American Idol Recap: For Whom the Billy Tolls

elise testone viennaThis week’s American Idol was built around two distinct themes: Paying tribute to the Billy Joel songbook and paying absolutely no mind to the advice of the show’s new/official style guru, Tommy Hilfiger.

As Steven Tyler so direly warned at the top of the show, “If you can’t sing Billy Joel, you can’t sing at all.” (This seems to be the total reverse of Randy’s oft-stated “If you can sing, you can sing anything” philosophy.)

And while the undeniably talented Top 10 fared pretty well with the Piano Man’s tunes — at least five contestants hit something close to their personal best — I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Ryan Seacrest tell Mr. Hilfiger that his journey has come to an end after Kieran dims the lights on Thursday’s results-show telecast.

Seriously, it was undeniably comical the way the contestants seemed to do the opposite of what Tommy wanted. “Hey, Elise, we’re going to put you in a pair of high-waisted bell bottoms!” Cut to Elise tossing said bell bottoms into a dumpster and emerging in a flowing violet gown with leather-and-tulle vest-cape-thingie. “Hey, Phillip, gray is the worst color you could ever wear on stage!” Cut to Phillip in gray pants, gray Henley, and dran-stiped shirt. “Skylar, let’s color-match some boots to go with your weird snakeskin-print kitchen-curtains dress!” Cut to Skylar in black stilettos — her stated obsession with boots apparently buried along with Shannon Magrane’s Idol dreams. (Sad funeral they held for her Idol journey, no?)

Anyway, enough about the fashion that wasn’t; let’s talk about the music that was:

DeAndre Brackensick: “Only the Good Die Young”
It was pretty clear DeAndre was in trouble from the opening moments of his mentoring session, his eyes darting right, then left, like an injured gazelle cornered by a pair of hungry hyenas. I just wish one of those hyenas had explicitly spelled out what the lyrics to “Only the Good Die Young” are actually about. I can almost hear it in my head: “No, DeAndre, this isn’t about Catholic girls starting much too late on their SAT prep, this is about a bad boy trying to get into a good girl’s pants.” “No, no, no…he’s not trying to borrow her pants. He wants to do the horizontal mambo, if you catch my drift.” “Ugh! The Horizontal Mambo is not something you saw Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus do on Dancing With the Stars on Monday. Jesus, kid, the song is about sex. S-E-X!” “Are you sure you don’t want to sing ‘Uptown Girl’?” As it was, though, Jimmy mostly used the mentoring session to make repressed Catholic jokes, leaving DeAndre offering up a boppy, clumsy, and utterly chaste take on one of Billy Joel’s most raucous, blasphemous hits. When it was all said and done, Steven wondered if the whole thing wasn’t maybe “a little too happy,” but he stopped short of having “the talk” on national television. That seems like a job for DeAndre’s parents, after all, and I have a bad feeling Mr. and Mrs. Brackensick will have plenty of free time with their son after Thursday night’s results show.

Erika Van Pelt: “New York State of Mind”
Look, I’m not going to blather incessantly about the power of Idology (embedded below, for those of you who are new to the party), but I’ll just say we’ve been advocating Erika go brunette for several weeks now. Of course, if America does something stupid and sends her home this week, don’t blame me — and don’t blame that Joan Jett-black hair — blame the judges for their confusing feedback on a performance that was relaxed, restrained, and absolutely sublime. Seriously, the way Erika went from the lowest part of her range to an ethereal falsetto on the line “I left them all behind” was the essence of an Idol moment, and her smile on “takin’ a Greyhound on the Hudson River line” was as genuine an emotion as we’ve seen on the Idol stage this year. So how come Randy had to advocate that she “wear us out” with vocal histrionics? Why did J.Lo give her the “beautiful vocal, but…” treatment? And what the heck was with Steven telling her she “could’ve put more character” into her vocal, but that she put “a lot of personality” into it? Girlfriend is the Rodney Dangerfield of Season 11: She can’t get no respect!

Joshua Ledet: “She’s Got a Way”
I hate to verbalize this fear, but I’m worried about Joshua’s Thursday-night fortunes as much as I am about DeAndre’s. Maybe his well of deep-rootsy soul was still dry after last week’s ragingly beautiful “When a Man Loves a Woman,” because if I’m being honest, “She’s Got a Way” felt as empty as a Red Bull can in the Jersey Shore house. J.Lo was absolutely right that Joshua seemed disconnected from the song’s lyrics, as if the words were just resting places for the notes, rather than a carefully arranged series spelling out an entire message. By the time the Gospel choir emereged from the backdrop (which weirdly focused on the piano player’s hands), I wondered what exactly we were supposed to celebrating, and you could see in Joshua’s eyes that he was equally bewildered. Here’s hoping the memory of his Percy Sledge cover — and the way he works a Size 38 jacket on his 40 frame — is enough to get him at least as far as Season 10’s Pia Toscano.

Skylar Laine: “Shameless”
Kudos to Skylar for actually copping to the pitch problems she experienced on the opening verse of “Shameless” instead of offering a rote “but I had fun” or a clueless “I thought I did great!” And yet while Randy was correct in pointing out that verse was pitched too low for Skylar’s comfort zone — and I don’t think the awkward staging next to Random Kid in Trucker Hat helped, either — she sure did sound purdy once she got to the chorus. What’s more, Skylar somehow managed to point out to Randy that it was Garth Brooks, not Brad Paisley, who had a hit with the Billy Joel ditty — without coming across as smug or petulant. I’d have been just as happy with a “Suck it, Third Judge!” but I’m not sure that would’ve played as well with a nation of speed-dialing families.

Elise Testone: “Vienna”
If you tried condensing Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks into 90 seconds, or a Marcus Samuelsson seven-course meal onto one plate, the results would undoubtedly be disastrous. Which makes it all the more impressive that Elise managed to show off every trick in her vocal arsenal, every color of her rich and seductive voice, in an abridged rendition of a song Jimmy Iovine worried that “no one knows.” (Everyone actually knows “Vienna,” though, don’t they?) To me, this was more than Elise finally putting to rest the idea that she’s a desperate underdog who’s fated to go home in the next few weeks, this was her delivering what was arguably the season’s finest vocal performance. Sure, Skylar’s “Stay With Me” was more fun, and Joshua’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” more combustible, but note for note, Elise’s performance sat at the intersection of Flawless Street and Mind-Blowing Blvd, getting whistles and catcalls from everyone who drove past. That growl on “kick it off,” that crazy jazzy run on the final “waits,” had me wanting to get in line behind J.Lo and give the Lady Testone a good violent shaking (in the best possible way).

Phillip Phillips: “Movin’ Out”
Look, Phillip enjoys delivering a song’s original melody about as much as he’d like trying on a Tommy Hilfiger ascot and seersucker pants. With the exception of last week’s “Hard to Handle,” he’s treated every composition he’s covered like a balloon artist twisting and knotting and contorting his raw musical material into different (occasionally uncomfortable) shapes and configurations. But the underlying tension in Phillip’s delivery absolutely fit the mood of “Movin’ Out,” a tale of working-class life and the questionable virtues of upward mobility. J.Lo was right that Phillip seemed to be working out some aggression toward guest mentor Diddy — although I did miss the rapid fire “heart attack-ack-ack-ack line” — and why not? Here’s a kid from a pawn shop that specializes in alligator heads and babies (funny joke, I think?), and Diddy cluelessly thinks that making him sing to a gaggle of random chicks is going to bring out the best in his vocal? Phillips understated response to the bizarre interlude — “I wasn’t really about all that” — might have been my favorite non-musical moment of the season. But if this self-described “simple kind of guy” wants to make it to the Nokia in May, he’s going to have to explore some different moods in the weeks to come. Perhaps P2 could adopt an upbeat party-starter person, or get back in touch with the lecherous loverboy who sang “Nice & Slow” in Vegas?

Hollie Cavanagh: “Honesty”
Speaking of contestants who need to shake up the mood, is Hollie planning to treat every theme week as an opportunity to channel her inner Celine Dion? And if so, is she aware that even Celine herself has some uptempo and midtempo tracks in her repertoire? (Plus, as the judges pointed out, Celine pretty much nails every last note…kinda crucial in a Big Diva Career.) Hollie’s samey-samey-ness, in fact, has inspired me to write a little ditty to the tune of “Honesty.”

