Idology: How Joshua & Erika Can Learn From Lambert & Durbin! Plus: Phillip Vs. Colton?

There will be a “third horse” in the race for the American Idol Season 11 crown. So predicted prickly mentor Jimmy Iovine during last Thursday’s results show. And while Season 6 standout Melinda Doolittle and I still think it’s a six- or seven-thoroughbred competition, we nevertheless debate on this week’s Idology which contestant is most likely to follow in the footsteps of Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet and get his or her “Idol Moment” during Top 10 week.

Melinda and I also dish out some advice for Joshua Ledet, Erika Van Pelt, and Elise Testone; disagree so strongly about one performance that I actually CTRL+ALT+DEL my brain and ignore her blasphemous words, and discuss why the Hand of God (or Nigel) may be winding up to slap Steven Tyler.

So press play below for this week’s freewheeling Idol discussion, and for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Sam says:

    1. Elise
    2. Skylar
    3. Joshua/Colton

    • Lee says:

      MY TOP 3:

      1. Jessica Sanchez
      2. Phillip Phillips
      3. Colton Dixon

      I think Joshua screams too much–and not in a melodic way like Adam Lambert. He is overrated.

      • I have the same basic issue with Joshua , he is performing for the live audience and not making it more personal for the close up view the average viewer has via the broadcast. Joshua will not make it to top 4 if he does not get a few tender performances in the mix.

  2. Tusk says:

    Haliens celebrate Happy “Free” eve
    And mourn the passing of Repad’s loving tribute to Haley as his videos were finally taken down. If you are reading, from Haliens everywhere, Thanks Repad :D

    • RTW says:

      Not just Repad. Apparently, all Fox broadcasted AI videos from last season have been taken down from YouTube. Sad.

  3. tina says:

    I love when Mike makes Mindy-Doo laugh! I love watching these two. I can’t believe how they handle Jermaine. They’ve never handled another other disqualification like this, (Frenchie Davis?)Oh well. Love Idolatry!

  4. jaime says:

    while i get what you’re saying- i think it’s ironic that you’re telling Erika to sing like Elise, when she’s been in the bottom both weeks. :)

    • Tusk says:

      I think he want’s Erika to ‘relax’ while singing like Elise, not the same thing.

      Michael if you didn’t like Elise’s performance, you MUST listen to her studio of “Let’s Stay Together”, probably one of the top 3 Studios of the Season so far…fantastic job by Elise. :)

  5. NikkiQM says:

    I think that while Jessica’s song choice was awful this week, her vocals are always on point. The criticism was a bit much especially after watching them praise Shannon for her awful Mariah Carey cover.
    I havent been into Phil too much until this week. He really didnt change up the song but he made the perfect song choice and did a great job with it. And lets face it, the kid’s nice to look at.
    I know I might get hated for this but I dont think Joshua Lidet is as MAGNIFICENT as everyone else seems to think he is. He was the best performance this week, no doubt, but Im not in love with him quite yet.
    *P.S. I Love Idology

    • Lee says:

      I’m with you, NikkiQM. (1) Joshua is overrated because he screams too much in a screechy way. (2) Jessica is getting unfairly criticized by the judges because she’s a frontrunner, and the judges want to make this show more exciting and competitive.

  6. Johnny says:

    I think the two of them are underestimating Skylar’s chance of winning. When it comes down to six or seven contestants, she’ll be really gaining momentum with the country vote, and you can’t underestimate the fact that she’s probably the most fun to watch in terms of keeping energy high.I think she’ll outlast Jessica, to be perfectly honest.

  7. Teena says:

    That felt pretty short.

  8. Saz says:

    I figured that JLo was talking about during her time on Idol when she said it was the best performance she’d seen on the show? It makes the statement sound more valid at any rate.

    • Patricia says:

      It does, but then it also doesn’t really mean much. It’s certainly impressive, but it doesn’t mean Josh has cemented his place in Idol history.

      I would actually argue that his performance was not the best of these past two seasons: Haley’s House of the Rising Sun, Bennie and the Jets, I (Who Have Nothing), and You and I were all better (ok, I’m a bit of a Haley fanatic….sue me). I also think it ranks behind Pia’s I’ll Stand By You.

      That being said, I would say it might be the best of this season, or at least in the top 5. I’d put it in there with Skylar’s Stay With Me, Jessica’s I Will Always Love You, Hollie’s All the Man that I Need, and Elise’s One and Only (honestly, I think the women are dominating, which is sad, since most of them have no shot at winning).

