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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Andrea says:

    Michael, doesn’t it just make you mad that you came up with a really cool list of song suggestions for the Idol contestants, and half of them pick songs that were originally performed in a previous decade from the year that they were actually born. Phillip, Jessica, Elise, Deandre, Joshua, and Hollie all cheated with their choices, but whatever. We see this happen a lot on Idol, but I just hate it. And most of all, many of these choices weren’t even good for the contestants!! BBL, gonna listen to Boy Krazy’s shunned top 20 hit from 1993…

    • Michael Slezak says:

      “That’s What Love Can Do” would’ve been legendary. Stock Aitken & Waterman night FTW!

      • Leena says:

        Am I the only one that noticed that Deandre’s mom’s story wasn’t adding up? If he was born in 1994, and someone told him he would be on American Idol when he was 4 that would make it 1998… Idol wasn’t even on yet…..

    • Courter says:

      But wasn’t the point to pick Billboard Hot 100 songs from the year they were born, and Michale Bolton’s cover of “When a Man Loves…” was on the top 100 that year, so I think it’s perfectly legitamate to use those covers. Pluss they used to do this theme back when the contestents were born in the ’80s and now they are stuck with the ’90s no wonder they chose covers-especialy since there were so many rap songs, rock songs that focused way more on instrements than singing, and group songs where the beauty is in the harmony’s during the early ’90s-if you take out those there is not a lot of quality left.

    • Marianne says:

      But, wait – – Deandre didn’t ‘get’ to do the song he originally chose. The brilliant mentor minds chose it. So Deandre didn’t cheat that choice. Grrrrr

    • SallyinChicago says:

      We go through this every year, the same songs. Most of them boring as heck. Slow drag. Many times the singers couldn’t hit the notes or warbled through the song. They were not inspired, esp. Deandre. And I disagreed with the Judge’s liking some performances and not others. What were they hearing that we didn’t hear?

    • Delon says:

      Once again moth eaten stale songs were the order of the day. Stock/Aitken/Waterman is a great idea for a theme night, but the American audience only (barely) knows a few of their productions of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Kylie Minogue,Donna Summer,Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round, and Boy Krazy’s That’s What Love Can Do. But i have to say i’d die to see a girl sing Mel&Kim’s Showing Out. “Geeeeeett freeeeeeshh at the weeeeeeeekend!”

  2. RodMod says:

    If I hear another Celine Dion/Whitney/Mariah ballad I am going to scream!!

    • They have said for 11 years don’t sing Whitney, don’t sing Mariah, don’t sing Celine, and they do all of that in 2 weeks. Not saying that Jessica last week, and Hollie this week didn’t kill it, but Shannon not so much.

      So to Jessica Sanchez she needs to change it up per Randy, but then for Erika she shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke. Ridiculous. I just am getting that Pia Toscano feeling about Jessica. Pia was the front runner, major standing ovations, then the next week she did some up tempo number and she was gone. I hope I’m wrong, there were enough bad/subpar performances tonight, and Jessica’s was far from bad, but so was Pia’s last year. I don’t think they announced if they are doing a Judge’s Save yet, because if they are and something nutty happens they need to save Jessica, and not waste it on someone like a Casey Abrams type aka Heejun,(likeable but not winner potential), like they did last season.

      I think the only people they should ever use the Judges Save on is: Jessica, Hollie, Josh and Phillip. Those are the only 4 I think can actually win this whole thing, so wasting it on anyone else is putting those 4 in danger.

      • RodMod says:

        I agree with you 100 percent. Jessica, as good as she may have sounded, seemed a bit out of her element. Not a bad performance at all. And I hope that America keeps her around for another week.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        I don’t think the Jessica-Pia comparison holds up. Let’s not forget that Jessica absolutely killed a mid-tempo number as recently as two weeks ago when she did ‘Love You I Do’. And she had a great performance during Vegas with ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.’ Based on what I’ve seen, Jessica is FAR more versatile than Pia, who even when she tried to go “uptempo” still sounded pretty much the same. Listen to her top 9 performance again sometime; does it really sound that different from the rest of her stuff?

        Personally, I thought Jessica did a very solid job this week and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this side of her. She was moving around, showing attitude, and keeping up with the beat. I got confused and scared when Randy told her to do more ballads. Don’t listen, Jessica! I’ll be bored!

        • SallyinChicago says:

          I enjoyed watching Jessica’s performance. It was fun. Jess — DON’T LISTEN TO THE JUDGES!

          • Ben says:

            Agreed. And I’m so sick of Jess=Pia comparisons too. For one thing, Pia was never even CLOSE to the front runner. It was patently clear from week 1 from even a cursory statistical analysis of various sources that Scotty was ahead, Lauren was the most popular girl, and the guys were more popular overall. Pia’s stats had her consistently in danger of a “shock” elimination, and I had been predicting it for a couple of weeks when it came (Casey’s save week, and the double elim week). Jessica is a country mile ahead of everyone by either a cursory or detailed statistical analysis. Secondly, one had no personality or stage presence at all, the other has loads of it, so even if you don’t bury yourself in stats like I do, it is still obvious on the face of it that they are different.

          • ET says:

            I too think that Jessica was out of her element. It was a good performance, but not GREAT like last week; last night she was overshadowed by Elise and Joshua.

        • scrutinizer says:

          i’m a professional singer/songwriter/percussionist who’s specialty is rhythmic/upbeat/syncopated music, and jlo’s comment of jessica being off rhythm is totally wrong. although i would agree she could have chosen a better song, her timing was spot on. i played back the tape and watched her performance 2 more times just to make sure i wasn’t wrong in my first impression. i think it’s jlo’s rhythm that needs to be questioned! her comments, as well as randy’s and steven’s were harsh enough to put her in the bottom 3 and possibly convince america to send her home this early. that would be a huge mistake for IDOL, but would also immediately open the door for her getting picked up by a big, non-idol affiliated, record label. that might actually be better for her in the long run. it sure worked for daughtry!

      • SallyinChicago says:

        Didn’t Steven say Jessica needed to stick with ballads — WTF? Like Pia did last year.
        Give me a break!

      • marie says:

        Evidently they ARE using the Judges’ Save again this year: Ryan made reference to someone being “in danger of going home” on Thursday’s show. Unless he mis-spoke, that seems to indicate the Save is in play.
        Interesting idea, to use the Save only for someone with a real shot at winning. Thing is, it’s too early to know that yet.

        • uncmick says:

          What I think will happen, is that no-one will go home this week because Jermaine got the boot, and next week the lowest 2-night total will go home. We’ll see..

    • OMG says:


    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I jokingly suggested Skylar sing “The Power of Love”.
      JOKINGLY. I didn’t think anyone should sing that song.
      It appears that more than a few Idoloonies were correct on their choices for what the contestants should/would sing, including Yours Truly, who picked “Turn the Beat Around” for Jessica.
      I haven’t watched the DVR yet (had a meeting tonight) but holy cow, it almost sounds like the theme was a couple of songs short of “bad ballad night”.
      And hey, it should come as no surprise there wasn’t much current music (if we can consider 20 year old music “current”). To quote Billy Preston, “I got a song, it ain’t got no melody”. Much of the 90s music (a) ain’t got no melody, and (b) had lyrics that you just can’t sing on network television.