If you search Idol history
It isn’t hard to find
It’s all right there if you look it up on Wiki.
A winning journey’s no mystery
If you’re creatively inclined
And if your taste in songs, it isn’t icky

Variety is such a crucial word
Give us something more than power
Variety it’s not so absurd
If you seek confetti showers

Heejun Han: “My Life”
I’ll admit, I chuckled a little when Heejun told Tommy that his style icons were Jessica Sanchez, Madonna, and Michael Bolton. (“I think Heejun was testing me,” said Mr. Hilfiger, thoroughly flummoxed.) But the trouble with Heejun is that he has yet to translate his clueless-dude comedy bits into an entertaining musical performance. His interruption of the smooth piano intro — “That’s much too slow for me. I wanna dance.” — was delivered more clumsily than Lindsay Lohan struggling to read an SNL cue card, and once Heejun tore off his hacket and revealed a multi-colored t-shirt, his bag of tricks was empty, save for a passable karaoke-bar performance complete with flat notes, breathiness, and decent mimicry of Billy Joel’s snarl. “Are you happy that you took the piss out of that song?” asked a not-entirely-amused Steven, and I wonder if, in hindsight, how Heejun would actually answer the question.

Jessica Sanchez: “Everybody Has a Dream”
One of Diddy’s few astute mentoring moments was stopping Jessica and telling her he didn’t believe what she was singing in rehearsal, that she needed to pull back on the vocal acrobatics and learn that sometimes, less can be more. Because Jessica’s been performing since J.Lo could actually open a movie, and yet because she’s still so young (and perhaps in need of a few more good heartbreaks), there’s occasionally the slightest emotional disconnect to her performances, a looming question of “Has she created a fantastic work of art, or was that simply the most accurate execution of a paint-by-numbers kit in the history of ever?” In this intstance, though, Jessica managed to perfectly blend her pitch perfection, her vocal bombast, and a genuine sentiment while bathed in a series of golden floodlights and a Standing O from the judges. It’s a testament to Jessica’s power that I barely noticed the chorus of backup singers that emerged from the shadows midway through her performance: When this kid sings, everybody else ceases to exist — which isn’t great news for the competition.

Colton Dixon: “Piano Man”
Speaking of bathed in floodlights, how about the image of Colton at a red piano, his own image projected on the screen behind him, beams of light cutting the stage into a moody grid? The message from Uncle Nigel was clear: This is the Pimp Slot, this boy has incredible hair, and you are about to witness an Idol Moment (TM), because this is Season 11’s mysterious “third horse.” Except I’m only maybe 65 percent on board with the pimperie. Look, I love that Colton kept the early part of the arrangement as sparse as a Kardashian’s book shelf. And I liked that he erased some of the poppier edges of the melody — otherwise it might’ve felt like the whole thing was a setup for a piano-bar singalong. But uff da, that little hiccupy hitch in his voice that kept popping up throughout the performance, it bordered on unpleasant, and by the time he hit the final chorus, Colton seemed to be taking the song into anthemic territory — “You’ve got us feelin’ all right!” — which, in my mind, missed the whole melancholy point of the song. Okay, yeah, maybe there’s no way to get to the melancholy point of the song — desperate folks sharing a drink they call loneliness — when you boil it down to 90 seconds, but then maybe he shouldn’t have picked the song in the first place, y’know? That said, I loved seeing a little more of Colton’s humor — calling his hair his “baby” — and his acknowledgement that fashion is indeed important. (See Phillip and Heejun, real men can spend a little time staring into the closet.) (No, that was not a euphemism.)

Letter grades:
Elise Testone: A
Jessica Sanchez: A-
Erika Van Pelt: A-
Phillip Phillips: A-
Colton Dixon: B+
Skylar Laine: B
Hollie Cavanagh: B-
Joshua Ledet: C+
DeAndre Brackensick: D
Heejun Han: D

What did you think of Billy Joel night? How about our Tommy Hilfiger interludes? Anyone hoping that’ll be a one-time-only deal? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. I don’t get why all the Jessica fans are so rude and possessive. They leave comments about every other contestant all over the internet.

    Calm down, sincerely a concerned Idol fan

    • Joseph says:

      Using every vocal trick you have does not make a better performance.
      This is similar to the issue that Adam Lambert had , EXCEPT , Adam was smart enough to edit out enough of his vocal tricks in his better performances so they could stand out.
      Elise & Phillip both had the possibility of A level performances but because they opted for cramming in every possible tricks over being selective they deserve at best a C level grade.
      You downgrade Colton but I think you need to take into account what he was able to do in a 90 second format ,and not expect him to replicate every aspect of the original classic. I love Colton who seems genuine and brings so much to the show. Looking forward to Colton reaching at least the top 4.

    • Ali says:

      Do u have a proof ??? C’mon, Don’t . I could say the same thing to u .

  2. Owen says:

    Wow…maybe Elise IS the new Haley Reinhardt. Can you imagine poor Haley sitting in that audience watching Elise get all the pimping SHE should have gotten though.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Heh. I hadn’t thought of that. You think maybe Haley will become bitter and “accidentally” push Elise down the stairs during tonight’s performance?

      • sneakin says:

        The people that should be “pushed down the stairs” by Haley are the judges and TPTB. I know a few people that aren’t watching this year because they are still angry by the shafting that she got last year. Me, I just dvr and FF through the judges rambling.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          @sneakin – it’s proably a good thing you aren’t watching because Erika VanPelt is getting a bit of the same treatment. The Haley bus is coming for Erika – VRROOOOM….splat!

    • JMT says:

      Who cares? Haley gets to bring it back to the “Judges” tonight with her own (killer) music. Who knows what the “Judges” really think of her (maybe they really LOVE her like the rest of us?), but they’ll have to give her a standing-o not matter what. Haley get’s her JUSTICE tonight.

    • Lee says:

      Sorry, but IMO, Elise is NOT the new Haley Reinhart. She just doesn’t have the whole package like Haley. I really think Colton is overrated. His singing does nothing for me and if last night’s performance was his best so far, then that confirms it even more. My faces are Jessica and Phillip because Jessica sings like a pro, and Phillip is an artist.

  3. Jessica Sanchez. C’mon now. She’s just unbelievable. I keep reminding myself this is a 17 year old girl singing like that. I like Phillip but wasn’t changing the song like that a bit indulgent? They always say don’t change it for changing it sake, and I feel he did that. Elise broke through I hope. Heejun has got to go. He’s a funny guy, but he’s not winning this competition. Even Steven Tyler was pissed at him last night. If the teen girls don’t go nuts, then I think it’s Heejun and Deandre in Bottom 2. If the teen/tween girls go nuts then Elise and Erika are still in trouble

    • forrest says:

      Heejun is making a mockery of the entire program. C’mon folks its obvious by now he’s not serious and is pimping for a morning radio show for all intents and purposes. ‘In over his head’ would be a kind excuse. He’s gotta go now.

      • Carol says:

        Why do people keep saying the Heejun is mocking the program? He may not be on the same level as the others, but he is obviously giving it his all. You can tell from his emotion behind the scenes that he’s taking it seriously. Just because he makes jokes does not mean he is making a joke of the competition.

      • Ana Muti says:

        I personally wouldn’t care if HJ was making a ‘mockery’ of AI if he was doing it while singing very well and making people laugh with him rather than cringe.
        I’ve stated in the past that I thought HJ had one of the better male voices in the show, and I stand by that sentiment. BUT I think he hasn’t a clue how to use his voice, doesn’t have the confidence necessary to win, and has mistaken the limitations of humor in sarcasm…one takes it to the line, but not over. HJ has gone way beyond that line, unfortunately.
        I was a fan with hopes he’d accomplish something good for himself; I can’t speak to Korean humor, but I now sincerely doubt he’ll have a future on Western TV.

      • Petunia says:

        How can you make a mockery of a program that is ALREADY a mockery? Relax, it’s just a tv program.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          A mockery of what, exactly? Tell that to Jen Hirsch and Hallie Day, two decent vocalists that were sent home earlier.

