Dexter Roberts kicks off the night with a weak performance, but the singers in the second half of the show mostly do better than those in the first half.
The final round of "American Idol" season 13 began as the Top 13 performed on Wednesday, February 26. The theme was "This is Me", so they had to pick a song which reflected them as both a performer and a person.
The first stage belonged to Dexter Roberts who sang "Aw Naw" by Chris Young. He didn't set the bar high enough for an opening act as Keith Urban told him to make the song his own and Jennifer Lopez said he needed to take it to the next level. Harry Connick Jr. complained about pitch issues.
Before singing Bruno Mars' "Runaway Baby" onstage, Malaya Watson got reminded by Randy Jackson to enunciate, but her pronounce was still unclear. J.Lo loved the performance, but said it wasn't Malaya's best vocal. Harry, meanwhile, thought she was rattled by nerves.
Kristen O'Connor chose to sing "Beautiful Disaster" by Kelly Clarkson. She took a different meaning from it, saying that she herself was a beautiful disaster. Harry pointed out that she's out of tune and she blamed it on her earpiece. Keith praised her song choice, while J.Lo suggested her and other contestants to stop thinking.
Ben Briley stayed in his comfort zone with Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", which he said he had often performed onstage before. Keith thought the tempo "a little brisk" and warned him not to sacrifice his artistry for kitschy entertainment value, but J.Lo and Harry disagreed. J.Lo loved the quick tempo, and Harry said it was the best performance so far.
C.J. Harris went with Darius Rucker's "Radio" which suited his voice. J.Lo liked the energy. Harry said, "I'm spoiled by your voice," but felt like it was a one-in-20 concert song. Keith didn't agree, praising the song choice and that C.J. showed his side that mixed soul, country and R&B.
M.K. Nobilette sang Allen Stone's "Satisfaction" but she's far from delivering a satisfying performance. Harry thought she was distracted by the lyrics, but believed she would improve each week. Keith said it was "patchy," but J.Lo found no problem with the performance at all.
Majesty Rose nailed a cover of Janelle Monae's "Tightrope". "That was a killer song choice," Keith gushed. J.Lo also applauded her song choice and her stage act, while Harry said, "That was terrific, Majesty, that really was."
Jena Irene went with "The Scientist" by Coldplay which she said the first song she ever learned to play on the piano. J.Lo said she was worried about the song choice at the beginning, but she loved the quality of her voice. Harry praised her creativity, while Keith said she started rough, but she eventually owned it.
Alex Preston sang Jason Mraz's "Beautiful Mess". Harry called it a brave performance and liked the tune, but warned him to sing in tune. Keith said he was caught by the performance and J.Lo agreed with him.
Jessica Meuse delivered a dramatic performance of "The Crow and the Butterfly" by Shinedown. "That was a very bold but cool song choice," Keith said, as J.Lo added, "There was a dark, haunting quality to it." Harry got distracted by the butterfly images behind her, but said, "I thought that was strong, man. I heard a different sound in your voice."
Singing "Glitter in the Air" by Pink, Emily Piriz picked "a tough song to take on," according to J.Lo. "But you did it so beautifully," she added. Harry had nothing but praises for Emily, while Keith recommended that she find a balance in her performance.
Sam Woolf chose "Unwell" by Matchbox 20. Harry wished Woolf's sound was more messed-up to match the sentiment of the tune. Keith complained about the slow tempo, while J.Lo advised him, "You need to really get loose up there."
Caleb Johnson rocked the stage with his rendition of Rival Sons' "Pressure and Time". Keith said it was a killer, but thought that Caleb needed to add a new twist to his song choices to keep from sounding so retro. J.Lo said he's ready for the rock star life, and Harry pitched Caleb as the next lead singer of Rival Sons should they ever need a new one.