    • IdleAmerican says:

      When I heard J-Lo say it last Wednesday, I thought the same thing Saz. Funny that Slezak thinks that she’s referring to every single season since its inception in 2002.

      Good comment. Hopefully Slezak reads these comments so that he can reeducate himself.

      • C says:

        While Slezak did mention performances from seasons before J-lo was a judge, he did also include some performances from last season. However she meant it, I don’t agree with her statement.

  9. Annie says:

    Great advice for Joshua, and something that all of the contestants should do. Voters like when the contestants show that they can mix things up.

    At this point I think that any of these people can win, Jessica, Joshua, Hollie, Skylar, or Phillip. I wouldn’t be happy if Phillip won, but I wouldn’t be surprised either. I’m also cautiously optimistic that Jessica, Hollie and Skylar can all make the top four or five. They have a better shot at making it an all girls top two than any other female contestants have had any years.

    I love Joshua too, and I hope he goes far. I wouldn’t be upset if the finale is him versus Jessica.

    • Tarc says:

      Yeah, but part of the bottom line is who will sell. I’d buy a Phil Phillips album, maybe Colton Doxon album, but as much as I think Jessica is great, it’s pretty unlikely that I’d buy her music. Again, I’d be more inclined to pick up a few Skylar singles, but I doubt that I’d ever buy Joshua or Hollie (barring anyone really producing something special that’s significantly better than what we’re seeing).

      • nodak says:

        Don’t fool yourself. This show is not about finding a star that will sell music- it’s all about ratings and flaunting the number of votes that were cast each week. They manipulate us by over-hyping some people and criticizing others to get us to vote for the contestants that they think will add to their numbers.

      • syb says:

        That was the argument for Lee. How’d that turn out? The only winners who have had the kind of success selling records and tickets so far have been the females with the big voices. That sort of easy listening balladry is not my favorite kind of music either, but just because Phillip and Colton are performing a more popular genre doesn’t mean that they will successfully compete against the pros who are already making hits with that music.

        • Hey syb…have you forgotten last year’s winner? “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery made history as his debut album, “Clear as Day,” bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 197,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan on October 12th, 2011. By December 7th, his sales hit 600,000!
          So much for “the only winners with big sales are the females with the big voices”.

          Do your homework syb! This was last years winner! What rock you been hiding under?

  10. Robin says:

    Thanks for the spot on recap! I had to go to youtube for a few minutes to check out Billie Jean, Mad World and Heartless! Pure awesomeness! So songs from the Billy Joel song book this week…I love him.
    The material is timeless, but how many of these young contestants know the songs. I think the girls are going to struggle with the choices with the exception of maybe Elise and Erica.

    • Gata says:

      I don’t know any BJ songs off the top of my head. When I see them listed in a post then I say “oh I know that song,” which amounted to about 3 songs…

      I am sure that the radio was playing them back when I was growing into an adult, but they were also “hip” to R&B by then too, so I probably didn’t listen to closely to Billy Joel songs. Anyways, this will be a week when I get to judge strictly by the interpretation of the song, because I wouldn’t know the original if it slapped me in the face.

  11. MSD says:

    As a HUGE Erika fan…I’m just worried she won’t have the chance to take Michael’s sound advice on Billy Joel this week– What would she sing? We Didn’t Start the Fire?

    • Templar says:

      No on should sing We Didn’t Start The Fire. It’s not a song that showcases vocals, it sounds like an auctioneer going through his spiel and it’s too complicated to learn in a week. The vocalist is certain to screw up the lyric.

      • marie says:

        Absolutely agree. Not a good “singer’s song” at all, plus it would be very hard to condense to 90 seconds. As poor a choice for showcasing vocals as a pure rap song would be.

  12. ron says:

    slezak- allison’s exit performance and her duet with adam not on your top 10??? also, i think melinda’s my valentine was better than joshua’s and also adam’s rings of fire and the led zeppelin song. though i did like his performance a lot.

  13. Stephie33 says:

    Jessica is one of my top favs, but I didn’t really care for this week’s performance. I LOVED COLTON’s performance. He was fantastic, and I was shocked at Steven’s critique. Steven was also totally wrong to tell Jessica to stick to ballads. I thought Joshua was also fantastic, and Hollie has a beautiful voice. Glad Skylar stuck to her guns.

    Jessica, Joshua, Colton, Skylar and Hollie are my top five. I can’t pick a #1 yet.

