American Idol Recap: We Gonna Party Like It's Your Birth Year

joshua ledetWednesday’s installment of American Idol was supposed to focus on Songs From the Year the Contestants Were Born, but in some cases, it felt more like Opposites Day: Steven Tyler woke up from a very long nap and started doling out crotchety critiques. Jennifer Lopez tried to give songwriting lessons (¡ay dios mio!) to Bonnie Raitt. And more than half of this week’s contestants picked songs that were not intially released in the years of their birth. Why the face?

In other news, Ryan Seacrest tried to make a pun about dreadlocks, while failing to recognize that’s not a word that you’d use to describe DeAndre’s hair. (Oh Ryan, so white!) Randy Jackson worked overtime to replace “Season One One” with “Sing the ‘I don’t know what’ out of that” as his official Season 11 catchphrase. (It’s not going to take root with America, either, I’m afraid). And somebody got booted for trying to channel Fievel the Mouse. (Not really.) Let’s review the night’s performances:

Phillip Phillips: Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” (covered by the Black Crows the year Phillip was born)
Given that Lauren Alaina received the whole “doctor in scrubs answering questions about her vocal cords” treatment when she fell ill before the Season 10 finale, I’m surprised producers didn’t slap surgical masks and scrubs on Jimmy Iovine and guest mentor Will.i.Am and have Phillip rehearse for them in the midst of whatever surgery he underwent last Thursday. (Opportunity for dramatic footage missed, Uncle Nigel!) In all seriousness, though, the fact that Phillip had another human being cut into his body with a scalpel less than a week before his cover of “Hard to Handle” made the end result all the more impressive. Dude didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with his straight-up-the-middle cover, but he proved he was more than capable of handling the song’s tricky cadences — even without his guitar/safety blanket at the ready. I’m not sure how Randy could say a voice like Phillip’s makes him a “fish out of water” — not when Idol‘s second-to-last winner was a similarly growly acoustic dude — but then again, I don’t expect Randy to remember what happened last week on Idol, let alone two seasons ago. Also, given that Randy thinks “turn the other cheek” means “try out a new tempo,” it’s possible he thinks “fish out of water” is a medical term or something.

Jessica Sanchez: Vicki Sue Robinson’s “Turn the Beat Around” (covered by Gloria Estefan the year Jessica was born)
I kind of understood Jennifer Lopez’s critique that Jessica’s reliance on vibrato stopped her from nailing the syncopated rhythms (with a rat-tat-tat-tat…) of a disco classic that’s been covered far too many times on the Idol stage. But on the other hand, the juxtaposition of Jessica’s heavy delivery against the song’s skittering tempo elevated it from mere karaoke into something that was at the very least interesting, if not entirely successful. And I guess that’s why I was a little perturbed to see all three judges come down so hard on the Season 11 front-runner, rather than applaud her for taking a risk and trying to prove she’s as versatile as any of her competitors. Particularly infuriating was Steven’s suggestion that Jessica stick with ballads for the rest of the season, when that’s exactly the strategy that led to Pia Toscano’s early exit in Season 10. Oh, and Randy, no one says you shouldn’t give contestants some constructive criticism, but that doesn’t mean the biggest, steadiest vocalists should be held to a different standard than their less endowed rivals.

Heejun Han: Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting”
If you’ll allow me a Paula Abdul “compliment the clothing when there’s not much else positive to say” moment, who else was living for Heejun’s pink shirt, plaid bowtie, and charcoal suit (from the Nolan on Revenge Collection)? Alas, though, Heejun’s vocal performance was about as fun as trying to take a bath in a tub with a leaky drain. Dude was pouring everything he had into the maudlin ’80s ballad, but the end result was a shallow, lukewarm disaster. Steven and Randy accurately noted (¡ay dios mio! again) that Heejun was running out of breath from start to finish, but at least his inquiry bout Fergie’s phone number gave Jimmy and Will an excuse to try out a “comedy bit” that upgrades I Hate My Teenage Daughter to the second least-funny thing to air on Fox in 2012. In other news, J.Lo said she loved it, but she lied. (Yes, that was a Michael Bolton reference.)

Elise Testone: Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” (covered by Tina Turner the year Elise was born)
Add another checkmark to the “Elise is a glum old lady!” box courtesy of Will asking her to smile for cryin’ out loud at the end of her baby-makin’ ballad. Sigh. In happier news, though, Elise really sounded terrific on the first half of the Al Green classic, sitting on the piano and using her gentle rasp to set the romantic mood. When the band kicked in on the chorus, I felt like Elise maybe tried a little too hard to impress with the vocal acrobatics, but at least she did it in tune. Oh, go ahead already, Randy. “America, Elise is back!” (Why is that guy even more annoying when I agree with him?)

DeAndre Brackensick: Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’ “Endless Love” (covered by Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross the year DeAndre was born)
Lesson to Season 11 finalists: Don’t let Jimmy Iovine railroad you into changing your song choice, since that will almost surely result in the judges complaining bitterly about, you guessed it, your song choice, and J.Lo starting her critique with the dreaded “hi, baby.” I actually felt like DeAndre’s vocal was solid and heartfelt on the ’70s-era ballad, but it was his body language and facial expression that got in the way of his success. Maybe DeAndre was still a little embarrassed by an intro package that found him in full marching-nand regalia as a child, dancing to “76 Trombones”? Or maybe he was flummoxed by Will.i.Am’s painful “freestyle” rehearsal critique about DeAndre being “the master that blasts through the competition.”

Shannon Magrane: Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”
Actually, scratch what I said at the start of the previous paragraph. Because surely, Jimmy was right that Shannon’s decent-but-by-no-means-enormous voice would’ve been much better suited to a No Doubt cover than tackling the histrionic-to-the-point-of-hysteria “One Sweet Day” (even if he only suggested a change as a way of promoting some AT&T device). Yeah, the kid hit most of her notes, and the animated-butterflies backdrop was appropriate, but the verses sounded small and tinny, and the growl on the chorus came off as a desperate substitute for soul. (Plus, the silver hotpants and cream colored blouse with black sequined trim were the worst articles of clothing on Idol since Gwen Stefani forced the Season 10 women into Slaughtered LAMB catastrophes.) On the positive side, when Shannon hit the final “see you in heaven” at the very end of the performance, it revealed a really lovely tone and ease that had been absent from the rest of the performance, so maybe she’s trying too hard most of the time? In any event, the judges lavished the Pride of Tampa with more praise than she deserved, so get ready to endure her diva-ballad repertoire on the Idol Summer Tour!

