American Idol 2014 Recap: Season 13 Top 8 Perform — April 9, 2014
Credit: Michael Becker/FOX © 2014 FOX Broadcasting Co.    

American Idol

American Idol 2014 Recap: Season 13 Top 8 Perform — April 9, 2014

No, you're not having a case of déjà vu. American Idol's Top 8 are performing once again for the Season 13 crown.

How'd that happen? The judges saved eliminated singer Sam Woolf during last week's elimination episode and we have to say, we couldn't be happier! Granted, this means no one else can be saved this season, making the stakes all the higher, but Sam has demonstrated real promise this year and we're glad he'll get another shot to show what he's made of.

Tonight the remaining eight contestants will perform during a two-hour episode and we have a feeling there'll be some sort of twist during the course of the 120 minutes of Idol entertainment. Last week the contestants had to sing duets and perhaps we'll get a reboot of that but with new partners. Or maybe they'll pair off with the judges to show they can roll with the pros. We call dibs on Harry Connick Jr (no offense Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez). You never do know what to expect with Idol!

With just over a month until the grand finale, we're expecting the performances to only get stronger from here on out. Tune in to Fox tonight at 8 p.m. to see if that's the case. We here at Wetpaint Entertainment will be tracking every moment so check back with us.

Live Recap Starts Here!
Hello, Top 8! So nice to see you again! We're excited to hear tonight's '80s performances, especially since this is music from before any of the contestants were born. Should be good! Fortunately, past winner David Cook is here to advise everyone on their song choices and the direction they want to go, so we're excited to hear what he has to say.

Jena Irene Asciutto
: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" — Joan Jett
Does Jena Irene ever make the wrong choice when it comes to putting her own spin on a classic song? We never expected "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" to start off with the piano, but Jena worked it — and the crowd's totally with her on this one too! Do the judges feel the same way? While Keith loved her originality, J.Lo wished she could have gone a little rockier. Harry, too, wasn't a fan of the arrangement, but nobody can deny her talent.

Dexter Roberts
: "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" — Georgia Sattelites
Predictably, Dexter's taking on some '80s country, and we love seeing him rock out! His performance showed us the other things Dexter has up his sleeve, and we think he might be able to take on rock as well as Caleb Johnson if he wanted to. The judges were totally into it too, each of them giving him a solid review. Go, Dexter!

Alex Preston and Sam Woolf: "The Girl is Mine" — Michael Jackson
Sam and Alex duet? We love it, and Alex's shirt looks appropriately like it came from the Saved By the Bell costume department. Their voices harmonize well together, and we're glad that Sam got to stay on the Idol stage.

Malaya Watson
: "Through The Fire" — Chaka Khan
Malaya is so into this '80s theme, but does it love her back? Her performance started off a little quiet and slow, and we're not sure this is our favorite we've seen from her. Keith advised her to try to "coast through it" next time, since her voice is so strong, and J.Lo echoed his opinion to relax and pull back.

Jena Irene Asciutto
& Caleb Johnson: "It's Only Love" — Tina Turner
We love when we can tell the performers are having a blast on stage, and that was the case for Jena and Caleb's duet. Like J.Lo said, the duets are helping them learn to have fun on stage, and we love it. We're also really jealous of the girl Harry put on his shoulders. Why is it never us?!

Jess Meuse
: "Call Me" — Blondie
After receiving advice from David on how to look like she's having fun, Jess takes on a Blondie classic. She definitely tried to smile more and look like she was enjoying herself, but it all seemed a little forced to us. What are you nervous about, Jess? Everyone loves you, and your vocals are awesome!

Sam Woolf
: "Time After Time" — Cyndi Lauper
If Sam's not a ball of nerves this week, we definitely are. His performance tonight is his big second chance, so he has to make it count if he wants to stay in the competition. Sam's put directly in the middle of the '80s-clad audience, so how's that for learning to connect with his fans? The crowd went absolutely wild for him, and Sam says he's feeling more comfortable this week. He's so precious! The judges noticed his improvement, so hopefully the voters did too.

Malaya Watson
& CJ Harris: "I Knew You Were Waiting" — Aretha Franklin and George Michael
These duets are just so cute. Why couldn't they happen all summer? Harry called their performance "regional theater," but we liked it. They both have such solid voices, and they work well together.

Alex Preston
: "Every Breath You Take" — The Police
Taking on a classic by The Police, Alex gives us the indie magic that he seems to bust out every single week. We agree with David: The tempo is a little weird, but we want to like the cover so much. Even if his own individual melody was a little off, that's a good quality to exude. Harry suggested that he work on pulling something out of his sleeve that was different from his usual coffee house thing, but as usual, he was met with a lot of boos. (Especially from us.)

Jess Meuse
& Dexter Roberts: "Islands in The Stream" — Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
Jess's style merges with Dexter's perfectly, and their duet might be our favorite of the evening. J.Lo agreed — they sounded great together!

CJ Harris
: "Free Fallin'" — Tom Petty
CJ chose one of the most popular cover songs in the history of ever, so did he bring something new to the table? While CJ's version didn't stray far from the original, we love how emotionally connected he always looks while he performs. CJ got rave reviews from the judges, and they agree with us: His vocals could still use some work, but his connection is amazing.

Caleb Johnson
: "Faithfully" — Journey
Finally, we're getting something a little less loud and a little more low key from Caleb! It's a pleasant change of pace, don't you think? And of course, as always, he rocks it — even Keith has his iPhone lighter out for the occasion. The judges are thrilled that he decided to show us this side of himself, and we're glad he did, too. Solid move to hold his already solid spot in the competition!

Now that you've seen the second round of the Top 8's performances, who do you think will make the cut? We find out tomorrow night!

04.9.2014 / 12:00 AM EDT by Nicole Pomarico
Related: American Idol, Features, Recaps, TV, American Idol Season 13

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