Televised Talent: Goodbye, Jessica

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

On Wednesday night, I watched American Idol with a friend I've mentioned here before, who introduced me to this show in its second season.

We came up with a few random observations:

* We can already predict the winner.

* We saw the judges throw Jessica Meuse under the bus.

* Caleb can get away with things that Alex can't. What does that say for Caleb's diversity and artistry?

Let's address each of these points individually.

JENA IRENE JUST WON AMERICAN IDOL

America couldn't help falling in love with Jena "don't call me Jenna" Irene, who performed three good songs during the live show.

But it was her take on "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" that had Jennifer Lopez on her feet in tears.

Yes, the same J-Lo who said "You really give Caleb a run for his money."

Um, I didn't think of Caleb as the front-runner, especially after this song.

Jena entertains and gets better and better every week. This song clearly established her as the front-runner.

Speaking of prophetic lyrics, "Some things are meant to be."

Caleb who?

THE JUDGES THROW JESSICA UNDER THE BUS

OK, I've never been a fan of Jessica Meuse.

But on Wednesday, she finally came out of her shell.

She smiled on an appropriate song to smile to, she looked like she was enjoying herself, and I think she was right when she declared her second song as the best she's ever done.

"I got a brand new attitude, and I'm gonna wear it tonight," she sang in her musical declaration. "And guess what? I'm having more fun."

And for once, she notified her face.

But the judges wanted it all, and that wasn't fair, with judge after judge declaring the song "wasn't right for you."

I wasn't surprised when she went home Thursday. The others were simply better.

But still, you have to give her props for her "brand new attitude."

God speed, Jessica. We'll look for your record deal.

CALEB CAN GET AWAY WITH STUFF ALEX CAN'T.

I may not be Alex's biggest fan, but I am a fan of the way he turns every song around and makes it his own.

I could forgive him for going too close to the original just once, and that happened when he was singing a song performed by his mentor, Jason Mraz, who has taken the artist under his wing and even had coffee with him. I'm sure he thought Mraz's take on "I'm Yours" was perfection he could not improve upon.

But not to the judges, who criticized him for not giving it his own spin.

"We've become so used to hearing you deconstructing these songs, I really wanted to hear something different," Harry said.

Only Keith Urban defended him, pointing out that each artist had to learn three songs this week.

Meanwhile, all Caleb has to do is turn down the volume on part of his last song, and he's praised for being "phenomenal."

Um, what happened to challenging them to make a song his own and give us a different arrangement?

Oh yeah, that's not in his skill set.

I like Caleb, but he doesn't deserve to be the winner of this competition. Every song he does is an '80s or '90s rock ballad. Frankly, he'd be strangled under the requirements the label will give him if he does win. Caleb needs the freedom to get his own band and try to sell those '80s ballads to the public. Jena will do just fine all on her own.

What does that say for Caleb's artistry, or lack thereof?

BOLD PREDICTIONS

So now, the Top 3 will go home. Well, Jessica will go home too, just not with the show-sponsored "hero's welcome." But the folks in Slapout, Alabama, will welcome her nonetheless.

This is the show where each artist gets an assigned song from the judges, so here is my bold prediction:

* Harry, who knows what it means when Alex "ends on the nine" will pick Alex's song.

* J-Lo, who has repeatedly declared Caleb the front-runner and her "Papi," will pick the song for Caleb.

* Keith, who can't go a week without calling Jena "Baby," will choose the song for Jena.

And Jena will win it all. In a perfect world, Alex will go into the finale with her. My friends seem to love Caleb and his repetitive rock ballads, so he may go instead. But Jena will win. The other guy, whoever he is, is just a place holder.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com

Facebook: Diane Smith, Record-Courier

Twitter: @DianeSmith_RC

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