American Idol Top 9 Cover Songs By Their Own Idols: Who Were Your Favorites?

skylar laineIt was a “night of redemption” on American Idol, said Ryan Seacrest. Or, as Steven Tyler put it, “a magical mystery tour of over-the-top talent and emotion.” Then again, from my living-room couch, it was more like “a night when even middling guys got standing ovations from the judges, while the best ladies received ‘praise’ with a side of vague ennui, until it came down to, ‘Oh, okay, I guess we’ll get off our lazy butts for Elise.'”

To be fair, Season 11’s Top 9 telecast was pretty damn stellar, one of the best Idol performance nights in recent memory. But if DeAndre Brackensick and Heejun Han were worthy of the highest form of praise from the judges, then how come Skylar Laine and Jessica Sanchez didn’t merit the same response? (Oh, Uncle Nigel, and you wonder why a woman hasn’t won Idol since Season 6!)

American Idol: Advice (and Fantasy Set Lists!) for the Season 11 Top 9

Anyhow, I’ve got to get crackin’ on a full episode recap, which will post on Thursday morning right here at But before I do, let me offer my pithy, pithy thoughts on the evening’s solo performances, as follows:

Colton Dixon: Lifehouse’s “Everything”
Heartfelt rendition of a song I’d be okay if I never heard again. But did I detect a couple of pitch problems in the verse?

Idology: Erika Van Pelt on Wardrobe Snafus, Charges of Oversinging, Her ‘Old Lady’ Status

Skylar Laine: Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”
Dang, I thought she was gonna break out an actual shotgun at the end, there! There might’ve been a few problems with breath support, but there’s no denyung she painted a vivid/furious picture of a woman done wrong.

Colton, Elise, and Phillip: Fleetwood Mac medley

Heejun Han: Donnie Hathaway’s “A Song for You”
If this is what warrants a standing O, then I expect my hubby to rise to his feet the next time I fetch him a bowl of cereal. Did Heejun improve? Sure. But he’s vocally outclassed at this point in the competition, and the judges’ fawning means someone else (female) will pay the price when he survives another week.

Hollie Cavanagh: Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel”
Not a good week for her weakest performance to date. Methinks she’ll need a higher power to steer her into the Top 8.

DeAndre Brackensick: Eric Benet’s “Sometimes I Cry”
I kept praying for Jesus to take the remote and switch it over to reruns of ABC’s comedy lineup, but nope, I had to endure the whole hot, buttered falsetto mess.

Jessica Sanchez: Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams”
How come when guys rearrange a song, the judges talk about “artistry,” but when a teenage girl does it, there’s no mention of the ‘A’ word? This was absolutely stellar — both in terms of vocals and in terms of recycling the red doors from the guys’ group performance on So You Think You Can Dance last season.

Presented Without Comment
DeAndre, Joshua, and Heejun: Michael Jackson medley

Phillip Phillips: Jonny Lang’s “Still Rainin'”
Heck, even the vein in Phillip’s forhead got up on its feet! That was pretty hot, and so was the velvet jacket.

Joshua Ledet: Harry Nilsson/Mariah Carey’s “Without You”
[I’m not using any words, just makin’ my stank face and throwing a Gospel hand.]

Skylar, Jessica, and Hollie: Madonna medley
Did somebody shut off Skylar’s mic for a minute?

Elise Testone: Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”
Can a grown woman actually win Idol? Or, rather, can a contestant who’s firing this solidly every week actually lose Idol?

What did you think of this week’s show? Who was your favorite? Who’s in trouble? Sound off in the comments, 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!

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  1. Amy says:

    And ps. I started out early this season (though loving Phil & Elise and Jessica too) loving Hollie’s voice best. I still love what’s “in there” in her voice, but am not sure what’s in her soul yet. And I think it will take maturity, some refinement for her…so even with that great voice, that does have a special quality to it (besides the POWER), she is getting a bit upstaged by the strong performers who know who they are and are 100% in touch with their performances. Not sure …could she be a Pia upset at some point I was thinking tonight? And I still like her…thought at first she’d be in the finals…now it’s up for grabs by all! And honestly…I think if I were forced to guess…I’m thinking Jessica could take it, easily.

  2. blingedup says:

    Elise was FABULOUS. Stevie Nicks was awesome.

    If it were up to me, I would send Deandre home this week.

    Then if I were still in charge, I’d have a Elise/P2 rockin’ finale, with Elise winning the crown. I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself here.

  3. Elise can really sang but Adam Lambert gave Whole Lotta Love a whole lotta love if you know what I mean. He cannot be rivaled on that song.

    • Davey says:

      I don’t remember his version. And I don’t think Elise and Adam are alike in anyway so it doesn’t matter that he did it before.