      • guest says:

        I agree. Heejun does not belong in this singing contest.

        • Bobbi says:

          If Heejun is too comfortable now that he’s on the AI tour & just wants to go “crazy” next week, then perhaps he should take a moment to think about all the other worthy struggling talents that got cut along his journey. Maybe he’ll honor them by performing to his potential.

      • j. says:

        Poor Heejun is a stranger in a strange land. He’s not fully acculturated here and doesn’t have the language down yet either, missing nuances. My theory is that, coming from Korea and always feeling like the “clueless guy” in school or whereever here, he thought he could beat it by playing up that role to comic effect — it is not that he doesn’t take the whole thing seriously, but thinks he’ll get acceptance making a joke out of himself. He’s in over his head. I hope he doesn’t get voted off (or DID he yesterday?) so that he can have another chance to put his best self forward. Incredible how none of the viewers commenting here have had the least insight into what it must be like for him.

  4. Mark says:

    Colton and Phillip were great last night. Loved their renditions. Elise is always in trouble because America doesn’t like her. She comes off like a bi otch and that she’s above the process. She needs to watch her faces and the attitude. Once again, I’m getting so tired of heejun. I hope he goes this week (but I’m not counting on it)

    • IdaRed says:

      Elise reminds me so much of Haley Reinhart in the early days of Season 10. Similar attitude. Only difference is Elise sings circles around Haley. Haley eventually grew on my if for no other reason than being totally sabotaged by the judges week after week. Elise is either not connecting with the audience or she is simply way too talented for this particular show. Perhaps she would’ve done better on The Voice where they respect a more accomplished vocalist?

  5. Jen says:

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I rather liked Colton’s take on Piano Man. I’m not sure why Michael is still not sold on this kid. He does a fantastic job, and he hits all of his notes. I understand the temptation to resent someone who is being pimped as the “third horse” especially when someone like Erika gives a fantastic performance but doesn’t get full credit for it. Still though it’s not like Colton is entirely undeserving of the praise he’s getting.

    • Mel says:

      I loved Colton’s performance, and I’m with you, Jen. I agree with 98% of what Michael says, but I do not get the complaint that the time allotted was not enough to tell the story of the song. Through the course of 11 seasons, hundreds of “story” songs, like Eleanor Rigby (David Cook) and Renegade (Chris Daughtry) have had to be cut to fit into 90 seconds, and I don’t remember anyone whining about story-mangling. You simply can’t get the whole thing on Idol. (Why the heck not, in a two-hour broadcast, is another topic.) All of the contestants do their best to give you a satisfying taste of the whole meal. Go listen to the studio version and stop it with this one.

    • Mary says:

      I actually didn’t care for the performance, maybe it was better in the studio, but it sounded off on my TV. Yes he changed it up, but didn’t do much for me.

    • Lyn says:

      I didn’t hate it, but thought it was unfortunate that Colton totally ignored the storytelling potential in that song and just repeated the la-las and chorus. Obviously he didn’t have time to spin a touching tale with all the verses like Billy Joel did, but he could have made it more meaningful.

    • selena says:

      I agree with you.. I don’t know how he is being pimped. This season we have seen a lot of different contestants get a lot of screen time. The comments seem just about right. So I don’t know what is up Michael’s ….. I don’t have a favorite this season, so every week I have chosen who I felt who was the best with an unbaised opinion.

      This week the standouts (for me) were
      Colton…. I loved it. I felt like I could hear it on the radio. It was different enough that it wasn’t a copy, but didn’t change it to him that it was unrecognizable.

      Elise… I thought she did a great job. Liked that they pulled here students up on stage. Helped out her “bad” attitude impressions..

      I still haven’t fallen in love with Jessica. She is a great singer, but I have no made a connection with her. Reminds me a Thia.

      I also enjoyed Ericka and Phillip. However I thought Colton was much better than both

      I like Hollie, but she really needs to do something upbeat. I have a feeling she is the Pia of this sesaon.

      • Bobbi says:

        Like them or not, I don’t see any similaities beween Thia and Jessica. Thia couldn’t touch the “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” or “Love You, I Do” powerhouse performances that Jessica delivered. Visually they are styled polar opposites and their body mechanics on stage are quite different as well.

  6. blingedup says:

    I’m going to say something unpopular. First, I’m going to say that I do not think that Heejun should win this competition……

    However, after having She’s Got A Way turned from a beautiful, touching song into a bombastic gospel production and after one of my favorites, Only The Good Die Young, was turned into Hanson’s MMMM-Bop, I’m going to say that at least Heejun captured the spirit of the song he was covering. Yep, he captured the spirit. I’ll take it over some of the other performances. There, I said it.

  7. Owen says:

    You know what I love about Jessica Sanchez. When she sings, she is full on, listen-to-me-or-you’ll-get-stank, JHud, deep throated DIVA. But when she’s just talking its all ‘Oh my God, like, that song is TOTALLY about dreams and, like, I’m about dreams. OMG!’ teenager. She’s Sybil.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      yeah…when she sings she seems extremely mature yet afterwards getting compliments she seems genuinely surprised by the praise and attention just like a teenager…considering comments about her being too controlled and unemotional singing she totally balances that with her unassuming personality

    • Mom of 6 says:

      Owen, interesting thought. Made me realize that a lot of singers are that way (Adele comes quickest to mind), with the whole multiple-personality thing. I think it makes them more intriguing, really.

      Three things that stood out most for me during the entire two hours: Elise’s song was crazy fabulous; Colton’s vocal tics infuriated me, to my surprise; and I love just about everything Jimmy Iovine has to say, whether I agree with it or not.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      or Jim Neighbors. ;-)
      There I go, showing my age again.

    • NYSToMine says:

      Very true! Jessica’s appeal is that she had the small taste of limelight at such an early age then just as quickly got selected out from AGT. After that most kids would’ve transitioned back into being a regular life, but her old youtube vids showed her developing her talent. It seemed like she was going to make it no matter what, and do it by sheer hard work in her little humble room. Then she walks into the studio, sees Diddy and just becomes a bowl of pudding. Adorable.

  8. Olita says:

    I find Heejun disrespectful when he speaks to the camera, and then when he sings, he doesn’t enunciate, which drives me bonkers. If I didn’t already know the words to My Life, I would have had no clue what he was singing.

  9. Carol says:

    Phillip’s line about people pawning babies was funny, especially since he delivered the line so seriously, but then broke out with a big laugh. I don’t know if you caught it, but after he said babies he also said people were pawning grandparents. That was cute.

  10. BobN says:

    Nice Recap as usual.

    Here’s how I saw it – Deandre was the one with the deer in the headlights look, not Puffy/Diddy. His song was mildly entertaining, but as you pointed out, he really didn’t get it.

    I must admit when I listened back to it, Erica’s NY state of mind was in fact really good, but when I heard it live, I was more like “Well, that was better than Deandre…”. It may be my ear, but it seems like some of her low notes were just a bit off pitch and came of as a bit jarring.

    I hope Joshua has some residual good will from last week with the voters because last night there was absolutely no connection to the song. In fact, I barely recognized the song. I think he would also be one to take heed of the less is more advice

    Skylar’s performance was serviceable but nothing great.

    Elise – Wow, wow, wow. I only disagree with you in that she should get an A+

    PP – Good performance and enjoyable rendition, but not as good as last week. I do have wonder if Dave Matthews ticket sales have gone up since PP has been doing him on Idol for the last several weeks.

    Hollie – meh

    Heejun – His schtick is up

    Jessica – Amazing voice, well done, but I still think she needs to even further go with the less is more mantra, particularly with the vibrato.

    Colton – I am not a Colton fan at all but I actually really enjoyed his take on Piano Man. I do the UFO-has -landed lighting was a bit much though

    • Tino says:

      Agree – not seeing enough PP/Dave Matthews mentions. The guy is doing a homeless man’s Dave impersonation every week. It’s actually kind of embarrassing.

