American Idol Top 7 Performance Recap: Swimming With the Current

joshua ledetVideo killed the radio star, as everybody knows. And then Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew suffocated the video star with a plastic bag (as part of a VH1 special presentation) in the spring of 2008.

Which is one of several reasons that this week’s American Idol theme — Music from the Current Decade (2010-2012) — made me a little skittish. Would I be forced to spend the entire night Googling snippets of lyrics in order to properly identify the contestants’ song choices? Would the beloved Top 7 suddenly start sounding like the love children of an immersion blender and an Xbox 360? And would Ke$ha do a reverse dumpster dive onto the Idol stage, slap some kind of gnarly headdress on Jessica Sanchez or Hollie Cavanagh, and vomit Jägermeister into the Swaybot pit?

Thankfully, the answer is “none of the above.” Quite the opposite, in fact. Because not only did the Season 11 Top 7 deliver a truly terrific night of music, but to my complete surprise, I actually was quite familiar with seven of the 10 tracks covered in the course of the two-hour telecast. Who knows, maybe one day one of these crazy kids will make a music video, and somebody somewhere will play it on the tee-vee? Until they do, though, let’s take a deep dive into the evening’s performances!

Skylar Laine: Kellie Pickler’s “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You”
I may take some heat for saying this — speaking of heat, wouldn’t those peculiar bonfire barrels have been more fitting for a performance of “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” or “Another Day in Paradise” — but I’m going to go out on a limb and call Skylar’s “Didn’t You Know How Much I Love You” the most emotionally wrenching performance of the season. It’s funny that the girl who’s too innocent to get within 10-feet of Akon’s f-bomb — “your voice is f****** stupid,” he said to her (as a compliment) — was nevertheless able to bring to life a very adult song about a guy who loved her and left her. (I won’t say I got goosies on “I gave you everything, every part of me,” but there was a certain tingling sensation on my arms when that line was delivered.) Better still, Skylar ignored Jimmy’s advice and proved she can achieve pitch perfection while strumming her guitar. “It’s not about ‘how many tricks can this girl do?'” argued her mentor, but considering the last four Idol winners — and six of the last eight members of the final two — have played instruments during the live shows, Skylar’s reminder that she’s a well-rounded musician seemed like smart strategy, no?

Colton Dixon: Skylar Gray’s “Love the Way You Lie”
Speaking of strategy, is there a contestant this season playing a smarter Idol game than Colton? Dude has tackled three songs made famous by female artists (and gender-flipping is always a smart way to “make it your own”); mixed uptempo, midtempo, and ballads; tackled lyrical themes from religion to relationships to third-person storytelling; and hasn’t ever once worried that taking some fashion risks makes him less of a man. To my ears, though, “Love the Way You Lie” was the crowning achievement of Colton’s Idol run thus far. I loved the way he took his time with every word of the song, how he mostly banished his hiccup-y vocal tic and sometimes affected pronunciations, how he transitioned from a gorgeous falsetto to a serious flexing of his vocal firepower on the bridge. The staging — big white piano, ominous barbed-wire backdrop, tons of dry ice — only added to the moody, tortured vibe of the track. If Jimmy is right that Phillip and Colton are an either/or proposition, this might’ve been the week the latter rocker guy began to pull ahead. And yes, I’m overlooking the fact that J.Lo oddly remarked that she wished Skylar LaineGray’s ballad “was more of a song” — oh grrrl, do you think we’ve already forgotten about last week’s premiere of “Dance Again,” which is little more than some electronic blips and Auto-Tuned purring? — and even though Colton’s final gaze into the camera had me calling 866-HAM-N-CHEESY.

Elise & Phillip: Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”
What was with the not-very-funny pre-performance package accusing Elise of physically battering Phillip into a song he didn’t really dig? I mean, it’s not like Elise was pushing for LMFAO, and Gotye doesn’t seem all that far from the kind of music Phillip will probably make in his post-Idol career, does it? Whatever the case may be, I enjoyed the duo’s harmonies, and the chalk outline of the thin line between love and hate that informed the number. I wish Ryan hadn’t tried to swap the ‘t’ in duet and replace it with an ‘l’ by asking the judges who “won,” but I can’t entirely disagree with Phillip’s own sweet, self-deprecating verdict: “She’s just a better singer than I am”

Jessica Sanchez: Jazmine Sullivan’s “Stuttering”
I kinda, sorta understood J.Lo’s comment about wanting Jessica to take the Idol audience on a crazy ride — “Stuttering” was just one of several of Jessica’s song choices this season that maybe didn’t get to the bottom of her reserves of soul — and yet at the same time it annoyed me. At the end of the day, shouldn’t we be applauding this kid for having total confidence in choosing a track most Idol viewers have never heard? Isn’t there artistry in throwing out the Idol playbook and gambling that viewers will accept and delight in the discovery of a new composition? And honestly, Jessica performs with such ridiculous vocal control and such relaxed body language, that you can see how Steven Tyler forgets where he is when she sings. “Stuttering” may not be the hookiest ditty in the modern songbook, but I liked the way the “mah mah my my!” recalled Jessica’s unspeakably awesome Vegas group rendition of “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” And an additional 10 points for going full diva in that silver and white jacket with alien shoulders and runway-ready collar — even if the deadly heels almost caused Bebe Chez to take a tumble when she went to sit back down on the piano at the end of her number. (p.s. to Randy Jackson: A whale is a mammal, not a fish. Click. Dialtone. Goodbye.)

Joshua Ledet: Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby”
I’m not quite sure I understood — or wanted to understand — the whole mentoring session where Jimmy was grilling Akon about Joshua’s “urban”-ness. Thankfully, every exquisite moment of Joshua’s “Runaway Baby” cover quickly eclipsed the most uncomfortable thing to happen in a mentoring session since Diddy foisted his harem on an unsuspecting Phillip Phillips. From Joshua’s threads (hot pink socks and shirt with black trim and “Reverse Dalton Academy” blazer), to his killer dance moves, to his lion-in-mating-season roar, this was another Idol moment for the humble Louisiana fella. What fascinates me is that a lyric like “there’s only one carrot and they all gotta share it” really shouldn’t be plausible coming from the mouth of Hollie Cavanagh’s goofy BFF, and yet the guy manages to amp up whatever portion of his persona is required to correctly interpret, or rather inhabit, a song. However he manages to pull off such tricks, is it too much for me to hope that someday, somehow he’ll cut a duet with Season 3 legend Fantasia? Girlfriend’s already sent him a “Happy 20th Bday” video, so it’s not inconceivable, right?

