7:17pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'American Idol' Reveals Top Five
It's that time of the season on American Idol when the dramatic montages come out. Tonight's episode opened with a highlight reel of last week's top six performances and, of course, made a much bigger deal about the tension between Quentin Alexander and Harry Connick Jr. than was necessary. But on a night dedicated to stadium hits, larger-than-life drama seemed fitting.
Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach from the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team presented the results envelope for the top five, and the stakes for tonight were particularly high since only the final five contestants will go on the American Idol tour this year.
The first contestant through to the tour was Jax Cole, who sang "Are You Gonna Be My Guy?" — a lyrically altered version of Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" The stadium feel fits Cole's artistry well, and she knocked it out of the park. For her second performance, she sang "White Flag" by Dido, and it was another perfect choice. The combination of the two songs really showed off all of her strengths.
Nick Fradiani will also be going on tour this summer, and tonight he sang "Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5. As Jennifer Lopez said, he continues to improve every week. It was a strong song choice, but Keith Urban urged him to focus more and more on his performance abilities. For his second song, he picked "Maggie May," and the vocals weren't quite as interesting as the first. He should have considered losing the guitar for just one of tonight's performances so he could work the stage a little more. The judges liked the song choice, but as Lopez cautioned, all of his performances are starting to feel the same. Fradiani needs to find ways to surprise if he hopes to stay in the competition.
The next artist to advance was Clark Beckham, singing "Yesterday" for his first performance. It was one of his more enchanting performances, and the song choice was risky, but he pulled it off. But the more interesting choice was his second song: Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend." Beckham did a stripped-down arrangement of the hit, but the tempo was a little too fast. As Connick put it, the arrangement lost some of the sexiness. It was an original take, but it was hard to connect with.
Tyanna Jones is headed for the Idol tour, and for her first song tonight, she sang Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." that was — and this probably goes without saying — better than the original recording, as the belted notes sat very naturally in Jones' voice. Even though it didn't necessarily show off her range, she had a lot of fun with it, and it was entertaining to see that relaxed side of her. And she got to show off her vocals with her second performance by singing Bryan Adams' "Heaven." Of all the artists remaining in the competition, Jones is the most versatile and well-rounded. Give her any song, and she'll make it work.
The results left Alexander and Rayvon Owen in the bottom two. For his first song, Alexander chose "Light My Fire" and gave a sultry performance. If he was feeling nervous about the possibility of going home, it wasn't showing. It was a strong arrangement that offered a slightly different sound for the evening. For his second song, he did Florence and the Machine's "Shake It Out," which was another strong song choice for him. As one of the better performers left in the competition, Alexander belongs on that tour.
In the bottom two for what seems like the millionth time now, Owen sang "I'm Not the Only One" by Sam Smith. Ballads are really Owen's strength, and his vocals were very tight for this performance. In his second performance, he sang "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac and hit his highest note of the season. But this was Owen's fourth time in the bottom two, and even though he has secured so many saves, he just isn't at the same level as some of the season's top contestants like Jones and Cole.
For the fourth time, America voted to save Owen. Alexander is going home and unfortunately won't be going on the summer tour. This marks the last week of the live Twitter vote, so we'll see if Owen can survive the voting next week without the help of a last-minute save.