Colton Dixon: White Lion’s “Broken Heart”
Can I get a slow clap, everyone? Col-ton! Col-ton! Col-ton! No, I’m not saying the skunky/funky-haired rocker gave my favorite performance of the night, but I feel he at least deserves some effusive praise for rejecting the 11 songs that you know Uncle Nigel & Co. pre-cleared from the year of his birth, and instead choosing something completely and totally obscure, something that maybe showcased the type of music he’ll produce should he get the opportunity to put out a record. And honestly, at this point in Idol’s history, wouldn’t you rather be introduced to a mediocre new song than hear yet another rendition of “I Have Nothing” or “Against All Odds”? Just as important, Colton delivered “Broken Heart” with conviction and pitch-perfection, and so even if it wasn’t as “hard rock” as he’d promised and even if his floppy leather vest was atroshe, I don’t think Steven Tyler’s critique that “it was the wrong song for your voice and your passion” holds up to scrutiny. Maybe J.Lo will have something more relevant to say? “You look pretty when you sing!” Um, Randy? “I could care less about the song.” Sorry, dawg, you mean “couldn’t care less.” Let’s try one more. Will.i.Am? “He ain’t goin anywhere/ Slam dunk like Vladimir!” Oh for the love of &*%$! Why do I get my hopes up?

Erika Van Pelt: Bryan Adams’ “Heaven”
(A little ditty for you, to the tune of “Heaven”)

Oh thinkin’ about Erika this week
There were promises she’d rock out
A dramatic break before she’d shout
Then Steven lashed out with a tough critique
Said she sounded too busy
And that jerk drummer
He committed mutiny

Oh Erika’s tone is so sweet
When she’s rehearsin’ with Iovine
I’m findin’ it hard to believe
She could go home
Confidence is all that she needs
When she gets up there on the stage
But it’s not all that hard to believe
She could go home

Skylar Laine: Bonnie Raitt’s “Love Sneakin’ Up On You”
Mad props to Skylar, who flat-out rejected Will.i.Am’s poorly scripted “ghetto-country” blather and everything Jimmy suggested after he referred to “Piece of My Heart” as a Faith Hill song. (Blasphemy!) And in any event, Skylar is one teenager who has a pretty solid grasp of the type of artist she wants to be: A delicious blend that’s two parts country, one part blues, and one part rock-and-roll. Granted, the Idol band didn’t seem to follow Skylar’s musical recipe — yowza, that arrangement was a plunky, dated mess! — but her vocal was so lively and on pitch, her understanding of the lyrics so complete, and her confidence and joy so palpable, that she continued to solidify herself as the one contestant this season who’ll easily make the translation to the Billboard charts and big concert stadiums.

Joshua Ledet: Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” (covered by Michael Bolton the year Joshua was born)
Honestly, when Joshua took off his stylish white tuxedo jacket, and threw his heart and soul on the stage, I almost held my arms out in front of me and screeched “Goosies!” (Don’t worry, I’d have slapped myself in the face if I’d actually done this.) But in all seriousness, the Season 11 Gospel guy’s performance was so committed, so fervent, so free of self-consciousness and artifice and worries about an 866-number, that I couldn’t even get irritated by the way the cameras kept cutting to the judges — as though they knew the mid-performance standing ovation was coming. Joshua came thisclose to a siezure when he reached the final refrain, and you could actually feel the energy pulsating through the TV screen. Incredible. I can’t say I’d go as far as J.Lo’s “best thing I’ve ever seen on American Idol” feedback, but it’s certainly in the Top 20.

Hollie Cavanagh: Jennifer Rush’s “The Power of Love” (covered by Celine Dion the year Hollie was born)
It had to be a little intimidating to follow Joshua’s epic performance, but Hollie looked far more relaxed and confident this week than she has at any other point this season. And while I could quibble about the kid’s somewhat dated taste in Big Diva Ballads, or complain that the final glory note quivered like a cube of Jell-O poked with a spoon, or point out the fact that she really needs to take her foot off the accelerator and just relax into the verses every now and then, that would be the kind of nitpicking that J.Lo warned would be silly at the end of such a display of raw vocal horsepower. Honestly, like I said in my post-show blog, Hollie is a Mini Cooper with a NASCAR engine — a fascinating hybrid who in some ways makes me think of Kelly Clarkson more than any Idol contestant over the past 10 seasons. The question is whether she’ll learn to temper her displays of power with nuance and vulnerability. If she does, that coveted confetti shower could be hers.

Oh, and before I turn things over to you, what about that uncomfortable, sad, anticlimactic footage of Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick disqualifying Jermaine Jones from the competition for failing to disclose that there were outstanding warrants for his arrest? I’ll admit I felt bad for the guy as rehearsal footage of him covering “Somewhere Out There” played in the background, and he was driven away in a white van, much like a rejected suitor on The Bachelorette. Except they never have black men on The Bachelorette. And, well, to be honest, Jermaine was the weakest contestant left in the competition. It’s just no fun to see someone go out like that, whether or not he was worthy of his “Gentle Giant” nickname. Anyhow, moving on…

Letter Grades for the Night’s Performances
Joshua: A
Skylar: A-
Hollie: A-
Phillip: B+
Colton: B+
Jessica: B
Elise: B
Erika: B-
DeAndre: B-
Shannon: C
Heejun: C-

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. Sam says:

    I will throw something at my TV if Erika or Elise goes home. They represent the women who year after year never make it to the Top 12. They represent the Jesse Langseths, the Lauren Turners, the Kendra Chantelles, the Lilly Scotts, and the Katelynn Epperlys among more. These are women who could produce enduring, interesting records. THESE ARE AMERICAN IDOLS.

    • Templar says:

      With any luck it will be Heejun who leaves. That being said, the music buying, concert going demographic is never going to make stars of the likes of Erika or Elise. They just aren’t current.

      • Holly says:

        You mean they just aren’t “young.” But you’re right.

        • Donna says:

          Agreed, the AI demographic has a hard time “getting” women like this, although they’re hardly old. I don’t see either of them making the top 5. And that’s pretty sad.

      • Sam says:

        Two years ago people would have said the same thing about Adele or Mumford & Sons. But here we are.

      • Ana Muti says:

        Heejun doesn’t have a bad voice; I think he was losing his voice during the competition though. As a matter of fact, I’d rather listen to Heejun than Shannon or some of the other guys.