      • Joe says:

        I’m waiting for someone to find a video of him performing in a parking lot of a DMB show or as part of a DMB cover band before he tried out for Idol. It’s a flawless Dave impersonation. I’m actually impressed how good he does it. Original? Not by a long shot. He’s doing Dave and anyone trying to say he’s not is in major denial. Watch Dave sing his cover version of All Along The Watchtower to see him yell with a crazed look on his face and the guitar clutched high the way PP does every song.

    • Mom of 6 says:

      The similarities between Phillip and Dave Matthews seems limited to me to be relaxed appearance, guitar groovability, and predilection for a minor key (Thriller/Gravedigger). Their voices are very different, though, and where Phillip will growl/yell more, Dave has a seasoned mastery of subtlety. I hope that Phillip can become all that.

  11. Allie says:

    I think Elise has a great voice and deserves the praise she is getting. But I sometimes find her to be a little too loud and shouty. I would love to see her do a stripped down performance.

  12. Marsaili says:

    I was wondering as well if Haley was looking at Elise like—that was ME! Let’s hope the judges have learned something since last year—I think they have, they are certainly handling things differently this year.
    I didn’t connect to Jessica at all last night—I usually do without even thinking of it. I listened to her a few times and while I appreciated her singing as usual, I just didn’t connect to it.
    I’ve been saying all along that Phil is my fav—but I felt that his Movin’ Out was somewhat aggressive—I felt a bit uncomfortable with it. It’s a shame, I was looking forward to him doing Billy Joel—maybe HE should have done Only the Good Die Young.
    I loved Colton last night—he almost gave ME goosies. Ick, did I say that?
    Elise, I will buy your album.
    Erika, I will buy your album.
    HeeJun, my teen sons think you are awesome. I know I’ve taught them better than that—but kids—what can you do?
    DeAndre—-I understood that song when it came out and I was 10 years old. I used to think it was kinda dirty back then. NOT Happy Happy Joy Joy.
    Holly—I’m sorry, I fell asleep. What did she sing?
    I love Skylar. She isn’t in my top 3 but maybe she should be……
    Joshua—you didn’t get it this time. I think you’ll make up for it next week—I’m COUNTING on it!
    THANK YOU TVLINE FOR GIVING US A LOG-IN!!! I really hated that I had to “sign in” everytime I commented.

    • Mom of 6 says:

      Dang, Marsaili, I have six kids and have heard that song for years, but I just had to Google the lyrics to know what the song meant. Jeez…

      • Marsaili says:

        I have 6 kids too! I was in 5th grade when that song came out—my best friend and I knew every song on that album by heart and used to sing them all the time. We kinda figured out what that song was about—she had older siblings, they helped us understand.

    • gregk says:

      I really have never been a fan of Billy Joel and most of his songs are boring and/or unfamiliar and put me to sleep too. Even Steven Tyler admitted he was not familiar with one. Strangely enough though, Holly’s song was the only one to stick in my head long after the show. Honesty….

      • Marsaili says:

        I’ve been a fan pretty much since he started in the 70’s—but honestly, Honesty is my least favorite song, LOL! It’s just so cheesy—to me.

  13. Steve Z says:

    I’m so glad that you pointed out what I mentioned earlier about DeAndre. If he wants to make it farther in this competition, he is going to have to tap into his yet to be discovered sexiness. Because Colton already has that manga-look of sexy but safe for teenage girls look locked in for this season.

    Elise was the best last night.

    I am also worried about Joshua. When he sang “When a Man Loves a Woman” he could connect to that song because it is basically a road-map for what we as a society have been told all along. When he had to go to a song that relied more on personal experience to interpret the lyrics… he suffered. But he, De Andre, Jessica and Hollie are all in that same boat.

    The hiccups that their “yet to be reached” maturity might be the opportunity that Erika and Elise could capitalize on. They just need to connect to the teen base. If Elise ever stated in an intro package how “she remembers how powerful her first love was when she was X-years old” and that was what she was trying to put into “song Y”, she may have a shot a relating to the younger fan base.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I’m going to have a shallow moment now. I agree that DeAndre didn’t tap into whatever wells of sensuality he may possess for his performance last night. And that’s a very good thing for the other contestants, because if DeAndre ever got wind of how good-looking he is no one else would stand a chance. Really, I know he’s not legal, but… geez.

      • Shana says:

        lol how long until DeAndre turns 18? My friend was over the other day and found him pretty attractive until I informed her that he was 17..

      • TheBeach says:

        So true, but I also disagree with Mr. Hilfiger telling him to put his hair back down. He looks much more handsome when it’s tied back and you can see his pretty face. When it’s down, he flopping it around to distraction.

    • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

      I’m thinking that Deandre still isn’t ready. I was one who was disappointed that he was passed over last year, but now I see why they didn’t take him then. He’s naive now, last year he was surely embryonic in comparison …

  14. Pretty sure the random guy in the trucker hat was NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano (Home Depot Car). He also came to AI last season with fellow driver Trevor Bayne shortly after Trevor won the Daytona 500.

  15. Meyling says:

    I didn’t think Heejun was nearly as bad as you thought it was, Slezak. I mean, I’d rather listen to that than hear not-so-pitch-perfect ballad after ballad from Hollie. At least he was comfortable on stage. Joshua was seemed reeaally uncomfortable that whole time. And I can’t say that Deandre was any better than Heejun. Plus if we want a contestant to capture the spirit and emotion of a song, I think Heejun did just that.

    I also thought P2’s performance wasn’t good enough for an A-. Everything he is singing is sounding the same! And he’s one of my favorites! A+ for blatantly ignoring everything Jimmy, Diddy, and Tommy told him.

    I wish I liked Colton’s voice, but I find his the most annoying sounding of the bunch. And I didn’t like his Piano Man arrangement. Skylar was just alright.

    Elise, Erika, and Jessica were amazing and the best three of the night.

    • Aubry says:

      Deandre is not making a mockery out of AI. I find Heejun a sorry combination of Sanjiah, Norman Gentile and Pee Wee Herman. NO FUNNY, CANNOT SING and Needs to GO HOME.

      • Meyling says:

        I don’t see why everyone is saying Heejun made a mockery of the show. Because he had fun? Because he was entertaining? Obviously the producers allowed him to do that. Nigel loved it.
        I think Heejun is a better singer than Deandre. it’s just my opinion.

  16. Jan says:

    “Honesty” is probably my all-time favorite Billy Joel song, so I was hoping it would get sung VERY well … it didn’t (though Hollie gave it an okay effort). Hope those teeny boppers who do so much voting give Erika and Elise a break, because they were REALLY good. Michael, I just loved your reference to the Kardashian book shelf! ;-)

    • gregk says:

      As I said in my comment above, Honesty was the only song to stick in my head afterwards. I do like Hollie and voted for her and Erika. Honestly….

  17. BobN says:

    Forgot to note that Erika’s make-over was spectacular. You and Melinda were absolutley right about going brunette and Hilfiger was right about gong short.

  18. Erika says:

    Colton’s full studio version of Piano Man is a thing of beauty. A must listen.

  19. Joe says:

    I hope all you “Heejun rules!” fans are happy you got your Heejun. What he did on that stage was an embarrassment last night. There are people up on that stage actually trying and he mails in a middle finger performance just to let us all know he’s more interested in becoming a comedy personality than a singer. It was so frustrating and I wish Steven said what was really on his mind as he looked ready to rip Heejun a new one. As someone who works in comedy for a living, Heejun he doesn’t have the chops. Whoever has gotten into his ear and told him he should ham it up and he’ll become a personality for living is giving him wrong advice. The minute he’s off the show he’ll fade into worse obscurity than Norman Gentle who at least made me laugh a little along the way. The sooner he goes the better. And don’t give me “entertaining” in regards to his performance. It was a snarky car wreck.
    Elise stole the night. Pulling Vienna out from the catalogue proved to me she knew exactly what she was doing and I was happy that she didn’t let Jimmy push her around. She sang that song beautifully. Would have loved to see some of the singers get a little deeper into Joel’s catalogue like Elise did. Sleeping With The Television On, All For Leyna, And So It Goes and I Go To Extremes would have been much better choices than some of the songs last night. Josh really lost momentum and they should have searched harder to find a song that fit him. River of Dreams would’ve been a better choice than She’s Got a Way for his style. Colton did a great job. I like the changes he made to the piano chords and I enjoyed him a lot last night. Honesty should have been perfect for Hollie but it didn’t work. Really felt like Elise and Colton owned the night. Deandre will most likely go home or Erica. I wish they would toss Heejun off the show but I know his “fans” love his stupid manufactured personality so much they must have voted like crazy. All you’re doing is enabling him. He will not have a career in comedy and if he doesn’t take singing seriously he won’t have a career on a cruise ship.

