adieu to Kristen O'Connor. She was joined in the bottom three by fellow wannabe Idol winners Malaya Watson and MK Nobilette, who now have something a little extra to prove this week. Think they'll be able to do it? We know the judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban — will be on hand to help all Top 12 give this week their very best shot.

We'll have all the latest details here as the show starts up at 8 p.m. Idol is for two hours tonight and then tomorrow we'll return for the one-hour result show at 8 p.m. Be warned, however. the series is about to undergo a major scheduling shift as Thursday nights move to 9 p.m. and, in a few weeks, get cut down to just 30 minutes. Enjoy your Ryan Seacrest time while you can, people!

Before tonight's performances start, we just have to say we are so jealous of the girls who just got a selfie with Ryan in front of the Idol stage. Okay, now the Top 12 performances can begin!

Tonight's song theme is "Home," which will allow us to get to know the contestants even better. Wonder what they'll pick?

Jena Irene Asciutto
: "Suddenly I See" — KT Tunstall
Jena says she chose this song because it reminds her of family roadtrips. She seems way more comfortable on the stage this week as she puts a jazzy spin on "Suddenly I See," a song we haven't heard on the radio in forever. Oh, the memories! Keith comments that he likes her stage presence, and we agree. Jena was working that stage tonight!

Alex Preston
: "I Don't Want to Be" — Gavin DeGraw
With the sweet message from his grandma and his brother and sister supporting him from the audience, Alex takes the stage to perform "I Don't Want to Be," encouraged by the shows he played with Gavin DeGraw in Boston. While Alex did flub up the lyrics a little — and the arrangement of the song was a little off, as per J.Lo — he gave something totally different a try with this one.

Jess Meuse
: "White Flag" — Dido
To reflect on her hometown of Slapout, Alabama, Jess is performing "White Flag" by Dido, which reminds her of her teenage years. With Jess's raspy voice, it sounds like a totally new song, which we think is a positive. Harry isn't buying it, though. He thinks she was emotionally unattached and out of tune. Yikes!

Dexter Roberts
: "Lucky Man" — Montgomery Gentry
Dexter's slowing it down with a country-fueled tribute to a friend of his who passed away and he gave the best performance so far tonight. What better way to represent Alabama than with a country song? Keith agrees that it was the perfect song choice, and Harry and J.Lo were also impressed.

Emily Piriz
: "Let's Get Loud" — Jennifer Lopez
Risky choice performing a song that belongs to one of the judges, but Emily comes on stage ready to rock it. Jen's dancing in her judge's seat, but Harry looks less than amused throughout the performance. Emily's vocals may not be as strong as we would have liked, but she dances way more than the rest of the Top 12 so far, so points for that!

Caleb Johnson
: "Working Man" — Rush
Caleb is — predictably — rocking it out tonight. Hey, if you find something that works for you, go for it! Caleb takes his performance to the next level this evening, and impresses us — and the judges (mostly though Harry warns about Caleb making sure to still be surprising). His voice is made for songs like this, and his performance showed it. We've got a feeling the judges will all be voting for Caleb... that is, if they're allowed to vote. Hmm.

MK Nobilette
: "Drops of Jupiter" — Train
MK is reppin' San Francisco with a little bit of Train, putting her own spin on "Drops of Jupiter." Her vocals were good, but we would have loved to have seen her move around a little more and interact with the crowd! J.Lo agreed that it wasn't a breakout performance, although it has been better than what we've seen from her in the past. Any progress is good progress after being in last week's bottom three! However, Harry points out that he doesn't feel like MK really wants to be here — ouch.

CJ Harris
: "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer
CJ's also singing in honor of his home state of Alabama — we had no idea we had so many Alabamians in the Top 12! CJ's rendition of "Waiting on the World to Change" is a little different than the one we're used to courtesy of John Mayer. The Idol contestant sped it up, but something about it doesn't sound right? CJ definitely put his heart into this one, though, and it showed.

Sam Woolf
: "Just One" — Blind Pilot
Okay, we love how Sam is playing this song sitting on the edge of the stage, surrounded by the audience. It gives such an intimate, more personal feel to his performance, and he's totally connecting with the audience... and his audience looks like they want to connect to him, if you know what we mean. Harry would like to see more emotional change in his performances, though (even though the audience disagrees with him, according to the "boos" erupting from the background). Keith also mentioned that he knows Sam will be here next week. That's a compliment if we've ever heard one!

Malaya Watson
: "Take Me to The King" — Tamela Mann
Malaya may have been in the bottom three last week, but this week, she's not letting that happen again. This time around, she's going to do Michigan proud(er) with her performance, piano and all. We loved that she got up from the piano; sitting there and playing for the whole song is a little boring. And she definitely did her best to hit those high notes!

Ben Briley
: "Turning Home" — David Nail
Ben is back, and we expect to love his performance tonight as usual. Poor Ben doesn't have anyone in the audience, though — that makes us so sad for him! But he pulled it off, anyway... even if Harry wasn't too impressed with his song. J.Lo totally disagreed, though, so that counts for something.

Majesty Rose
: "Fix You" — Coldplay
Majesty is taking on this contemporary classic, after being wished good luck by her pre-school class. So adorable! We love Majesty's version of the song, even if Harry and J.Lo thought she should have stayed quiet throughout the whole song. Keith knows she'll be back next week though, so she should be feeling pretty confident!

That's it for tonight's performances from the Top 12. Tomorrow, we find out who's staying and who's going home in our second results show of the season. Can't wait! See you back here tomorrow? We sure hope so.

03.5.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Nicole Pomarico
Related: American Idol, Features, Recaps, TV, American Idol Season 13

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