Jena chose to perform the piece from her trusty piano and the decision really paid off. The crowd went completely bonkers after her performance. Keith loved the performance and praised Jena's "fearlessness." Jennifer thought it was "beautiful," and Harry thought it was the "best performance of the night."

The competitors made their choices! Who will remain in the competition? That would be decided by YOU! Tune in Thursday at 9/8c for a jam-packed results show!

Harry liked Sam's performance, but wasn't crazy about the song. "Familiarity is your friend," said Harry urging Sam to pick a well known song next time. Keith had simple feedback saying, "Keep doing what you're doing," and Jennifer thought he did "a great job."

Although Jessica, Dexter and C.J. seemed to be enjoying themselves during their performance, Harry was not amused saying the performance "just wasn't good." He added that the singers were "out of tune." Keith and Demi Lovato agreed with Harry's assessment, panning the performance.

Jessica, Dexter and C.J. then hit the stage performing "Compass" by Lady Antebellum. The trio nicknamed their group Alabama Power because they all hail from the state.

Alex Preston picked Dexter's choice of "A Team" by Ed Sheeran to perform. Dexter picked the song because he felt the song was a perfect fit for Alex who had already performed it during his online audition.

Jessica Meuse chose "Sail Away" by David Gray for fan-favorite Sam Woolf. Jessica says she picked the song because she thought it suited Sam's voice and he agreed.

Jena Irene was the last performer of the night and she picked Caleb's song choice for her of "Creep" by Radiohead. Caleb chose the song because he thought Jena had the powerhouse vocals needed to nail the performance.

Alex hit the ball out of the park with his rendition of "A Team" by Ed Sheeran. The crowd went absolutely wild for his performance. Jennifer thought it was a "perfect song" and Harry said it was his "favorite performance of the night." Keith praised how Alex is able to take a song and make it completely his own.

Caleb and Jena both have powerhouse vocals so "Gimme Shelter" was a natural fit for the two rising stars. "That was a moment," said Jennifer Lopez after they concluded their performance.

Sam Woolf picked "Gunpowder And Lead" by Miranda Lambert for Jessica to perform. Jessica chose Sam's pick because it showed off her "bad-ass" nature. Would "Gunpowder And Lead" show off Jessica's voice as well?

The IDOL™ audience then got a little surprise when Demi Lovato showed up for a surprise appearance.

Keith liked the song choice for Dexter, but urged him to not let the "adrenaline pull you out of the key." Jennifer liked the "darker quality" and "edge" that the song brought out of Dexter, but urged him to up his game because at this point in the competition the performances need to be "spectacular." Harry wanted to see Dexter do something other than just "sing along with the record."

C.J. Harris chose Caleb's pick for his song which was "Gravity" by John Mayer. Caleb chose the song because he believed that C.J. would take the audience to "church" with his performance.

The judges loved Caleb's performance of "Family Tree" by Kings of Leon. Keith thought the song was a "good choice, man." "I love you Caleb," said Jennifer Lopez."You did it again." Harry was all praise as well saying, "great song choice," and "I liked the way you changed the melody up."

The judges were critical of Jessica's performance. Jennifer said that Jessica was "off a little bit vocally in the verses," while Harry urged herself to work on her rhythm. "There's a lack of rhythmic delivery," Harry said. Keith said his attention for the performance "dissipated" and urged Jessica to "get centered, get serious, and commit to the lyric."

Alex Preston and Sam Woolf teamed up to perform a duet they'd worked out on the couch during down time. They updated the arrangement of Passenger's "Let Her Go" and tested it online to great success so they thought they'd do it for the show.

The two guys staged the performance in a faux living room to give the performance some authenticity. The crowd was really jamming with the duo, but Harry thought it was a little "saccharine." Keith thought it was cute, but did say it was hard to critique the duets. Jennifer put the conversation to an end saying, "I think the girls loved it." Demi Lovato thought it had "good energy," but would have liked to see more!

Dexter chose C.J.'s song for him, "Muckalee Creek Water." C.J. thought the "deep, bluesy tone" would go well with Dexter's voice.

Keith thought "Gravity" was a really good song choice for C.J.saying that it was a "good performance," but wanted more of an "emotional arc." Jennifer said that C.J. is getting "more and more confident" every week. Harry gave the ultimate praise saying, "Personally, I think that was your best performance of to date."

Demi, who just wrapped her North American tour, teased that she might be adding more tour dates!

Caleb picked Alex's choice for him this week which was "Family Tree" by the Kings of Leon. Alex and Caleb got to see the band live together and Alex thought the song would be a perfect fit for the rocker. He was right. Caleb opened the show with a solidly impressive performance.

Jena and Caleb teamed up to perform "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones. Before they got started the duo took time to answer a fan question. When asked who they'd want to duet with the most in the whole world Jena answered Hayley Williams from Paramore. Caleb answered "Ryan Seacrest" which prompted the two to deliver a little mini duet.