    • Carol says:

      As someone who works in comedy for a living, maybe you could try to be less of a sourpuss: “mails in a middle finger performance”, “it was a snarky car wreck”, “I know his ‘fans’ love his stupid manufactured personality”, “all you’re doing is enabling him”. I mean, dude, so much hostility. It’s a TV show. Chill out with all the aggression.

      • Joe says:

        Heejun was pure sunshine & rainbows! It was like watching a unicorn frolic in a field of butter! Phew, now I feel much better Carol. Thanks!

        • Carol says:

          That’s not an example of the humor you do for a living, is it? Eek.

          • MediaHo says:

            Personal comedy stylings aside, Joe spake the truth. Deal with it.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            That was flat-out funny.

          • Paloma Pigeon says:

            The comedy business is just as brutal, if not more so, than the music business. It’s about the work and Heejun is being as lazy in his comedy as he is in his musical efforts. Joe’s spot-on about this.

          • Joe says:

            Baby? Sweetie? Carol? You did so good and you look like you had fun out there and that’s all that counts!

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      maybe Heejan would do better if he could choose by himself contemporary songs he knows and loves in his own style and didn’t have all these old guys trying to tell him what to sing and how to sing it and what to wear and how to act…maybe this is his way of trying to cope with keeping his integrity as a performer and person…plus he is actually in a good place to be a role model to asians getting media exposure and treating culture-blinded and youth-centric whitebread America to a different flavor…don’t think he will win but could visualize him on a successful sitcom before a Princess Cruise ship

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Joe, you get a Made Me Laugh. In fact you get TWO Made Me Laughs!
      Ignore Carol. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Actually, I posted something below on this board but what I wrote isn’t nearly as good as what you wrote. Thank you.

      • Carol says:

        Ignore me? I’d like to ignore you but your 739 comments are everywhere. Look, I am only saying: what is with all the HOSTILITY over a TV show? Why does saying that cause you to say that I should be ignored? You all need to quit taking this whole discussion so seriously — this is not life and death here. If “I work in comedy for a living” guy can get so worked up to be that angry over a singing show contestant, he needs to check himself. That’s all I’m saying. Now Darcy, go back to the DVR and pause it to comment every 6 seconds like you usually do.

        • darcy's evil twin says:


        • Templar says:

          To quote Bon Jovi “Everybody needs somebody to love. Everybody needs somebody to hate”

        • Marsaili says:

          So let me get this straight—you blast Joe because you don’t like his opinion. Then Darcy tells Joe to ignore your blasting him—and you blast her. Later on down in the post, you complain about how everyone is so meanspirited—but it’s ok for you to insult others? POT MEET KETTLE.

          • Carol says:

            •No, lady, I am not blasting Joe because of his opinion. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and they do not have to like or dislike the same singers that I do. However, Joe’s comments toward Heejun were SO angry, and I wondered why the hostility over a singing show. THAT’S IT. Is this that hard to compreh

    • Mary says:

      Joe believe me I think Heejun should of gone 2 weeks ago, but I honestly think he tried to go uptempo and put a little fun in the song. If he could sing to save his life it would of worked, but unfortunately he can’t so singing that song it looks like he was making a mockery of the show.
      It might hurt him in the long run, but I will say I never laughed so hard, I don’t know if it was because it was unexpected or just the judges response to it. It also might be I was laughing at him. I was entertained. But it is time for him to go.

    • Caleb says:

      Ugh, lighten up for christ sake, Heejun was just having fun in his own way and it was much more entertaining than the bore-fest going on.
      Norman Gentle made you laugh? Good god, you do not belong in comedy.

  20. Becky says:

    “Sparse as a Kardashian’s book shelf”???? You are a funny man.

    My question for the week is how could Deandre and Joshua be so clueless as to the meaning of their songs? It takes a simple read-through to figure out what’s going on – is it because they concentrate so hard on learning a melody in a short period of time?

    And thank you, Steven, for being present last night and handing Heejun his hat. Sanjaya and Norman Gentle were quite enough ludicracy for eleven years, thank you very much. It’s the music, stupid.

  21. Betsy says:

    I thought Heejun did a great job and the judges were way too hard on him. I was surprised to read that you agreed with them. His voice is actually quite good and the performance was VERY entertaining. It was awkward at first because people thought he was REALLY screwing up and having to start over, and then it turned into a joke. But the rest of his movements were quite fun and natural, I thought.

    I wish some of these singers would learn to build a song and not just scream the whole damn thing. Hollie and Colton made me want to cover my ears and run away because I get tired of being screamed at.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    I personally don’t understand America’s aversion to Elise. I personally think her voice is far superior to Erica’s but that doesn’t really seem to matter, because week after week, she’s in the bottom. I think she KILLED it last night with “Vienna” – it was probably my favorite performance of the evening.

    Close seconds: Phillip and Colton. Both guys can sing and seem to have the most genuine performances each week. I really tend to believe them and I love that they won’t let people change them.

    The contestant that I think I tend to least believe is Jessica. The girl can definitely sing (there’s no denying that), but she seems to have this attitude that consistently bugs me.

    • TheBeach says:

      Same here. Adele’s CD has been #1 for almost a year which is quite an astounding feat in today’s market. I think Elise has a lot of that scratchy, bluesy sound that Adele has. Maybe the people that buy Adele’s music are not the same ones that vote on Idol. Go figure.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I like Erika and Elise equally, but clearly there are people that prefer one style to the other. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  23. I yelled at the screen last night when Jimmy said nobody knows Vienna! Seriously? The song is on one of the best albums EVER. And Elise did a great job on the song, as did Erika and Colton. I laughed so hard at Joshua’s performance. Dude really missed the boat on that one!

    • Tim says:

      Jimmy’s just saying that it’s not well-known to the general public compared to Billy’s big radio hits, which is true. It was a B-side.

  24. tewence says:

    people need to get over phillip. completely unoriginal and contrived…and AWKWARD to watch and listen to. people love the way he looks, period. oh, and any semi-attractive guy who plays guitar and sings with any sort of rasp in his voice will automatically make the panties drop. if you kept your eyes closed during his songs, you would wonder what the eff you were listening to.

    colton…i mean he isn’t bad. the intentional cracking of his voice is annoying. also, anyone who wears skinny jeans in attempt to be different is actually just like everyone else doing the same thing. people think that when someone LOOKS like colton does on american idol, they are instantly amazing because they have an image (“he’s so unique”) please, for the birds…

    deandre screwed up. and it is a shame ’cause that kid is legit.

    obviously elise was freaking awesome.

    so was jessica. i actually believed this song more than “i will always love you” yet she gave a better vocal performance of on whitney night. she’ll get there.

    who else? i keep forgetting people. :o

    oh yeah, erika. she sounded good but i just don’t think she is current enough for today. good voice, good singer, but i am not sure who she is as an artist. i would not buy her album.

    joshua made me sad because he is stellar.

    hollie. hollie’s tone is fantastic but all these slow, disconnected songs aren’t going to get her very far.

    skylar…i don’t remember her performance. :/

    hee jun. goodbye.

  25. Tom says:

    Everybody please stop with the connecting to songs …. really?? … how many people “connect” to Piano Man … what been hanging out in a piano bar lately?? or to New York State of Mind?? Hell, I live in New York and i dont “connect”, but I like the song … Either you like the performance or you dont … stop connecting already … you are parroting other peoples thoughts ….

    • Marsaili says:

      You don’t have to have a literal connection to the subject of the song to connect to it—apparently you don’t connect at all. People can connect to Piano Man because of the loneliness it speaks of, or they connect to New York State of Mind because of what he mentions in the song. There is nothing wrong with connecting to a song–sorry you can’t see that.

