He continues to impress. After being seen coached by famed former judge Randy Jackson and Michael Orland, Bradenton singer Sam Woolf performed David Gray's folk-rock ballad"Babylon" and earned glowing reviews Wednesday from the celebrity judges during the latest episode of "American Idol." Keith Urban said Woolf's voice was "money" and Harry Connick Jr. also praised the 17-year-old student at Braden River High School's "really good performance" but noted the teenager could use a confidence boost.
Jennifer Lopez lauded Woolf as well, especially his "sweet quality" and "perfect pitch" but she seemed to be the panel's constant cheerleader, heaping kind words on pretty much everyone Wednesday. Host Ryan Seacrest then asked Woolf what he learned about the meaning of the emotive "Babylon" song.
"Just, you know, let go of your heart," Woolf said, "let go of your head and feel it."
Tuesday was ladies' night on Fox's popular reality-singing competition series with the Top 15 remaining female singers competing. On Wednesday, the 15 remaining male contestants took the stage live on the second night of “Rush Week.” In addition to the judges, TV viewers could vote, too, via their phones.
On the third and final night of “Rush Week,” Thursday (8-9 p.m.), the Top 13 Finalists will be revealed in the first results show live from Los Angeles. Watch to see if Woolf, who first wowed the judges on TV last week with a performance of his original song "I Try," makes the cut.
In related news, Syesha Mercado, the Sarasota-Manatee child star who reached the "American Idol" finals in 2008, recently joined Broadway's biggest show, "The Book of Mormon."