It's Top 7 night at AMERICAN IDOL® and the theme this week is Competitor's Picks. With only a limited time to prove themselves to America, the contestants were forced to pick their songs this week from a list compiled by the competition.

C.J. and Malaya backstage.

C.J. Harris and Dexter Roberts walk the press line together after the show.

Dexter Roberts had an animated conversation behind the scenes.

Malaya, Alex and Jena talked the press after the show.

Caleb, Sam and Jessica walk the press line after the show.

Alex Preston and Sam Woolf took their places on stage during rehearsals.

Jessica Meuse posed with a fan after the show.

C.J. Harris got the crowd going!

Sam Woolf gives one lucky fan a photo outside the stage.

Another day, another selfie for Jena Irene.

Caleb and the ladies.

The Top 8 pose for a photo before the performance show.

Some colorful fans grabbed Alex Preston for a quick selfie before the 80s performances.

Dexter Roberts gave his fans some high fives after the show.

Caleb takes a moment to pose with a fan before the big show.

Alex Preston

Caleb Johnson

C.J Harris

Jena Irene

Dexter Roberts

Jessica Meuse

Sam Woolf

C.J Harris

Dexter Roberts

Alex Preston

Jena Irene

Caleb Johnson

Jessica Meuse

The Top 7!

Sam Woolf

Tune in to AMERICAN IDOL® next week as the Top 7 perform to keep their spots in the competition.

That put Malaya Watson in the bottom two with C.J. Harris.

America has spoken. Malaya Watson received the lowest amount of votes and would be leaving the competition.

The contestants rallied around Malaya to support her after the elimination.

Malaya and C.J. were on edge while waiting to hear if they would be leaving the competition, but Ryan wasted no time in delivering the results of America's vote.

Sam Woolf may have been saved by the judges the previous week, but he earned a spot in the Top 7 with his unique rendition of "Time After Time."

Ever positive, Malaya took her elimination in stride and delivered an emotional performance of "I Am Changing" from Dreamgirls.

Sam, Malaya, Alex and Jena were called to the stage next for their results.

Unfortunately for C.J. Harris, he was one of the bottom two for the night.

Looks like Caleb's sexy rendition of "Faithfully" by Journey easily earned him a spot in the Top 7.

The spotlight faded tonight on one contestant's dream, but for seven others the fire is still alive. There were no more second chances.

Dexter Robert's solid performance of "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" earned him another shot at the top prize.

Ryan got down to business and called Dexter, Caleb, Jessica and C.J. to the stage to hear the results of America's vote. He revealed the safe contestants one by one.

Jessica Meuse's "Call Me" earned her the third safe spot of the evening.

Jena Irene was all smiles after hearing her performance of "I Love Rock N' Roll" had earned her a spot in the next round.

America must have loved Alex's unique rendition of "Every Breath You Take." He sailed into a spot in the Top 7.

The Top 8 have given it their best, but it is up to America to see who stays in the competition! Tune in Thursday night at 9/8c on FOX as the Top 8 will definitely be forced to say goodbye to one of their own!

Jessica and Dexter got to review their own performance from the judges' table since Harry and Keith both went to watch to the show from the audience. Obviously they both thought they did an amazing job!

Caleb Johnson closed out the evening performing Journey's "Faithfully." David Cook wanted to impress upon the rocker the need to treat the song more "reverently." Caleb took on the ballad like a pro delivering an emotionally charged performance to the IDOL™ audience.

C.J. Harris took the stage next performing Tom Petty's "Free Fallin.'" C.J.'s rendition of the song really impressed David Cook and got him excited about the classic hit again. C.J. opened the song slowly and really took his time before hitting the stride in the chorus.

Jennifer was all praise for C.J. exclaiming that the singer really has "the ability to touch people's hearts." Harry also praised C.J.'s ability to connect with the audience, but said he also needed to work on singing the low notes correctly. Keith thought C.J.'s effort was a "great rendition" of the song and added that he loved "the survivor's tone" in C.J.'s voice.

Alabama natives Jessica Meuse and Dexter Roberts teamed up to perform "Islands In The Stream" by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. The song was a perfect choice for the country pair.

Harry praised Caleb's performance saying "I've been waiting for that since the first day I met you." Keith thought it was the perfect song choice for Caleb and even had his virtual lighter up in the air during the performance. Jennifer thought that Caleb sounded amazing, adding that 'it's no small task to take on Steve Perry."

David Cook really worked with Alex Preston on the technicality of the Police classic, "Every Breath You Take." Alex's understated performance of the 80s hit went over really well with the crowd, but sparked some disagreement with our judges.

Harry really liked that Alex put his "own touch" on the track, but added that there is a difference between being a performer and being an entertainer. Harry went on to urge Alex to find ways to make his performances "stage worthy." Keith agreed with Harry while adding that Alex's voice grabbed his attention right from the start. Jennifer disagreed with both the guys saying "I love your voice and I love what you do," even though she missed the melody of the iconic song.

The judges aren't supposed to give feedback on duets, but sometimes they just can't help themselves! Jennifer thought the duo looked really cute together. Harry chimed in with some harsh words saying, "I thought it was a little more regional theater" than impressive entertainment.

