"American Idol" returned Wednesday, March 12 with the Top 11 singing songs from the cinema. The outcome of their performances will determine who will be in the Top 10 and joining the "Idol" summer tour.
Sam Woolf kicked off the competition with The Beatles' "Come Together" from "Across the Universe". Keith Urban loved that Sam showed his other side and Jennifer Lopez was happy to see him loosen up, but Harry Connick Jr. called it "an average performance."
Jessica Meuse stepped out next with a stripped down cover of "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel, from "The Graduate". J.Lo said, "I just felt like you never got your groove on," while Harry though "the band was off." Keith advised her "to sing right up on the mic."
After a couple of flat performances, C.J. Harris raised the bar with his powerful rendition of Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See" from "Blow". Keith called it a "killer," and gushed, "You completely nailed that right then; I know exactly who you are." J.Lo, meanwhile, said C.J. was a frontrunner.
Dexter Roberts rocked out the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" from "Forest Gump". Harry said it was a "smart" choice, adding, "But you have to be bigger than that song." Keith suggested him to avoid "karaoke" versions of songs.
Ben Briley went with "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John, from "27 Dresses". He dressed nicely and played piano in the first verse. J.Lo was confused by his style because he was so country last week. Harry said Ben didn't pound the piano in the right way and questioned who the "real" Ben is.
Fresh off its Oscar win, Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" from "Frozen (2013)" was sung by Majesty Rose that night. Her voice wasn't up to the song, especially in the high notes. Harry complained that she's "spreading yourself so thin stylistically," and Keith suggested, "You've got to ease into it a little bit more. You can't attack it too much." J.Lo had nothing but praises, saying, "You can be an actress, a musical theater star... or Majesty Rose, the rock star!"
Caleb Johnson delivered a dramatic performance of "Skyfall" by Adele from the James Bond movie. Keith called it an "amazing choice," and J.Lo added, "It did take us away from the rock side, but it still was you." Harry agreed, saying, "The competition, as far as I'm concerned, started tonight."
M.K. Nobilette sang "To Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan from "Hope Floats". J.Lo loved it and compared M.K. to k.d. lang. Harry thought it was beautiful too, but warned her against melismas in her runs. Keith praised her voice, but said she needed to continue working on connecting with the audience.
Alex Preston chose "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Mareka Irglova from "Once", opting for a simple take on it. Harry loved his "artistry," Keith said he's proud of Alex, and J.Lo thought, "It was a perfect song for you; you sang it perfectly."
Jena Irene delivered an edgy and dark performance of Paramore's "Decode" from "Twilight". Keith called it "exhilarating." J.Lo dubbed it "the night's best performance," urging people to vote for her. Harry agreed that Jena brought a strong performance.
Malaya Watson closed out the night with a "killer" rendition of "I Am Changing" by Jennifer Hudson from "Dreamgirls". Harry said Malaya "just showed everybody that there is a big belter," while Keith warned her not to let her adrenaline take over the control.