Skylar & Colton: Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson’s “Don’t You Wanna Stay”
Randy was correct — cut to me sticking lit matches under my fingernails for typing such foolery — that Skylar’s pitch wasn’t wobbly here, while Colton faded into the backdrop like it was a montage of bleach-blonde mops. (J.Lo calling those harmonies “beautiful” was less believable than her performance in Enough.) Of course, even if the duo’s feet didn’t quite fill out Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean’s missing slippers, we’ll always have this poetic critique from Steven Tyler: “You just made love singing to each other.”

Hollie Cavanagh: Pink’s “Perfect”
By far, my favorite part of Hollie’s segment was when she introduced her song title in that Britain-by-way-of-Texas accent: “Pear-fec.” (Pearfec, no?) And yet while I’ve been waiting all season long for a breakout moment from Hollie, I’ve got to be impartial enough to admit: This wasn’t it. From the Icecapadian minidress to the drowsy-on-cough-syrup phrasing, the entire performance was just slightly askew, like a really beautiful picture in a museum that’s hung just a tiny bit crookedly. The pitch was mostly there, and the emotional connection far surpassed Hollie’s last few performances, but in spite of all the good, you kind of just wanted someone to take it down from the wall, get out a level and a hammer, and try to mount it fresh from the beginning. Was there ever a more subtly damning critique than J.Lo’s “we’ll see how it all pans out”? Goosies (of fear)!

Phillip Phillips: Maroon 5’s “Give a Little More”
I’m not sure there’s a subject Phillip would be less comfortable discussing than his appeal with female voters vs. that of Colton. (“He’s a good-looking guy,” noted Phillip, trying to bring the conversation to an end.) But look, if dude wasn’t a stone-cold hottie — a Steve McQueen-Johnny Cash hybrid, as Steven Tyler puts it — then I would bet we’d see him in the Bottom 2 this week alongside Hollie, and possibly even watching his Idol highlight reel as a Scotty McCreery ballad played in the background. That’s not to say Phillip isn’t talented: “Movin’ Out,” “Hard to Handle,” “Still Rainin'” and his audition-round “Thriller” represent a really strong body of work. But “Give a Little More” found the guy upstaged by his sexy saxophonist, channeling the Maroon 5 melody with a roteness that may have indicated a guy growing weary of the Idol Machine after seven weeks of live performances. Like J.Lo noted, we’ve seen this performance before, and better. I’d love to see Phillip stripped down — hey, get your mind out of the gutter! — taking the stage with just his acoustic guitar and putting a folksy twist on an R&B classic like he did with “Nice and Slow” in Vegas. In other words, he needs to “give a litle more” to achieve a “thriller night.” (And no, you’re not the only one who hates that last sentence.) (Side note: Anyone notice the way Phillip often breaks into a smile mid-performance, like he’s enjoying a private joke with a couple of close friends?)

Hollie, Joshua & Jessica: Kelly Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a huge fan of all three of these cats, but from a musical standpoint, this performance made as much sense as trying to get an icepick out of one’s hand by thrusting it into a blender. And it kind of sounded a little like that scenario, too.

Elise Testone: Lady Gaga’s “You and I”
Don’t all collectively swoon from shock, but I think I need to discuss Elise’s “You and I” without referencing Haley Reinhart’s landmark version from Season 10. (Although I must admit to marveling at the hypocricy of Randy and J.Lo loving the Gaga track this year, but having poo-poohed it before its radio release/in the hands of the Growler just a year ago.) First and foremost, Akon earned whatever appearance fee he received just for talking Elise out of her “road to destruction” beginning the performance at the drums. (Memories of Reed Grimm are still too raw and nasty.) And secondly, Elise definitely improved off last week’s Foreigner debacle: She was on pitch throughout, and when she kicked things off behind the piano, her luscious growl was in absolute peak form. And yet once she stood up and began to stalk the stage, there were a few key moments that bothered me: The clipped phrasing on the first mention of “You and I” on the chorus. The peculiar barked “yeah!” a few seconds later. And the way the final runs and riffs seemed a little too overwrought, even with the swelling strings and guitars behind ’em. A part of me just felt like, on the heels of Elise’s near elimination last week, she tried just a little too hard to remind the audience of her skill set, instead of truly falling down the rabbit hole and taking residence in the sweet melody and quirky rhythms of the song. I’m hoping she’ll survive to the Top 6, but it just wouldn’t shock me if she’ll require a Judges’ Save to get there.

Tonight’s Letter Grades
Joshua: A
Skylar: A-
Colton: A-
Jessica: A-
Elise & Phillip: B+
Elise: B
Phillip: B-
Hollie: B-
Skylar & Colton: B-
Jessica, Hollie, and Joshua: C-

What did you think of Season 11 Top 7 night? Who’s at risk of going home? And who was your favorite? 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. Andy J says:

    For me the most interesting moment last night was the stunned silence that followed Steven’s comments after Hollie’s performance. Silence is golden but sometimes it is just yellow. Overall a good show-Joshua gave a great, restrained performance, and I also enjoyed Jessica. Elise should have tackled a different song-hat song belongs to Haley. It was also interesting to see the depimping of Phillip. At this stage,m in order of likelihood to win, I rank Jessica, Colton, Joshua, Elise, Skylar, Phillip, and Hollie. It will be interesting to see if the save will be used tonight-it almost has to be otherwise the finale will be one week early. And if Hollie is the lowest votegetter, will the judges savee her?

    • Hollie is in danger. And I know that the Judge’s Save is only in play until next week, but if Hollie is eliminated I don’t think they’d necessarily save her. I think the remaining 6, with Elise having to be a bit more consistent, have a legitimate shot of winning the whole thing. Front runners are still Jessica and Joshua, but the other 4 have large fan bases as well. I can see them waiting until next week. If anyone but Hollie is the lowest vote getter I think they will definetly use it tonight.

      • Joseph says:

        Not sure if Hollie is as in much danger as we are being lead to believe , but you never know ,
        Who I think could easily leave is Elise , and she was not helped last night with her horrible duet with Philip , really B- for that horrific attempt at covering Gotye!
        I would have given the duet a C- and even that would have been generous , it reminded me of the Allen / Gokey duet a few years ago where there was no connection at all between the singers and if Michael were to listen to the track without thinking about the past work done by Elise he would could have provided a more realistic review.
        For the same reason I hated the Elise / Philip , duet there was reason to like the one with Colton and Skylar who at least connected on stage during their performance.