Sam Woolf had everything to prove this week after being saved by the judges. He chose to put his own spin on "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper. In rehearsals David Cook thought Sam's vocals were "money," but he urged the artist to "own the stage" and get out of his own way. Turns out Sam Woolf didn't even step foot on the stage until his performance was over. He sang the entire hit from the audience surrounded by his fans.

C.J. Harris and Malaya Watson teamed up dressed in white for their duet performance of "I Knew You Were Waiting" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. The duo really looked like they were having fun out there!

Keith loved that Sam "did that with the acoustic guitar, solo," adding that all Sam needs now is to loosen up more. Jennifer thought Sam did a great job and noted that she "felt" Sam trying to feel the performance. Harry praised Sam's progress week to week, but gave him permission to sing to the girls around him in the future.

"I will say this, you have a great voice," said Harry, but he urged her to feel the groove more. "You need to feel that groove. You need to sing that groove." Keith noticed that Jessica's performances are still a bit stiff. "I'm still waiting for the rest of the release," he said. "You're almost there, just go right in." Jennifer conveyed to Jessica that in order to pull off a song like "Call Me" that she needed to tap into her sexiness more. If Jessica can't do that then this wasn't the right song for her.

Jennifer had a moment to reflect on the duets. "I love what the duets are doing for you guys," she said, adding that the pairings were helping the contestants loosen up more during performances.

Caleb and Jena teamed up to perform "It's Only Love" by Bryan Adams and Tina Turner. The song choice was perfect for these passionate performers who played off each other really well on stage during their performance.

Jessica Meuse chose "Call Me" by Blondie as her song selection for 1980s week. When she hit the mentoring session with David Cook he noted that "technically" she was "spot on," but added that he wasn't enjoying her performance at all. He urged her to enjoy herself, smile and work the stage during her performance. Would she be up to the task?

The judges all had no qualms with the superiority of Malaya's voice, but both Keith and Jennifer urged the young singer to "relax" more during her performances. Harry was impressed with Malaya's ability to hit the high note, but thought she sacrificed the beginning of the performance for the sake of that note.

Harry just "couldn't stand it anymore" and had to be a part of the totally 80s crowd. He jumped into the audience to watch the next performance.

Harry put Sam on the spot by asking him how he felt after last week's save. Sam took the opportunity to thank the judges and said he'd been practicing and focusing a lot more. Keith reached out to Alex saying he liked the way the contestants' voices blended together.

Malaya chose to perform "Through The Fire" by Chaka Khan. David Cook was impressed with Malaya's voice during the mentoring session, but urged her to "focus" more. Malaya's performance was high-energy and full of impressive vocal stylings, but now that the stakes have been raised in the competition it may not be enough.

Before Caleb and Jena got any feedback from the judges, Harry Connick Jr. returned from the crowd with a visitor! What a dream way to watch AMERICAN IDOL®.

Jena Irene wasn't rocking at all when she started her performance of "I Love Rock N Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts solo at the piano, but as she moved into the song she hit that rock n roll stride. David Cook thought the hardest part for Jena would be picking "the right starting point." What would the judges think of her rendition of the song?

The judges had mixed reactions to Jena's performance. Keith said that it was a great way to "start the show," but Jennifer had harsher criticism. "For me it languished a little bit in the middle." While Harry "wasn't really a fan of the arrangement," he did note that he loves that Jena always takes risks with her performances.

Alex and Sam then hit the stage in what can only be described as a smooth and jazzy vocal battle for a girl with a cover of Michael Jackson's "The Girl Is Mine." These two fellas sure had all the ladies in the audience wishing they were singing about them.

Jennifer started off the criticism saying, "You always come out here and sing kind of perfect." Harry liked Dexter's performance, but noted that "I'm still thinking about what you did last week." Keith gave the most constructive criticism saying, the first part of his performance felt "stiff" and told Dexter to incorporate an unexpected moment into his performances.

Dexter Roberts chose to perform "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" by the Georgia Satellites. In his mentoring session, David Cook urged Dexter to work on enunciating his words more because the IDOL™ winner had a hard time understanding the words during Dexter's performance.

The contestants traveled back in time to the 1980s on Wednesday night. Now that the save is off the table the stakes in the competition are higher than ever. It's do or die time and the removal of the save has lit a fire under all the finalists. Who has got what it takes to make it all the way? First they'll have to get past their 1980s performances. Season 7 winner David Cook visited the Top 8 this week to mentor the contestants through their 80s performances. The rocker, one of the most iconic winners of AMERICAN IDOL®, and one of the first performers to really put his own twists on rock classics, was the perfect choice to mentor this week.

The Top 8 celebrated after the save.

Jena chose to perform the piece from her trusty piano and the decision really paid off. The crowd went completely bonkers after her performance. Keith loved the performance and praised Jena's "fearlessness." Jennifer thought it was "beautiful," and Harry thought it was the "best performance of the night."

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