  14. Holeigh says:

    So, wait, is the understanding now that Jessica and Joshua are the two to beat? Joshua has been B3 the past two weeks, hasn’t he? At least one of them…I just don’t think he’s that awesome (personally) nor cemented as a front runner yet. I would say that Jessica and Philip are definitely the two to beat at this point, with Hollie and Colton playing second fiddle to them. Skylar’s right up there as well.

    Erika needs to step it up, I love her voice SO MUCH. I thought it was funny that Melinda said she seems desperate, because I think that Elise is desperate as hell when she sings, her Adele cover was like she was just screaming “please love me!”

  15. cheryl says:

    To Michael and Melinda…You both are really quite good at analyzing the singers and their strengths and weaknesses. I really enjoy listening to you and wish you could have some actual input into the show. You could really benefit the singers.

  16. junebug says:

    Deandre is definitely in the race. He did pretty freaking amazing for singing a song he didn’t know or choose. Disappointed that wasn’t mentioned at all although I realize you only have ten minutes.

  17. Auds says:

    I had a big LOL when Melinda said she couldn’t think of anything better than Josh’s recent performance. One could argue at least half of the performances of seasons 1 & 2 were better, as well as several others listed & more. Joshua is only making it because he’s being pushed by the judges. He’s got a good voice but he’s completely unrelateable to almost everyone in the country.

    Recently, Lauren Alaina said that her top 4 favorites were: Colton, Philip, Jessica & Hollie. I think that is spot on & it’s just a matter of dwindling it down to who the 5th person will be besides that. Sorry, but the gaggle of female blondes will be eliminated one by one until Hollie is the only blonde left. The big problem with American Idol (especially lately) is that it’s almost entirely women voting. I’m a woman & you can bet that I’ve been voting 100% for Philip & Colton. There’s nobody else on that show that interests me.

    In addition, this season’s other problem is that all the women are exactly the same, while each man is completely different. Elise & Erika could be dopplegangers, both in looks and in voice. Hollie, Shannon, & Jessica all do big time ballads & can all be interchanged. Skylar is a re-do of last year’s Lauren (except not as interesting). There hasn’t been a female winner since 2007 & it’s safe to say it’s going to be another boy vs boy finale this year.

    • JJ says:

      I disagree about Elise and Erika being doppelgangers. Elise would lose a beauty contest to a mud fence. Erika is better looking, but too matronly to appeal to the viewers.

      • marie says:

        Oh puh-leeze. Unnecessary, cruel / disparaging comments about their looks aside (can we all concentrate on the singing, please?), Elise and Erika are alike AS SINGERS only in that they are adults in a field of younger women / kids. Elise’s voice is smokier and raspier – a very blues-type voice – while Erika’s is smoother and more mellow and controlled. I adore them both.

    • Miscellaeopolan says:

      Whooooooa there. I agree that there are too many blondes bouncing around the Idol stage this Season (I like Slezak’s suggestion that Erika go brunette), but I feverishly disagree that their voices are the same. Elise and Erica as vocal dopplegangers? 60s blues vs 80s rock? Relaxed riffs vs. power ballads? They sound nothing at all alike. Jessica and Hollie are a little closer, but Jessica is capable of doing far more than big time ballads while Hollie hasn’t proved herself capable of that yet.
      And this is a little more personal, but I think Skyler is way more interesting than Lauren. When did Lauren EVER rock out like Skyler did on Stay With Me?
      All that said, I do think that your top 4 (plus guest) is probably correct. Although it won’t be the top 4 I vote for.

      • marie says:

        Agree: Skylar is to Lauren as apples are to firetrucks, i.e., no relation. Skylar is the very first country singer I’ve ever thoroughly enjoyed on Idol, precisely because of her versatility and just because she’s so entertaining. Lauren used to be an opportunity to go get a snack.

    • wendeeloo says:

      I’d be fascinated to hear your explanation why Joshua is “completely unrelateable to almost everyone in the Country”. When you make a sweeping statement like that – you kind of need to back it up with reasoning.

    • Justin says:

      Elise and Erika sound absolutely nothing alike.

  18. Musica1 says:

    I haven’t yet liked Joshua. I would ifone would stop the screeching that you two seem to love. To me it sounds like a cat coughing up a hairball. And Jessica deserved her harsh criticism this week. I’ve loved her up to now, but that awful huge vibrato throughout her song made it waaay too heavy. It was a dance song, and you can’t vibrato through those like they’re pageant songs. It was a mistake of immaturity I think.