      I’m off to put on my jammies, pour a glass of wine, and watch the program!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Watched the DVR. Granted, Hollie did a great job on “The Power of Love”. She seemed more animated to me tonight and more at ease on stage, and she looked lovely, but please, enough of the power ballads.

        • ET says:

          Hollie has a lot of potential, but she needs to sing songs more suited to her. “The Power of Love” is NOT one of those (neither was her performance last week). She is just a slip of a little girl and doesn’t have the experience/credibility to bring home a WOMAN’s song… at least not yet.

        • Katillac says:

          My only problem with Hollie is that she needs to learn to sing with a bit of nuance. You don’t have to belt the entire song. She does have a lovely voice though.

  3. Shana says:

    I actually got out of my seat for Joshua and I know the word gets tossed around a lot but Joshua was truly AMAZING! If this was in the top 5 or so, he would have won the competition. Incredible!

    • Andrea says:

      at least you didn’t say “it was beautiful”…talk about a phrase that gets tossed around a lot on this show… Joshua did great, but at the same time, I don’t know that it’s a performance that I would want to hear in my earphones over and over again. It’s a performance you’d rather watch than listen to I think. Definitely one of the highlights though.

      • Shana says:

        I somewhat agree. It’s one of those performances that can be fully appreciated when seeing it live, for the first time, seeing Joshua in all of his glory. Wouldn’t be the same when repeated.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I agree – I am old so I remember the Percy Sledge original more than the Michael Bolton cover (because I avoid Michael Bolton at all cost) but Joshua was wonderful. He was really feeling that song and he was awesome.

          • marie says:

            Until last night, I don’t think I even knew Bolton had covered it! Joshua’s performance, while perhaps not vocally perfect, was very heartfelt and enjoyable. Indeed, his was one of my favorite performances last night. I wonder if he’s connecting much with the audience, though: there seems to be something about him that could get lost in the shuffle and, in such a talented group, I think he could be overlooked.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Get in the “line for the pop-music challenged” with me, marie – I had no idea Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross covered “Endless Love”.

        • Jaycee says:

          I totally DISagree. I’ve listened to it, eyes shut, several times, and still love it. But watching was compelling, too, as he is a really good performer. Joshua Ledet for the win! He will be a recording artist classic, mark my word.

    • B.Rich says:

      That is the first time I can remember being moved to tears halfway through an Idol performance. Only other time I can remember was Susan Boyle and possibly Paris Bennett’s audtion “Take Five.”

      I’ve never seen a standing O that seemed so genuine and spontaneous right smack in the middle of a performance like that.

    • Lana says:

      @Shana, I totally agree with you, Joshua was awesome that I even played him twice!! I enjoyed all of the contestants and was suprised when so many were dissed, but then thats why I’m not a judge. I really love this years group of singers and I am having fun.

    • Leila says:

      More than the vocal itself I liked his passion and stage presence last night. Taking off his jacket was brilliant.

    • Bytes says:

      I stopped after a couple of notes..i cant look at him without me thinking about tracy morgan…maybe ill try to listen with my eyes closed some other time

  4. Meyling says:

    Joshua isn’t even close to being one of my favorites, but he was AMAZING. Best performance of the season so far in my opinion.

    And Phillip was my second fave of the night!

    Also, go Skylar! Way to stick to your original song choice!

    I really hope Shannon is voted off tomorrow.

    • Templar says:

      Speaking of Phillip, he said he had surgery on thursday. Thursday was results night and he was there. When they showed him with Jimmy and Will I Am he said he was going to have surgery. This does not compute. Was the stuff with Jimmy before results night? Do they rehearse songs before they know if they’ve even made it through to the following week? Do they start rehearsing right after the results show? How could he possibly have done the results show, rehearsed with Jimmy and had surgery all on the same night?

      • Shana says:

        curious indeed…
        I think we’ve all known how shady the production is, tonight just reconfirmed that in spades after the dq

        • Snsetblaze says:

          He did say he “thought” it was Thursday. I’m guessing it was probably Friday and he got confused. It happens.

          • Tarc says:

            That and he was probbaly doped out of his head for the pain.

          • Paul says:

            Or they start working on songs a before their week. Which we actually know, because we’ve had people voted off who said they were hoping to get far enough to sing this or that in one or two weeks.

            I suspect all the Iovine segments are taped in the same week and we just see the pieces related to the current theme.

    • Delusional Shannon Migraine says:

      I hope that losing Jermaine to dq doesn’t mean we are stuck with Shannon “I only cracked on one note” Magraine. She needs to go back to her multimillionaire home because she “HAS BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH” in her long sixteen years and I don’t think she is emotionally ready because she is so immature and delusional.

      • Steven Tyler is pervy says:

        Shannon was just confused last week. When pervy Steven Tyler suggested to her back stage to “suck hard,” she naively thought he was referring to the Whitney Houston cover.

      • I like shannon says:

        You always are hating on Shannon so much it tells me you have issues. You refer to her as a “multimillionaire”. How do you know her family’s finances? Would you like her better if she were poor or had been through a lot of life traumas? You sound really envious of her perceived advantages.

        • Shannon Migraine says:

          Joe Magrane made 1.5 MILLION dollars with the California Angels in 1994 ALONE. Add up his other playing years plus his announcing career and he is definitely wealthy. Kids are starving all over the world yet Shannon Magraine thinks she’s “been through do much” in her cushy Florida sunshine state upbringing. You may be one of the very few who likes Shannon, and you are entitled to your wrong opinion, but America voted and Shannon was voted out. America knows that she cracked on way more than one note.

      • Leila says:

        Amen! She may have a good voice but she’s amateurish.

    • Annie says:

      Just a reminder the show is filmed from 5-7 P.S.T, so it is possible he had surgery Thursday night.

  5. Elena says:

    I liked Skyler, Joshua, Hollie, and Colton tonight. Phil and Elise were also pretty good. Everyone else I didn’t really like so much. Poor Heejun… that was not good. I don’t know if nerves got to him but was the most difficulty i’ve heard him have with a vocal. His personality will prob carry him through to next week though. I hope Shannon finally leaves this week. That girl just can’t compete.

  6. Kate says:

    “A NASCAR engine is an actual thing, right?”

    Well, no, actually.

  7. Sam says:

    Dream Top 5: Elise, Skylar, Jessica, Joshua, Erika
    Probable Top 5: Philip, Jessica, Skylar, Hollie, Colton
    Dream Bottom 3: Shannon, Heejun, Philip
    Probable Bottom 3: Deandre, Heejun, Erika

  8. TB says:

    So how far ahead do you think Jessica Sanchez was for them to change their editing tactics so hard? I’m thinking she must have had around 30% of the vote by herself last week, which must have sent them into a bit of a panic. First of all, people will lose interest, and with her hogging that much of the vote, it must mean that the rest of the contestants are living performance to performance, with anyone going home at any time, even if they’re the best one.

