After taking on Songs from the Cinema, "American Idol" went more contemporary this week with Songs from the 2010s theme. As the finalists tried to secure a spot in the Top 9, judges Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban drew laughs by impersonating each other when they swapped seats.
Back to the competition, M.K. Nobilette picked Pink's "Perfect" to inspire people, but her performance wasn't perfect. She ran out of breath at the end of her lines and forgot a few lyrics. Keith complimented her for recovering so well from her mistake, but Jennifer Lopez thought she retreated into her shell and kind of gave up. Harry bluntly said it was a weak performance.
Dexter Roberts went with "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line, slowing the tempo at the beginning. J.Lo said Dexter should have pumped the crowd up more, Harry didn't think it was a good performance, but Keith disagreed. The Aussie singer liked what Dexter "did at the beginning" and said that he should have stuck to that.
Jena Irene sang "Clarity" by Zedd feat. Foxes. Harry said, "I can really see you succeeding in that" kind of pop music. He and Keith couldn't agree over how "massive" the melody was. J.Lo said it was the perfect song choice, but told Jena to "hold the middle" of the stage.
One Direction's song was performed on "Idol" for the first time when Alex Preston sang "Story of My Life". He changed it to make the song his own and it worked. J.Lo gushed, "You evoke greatness," and Harry said, "You've been so consistent with your artistic choice, I'm starting to see who you are."
Malaya Watson went with Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man". Her staging wasn't great as she sat on a stool the entire time, but vocally, she nailed it. Keith said she "knocked it out of the park" vocally, and J.Lo called it "beautiful" and "awesome."
Caleb Johnson put a rock spin to Lady GaGa's "The Edge of Glory". Harry was impressed by his effort, saying, "I've seen you do better performances, but I give you an A for originality." Keith said the arrangement was "lumbering," but J.Lo liked it. She, however, thought the performance "lacked feeling."
C.J. Harris's rendition of "Invisible" by Hunter Hayes was shaky and sleepy. Keith said C.J. did better on rehearsal and J.Lo agreed. Harry gave an important advice, "This is something you can fix. You must get the pitch in check."
Jessica Meuse went acoustic when singing "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People. J.Lo and Keith liked it, but Harry wanted to see more emotion and wasn't sure if she was interpreting the lyrics correctly.
Majesty Rose tried to bounce back from being in the bottom 3 last week, but her rendition of "Wake Me Up" by Avicii wasn't that impressive. Harry said, "You challenged (the audience) with a new interpretation of the song," but Keith didn't like the folk arrangement. J.Lo noticed Majesty was scared at the beginning of the song and advised her not to let it affect her.
Sam Woolf did "We Are Young" by Fun., which was perfect for his voice. Keith guaranteed that Sam would be back next week, J.Lo saw improvement, but Harry wanted Sam to show "self-assertion."