    • Marsaili says:

      Geez, I love Adam but this isn’t about Adam, I wish people would stop comparing!! Elise SANG that song, Robert Plant would be proud. I don’t give diddly what Adam did, his time is over, it’s now Elise’s time!!!

    • K. says:

      I think Elise has a grit in her voice that gave Whole Lotta Love something that Adam Lambert could never give to a song. Though I do like his version tbh.

      • BobN says:

        Agree. Adam did a great job but I didn’t feel the raw emotion and grit like I did with Elise’s version (and of course when Robert Plant does it). I also agree that there is no reason to even bring up Adam since we are talking about last night’s performances.

    • Zoey says:

      I love Adam’s WLL too, but Elise’s version was equally awesome because she brought a blues element to it different from Adam’s hard rock edge. Comparing the two, in all honesty, is like comparing apples and oranges. And both apples and oranges are uber delicious in my book.

    • marie says:

      It’s totally possible to enjoy BOTH artists’ performances of the song – AND Led Zeppelin’s too. There shouldn’t be any “either / or” about it.

    • FreeHaley says:

      He can be more than rivaled. Sure he did a very good job, but it was kinda just the same, hint of broadway wailed out high rock vibe, through and through. I thought Elise and the original version had some more subtly and blues and all mixed in and that those versions were more interesting and nuanced.

  4. Suz says:

    Will anyone at Idol ever acknowledge on air that “A Song for You” was written by Leon Russell? Please give the love to the songwriters!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Absolutely. And as corny as this sounds I rather liked Karen Carpenter’s version!

      • Jaxguy says:

        Not corny at all. LOVE her version.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          It’s good to know it’s okay to like The Carpenters. Karen Carpenter had a beautiful voice and her brother was an arranger/sound engineer without peer. Their albums have an unrivalved crystal clear quality. So sad she’s no longer with us.

    • Davey says:

      I think Elliott might have mentioned Leon Russell at some point. In any case, Heejun is no Elliott Yamin who according to Simon gave “a master class” when he sang A Song for You.

      • TheBeach says:

        Am I being nitpicky by saying it bugged me that Heejun kept singing A Song To You instead of “for you”? It is the TITLE of the song, ya know…not some random lyric.

        • aravis says:

          You may want to give the original version another listen. I’m listening to Elliot’s and all his lyrics so far have “a song to you”

    • Alvin says:

      And Joshua lost a couple of my votes for doing “Mariah Carey”.
      “Without You” is a song written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of British rock group Badfinger, and first released on their 1970 album No Dice. The song has been recorded by over 180 artists,[1] and versions released as singles by Harry Nilsson (1971) and Mariah Carey (1994) became international best-sellers. Paul McCartney once described the ballad as “…the killer song of all time.”[2]

    • Jaxguy says:

      Thank You a million times. Leon’s version is still my favorite. Brilliant. No one ever acknowledges that. LIked the Donny Hathaway version, but Leon’s ruined it for me. Laugh if you must, but Karen Carpenters version was gorgeous.And don’t forget that Without You is a Grammy winning song written and originally performed by Harry Nillson, and in my opinion Mariah covered it after he peak. His is the definitive version.

    • BobN says:

      totally forgot that and now that you mention it, it reminded me that Leon did a great version of it as did Willie Nelson.

  5. Lucy says:

    Deandre needs to go!!! had to mute the tv tonight because listening to his falsetto voice for an entire song just becomes irritating..
    Loved Elise.. i was so surprised..i didnt know she had that in her…i wasnt much of a fan of hers but after last week with Vienna and now this week with Whole Lotta Love she is definately in my top 3!!
    Also Love Phil Phillips! Every week, he’s always amazing!
    I love Heejan’s personality and was quite impressed with his voice this week but I fear he may go home.
    Hoping the bottom 3 is Deandre, Skylar, and Joshua- find him quite boring

    • TheBeach says:

      I can’t believe I’m saying this but for the first week ever I would put Colton in the Bottom 3 (not that he will be JMO) His performance and a melody-lacking song just didn’t do it for me. (I just put on my flame-retardant suit so fire away)

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I have to agree with you. there are so many beautiful songs Colton could have chosen. Lifehouse never did anything for me – all of their music is somewhat nondescript. When I listen to groups like Lifehouse I think about that t-shirt that’s popular right now, “I May Be Old, but I Got To See All the Cool Bands”, LOL. Strike me dead for saying this but even something by Coldplay might have been better.

  6. Shana says:

    Phillip’s grey/green t-shirts don’t make him any less hot, but the blazer was a nice touch this week ;)

  7. 1mmk says:

    See what happens when they let the contestants choose songs THEY like?!?!?!?!!!!