    My top two this wee:

    1. Hollie
    2. Colton

    And this is the first time EVER on Idol that my favorite is female. Go Hollie! :-)
    P.S. I do love Elise but didn’t think she did that well this week. I would like her to be at least top 5.

  19. Teresa says:

    Thank you for Idology. I love this show, it’s the best part of American Idol.

    I just wish the singers could hear your reactions soon enough to have it affect their choices, because your advice is spot on.

    Has drastic hair change ever helped a contestant in the past? (Maybe David Cook or Clay?) I’m just wondering, because Michael has given that advice to various contestants over the years (Anoop and Allison come to mind). Allison did change her hair stylist (and looked much better as a result), but she didn’t drastically change the color.

    I do think Erika would benefit from going darker. Maybe even red? I think her skin/eye color would work with a variety of hair shades, and that the light blonde makes her seem a little too ordinary. Plus, there were four blondes in the top six girls, so red would stand out more.

  20. De says:

    Oh Michael Slezak. You can usually do no wrong in my eyes. That is, until you made the comment that Piece of my Heart was not a Faith Hill song. Ms. Hill did indeed release a version of that song. It was on her Take Me As I Am album, and it reached #1 on the country charts in 1994. Some of us, not being big fans of Janis, actually prefer Faith’s version. Tsk tsk.

    • w says:

      I think he meant when you refer to a song as Jimmy did – it’s proper to attribute it to the original singer who made it a hit – and that would be Janis.

  21. Sandi says:

    I feel fairly confident in my top 6 prediction:

    Phil Phil

    After that, I have no clue. I’m just rooting for Colton to go as far as possible.

  22. Jim says:

    I haven’t even watched this week’s IDOLOGY(TM) yet, and I still have to say how much I LOVE having Michael AND Melinda on my video screen! Thanks, thanks, THANKS!

  23. Chris says:

    I felt like the band sucked during Skylar’s performance – off or too slow … something.

    Pissed that they led Deandre to Endless Love… I mean really??? With that voice?

    Thought Colton was a little smug with his comment not caring what Steven thought. Dude… really? I’m not saying he’d want to be LIKE ST, but he is the BEST rnr front man through generation after generation when it come to ROCK music. Blues, rock, entertainment factor – If you’ve never seen him perform live you are missing out (Steven that is). Colton should watch more Durbin footage if that’s the route he wants to go (minus the Judas Priest as Colton is not up to par there). And what is it with the wine at the end of each vocal…

    Phillip – boring to me. Mix it up dude! Cuteness will only get you so far and it won’t be a Grammy.

    Hollie/Jessica – snore. Still waiting for them to surprise me.

    Joshua – dude has some serious passion and lets the song move him. I appreciate that and frankly it was the best performance for that week not the entire Idol history or the last two seasons.

    As far as Elise and Erika – they both need to stop worrying about the “comp” part and just sing what makes them feel good so we can too. That’s what its about at the end of the day.

    I personally think WillIAm sucks as a mentor (unless they’d allow hip-hop/rap/fergie into the competition). Mary J rocks because if anyone knows how to interpret a song and leave you going damn!, whether you like her music or not, it’s her – hence all of the idols performances (with the exception of Heejun and Shannon). That’s dope – was so irritating to hear. Appreciate the cuteness and humor but you can have that conversation passing in the hallway.

  24. Meghan says:

    I am also shocked Slezak didn’t mention Allison – she’s one of his favorites. Her exit performance of “Cry Baby” was absolutely stunning.

  25. Trena says:

    I was thinking the same thing when I heard her say that.

  26. Larry McD says:

    This webcast is soooooooo freakin’ much better than the show, it amazes me.

  27. A says:

    Too many over-sung power ballads = headache

  28. TB says:

    Top 10 AI performances ever? That would be a fun list for this site. Me personally?
    1. Fantasia Barrino’s Summertime
    2. Haley Reinhart’s House Of The Rising Sun
    3. Kris Allen’s Heartless
    4. Crystal Bowersox’s Up To The Mountain
    5. David Cook’s Billie Jean
    6. Kelly Clarkson’s Stuff Like That There
    7. Bo Bice’s In A Dream
    8. Haley Reinhart’s Bennie And The Jets
    9. Adam Lambert’s Ring Of Fire
    10. David Cook’s Hello

    With special shootouts to Moanin’ and Allison Iraheta’s elimination sing off as non competition songs that would have been in there if they were in voting rounds. Gotta say though, Joshua could creep in there over the course of this season if my replays of his performances are any indication, though I think You Pulled Me Through is more likely to make my Top 10 than his When A Man Loves A Woman. Sacrilege, I know, but I LOVED that performance.