    • noa says:

      after the save 2 people go home anyway, so it wouldn’t affect the finale. HOWEVER it will affect the judges role in the show- and to take away from J-lo like that is just unthinkable…
      i think that they won’t use it on Hollie. just cause that means that the week later anyone leaving will justify the save. having said that- maybe the producers will make them use it this week anyway, because if will all know that the save will be used for sure next week- it takes all the drama away… i’m just glad to know Elise is here another week for sure. or maybe 95% sure. hopefully. ah. i’m still worried.

      • Fran V says:

        True that 2 contestants normally go home the week after a save, but since there was a contestant kicked off (see how quickly we forget their names), I don’t know that 2 would go home this time.

        • noa says:

          GOOD POINT! and now i’m optimistic again, cause i thought Elise would never survive a double elimination, so maybe she can still make it to top 5 at least.

        • Sandi says:

          Exactly. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how it will play out. At least, I hope so…They’re all so good that it would really be upsetting to see two go in one week.

    • The only justification for using the save would be the judges saying they didn’t want contestants not going out on top, or having shown us their best, which you could say about the last few eliminations. (DeAndre, HeeJun, Erika). MAYBE the judges will get wishy washy and say that, despite a weak effort last night, they’re giving Hollie deserves another chance, partly because they have to use the save this week or next and because they know she can do better for America. And then, YO, the remaining contestants are on notice that they have to be on top of their game from here on out!

    • Yo' says:

      That silence was awful. I didn’t know how to interpret it, and wonder how Holly did: she deserved better than that. She gets points for guts; I can’t imagine getting up to sing immediately following the silence, yet she did. I’ll bet her parents fleetingly thought of pulling her from the contest. She is a tough little kid, she will do fine in the music world, but it may be that very stoicism that makes it seem she does not connect with a song.

  2. E says:

    I’m a Hollie fan but was disappointed last night. At first I thought a Pink song would be a ‘perfect’ choice if she actually chose NOT to change it up into If she’d gone out in leather and boots and had some edge to her I think it would have worked much better for her. I think her number is up and won’t get the save. Anyone else will be saved.

  3. slizabeth says:

    Skylar was FANTASTIC last night. Her solo was FLAWLESS. The duet, however, was a little rough for her. She hit some of the hardest notes really well, but some of the easier notes got away from her. It’s hard to live up to a really good Kelly Clarkson recording, so I think she still did really well.

  4. Erica says:

    I totally understand your comment on Jessica because I was wondering whether JLo’s comment was justified or not. Maybe it just had a bad taste to me because I do not like pegging the finalists against each other during the judges’ comments sections. It seems very underhanded. Then again, the more I watch those three the less I expect from them. They must have beers in those coke cups.

    • Lee says:

      I agree. Why should Jessica try to be more like Joshua? All he does is scream except last night which I think was his way of trying to be more like Jessica. If Joshua is tryint to be more like Jessica–then why should Jessica change? Or for that matter, why didn’t JLo to Joshua to be more like Jessica?

  5. the real wendy says:

    Really thoughtful, accurate recap. Never a Joshua fan until last night. AMAZING! Loved the outfit. All around awesome!

    • ejones says:

      What the recap doesn’t mention was that the contestants were allowed a song length of 2 minutes 30 seconds. At the equivalent stage last season Haley, for example was allowed 1′ 50″ for RITD, as she was for ‘You and I’ later on. What would Haley have done if she had been given those crucial extra 40 seconds? In her interview with Michael she made a point of the difficulties involved in cutting the songs to such a large extent.

  6. Kevin says:

    Wow, for the first time ever Slezak I find myself in (almost) complete agreement with you, even though I always find you entertaining. You summed up perfectly my criticisms of Hollie’s and Phil’s performances, as well as my reaction to the last trio number involving Jessica, Hollie and Joshua. Where we disagree, it is only about overall opinion of the performer, not the performance. Specifically, I enjoyed Joshua’s solo number and acknowledge that he has talent but cannot for the life of me understand his appeal generally. My primary disagreement, however, would be with your discription of Jessica’s stage movements as relaxed. Last night, as with every prior performance, she comes across to me as an overly-programmed automaton with no real personality whose every movement has been calculated, including the literal interpretation of lyrics with her hands. But hey … to each their own. Keep up the awesome work.

  7. gailer says:

    I have no fave left so…
    I thought Hollie was really good, I like her better than Jessica, but what do I know? She will probably leave
    I dont like Elise at all, not my cup of tea, same with Joshua
    Colton is better suited to this game called Idol, more than PP, but PP can sing better I think
    I dont see the appeal of Skylar but the country vote will probably make her the winner this year

  8. Erica says:

    Regarding Elise, I now realize why I personally am not buying into her so much in spite of the clear talent she has. I think it is because I am confused as to what kind of singer she is. Is she pop-jazz or pop-rock or classic rock or rock or what? I know in Idol you need to change things up a bit and move into different comfort zones but there is always the need to have an integral part of you stay in each performance. I just do not get what Elise wants to be as a musician (based on performances alone since I do not want to spend time researching about her back story). Then again, maybe she thinks she is stuck in Karaoke Hell so it is pretty hard to be earnest in that situation.

    • tewence says:

      lol i think you are on to something with that last sentence. however, i will say that her style of singing transcends all the styles she has taken on. she is definitely consitent in that way, and she uses her voice to convey different things on different songs.

    • genre type says:

      I think her genre type is blues, rock, soul. She would do fantastic having a album with a genre like Stevie Nicks type of genre.

    • noa says:

      well, i have taken the time to research her previous work. and let me tell you- it is amazing. her band is really good and she has a lot of youtube videos from the last few years that you should listen to. it’s mostly funk-soul-rock. she has a lot of James Brown covers from live shows. having said that, it is completely logical of her to try different things on AI, just cause people like diversity. and on every song you know it’s her. she doesn’t sound like anyone else to me. maybe cool combinations, but that’s fine too. i don’t think she thinks “she is stuck in Karaoke Hell” (that made me laugh BTW), i think she’s taking it super seriously, and she’s hoping to gain as much as she can from the show.
      there were so many great Idol contestants over the years that didn’t stick to just one genre- because they really likes different kinds of music AND they could perform all of them really well. you can be a soul-rock singer at heart and still love Led Zeppelin and be able to pull off whole lotta love….