    • Amy says:

      Word. and can I get an Amen. Good point.

    • TheBeach says:

      Excellent point!

      • marie says:

        Thanks! “1mmk” is actually me – I’m finally learning the complicated ins and outs of this WordPress platform – long story, but I had to change my display name at WordPress’s website to permit my posting as “marie” on both my PC and my tablet (they finally enabled posting from that mobile device).

  8. S.M.T. says:

    “How come when guys rearrange a song, the judges talk about “artistry,” but when a teenage girl does it, there’s no mention of the ‘A’ word?”

    I’m not a big Beyonce fan but I know that Beyonce herself has performed a slow-down version of Sweet Dreams before, so Jessica’s version didn’t seem that creative to me.

  9. Amy says:

    ps. re: Phil Phillips probably won’t and shouldn’t win Idol…he’s the type that will do best without that “iconic crown” following him around, I think. So he’s good either way. I just like watching him each week though.

    I agree with Save night comin’. I think it could be a Holllie upset. I really can’t say though now who the judges would want to see stay. Hollie may seem now like she’s run her course compared to the other more mature performers…yet, there is potential in there, maybe they save her. I. don’t. know!?

    Wow…what I’m REALLY amazed most at this year for me (for you)…it’s not as easily predictable as usual! …and THAT is the most enjoyable. :)

  10. Davey says:

    I agree this was one of the best nights of Idol I’ve seen in a while. No one was a total disaster. But why did Heejun and DeAndre deserve standing Os? And not Jessica who gave a much better performance? Poor JLo had to get up against her will for Elise! How bizarre is that, do they want a woman to go home that bad?

    This was the first night I liked Phillip. Though I did wonder what Casey James would have done with that same song (has anyone bought his album yet? It’s very good).

    I think Skyler is way more talented than Lauren A. and Scotty Mc from last year. It’s too bad she came around now. I thought she was lively tonight but the song stayed in one place from start to finish.

    Without You is one of my favorite songs. I’m glad Jimmy mentioned Nillsson becausse that’s the version I know.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think Skylar’s “Gunpowder and Lead” suffered from the 90 second Idol cut. Like a lot of county songs it tells a story, so it’s important to sing the song, in its entirety, from start to finish. the original isn’t a “rock-out” tune from start to finish, but when it’s edited down that’s how it comes across. I also thought she rushed the song just a little, but it was an entertaining performance none the less.

  11. “But if DeAndre Brackensick and Heejun Han were worthy of the highest form of praise from the judges, then how come Skylar Laine and Jessica Sanchez didn’t merit the same response?”

    THIS! THIS! THIS! This is why Michael is the best recapper! I wholeheartedly agree.

    Randy’s over the top pimpage of Colton (who I thought was boring and forgettable) really got on my last nerve.

    • Tarc says:

      Well, Jessica’s live vocal wasn;t technically good. You couldn’t make out the lyrics (there were runs of vowel movement – no consonants), she strecthed some of the lyrics oddly, and she lost control of her vibratto in several places. She gets props for adding some drama and showmanship though. I’d put her in the middle three with Skylar.

    • TheBeach says:

      Wow. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found Colton boring tonight.

  12. YowzaPowza says:

    Elise was phenomenal. What else really needs to be said? Although I actually liked Deandre. I thought this was his best so far. The rest were good but compared to Elise, who even cares?

  13. daniel d. says:

    Seriously, is there anyone on the show besides Elise? And don’t forget about her and Steve’s mini duet (worth price of admission right there), and also that Steve would “hire Elise in a second.”

    I could go for an all out Elise Testone / Haley Reinhart Zeppelin jam session. Make it so, IDOL gods!

    • Tarc says:

      Phillip kills every week, and he’s been the obvious frontrunner for me. Colton has always been a fave, and has been consistent, if not slowly building. Elise just came on like a thunderstorm; she’s clearly very, very talented. It’s a three-way race to me.

  14. Lindsay says:

    The good: Elise was just on whole ‘nother level. Phillips was at his best. I don’t think HeeJun deserved the standing O, but I loved it nonetheless and was relieved to not have to watch him go through the wringer again. And especially since people keep calling him “hay-jun”, trying to be all cute with “hey jude”, I have zilch issues with his diction issues. I thought Hollie was great, but then I thought she was great last week too…

    The meh: Colton was good, but not “throwing gauntlet” good. Jessica…eehhh, I just can’t…again, she just doesn’t grab me. I still think her age and inexperience is hurting her. And it SO badly paled with Beyonce, that I was distracted. Skylar…was good. Lots of energy, Reba/Miranda package, blahblahblah. Just can’t get into her.