    • Sandi says:

      Good list. While I think Ring of Fire was awesome, I can think of half a dozen performances of Adam’s that I preferred, though. Don’t forgot Alison Iraheta’s Papa was a rolling stone and Adam and Alison’s Slow Ride.

      • TB says:

        I’m never sure what Adam performance is my favorite but I think Ring of Fire was just too ballsy not to make the list. And Papa Was A Rolling Stone is fantastic, but Allison’s I Can’t Make You Love Me is the big contender for me. Almost bumped Hello right off the list.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Put me on the list of people that did not like Fantasia’s “Summertime”. I’m sure it was fine, but I’d had enough of that song by the time I graduated from high school. I kind of thought I was done with Summertime and then American Idol brought it back with a vengeance. And if someone makes “When Sunny Gets Blue” a fan favorite on Idol I may wear out my mute button.

      • Bob L says:

        What about nearly everything that Melinda herself sang in Season 6?? For me, her “My Funny Valentine” is still the best ever on Idol, but many of her other performances are right up there. The judges, and maybe the viewers, took her for granted because she was so damned good every single week. Unlike the vast majority of Idol contestants, she never missed a note; she never failed to inject the right emotion into a song; and her choices in phrasing were almost always spot on. Check all of them out on YouTube! You’ll hear how great they still sound.

  29. Jeff says:

    What’s with all the hate towards Joshua? The dude can sing. He has amazing control of pitch, breath, and enunciation. He actually understands the songs he is singing and is able to get the point across. And, he’s consistent. I’m not sure why people are swooning so much after this one. Jar of Hearts was great. You Pulled Me Through was great. From the short segment I heard, I’d probably put “Up to the Mountain” above those. I’d rank it at about the same level as Crystal’s version, which for me was the best performance of that season. Maybe all the Joshua haters are also the people that dialed in like crazy for Lee DeWyze. That said, this wasn’t the greatest performance on AI ever. Heartless. Summertime. Stuff Like That There. Hello. I (Who Have Nothing). Cry Baby. I’m still looking forward to more from Joshua.

    • Ben says:

      Sometimes people decide that amazingly big vocals is actually screaming. You can’t do much about their opinion on that. They are probably mostly people who prefer their music stripped back to a guitar and a whisper. Personally I’m all for big vocals, and Joshua is awesome at it. People are also good at saying ‘x wasn’t that good’ when what they actually mean is ‘x was stunningly good, but completely not within the style of music I like, so I wouldn’t vote for them’.

  30. gnatcar says:

    Thank you Michael. You’re by far the most entertaining part of the Idol experience. I don’t even watch the show anymore (as I have reached my lifetime quota of “hey yo’s” and “Yo dog’s.”

  31. Brigette says:

    So far, I am shocked that I am okay with who left. If we could just get Elise out of the bottom three, I won’t have to hurt anybody…I’m also shocked that the judges actually judged last week, even though sometimes they gave horrible advice *cough* Steven *cough.* But coming out of the coma was still a good move.

  32. James says:

    I would buy an album from Hollie and Colton…maybe Elise but never Joshua or Jessica or anyone else left on…

  33. BobN says:

    Michael/Melinda – Great analysis as usual. One thing though, I don’t think Jimmy I was implying that it would only be a three horse race, but was simply saying we would see someone else have a “moment” like Jessica did in top 13 week and Joshua did last week. Definitely seems to me like that there is no clear favorite yet.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      there’s no clear favorite but Phillip Phillips is going to win. In the meantime I’m going to enjoy the ride – most of these kids are quite good.

      • Ben says:

        Darcy, for the sake of argument, can we put ten theoretical dollars on the outcome of this season? You get Phil & Colton (ie generic WGWG (or other musical instrument)), I get everyone not-Phil/Colton – I think the bet is fairly even given the recent history of idol.

        I’m convinced this year is going to be different.