  9. Louis says:

    Mr. Slezak I’m a huge fan of yours going back to your days with the “other” web site but I respectfully disagree with your critique of Hollie. I thought her performance was terrific. It just seems to me that Hollie is getting lumped in to the same group as past Idols, Carly Smithson & Pia Toscano, incredibly talented singers who for some reason the judges never seem to love. (In Carly’s case Simon just seemed to have it out for her.) I believe Hollie has a decent enough following that she won’t be going home tonight. I say either Elise or a shocker… Phillip.

    • chistosa says:

      Carly and Pia almost always had pitch perfect performances. No so with Hollie. She does not look comfortable on stage and she is often off key. She was better last night but she really is the weakest link of the seven and it is her time to go.

      • takakupo says:

        I’ve actually compared Hollie’s trajectory this season to Carly Smithson a lot and I believe it wholeheartedly. Carly started off VERY strong but stumbled in the middle with some fatal song choices. She survived long enough to get to the top 6 and belt out one of her best, comeback performances only to get elminated the next night. I think that Hollie will survive tonight, blow us away next week and then get eliminated which is something that I’d be able to live with. But this right now, where everyone seems to be following the will of the judges and the producers like drones is really pissing me off cause Hollie has had some amazing performances but now that people have seen the not so good ones they don’t want to give her a chance anymore. That’s just a shame cause “Perfect” was absolutely perfect last night.

      • Gorm says:

        Well said chistosa. She just isnt good enough to last any longer. If she is still around next week it will because she was saved by the judges or everyone has turned on Phillip’s warmed over schtick (for which he’ll still get saved)

      • Mary says:

        I think she lost her confidence because the judges have been horrendous to her. I give her credit because I thought her performance last night was good. They think she is taken votes away from Jessica. Steven is a as.. If I was Hollie, I would say Go listen to your NA and let’s compare whose was better. JLo miss auto, let’s have sex with my boy toy on video and judge me. Randy just sucks. Good judges critiques the performance, and points out the positives with the negatives. I know they are reading their notes from Nigel, but they are downright rude.

    • Nick Beaverhausen says:

      I agree with you Louis, Hollie is getting undeserved flack and is better than the judges or Mr. Slezak would like us to believe. How come none of the judges noted last night during the Stronger performance that Jessica was the weakest part of that trio by far and was downright off (It was just another example of Jessica being unable to pull off any song with a tempo). Part of me thinks they just pick on Hollie because she doesn’t fight back, typical schoolyard bully tactics.

      • Amy says:

        I was hoping the awful critique (including that deadly awful Steven remark & silence), of a Hollie performance that just did not deserve that kind of negativity….anyway, I was hoping it was perhaps them expecting her to get voted off tonight, and them being negative so their save could be more dramatic? Ok. longshot.
        Even Jimmy and Akon’s mentoring session was bland and not encouraging. I feel everyone has written her off, and that all their “let it go and feel it” advice has not produced desired results, and that she just isn’t getting it.
        I was rooting for her last night and though I too felt a certain “connectedness” to emotional abandon missing, the vocal was there and she did make me feel a little. But I also know, a singer (ala Skylar last night and others other seasons), should just “take you away” and overcome you with feeling without you trying, but with Hollie I’m still most times too aware of myself striving to feel emotion with her.
        She has a killer voice. She does give off an impression that all the advice she’s getting is not clicking…and that may be about who she is, and/or take time and growth.
        But I like her, and love that voice …and no matter what happens tonight or after, I hope she can find a way to exel beyond this…with that BIG voice of hers.
        I don’t like that she’s being treated a bit like “persona non grata” there, when she is hardly a slouch!

      • Bobbi says:

        Judges did not point it out because if you listen to the song again, Joshua did an extended wail run after the phrase “Me. Myself and I” that did not complement the melodic chorus the two girls were singing. Hollie and Jessica actually sounded like they were singing the same song. Joshua was fighting the uplifting tempo; it sounded more like a tortured emotional rasp that went on way too long. The song was about someone that no longer felt like a victim, but not with that death wail. He could have sung high on top of their vocals because they were already providing a rhythm. I do blame the arrangement and song choice which did not benefit any of the trio. Joshua just needed to be advised how to interpret that ending better.

  10. sam says:

    colton is awesome and the best performance of the night and finally the kind of performances that he should be doing.

    • Yo' says:

      He is spectacular and he will win, not a doubt in my mind.

    • Sandi says:

      I think Colton has been awesome the whole time and am glad that people are finally waking up to my way of thinking. ;) Diverse, gifted vocalist, great stage presence, and has “the look” of a star (yeah, that last part shouldn’t matter but it does).

      • I agree , for me Colton is the strongest of the bunch he has ,
        Performance ability
        He can sing
        You can see him making a current , though probably praise focused album
        Colton is easy to like
        Not to say that non of the others are worthy of being the winner ,,
        But , Joshua comes off more like someone who should be performing in Vegas or an Indian Casino show room.
        Jessica has an amazing talent but not seeing her being the next Platinum selling American Idol either.
        Philip, I see being an act in local clubs
        Elise, probably either a show room or club act
        Then you have Skylar , who for me is probably has a great chance to reach top 3 or go all the way and take on Kelly in Album Sales :)

  11. angelstorm says:

    Jessica gets an A from me. I’ve never heard of that song before last night. Now I’ve played it back so many times I know it by heart !

    And though I’m not really on the Colton train yet (due to that very tic in his voice that you point out) – this was BY FAR my favorite performance of his . . . Perfect was also my favorite Hollie performance to date . . .

    I also enjoyed Skylar’s performance (not on “Don’t you wanna Stay) – but then I am very partial to that song in general – it was one of my favorites on Kellie Pickler’s album…

    Phillip went all the way down to the bottom of the pack for me this week. I was bored.

    Elise and Joshua were a’ight – but I did very much enjoy Elise (not Phillip) on “Somebody That I Used to Know” . . .

  12. Twain says:

    Not a Colton fan, but his performance last night was his best of the season. Skylar was great as well. Rest of the show failed to live up to that, but it was still terrific. And nothing compares to the Growler’s “You and I”. Not even Gaga.

  13. noa says:

    Elise was so good on the duet, while Phillip was really bad. she should have done that as a solo, and maybe something else as a duet… maybe go with something that IS better for Phillip, just cause she can tackle a lot more than he can. or maybe let then keep doing these duets as they are. he makes her look good. yes Phillip- she IS a better singer.