    The bad: Once again, I am completely out at sea concerning Joshua. I thought it was awful. Flat, strained, grating. My face was in a constant wince. Such a big fan of Deandre, but I think it might be time for him to go. Another one where age is showing. In several years with training, he could remind me of D’Angelo, but that was a mess.

    • Jaxguy says:

      I just don’t get the age and inexperience nonsense. She is a wonderful singer. Period! Although I thought Joshua was terrible tonight.

      • Lindsay says:

        Technique-wise, she’s near perfect, of course. But I feel nothing when she sings except admiration at such skill at such a young age. Give her a few years, a few life experiences, so she actually knows in her soul what she’s singing about and yes, THEN she could be a wonderful singer.

  15. Trace says:

    I actually like Deandres tone when he goes low. Don’t really like the whole song in falsetto. I wish he had waited a couple of years.
    I’m not sure he can he can help it, but I can’t stand that Heejun doesn’t pronounce all the consonants.
    Hollie sounded really good not the Madonna songs. Pretty tone.

  16. Miss O'Ginny says:

    Do not get the P2 love. His performance tonight made him look PO’d or something and the Joe Cocker faces….just……no.

  17. J. May says:

    Lordy, this was a night of amazing performances. Jessica was outstanding, P2 rocked it, Skylar had me bouncing off the walls, Joshua had me going to church…and then there was Elise. Jumping Jesse H. Christmas, that was truly sublime. It was a totally different kind of performance than Adam Lambert gave, but it was incredible all the same. If she doesn’t win, Amurica is tone deaf.

  18. jw says:

    Seacrest could have introduced that Fleetwood Mac medley as, “America, your TOP THREE!” Elise, Colton, and Phillip were incredible in that performance.

  19. TV Fan says:

    Elisa was the best tonight. I really enjoyed her version of that song. I also loved Adam’s version of that song as well. I think they both did the song proud in their own way.

  20. H says:

    Elise was by far the best tonight, and I am not even a fan of her. Rest of them were pretty boring not bad, just boring. HeeJun, DeAndre and Hollie at the bottom three for me tonight. Top are Elise, Jessica and maybe Colton.

  21. BobN says:

    No doubt that Heejun, as nice a guy as he seems to be, was the weakest tonight. The pimping by the judges was ridiculous. Despite that, it was a pretty good performance and this might have been the best top nine night ever.

    Here’s my rating from top to bottom:

    Elise Testone – Wow, wow, wow
    Jessica Sanchez – Superb!
    Phil Philips/Joshua Ledet – Both very good performances and I can’ pick between the two.
    Skylar/Hollie – both were very good performances but just not as captivating as those above.
    Colton – thought the judges praises were way over the top.
    Deandre-Not horrible, but I really like his regular voice more than his falsetto.
    Heejun – NIce guy but couldn’t understand the standing O. not even close to the rest of the top 9.

    For me, the judging tongiht was just too all over the place and definitely felt like they were trying to pimp certain contestants.

  22. Shana says:

    I liked Joshua, not nearly as good as When A Man Loves a Woman though.
    What was up with all the trees though?

  23. James says:

    The top 3 in my humble opinion would be

    1. Elise
    2. Phillip
    3.It pains me to say this but…a tie between Jessica and Joshua…

    Deandre was the worst BY FAR. I cant believe the judges like that crap! Thank god for you Slezak for seeing the light and calling it out!

  24. Name That Tune says:

    I saw the.Top 3 during the first trio. Elise PP & Colton. So let’s just fast forward 5 weeks & do it now.

  25. Amber says:

    I loved Colton. Skylar grates on my nerves. Heejun was just ok, but I’m growing tired of him. Hollie was not good at all. DeAndre was alright, but I’m way past tired of him. Didn’t care for Jessica. The kid irritates me so much. Loved Phillip. Joshua was pretty good. Elise was just alright.

    Phillip and Colton are my favorites.

    I despise Elise and her bad attitude. I sincerely hope a girl does not win this year.

    • Marsaili says:

      What bad attitude???? She showed she was disappointed ONCE and now she’s a constant bad attitude? Well, Elise won the night—Skylar ROCKED Miranda, Hollie sang Carrie perfectly (Ms. Underwood even said so herself, she should know) Jessica did an AWESOME job, Joshua was beautiful, Colton didn’t look so impressive after the rest sang. He might have thrown the gauntlet, but at least 6 other people picked it back up and threw it harder!