  34. Meeee says:

    Deandre is the all around package deal but his potential might not be met in this short of time on this particular show. Think we will see big things from him in the future! For now Erica is my girl

  35. darcy's evil twin says:

    LOVED Idology this week – it made me laugh. I cracked up at Melinda’s reaction to Joshua singing “When a Man Loves a Woman”. I must say, I loved every minute of Joshua’s performance and it pretty much had the same effect on me. When Joshua took his jacket off and dropped it on the stage I squealed like a baby – it was the most exciting thing that had happened in this family room since William Hurt threw that chair through Kathleen Turner’s picture window in the movie “Body Heat”.
    I must say I wish Idology were longer so Melinda and Michael had time to discuss all the contestants. As far as advice for Erika, I say go for broke, girl. Dye your hair that dark, shiny, Catherine Zeta Jones brunette, ditch the prom dresses, and just sing a song with that beautiful tone in your voice.
    Elise should just do what she did last week – again. She was wonderful.
    Unlike a lot of folks here I simply am not wild about Jessica but I wouldn’t be distraught if she won.

  36. Ana says:

    Loved Idology, as always. Really hope Erika listens to slezak and doolittle and dyes her hair black. Also really like Colton and I’m not that sure Phillip is going to do that much better than him. I think Idology’s editor might be wrong about his spoiler alert.

    • Sandi says:

      I agree and I think Slezak is wrong on this one. I see Colton going farther than Phil Phil based on my own opinion and what I see from the comments here.

    • Angela says:

      I agree. Perhaps it’s just my personal bias, as Colton’s among my personal top 3 favorites and Phillip Phillips does absolutely nothing for me (his schtick is very same-y every week and I didn’t find it interesting to begin with, let alone after three weeks) but I think Colton should go far. At this point, I feel like he’s guaranteed top 5; he should have the tween/teen girl vote down, and he’s made some pretty smart and interesting song choices, not to mention he seems to be striving harder to be current.

  37. PFitz says:

    While I like 8 of the top 10 a LOT, if I have to pare it down, I’d go with:

    1. Elise
    2. Erika
    3. Jessica

    Hollie and Skylar are probably neck and neck for the #4 slot.

    Then it’d be the boys: Phillip, Colton, Joshua.

    So, my hope is that Deandre and Heejun are the next two to be dismissed.

  38. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    I’m not quite sure how the #7-10 slots will play out, but here is this year’s Top 6: Colton, Hollie, Jessica, Joshua, Phillip, and Skylar. (Exact order TBD.)

  39. Markopolis says:

    The ones I’m most interested in right now:


    – Needs a Bennie & the Jets type performance that totally involves the audience. Her sophistication is her handicap — she could have a big over 30 audience, but she there’s no under 20 connection (where Jessica shines).


    – Was channeling Sam Cooke last week, OMG. Every nuance, so inspired, made me look at him differently. His personality seems nonexistent — hence the producers giving him the crawfish tag — but I can’t wait to see what he does next.


    – Skyler won me with “Stay With Me” — the first “moment” of the live rounds. I love that she loves Bonnie Raitt. Not your typical country girl, good taste all around.


    – As Jimmy said, Phil comes “batteries included.” His studio recording of “Superstition” is endlessly listenable. Stay healthy, PP!

    Next tier for me — want to see something amazing and still think it’s possible:


    – So great in Vegas on the hardcore blues version of Buddy Holly. I hope that’s a reservoir of soul she has there. Need to feel that again.


    – Such promise, but needs to get real hard, real fast.

    After that I just don’t care.


    – Pia to me, a surprise early knock-off. Great singer, no life experience.


    – Seems like a fine young man and I think he’s a good live performer but I don’t relate to his emo-esque genre. Will be a crazy huge crossover Christian artist, maybe the biggest ever.


    – So good on “I Only Have Eyes for You” in Vegas. Fox or someone should give him a variety show hosting gig. Young, funny, interesting ethnicity, could interview then sing with the guests. Seriously.


    – Nice young man with a great voice who should have some sort of a career, but isn’t strong enough yet.

    I’d kinda like to see Skyler and Jessica in the finals. Would be crazy (good) if Elise steps up, somehow turns America to her side, and wins.

    Can’t wait for Haley Thursday night. First results show I’ve ever looked forward to.

  40. Bob Humphrey says:

    Elise has me hooked just like Haley did last year at God Bless The Child. After that, she could do no wrong. It wasn’t because her voice, style, and song interpretations were so intriguing. I’ve listened to both studio and live versions of Let’s Say Together (not to mention One and Only), and now Elise has me similarly hooked. I’d love to hear Haley, Elise, and Phillip do something together. But regardless of who wins, Elise has already won in my book. I’d buy her album sight unseen.

  41. Pop Vulture says:

    Michael – make the pop-up “Follow us on Youtube” stop! At least after the first, oh, 10 times or so. Make it stop!

  42. I am waiting patiently for you guys to talk about Heejun’s diction problems and include Coach Beiste saying, “we need to work on this kid’s diction.” Just a thought.