      • Ben says:

        I entirely agree Templar, as for the comparison to Adele – lol! There is no comparison. But if either of them can write their own music and it’s good, they’ll have a shot at making it. Just not based on their idol journey alone, because they are losing ground while people like Joshua are gaining it.

    • JenD says:

      amen to that.

    • Ben says:

      Umm, yeah… how are all those people selling in the marketplace? Which of them have created an enduring, interesting record, exactly? (If one was going to, I’d pick Lilly Scott.) Plus – all of those people didn’t even make the top 12/13, and Erika and Elise have. It would be more like Alexis Grace, Didi Benami – where are those girls now?

      • Wavez says:

        Speaking of marketplace, props to Jennifer for wearing a dress made out of a Sham-Wow!

        • Delon says:

          LOL!!!! I thought the exact same thing. It totally looked like it was made out of Sham Wow when she was sitting.

        • aravis says:

          Yeah, I wondered what material it’s made of.
          It seems Jessica’s pants, Shannon’s shorts and parts of Hollie’s dress were made from the same shiny, silvery material.

    • Yo says:

      Yea! for you! (Please let it be Heejun. That would be fair.)

  2. Jim says:

    As a long-time sufferer of kidney stones, I can tell you that Phillip most likely did not have a scalpel used for his surgery. When a kidney stone refuses to move and causes a blockage from the kidney, the doctor goes in through an entrance that most people don’t want to think about. That fact doesn’t make his ability to sing this week any less impressive. Many painkillers are usually involved in the process, and the blockage often causes a painful kidney infection. I was highly impressed that he was standing in front of Jimmy and Will the day before the procedure. I doubt that I would have been that strong.

    • Kidney Stone Veteran says:

      I agree — see my post below. I’ve been through natural childbirth and kidney stones, and the pain of kidney stones is worse. But surgical procedures for kidney stones don’t usually involve cutting or scalpels.

    • TheBeach says:

      Another kidney stone survivor here and yes, they are excruciatingly painful. These days they often do a procedure using ultrasound to blast the stones so they can be passed. This results in a much quicker recovery.

    • wiredream says:

      Oh please. Every person – including me – was up and at em the next day after kidney stones. They’re making they’re Golden Boy out to be a hero for performing a FEW DAYS after.
      Sad thing is, he sounded like always – like he was having the operation there on stage. His adulation is a joke.

    • Grace says:

      I was gonna say… scalpel? I’ve never had kidney stones, but I’m pretty sure that’s an outpatient procedure, hardly worth calling “surgery.” Also, he said he had the procedure last Thursday, so he had almost an entire week to recover…

      But I guess now we know why he sounded like he was trying to pass a kidney stone on Superstition last week – he literally was!

  3. Rick says:

    If I had a dime for every name that Randy just dropped, you’d be her e and I’d be on a yacht. XD

  4. KBJr. says:

    I’m sure the Ladet love is going to be effervescent the rest of this week, and I
    guess it wasn’t a bad performance per se, but I offer that young man a fair warning:
    Turn it down, baby. Turn the church down. In a few weeks, the same
    love that made you laugh is gonna make you cry. In other words, they’ll
    turn on you for the very reason they praise you today.

    Every season they cast a church-reared soul singer, and every season (save Season 3), they fall victim to stylistic blunders. I think it suits him very well to be authentic in his singing, but he will need to manage his style has the field winnows down, because I’m sure a large bloc of the viewership was turned off by that very COGIC-sounding rendition of a legendary song.

    Learn from the demise of Jacob Lusk, Joshua. They call you “Mantasia”, but even the real deal (the GREAT Fantasia Barrino) was an eclectic performer, stylistically, never veering soo far into the gospel sub-genre that she turned off half of Idol viewers.

    Next week, he ought to try his hand at subtly. Then we’ll see just how much performance range this talented singer has.

    • MamaLis says:

      Huh? I thought he was brilliant. And there are only two things that make him similar to Jacob L. His gender and his skin color. Both banal comparisons. Come on.

      • KBJr. says:

        Except they are both church-reared and church-influenced vocalists, which was the point of the comparison…so now you’ve got three things.

        • MamaLis says:

          Okay. Yes. I concede. But Jacob was a disaster on several fronts and I think Joshua’s pretty great. Besides, with the cobalt blue shirt and skinny belt, gotta love that!

        • Ben says:

          I agree with MamaLis. I liked Jacob to some extent last year – his talent was blatantly obvious to me. But he was way over the top. I just don’t see Joshua in the same light at all, he reminds me way more of Ruben’s soulfulness than of Jacob’s histrionics.

      • TheBeach says:

        I think Joshua is way more talented than Lusky ever thought of being but I hope he’s being careful because weeks of singing full-out like he did last night could cause some serious damage to his vocal cords.

    • djm says:

      I didn’t love Joshua – he’s just a bit too much. Plus I didn’t love his phrasing, so I hope he does tone it down a bit.

  5. C says:

    I usually like to post my comments after Michael’s full recap, but it is now TWO P.M. and it isn’t posted yet, so here I go:
    Phillip – Liked this performance the best of all of his so far. He has good stage presence and he didn’t sound as growly and raspy as usual.
    Jessica – Good to see her change up her pace and style, but her voice sounded somewhat over the top and much harsher. Nowhere near as impressed as last week.
    HeeJun – Should go this week. He had all kinds of pitch problems, his voice isn’t really that strong, and what’s up with the glassless “glasses”? Take it from one who’s worn them since 5th grade–if you don’t need them, you don’t want them!
    Elise – Sounded kind of weak at the start, but a good performance. I just don’t care for her voice. Wouldn’t inspire ANYONE to be making babies.
    Deandre – First off, Jimmy, stop changing people’s songs! Contestants, if Jimmy suggests a change, pull a Skylar and refuse to do it. It seems to be the kiss of death. I KNOW Deandre won’t go this week, despite his thin weak voice and strained falsetto, because he was dressed so nicely and singing such a well-known love song that I could hear tween girls shrieking and sighing all across the country.
    Shannon – MUCH better than last week. A couple of breathing mistakes, but especially the later part of the song was excellent.
    Colton – Favorite guy of the night. Beautiful clear, pure tone to his voice. The song itself didn’t do a lot for me, though.
    Erika – Thought she was a touch flat at the beginnings of some of her notes, but she eventually got them where they belonged. She looked sensational compared to previous weeks. Really enjoyed it.
    Skylar – Once again, vocally good, but the song didn’t seem to have much to offer, and the band seemed too loud. Stylists, you might want to steer her towards fashions that will disguise her “ample” hip area. It was a distraction to me, just like Lauren’s last season.
    Joshua – I know I am in the “1%” on this, but I hate, hate, HATE his voice when he gets totally over the top like he did last night. Unlike Adam Lambert, when he screams, it’s not musical. There is no pitch, no breath support….he’s just SCREAMING. Even his body movements seemed to become out of control. Find a tent and lead a revival, brother–you don’t belong in popular music.
    Hollie – MVP of the night. A tiny bit of pitch problems once or twice, but I really enjoyed hearing this without the trademark Celine word pronunciation quirks.

