Is This 'Star Wars' Themed Christmas Light Display The Best Ever?

'American Idol' Top 7 Recap: Things Start Getting Weird

Andrew Payne Andrew Payne
April 17th, 2014 9:55am EDT

Ryan Seacrest and Caleb Johnson

It's time to recap 'American Idol' with a skull-crushing cold and about half-a-bottle of Robitussin in my belly.

Look out. Things are about to get weird. Y'know, like letting rival contestants pick which song each Idol will sing.

Caleb Johnson sang "Family Tree" by Kings of Leon

Keith Said: That was a great choice. It really highlighted your strengths.

J-Lo Said: It's dangerous to put you first in the lineup: Now everybody else has to raise their game.

Harry Said: It sounded like a song that could be on your record.

The Verdict:

Are we completely certain Caleb isn't already in Kings of Leon? This seems like a conspiracy...

Caleb may be a member of the band, but this his first performance to come off with hints of being dull. His walking toward the camera with feathered hair as he sings a rock riff is becoming totally repetitive, as is his gigantic rock voice on every track. It's like going to see Foreigner, followed by Journey, followed by Bad Company, followed by Kansas - enough already! We get it. Step outside of your comfort zone more than once, Caleb.

Though, vocally, this is as good as usual - it's just the same performance we've seen bunches of times at this point.

GRADE: C+

Pink Hair sang "Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert

Keith Said: I didn't feel the truth in what you were saying.

J-Lo Said: This is the first time I heard you off a little bit vocally in the verses.

Harry Said: There's a  lack of rhythmic delivery when you perform.

The Verdict:

It took a pick from Sam Woolf, but Pink Hair is finally back singing country after all these divergent weeks.

She could damn near win if she stays in this lane. She's got a perfect alt-country-rock-voice. It's a poor man's mix of Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. And yes, that's sort of a compliment.

Pink Hair totally owns this song from the vocal explosion of its intro, to her leather pants, to the wind machines making her eponymous tresses fly.

Welcome back, Pink Hair. It's nice to have ya.

GRADE: B+

CJ Harris sang "Gravity" by John Mayer

Keith Said: If you're going to do an emotional thing, I like it to be more like an arc, but your voice is a bull's-eye.

J-Lo Said: You have to start looking for the moments that are really really going to lift the crowd.

Harry Said: Personally, I think that was your best performance to date.

The Verdict:

Don't judge me, but I once saw John Mayer play this song live (don't ask what I was doing at a John Mayer Concert) and it was absolutely amazing. So...really anybody singing this song is just going to be a disappointment to me.

And guess what? Yes, it's cliche time: CJ is no exception. CJ manages to suck the life out of this blues song with tedious arrangement that has him sing the vocal part to a different record. The Ray LaMontagne stuff is getting old and it really has no place on a blues song like this.

Once more with feeling, CJ.

GRADE: C-

Dexter Roberts sang "Muckalee Creek Water" by Luke Bryan

Keith Said: Be careful not to lose the melody in an intense song.

J-Lo Said: I liked this different side of you.

Harry Said: You didn't do anything different from the original vocal.

The Verdict:

This might be because I'm just not much of a country guy, but I've gotten to the point that I just can't take Dexter anymore. He's everything that drives me crazy about the cult of country - there's no originality to what he's doing, there's no real musicality to what he's doing - he's just a copy of a copy of a copy singing a song that placates to its audience.

If there's one saving grace to this song is that the musicians onstage with Dexter were just on fire. Slide guitar, big drums - they deserve a bitter song than this garbage.

And a better front man too.

GRADE: C-

1 of 2Next page
Photo Credits: FOX


Sign up for our daily newsletter with great stories like this and more!