  14. MusicGrrrl says:

    I thought every solo performance was really good last night. (They should stop having/judging the duets and trios!). Jessica kind of put me to sleep, and I didn’t 100% enjoy Elise. But it was the first rime all season I’ve enjoyed an entire performance by Joshua! He didn’t do the cat throwing up a hairball screeching at all, and the result was a fun, musical performance! Yay! Colton was better than he’s been all season. And I thought Hollie’s performance of Perfect was poignant and bittersweet. I really enjoyed it and spent about an hour voting for her. Skyler did a good job, but her voice is so much like Reba’s and I was never a huge Reba fan. And Phil was excellent as always. I liked that he (like Joshua) cut back on the hoarse singing.

    • tewence says:

      Phillip was excellent? I actually thought he was more hoarse and missed it completely on both songs.

    • Kevin says:

      Just for clarification: do you want AI to stop having the duets/trios completely, or just to stop having the judges comment on them. If the latter, I agree: it seems disingenuous to put the kids together on a song only with a presumable goal of creating a cohesive whole only the have the judges turn around and judge them individually. By doing so, they encourage the contestants to focus on emphasizing their individual strengths over what would be best for the song/performance. If the former … well, I must respectfully disagree. I am grateful that they have added additional performances to the show as it theoretically gives the contestants a chance to try different things (e.g., Hollie sounded quite good on the Madonna medley) and, as a viewer, provides me with much more entertainment than the “mentoring sessions” or the “hometown packages”. I do hope/wish, however, that they either mix up the partners or that different types of songs are selected (e.g., a non-country song for Colton/Skylar).

  15. Jack says:

    I’d love to see a Colton-Philip-Elise final 3. I’m afraid that all the tweeny boppers who cast all the votes will overlook 28-yr-“old” Elise in favor of Jessica.

    • wordgirl says:

      my 3 favs exactly! phillip is who he is and, for me, probably the only one whose music I will buy after the show. he feels the music to his core and i luv that! i don’t care that his vocals are not perfect. I don’t think we’ve even seen how talented he is yet.

    • chistosa says:

      Elise was my favorite from the beginning but after last night and the previous week, I am not so much a fan. Same for Phillip. He was my second favorite but now I think he is not progressing like the others. I have trouble relating to Jessica who has the best voice so Joshua is my new favorite. The truth be told, all of them except for Hollie ar still in the race.

    • Robin says:

      I would love to see that too!

    • Mary says:

      The tweeny boppers as you say are voting for Colton and PP. I would like to see a Jessica,Joshua, final two. I am not a tweeny and I do not care for Elsie at all. In fact I think she is at risk tonite. I did not enjoy her performance at all. Joshua should of close the show, best of
      The night.

  16. Marko says:

    Very strong top 7, talented and diverse.

  17. Jon says:

    Been a follower of yours since the beginning and I must say: your observations and wit are sharper than ever! Luuuvvvvvv this: p.s. to Randy Jackson: A whale is a mammal, not a fish. Click. Dialtone. Goodbye. (Hilarious, Michael!!)

  18. Jenay says:

    I have been a P2 fan all along, but I was a little disappointed last night. I though Sklyar and Joshua were great. I wish I liked Jessica more becasue she really can sing, but she leaves me cold. I find myself wondering if she is getting a bad edit or if she is really lacking a personaility. At least once an episode I find myself rolling my eyes and saying “Randy, you’re an idoiot”.

    • chistosa says:

      Exactly how I feel. I certainly admire her vocal talents, the best of them all but I get no pleasure watching her perform. I would never pay to see her in concert and I certainly would not pick up the phone to vote for her.

    • Robin says:

      I am a P2 fan as well…have been since audition. His live solo performance was not his best…but the studio version is great. He takes a very pop sounding hit and made it jazzy/bluesy. I wish it would have come across that way on stage for him.

      • Marsaili says:

        I LOVE his studio version—for the people who say he never changes things up—they need to listen to it, it shows a totally different side of Phillip.

  19. Mel says:

    Worst performance of the night goes to the giant oval. That thing is so distracting with its ridiculous stock video photography, or whatever it is. I have to assume that there’s some Idol assistant producer(s) with the job of finding images for it, when there should be more staff with the job of clearing new songs. The oval has got to go.

  20. Josh says:

    I agree with you 90%. I don’t like Colton as much as Phillip though. I feel Colton is just…been there…He was a terrific voice and seems like a nice guy but I’m tired of his “brooding and dreamy” facial expressions. If we’re going to vs the two dudes, Phillip wins on personality and originality, while Colton wins on having a better voice(though it’s one I heard before).

    I found Phillip’s first few notes of his solo good but then it got to be the same as always and I was bored. So I agree on the stripped down thing. It seemed that’s what he wanted to do, until Jimmy steered him in the wrong direction(with none of the shock and anger girl singers get)

    Not Elise best but she’s still my fav by far. She’s the most original, unique and daring out there. Joshua is good but just not my type of music. Sorry…Elise is. I could see Elise singing along side Adele and Florence. She’s not as powerful as them but I get the “I’m kickass woman” vibe from here and I love it.

    Jessica and Hollie just bore me. Both are great singers both neither are popping. Jessica seems very manufactured, while Hollie just can’t seem to find her tone.

    Skylar is terrific, even I dont’ love country there is no denying her tone, her personality and her ability are a joy to watch.

    • chistosa says:

      I preferred Phillip from the beginning but his performances are getting old. Colton is actually growing as a performer. I am now trying to imagine an entire concert with Phillip standing at the mic with his guitar. Not for me.

  21. tara d says:

    as i was watching phillip last night it occurred to me that he has not really had any standout performances at all this season. Movin’ out was the closest he came for me but even that was not really that spectacular. I am more inclined to include him with the likes of Lee DeWyze than Kris Allen or David Cook on the WGWG axis. Kris and David proved they were contenders and not just “cute guys” with knockout performances like Hello, Billie Jean, Always Be my baby, Aint no sunshine, she works hard for the money, heartless…i mean thats just the ones i can think of off the top of my head. Phillip may be consistent, but he is consistently “meh” to me–often times not even that (i.e. last week’s bum note laden “that’s all). Im not against him because he is a cute guy, i just dont see what they see and I dont think his talent stacks up to the likes of everyone else on that stage this year. He has not really shown much range–vocally or musically–and i even believe he completely missed a perfect opportunity this week to showcase this “artistry” everyone is always giving him credit for. Did the dude really need to do a forgettable Maroon 5 song when he could have changed up an r&b or britney song?? my husband and i were certain this would be his night. If it really were phil v. colton last night, then im sorry but dude got served.