  43. TB says:

    Much as I love Melinda and much as I think she should have won her season in a landslide of votes, its kind of hard to say that there was one particular performance that made me OMG OF THE COUCH APPLAUSE the way the ones I listed as top 10 performances did. Every song with Melinda was excellent, but spectacle wasn’t her strong suit, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Consistency was her thing, and I loved her for it. I don’t need her to be in my top 10 Idol moments for her to be one of my favorite Idols.

  44. chris z says:

    As a “mature” female fan of the show, I think I can safely say that there is no one this year who will inspire “the cougar vote”. That is why I predict a female winner this season.

  45. My Alter Ego says:

    On the other hand, it could be a great audience participation song, and, depending on who is singing it, the “I can’t take it anymore” line might be really heartfelt by the audience! ;-)

  46. JAson says:

    Remember J-Lo hated Haley!! Soif you exclude all haley performances Joshua’s performance could be the best performance of the last two years. I doubt J-Lo has watched most of the performances before her season. But I know if I was a famous millionaire like J-Lo I wouldn’t be wasting my time watching every episode of American Idol. I’d be going out every night and partying at all the parties I was intvited too.

  47. TB says:

    Already missing the Bennie And The Jets video. Anyone planning on reloading the AI10 videos?

  48. Brigette says:

    Who else really wants Haley to do a guest spot on Idology one of these weeks? I love Mindy-Doo, but that would just be awesome, if it happened just once!

  49. Tusk says:

    They weren’t taken down after all…just blocked to us in the US. International viewers still can view them….

  50. Ali says:

    Ur taste. For me, Jessica will be one of the best sellers among
    them if not the best “Worldwide” ..her veiws on YT. Astonishing .

  51. Ben says:

    I’d buy albums from Joshua, Jessica and Hollie, but I’d never buy an album from Phil or Colton.

  52. Tusk says:

    No point in ‘reloading’ them, they are still up, just blocked by software from US viewers. There are links around from where you can download all of Repad’s videos. I believe one is still available on this site from one of Last year’s “long standing” interviews ;)

  53. shelbybb says:

    MY TOP 3:

    1 – Jessica
    2 – Skylar
    3 – Hollie

    Yep – it’s an all girl TOP THREE!

  54. TB says:

    Honestly, it’s just satisfying to watch the view count go up on something like House of The Rising Sun or Bennie or Rolling In The Deep. Then it’s like a little FU to randy every time I watch. Even non Haley performances (from season 10: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow comes to mind) are fun to watch on youtube if only because its more like you are supporting the performer. I have the episodes of the last 4 seasons saved to my computer, but it’s still nice to watch Crystal Bowersox sing Up To The Mountain on youtube every once in a while.

  55. TheBeach says:

    Spot on, Marie

  56. darcy's evil twin says:

    I agree completely, marie. I love them both but they are very different. Elise has more of a blues vibe going, while Erica has more of a Pat Benatar/Grace Slick/rocker-chick sound.

  57. TheBeach says:

    Hey, thanks for the reminder. That was one killer performance by Allison.

  58. darcy's evil twin says:

    Still one of my all-time favorites and definitely in my Top Five!

  59. My Alter Ego says:

    Joshua was in the botttom 3 of men the week that Idol had a bottom 3 men and bottom 3 women. No way of knowing where he was in the actual standings. He was sent to safety rather quickly.

  60. SallyinChicago says:

    Top 3:
    All girls — Jessica, Elyse and Skylar
    Elyse really blew me away with Let’s Get Together. Skylar is the performer!
    Now, does anybody feel like I do — that Nigel needs to quit as producer? They’re dressing the girls in prom dresses making them look much older than they are. The kids are probably too scared to say anything, but they look ridiculous!
    And the songs they have to choose from! Come on — give us some updated songs please? Or some jazz classics. I can’t believe I’m still watching Stevie Wonder songs. Nigel is about a limited library to choose from.

  61. Angela says:

    My fantasy top 3:

    1. Jessica Sanchez
    2. Elise Testone
    3. Colton Dixon

    I’d say that could be in any order, but for God’s sakes, can we just have a woman win this year? Joshua Ledet’s performance of “When a Man Loves a Woman” was fantastic, but I haven’t been sufficiently impressed by his previous performances; he’s going to have to deliver like that for a couple more weeks at least before I genuinely jump on that bandwagon.