    But hey, I’ll take anything that gets Joshua Ledet votes! And it was great to hear the judge’s actually critique this week. That said, way too many ballads, and they need to can this theme for good.

    • Templar says:

      No sweat. Jessica was boring, robotic and shrill tonight. She’ll be safe but her numbers are going to drop substantially.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Ah, and Gloria Estefan made it look and sound so.darned.easy.
        Jessica’s performance wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination but it was one-dimensional and definitely demonstrated Jessica has some limitations, probably due in part to her age. She can certainly belt out the notes but Jennifer was correct – the rhythym was a bit off.

        • Snsetblaze says:

          And so did Vickie Sue Robinson (the original singer as far as I know).

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            yes, Vicki Sue Robinson was the original disco era singer on Turn the Beat Around.
            I just wasn’t going to mention her because it’s yet another reminder of how old I am, LOL.

        • Ben says:

          Ok, so, my musical education was as a percussionist, so rhythms are my forte, and I love it when people pull out this song on idol – I just don’t get what people mean by Jessica’s rhythms were off, I’ve watched it several times now and I can’t see anything which didn’t feel like an absolutely in control decision. Were there a couple of moments she changed the rhythms up slightly from the original? Yes – but they were changes that made sense musically. A LOT of sense musically. I’m not getting it, is it just people really wedded to her doing it identically to the original?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I’ll watch it again later. Perhaps the performance was missing some energy which made it feel as though she was slightly off the beat in places. It’s difficult to sing that song other than how it was originally recorded, IMO. there’s not a lot of room for modification.

          • just saying says:

            I think people are just repeating what they heard JLO say and while there was something off with the performance, it wasn’t that she was off the beat, but JLO couldn’t place what it was and just said that.

          • scrutinizer says:

            thank you!!!! finally someone else here who’s expertise is rhythm :)
            you’re right….jessica was spot on in the rhythmic choices she made last night. i even liked some of the slight changes she made in syncopation. they should have given her credit for that, in attempting to change the song from being exactly the way vicki sue and gloria did it. i just think the producers got on the “let’s not pimp jessica too many weeks in a row” bandwagon, and they told the judges to be tough on her this week and criticize her a bit. since rhythm is obviously not the forte of those 3 judges, they put her down for that and not her pitch, which they certainly couldn’t question last night.

    • uncmick says:

      AI has had a habit in recent years of picking the ‘most improved’ singer throughout the competition as the winner. Front-runners at the beginning have notoriously not won the competition, much to the chagrin of many. (In some sense, those with ‘excellent’ or ‘perfect’ early perfomances have nowhere to go but down – or stay at the same level).

  9. Matt says:

    I agree with Slezak on everyone except Skylar. Will.I.Am and Jimmy were right. There was no song there to sing. She did it well but it was just kind or there. Nothing special to it at all.

    Personally I don’t mind picking songs that were covered that year. Many songs (not say these) are more well known by the cover. Turn the Beat Around for instance is definitely known as a Gloria Estefan song.

    Don’t know what they were listening to with Shannon. Song was way too big.

    Bottom 3
    Hee Jun
    No one else came close to as bad as these two.

  10. David says:

    Hollie can get away with covering Celine. Shannon can NOT get away with covering Mariah.

    Joshua was aMAZing. Hollie & Phillip were my other two faves tonight. And I pre-ordered my Haley Reinhart CD today!

    • TB says:

      Everything about your comment is excellent.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Y’know, when Jimmy suggested that Shannon sing ‘Don’t Speak,’ I thought: “Huh. That might actually work.”

      Then of course she had to ruin it. Shannon, please leave, and take with you.

      • ladyhelix says: must go. Immediately. He did far more harm than good (we wer SO spoiled with Mary J last week)!!

        I’m a huge supporter of “the songs are there for everyone to sing” but when they suggested Don’t Speak to Shannon (which Allison sang S8) I stopped breathing.

        I realized that I would be totally cool if ANY of the other girls (or guys) sang it. I just didn’t want ANY comparisons made between those two 16 year olds. And Shannon s too sweet to pull it off. I’m not sure what it is about Shannon that’s keeping me from getting on board (besides pitch and her being delusional about her performances), but I do have to give her props for being so gracious, relaxed and confident at that age.

        • Snsetblaze says:

          She reminds me of Ayla Brown. And the whole “I’ve been through so much” shtick (no, you haven’t – most of your fellow contestants have been through just as much if not more) as well as her claim that she screwed up only one note last week just turns me off. Her vocals are meh and her song choice terrible. That’s why I can’t get on board.

        • TheBeach says:

          Anyone else think it’s ironic/hilarious/weird/so wrong that they choose the King of Auto-Tune as a mentor?

        • Yo says:

          I actually think she is a very likable kid and her performance this week was one of her better ones: she did things I didn’t know she could do. She is a little young, she should have come back in a couple of years. But she was so much better than Heejun. If the contest were fair, based on singing, he would have to go. Sigh.

          • C says:

            100% agree. And I don’t think SHE ever said she had been through a lot in her life. J. Lo said in her critique of Shannon’s first song that “I don’t know what you’ve been through in your life” (or words to that effect).

          • Leila says:

            Yes, she did say “I’ve been through so much” on the first live show.

          • C says:

            OKm Leila, I stand corrected. I missed that comment–it must have been when my daughter and/or husband were copmmenting about the person that had sung before her! However, being rich doesn’t mean that you have no problems in your life and I really get irritated at the flat out malicious envy that is directed toward this girl in so many posts on this board and others.

          • C says:

            Man, am I having trouble typing today or what?

    • charlie says:

      Haley Reinhart? who’s she???? just kidding.. she’s one of my all time fave contestants on Idol! listened to all three of her new tunes this week. “Hit the ground running” was my have of the 3. So looking forward to when her record is on iTunes! Go Haley. You rock.

      Tonight’s Idol was good. My faves were Joshua, Hollie, Elise and Jessica. I thought the accompaniment was terrible on some of the tunes and great on others.

    • Reality says:

      I agree with this entirely

  11. James says:

    The top 3 were

    1. Hollie
    2. Phillip
    3. And a tie between Joshua (ugh) and Colton (yeah!) and Elise (booya!)

    Worst 3…


    • Gorm says:

      Phillip over Joshua? Colton tied with Joshua? There goes your credilibity. Dont vote with whats in your pants next time James. Its a singing competition, not a tent pitching one.

    • chistosa says:

      Top three:
      1. Joshua
      2. Hollie
      3. Phillip

      Bottom 3:

      1. DeAndre
      2. Jessica
      3. HeeJun (sadly)

  12. Christina says:

    Dreary song choices. Some things never change on Idol. Endless love was the best song from 1994 they could come up with for Deandre, seriously!

    • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

      Totally. I would have preferred it if he had sung “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” like he planned to!

      • Shana says:

        Agreed. He should have gone with the original song choice. His voice is more suited for that one and he would have got more votes.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        Generally I agree, but we all know that would been almost 100% falsetto, right?