    • TheBeach says:

      That was a very well-stated post. I have been on the P2 train (and Elise train) from the auditions but I feel I’m now hanging on to the caboose by my fingers…and they’re starting to cramp. I enjoyed the beginning of his song a lot. His voice was clear and strong and he sounded great. But by the end I was just sort of shrugging my shoulders…didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. I think you’re exactly right that last night could have been P2’s night to really shine on a number of good songs that could have fit him like a glove (if they were allowed). It just seems like he grabs any ole song and goes out and sings without a lot of thought or preparation.

    • Mel Wallace says:

      Totally. He seems to struggle with more melodic songs (GOTYE).

  22. abfidy says:

    Rewatching the Hollie performance this morning, I figured out why it wasn’t working at the time. They kept cutting away from her face. She was doing a pretty great job at connecting to her lyrics and making the song personal, but there’s no way to see that when the camera is deliberately staying 20 feet away. Those producers…they certainly are tricky.

    • Justin says:

      I didn’t like the arrangement at all. Having it all stripped down to sort of unplugged ballad didn’t quite have the impact of the hard-driving rock-pop original (particularly on the chorus).

    • takakupo says:

      THANK YOU! If you ever watch any performance that Hollie is in the cameras always give her the WORST angles and pan aways. Just take a look at any of the other contestants, with Colton and his wispy helicopter angles, Jessica and her close ups and fade outs, etc;. It’s quite ridiculous how much the producers want her gone and everyone is just buying into it.

  23. jw says:

    The thing about Phillip is that he doesn’t have a falsetto, so his approach to a song is to work around that. He gets a little more scream-y, intense in parts of a song where another singer would go into falsetto. He keeps talking about sticking to who he is because he knows where his limits are. I think that’s why we usually find him in the same tempo every week. In some ways, he may not be ready for this competition…he needs to build singing strength in a slower tempo, he needs to build some range. But he can’t do that in this competition format. A bad move and he gets voted out.

    • MamaLis says:

      I totally agree with you except to say that I think the competition has done what it needs to do for him. He’s received a TON of exposure and will go on to do really well. There are many artists out there right now that could win a “singing competition” but who have huge careers.
      (Who is gwenyth paltrow’s husband? > Huge! Rihanna, etc. ) Anyway, I think Phillip will be fine.

  24. J says:

    Wow Michael, I totally disagree with you on Hollie. She was great and changed up the arrangement. The judges were nuts on their criticisms.

    • takakupo says:

      Michael is nuts too apparently. It seems patently hypocritical to rag on Hollie with her giving it her all and give a pass to Philip who doesn’t give to shakes week after week. I thought this week was a return to form for Hollie, another stumble for Philip and unfortunately a step back for Elise.

  25. Volcfom says:

    Elise should’ve done “Paparazzi”.
    Is it sad that I really missed DeAndre? Even though he wasn’t my favorite in the beginning, I think he had great potential.

  26. Justin says:

    I’m not as enamored with Skylar as you but her performance was indeed solid. Ditto for Colton (who I usually cannot stand but he pulled back just enough not to completely annoy me this week). You’re right about Phillip. If he wasn’t a handsome guy then he’d be on the chopping block. Wow, Elise got the bitch edit of the season (even worse than the “Haley is a brat” one last year) during that pre-performance clip on the duet. That in itself is going to land her in the Bottom 3 despite fairly solid vocals this week and might even get her sent home. Hollie sings well enough, but she’s very tentative/stiff and never seems to connect with the song, which makes one highly uncomfortable while watching her perform. I am only lukewarm to Jessica. She’s talented but there’s something amiss with her. Joshua was excellent. This was my favorite performance of his. My favorite of the trios was Phillip and Elise. I didn’t like the other two at all. In fact, the Joshua-Jessica-Hollie one was flat out HORRENDOUS. A C- is far too kind for that disaster.

    • tewence says:

      please don’t perceive this comment as rude, but have you heard the original Gotye song? In my opinion, Elise (who I loved) and Phillip kinda butchered it.

  27. MamaLis says:

    Great recap as usual! While I’m def not a Hollie fan, how bad was it to be her when the room got silent and JLo made the cool statement about wondering how “things will pan out.” Ouch. She’s history and the save will NOT be used. Also thought Joshua was CRAZY good and actually really enjoyed Elise. Empirically speaking (not just comparing her to Haley), I thought the song had a great vibe and meaty vocals. Watched it a few times and enjoyed each one!

  28. RD says:

    Interesting to me that suddenly Philip being safe doesn’t appear to be a foregone conclusion.Could it be that the majority of us are getting bored by the same shtick?
    And the silence in the audience during Hollie’s critique spoke volumes.Almost unheard of,(excuse the pun!) in AI circles.If she doesn’t go home then i’m concerned for Elise,(whenever I hear that song it’s Haley’s voice I hear,not Gaga’s-good as her version is),just because she ‘s not that popular with the public and seems to ebb and flow with popularity each week more than any other contestant.It seems hard to imagine but I would love a Joshua/Jessica final.They both brought their A-game last night,and Joshua is gaining confidence visibly now,even when he’s not singing.Still,all in all the best top 7 finalists ever.

    • musicfan123 says:

      According to dial idol the bottom 3 can be Jessica, Colton and Elise. yikes…

      • FreeHaley says:

        yikes so far they have paired jessica with elise, which you’d think would make that the safe group, but that seems almost too obvious, so hmm but could those really be the bottom three? that would be utterly nuts!

      • FreeHaley says:

        Oh no it’s actually coming close to true, good grief Joshua, Elise, Jessica bottom three??!??
        WTH? Wow I can’t believe I am saying it but the judges take was actually wayyy better. Man, they gotta use the save.

  29. ilovefree says:

    Elise was my favorite during the earlier rounds, but to me, she has lost her appeal all of a sudden. Her version of “Whole Lotta Love” and “You and I” were just okay for me because honestly Adam Lambert and Haley Reinhart did better.
    I still listen to her studio versions of Let’s Stay together and Vienna which are my favorites so far of all the finalists’ studio recordings.
    I am still hoping that she brings it back as I prefer her over some other contestants.

