By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
And then, there were five!
Over thousands of hopefuls auditioned to follow the footsteps of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Phillip Phillips and Candice Glover, now only five contestants (Alex Preston, Caleb Johnson, Jena Irene, Sam Woolf and Jessica Meuse) remain!
The two artists that survive the final three eliminations are only a few weeks away to the title of becoming the American Idol and the recipient of a massive recording contract.
In this week’s “Jake’s Take On,” I am taking an in-depth look at each of the finalists and analyze their greatest strengths and weaknesses. Plus, I will give advice on how each of them could win the show.
Pros: The Mont Vernon native has done well by sticking to his acoustic rock vibe. Some of his highlights include “Story of My Life,” his own composition “Fairytales” and “Always On My Mind.” If he continues to deliver stellar performances, expect Alex to fill the Kris Allen-Phillip Phillips spot in the finale.
Cons: He is always with a guitar! Sometimes, I feel like I am watching a singing Linus on American Idol.
Advice: Alex needs to lose the guitar (security blanket) for a song and move around the stage!
Pros: It has been five seasons since a superb male rocker has ignited the stage! Caleb Johnson has been giving showstopper-after-showstopper since his audition! His takes on “Skyfall,” “Faithfully” and “Undo It” have given viewers chills and tons of praises from Jennifer Lopez.
Cons: Both Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban have had problems with Caleb crossing the line with song selections at different points at the season. Harry wanted Caleb to go softer during the earlier parts of the live shows, while Keith was not exactly thrilled at him for turning Carrie Underwood’s hit into a rock ballad.
Advice: Caleb needs to mix it up the song selections…for every high power showstopper, sing a tender ballad.
Pros: Despite being in the Bottom Three only once this season, Jena Irene might go down in Idol history as the closest Wild Card contestant to make it to the show’s finale. She has tackled a diverse set of Top 40 darlings ranging from Zedd & Foxes’ “Clarity” to Paramore’s “Decode.” Jena is also not afraid to go into left field either; her cover of “Creep” was probably one of the best performances of the year.
Cons: While being in the Bottom Three once might be a mark against her, Jena’s tendencies to scream at certain parts of her songs…might be a huge problem with certain picky voters.
Advice: She does not pick songs that could possibly lead to screeching! Also, Jena needs to diversify her selections. I would be happy to hear her sing Jennifer Nettles’ cover of “Hello Again” and Gloria Estefan’s “Coming Out of the Dark.”
Pro: He is eye candy for the girls!
Cons: “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sam Woolf?” For weeks, he has given Pinocchio-like performances (with the only exception of “Time After Time”). Sam does not show any confidence when he performs and if he is like that…what is going to happen to him when he faces music moguls Jimmy Iovine, Sharon Osbourne and L.A. Reid? Or how is going to handle an interview with Joan Rivers or Howard Stern-like figure after the show?
Advice: Sam needs to grow a spine! He is on one of the nation’s favorite shows! He should embrace the fans and the crew, by not turn into a robot once the cameras roll! He might only have a week left on the program, but the bottom line is…ENJOY YOURSELF, SAM!
Pros: Every week, Jessica Meuse comes out on stage and delivers some outstanding performances! “The Crow and the Butterfly,” “Blue-Eyed Lie,” “Somebody to Love” and “Jolene” were Idol moments and outside of Caleb and Jena, Jessica is the only artist this season who delivered more than three quality moments on the show.
Cons: The judges (especially Jennifer and Keith) have been giving her the Haley Reinhart treatment! Because of that reason, the Slapout, Alabama native has been on the chopping block in the past two weeks! Veteran Idol viewers should know that one more time in the Bottom Three means that she might be eliminated.
Advice: Jessica needs to not give in to the demands of Ms. Auto Tune and Mr. Nicole Kidman! She needs to follow her gut and heart by choosing some kick ass tracks and I think that she is this season’s dark horse.
What are your thoughts?
I do not own all of the clips that are sprinkled throughout this article. They belong to FOX & 19 Entertainment.