    • marie says:

      Um, this IS Michael’s full recap.

    • marie says:

      Does Skylar sing with her hips? No? Irrelevant, then. Distracts you? Then close your eyes and just listen. (I ALMOST wish we were back in the pre-TV radio era when people make these kinds of comments.)
      This comment sounds kind of harsh, but honestly, I get so tired of people criticizing contestants’ appearance: stay on point, folks, which is the singing!

      • Teena says:

        I have my own ample hips to worry about, but I too find myself wondering why the stylists let the girl wear alligator skin pants or “skinny” jeans that tuck into small boots. It is a bit distracting. I, like you, do close my eyes often to listen to the contestants so as to get the unhindered sound. :) Skylar’s twang really bounces badly off my eardrums. Her accent is worse than for me to take than Heejun’s.

    • Lee says:

      I agree with your post almost 100%. I don’t like it when Joshua SCREAMS too. He sounded like he was in labor.

    • Ben says:

      In case you haven’t notices, Heejun’s glasses have glass in them at all times except his performances. Clearly, he does need them, but the producers are removing the lenses to avoid glare on stage. I think they made this decision to avoid style changes between everything he does off stage and on.

    • ejones says:

      I think that Michael’s grades are, in general, pretty generous. Quite a few of them struggled to be heard over the band and the backing singers, Skylar being one of them. The one big performance I did not hear as the signal was lost on the TV channel for almost all of Joshua’s effort. All in all a very disappointing night.

  6. Nycgal1988 says:

    Slezak! Dead on recap as always. Joshua blew me away!!!! And THANK YOU so much for picking up on Ryan’s unfortunate “dreadlock” pun….. Uhm no Ryan…. Just no! And quite frankly the entire scripted, taped dismissal of Jermaine made me wonder if Nigel and company had this planned all along and that was why they brought him back in the1st place. :(

    • IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

      That’s what a lot of people seem to be thinking about Jermaine. I don’t doubt that it was a setup to get back ratings. By the way, Jermaine’s full cover of “Somewhere Out There” is available along with the other 11 tracks as part of this week’s compilation album. Would you believe it?

    • Ben says:

      Some people will believe anything, and just love their conspiracy theories. I’ll never convince a cynic otherwise, but there is no way this was a set up. They still milked it when it happened though.

  7. TVAddict says:

    I would love to see a contestant sing “Power of Love” Laura Branigan style. Much better version than Celine’s.

    • good idea says:

      Good idea! Ironically, L Brannigan’s voice sits somewhere between Erika’s and Elise’s – Erika’s tone with Elise’s rasp. Perhaps Erika or Elise should take this on ? Or maybe as a duet?

  8. suziq says:

    First time I laughed out loud(I mean really loud!)reading a recap at the “Honestly, when Joshua took off his stylish white tuxedo jacket, and threw his heart and soul on the stage, I almost held my arms out in front of me and screeched “Goosies!”” I swear, I felt exactly the same way. Such a great performance!!!
    Okay, any comment about the Gwen Stefani “fashion collection” warrants a pretty good chuckle, too….bring on the rompers, baby!

  9. leena says:

    Did anyone else notice that Deandre’s mom’s story didn’t make sense? She claimed that after a 4 year old Deandre performed someone walked up to her and said that they would someday see him on Idol. Deandre was born in 1994.. that would mean this conversation took place in 1998, before Idol was even on.

    • Cup of Joe says:

      Not so much Idol per se but rather, a general national TV singing competition, if you will.

    • Holly says:

      Take it from another mom who has raised two children to adult age – we can’t always remember exactly when (or how) things happened when our kids were little, because getting through their teenage years has destroyed too many brain cells. I’ll give her a pass – I’m sure she had her facts mostly right!

      • Mom of 6 says:

        Oh behalf of moms everywhere, thank you for the leeway! :-)

        Gospel music isn’t my cup o’ tea, but I was genuinely moved by Joshua’s song last night…as in, my gosh, I did get a certain follicular reaction (I refuse to use Jen’s G-word).

      • chistosa says:

        And he is the youngest of 8 children. Yikes!

      • Forgetme Not says:

        so all mothers are liars? if you dont know if it is true, then dont say it!! or we’ll jermaine jones your ass outta here!

  10. Katillac says:

    Slezak, I’ve got to agree with you about Holly… “she really needs to take her foot off the accelerator and just relax into the verses every now and then”. I think she’s got an amazing voice, but she doesn’t have to go full throttle all the time. It would be so much more lovely if she would sing with a little more nuance.

  11. Lee says:

    I think you’re being rough on Jessica. She deserved at least a B+. Maybe even an A-.

    I think the reason the judges slammed Jessica last nite and pumped up Joshua was because they were trying to cover a mistake they made last week. IT WAS TOO EARLY FOR THE CONTESTANTS TO SING WHITNEY HOUSTON SONGS. Jessica had a moment with I Will Always Love You that usually is saved until the finale–or at the very least, until the Top 5. But she had it during the FIRST WEEK of the finals!!! From that point on, everyone knew that Jessica was the frontrunner to win the whole damn thing–and we still have 12 more weeks to go! So what does AI decide to do? Have the judges knock Jessica down a peg or two and give some of the other contestants, such as Joshua and Hollie, a push upwards. Otherwise no one is going to watch AI if it’s a foregone conclusion that Jessica has it in the bag. That would be boring and who wants to watch a boring show. But it was AI’s fault to have the girls sing Whitney Houston during the first week of the finals.

    Personally, I thought Joshua and Hollie’s performances were overrated. Although I enjoyed the soulfulness of Joshua’s vocals–I felt at times he screamed too much. And there seems to be something robotic about Hollie’s performances that is reminiscent of Pia. To me, my favorite performances ware Jessica, Phillip and Colton.

    • chistosa says:

      I agree with Michael. Her performance was not worth more than a B. Every outing can’t be a homerun. She just hit a base hit this week.

