Jax makes it Jersey Night on ‘Idol’
East Brunswick's Jax brought some New Jersey flair to '80s night on American Idol Wednesday with a performance of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name" as she made the show's top nine.
Wearing a leather jacket with graffiti, black T-shirt, torn pants and green gloves with her hair done up big '80s style, the 18-year-old gave the song a quiet start and a rock star finish kicking away the piano bench holding her microphone with one hand and won approval from all three judges.
"You're giving us all that 80s punk attitude tonight.This is the Jax that first walked into the room when we first saw you and fell in love with you," said Jennifer Lopez, who liked the attitude and style that Jax brought to the performance. Harry Connick Jr, who felt she was "swimming in a lot of sound" was in agreement about her rendition of the Jersey classic.
"Your originality is what brought you here and your intrigue is what kept you here," he said.
Keith Urban praised the originality and vision of her arrangements but felt this was "not quite put together right" but loved what he did see. After her live performance Jax tweeted, "Oh man. My heart is beating so fast. Love you guys."
Season mentor Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records, told her parents after her performance that the 80s are "really in her wheelhouse."
New Jersey was well represented with Jax's parents again in the audience as was Miss New Jersey Teen USA, Jacqueline Giancola, a senior at East Brunswick High School who tweeted her support of Jax. A member of her official Twitter fan club, @TheJAXPax, tweetted a picture of Jon Bon Jovi with Jax's "X" on his cheek.
Jax started the show with the 11 contestants performing Cuture Club's "Karma Chameleon" with 80s icon Boy George who mentored the contestants. "Jax has the bones of a great performer," he said after meeting Jax during their mentoring session. "She needs to not think it, but feel it."
Another icon of the decade, David Hasselhoff, performed a somewhat off-key solo medley of 80s hits wearing a leather jacket similar to that worn by his character Michael Knight on "Knight Rider." Salt 'n Pepa also performed their hit "Push It" during the show.
There are 3 ways left to vote for Jax by noon on Tuesday.
- Super Vote via the American Idol app
- Search “American Idol Vote” on Google
Adanna Duru and Maddie Walker were sent home; another contestant will be sent home next Wednesday when the first American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, performs on the show and will be the week's mentor.