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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Idol Chatter: Final 12 Perform

And then there were 12.  Idol contestants sing songs that remind them of home.
We saw the other side of Harry Connick Jr.    The funny and charismatic Harry was not in the house last night.  He was all business, and not afraid to say what he was really thinking.  Lots of tough critiques, as he truly wants the contestants to improve each week.  A nice change of pace since we often get frustrated that the judges are being much too gentle and not giving enough advice on how to get better.
Still some struggles for some contestants to find the right song, pitch or song arrangement.  (also dealing with nerves)
A few that are headed in the right direction...
Malaya Watson- completely redeeming herself from last week.  The 17 year old made the correct adjustments to showcase her amazing vocals and piano skills.  Everything was much calmer than last weeks wild performance (even her hair :-) 
Jena Irene  also made some positive changes.  She decided to perform a much more upbeat song.  Up until this point, she was consistently singing much darker and more somber songs.  Last night, much improved stage presence...smiling and working the stage.  She has great vocals-not her perfect song...but certainly nice to see this side of her since she is only 17.
Caleb Johnson (the rocker) did what he does best--Hard rock.  He is the one contestant who is not afraid of the stage or the camera.  He picks songs that suit him, and commands the stage.  But Harry and the other judges (and our panel) are very concerned that he is way too predictable....and the magic he has is going to fade fast.  Needs to show another side of himself very soon.  Hard rock is not the most mainstream genre, and he needs to find a way to get more people on board.  There is no doubt he is very talented.
Song choice is so important-and picking a song from one of the judges is dangerous territory.
Emily Piriz wanted to show off her Latin roots, so she picked Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud".  Let's face it, JLo is not the greatest singer, but she knows how to make a song exciting, especially in her stage performances.  Emily (who has an incredible voice)-certainly didn't give a JLo worthy performance, and missed the mark when it came to adding anything to make her vocals standout.  It fell flat.  She talked about singing this song with a hairbrush at home as a little girl- and that's just about what it looked like on stage.
Another contestant heads home tonight...Who will it be?

 
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