This show is the 500th episode of American Idol so I hope to see some former Idols make an appearance.
We start out with a lengthy video celebrating the 12 previous winners of Idol. the video shows Ryan announcing each winner by name. (Except for season 7 - when we had the two David's waiting and Ryan has the long pause in "the winner of season seven of American Idol is David ..." and the clip doesn't actually say Cook instead of Archuleta.)
Ryan announces Caleb is sick and has the Idol doctor come out and explain what is wrong. Caleb has had bronchitis and sinusitis resulting in a vocal chord hemorrhage. The doctor clears him to sing, but not talk.
Keith has brought along a photo of his beautiful evening-gown clad wife, Nicole Kidman, who is attending the Cannes Film Fest without him.
There are 3 rounds for this show: Randy's Choice, the Judges' Choice, and the Hometown pick of a previously performed song.
First we have a little sneak peek at the Hometown visits.
Now there are two DJs on stage, The Chain Smokers, to perform the song "Selfie" while everyone takes selfies in the audience. DUMB!!!
Video clip from Carrie Underwood - Season 4 champion - congratulating Idol on the 500th episode and thanking American Idol for her start in the music business.
Round 1: randy Jackson's Choices
Caleb - "Never tear Us Apart" - INXS
Randy wanted something current for Caleb.
*Caleb is cracking a few notes. He is definitely sick. Not a good performance. This song is boring.
Keith - Great job. Great song for you. I could hear the voice (crack) in certain parts, but you worked through it.
Jennifer - On your worst night, you are much better than most on their best night. Pace yourself. Stellar job.
Harry - I have to compliment Randy. My only concern is that you don't hurt yourself tonight. Nice job.
Randy - I think he did a great job. He used falsetto he usually doesn't show.
Video clip from Phillip Phillips - Season 11 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats
Alex - "Pompeii" - Bastille
Randy wanted an up tempo song for Alex.
*Alex is on stage with his guitar and 4 tom tom players and his own tom tom as well. He switches over to play drum and sing. Oops- mic is not switched on in time. And for another first, Alex leaves the mic stand and walks around the stage some. He also looks like he is about to faint in doing this.
Jennifer - We've told you to try and create a moment, and you did. this was a different Alex, playing drums, walking to the crowd. great performance.
Harry - Great credit to Randy. He gave you a young, hip song. It showcased a little bit of everything.The only problem, I could see the wheels turning, (thinking) too much. Nice job.
Keith - I agree with Harry. there were a few shaky bits because there was so much to remember. The coolest moment was when you went to the drum.
Randy - Dope performance. The idea of the drum was Alex's.
Video clip of Kris Allen - Season 8 champion - 500th episode - "I made you a cupcake to celebrate the 500th episode!" Congrats!
Jena - "Titanium" - David Guetta
*Jena is harnessed on a raised platform and looks uncomfortable. She sounds uncomfortable too. She can't get the harness off when the platform is lowered. finally she is off the stairs too and the singing sounds better. This was an awkward performance. Not a fan.
Harry - Another great song choice by Randy. (This is turning into the Praise Randy Jackson Show) with that song, everyone is waiting to see if you hit the high notes, and fortunately, that is nothing for you. Great job on a song normally sung in the studio.
Keith - what I love about the way you perform is that you have fun. Really good job.
Jennifer - You hit all the right notes, but, for me, it felt shaky and you never loosened up the way you normally do. for me, it wasn't your best.
Randy - I agree it started slow, but by the middle, you sailed.
Video clip from David Cook - Season 7 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats
Round 2: Judges' Choices - Chosen at the end of last week's show
Caleb - "Demons" - Imagine Dragons
*Caleb is probably thinking the judges are demons now. They didn't know he would be so sick this week and this song would really kick him. I don't like this performance either. Caleb actually sounds sharp in parts.
Keith - I'm so feeling for you right now. We have all been through this. I have even had vocal surgery. considering, you killed it.
Jennifer - We've all been there and you will recover. As performers, it makes us rely on other things. When you started, you were thinking too much. You got the emotion of the words in the middle.