  12. Kidney Stone Veteran says:

    A medical conjecture…
    Surgery for kidney stones is most commonly a procedure called “lithotripsy”. Lithotripsy is considered to be surgery, but it doesn’t involve cutting or a scalpel, it involves blasting a kidney stone from the outside of the body with sound waves. Recovery from lithotripsy feels like a kick in the kidney and takes a few days. I have no idea what specific procedure Phillip Phillips underwent, but I’d doubt he’d be back on the Idol stage so quickly if his surgical procedure involved a scalpel and cutting.

  13. BobN says:

    Michael – I always enjoy reading your recaps and your effective use of the english language. For last night’s show, I think you were a little to soft on Erika’s performance (way off key several times) and a little to hard on Shannon’s (still not great, but definitely middle of the pack this week). Also, while I will give credit to Colton for sticking to his White Lion song, I really have to agree with Steven that it just didn’t go anywhere at all. And on that note, you really should have given Steven some credit for actually having some cogent criticisms this week.

    Finally, all hail Joshua. Wow!

    • Katillac says:

      I liked Steven SO much better tonight since he was giving actual reviews. I get very tired of everything being “beautiful”.

  14. muffy says:

    Cutest parent awards go to:
    #3 P2s
    #2 Hollie
    #1 Heejun

    I love Skylar, but her parents could have found something nicer to say about her!

  15. Sheri says:

    Liked Colton the best. He is so original,I’m not surprised Daughtry wanted to meet him.

    • Leila says:

      Colton, original?

    • Marianne says:

      Colton is one that I guess I should remember to listen to with my eyes closed. I do not like his stage/performance-look AT ALL. I much prefer how he looks in other video footage – casual. He’s a decent looking kid but looks like a caricature on stage.

      • Mel says:

        I’m a huge Colton fan, so I have to disagree with these comments. He is original. He writes his own music and has been performing for a while, and his choice this week was certainly original. I agree with Michael that we have to give him props for not trotting out the same, tired, “already cleared” songs. And I don’t see the “caricature” thing – why, because he has spiked-up hair and a leather jacket? We could call any contestant a caricature, then – the ladies who wear gowns while singing ballads; the guys who wear three piece suits while singing soul; the guys who wear jeans and a t-shirt while playing guitar. Anyhoo, just wanted to defend my boy Colton.

  16. Joel says:

    I’m thisclose to just not watching anymore. I’ll admit Phillip is vast improvement over last year’s Casey, Joshua is so much better than Lusk, Jessica is this year’s Toscano, but my thumb is so tired from fast-forwarding, I just can’t take it anymore. Speeding through all three judge’s useless and often disingenuous drivel, all of Ryan, all the background parts, and most of the performances, and what’s left, really? I’ll probably come back when there’s a Top Five or so (Hopes: Phillip, Jessica, Colton, Erika, Joshua), but there’s just too much mediocrity up there right now. And, uhhh, how embarrassingly transparent is the constant survival of Heejun? I didn’t watch any of the qualifying rounds because I don’t want to feel like Nigel’s plaything, but really, really, that he’s still performing and judges are saying nice things is nothing short of pathetic and insulting.

  17. Leila says:

    Joshua Ledet’s voice reminds me of the Motown greats, and now that he’s looking so dapper on stage, there’s no doubt he deserves to go far.

    My main pet peeve with idol is that none of the previous champs and finalists have turned out to be good songwriters (or song chosers) so none of them have become anything more than occasional chart toppers with no relevance or substance. Joshua has the voice and the soul, but can he write his own songs and are they as amazing as his instrument? Does he have what it takes to attach himself to the best songwriters and not listen to mediocre producers?

    • Marianne says:

      I don’t think Joshua will be relevant other than in the gospel genre, or VERY old-school R & B . . . and that’s hardly relevant right now either.

      • Leila says:

        Your concept of “relevant” is Simon Cowellesque – whatever will play on top 40 radio stations (and will be forgotten a few months later). My concept of relevant is whatever can be appreciated by people who know music, or have good taste, and will be respected by generations to come.

    • BobN says:

      “… none of the previous champs and finalists have turned out to be good songwriters (or song chosers[sic]) so none of them have become anything more than occasional chart toppers with no relevance or substance.”

      Seriously? While I agree that many have been disappointments, there have certainly been some great success stories. Certainly, if no one else, Carrie Underwood should count.

      • Marsaili says:

        Carrie Underwood
        Kelly Clarkson
        David Cook
        Kelly Pickler
        Casey James
        Crystal Bowersox
        Carly Smithson
        All current, relevant artists now, all write their own music. I know there are more.

        • Templar says:

          Add Adam Lambert to that list.

          • Mary says:

            You can add Kris Allen too. He even writes for other artist. Actually, most pop music
            That make the radio are written by other people than the artist themselves, not every
            Singer writes their own music, which isn’t a bad thing.

  18. Jaime says:

    Elise <333333333333

  19. Katillac says:

    I agree with you on Holly being a bit robotic. I also think she needs to quit belting the entire song, and like Slezak mentioned… ease up on the gas pedal a little. She could be SO good!

  20. TB says:

    Yeah, I love Joshua, but when JLO busted out with the “best performance ever on Idol” I had to say, honey, I know you’ve only been watching for two seasons, but damn, you were present for House Of The Rising Sun. I know those notes are tempting to just read verbatim, but have you no self respect?

    • marie says:

      LOL! Right on.

    • Ben says:

      House of the Rising sun was completely uninspiring to me, one of Haley’s weakest. You might have an argument with a couple of Haley’s other peformances. Or you might just like to think that unless JLo shares your opinion, she is reading notes. Your pick I guess.

  21. Janie says:

    How could you let a whole review go and not mention the fact that they showed Obama singing Let’s stay together.. and then had him do a “duet” with elise. That was the cheesiest thing I have seen so far!

    my favorite of the night was Colton.. I don’t like his style of music but I do have to say Joshua had a good night.. Last year I HATED Lusk or whatever his name was… and everyone was saying oh people who hate him just do not like gospel singers.. no.. ther was something weird about that Lusk’s guy’s tone when he sang.. he sounded like he had a bubble in his throat or something.. joshua is 100% better

  22. Ryan says:

    Joshua was amazing. I do think he’ll have to tone it down a little bit as the weeks go on or else he could quickly turn into Lusk 2.0 (which would be a shame because of his immense raw talent).

    I think you’re spot on with Hollie. She has so much potential…she just needs to learn to take it a little slow and add more nuance to her performance. If she can find a way to mix that with her power…I honestly think she could be a contender (if not the winner).