  26. Joe says:

    Best night on Idol in a very long time. This is what happens when contestants pick their songs and aren’t shoehorned into theme nights. You get great TV.
    Elise blew everyone off the stage. You want personality that isn’t contrived and is all about the music? That was Elise tonight. She was brilliant.
    The stand O’s for anyone with testicles tonight was ridiculous. Heejun getting a standing O for taking the competition seriously was just dumb and took away from the judges standing for everyone else. J. Lo didn’t want to stand for Elise? After standing for Heejun they should have taken away the judges chairs since it was an insult to everyone else if they remained seated. Can’t believe Hollie was the punching bag tonight. I hate to call producer manipulation, but they only chose long shots of Hollie singing and rarely went into closeup where the emotion would be felt. I almost think they want to put her in the bottom 3 for a reason. Maybe to build her up as a comeback kid for next week.
    Judges will use the save this week on anyone other than Heejun. If Heejun is out, they’ll let him go. Anyone else, including Deandre will get the save this week.
    Deandre just didn’t click for me tonight. The falsetto just got to be too much and I still think the only song that really worked for him was This Woman’s Work. Everything else has been disappointing for the most part.
    Skylar was also excellent tonight. Love that girl.
    I guess Phillip couldn’t clear a Dave Matthews song for idol night.
    Josh was great tonight.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Idol show this good in a long time. Of course Nigel will screw it all up by imposing songs Neil Sedaka liked while high on cough syrup week next week or something ridiculously outdated.

    • Tarc says:

      Considering that Phillip hasn’t sung a single Dave Matthews song so far (and probably won’t), I’m not sure where that comes from. There are plenty of amazing song in his wheelhouse – a large wheelhouse considering that he’s sung Phil Collins and Usher so far.

  27. K. says:

    Oh Elise my flawless queen! Her performance just blew me away and when I saw the judges sitting in their chairs I was like GET OFF YOUR ASSES.

  28. lynnie loo says:

    Jessica did not do anything original. Beyonce sings the song like that during her concert performance. She sounded way too much like her as well.

  29. Laura says:

    Can a grown woman actually win Idol? No

    Or, rather, can a contestant who’s firing this solidly every week actually lose Idol?

    Yes –Crystal Bowersox

  30. PatD says:

    They are really holding Hollie back. Listening to her vocals on that Madonna medley made that really clear. Some of the responsibility falls on her song selection, but that’s what all this coaching is supposed to be about. I think it’ll be a real shame if she goes home this soon.

    I enjoyed Elise, and she’s gradually made me a fan, but her Whole Lotta’ Love wasn’t as great as everyone’s making it out to be. I enjoyed it, though. I don’t see her selling a lot of records. I really don’t. But I hope she’s in the competition for a good, long while.

    Once again, Jessica-the-megatalent was perfection, but I just don’t see her as being a successful recording artist. She’d kill on Broadway, though. She’d be like a Latina Chenoweth..

    Phil owned the night for me, and that’s not an easy admission. I wasn’t a big fan of his in the beginning. Only because I thought he forced his voice too much. But it’s become clearer and clearer that he’s the real deal. Just the fact that an AI contestant even knows a Jonny Lang song makes big points with me, and he did it justice. I think this kid could really sell records, and I totally believe everything he sings.

    • P2, the real deal? More like at best, rich man’s Gokey/Casey James and at worst, a poor man’s Lee DeWyze. Having indistinct performances week after week doesn’t cut it for me.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I loved Casey James. He’s released a very good country CD so please knock it off.

        • To be fair, Casey was rather languid during his run. Just sayin’. And not unlike Phillip after him, he was… just there.

          • reddirtblues says:

            Languid? Did you see Casey James’ return to Texas and the shows he did for his homecoming? Admittedly, AI did not show his home performances because they were afraid of making their top two look well ..languid by comparison. But, if you had, you would never put languid and Casey James in the same sentence. Nor do I see anything languid about P2. He seems sincerely engaged with his music and passionate about his performances. I haven’t liked all of his performances but tonight he was on fire.

          • Being sincerely engaged with music is waaaaay different from producing performances that just meld together to the point of indistinctiveness. Not to mention, his thing is getting stale for me.

          • Tarc says:

            I’m not sure what show you are watching.

        • Kristi Lee says:

          Eh. Casey James was bland and forgettable in a season of mediocre performers. However, the worst was Tim Urban. Somebody teach that kid how to sing on key!

        • macy says:

          You can criticize everyone but no one can criticize who you like? Un-frickin-believable.

      • PatD says:

        Casey James may not have been your kind of singer, but he is one helluva’ gifted guitarist. As Mike pointed out in this week’s Idology, it’s a damn shame that contestant’s with instrumental prowess don’t get to showcase that more often. I don’t know where it’s written in stone that this is only a singing competition. I’m not a big country music fan, but James’ CD is very good. May be one of the best things to come out of that season.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Thank you.

