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"American Idol" Recap: The Top 11 Perform Songs from the Movies

Image courtesy of Frank Micelotta/FOX (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Frank Micelotta/FOX (via ABC News Radio)

American Idol 's top 11 embraced Hollywood on Wednesday night. The contestants performed songs from the movies, as judges Jennifer Lopez , Harry Connick, Jr. , and Keith Urban looked on.

Here's what happened during the two-hour performance show:

Sam Woolf chose The Beatles ' "Come Together," which was featured in the 2007 Fab Four-themed musical Across the Universe . Keith said Sam showed a looser side of himself. J-Lo, noting the other artists who have covered that song, including Aerosmith and Michael Jackson , agreed with Keith and said it was a "nice start." Harry called it an average performance, but added that Sam is "on the way."

Jessica Meuse performed the Simon & Garfunkel classic "The Sound of Silence," which was memorably heard in the 1967 movie The Graduate . Jennifer thought the song was a perfect fit for Jessica, but she felt the Alabama native never found her groove. Harry admired the fact that Jessica remained focused even though the band was off.

C.J. Harris pulled out his new acoustic guitar for the Marshall Tucker Band 's "Can't You See," from the Johnny Depp - Penelope Cruz drama Blow . Harry said Harris established himself as a force in the competition. Jennifer said he showed the ability to change the world, referring to his performance of John Mayer 's "Waiting on the World to Change" last week.

Dexter Roberts saluted his home state with a rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd . Dexter selected the song because of its inclusion in Forrest Gump , though it's appeared in other films, like Sweet Home Alabama (obviously). Keith loved the contestant's new, cleaner hairstyle, but he wished Dexter had put more of his own spin on the tune. Harry said Dexter is smart because he's doing the things he needs to do to win the competition, like pick a popular song to perform. However, Harry agreed with Keith's assessment that Dexter needed to do more with it.

Ben Briley took to the piano for Elton John 's "Bennie and the Jets," which was featured in Katherine Heigl 's 2008 romantic comedy, 27 Dresses . Jennifer called it a good vocal performance, but she wondered if it played to his strengths. Harry said it was like a "lackadaisical walk" through the song, and he wondered if we've seen the real Ben yet.

Majesty Rose tackled this year's Oscar winner for best original song, the Frozen hit "Let It Go." Insert your own "Adele Dazeem" joke here. Harry said Majesty Rose was spreading herself "stylistically thin" with her broad range of song choices. Having said that, he thought this particular performance was strong. Keith smiled and said that his wife -- Nicole Kidman -- and one of their daughters love that song. Both he and J-Lo said it's the kind of song that could be written for someone like Majesty Rose.

Rocker Caleb Johnson went with another Oscar winner, Adele 's "Skyfall," from the James Bond movie of the same name. Keith said it was an amazing choice that showed great power in his vocals. Jennifer said it was what she had been waiting for all night. Harry added that Caleb will be very hard to beat.

MK Nobilette sang Garth Brooks ' "To Make You Feel My Love," from Harry's movie Hope Floats . Jennifer seemed moved by the performance, and compared MK to k.d. lang . Harry said MK has star quality.

Alex Preston covered "Falling Slowly," made famous in the movie Once . Harry said it was great to hear a nice song with a nice melody, without unnecessary fireworks. Keith noted the "raw fragility" in the way Alex sings.

Jena Irene jumped into the piano seat for the Twilight song " Decode," by Paramore . Keith said there's a ferocity to Jena's performances, and it's exhilarating. J-Lo declared Jena's latest performance to be the best one of the night.  

Malaya Watson closed the show with "I Am Changing," sung by former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls . Jennifer exclaimed, "Good girl, Malaya!" She said it was a killer performance. Harry said Malaya's voice will only get stronger as the 16-year-old grows older. Keith told her the song suited her perfectly.

One of the contestants will go home on Thursday night's results show, which airs at a new time: 9 p.m. Eastern, on Fox. The musical guests include Harry Connick, Jr.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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