    PP impressed me last night but I have a growing suspicion that his act is going to get more and more tired as the weeks go on. He really needs to find a way to switch it up if he wants to make it to the finale (I’m sure he’ll make it far regardless..but if he’s serious about winning then he needs more variety).

    I love Skylar…although last night wasn’t my favorite outing from her.

    And Jessica…I don’t know. She’s so talented and I fully expect her to come back swinging next week…but I find that she lacks the qualities that make other contestants (like Hollie and Skylar for example) so endearing.

  23. Tim says:

    So lame that someone doing a cover version counts as a “song from the year you were born.” Can we finally put an end to this awful category?

  24. Abby says:

    Not to mention singing the day before.

  25. Bad Wolf says:

    I think Erika will go, not because she was the worst (because Heejun and DeAndre get that “honor”) but because she hits her notes just slightly below which makes her sound flat most of the time and because Heaven is a song that unless it’s sung PERFECTLY (and she didn’t) is just flat out ugly and because she’s too “different” for the voting public to have patience with.

  26. Ana Muti says:

    I know Heejun isn’t going to last much longer, but I think he has one of the better ballad voices in AI. I just think he doesn’t know what to do with that voice. He’ll grow into his voice, though, after this is over for him. I think he just needs a good mentor.
    I’m pretty much meh on the rest of ’em.

    • Ben says:

      Ana, why do you know that? I certainly don’t know that, and I’m not sure the stats back up a view he is going in the next 2-3 weeks either.

      • Ana Muti says:

        Hmm…”know” as in “understand.” I love HJ, but throughout the interwebz there’s a lot of dissing of his ability and hopes he goes home today.
        It’s not hard to conjecture that he’s probably going soon, if not today. I personally believe he’s got a fine future ahead of him either way.

        • Ben says:

          Yeah, Heejun can’t be voted out by the dissers though, he is kept in by the fans. You should keep up with Votefair, where they give you an accurate representation of both contestants popularity (Heejun right near the bottom) – but also the number of people who have any given contestant as their favourite (Heejun much higher). It’s the first number that people usually think determines who will go home, but its the second number that usually does. I think 6-7 is not an unreasonable hope to have for us Heejun fans.

        • Ben says:

          Votefair’s analysis (edited a little).
          It looks like the most likely singer to go home is either […] Elise Testone, or Erika Van Pelt. Shannon Magrane is second from the bottom in this poll, but this week she is being promoted by the “Vote For The Worst” website (which has some effect when there are still lots of singers), plus she appeals to fans who want a young person to win (which involves a younger demographic than the fans who vote here), so she is not likely to go home this week. (As always, if a singer’s performance is worse than usual, that change can easily change the results.) DeAndre Brackensick and Heejun Han are ranked in the lower half, but they have more first-choice fans, and that is what matters for the official results.

          • Ben says:

            As you see, votefair predicted the bottom 3 perfectly – as they did for both guys and girls last week. No Heejun :) Feeling a little more confident now?

          • Ana Muti says:

            Yes, and especially now that HJ is going to be in the tour :^)
            Thank you for your research; I didn’t know about Votefair.

    • chistosa says:

      I agree with Ana. I really like HeeJun and I think there was something off with his voice last night, far too breathy. He is really good with ballads but the truth is that there are too many strong vocalists this year. So he will probably not last too many more weeks. But he should at least make the tour.

      • Ana Muti says:

        I hope so! Also, I hope someone starts a HJ support/fan club–I think he’s got that certain something that will keep him in entertainment for as long as he wants to be there.

      • Mary says:

        I disagree, his voice does not warrant making the tour, heck I don’t care for Shannon
        But she sounds better than Heejun. He is a average singer at best, one who should only sing in the shower. I guess auto would be for him, but I wouldn’t waste money
        To see him in concert.

  27. MamaLis says:

    Brilliant review as ALWAYS Slezak! Though I thought Elise was FAR better than a “B.” I find such storytelling and emotion in her voice, I truly could listen to an entire CD. At the same time, I still don’t ‘get’ Hollie. Nice voice but eh… vanilla pudding to me.
    Also, WHAT UP with the reaction Steven had to Colton? I rewound that a couple of times to see, it was such a disproportionately adverse reaction. Being that Colton attempted “rock” – full package – and Steven is a former “rocker,” I think it struck some type of nerve in that arena. Did anyone else notice that?

    • TheBeach says:

      Totally agree. Elise deserved at least a B+ if not and A-

    • Mel says:

      Yes, I noticed that too! I can’t believe that after all the “beautifuls” Steven has given to mediocre (and even terrible) performances, that he was so short with Colton. You are absolutely right – it was “disproportionately adverse.” Maybe the song was obscure, but Colton sounded great. The judges have developed a habit of criticizing the best singers while giving the lesser capable ones a pass, but Steven’s critique of Colton seemed like more than that.

  28. marie says:

    I was NO fan of Jermaine’s at all, but that disqualification video was exploitive and simply disgusting. He might have left this week anyway, but that was a shameful move on the producers’ part – Im a little ashamed of myself for continuing to watch after that.

    • TheBeach says:

      That was so embarrassingly scripted by all parties. But Skeletor probably had armed guards stationed just out of camera range in case the “Gentle Giant” decided to whomp on his brittle bones.

  29. TinCan says:

    Now that Russell Brand has a warrant out for his arrest…we can only hope he will NOT be a guest on AI! :-)

  30. Shana says:

    Michael, I feel like uncle Nigel may have watched last week’s idology and have supported the Skyler-Joshua-Hollie showmance you suggested. They were the last 3 to sing and when Ryan asked the judges who would be safe tonight, they were all mentioned.
    If anyone will break the Jessica-Phillip final two prediction, it’s one of those three!

  31. MamaLis says:

    Also, as the somewhat urban, dreadlocks-neophyte white person here, I’m just gonna be the one to ask the stupid question (cause I’m dying to know): What’s the real/right/street name for dreadlocks?
    Help me out Idoloonies :)

    • Katillac says:

      Another white person here, but I don’t think Deandre actually has dreadlocks (someone correct me if I’m wrong). Dreadlocks would be what Jason Castro and Crystal Bowersox had. I do believe Deandre has curls, not dreads.

    • Carol says:

      Yes, Katillac is right — “dreadlocks” itself is a correct term, but that term just doesn’t apply to DeAndre’s hair — DeAndre just has curly hair.

  32. Padraig says:

    Nice recap, Michael, but you were wrong about one thing – “Endless Love” may feel like a 70’s era ballad to you, but it actually was released in 1981.