        • BobN says:

          Based on his single (haven’t heard the whole CD), it is the best thing to come out of that season. Also, even though it is being marketed and played on Country stations, I am not sure that “Let’s not call it a night” fits strictly in the country genre. It’s more multi-dimensional I think.

      • Tarc says:

        Yeah, apparently Jimmy Iovine, Stevie Nicks, and every other listener with a working brain recognizes Phil as the real deal. Wake up.

        • Jaxguy says:

          I have a working brain and he does nothing but make every song sound the same for me.

        • If you see Bieber’s “Baby” having hundreds of millions of views more than Dave Matthew’s Band’s “Crash Into Me,” that says something, no?

          His thing has just stale for me. At least Cook and Kris get first dibs because they were the first of the White Guy With Guitar phenomenon. And they were that damn good. From there, it just went downhill for me.

          • Tarc says:

            It’s fine if P2 isn’t to your taste – just don’t invent things that aren’t true to justify your opinion. Personally, I can’t stand Kris Allen, but I’m not going to lie about him or make a ton of posts about it. No one is going to force you to vote for the number 2 vote getter tonight, or by an Interscope P2 album.

          • Cup of Joe says:

            Maybe you should look up their YouTube numbers yourself, no?
            Seriously, quit being such an a-hat with your dismissing every opinion that’s different from yours, particularly from this guy.
            Obviously you got a hidden man-crush going on there, no?

      • Robin says:

        You are sounding like a broken record!

  31. Laura says:

    My fave of the night was Elise. I was thinking the same thing when JLo said–do I have to get up. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez

    I liked Phillip too. He has limited range and one style of singing–so he is not the vocalist that say Jessica is at all. He also misses notes. However, he does have his own thing going on and is always interesting. If he can write music–he may have a shot at the big time.

    Jessica sang beautifully-

    They were my top 3. I voted for Elise-cause I figured she would need them even tho she got the pimp spot

  32. Elise says:

    Tonight was not enough for Heejun to redeem himself. Vom! And DeAndre’s hair has gotten him this far. Sadly, I’m afraid one of the girls will pay. Boo!

  33. Ash Q says:

    It was a good night.

    I really wanted Jessica Sanchez to do Love On Top. She covered it on her youtube channel and did amazing. So, although she did a good job with Sweet Dreams, I was still a tad bitter.

    I have the softest spot ever for Heejun. Maybe he didnt deserve the standing O, but I did think he did a solid job with that song. I was very proud of him. (But omg, please dont stay in the ballad zone forever)

    P2 was good, he`s always good and fun. And attractive. His pants seemed big for him or something -not that he`d care. Lol.

    I always say this about Colton -I cant fully get behind him. And dont know what it is, but as much as I want to, Im not sold on him yet. And I much prefer his studio versions over him live.

    LOVE ELISE. She did fantastic! Fav female by far.

    EH. Skyler……………….. I like her. She has fun and is fun to watch. She clearly loves what she does and she`s solid at it. But maybe it`s a style thing, I dont think Id care for her much post-idol.

  34. darcy's evil twin says:

    What in the world is it with Heejun? He was awful, IMO! I have no clue what the judges were listening to tonight. No, he didn’t deserve the standing O – in fact he should have been gone last week. If Elise leaves and Heejun stays tomorrow night I’m going to be very disappointed.

    • Jaxguy says:

      You may not like him or his accent but he has a beautiful voice. No way he will win but he did a great job tonight.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Folks, I do not hate Heejun. I don’t *hate* anyone. I’ve never said a word about his accent – that’s the least of his problems. Someone on these message boards called Heejun a “classic manipulator” and I’m inclined to agree. He was so conveniently humble last night.

        There were performers that could sing circles around him (Erika, Jen Hirsch, Hallie Day) and they are gone. I don’t understand Heejun but clearly “different strokes”, as they say. One of my friends called me during Idol last night and was gushing over Heejun’s performance. I guess I’m missing something, not to mention Mr. Sleazak – go back and read what he wrote about Heejun’s performance.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Jaxguy – I will agree Heejun has a lovely tone to his voice but it’s as if he’s never had any formal vocal training and that bugs me. It’s the same thing that bothered me about Lauren Alaina last year, and you may recall she lost her voice as a result of not supporting her notes and proper breathing. His accent really doesn’t bother me. The personality, well, that’s another issue but I guess we’re supposed to be listening to the singing.

    • Kristi Lee says:

      You are strangely obsessed with Heejun. Yes, you don’t like him, we get it. You don’t need to make multiple posts about your hatred. Knock it off.

      • Menken says:

        I agree. This Darcy creep must be the Cowboy that Heejun clashed with in Hollywood.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          LOL. No, I’m definitely female.