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          you get a Made Me Laugh. :-)
          Honestly, I didn’t think Deandre was all that bad. Not great, but not awful. Is it possible that I’ve endured so many crappy performances during the last two seasons of Idol that my bar is lower than it should be?

          • Miscellaneopolan says:

            Agreed. I thought Deandre was pretty decent, although he didn’t stand out like last week. He was in tune the whole time, which is more than can be said for a few of the other contestants (lookin’ at you, Hollie), and his unique voice still punched through. I think he has more great things to show us and really hope he doesn’t go home tonight.

    • RodMod says:

      I thought the same thing when I first learned of the set list. Deandre could’ve done “Waterfalls” by TLC. He and T-Boz share a similar singing style. And he could’ve taken liberties with the song by ending the song with soulful ad-libs over a drum solo, while encouraging the audience to clap/sing along.

      *SIGH* Me and my imagination…

    • RodMod says:

      Nevermind. “Waterfalls”–though recorded in 1994– is a 1995 single and Deandre is a 1994 baby. Crud!

      Still would’ve been a nice choice for him, though!

    • TheBeach says:

      Two thumbs way down (and thank you, judges, for calling him out on it) to Mr. Iovine for pushing that nauseating Endless Love on Deandre. Horrible song, boring performance.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        The judges threw several veiled reproaches toward Jimmy tonight, didn’t they? My favorite might have been when they told Erica not mess with certain arrangements, “even if someone else tells you to.” (paraphrasing). Jimmy’s probably none too happy about this. I hope insults get thrown back and forth for the remainder of the season.

  13. Kat says:

    I watched on delay tonight and as soon as the clock struck 9:00, I hit refresh nonstop waiting for your initial recap. As always, you didn’t disappoint. I love the way you put all of my thoughts into words. My favorite tonight was “The ‘Hi, Baby’ treatment.”

  14. RodMod says:

    My top 5 from the night. (In No Particular Order.)
    1. Joshua
    2. Elise
    3. Phillip
    4. Jessica
    5. Hollie

  15. Owen says:

    Oh, Slezak, I like Elise too (this week, not last, what were you and Melinda thinking?) but she will never be, no matter how hard you want her to be, Haley Rheinhardt. And Shannon, though somewhat overpraised (somewhat) wasn’t bad this week.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I enjoyed Elise’s performance last week, but I generally agree with your sentiment. And yeah, Shannon wasn’t THAT bad this week, although she wasn’t great. I feel like the judges were grading her on a curve: “considering how poorly you’ve performed thus far, anything that’s not a complete catastrophe will win our praise.”

      • TheBeach says:

        “grading her on a curve”…Perfect!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Shannon kind of surprised me – she wasn’t that bad! Maybe it’s because I was expecting far worse when I heard what she planned to sing. Based on tonight’s performances I honestly think HeeJun should go home before Shannon.
        HeeJun has a lovely voice but he doesn’t know how to support his notes. He was breathy and his phrasing was awful.

        • Jess says:

          It’s so cute that people still think this is a singing competition. There is no way HeeJun (Mr. comedic personality) Han is getting eliminated before Shannon.

  16. Johnny says:

    Hollie is looking like she’s going to peak at just the right time. The producers are starting to take a really good liking to her as well. I’d be feeling pretty good (but not getting overconfident) if I were her. She’s just so freaking likable in a way other contestants aren’t. She wasn’t my number 1 before the finals, but she’s slowly making her way there. Also, Skylar and Joshua have been equally consistent. The three of them are really looking good for me.

    • TheBeach says:

      I like Hollie a lot too. I would, however, like to hear her show a little more finesse and not blow it out 150% on every note.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        Amen to that. Girl could stand to use some dynamics. I thought that went for a bunch of the contestants tonight, actually. Maybe it was that the particular songs they chose brought it out of them.
        It’s issues like this that kept this episode from being as fun and surprising as last week’s. Bring on the top 10!

      • Marianne says:

        No doubt Hollie has the pipes – a great voice. I just don’t find her to be very interesting, musically.

        • Snsetblaze says:

          Ditto. One of the few differences between her and Pia that I’ve seen – is Hollie doesn’t seem to do too many pageant moves with her arms.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            Let’s be fair to Hollie: At least the one thing she has over Pia is the likability factor. Hollie comes across as cute and charming, Pia just seems quite cool and distant.

          • hollie-carrie says:

            Hollie seems much more AI-era Carrie than Pia.
            Carrie was also robotic with no performance skills.
            Both blonde & cute, both with unbelievable pipes, both more singer than artist, and both have that warm-yet-reserved personality combo. Both give off that “are they too normal to be recording stars?” vibe.

    • Shana says:

      Phillip was a pleasant surprise without his guitar. Performing first will never hurt his votes. my top 3 of the night: Joshua, Hollie, and Phillip. Honorable mention for Skylar.

      Would love to see those 4 in the top 5 along with Jessica – who tried tonight but missed the mark.

      Erika and Elise are great but I really don’t think both will make it far,(not because they aren’t good but the fans of this show are more for the ones mentioned) one of the two possibly will.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        I really liked Phillip tonight. One of the few contestants who picked a song that really suited his voice. That said, does he have to scream at the end of every song he does?

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Hollie is likable as all get out and I have no doubt she will be around for a long while, but I was hoping she changed it up a bit this week. That’s three big diva ballads in a row and I’m starting to get bored. And since the judges refused to criticize her for her “little mistakes,” I will: she was off on a handful of notes, most of which I didn’t think were a big deal, but missing the last note, the big one, even just by a little bit, kind of hurt the performance for me.

    • Gale says:

      Disagree about Hollie. I find her stage presence robotic and her singing lacking in nuance and finesse.

  17. Lo says:

    I love how even the playing field is this season. It makes each week’s performance that much more important, because there are no clear front runners. I think 6-7 of them have a legitimate shot at winning. The biggest surprises for me tonight were Phillip and Colton, who I never really “got” before but now I do. Erika was a big disappointment for me, she’s one of my favorites.

    • TB says:

      I’m thinking 5 have a shot at winning. Colton, Phillip, Jessica, Hollie, and Skylar could all make it. Even though I think Joshua is the best, I just can’t see America voting for him as the winner. His voice is too gospel, and as much as I hate to think that this is still the case: I don’t know that they’ll vote for an African American man at this point in the show. Season 2, when the viewership was more diverse, sure, but now I don’t know. Elise and Erika seem unlikely too unfortunately because of their ages. That said, I totally agree with you that it is thrilling when the performers are all firing with all cylinders. It’s thrilling to watch.

      • skyfiremage says:

        Well TB, it it makes you feel any better, my favourites turned out to be last three winners – Kris Allen, Lee Dewzye, Scotty McCreery.

        This year Joshua is my fave so I think he has a good shot.

    • Ben says:

      I’m thinking that if you take everything you are seeing into account, this season could be the most lopsided since season 4. I don’t think anyones vote levels touched Jessica’s last week, and I think Jessica will steam through even easier than Scotty did last year (and I’m pretty sure he won nearly every week too).