  33. Shona says:

    I’m nervous, I just my niece who her favorites were this year on American Idol. She has gotten he final 2 right the past couple of years, her 2 faves always make it to the end. She named Shannon and Erika. We live in RI, that explains the Erika pick, but now I’m afraid Shannon will make it to the end, my Tween Niece is never wrong!!! noooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  34. Shana says:

    Admittedly, I was one of the people who initially cast Joshua off as “Lusk2.0”. I took that comment back a couple of weeks ago and after last night, it’s a huge insult for him to be compared to jacoblusk.

  35. Kelm says:

    Joshua & Elise were the best.

  36. B.Rich says:

    J.Lo has only been on for 2 seasons (I’ll assume she never watched before), so that may actually have been the best performance she has seen on Idol.

    It certainly falls in the top 5 of the last 2 seasons somewhere between Haley’s House of the Rising Sun, Bennie and the Jets, and I Who Have Nothing.

    • sara says:

      Joshua’s voice is obviously amazing, we all know this. Can we talk about his stage presence for a second? Amazing. To me, he is BY FAR the best performer Idol has had over the past few years. He seems to be a pretty introverted, calm and humble kid off stage, but as soon as he begins to sing, he immediately transforms into a MAN and he’s in control over the whole damn room. And it doesn’t even matter whether it’s a passionate ballad or a kick-ass uptempo song. He completely draws you in with every little gesture and move that he does, and he never seems choreographed or stiff or anything. I don’t have to worry about him developing Piatronic robot arms or being sexy-clumsy like my beloved Haley. Not to get all too J.Lo on you, but it’s like every single word is seeping out through his pores when he sings. And yo, get this – he’s only NINETEEN! WHAT? YO.

    • Mel says:

      When JLo got the job last year, she stated that she has been a loyal fan of the show since it’s debut. She even recognized some of the singers who auditioned in previous years and had excellent recall about what they sang and how their “journey” went. Yes, she could have had help with that! But her knowledge and love of the show seemed genuine to me.

  37. Sandi says:

    For me, Colton was the best of the night. Yeah, yeah – Joshua’s a great singer but I’m a rock n’ roll girl and I’m biased. Plus, I really don’t care how many runs and vocal gymnastics a performer does. I just want to see an emotionally honest performance by someone with some stage presence.

    And – as a general vent aimed at no one in particular – I’m sick of hearing about his hair! Do we all need to look the same? Give me a break. He’s WAY too young for me but I think he looks pretty hawt!

    I truly hated the notion that he needs to sing “songs that everyone knows.” ZZZZZZ My two favorite performances in the history of American Idol: Bo Bice’s In a Dream and Adam Lambert’s Mad World. I hadn’t heard either song before I heard them sing it and I was almost moved to tears both times.

    By the way, random observation: Deandre’s mother said that after he performed when he was 4, someone told her that he should be on American Idol. By my calculations, Deandre was 4 thirteen years ago. Idol hasn’t been on that long. DISCUSS.

    Slezak – I agree with everything you said about Jessica. Absolutely!

    Top 3 for me: Colton, Joshua, Elise
    Bottom 2 for me (because I thought everyone else was pretty good): Shannon, Heejun
    Going home: Heejun

    • Tabitha says:

      I totally agree with Colton being the best last night, I always go for the rocker too. And the comment about Deandre’s mom, I was like that totally does not add up. He would have been 4 in 1998 and AI didn’t start until 2002!

    • Ben says:

      You want to see an ’emotionally honest’ performance and you pick Heejun as the worst but Colton as the best? Heejun is the most real person there, and Colton, while he does connect, has such a ‘persona’ that its hard to see him as emotionally honest.

    • Delon says:

      I’m not a rock’n’roll girl (well, i’m not a girl at all), but i agree with your top 3. Colton looked and sounded like a legit star.

    • Shindig says:

      I agree with you as well. I’m a dude, and lean more into the rock side of things (though I’m open to most music) — sparkling vocals aren’t the main factor for me. Singing like Celine is great and all, awesome talent, but it’s boring and feels like radio rehash. I like Colton, and I like Philip and I like Elise. They make things much more interesting for me than, say, Jessica.

      Now I want to go to a Pearl Jam concert :(

  38. Soarin829 says:

    I read Michael’s snippet from last night before watching the performances this morning. So I was comparing performances to that at the time…
    Phillip – I don’t know if it’s just that I love that song so much and he sounded perfect on it or that he’s just so adorable. Or what. Probably a combination of many things, but I LOVED this one. I was so impressed at how well he did. And with no guitar!! A lot of times these guitar guys look uncomfortable when they aren’t playing, but not Phillip!!
    Jessica – She’s got a stellar voice, but this song was just a’ight for me dawg. But just an a’ight day for her is better than a good day for others :\
    Heejun – aww, Heejun. I thought it was kind of all over the place. I mean, it wasn’t just a crash and burn bad performance. Just among so many great talents this year, this wasn’t up to snuff.
    Elise – one of my all-time favorite songs. She looked MUCH more comfortable this week. And it showed through her voice. Loved it!!!!
    Deandre – This was better than I’d expected it to be (based on what Slezak had said). But definitely not as good as last week. I didn’t think it was the best song for him.
    Shannon – Certainly better than I thought it would be. I was bracing myself for another train wreck because that is such a great song. Unlike the judges, though, I preferred the first half when she was singing softly. One of them mentioned that they liked it more toward the end. And Steven Tyler (who is impressing me with his critiques this season) said that she sounds better when she’s not trying so hard, which I agree with.
    Colton – Something is just very infectious about this guy. You can tell he really loves what he’s doing and that’s great to watch. And he’s got a very pleasing voice. Most of the time… he squeaked a bit and that annoyed me. But I still think he’s got the whole package.
    Erika – This wasn’t my favorite from her. I agreed with the judges that it was too hectic of an arrangement. That song needs to stay simple in my opinion.
    Skylar – Great performance, as usual. But not really my favorite of hers. I really appreciate that she can “countrify” things and do it well, but not being a country fan, that gets a bit tiring after a while.
    Joshua – As this started, I thought… Pretty darn good. But as it went on I got more and more excited! By the end, I thought it was just awesome. FULL of passion. He was feeling every word!!!! I had a hard time not shouting out here at my desk at work after this one.
    Hollie – I think I’m one of the few that did not just LOVE this. And I am definitely a Hollie fan, but eh. I was let down based on Slezak’s rave review. It was good – but I thought it was a little all over the place, pitch-wise. The moments that were on were great, but I was distracted by the pitch issues.