          • marie says:

            D.E.T., I know you couldn’t care less – that comes through loud and clear, and no reason you SHOULD – but *I* am getting pretty fed up with all the uncalled-for rancor towards you in the comments here today – I guess you’re today’s whipping-post! Geez! What is UP with that?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            LOL. For some reason it’s okay to call “old white women” racists and liars, marie. but thanks for the support! I’ll say this for Heejun – he is a polarizing contestant. Last night one friend was calling me on the phone gushing over Heejun while another was texting me with “WHY IS HE STILL ON MY TV?”.

  35. Marsaili says:

    I’m listening to everyone’s studio versions—WOW! I have to say, even HeeJun sounds terrific!

  36. Jewels83 says:

    I want Elise to do Diana Krall’s version of A Case of You on the keys. Wouldn’t that be a treat.

    Anyway, solid evening. Can’t call one sole front runner right now which makes this season intriguing. However, I can’t jump on the Joshua ledet band wagon, just not my cup of tea.

  37. gigi says:

    Why is JEssica not in your voting poll?

  38. gigi says:

    Why is JESSICA not in the poll?

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been underwhelmed by Phillip, but he sang JONNY LANG. Consider me won over.

    Elise is still fantastic. The judges only giving her a standing O under duress was ridiculous.

    Altogether, though, everyone did well. What a difference it makes when they’re singing something they actually care about.

  40. kelly says:

    if you believe dial idol — jessica is in trouble

  41. PatD says:

    I just wish Elise would stop squatting when she sings. That’s such a common misstep with amateurs. It totally misrepresents her and it’s distracting. It’s the only criticism I have for her, because she does everything else right: connection with lyrics, tone, song choice. But I hate, hate, hate that squatting thing.

  42. Jason says:

    I think if anyone besides Heejun is the lowest vote tomorrow the save will be used for sure!!! Maybe Deandre would be let go as well because he was a wildcard but I believe that Matt Giraud was a three time loser(four times if you count that he still has no career) so they might use it on Deandre!!!

  43. Elena says:

    Elise was so much better than anyone else tonight that it isn’t even funny. Jessica comes in a distant second for me yet I can picture her winning Idol over Elise. I continually fail to see what’s the big deal about P2. It’s like he’s singing the same song the same way each week. My husband looked at me tonight and said, “He must be much better live” after seeing the way the audience and the judges reacted after he sang/screamed. I have to agree because his performances are not translating into greatness on our TV. The rest of the performers were just okay to me. I’d take a guess that tomorrow night’s bottom three will be Heejun, Hollie and Deandre.

  44. Jason says:

    I don’t think Jessica is as perfect as everyone says. MAybe it’s me but there was a note in there that hurt my ears in a shannon migraine kind of way. She’s good but definitely not perfect. SHe may be Pia’d in a few weeks if the save is used tomorrow

  45. Jan says:

    I hope omitting Jessica from your poll doesn’t hurt her chances.

  46. Bonnie A. says:

    The best episode of AI that I ever remember!

    Phil & Elise were my favorites–and Stevie was the best mentor–she inspired all the contestants to reach new “bests”!

    Ready for Deandre to go, though–I didn’t get the praise they gave him at all.

    Not erasing this episode from my DVR—the trio by Colton, Elise and Phil was amazing.

    We have got to get behind Elise–I voted for her over and over and will keep doing so

  47. Tarc says:

    That was a great show overall. Phillip, Colton, and Elise stole the show, though. They were a whole tier above the rest. It was nice to see Hollie, Deandre, and Heejun finally show up to the competition, but they’ll be in the bottom three.

  48. Lilibet says:

    Elise was amazing, and Zeppelin isn’t even my kind of music. I loved her. She looked fantastic and knocked it out of the park. Her duet with Stevie was special. She’s a true musician, with depth.

    DeAndre cleaned out my ears tonight. I was wincing. Ouch.

    I can’t help it, I would go see Heejun in concert, even though he’s not the best singer. I really like his voice and his personality.

    For the first time, I didn’t mind Phillip. Josh was good. Colton was OK.

    I keep trying to love Hollie and Jessica, but I’m bored. For me, there’s something missing. I want Hollie to do something upbeat.

    I love Skylar’s energy and spunk. She’d put on a great concert.

    I’m not sure if I’d actually buy anyone’s CD. The only Idol’s CD I’ve ever bought is Crystal Bowersox’ “Farmer’s Daughter”.

    • Jaxguy says:

      What does, I’m bored mean? Great voices bore you? It’s this kind of response that has ruined Idol me me. That’s why the BRILLIANT singer Pia was booted off so soon last year. She was THE best singer last year but went way too early. Because people were bored. Stupid comment.