  30. Pfigg says:

    I thought the performances were the best of the season so far, especially those by Skylar, Colson, Jessica, and Joshua. The bottom three slots would seem most appropriate for Hollie, who is adorable and talented, but not quite up to the level of the others; Elise, who is great, but too old for the teeny-boppers; and most unfortunately, Phillip, who was my favorite when this whole thing started. Sadly, with each performance, he becomes more one-dimensional. I agree that he either needs to find better material or bring something fresh to his delivery. PS I had to mute the sound for the trio-BAD GOOSIES!!!!!

  31. Dan says:

    I think Philip’s performance was the most disappointing since, as Michael mentioned, he really missed an opportunity to do the kind of thing that got him noticed in the first place. That being said, I think we see the Save come out this week. The only have one more week to really use it. And even Hollie can stick around for another week without sacrificing someone else’s potential early exit.

  32. takakupo says:

    No mention of Hollie’s song being perfect for her at this stage of the competition? That her shrug and grin on, “I’m still here.” were reminiscent of all the small F-U’s that Haley gave the judges when they critiqued her unfairly? And the pitch was perfect. I don’t know if I’ve ever disagreed with you more.

    Not to mention that Philip has been lagging since the competition started in the top 13, and just keeps diving. To give him a pass when Hollie gave everything she needed to give is a travesty on the level of the judges. It makes me really see the bias here and not enjoy reading the recaps sometimes. Talk about giving the girl’s the dues but then taking it easy on the guys *shakes head and sighs…*

  33. junebug says:

    Ironic that two of the remaining guys tried to do falsettos last night. Nowhere near as good as Deandre’s. I miss his originality. Also, am seriously getting bored of Jessica. Same thing every time. Yeah, she’s good, but nothing that isn’t on the radio already. I think Skylar was the best of the night. At least her song sounded convincing.

  34. dilia says:

    This seriously was one of the best episodes of Idol ive ever seen (didnt watch the first 4 seasons and i missed majority of season 6) I liked everyones solo performances- the group ones were kinda rough i thought but cant have everything i suppose. Nobody rated lower than a 7 for me in their solos.

    1)Colton: Why were the judges not standing? they really made themselves look quite silly tonight im afraid when they stood up for everybody and their mother 2 weeks ago, and tonight was BETTER and one standing ovation and it wasnt even for what was by far the best performance of the night i thought. This was beautiful and i got chills during the bridge. The piano really is his best friend.

    2)Skylar: Shes actually adorable. I cant help but smile when i watch her perform and she looks and sounds like a radio ready pro up there. Every week she wins me over more and more. She is very consistent and I appriciate that alot in a contestant as well 9/10

    3)Joshua: The Joshua pimping is getting out of control and its starting to bug me. Having said that, i love this song and it was great and lots of fun. I just didnt think it deserved a standing ovation. It felt more like an oh look guys its Josh we’d better stand standing ovation than a WOW THAT WAS AMAZEBALLS standing ovation. Even though this is probably my favorite performance from him and on a weaker night overall hed probably top my list easily.

    4)Jessica: Technically she was probably the best of the night. The reason shes in the middle for me this week(other than that everyone was great overall) has nothing to do with her singing and everything to do with her song choice. Ive never heard that song and i cant say i care to ever hear it again. I was practically falling asleep.However she was her usual powervoiced self and she sounded great so props for that

    5)Elise: Elise is my second favorite and i adore her voice. I really really wanted to love this. but i didnt. It was solid vocally and everything (her outfit on the other hand) and i cant quite put my finger on what went wrong for me here. But something was off. Shes damn lucky that she had the pimp spot because otherwise she would definatly be in grave danger. She could be in the bottom anyway but now im not sure. Like i said solid but a little underwhelming. Maybe my expectations were to high. I dont know

    6)Phillip: Phillips performances are all very samey to me and this has demoted him from my 3rd favorite down to 5th. I liked him in the duet though actually. Like I said nobody was bad and he sounded better than he did last week thats for sure but i was just bored. If he made an album all his songs would sound the same other than the lyrics.

    7)Hollie: Oh Hollie, Hollie, Hollie. You used to be one of my favorites but at this point it really is her time to go. This performance was leaps and bounds better than last week but it seems like everyone is growing and improving their stage presence (maybe phils not growing but his stage presence has definitely improved I feel) and she seems to be almost moving backwards. She peaked to early. This was (like everyone this week) solid but it lacked any of pinks grit and soul. She does seem sweet though

    not gonna bother commenting on the groups because they were all a mess and a half. I think we may be in for a shocker tonight

    • takakupo says:

      You’ve gotta be kidding. There is absolutely no one else who has grown or struggled to grow int his competition this season EXCEPT for Hollie. You’re just going along with the judges like Michael.

    • Louis says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more about a “shocker” tonight. The consensus is that it will be Hollie, but she has quite a following especially on Twitter. She gets weekly support on Twitter from Pia Toscano. I believe her fans voted in excess last night due to her poor critiquing from the judges. I believe it could be Phillip who seems to be just going through the motions now.

    • Faz says:

      Seriously, you got chills from Colton’s performance. Is he the first singer you’ve every heard?

  35. Matt says:

    hollie deserves to go…i hope to god they don’t use the save if she’s the bottom vote getter…i think they’ll use it for anybody else – esp a girl like elise or skylar…even if they don’t stand a chance of winning….Will serve them right if they save hollie and then next week elise or jessica or joshua get booted

    • Mary says:

      Funny, I do not feel she should go. I liked her performance more than Elsie or Skylar. I can assure you if it is Hollie, the judges will not save her. I would’t be mad at all or surprise is it is Elsie. I am not sure if the judges will save her either.

  36. YosemiteSam says:

    Seems to me Phillip lost all his zest for the competition once his BFF Hee-Jun got eliminated. I think he’ll welcome elimination in the 4-5 range and hope for a Daughtrey like career without the stink of a top Idol result on his rock credibility. Finishing top 2 or 3 on IOdol will guarantee you never hear him on rock radio

  37. tewence says:

    Skylar – People need to effing clean their ears out. That performance was not nearly as stellar as was praised. She actually was not on perfect pitch, and I thought emotionally it fell flat. I would venture to say that last week (even though a little off) was better than this week.

    Colton – Not a huge fan of him, but I will say that this was probably my favorite performance by him. The only problems I had with his performance was that he never quite hit the falsetto note in the chorus and he gets really whiny when singing high.