      • Tom says:

        My point here is I read so many comments “Jessica does not connect” or “i dont connect with Jessica” to the point of absurdity… I understand some people take music to that depth, but it is parroted so often that its just people repeating what they read elsewhere… It gets silly after a while…

        • Marsaili says:

          Considering I was the one who said I didn’t connect to Jessica, let me explain—-Usually when she sings I FEEL it, I feel the emotion, I feel her passion—yesterday I felt nothing. So, i didn’t connect. I “DO” take music to that depth. Sorry if you don’t like it—but that is just who I am. I don’t remember hearing anyone else say that–I know that they said last night that people weren’t connecting with their songs—that is an important thing—if someone is singing about love or loneliness or ships or whatever, you want to feel they know and have experienced what they are singing about. If they are just singing words, it doesn’t mean anything. So connecting is important. Yes, we’ve been hearing about connecting more lately-maybe connecting is the catch phrase instead of pitchy this year??? But it is something that can’t be blown off.

    • TheBeach says:

      Now you’ve done it. Stop disparaging those of us who love throwing a few back at a piano bar :)

  26. michelle says:

    I just really don’t get this Phillip thing – all o his performances are exactly the same screaming.

  27. teatime says:

    I was thoroughly entertained by Heejun’s performance.
    He really understood the song’s lyrics and did a good job of interpreting it. I think Heejun could have done a wonderful job with a beautiful Billy Joel song like Honesty. But he was told last week to do something up tempo and he listened. He gave a performance that was completely different from anything else he has done on the show.

  28. Kristi says:

    I know this is not a popular opinion…..but there is something about Elise’s voice that I don’t like. And no I am not against “older” female contestants (I actually really like the tone of Erika’s voice). Her voice sounds kind of rough and raspy to me, and at times it seemed like she was shouting. My favorites last night were Colton and Jessica. I also really like Hollie’s voice.

    • C says:

      Agree with you 100%. She could sing my favorite song in the world and I would not enjoy it. Her voice is harsh and rasping and not at all pleasant to listen to.

    • Lyn says:

      I’m puzzled too about the judges’ effusive praise for Elise. Her voice isn’t that special and she looks unhappy/unpleasant no matter what kind of song she’s singing. In particular, her yen to give Randy his “like Janis” moment last night made for a weirdly scratchy-screechy version of “Vienna.”

    • ejones says:

      Elise has at times a grating tone to her voice which I suspect that some people like me will find occasionally unpleasant.

  29. karenb says:

    I really liked Phillip’s version of Movin’ Out. I thought it was much better than the original-which I absolutely hate.

  30. Gisele Glen says:

    I do not get why Michael still is not on the Colton train!! I think he is one of the best singers in the competition and he puts so much emotion into it. At least give him an A Slezak there is no need to be stingy lol

    • Alex F. says:

      Completely agree.

      I also think Phillip is getting a lot of passes because of his good looks and WGWG… I don’t get why he keeps aggressively shouting and making songs unrecognizable

      • Spider3tattoo says:

        I liked PP in the beginning. However, every.single.performance. is the same from him. He turns EVERY song into a Dave Matthews sound-alike contest. Ugh.

  31. Muffy says:

    I am a PP fan, not because he is cute but because he is a musician. I like singer/songwriters that actually believe in and understand what the are singing. Granted, I have never heard any of his original music, but I imagine that it would fit right in to my IPOD. I also like Sklyar even though I don’t like country music. Jessica bores me. I think DeAndre has potential, but he needs much more help that what he is being given.

    • Jessica says:

      Yes! Diandre is not getting the help he needs. I don’t get why the judges are so harsh sometimes with these guys-they’re amateurs. Work with them, help them. The only thing I really want to see a lot of strength in is them actually enjoying what they are singing and have an idea what they want to sing.

      • Muffy says:

        Imagine how good he good be with a perfect song that highlights his strengths. It would be an Idol moment for sure. Unfortunately, I don’t think he is mature enough to get there on his own. Someone help him, please.

  32. Jurybox says:

    Ok, I know I swore to abandon Idol a few weeks ago and watch only The Voice, I’m back again – mostly because I kept hearing that this year’s crop of Idol hopefuls were surprisingly GOOD, but also because the battle round format of the Voice is surprisingly boring.

    My 2 cents- I was surprised Michael didn’t totally flip over Phillip Phillip’s rendition of Movin’ Out-that was one of the best performances on the Idol stage ever. I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Randy Jackson that this was one of the best versions of the song ever. I was seriously impressed. SERIOUSLY IMPRESSED!!

  33. Holly says:

    Actually, I would like Tommy Hilfiger to stay, but the Idol producers should require the contestants to actually LISTEN to him! Erika listened, and the result was a huge improvement to her image.

  34. Faze Craze says:

    That was way harsh Tai. If DeAndrew gets a D, then Heejun should get an F.

  35. sandi says:

    I actually like Joshua songs last night. He really looked every vulnerable. I love his voice.

  36. Jessica says:

    This is a confusing season of AI for me. Everyone has vocal talent (besides Heejun- his voice doesn’t sound good anymore) but there are flaws. Some not knowing what to sing, some lacking stage performance/confidence. Jessica Sanchez gets all this praise but to me she is still too young and too much like a pageant little girl. I’m not getting into her/her performances at all. Hollie needs to figure something out with all the talent she has. Erika is amazing but lacking something. I was loving her hair!! Elise-learn how to smile without it looking like a smirk. Skylar needs to take the pretty voice she has at the end of songs and sing like that for most of a song. I also think I’m kinda bored with a country contestant since Scotty. So my fav. is Phillip-he’s got it figured out pretty well. The only thing I’m nervous about is the yelling at the end but I like that. His stubbornness might hurt him on the AI stage.

  37. Chris says:

    I beg dizzyfeet everyday to please bring in better mentors. I have to assume that WillIAm and Diddy are for ratings…because they can’t hold a note to what Mary J had to offer those teens and twenty somethings. I digress….

    DeAndre: The interpretation of the song was lost BUT he sang the song well. He held the tempo and the melody and for that he deserves another week. (Don’t believe me, listen to Billy’s then DeAndre’s then Billy’s). I am dying for someone to help cut the light bulb on for this kid. The judges aren’t. If you weren’t smiling at the end of the performance you are dead inside though. How infectious is that smile? This kid CAN sing (do you know how hard it is to switch from falsetto to chest voice – he does it effortlessly) just lacks life experience is all… But then again perhaps America thinks you should be able to exude sexual innuendo like a champ at 17… I dunno…whiplash over thinking on that one. I appreciate his innocence but he never had a shot with true interpretation and for that E-, to both Jimmy, Diddy, and everyone in charge of that list. Mary J would have been like “DeAndre here’s what the song means” or “why don’t you do”…. If I hear the judges say, “I hope American can see beyond this for who you really are as an artist” again I might just turn off the television. Until you let that kid sing Maxwell’s version of This Woman’s Work how can America truly grasp what they saw/see in him? He’s pointedly stated on numerous occasions that Eric Benet is an idol and the direction he’d like to go in. Perhaps he should have gone to The Voice….

    Did I mention WillIAm and Diddy mentoring these kids is as ridiculous as GaGa coaching/mentoring Scotty (you know the last Idol winner) how to interpret and perform?

    Erika: Please let the PINK OUT, please? (Translation for Steven comments he was following Diddy excep it was worse. Sorry Steven LOVE LOVE you but really?). LET THE PINK OUT!

    Joshua: Perhaps if he’d channeled some of those feelings he has for Hollie (come on are you blind?) through that song, he would have done better. He had an off night, sucks, but its true. I hope he gets another week (and bring back the choir where it works).

    Heejun – What I wish is that he volunteers to go home, saves a fellow contestant who really wants a career in music. I’ll refrain from explaining from my very negative place why he won’t. Heejun go home.

    Skylar: I like Skylar but I did not like that performance. I hope she gets another shot because she does have what it takes to be a successful artist and PERFORMER.

    Elise: You did good. I liked it but I don’t like the shoulder popping. What’s with the hand movements to measure out what you are doing? Don’t teach us – just sing girl!