  49. Chris says:

    Well, I got two wishes from last weeks rants.
    1. Phillip wore dark denim and added color to his wardrobe (he didn’t tuck his shirt in) but I’ll give him a B+
    2. Stevie did her job and the idols are going to make it harder for America to choose who to speed dial, speed text, and click away on FB for. Good job, Stevie…good dang job. (Props to the segment with Elise – dug it).
    Actually there is a third 3. Someone help cut the light bulb on for DeAndre

    Colton: I disappointied myself before he even performed tonight. I am a Lifehouse fan and “Everything” is one of my all time favs from them. I’ve seen his youtube footage covering that song and thought he did a good job. I did not buy even a small fraction of it tonight (hope he does it better on tour). He did not sing well…missing his piano I guess. It just didn’t work for me. Folks download Lifehouses recent release of that song.

    Skylar: The first time I ever heard Miranda sing was her performing that song and I liked her instantly. Had it been Skylar’s first song release I would have had the same reaction. That’s the way it’d done in Skylar town – go on with it girl. (Did not approve of the wardrobe though – or the shiny shirt thing over you bottom rather). I would absolutely love her and Miranda shooting that one down on stage together. If she makes it through the elimination, mix it up girl. It is time. You got 20% of my votes tonight.

    Heejun: Props. That by far was the best vocal performance he’s delivered yet on the live show. BUT I would never go see him in concert and I would never buy any of his music (and I think he still should have volunteered to go home last week). Love your heart Heejun – but you are lost to me.

    Hollie: I think I snoozed a little during that performance. No doubt the girl has mad skills but she is yet to surprise me. It is time for you too Hollie – mix it up….

    DeAndre: If that performance was a ‘hot buttered falsetto mess’ then please pass me a napkin. I’m adding extra pats of Prince and Benet to that dish. I had a feeling he’d be singing this song and when I heard Benet’s version I was unsure and like Benet tweeted “you made me proud”. Thank you DeAndre for putting some real emotion and passion in this performance. I love some butter. You got 50% of my votes tonight (for improvement and nailing the feel of that song).

    Jessica: I like Beyonce’s ‘slowed down’ version better (sorry JLo she’s been there done that). I appreciate Orland’s creativity with it and she did a good job. I was again not surprised by her. I feel like she peaked for me last week. We’ll see what she brings to the game next week but girl your outfit and hair were gorgeous.

    Joshua: Mad vocal talent – snore for me. Wasn’t surprised by his performance. I feel like I’d get bored at his concert after a few songs… but the audience may be a hoot. Can I get an AMEN! I like that he is trying though and I’m rooting for ya!

    Phillip: I have no personal critique because his vocals don’t change and there’s melody. I actually went to wash dishes during his performance after noting what he was wearing. It would’ve been nice if he’d been born in 1975 or whatever yr Stevie said because he would have learned harmony in Fleetwood Mac.

    Elise: I loved that you attempted to rock that joint Durbin style… and there was some moments vocally that I was like mmmmhmmmm, I feelin’ ya. But your performance felt a little forced to me – good moments for sure but overall I wasn’t sold a 100%. I like that direction though and digging the clothes. I watched her performance three times. You got 30% of my vote for getting the audience up, channeling one of personal favorites, vocally strong in many points, and just because you damn well deserved it.

    For some reason Randy’s name/relationship dropping tonight wore on a nerve. First I don’t care and I don’t think America really cares. I mean if you were trying to relay to Joshua that you were talking to Mariah on his behalf then kudos – otherwise your true relevance to the 15 million viewers is your tenure with American Idol (not that you can’t pop some bass). So get over and get on with it.

    • Chris says:

      The next day feeling:

      Just listened to Elise’s studio version of “Whole Lotta Love” and could not stand it. Wow. Total disappointment.

      LOVED DeAndre’s studio versions of “When I Cry” and Skylar’s “Gunpowder & Lead” – well done!

      • FreeHaley says:

        so you loved the worst two most annoying singers and hated the best, hah :)

        • Chris says:

          No. In my opinion I like them all, They hands down are all talented. There are some I like because I see growth potential from them more than others.

          Again for me the Itunes tracks were lacking (although I didn’t listen to Colton’s to be fair). Yep loved DeAndre’s and Skylar’s – floored with Elise’s in a bad way.

  50. Jason says:

    Best ever Rock performance on Idol? I think so HAley may have had her last year with Zeppelin had she not fallen down!!! Cook’s Billie Jean was great but the fact that it was sort of a copy of Cornell’s version rules him out!! MAybe Daughtry or LAmbert doing Johnny Cash but I think Elise is the best Rock performance ever!