America will eventually pick the winner of American Idol, but – at least for Wednesday night – viewers got the chance to pick the songs.
With Jason Mraz mentoring, each Final Five contestant sang two songs chosen by viewers.
Alex Preston started the show with “Sweater Weather,” which earned nice reviews but requests for more oomph.
Preston’s second choice was “Say Something,” a “beautiful performance” Connick called the “performance of the night” and earned a standing ovation from Keith Urban, who called it the “perfect marriage of song and artist.”
America selected “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” for Caleb Johnson, which gave Lopez “goosies” but didn’t connect as much with Connick or Urban.
“You must let your feelings drive your ability, not the other away around,” said Urban.
America let the rocker rock with its second pick, Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night,” and he delivered a performance that had the judges jamming.
“You can’t sing it any better than that,” said Connick. “You heard the crowd. Congratulations.”
America’s choice for Jessica Meuse was a unique one – “Human,” ironically, a side the judges have longed to see more of from the country singer.
“When you tap into the emotion of the song, something happens,” said Lopez.
Meuse tapped into her sexier side with “Summertime Sadness,” a haunting version that had her sporting a high-cut red dress.
“The leg was there,” said Lopez, although she added the performance “left me a tiny bit cold.”
Connick said the Lana Del Rey hit was the “perfect marriage of voice and song,” while Urban urged her to “emotionally and dramatically lean into the song.”
Sam Woolf performed “Sing” by Ed Sheeran, but the funky song didn’t sit well with the judges.
“You did as good a job as you could,” said Urban, while Connick said he was “diffusing the funk” with his laid-back vocals.
Woolf’s second song, “How to Save a Life,” which started shakily, split the judges.
“When you hit the sweet spot, something magical happens,” said Lopez, who got goosies, while Connick said Woolf had pitch issues and his singing “all seems one volume.”
Jena Irene sang “My Body,” a throbbing dance tune that had Urban out of his seat.
“You move more that’s huge,” Connick said of her energetic dance moves, while Urban called her a “lean-in performer” about the way she attacks performances.
America changed it up the second time, selecting a jazzier “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse.
“It was so not you,” said Lopez, who felt it was too old for her, although Urban said her vocals were “killer.”
Results air Thursday (9 p.m. ET) on Fox.
Harry Connick, Jr. Zingers