Harry - Instead of a critique, I have a question. What kind of album and music would you do in the future? "Originals influenced by classic rock."
Video clip from Candice Glover - Season 12 champion - 500th episode - Congrats!
Update on auditions for next season:
5 audition cities
10 bus stops across the country
nominate someone else
#TheNextIdol - audition using social media - Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram - call backs for audition with judges.
Alex - "Stay" - Rhianna
* Alex is center stage with guitar and 4-piece string accompaniment. This is a really nice choice for him and he sounds great.
Jennifer - I knew you would sing the heck out of that song. It was beautiful and all yours.
Harry - Beautiful! What would your concert be like? "Even for the hometown show with the band, 6 minutes of jams."
Keith - You owned that song. the audience responded. I loved it.
Video clip from Lee DeWyze - Season 9 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats.
Ryan is in the audience pit with this season's Idols #4 thru #13.
Idol shows a small clip of Jessica's home town throwing her a parade too.
Info on the Finale:
CJ and Dexter will be performing with Darius Rucker
Jessica will be performing with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.
Malaya will be performing with John Legend.
Sam will be performing with Phillip Phillips.
More info on the results show.
Jena - Heart Attack - Demi Lovato
*I don't know this song and after listening to Jena, I still don't know this song. Mush words. EHHH!!!
Harry - You always find a way to make it your own. If there are no cameras around and you were just on tour, what do you want to do on stage? "I want instrumental breaks so I can just rage with the crowd. I want to be all over the place to connect with the audience."
Keith - That was great. I love when the band is on stage with you.
Jennifer - On this you felt lose and free. It was great.
Ryan announces that Demi Lovato will be performing on the Finale with all of the girls.
Video clip from Fantasia - Season 3 champion - 500th episode - Humble thanks for launching her career and Congrats.
Hometown Choices - Bringing back their favorite performance
Ashville, NC Mayor announces their pick
Caleb - "Dazed and Confused" Led Zeppelin
*Nice a cappella opening. Jennifer and Keith are on their feet, jamming to Caleb's performance. And Caleb beats up the mic stand and probably his vocal chords too. this was a much better performance, but I'm afraid he might not be able to sing for a while after that.
Keith - If ever there was a complete moment of miraculous healing, that was it. I just want to throw stuff.
Jennifer - That was a true Idol moment. That was ridiculous.
Harry - That was awesome. That was taking advantage of an opportunity.
Video clip from Scotty McCreery - Season 10 champion - 500th episode -Thanks! Congrats and see you soon.
New Hampshire governor announces the Hometown pick
Alex - "Story Of My Life" - One Direction
*Center stage with his guitar. Very distracting moving scene going on behind Alex. The performance was ok. Not much different than before though.
Jennifer - This is hard for America. I see three people who want to be in the Finale. Good job.
Harry - Good choice. Another classic Alex performance.
Keith - For me, it was hard to come out after "Stay" which was so good. this came down a little.
Video clip from Jordin Sparks - Season 6 champion - 500th episode - Thanks and Congrats
North Farmington High School (her high school) chose the song, announced by her brother and choir teacher
Jena - "Creep" - Radiohead
*She is at the piano. Good job. Not unlike the original performance though.
Keith and Jennifer give her a Standing O.
Harry - Something happens when you sit behind the piano. Even better than when you sang it before.
Keith - You so belong here, Jena. Your progress from that first audition until now is so mind blowing. Magnificent!
Jennifer - Brilliant. Its so easy for you. You will be so hard to beat.
And there we have it. The top 3 have performed, and for the first time since I started watching Idol, I don't have an opinion on who should advance. In fact, I don't even care who wins this thing this season. I am looking forward to the Finale to see which Idol alum appear and which perform.
And speaking of alum appearing, three winners were absent from the video clips tonight: Season 1 - Kelly Clarkson (who is very pregnant), Season 2 - Ruben Studdard, and Season 5 - Taylor Hicks. No mention by Ryan as to why.