  18. db says:

    Some of the songs felt choppy and short…..I think that affected the music…humble opinion….

    • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

      This is why the 90-second thing is stupid. Shred off some of the product promotion and we’d have more time for singing.

  19. JimmyJ says:

    Who is anyone kidding? Nobody is going home tomorrow

    • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

      That’s what I’ve been thinking, too. Did you notice Ryan said that someone would still be “at risk” of elimination tomorrow, not “someone will go home tomorrow?” Such a give-away.

      • Ben says:

        I thought that at first too – then somebody pointed out to me he always says that until the judges save has been used. I still think noone is going home though.

      • Marianne says:

        I was figuring the same. They will still go through all the “dim the lights” drama and end with the ole – Phew! You guys are all safe tonight. It was such a tough theme. . . yada yada yada.

    • Jennifer says:

      Very true. I believe I heard Ryan say that the lowest vote getter is “in danger of being eliminated tomorrow night” — which means they’re either bringing back the save or nobody is going home. I still think somebody should be eliminated, or at the very least have this weeks’ votes transfer over to the next. If everybody was great it would be one thing…but there were some misfires tonight that shouldn’t be completely excused.

      • Miscellaneopolan says:

        Ooh, good point. If indeed no one goes home tomorrow, then the contestants picked a good night to give some bad performances. Not that they were all poor, but I didn’t think they were as (almost) uniformly great as last week.
        But I figure: don’t they have to have at least one week where no one goes home, then? How else can they fill every Wednesday-Thursday night block for which they’re scheduled this season? Maybe they’ll use the judge’s save at some point but only send one person home the next week instead of doing a double elimination. That way they’ll make up for the week they lost by sending Jermaine home early.

      • Leila says:

        The person will only go home if it’s someone the judges and producers don’t care about.

    • jaime says:

      I heard the “at risk” comment by Ryan too, but he followed it up with saying they would have their top 10 for the tour, so.I think someone will go home tomorrow and they’ll save their judges save for another week and surprise us, since they’ve never announced they were having one this year. Or if they have an idol gives back this year, they won’t eliminate someone that week…

      • JamRock says:

        Either no one’s going home or they’re going to have an additional save. The show makes too much money to pass up revenue for one whole week because someone lied to them. There are literally millions of dollars at stake here.

  20. karen says:

    I LOVED loved loved Skylar’s black leather jacket tonight! Does anyone know what designer it was, or where I can get it?? So cool!

  21. Deb says:

    As much as you may not like it, the contestants are given a list of songs that qualify. It isn’t cheating when they pick a song off the list. Lets put the blame on the real cheaters, the producers.

  22. PatD says:

    Tonight was a complete “meh” until Joshua and Hollie came on. I was disappointed in Erika, Elise came off a bit desperate, and Jessica, the one everyone’s tagged as the front runner was really not good. J-Lo was absolutely right about her rhythm issues (actually, J-Lo gave some very good, pointed criticism all around). Every year there’s at least one big voice on this show that is much better suited for Broadway than a recording contract, and this year I think it’s Jessica’s.

    When Hollie started singing, and I realized it was going to be another ballad, for a split second I got a little worried about her not changing it up and getting stuck in a rut, but then after only 5 or 6 notes, I forgot all about that. Both Joshua and Hollie need to sing something with a really good hook next week, though. They don’t have to get all frenetic, or forced into something outside of their wheelhouses, just something uptempo, younger, and with a really, really good hook.

    I thought Colton was outstanding, but he needs to follow Daughtry’s advice. It’s possible to choose songs that are edgy and somewhat familiar (to the general audience). He needs to find something with more of a melody to it.

    I think both Hee Jeun and Shannon are in trouble.

  23. rod says:

    hollie anf joshue were AMAZING !!! those two keep killing it

  24. Michelle says:

    Watching the Idol judging pannel makes me feel like I spend my time wandering in solitary befuddlement through an alternate reality hellscape. When Shannon takes the stage, my obviously addled brain processes the choppy phrasing, squawking notes and wavering tone and tells me that I just witnessed the musical equivalent of a capital offense. Fortunately I have the judges to step in and tell me that, no, it was actually great. I also really benefited from their guidance when Deandre opened his mouth. I, in my ignorance, heard a flawless melody delivered with uncharacteristic restraint. Thank god the judges set me straight on that one! They didn’t get to intervene fast enough after Hollie’s performance, which drew a “worst pimp spot ever” exclamation from my intransigent lips. Better late than never, though. Now at least I know the butchered arrangement, lackluster delivery and strained glory note at the end was little more than a silly distraction not worthy of anyone’s time. Without their timeless wisdom, I could evan have gone through life harbouring such blasphemous notions as “Erica sounds nothing like Janis,” “Jessica should do upbeat music more often” and “Phillip straight up sucks.” Crisis averted. thanks, guys!

    • Ben says:

      Michelle, its refeshing hearing someone criticise the judges for judging. They can’t really win no matter what they do given the amount of criticism they take for NOT judging, but I would much prefer that we stopped needing to have people tell us who was good and who was bad, too.

    • JJ says:

      You’d better look up the meaning of intransigent and the spelling of even.

    • TheBeach says:

      Your first sentence is priceless!

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Damn. That’s a lotta sarcasm for such a small space.
      I don’t agree with everything you wrote (I didn’t think Shannon was THAT bad, and I thought Phillip was pretty good), but I’m with you on most of it. Erika like Janis Joplin? When Randy compared Haley to Joplin last season I could kind of see it, but this isn’t working at all. Pat Benetar, maybe. Also agreed that Hollie’s performance was probably her worst so far, although still fairly good, and that Jessica did a good job with the uptempo number. To be fair, I’m sure it’s much easier to judge the contestants objectively from the remove of our own couches as opposed to being right in the mix like the judges, but a few of their comments were pretty out there.

    • JoJo says:

      Michelle – clever, funny, and right on. Not being as witty, I would say that some of the judges critiques seemed on target and I AM glad they’re actually critiquing. But IMO, many more of their comments seemed to be just longer more specific versions of a pre-determined script.

      I truly don’t understand the raves for Hollie. I find the constant reliance on hitting ONE GLORY NOTE after another exceedingly boring. I don’t hear any nuance, interpretation or vocal dynamics…just lots and lots of single notes sung loudly and in tune. Not something that would get me to buy a CD. (Willing to admit I’m missing something with her, but as of now I just don’t feel it.)

      • ejones says:

        The ‘pre-determined script’ is probably written during the dress rehearsal. This then runs into problems when the live performance is significantly different. I suspect some of them will keep a lot in reserve for live whilst others will peak at dress.

