Bring on the personal stories of triumph and the tears -- I'm looking at you, J Rome -- because this week is inspirational week. J Rome has quickly become the crier of the bunch, as he's shed a few each week. It's a good thing he has one of the best voices.
This week, the first singer is eliminated. The bottom two have a vocal showdown, and the judges decide who goes home: Alexis.
The performances are in order of finish starting with the best.
1. Jennifer Nettles and J Rome, "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
This was an emotional performance where both singers connected. Each week, it seems like Jennifer and J Rome's connection grows a bit stronger. They have a lot of momentum right now. J Rome's also the most versatile singer of the bunch, tackling all different genres at ease.
John: "This is like the tearjerker episode, I can't take it anymore."
Robin: "Yeah, yeah."
Kelly: "We all love you."
2. Jennifer Nettles and John, "How Great Thou Art"
This was a good song for John to showcase his powerful voice. It started off a cappella, which was a good move to just do something different. He's got a little bit of that Mariah Carey hand thing going on, and it's awesome. Kelly and John both gave him a standing ovation.
Kelly: "That was so good, I can't stand it."
Robin: "You gave me every feeling I needed to feel."
John: "The arrangement was gorgeous."
Jordan's biggest issue is her confidence, and she successfully came out of her shell a little bit, performing with some sass, but she could've brought more of it. But this was another one of their duets where Kelly overshadowed her partner.
John: "It's such a dramatic improvement."
Robin: "You were sultry and sexy."
Jennifer: "You looked and had the attitude of a rock star."
4. John Legend and Bridget, "Heard It Through the Grapevine"
I don't know what it is about her, but I'm just not that big of a fan -- as least not like the superstars. She's a good performer but her voice just doesn't stand out, which makes all her performances forgettable. But she looked like she had a lot of fun.
Robin: "You did a great job."
Jennifer: "The low part sounded a a little bit muddy to me."
Kelly: "I think you shine brighter than some other people here."
5. John Legend and Meleana, "If I Ain't Got You"
Last week, newcomer Meleana finished first but I thought she still had a lot of room for improvement -- a lot of them were nerves. Well, she did that and then some. She sounded perfect and confident. And for the first time, I wanted the professional singer to stop singing! But they were very pleasant together.
Kelly: "When you get big, it tends to sound nasally for me."
Jennifer: "You seem like a seasoned performer."
Robin: "She was meant to sing that song."
6. Robin Thicke and Olivia, "Crazy in Love"
Robin said he picked this song because Beyonce is fearless. Well, Olivia isn't Beyonce, and this song was too much for her, as the band drowned her out. But she did bring more to the song than she ever has. She should be singing Norah Jones or Ingrid Michaelson, not one of the most powerful female singers out there.
Jennifer: "I am blown away."
Kelly: "You sounded bigger and bolder."
John: "You seemed to have more fun dancing than singing."
7. Kelly Clarkson and Jason, "Hallelujah"
Just a ... nice, emotionally connected performance. As much as this song is overdone in singing competitions, it was a good choice for Jason in order to bring his confidence back up as he's been in the bottom every week.
Robin: "I thought it was lovely."
John: "I think that was a great song to show off your tone."
Jennifer: "I could see growth and connection."
8. Robin Thicke and Alexis, "Killing Me Softly"
They sounded beautiful harmonizing most of the song. They tried to show they have chemistry but it felt a bit too forced. But she brought it, which isn't hard to do in a song like this, as it's not terribly difficult, but bonus points for hitting all her off notes. Not sure what was up with Robin's gold microphone though.
John: "Your voice sounds clear as a bell."
Kelly: "I don't think you and Robin connect well."
Jennifer: "Performance-wise, I did see some growth."
Solo Showdown: Alexis ("Natural Woman") vs. Jason ("Me and Mrs. Jones")
Man, it's looks really, really difficult singing a cappella. It just feels like there's way more on the line without music backing them up.
It took both singers a little bit to settle into the song, their nerves got the best of them, but they both did sing for their lives. But I think Jason has more potential on this show because he works better with his partner than Alexis does with hers.
Another reason why the scoring sucks: We get no explanation as to why one singer is kept over the other, though the judges do give some comments, but they don't say who they think should be saved.
Alexis is eliminated.