    Hollie: What Steven really meant when he said let your hair down was pull the log out and have some damn fun girl. She undoubtedly has a great voice but you are not winning this shindig (love Haley) so why not let that dirty flirty cheerleader out! Come on you know you can… We won’t think less of you, really.

    Phillip: Learn melody – at least while you are performing other artists songs. Why is it ok for him to growl and they criticized Casey over and over? Hmp. I know why you still in this gig and there is nothing I can do about it, really.

    Jessica: Thank you. I voted for you this week but only because as you channeled Jennifer Hudson, letting us know why you were there (literally pointing) with your sass and execution, you nailed it. I agree w/ Jenny from the block – that could have easily been a Jennifer Sanchez song, not a Billy Idol song. I believed you were there because it is your dream.

    Colton: “But uff da, that little hiccupy hitch in his voice that kept popping up throughout the performance, it bordered on unpleasant”, every week, every song. I can’t stand it! But he is talented.

    As a closing thought, I wonder if Skylar helped set up those deer finders for Colton’s performance. Or maybe Colton was tyring to project the Batman sign and we just missed the signal…. I dunno…..

    • Tom says:

      Now I am sure you meant Billy Joel not Billy Idol … but now that you brought it up how about jessica singing a Billy idol song …whoa! :)

    • Laura says:

      IA lots of criticism about Casey growling sometimes (Michael I looking at you too) but Phil gets the pass . Casey about 1000 times more versatile than Phillip. Plus, all this talk about Phil’s out patient surgery by AI and Iovine-/Phil gives a sick day a new meaning. Meanwhile, poor Casey was in the hospital for the first three wks of the competition. He gave it a new meaning.
      Dont get me wrong– not Phil’s fault. I like him . He is endearing and does some interesting arrangements . But, the more conventionally good looking guy gets the pass

    • Sandy says:

      Chris, I agree with so much of what you wrote, especially the extensive paragraph devoted to Deandre and the potential that has yet to be realized, Elise’s shoulder popping (still love her), and your observation about Joshua (I agree it seems he might have a thing for Hollie).

  38. Sandi says:

    Michael – You’re determined to stick with your “Colton is a B+ performer” mantra and I doubt there’s anything he could do to change your mind. i understand you want someone other than the standard white guy to win but Colton deserves far more praise than you are willing to give.

    I, for one, absolutely hated Erika’s NYSOM. It sounded like a mediocre lounge performance that nearly put me to sleep. I absolutely hated the liberties she took with the melody and everything about it screamed “old and boring.” There’s no way in creation she deserves a higher grade than Colton. I wouldn’t bat an eyelash if she goes home.

    Phil Phil was okay but Colton was more dynamic and interesting to watch/listen to.

    Elise/Jessica – definitely the best of the women.

    Skylar – acceptable but needs to take some sort of risk soon or she’s destined to finish in the middle of the pack.

    Hollie – zzzzzz

    Joshua – I’m worried about him tonight. I hope he gets another chance because it would be a crime for him to leave. However, what he did to “She’s got a way” was a crime in itself.

    Deandre – I think he’s running out of chances. Unfortunately, I think he’s about 2 or 3 years too young for this.

    Heejun – Must be stopped. I don’t mind his comedy shtick. In fact, I think it’s intelligent of him to show personality on the stage. I don’t take it as “He’s not taking this all seriously.” But I do think that when you focus on the singing, he’s cruise-ship quality at best.

  39. Ed says:

    Is it me or has anyone else been dissapointed w/ the last two performance episodes since the amazing “Top 13” night? There have been standout perfomances (Josh, “When A Man Loves A Woman” and Elise, “Vienna”) but as a whole, I’ve been underwhelmed.

    The only exception is Jessica who’s swagger and stage presence is well beyond her years (despite her hicup last week).

    Heejun, my fellow Korean, needs to go home. I fast forward my way through parts of his performances because they are painful.

    Phillip, as another commenter said, is a VERY poor man’s Dave Matthews.

    But I have to say that my least favorite of the “favorites” is Colton. We get it, you’re the sensitive rocker type that has a strange obsession w/ faux hawks and blond streaks but he over performs everything. Last night’s over produced performance was too screechy and not believable. And that whole thing about wanting to have God performing through him – gross. Unfortunately, I think Colton is in it for the long-haul and will likely be top 3 when it’s all said and done. But I wish he could take his skinny jeans and go home w/ his desperate for attention sister.

  40. darcy's evil twin says:

    Well, well, well…l’m normally not the kind of person to say “I told you so”, but…I freakin’ told you so! Does anyone remember me saying those of us that are older don’t find the Heejuns of the world one bit amusing because we’ve spent a lifetime working with them and dealing with them? This is the end result when you cater to, indulge, and encourage people like Heejun. They twist off your head and crap in the hole. Steven Tyler couldn’t have said it better. For all the times Steven Tyler has said something ridiculous or called something “beautiful”, he made up for it in spades last night when he told Heejun, “Are you happy that you took the piss out of that song?”
    There is no joy in Mudville – Hallie Day and Jen Hirsch are saying, “What the ****?????” And as far as I’m concerned Lauren Turner, Robbie Rosen, Kendra Chantelle, Kaitlyn (sp?) Epperle, Lily Scott, and – Mr. Slezak I am not going to leave out your favorite, Mishavonna Henson – should all go bang their heads against a brick wall someplace.
    Even worse – a less deserving contestant will probably go home!

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Wow, that twist off the head and crap in the hole bit was very graphic. Kudos.
      But hey, after Heejun isn’t sent home tonight, maybe the ire of the judges and the rest of the serious singers in the competition will cause him to get back in touch with the deep well of insecurity he displayed before the live rounds and he’ll leave voluntarily.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Oh, holy crap, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that observation, but as God is my witness I am laughing and shaking my head. thanks.
        okay, off the Crabby Grandma train and back to the sarcasm now…

      • Carol says:

        You are wishing that somebody would get back in touch with their deep well of insecurity? There are some really ugly people on this board. Whether you dislike his singing or not, why would you wish that on someone?

    • Jason says:

      Oh Lily Scott (the coolest girl ever on idol) and Kaitlynn Epperly ( the most beautiful girl ever on Idol)!! Flasbacks to that horrible night!!!!

    • Joe says:

      If Heejun went out swinging playing it straight and trying to be the best singer he could be, he wouldn’t get the backlash he’s gotten. When you finally drop the curtain, like he did last night, and reveal that it’s all a joke you insult all the people along the way who dreamed of getting their shot. As someone who works in the “business” it infuriates me to see people try to use this as a platform for things other than singing. To make a long story short, I once met with a lot of actors for parts in something I was going to do and the agency that was packaging the project sent me over all the doofuses from Real World/Road Rules to read for speaking roles in my project. These were not trained actors. They were some of the most vapid people you’ve ever met. They all thought they were ready to be major film stars because they were on reality TV. Their people had convinced them they did the groundwork for that kind of career. It was a waste of my time and everyone involved in the production that their agent got them in the door. Heejun made a choice last night to come out and say “I’m a joke artist”. That choice is going to lead him to nowhere. He stood a better chance playing it straight and going for the Asian Pop thing Jimmy was talking about than deciding he could go up against comedy performers with real chops who would destroy him in an audition. I got angry because we saw through the charade last night and I thought of all the kids who got sent home because Heejun was quick with a quip when the camera was on with his deadpan schtick.

      • Bobbi says:

        Well put. I’m also wondering what the other remaining contestants think now that they’ll have to put with him in the mansion and on the tour bus. With the threat of being sent home and missing the tour, Heejun was careful not to expse himself. Now, he as nothing to lose since he does nt want to be a “star”, but no one wants to pay for that nonsense performance last night.

  41. db says:

    I think p. philip has the vibe of the “Boss” when he was young….

    • Delon says:

      Oh, no, no ,no, no, no, no, no, no, db*tch. Don’t try to give any honors to someone who is just barely Dave Matthews-lite by throwing the mighty Boss’ name around. Especially a young Boss. No way, no how!!!

