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mens true religion jeans Alabama's Jess Meuse on 'American Idol': Top 8 Redux performance recap, with video and poll Jess Meuse of Slapout continues her quest for the American Idol crown. She's among the top eight finalists on the popular reality series. (Fox photo)

Wouldn't it be great if replaced Randy Jackson as the primary mentor on ? Cook, the show's 2008 winner, returned to the on tonight's episode, guiding the top eight finalists and eclipsing the Dawg at every turn.His advice for , for example,focused on stage charisma and performance dynamics. Cook showed Meuse how to use the show's cameras to her advantage, pulling in the TV audience and creating a vivid character. He also encouraged Meuse to let her emotions spill over, just a bit, when she's behind the microphone."Technically, you're spot-on," Cook said. "The issue that I'm having with it is that I don't get any enjoyment out of it. It doesn't seem like you're enjoying it at all."The two forged a connection when Meuse mentioned that she'd seen Cook perform in Birmingham."Yeah, at , right? Right on," Cook said. (For the record, he played at the WorkPlay theater on Sept. 26, 2013.)Meuse, 23, is one of three Alabamians who remain in the running on "Idol" during Season 13. Here's the latest on the pink-haired rocker from Slapout, as seen on the 7 p.m. broadcast. This week's theme: Producers returned to a time-honored concept on the show: '80s night. Leg warners! Neon headbands! Rubber bracelets! Producers pushed the retro visuals, and photographed contestants in period gear for their "vote for me at this number" shots.What she sang:"Call Me," by . The 1980 single was a No. 1 hit for the New Wave band and its powerful frontwoman, .What Meuse said:"I'm really hoping to establish myself a little more, come out of my shell a little more."What the judges said: They acknowledged Meuse's vocal talent, but found her performance rather mechanical. "I'm going to emphasize groove," said Harry Connick Jr. "You need to sing that shuffle, girlfriend. You need to feel that groove. .. I didn't really feel you were ripping that pocket up." Keith Urban said he was "still waiting for the rest of the release." Jennifer Lopez kept it real: "Blondie was the epitome of looseness and sexy cool. That song is a sexy song. If you can't tap into that part of yourself and forget about everything else, then that's not a great song for you, no matter how great you sound on it."Critical reaction:Meuse has the pipes -- no doubt about that -- but she has yet to shake the physical stiffness. It wouldn't be so obvious -- and probably not a big deal -- if she fronted a band. As a solo act on "Idol," though, Meuse seems to be rattling around on a vast, empty stage. Get that girl a choreographer! Bonus:The finalists paired off for mix-and-match duets this week. Meuse teamed with another Alabama contestant, Dexter Roberts, covering "Islands in the Stream." Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers turned this mid-tempo number into a crossover smash in '83, but Roberts and Meuse missed the mark. Zero chemistry, awkward stage presence, unfortunate vocal blend

By the numbers:Finalist Sam Woolf faced elimination last week, but earned the judges' save, making tonight's performances the Top Eight Redux.What's next: for their favorites in several ways, including a new method linked to Google searches. One singer will be eliminated on the April 10 episode, which airs at 8 p.m. CST.

amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="" amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;What did you think of Jess Meuse's top 8 redux performance on 'American Idol'? amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;



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