American Idol
Season 13, Finalists Perform

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | 24 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
Join Together with the Band

Sam talks about how he was playing on a restaurant patio a year ago, so this is pretty much his first job ever. In other words, Sam has yet to have a real job. Not that I'm insinuating that these kids don't work their asses off, because they do, but something tells me that for Sam, being a pop star is going to be more like a temp gig. He's singing "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White T's, starting it off slow and then picking it up to slightly less slow, while surrounded by bare light bulbs strewn all over the stage, in case you thought he might walk around a bit. He's stuck behind the mic stand with his guitar, anyway. His voice sounds nice, though. One of these weeks he's going to have to do a Toad the Wet Sprocket song so we can hear how much his voice sounds like them, but first somebody will have to explain to him who Toad the Wet Sprocket was.

Jennifer says it was a great song for him, and pries into whether he was singing it about anyone in particular. Sam's not giving anything away, and he doesn't appear to understand the advice she follows up with about connecting with the lyrics, either. Harry wonders whose idea it was to do the stripped-down arrangement. Sam non-committally takes some credit for it, which opens up Harry to further make his point about Sam needing to be self-assertive. Harry also agrees with Jennifer that he needs to get more into the lyrics. Harry uses the resulting applause to define the word "smattering," and Keith says, "Now it sounds like your concert." Harry isn't bothered by that, asking everyone, "What's forty feet long and has eight teeth? The front row at one of Keith Urban's concerts." Ooh, insulting Keith's audience is rather less cool than insulting Keith there, chief. Keith advises Sam not to be so uptight with each individual note, "and as Jen said, sing 'em to somebody." Ryan repeats Jennifer's question about who his Delilah is, and he wisely answers that it's his grandma. Unless there really is a Delilah, who probably won't appreciate that. Sam tells us afterward that this was the most comfortable he's ever felt onstage, not that he looks even remotely comfortable in front of the interview camera right now.

Jessica talks about how she does everything to do with her music shows back home in Slapout, and also about how she loves both animals and hunting, "Because when the end of the world comes, you're going to want the redneck on your team." Great, she's Daryl and Beth all in one. She's doing "Rhiannon" by Fleetwood Mac, maybe because the judges told her she sounded like Stevie Nicks back at her first audition. She can certainly hit the high notes that Stevie can't any more, but she still needs to take that advice about backing off from the mic every once in a while because they get a little piercing. At least she's not going the obvious route of wearing a dress and a shawl, taking it in the other direction with a pants suit and a scarf. Harry thinks Jessica might get bored of being compared to Stevie Nicks, but he also thinks this might have been his favorite performance of hers yet. Keith loves her look, and he speculates, correctly, that she never performs without an instrument like she did tonight, and needs to either work on that or keep it in mind when choosing her songs. Jennifer, like Harry, sensed that she was more into it than she has been before, and says she needs to work on something to go with her voice. Ryan asks for her thoughts, and all she says is how happy she is to be here. She actually looks it, too, which is an improvement. In the post-ads interviews, she points out that she also remembered all the words. So there.

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American Idol

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