      • Marsaili says:

        I totally agree with db—and I am SO sick of people comparing him to Dave Matthews. I’ve been listening to a lot of Dave Matthews lately—Phillip sounds nothing like him. My boys, who aren’t really familiar with Dave Matthews asked to hear some of his stuff to compare—even they agreed that Phillip seems nothing like him. So STOP the comparisons, people! Phillip is his own person, his own singer, his own voice. Remember in the early 2000’s there were like 10 bands out there and they all sounded a bit like Nickelback? With 6+ billion people in the world, you’re gonna get some who’s voices MAY be similar. Doesn’t mean they are trying to be someone else!

  42. VJW says:

    I don’t get all the hooha about Elise’s performance. With the execption of the, um, “interesting” run at the end of the song, she used the same lick she’s used in all of her other performances. The thought that she’s actually a vocal coach is terrifying. She needs to go home and Heejun and Deandre (aka “The Aaron Neville Wanabe”) can follow her.

    Oh, and Jessica Sanchez can drop that “oh I’m so surprised you like me” act she does every time someone compliments her. It’s so fake and unbecoming. And although she’s got a great set of pipes for someone so young, she’s not mature enough to make a song her own. Everything she’s done up to this point has been a cookie-cutter performance of the original song – practically note for note.

  43. Delon says:

    Elise wins the night!

  44. Jason says:

    I like Philip Philips but I hate his name! I think he could change it! Maybe Robert Roberts or Richard Richards or Peter Peters!

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      I have occasionally wondered what his parents were thinking when they named him. I figure they must be either highly quirky or seriously lacking in imagination.

  45. I don’t think you are the one that should be making statements about any singer it’s obvious you are a fan of only one contestant Colton. By putting everyone who is a threat to Colton down you make yourself look uninformed. Don’t ever compare anyone that has been a contestant on AI to Adam Lambert. I’ve watch AI every season some only parts because they lacked any talented contestants but Adam is the most talented, versatile, stage performer in the history of AI and is more successful than any male performer to ever appear on the AI stage. I don’t get the appeal of Colton. He’s got a mediocre voice, awful hair cut and thinks he’s a rockstar but he’s not even close. Hope he doesn’t make it to Top 5. It’s a shame that mainly teens vote because a lot of amazingly talented people have been voted off way too early or judges have put someone down to get them voted off. Unfortunately AI is now trying to draw teens to watch the show and AI has lost some viewers. We don’t need 15 years old winners we need some adults too.

  46. Laura says:

    Elise’s performance of Vienna knocked me out. Damn, it was freaking amazing. So many interesting choices in that vocal. I was stunned by the end. Vienna happens to be my fave Billy J song-heard it 100s of times–but listening to Elise sing it was a new experience. Talk about making it her own–that’s how to do it. I don’t think anyone came close to her last night and their were some good performances. I loved Lets Stay Together from the week before too. She’s a singer singer

    I also have been reading that nobody knows the Vienna song. I don’t think that’s true. It was a fairly popular tune. Wasn’t a top 10 hit–but still known. Plus, aren’t we all tired of the same songs being done over and over again. Can’t make people happy

  47. Laura says:

    I met there were some good performances–LOL

  48. darcy's evil twin says:

    I absolutely loved Elise’s “Vienna” and Erika’s “New York State of Mind” – they were my favorite performances of the night. It would be difficult for me to choose which one I liked the best so I’m going to call it a tie.
    I also liked Colton’s “Piano Man”. And for reasons I can’t explain I kind of liked Phillip Phillips’ “Movin’ Out”. My husband looked up and said, “I thought this was Billy Joel night”? Once Phillips got to the chorus the song was a bit more recognizable. I don’t think Phillip Phillips sets out to alter the melody – I believe that’s how he hears it in his head.
    I was a bit disappointed in Deandre, Joshua, and Hollie. Honestly, I had high hopes for Hollie but I am beginning to think we could give her Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” to sing and she’d manage to turn it into some sort of big ballad. I was also disappointed in Skylar, as “Shameless” should have been better, but as Mr. Slezak pointed out she owned her mistakes. She needed to just stand still and sing the lyrics – that’s not a “move around the stage and flirt with the NASCAR driver” type of song.
    Jessica was excellent – she’s just not my type of singer. I won’t be upset if she wins but I am having trouble imagining who would buy those records. The same people that buy Josh Groban and Susan what’s her name (the English gal), I suppose.
    Not mentioning the Asian guy. I would buy a plane ticket and help pack his bags if I thought it would get rid of him faster.

    • Marsaili says:

      Her singing with the Nascar guy brought back memories of Lauren singing to that random guy last year—and he was SO uncomfortable (and then Ryan had to ask how old he was and remind him that Lauren was jail bait), the poor guy just wanted to dissolve into an abyss.

      I totally agree with you 100% on your thoughts of last night—it was definitely a showcase for Elise and Erika, and I thought Colton was terrific!

      Hearing how Phillip sang the song to Jimmy and Do-wah-Diddy and how he sang it on stage, I agree with you, I don’t think he does set out consciously to totally change up the melody—I think it just comes out to be what it happens to be. I’m glad he kept the guitar despite Diddy’s advice–actually I am glad he ignored all the advice. He is who he is (NOT Dave Matthews!) having said all that, I do think he was kinda scary-aggressive on that song—like he was REALLY angry about what he was singing. Maybe his girlfriend wants him to evolve from the Pawn Shop and move on up to the East Side????? Who knows, LOL!

    • TheBeach says:

      Wow, that’s a very interesting observation about Philip and you just may be right (no pun intended).

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      Jessica can release an album of dance music that will make the rounds at clubs for years. Mark my words.

      • Templar says:

        I’d be willing to bet that she never gets a record deal.

        • Miscellaneopolan says:

          I’ll take that bet. How much we talkin’?

          • HudsonRiverside says:

            I’d take that bet in a heartbeat as well! Jessica hasn’t had the chance to sing a current dance song yet. I enjoy her ballads but her best is yet to come! They better not have a Beyonce or Prince theme show or its all over for the others.

        • Mary says:

          That is a stupid statement. Jimmy already said he would sign her after she sung Whitney. I believe he said he would sign her and Phillip.

    • Other Asian says:

      “Asian guy?” We all know his name. I understand you don’t like him, but mentioning his race and your previous posts about his having a career someplace else is making me just a wee but uncomfortable.

  49. Gale says:

    I simply can’t take Colton seriously with that strange hairdo. He needs to be reminded that this isn’t the 1980s.

  50. Forwarddad says:

    Mostly last night I did not Like attitude. Mentoring and styling are part of the whole Idol package. Tommy was there to help. I saw a lot Of misplaced attitude. Elise told Tommy her style, he pegged her great, picked out the pants she asked for then she tossed them on the floor? Why? Then she wore an outfit My grandmother would pick out. That’s what gets in Elise’s way. Although not a personality contest it is part of it. Would it have killed PP to wear a blue shirt? Would it have affected his do it my way style ? I don’t think TH was going to trying to change Colton ‘s hair – I think he was just trying to dress him first . He didn’t have to be such s baby. Skylar really should have listened. She looked like a sausage. I like EVP hair color but hated the cut. Looked like a wig. Oh Hollie – she looked like a disco ball. Regarding the singing I don’t think anyone blew it out of the Park. Solid performances by Jessica, Elise, Colton. Fair: Hollie, Erika, Joshua, PP, Poor: Deandre, Skylar. Abysmal: Heejun. I hope no one goes home other than Heejun. Wouldn’t be fair to anyone,

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      “Hollie looked like a disco ball.” Ha! I agree that the look didn’t do much for her. I guess she didn’t look a grandmother as Hilfiger feared, but I’m not sure it was an improvement.
      I thought about the Elise’s decision to reject Hilfiger’s suggestions (and I’m not proud of it) and have come to the conclusion that it was the right choice. I’m sure she would rock bell-bottoms and the like, but that song did call for something a bit more muted. Not sure I would have gone with the Hippie Bride of Dracula number she had on but I would have changed it. I wonder whether Hilfiger was dressing them for their particular performances or just dressing them in general, cause it makes a difference.

      • Templar says:

        I thought Elise looked like everyone’s cousin Cynthia, you know the one that’s married to the accountant and has 4 kids. She always dresses like that for weddings.