        • Michelle says:

          It really is the pre-determined script that bothers me most. I fully acknowledge that the judges have a pretty thankless job, and obviously offering opinions on something that’s inherently subjective is going to lead to more than a few differences of opinion…but when they overlook some really glaring issues and call out ones that simply aren’t there, you’ve got to wonder about the strings being pulled. I actually do prefer last night’s display to the unrelenting positivity that we saw in the semi-finals/last year for everyone except Haley, but some spontanaity and honesty would kick the experience up that much more, for you for me. :)
          For instance – totally freaking out over an insanely good performance from Joshua? That felt authentic and I loved every minute of it. Who wouldn’t. :)

      • Jaycee says:

        @JoJo I so agree about Hollie. Yes, big voice, little girl, well done. But songs with no passion, no facial expressions and no emotion? What’s to get excited about? Yet, she gets consistently high raves around the internet? What is it that I’m missing? I don’t dislike her singing, but I can’t call it special.

    • Leila says:


  25. Marlex says:

    Phillip: Cut down on the screaming from last week. In my top three for the week.
    Jessica: I really liked her performance last week, but was not a big fan this week. I’ll give her credit for changing it up some, but it just didn’t work. I also didn’t like the fact that she was using literal hand motions for a lot of the lyrics. I thought she was having monitor problems until I realized she was pointing to her ear to “depict” the lyrics.
    Heejun: Funny dude, but he wasn’t good this week.
    Elise: Wasn’t perfect, but rocked it out a lot more than last week.
    DeAndre: I have to admit I laughed when he went “oh no” at JLo’s “oh baby” comment. Really liked him last week, but again it just didn’t worked this week.
    Shannon: Better than last week, but that wouldn’t be hard. Don’t understand the praise she received from the judges who otherwise weren’t afraid to make critiques.
    Colton: I have no idea about the song or the band, but I thought the way it was cut down for 90 seconds wasn’t good, leaving the “broken heart” line sounding awkward at the end. Did like his performance though.
    Erika: Wasn’t a fan of her phrasing on a lot of the lyrics but otherwise she sang it pretty well.
    Skylar: I have to admit to not being on the Skylar train the past several weeks, but she’s growing on me simply with her ability to own the stage better than just about anybody except for Phillip.
    Joshua: WOW! Best vocal I’ve heard this season. I actually felt a shiver near the end… and that never happens.
    Hollie: Another strong performance from Hollie and I felt she at least looked like she was connecting with her song more than Jessica this week.

    Top three: Joshua, Hollie, Phillip
    Bottom three: Heejun, Shannon, DeAndre
    Should go home: Shannon

    • TheBeach says:

      Wow, that was pretty much spot on with what I was thinking for each one of them. I did think Elise was very good tonight (love me some Al Green) and I can never get through all of Endless Love without reaching for the barf bag.

  26. Stacey says:

    One thing for sure. No matter where she ranks; and I actually think she can go far. Skylar is going to get a record deal. I love Lauren Alaina; but Skylar is way more confident. And seems to know herself and the country she likes. She also can perform on stage. We shall see how she does… But I think country will want her regardless! I love Jessica picked a upbeat song; but she tried to much with it. It’s a difficult song. But still, could have been better. Hollie was excellent. But it was a predictable choice. But still she and Skylar were my favorites of the night.

    • TheBeach says:

      Unlike Little Girl Lost Lauren from last season, Skyler just has performing in her DNA. Her twang may not be to everyone’s liking but you have to admit, the girl can kick it. I have no doubt Nashville will be calling.

  27. Andrea says:

    I am such an Idol junkie, but I am officially completely annoyed with most of the idols this year. I really like Hollie, but she’s sung Christina, Whitney (not her fault), and Celine. C’mon with the ballads. Shannon with Mariah? Really? ENOUGH with the power diva ballads. These contestants are so super boring. Even Joshua, who sounded awesome, sang a lame ballad. And, I’m super mad at my favorite Erika. She murdered Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” with such passion when she sang to be saved. The last two weeks she’s coming across so poised and polished. Heaven by Bryan Adams? C’mon Erika. You like rock music and have a great tone. Sing Pat Benetar or some pop/rock music from ’85. Great year. If she doesn’t make the tour it’s her own fault. I honestly liked Phillip and Skylar the best. I can picture the records they’ll make. Better song choices people!

    • RodMod says:

      I agree with you!!! The ballads are being over-done and I believe that everyone is turning their heads at Hollie’s constant singing of them.

  28. Paisley says:

    Joshua was the standout as was Hollie, Skylar & Elise and Phillip. Erika was not as good this week and Hejun was way too breath-y. Poor Jessica took on a bad song for her voice and for this show. Shannon was the weakest, IMO, and I doubt if anyone will be eliminated. Deandre might be one of the bottom two. I think Jimmy and gave overall crappy advice….didn’t we suffer thru enough of these guys last year? Are there any other “mentors” lined up for this season? Did Ryan mention next week’s theme????

    • Ana Muti says:

      I don’t believe Heejun’s “breathyness” was done on purpose–he sounded like he was losing his voice and fighting through it. The judges should have known better, but it seems they don’t consider things like that unless they’re spoon fed the information.
      If I could see it, the judges should have been able to as well.

  29. Ana Muti says:

    It seems that Heejun is getting the bums rush from the producers, this time, and there’s no one else other than Elise that I care to vote for.
    I actually think Heejun was losing his voice, but he doesn’t seem the kind of guy who’s going to whine or make excuses about it. Either way, I don’t expect him to last much longer which is a shame because I think he’s eon’s better a singer than Shannon, 2Phil or Colton.

  30. Renda says:

    I’m officially on team Erika since she picked my song choice for her!

  31. Shana says:

    I didn’t agree with all of it, but Steven gave more criticism on tonight’s show than the entire last season. Finally. This season is looking better and better than the last 2…

    • TheBeach says:

      No kidding! I spilled my beer when he blasted Colton. What’s going on here?

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I know! Tyler was so… awake tonight. Nigel must have spiked his flask with something.
      That said, I kinda the impression that Tyler might just be paying closer attention to the script rather than actually stepping up his critiques. I always get suspicious when he puts on his glasses to look down at that mysterious paper he has in front of him. What’s on that thing?

      • TheBeach says:

        I’ve thought the same thing. I’ve never seen him taking notes at any time (unless he does it during their rehearsal performances) so it does kind of make you wonder if these are Uncle Nigel’s Crib Notes.

  32. Michael says:

    I really enjoyed Colton tonight but he must have been smoking something when he called his version of the song “hard rock”.

  33. jake says:

    A new favorite of mine has emerged — Joshua just knocked it way out of the park tonight — soooo good. Still love Colton, erika, jessica and hollie. Didn’t love skylar, liked elise more than i have been but still think she’s only ok — what in the world happened to the amazing shannon that sang two weeks ago????

  34. Dan says:

    The bottom 3 should be:


  35. PatD says:

    I know this is going to come off superficial as hell, but I so don’t like Colton’s “look.” It comes off as so contrived to me, in much the same way that Adam Lambert’s did. Both are terrific talents but that costume-y look is so tired and distracting. It screams middle school identity crisis. The really bothersome part of it is that both guys are handsome and don’t need that overkill.

    • M Girl says:

      @PatD – LOL – middle school identity crisis – you got that right. I teach middle school, and these guys dress like my students. Nothing indie or edgie about it. Simply suburban uniform.

