It was another successful night on American Idol for East Brunswick's Jax as she makes the show's top 6 finalists.

Jax perfoms "Beat It" on American Idol (YouTube)

"Idol" viewers got to pick two songs that charted prior to 1985 on "American Classics" night for the remaining contestants who were accompanied by a live band for the first time, something Jax called the "backbone" of her two songs.

First up for the 18-year-old was Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" for which she also used a wind machine. The judges were again impressed by Jax's take on the 1968 release.

“I only know two version of that song (Joplin and the late Erma Franklin, sister of Aretha Franklin)  and this was somewhere in the middle," said Harry Connick Jr. in describing her performance as "strong."

Keith Urban said Jax met the challenge of having a live band join everyone's performance.

“You sing really well with the band. It was great,” he said while Jennifer Lopez said she turned in a "strong performance."  She added, "I thought it was a really strong performance for you tonight when you get to rock out a little bit, right? This is your kind of element. Tough song and you did your thing on it,”

Her second song of the night was also the show's biggest charting hit of the night: a rocking version of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" that seemed to fit her well as she ran around the stage high-fived fans.

“I always wanted to see you run around like a complete idiot and have fun. We do that for a living. It was really really fun," said Connick. Lopez said she made her performance "cool" while Urban said the performance showed a "great side" that was "contagious."

Jax sat down with season mentor Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records and said music is to "make everyone feel something...I want to make people smile. Or cry. Or be angry. Or hate me or love me...I think that's the purpose of all art." She also talked about the relationship with her father, who she called her "best friend" who has always been supportive of her singing and found it theraputic to cure what she called his "broken side" as a result of an injury suffered on 9/11.

"He's probably my best friend, my biggest fan and my doppleganger," she told Borchetta. "He is so strong and powerful. He is an idol to me. I put him on such a high pedestal, but at the same time I know that he has a broken side."


There are three ways left to vote for Jax by noon on Tuesday.

  • Super Vote via the American Idol app
  • Facebook
  • Search “American Idol Vote” on Google

Rayvon Owen was again saved by his followers with the Twitter Save, this time beating out Joey Cook.

Next week 's show theme will be "Arena Anthems" according to show host Ryan Seacrest and will include an appearance by the US Women's National soccer team. If Jax makes it to the show's top 5 she will be part of the summer "American Idol" tour which will stop in Red Bank, Morristown and Atlantic City.