  39. Musica1 says:

    I just don’t get the Joshua love. He has a very nice voice when he’s in his lower register, it’s true. But there’s a fine line between a soulful rasp and the sound

  40. Musica1 says:

    There is a fine line between having a soulful rasp and sounding like a cat coughing up a hairball. When Joshua gets loud and hours into his high register, he crosses the line. He sounded more like Gollum singing than Stevie Wonder last week. This week started with more promise. He started low and soulful. Sounding good. Then, oh no, wait! Gollum has come visiting again! He needs to take it down a notch our he will go home soon.

  41. Shel says:

    I won’t give out grades because it will hurt my brain thinking that hard today. lol But I will put them in order, best to worst.

    Joshua – Liked him last week, loved him this week. A new fave.
    Elise – Early fave of mine, loved her song this week.
    Skylar – Surprises me everytime. Have to admit I like her now. lol
    Hollie – Great voice, but I though judges were over-the-top
    Phillip – Great, love to watch him, but agree “didn’t reinvent” it.
    Jessica – Disagreed with the judges mostly, loved her, not the song.
    Erika – I’m rooting for her but haven’t “felt” the voice yet.
    Colton – I’m not a fan and didn’t like the song.
    Heejun – Can’t help it, I like his voice, liked the song.
    Shannon – She was so much better in the early rounds.
    DeAndre – No longer works for me. Loved him last year, but this year he seems lost and has no discipline. Too much use of the falsetto? Too much back & forth? I feel sad because I know he has a wonderful voice, but he has lost his way.

    So glad to find you, Michael. Awesome job as always. I hadn’t heard any pre-show rumors, so the Jermaine news really surprised me. Hated that ego-producers segment – so tacky & cruel. They went to all that trouble and never indicated what the other warrants were for and would they really have not mattered if Jermaine had told them ahead of time??? I know many felt he was the next to go anyway, but I loved his voice and this whole thing makes me so sad.

  42. Ben says:

    Not to pick bones, but the ‘rat-tat-tat’ bit of turn the beat around is NOT syncopated. Ok, so I am picking bones.

    • Ben says:

      Having said that, I think Jessica ran out of breath there, which is what stuffed her up. But she actually hit the syncopated rhythms well, she just lost that last line in that part badly. I’m not sure why she is taking such big hits, really she nailed the entire rest of the song except that.

  43. Shel says:

    Michael, one nitpick from your review: I didn’t particularly like how often the cameras switched to the judges during Joshua’s performance, but I did not get any sense that they did it thinking/knowing the judges were going to stand up. My sense is that the show’s director was really on the ball – he saw some movement and reaction and went to that camera immediately. While I wished he hadn’t gone to the camera that many times, the fact is, he/she had no way of knowing ahead of time that it would be worth going back to the judges after the first shot(s). He did keep the clips pretty quick, too. So, on the whole, good job to him.

  44. sara says:

    Joshua’s voice is obviously amazing, we all know this. Can we talk about his stage presence for a second? Amazing. To me, he is BY FAR the best performer Idol has had over the past few years. He seems to be a pretty introverted, calm and humble kid off stage, but as soon as he begins to sing, he immediately transforms into a MAN and he’s in control over the whole damn room. And it doesn’t even matter whether it’s a passionate ballad or a kick-ass uptempo song. He completely draws you in with every little gesture and move that he does, and he never seems choreographed or stiff or anything. I don’t have to worry about him developing Piatronic robot arms or being sexy-clumsy like my beloved Haley. Not to get all too J.Lo on you, but it’s like every single word is seeping out through his pores when he sings. And yo, get this – he’s only NINETEEN! WHAT? YO.


    Oh, and Elise was awesome. I just hope she can loosen up a little and not take people’s comments to heart as much. She’s too great a singer to worry about whether people think she frowns too much and let that get in her way.

  45. Vinomom says:

    Does Deandre’s voice remind anyone else of Terence Trent D’Arby?

    • Carol says:

      Yes, yes, yes, yes!! I have been thinking the same thing. I love them both.

    • TheBeach says:

      Thank you, thank you. I’ve been trying to place who he sounds like and that was it.

    • sara says:

      Yes! And Aaron Neville in his lower register!

      • Volcfom says:

        Definitely Aaron Neville! I think a few people had Neville notes in their performances, to the point that my bf was signing along in that voice for the whole show.

    • Delon says:

      It’s Joshua’s voice that reminds me of a young TTD, not DeAndre, c’mon! And you silly people -Carol, TheBeach, and sara- agree with this deaf person?!

      • sara says:

        Nah, I do hear it in Deandre, when he’s not busting out the falsetto.
        BUT yes, Joshua definitely has shades of that too, especially at the beginning of “Jar of hearts” that he performed in Hollywood Week.

  46. lynn says:

    If only last night’s show was as interesting as Slezak’s recap! least they got rid of Jermaine! still hard to believe they didn’t know about his criminal past, but whatever… just glad he’s gone! Hopefully he doesn’t show up on X-factor or The Voice under a different name!

  47. pattywilla says:

    How could you possibly forget Pia Toscano’s awful jumpsuit/whatever it was that she wore one night??

  48. Jonibug says:

    Thanks for saying the band was too loud! I thought so too…it darn near drowned Skylar out!

  49. Fakers says:

    I had the same thought…..and believe they knew and brought him back for the scandal headlines. If they had let him go back then there would be no headlines. Instead they brought him back, gave him a gentle giant storyline and kept talking up how beautiful his mediocre voice was. They planned this week to give him up so that he wouldn’t screw up someone else’s chance at the tour. They leaked that someone was going to be dismissed and planned the taping of the dismissal along with a clip of him sing the dream song that they encouraged him to sing. The one thing they didn’t think of was that he would leak on twitter that it was him, so they quickly took that tweet down but it was too late. I totally believe this was manipulation by the producers and doubt seriously that the judges had anything to do with bringing him back. Before this the 13th boy thing made no sense.

    • Fakers says:

      Sorry if this doesn’t fully make sense. It was supposed to be a reply to an earlier post where the writer surmised that the Jermaine dismissal was a setup by Nigel.

  50. susela says:

    Not to downplay the discomfort that Phillip experienced this week, but they do NOT “cut into you with a scalpel” to treat kidney stones. They sent a little tube inside and grab and/or smash the stones; it’s really minor surgery. That said, kidney stones are PAINFUL and I wish Phillip all the best!!