    Based off what we’ve seen thus far, I think the next three contestants voted off should be all guys (Shannon was definitely the right choice last week, but next, I say Heejun, Deandre and Phillip Phillips, possibly in that order, unless one of them just pulls out a jaw-dropping performance, which I don’t see happening at all).

  62. SallyinChicago says:

    You get the feeling that Nigel has a walkie-talkie to the judges don’t you? That he’s whispering in their ears what to day….Jessica was the only one with an uptempo. The song choice was bad but she did a good fresh fun version.

  63. SallyinChicago says:

    I totally agree with Deandre, but he’s not showing a lot of confidence. I like Sylar’s attitude — I’m going to stay true to what I know….that’s what got Scotty the win last year.

  64. Marianne says:

    Thank you – they didn’t mention Deandre and his miserable session with Iovine and Will I Aren’t-the-brightest-bulb. Nor did they mention Heejun.

  65. SallyinChicago says:

    Skylar and Colton are the only two playing this the way it should be — sing what you want sing what you like!

  66. karenb says:

    I agree-Deandre could definitely go far if he gets some
    coaching. All of the other contestants are so good…
    Deandre could be the one to steal it if he improves each week.
    Love the underdog.

  67. darcy's evil twin says:

    I would call “Hard to Handle” uptempo.

  68. darcy's evil twin says:

    And Skylar’s version of the Bonnie Raitt song was uptempo.

  69. justafan says:

    no need for the walkie-talkies sally… that is what those notes the judges can’t do without are for…i often wondered if the show could even go on if some imp managed to steal the notes from the judges’ table before the singing started…wonder how long ryan could ad-lib until proper replacements could be provided?

  70. darcy's evil twin says:

    Well, if we want a great audience participation song…perhaps on country music night someone needs to sing David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”. Every drunk in the bar always knows the lyrics to the last verse, especially at closing time. I’ve literally watched people sitting in the bar, professing to absolutely hate country music, griping at the friend that dragged them to the awful bar with worse music, and then BOOM – that song comes on and magically they know every word to the last verse.

  71. darcy's evil twin says:

    Lauren got a horribly unfair edit on Idol. From the “we’ve found the one” and the incessant pimping, to the “Lauren’s lost her confidence – poor little Lauren”, to “Lauren’s back”. And then Slezak interviewed her on Idology and we all went, “Where was THIS girl????” I’ve seen her on talk shows and she’s funny, quick-witted, and totally engaging. She reminds me a little of a young Dolly Parton. You know, I think I might have liked Lauren a lot more during last year’s program if Idol hadn’t been shoving her down my throat and telling me how much I was supposed to like her. Thank goodness I don’t detect anyone getting that treatment this year.
    Perhaps Skylar is more insistent on doing things her way and she’s getting a better edit, who knows. marie, I love Skylar, but after the whole “Lauren edit” I’m trying to resist forming opinions based on the edit.

  72. Tusk says:

    The window to Schedule Haley is shortening quickly with her single coming out tomorrow, then AI. We can assume going through all the talk shows as well(that she missed entirely last year…). Maybe, Michael will be able to grab her during her promo tour that follows.

    I was actually hoping for a quick mention by Michael of “Free”‘s official debut during this week’s Idology as MS and Jason are fans, and Michael twitter acct is plastered with her image :D.

    I’ll settle for a BATJ mention as one of the top Idol performance of all time :D

  73. darcy's evil twin says:

    w – I agree, Mr. Slezak was not implying Faith Hill didn’t record the song. It was just odd for Jimmy Iovine to imply it was a “Faith Hill song”. Actually there was a singer named Erma Franklin that sang “Piece of My Heart” before Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company released the iconic version of that song. Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone also sang a killer version. I am going to be polite and let that comment about preferring the Faith Hill version of the song slide right…on…by. And I do like Faith Hill, by the way.

  74. Henry says:

    Weren’t we all pretty convinced that Crystal and Siobhan were the only real contestants of AI9? Check out the WhatNotToSing article about gender bias. It’s kind of heartbreaking.

  75. DeAndre has been pretty inconsistent for me as of late. If he does something good, it’ll buy him a week or two. If he fails, he’s gonna get axed.

  76. Marianne says:

    Deandre is freakin 17! The other 2 ‘youngsters’ get to stand up there, robotic (Hollie) and sing away at slow, boring, old songs and Randy isn’t “bored” by them. Jessica’s pimped from the get-go (and probably my favorite girl).Deandre’s stylized way of singing is very polarizing – – I think people either really “get him” and love him or they really don’t. I like him. At least he’s interesting.