    Elise & Phillip – This performance actually upset me. Phillip was WAY out of his league with a song like this, and his voice was extra contrived for this song. He really did it an injustice. Elise sounded good, but both missed the feeling of this song. Where some saw love/hate, I thought it reeked of awkwardness.

    Jessica – If she didn’t prove herself last night, I don’t know what else she can do. HUGE song by an incredible artist, and she delivered. She actually portrayed the emotion of the song. Whether or not she has actually experienced anything similar to what the song is about, I am unsure, but she was able to translate it on all levels. Fantastic job by her.

    Joshua – He seems like a modern day James Brown or something similar. I liked him up tempo (which we saw in Hollywood week). Great job and perfect song choice. Interesting how less “gospel” he sounds singing fast.

    Skylar & Colton – Wah wah.

    Hollie – I thought this would be perfect for her. :( It should have been faster, and it would have automatically given her the edge she needed to have a moment with that song.

    Phillip – Wow. That was just terrible and boring. Terribly boring, perhaps. Nothing good about it. We have seen his range, and it didn’t take long to do so. He has no tricks in his back pocket. Unfortunately, when you have such a specific sound as he, there is a limit to what you can do. He is expired.

    Hollie, Joshua, and Jessica – Good job, Josh.

    Elise – Solid performance. Wasn’t special, in my opinion, although her tone is just fantastic. That was about the only semi-good Lady Gaga song out there, and I thought she did well. Smart move on her part to choose somebody like Gaga who people love. Maybe it will get her more votes. I sure hope so, because I’d hate to see the only genuine artist on that show go home early.

    • Sandi says:

      I agree with you 100% on Jessica. I really don’t know what else she can do at this point. I thought for sure she’d silence her critics with that performance because there’s no way she could be called a mimic since it is not a well-known song (at least by me!) But people still manage to find her “boring”. The last thing she is for me is boring. Spectacular talent never bores me.

  38. Charlene says:

    Michael, I love your analysis of the “Stronger” catastrophe – ice pick + blender. So awkward to watch, and the girls had lots of trouble in the lower registers – really showed their weaknesses.

  39. davey says:

    Michael, I always enjoy your wrirting but your obsession with Skylar is starting to alarm me. I found nothing remarkable about her performance last night. It was very similar to almost every performance she’s given and she sounds like a lot of other country singers out there.

    • tewence says:

      i don’t understand this obsession either!! and i agree with yo uon everything else.

      • Jason says:

        Yeah to me Skylar has been on a downward trajectory since the Faces cover!!! She seems to be trying to hard to fit the Idol mold!! She is better then LAuren Alaina but not much. Butshe won’t be able to drop weight and turn into a hottie like Lauren is doing so she may have trouble getting hit songs

    • FreeHaley says:

      Hah and he even “Randy was correct — cut to me sticking lit matches under my fingernails for typing such foolery — that Skylar’s pitch wasn’t wobbly here,” accidentally turned a “was” into a “wasn’t” haha now that is some love for Skylar when even when he agrees when she messes up he still accidentally types that she did great hah.

      That said, I actually thought she did well on her solo performance this week.

  40. jdaniels says:

    Hollie… in danger girl! – Says Oda Mae.

  41. syb says:

    Agree with most of that. My only strong point of disagreement was that I thought Jessica sounded whiney, which is a shame because her voice can sound so incredible. I did like the song choice and the arrangement. But she borrowed a Colton vocal affectation I didn’t care for at all. I thought Elise was terrific, but that’s not going to help her unfortunately. I think she’s a goner.

  42. Jason says:

    Josjua deserves to win. Most consistent, Most diverse, most believable, Most moments on the show and best performer. GUy kills it every week adn he seems to be a humble, nice guy!!!

  43. susanmarie says:

    When listening to these singers I ask myself which of them are good enough that I would consider purchasing their music. Joshua is great–but no. Skyler–yes, Jessica–possibly if she would keep that vibrato out of her voice, Holly–no, Elise–probably not, Colton-probably yes, Philip-yes. This is based on their body of work so far. Yes Philip had a less than spectacular night but when he is on he is ON. Skylar is good and versatile. Jessica has a great voice but her style is similar to other great female singers–Celine, etc

    • tewence says:

      this seems to be based more on your style preference. you wouldn’t buy jessica who you think would be too similar to celine, but you would absolutely buy phillip who doesn’t compare to celine vocally?

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      I don’t think this is very fair to the performers. Trying to win a contest with wonky parameters and trying to create performances based on limited (sometimes unknown to the singers) song choices in the space of a few days with a posse of agenda-setters in your face isn’t necessarily an accurate showcase of what choices they would make in a recording studio. With the right supportive producer and time and ability to finetune the process any of these singers could come up with something highly listenable or misfire with some commercially unsuccessful garbage. Add in the Idol touring experience and developing fanbases and a more developed vision of what direction to go in…??? Look at Kellie Pickler’s success (how many folks saw that coming?).

  44. J says:

    Major props to Joshua, Colton, and Skylar. Each had superb performances and made me go back to listen again.

  45. Lisa says:

    Maybe it’s a tribute to how well she sang it (yes, I’m going with that) but I felt Skylar’s performance terribly disturbing, and not in that fun Nine Inch Nails way. Unlike Deandre and “Only the Good Die Young,” there was no hinting at what this song was about. She had to come right out and sing it. Yet, she didn’t seem emotionally mature enough to pull that off. So, I felt like I was listening to a kid tell me her story about “love” and me thining, “Yeah honey, that’s not love. It’s you putting out too early, but you don’t realize that yet.” which makes me feel like a jerk and I don’t like that. Now, if Crystal Bowersox sang that song, I probably would have loved it.

  46. Rocky says:

    That awkward moment when Steven Tyler tells joshua to get that ladies’ phone number. Umm… Why?

    • musicfan123 says:

      That awkward moment when Steven Tyler tells 2 contestants that they were making love with the song? Huh? A definite result of misfire of brain cell function from previous drug use. I love Steven though.

  47. Mary says:

    Jessica should win, hands down. Holly is a beautiful singer, reminds me of Maureen McGovern (from the 70s). I like Elise’s tone and subtleties. Skyler should show us her subtleties. The guys are good but, sorry, I’m rooting for a girl this year.

  48. Gorm says:

    Ugh, Reed Grimm… all those bad memories of his manic sh*t eating grin plastered below his crazy eyes. And the scatting… the scatting… its too much to bear.

  49. ajsj says:

    I thought Elise and Phillip’s Gotye/Kimbra cover was HORRIBLE.