Jersey’s Jax headed to ‘American Idol’ finale
East Brunswick's Jax got past her bout with laryngitis to perform three songs on "American Idol" and make the show's top three for the show's season finale.
After a whirlwind week that saw her make a quick trip home and celebrate her 19th birthday, Jax regained her voice and will compete against Nick Fradiani and Clark Beckham in a two-night finale that starts next Tuesday night on Fox.
She sat out a Ford commercial shoot Sunday to rest her voice. During the weekend, she tweeted about learning sign language and tweeted to season 11 winner Phillip Phillips for advice on how he dealt with voice problems. On Monday, however, she seemed confident her voice was returning.
Draped in the Union Jack, first up for Jax was The Who's classic "My Generation." It was selected by show mentor Scott Borchetta as "the original punk song."
Keith Urban called it "fr...fr..freaking awesome" and went to far as to call it her "best performance" of the season. Jennifer Lopez the song was "perfect" for her and she "killed it" while Harry Connick Jr. said she made the most of her time on "Idol" and agreed with Urban that it was her best performance so far. Borchetta later tweeted "JAX OWNED IT."
Video highlights of her trip home to East Brunswick last Friday followed in which her dog Jeter greeted her with licks and kisses and her dad, John Miskanic, told her how proud their neighborhood is and compared her to race horse legend Seabiscuit. She was overwhelmed by the cheering students that welcomed her to the Hammarskjold Middle School.
"This is the best day ever! Thank you East Brunswick for making my dreams come true," she said to the crowd on the Playhouse 22 stage at the Community Arts Center.
Back on the "Idol" stage, she toned it down with her "Hometown Pick" of the Evanescence song "My Immortal," in memory of Spotswood High School student Jeff Szatkowski and his girlfriend who died together in a 2013 car crash.
"That's a big song and you chose to do it soft and intimate...I think you're amazing," said Lopez of the performance in praising her "humility and confidence." Urban hurried through his critiques, describing the performance as "fantastic" and agreeing with Lopez while Connick Jr. offered no opinion.
The judges were less kind of her acoustic performance of the song they picked for her, Paramore's "Misery Business." Urban said it was a "weird arrangement" because the lyrics didn't match the guitar accompaniment. Lopez was disappointed Jax didn't dig into the song as they had hoped and was also not happy with the acoustic approach. Connick Jr. pointed out that she needs to "drive whatever's on stage" and that she was using her guitarist as a crutch. "Steal the show!" advised Lopez for the finale.
The Grove in East Brunswick, which hosted a viewing-and-voting party on Wednesday night will do the same for the finale shows.
There are three ways left to vote for Jax by noon on Tuesday.
- Super Vote via the American Idol app
- Search “American Idol Vote” on Google
The voting from tonight's show will be unveiled Tuesday night in the first hour. Jax will likely perform a duet with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. Fall Out Boy, Pitbull, Jamie Foxx, Echosmith, Chris Brown, Ricky Martin, the Jacksons and NKOTB are also scheduled to appear during the show's two-night finale. Lopez, Urban and Connick will also perform.
The season winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 13.