    • Gale says:

      “middle school identity crisis” – perfect. Skunkhead really needs to eat something.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I know, the hair bothers me as well; however, I’m giving Colton brownie points for choosing a song outside the Idol maintream, even if it’s a song that suffered from the 90 second cut.

  36. Cannago says:

    Woo hoo! Joshua, Hollie and Skylar :-). Sad that Shannon is likely to be with us for another week. I’m glad that Jermaine is gone though, no more comments about him having an operatic voice (I’m a season ticket holder for the opera and no, he hasn’t).

    • Snsetblaze says:

      Though he was not my favorite by a long shot, Jermaine did sound pretty good on the bit we did see (on another ballad). I was hoping he’d last until movie night just to hear him do the Theme from Shaft. :)

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        :-) Shut yo mouth!
        I thought Jermaine sounded like he was trying to sound like Robert Goulet.
        And as long as we’re talking movie night – Deandre gets extra credit because “The Music Man” was his mom’s favorite and Deandre learned the songs as a kid. I also love “The Music Man”. Maybe we’ll get to hear Deandre sing “We’ve got Trouble (Right here in River city)”.

        • marie says:

          “We’ve Got Trouble”: an early rap song? (OK, OK, so more like an outgrowth of Gilbet & Sullivan-type patter songs, but you could perhaps say THOSE were the earliest rap songs ever…and no, I’m old, but not THAT old; I did NOT see the original G&S productions – just the touring companies!)

          • MediaHo says:

            Marie, Marie, Marie…you queen of pointing out typos, poor grammar, etc. It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the operetta-composing duo was GILBERT & Sullivan, not Gilbet. I’m sure you can come back from this, though.

  37. J. May says:

    I don’t get people who aren’t moved by Joshua Ledet. Can someone explain it to me? I don’t go to church–I’m not even christian or religious, necessarily, but his singing is something else.

    • Joe says:

      Tonight he had one of the best performances on American Idol ever. Anyone saying otherwise should get their heads checked. Too many people on these boards fall in love with personalities over talent. It makes me ill when I see it.

      • Shana says:

        That said, it’s nice to see that Joshua is so humble, being the youngest of 8. I actually prefer his personality over some of the others.

    • Paul says:

      Some of us remember J. Lusk and what he morphed into, and are wary – I left while they were decapitating creatures that had been boiled/steamed alive.

  38. Renda says:

    anyone else wish Shannon would’ve taken Jimmy’s advice and done Don’t Speak? Would that not have been amazing?

    • Shana says:

      I’m not sure if she would’ve been able to convey the outpouring of angst required for that song… I know she’s “been through so much” but no.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I’m sure it would have been better than the Mariah song, but I do agree with Renda that she probably wouldn’t have given a great interpretation of it.
      But still, I would have liked her for trying and would have appreciated the break from all the power ballads.

    • Devon says:

      Creighton sang that. It was very good :3

    • Snsetblaze says:

      No, not “Don’t Speak” but a different No Doubt song (an uptempo one perhaps) or Gwen Stafani song might have showed some of Shannon’s personality.

    • yeah says:

      it might have been cool

  39. Angela says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who caught the whole “these are covers” thing! Seriously, people, there’s TONS of songs from your birth years that are original that you could’ve chosen. I was born in the same time frame that all these contestants were, believe me, I can make a list.

    I’m in a minority apparently-I didn’t care for Joshua’s take on “When A Man Loves A Woman” at all. All I could think was, “Stop shrieking at me.” The song is not meant to be sung that over the top.

    Hollie was my favorite tonight, I thought her performance was easily the best of the entire show.

    • Chris says:

      Oh, Angela! Finally, a voice of reason! I was starting to think I was all alone in just not getting the Jasuhua thing. I too was wondering why he was yelling at me. Also agree that Hollie was hands down the best tonight. Thought overall this week was far weaker than last (and I’m not even a Whitney Houston or Stevie Wonder fan).

      • Angela says:

        Hey! So glad I’m not alone. I mean, the guy has a voice, sure, I won’t deny that, but…I dunno. Just way too much shouting from people in general this season and no real actual emotion or attachment to the songs themselves. Or something. Everyone’s just trying to prove what big pipes they have so far.

        I also definitely agree that this week was weaker than last week. And I think the girls are generally outshining the boys this season, too.

        If anyone out there liked Joshua’s performance, more power to you :). It just wasn’t my thing *Shrugs*.

  40. DDB says:

    I was excited for this show after hearing the theme and seeing that most of the contestants were born in the 90s, but most of these song choices are completely uninspired. I wish we could have a do-over tonight.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I would have loved to see some 90s grunge (not necessarily Nirvana).

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Oh…no. Just no. Remember Casey from last season?

        • Ben says:

          I disliked that performance at the time, but as times gone on, its become one of my most played studios from last season. I think it bombed because it was the wrong fit for what people want from the show, not because it was a bad performance.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Okay, I think I’m going to agree with you on your comment, Ben. But in general grunge is not good. It’s not melodic and there does seem to be a lot of sturm and drang.

  41. Regina says:

    I love Erika. I would go to an AI concert (haven’t been to one since Melinda was on the show) IF Erika makes it to the tour. I am under NO illusions that she will win this thing because she is…gasp! in her mid-20s! OLD! But, she’s an amazing singer. And, like Melinda, AI doesn’t know what to do with amazing singers who are not as marketable as these teens are. I give all props to most of the contestants this season because, for the most part, they are good but (to me) she’s the best. And it’s frustrating when the judges, even in the first week when they had nothing negative to say about anyone, would still give her this little “but you can do more…push yourself more…” and what happens when she does? “Leave it be. Just sing the song.”
    And, this girl has been enjoying the ride on the show but you could just see how absolutely crestfallen she was when she heard that review because she knows she knew exactly what they were doing. You liked Haley last year? Well, in many ways, Erika is this year’s Haley, in the eyes of the judges. Amazing, amazing singer…but, we have to get rid of you.
    On days like today, I never understand why I’m still watching this show.

    • MSD says:

      I’m right with ya. I really really really hope her time isn’t up tomorrow. (Same goes for Deandre). I’m not ready to let go!

    • TheBeach says:

      I guess I just enjoy a more mature female voice which is why I’m drawn to Erika and Elise.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Erica and Elise are definitely two of my favorites. I think Erika’s performance was thrown off a bit tonight because the band messed up Jimmy’s “musical break” moment. You could see her waiting for it to come and take a second to recover when it didn’t. Still a good job, though. I wish she would do something more uptempo with passion. Edge of Glory remains her best performance. It remains one of the best performances of the Season, actually.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I also love Erika and Elise and I’m glad someone mentioned Jimmy’s “break” was messed up. I thought the same thing.
      I’m really liking Erika’s voice but trying not to get too attached.

    • Charlotte says:

      I know! Where is the ERIKA love???????????? She’s such a badass and her performances are always awesome.

    • marie says:

      I agree completely re the conflicting advice they gave Erika this week vs. what the suggested last week. I guess they don’t realize they’re being so inconsistent.
      Truth is, Erika really doesn’t NEED their advice – she’s a damn fine singer all on her own, just as she is.

