American Idol Top '12' Performance Night: Who Was Your Fave? And How About That DQ?

skylar laine idolI sure hope everyone enjoyed “Oldies That Happened to Be Covered in the Year the Season 11 Finalists Were Born” Night on American Idol! Yes indeed, more than half of this week’s selected songs made their way into the world long before the finalists who covered ’em.

But who’s counting? Not Uncle Nigel! Then again, in our executive producer’s defense, he was tied up with the process of disqualifying Jermaine Jones from the competition for not disclosing that there were (allegedly) four active warrants out for his arrest. Ryan Seacrest waited more than halfway through the evening to roll the “Gentle Giant’s Final Walk” package, but it all seemed a bit anticlimactic in the wake of relentless media coverage of the imbroglio over the last 24 hours. So enough about that, right?

I’ll be back in the morning to post a full episode recap, but until then, here’s my pithy thoughts on the evening’s performances:

Phillip Phillips: Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” (covered by the Black Crows the year Phillip was born)
I wouldn’t be able to recap Idol, let alone perform on it, if I’d had surgery on Thursday. With that knowledge in mind, Phillip was rather good, no?

Jessica Sanchez: Vicki Sue Robinson’s “Turn the Beat Around” (covered by Gloria Estefan the year Jessica was born)
I kinda thought her J.Hud husk sounded great against those syncopated rhythms. This just isn’t a song that benefits from a live performance is all.

Heejun Han: Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting”
Loved his dapper duds, but speaking of duds…the song choice? The gaspy vocal? His journey is so gonna end in 2-3 weeks’ time.

Elise Testone: Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” (covered by Tina Turner the year Elise was born)
Whew! She’s gonna make the tour!

DeAndre Brackensick: Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’ “Endless Love” (covered by Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross the year DeAndre was born)
Oh dang, he got the “Hi, baby” treatment from J.Lo. It was just aiight for me, for you, for me. [CTRL+ALT+DEL]

Shannon Magrane: Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”
I’m not sure what disturbed me more: The cream colored blouse with black sequined trim or the relentless overhype by the judges.

Colton Dixon: White Lion’s “Broken Heart”
I’d like to offer a “Holla! Hey-ey!” for the offbeat song choice — even it it wasn’t really my glass of sauvignon blanc.

Erika Van Pelt: Bryan Adams’ “Heaven”
I’m pretty certain I’ll buy her record someday, but she pushed her vocal a little too far tonight. Plus, that rogue drummer killed the dramatic break!

Skylar Laine: Bonnie Raitt’s “Love Sneakin’ Up On You”
Way to stick to your guns, Skylar! You killed it, girl! (No, Bambi’s mother was not harmed in the execution of this terrific performance.)

Joshua Ledet: Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” (covered by Michael Bolton the year Joshua was born)
So sublime, I took off my jacket, too. And I wasn’t even wearing one.

Hollie Cavanagh: Jennifer Rush’s “The Power of Love” (covered by Celine Dion the year Hollie was born)
Dang. Girlfriend is like a Mini Cooper with a NASCAR engine. (A NASCAR engine is an actual thing, right?)

What did you think of “Songs From the Year You Were Born” night? Sound off in the comments!