The six remaining contestants on "American Idol" season 13 channeled their country and rock sides as the Wednesday, April 23 performance show took on the dual themes. While some were forced to step out of their comfort zones, singing their favorite genres weren't helpful for several other singers, such as C.J. Harris.
The Alabama native has a rootsy quality in his voice, but Keith Urban thought he lacked the attitude when singing "American Woman" by Lenny Kravitz / The Guess Who. "It was pretty good," according to Harry Connick Jr., while Jennifer Lopez said, "I really did think you pulled it off."
C.J.'s second performance failed to impress the judges, who criticized his song choice of Zac Brown Band's "Whatever It Is". "This is more your style, but, I have to say, I expected a little more from you," J.Lo said. Keith and Harry advised him to choose songs carefully if he remains on the show.
Jena Irene, on the other hand, did well in both genres. Performing first that night, she set the bar high with her rendition of Heart's "Barracuda". "That was a perfect song for your voice and your range," Keith told her. Harry agreed with the Australian crooner.
Jena took on "So Small" by Carrie Underwood for her second performance. J.Lo said she got goosies during the performance, praising it for being "very, very beautiful." Harry, however, thought, "The ornaments that you chose to sing didn't necessarily match what was going on underneath you," making it hard to hear the melody.
Sam Woolf chose "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons to channel his inner rocker. J.Lo also "got goosies on that one." Harry had nothing but praise for Sam, saying, "You're blossoming, man."
Sam flipped the gender on Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" for his second performance. Keith said the song choice made the girls go "crazy," but advised him to relax more. J.Lo called it "cute," and Harry added, "You have found the people, now it's just a matter of not singing it so perfectly."
Caleb Johnson was in his comfort zone when singing "Sting Me" by The Black Crowes. "When you take a perfect song choice and you couple that with an incredible performance, it's virtually impossible to beat," Harry gushed.
He also delivered a solid performance of "Undo It" by Carrie Underwood. Harry said, "The magic really happened in the first song," but said the latter one "was still an extremely strong performance."
Jessica Meuse earned praises for her cover of "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane. "You're here because you have this fantastic voice," Harry said. Keith agreed, but added that he "would still like to see a little more release."
She later turned Dolly Parton's "Jolene" into a ferocious alternative rock song. Keith hated the arrangement, but J.Lo praised her strong vocal.
Alex Preston chose "Animal" by Neon Trees for his rock performance, stepping out of his comfort zone. Keith said he didn't dominate the band the way he should have, and J.Lo "felt there was a little bit something missing."
He redeemed it with his second performance, in which he sang "Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson. J.Lo said it's "really beautiful," and Harry felt lucky to have heard it. Keith, however, wanted a little more heartbreak in the song.