  42. DDB says:

    I agree about Joshua. I’m not arguing ihis vocals are technically impressive, but it’s way too over-the-top for my tastes.

  43. Damien says:

    I feel your pain, I too created a little dream song list, but as per usual its pointless to predict what song they’ll sing since most of them choose cover versions of songs that were done by artists two decades prior. Would it really be that impossible for them to narrow it down to a list of 100 songs per contestant from that actual year?

  44. Renda says:

    Faves of the night

    Elise, Phillip, Joshua, Skylar and Hollie

    Not usually a P squared fan but he rocked it tonight but Elise was actually my fave…sad they stuck her in the middle

  45. Davey says:

    I like Skylar. She reminds me of a singing Holly Hunter. But I was bored to tears tonight by her performance. She’s talented. Better than Lauren from last year. Just not my cup of tea.

    Please send Shannon home tomorrow night.

    Erika would have been fine if she had just sang the song without the silly arrangement. Casey James killed the song a few years ago with a simple arrangement and no adornment.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      OMG she does remind me of Holly Hunter. I can so picture Skylar saying “Gimme that baby, you warthog from hell.”

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        You get a Made Me Laugh for the “Raising Arizona” reference. :-)

        I like Skylar – even if she looks like Holly Hunter/Tracey Ullman she seems very comfortable on stage and I sure had fun during her performance. She changed up the tempo on the song, which I liked.

    • Leila says:

      Only if Holly Hunter gained 50 lbs and broke her nose, that is.

  46. Keith says:

    Heejun and Deandre were the worst by far.Shannon wasn’t bad.Jessica actually was worse than her tonight.Overall Jessica is a better singer but not tonight.

  47. karenb says:

    NUMERO UNO:Phil’s song choice! The cutie-pie face and
    resilience was quite impressive, too :)

    Thought Jessica was quite horrible, Heejun was a little “off,”
    not feeling the Elise love at all. I actually enjoyed
    Erika’s take on that very, very dreary Bryan Adams song and I
    thought everyone else did pretty good (was it Hollie that had
    that dress with bare thighs showing? Yikes!). And Joshua was

    Kind of worried for poor DeAndre. Call me crazy, but I thought
    his vocal was really good! I thought he changed it up, and I
    liked it. My heart goes out to him, though, he always seems to
    be trying so hard, at the same time being so nervous. He seems
    like the sweetest kid.

  48. Lindsay says:

    Phillip: Normally not outstanding, but post-surgery? Extremely impressed. And still love him no matter what.
    Jessica: I thought it was great, and although the judges didn’t emphasize that, they were still right (gasp) on most critiques. It can only be good for her to get critiques, so I don’t mind.
    Heejun: Again, not liking the songs he’s picking, but still love his voice. And see, this is where I’m lost. Jeremy had the same breathing issues (and yet, imo, not as beautiful a tone as HeeJun), and gets praised out the wazoo while HeeJun is criticized. There were a couple of pitchy spots and the breathing is definitely an issue, but as always, inconsistent judging from the peanut gallery.
    Elise: GIRL. This is why I loved you from the beginning. And more. Perfection.
    Deandre: If it had been me, I also would have said no to Disney, but he obviously could not get into that song at all. Which is a pity. He’ll be in danger zone.
    Shannon: The one that will be eliminated (if there is an elimination : P ). Although I don’t dislike her near as much as most people seem to. I like her, actually, and think she has a great voice but needs training and experience. However, she’s made one too many mistakes. She’s also tall, blonde, gorgeous, and lives a cushy life with a baseball star father. America will say bye-bye.
    Colton: LOVE him. LOVE his song choice (obscure? that was actually the second song I’d actually heard of up to that point, idek). What is in your Coke cup, Tyler?
    Erika van Pelt: -sigh- They told her to go all out, she did, and she did too much. Don’t listen to the judges, Erika! Listen to yourself! And Slezak, most of the time!
    Skylar: Still thinking the same way I did. I’m a country fan and I know she’s amazing and talented and will become disgustingly rich, but I just can’t get into her. ‘Course I never got into Reba either… Maybe I’ll love her when her album comes out.
    Joshua: I was so not getting the Joshua love for the past couple of weeks, but holy cow. This week, I’m on the Joshua train. From beginning to end my face was scrunched up, my head was doing a nod-shake thing, and my gospel hands and feet were in the air. Forget the competition and lets set up church. Lord have mercy. That was bee-yoo-tee-ful.
    Hollie: She improves every week, gets a little more comfortable up there, and she annihilated that song (in a good way).

    • me says:

      Yeah, I’m not saying she is the best or anything, but there is a certain venom in the hate for her that speaks of ugly jealousy and has nothing at all to do with her vocals.

      So she is blonde and lives in a multi-million dollare home and you are not and don’t? So what? Get over it and don’t hold it against someone and stop being so ugly. That sort of jealously is unbecoming and won’t lead you anywhere good in life.

      You don’t have to love her vocals but enough with the sad little jealousy stuff and character assassination (and isn’t it ironic, to blast someone, in a petty hateful way, as being (supposedly) unlikeable, dontcha think?).

      • Lindsay says:

        True stuff. A pity that people have to be so ugly just because of what she was born with. I pity those sad individuals more than her.

    • Jaycee says:

      @Lindsay A good critique…though Joshua’s my man all the way. Even if he’s gospel why can’t folks support him just for his raw talent? Good on you, country girl, for at least giving him his dues for last night’s performance.

      • Lindsay says:

        Lol, thanks, although I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been called a “country girl” xD But I consider it a compliment. I love country (fantastic for breakups and summer soundtracks), but also love just about every other genre, although gospel is a genre that the person has to be exceptionally good for me to like it. And I’m seeing that Joshua’s exceptionally good.

  49. TheBeach says:

    I wonder if Phillip actually had laser surgery on his kidneys to break up the stones he has been plagued with. It would mean a much quicker recovery. I would think that if had had conventional kidney surgery there would be no way he could be up and running this soon. From someone who has had kidney stones twice, I feel for ya, man…I really do.

  50. Snsetblaze says:

    Hollie is ok but seems more like Pia than Jessica does. Maybe that is because since she was hidden for the most part in the audition rounds until the top 40 or so (and it may have even been the top 24), we have not seen her do anything besides boring, cliched, treacly ballads (the songs are just so boring even when the big divas like Mariah sing them.) We have seen Jessica do more than just ballads and whether successful or jnot (and I thought she was good tonight), she at least stretches herself. Perhaps she was hidden so that we did not get tired of her like we did with Pia last year.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with your opinions and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • Tim says:

      ITA. Jessica has done two uptempo songs out of the three live shows (and done them well), so I don’t get the Pia comparison with her at all. But I definitely get it with Hollie — she just stands there and belts it out every time.

      • Max says:

        I have a feeling Hollie might just be playing it safe until the tour comes around–now that she’ll hit top 10, I think we’ll start seeing her do something more uptempo. You guys should watch her Vegas performance online–I really liked it.