“Idol” visits the 1980s!

American Idol XIII Top Eight

The “American Idol XIII” Top Eight took the stage once again to tackle songs from the 1980s. (Photo property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Last week, the Idol judges (Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban) committed a huge injustice: giving their one-season-only save to the wrong artist.

Through my eyes, I strongly disagree with the judges’ decision.  Sam Woolf has been subpar as of late and the save should have stayed frozen until Alex Preston, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse or Jena Irene were in danger of going home.

The Top Eight traveled back to the 1980s where Madonna, MJ, Prince, Springsteen, Whitney and hair bands like Bon Jovi and Poison reigned supreme!

Who delivered a superstar performance that was worthy of MJ’s eight Grammys for Thriller? Who failed to reach their potential and fell short of being parodied by “Weird Al” Yankovic?  Read on to find out!

This week, Kansas City’s own (and American Idol: Season Seven winner) David Cook assisted the contestants with their picks and in fact, he actually did Randy’s job better! (Hopefully, he would be back this season!)

Jena Irene: “I Love Rock and Roll”-I thought that the piano opening was interesting. However, I wish that she discarded that idea and go directly into the rock portion of the song.  The only concern I have is with the save gone, her arrangement might have sent her into the Bottom Three. B-

Dexter Roberts: “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”-Dexter, you continue to frustrate me! Your pronunciation still sucks and you should have focused more on your vocals and less on your average guitar solo. D

Sam Woolf/Alex Preston: “The Girl is Mine”-I thought the producers were smart to pair both of them together.  They transformed the Michael Jackson-Paul McCartney duet into an acoustic jam session that was a pleasant listening experience. Nice work, gentlemen! B+

Malaya Watson: “Through the Fire”-One of the most powerful songs that was released in the 1980s was Chaka Khan. I was a little disappointed to learn that Malaya was singing this song.  Malaya screeched (and sometimes screamed) some of the verses.  I wished she could have sung “Come on Eileen” or “Into the Groove.” C-

Caleb Johnson/Jena Irene: “It’s Only Love”-There is only one word to describe this duet that had out of my seat: OUTSTANDING! I think they would have made Bryan Adams and Tina Turner very proud.  A+

Jessica Meuse: “Call Me”-Thank you, Jessica for bringing Blonde to the Idol stage. This performance just made me smile. I was so happy to see Jessica being comfortable on stage.  Her vocals rocked and I would definitely buy her album. A-

Sam Woolf: “Time After Time”-“Time After Time” is one of my all-time 80s songs. I always get chills when someone performs this song, no matter if it is Allison Iraheta with Cyndi Lauper or Michelle Chamuel’s version on The Voice.  I am very impressed with Sam…it was a good vocal performance and I think that he redeemed himself. B+

Malaya Watson/CJ Harris: “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me”-While it was both of their better performances vocally, it did not hold a candle to Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez’s duet from two seasons ago. C

Alex Preston: “Every Breath You Take”-When I heard that Alex was going to revamp this classic Sting and the Police tune, I literally prepared myself for a train wreck.  However, I got the opposite…one of the best performances of the season…so far.  Alex gave me the chills with his vocals and I literally see him running to the Final Four. A-

C.J. Harris: “Free Fallin’”-I was bored during his performance. Please send him home, America! D+

Caleb Johnson: “Faithfully”-Last week, Caleb promised Harry (and the others) that he would go soft on this performance. From the first note, I was immediately hooked.  The runs were outstanding and I enjoyed hearing him rock out and close the show. If he is not on the Nokia Theatre stage in May, there is no justice! A+

Tomorrow night, one contestant will be eliminated!!

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar