American Idol Top 7 (Part 2) Cover 'Now & Then' Theme: Who Were Your Favorites?

elise testoneWhether or not you know what a quartet is — and make no mistake, Randy Jackson is pretty certain you don’t — there’s no denying that American Idol‘s Top 7 Redux performance night was packed more tightly than J.Lo’s shoe closet. A whopping 14 songs over two hours represented a new Idol record, noted Ryan Seacrest, and while I can’t say the evening came close to last week’s sensational Top 7 (Part 1) telecast, there were certainly enough enjoyable moments that I never once felt a pang of resentment over having to DVR Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23. (Well, except maybe when Randy exclaimed “The girl blew the box out of the song!” after Jessica Sanchez’s Alicia Keys cover.

American Idol: 10 Dream Theme Nights!

Anyhow, I’ve got a full recap to crank out — look for it on Thursday at — but before I do, allow me to offer some pithy first impressions on the night’s set list:

Now (Songs from 2000-2010)
Hollie Cavanagh: “Rolling in The Deep” by Adele
Why didn’t “mentor” Jimmy tell her that short of whipping out her wand (Hollie’s a Hufflepuff, right?) and conjuring up Adele herself, there was no way to have a true Idol Moment with this song. Which isn’t to say the performance wasn’t strong and in tune.

Colton Dixon: “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga
Yeah, the verse was pitched too low, but that rocky rearrangement fit Colton like a pair of black skinny jeans. Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought this was one of the night’s most exciting performances.

Elise Testone: “No One” by Alicia Keys
Not sure which was lovelier: That flowy tangerine dress or the ethereal grittiness of Elise’s performance. What the judges need to realize, though, is that Elise just isn’t the kind of singer who’s going to discuss her terminally ill dog in a 15-second post-performance interview with Seacrest. (Not that there’d be anything wrong if she did, but…)

Phillip Phillips: “U Got It Bad” by Usher
Now we know what would happen if you took Usher’s original track, placed it overnight in between two encyclopedias, and compressed it to like two or three notes.

Jessica Sanchez: “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys
Aside from that choppy ending, I had my “I’m feelin’ it!” stankface on for the duration of the performance. File under: Get it, Bebe!

Skylar Laine: “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
I never quite believed Gaga’s countrified spin on her fab dance anthem, but little monster Skylar has made me a total convert. La Laine is as tart and genuine as a jar of homemade rhubarb jam.

Joshua Ledet: “I Believe” by Fantasia
Not sure if it was a sense-memory thing taking me back to Fantasia’s Season 3 performance-night finale (a three-Kleenex experience for me even eight years after the fact), but I came thisclose to full-on sobbing during Joshua’s performance. (And yes, I noticed he botched the ending, even if the judges did not.)

Then (“Classic Soul” Music)
Hollie Cavanagh: “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield
Oh dear. I feel like Hollie interpreted that “teach me” line as if the good reverend’s son was an algebra tutor. Not as wrong-minded as DeAndre’s “Only the Good Die Young,” but close.

Colton Dixon: “September” by Earth Wind & Fire
News anchors J.Lo and Randy are calling it: In the race between Colton and Phillip, they’re declaring a victory for Phillip — with only 7% of precincts reporting! Honestly, though, if dude had ended with “Bad Romance,” I wouldn’t be worried at all, but this dreary emo twist on “September” felt as bleak as mid-January in Winterfell.

Elise Testone: “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye (or, in Randy’s mind, Al Green)
From the wrong-minded song choice, to the white leather couch, to Elise’s weird yelp, to the judges acting like they were starring in In Treatment, nothing about any of this made any sense whatsoever.

Phillip Phillips: “In The Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett
This was even less sexy than Elise’s “Let’s Get It On” — not that the judges were paying a lick of attention.

Jessica Sanchez: “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding
An oddly loungy arrangement seemed at odds with Jessica’s “someone’s performing psychic surgey on my spleen” delivery. A pretty solid effort, though for me for you — trademark: the Dawg — it doesn’t touch what Nadia Turner did back in Season 4.

Skylar Laine: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye
On a scale of Kris Allen’s “Heartless” to Kristy Lee Cook’s “Eight Days a Week,” this fell a little closer to the former than the latter, although I’d probably have a hard time arguing if you insisted on the exact opposite. Which is another way of saying I adore Skylar.

Joshua Ledet: “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
No doubt he’s got a voice that grabs you by the wrist and makes you drop that game of Scrabble you’re currently losing, but I didn’t think there was quite enough electricity to warrant a Standing O. Anyone else with me?

What did you think of Top 7 Redux? Take our poll below, 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. Hollie had the best overall night. Colton was the weakest for me.

    • Wow, I honestly have a headache listening to the recaps. Do any of them besides Jessica and Elise know how to sing without shouting at the top of their lungs? Maybe Colton, but certainly not Hollie, Joshua, Phillip and Skylar. OMG my ears are ringing from their shouting!! Skylar’s fans should be called Shoutlaws, not Skoutlaws!

      • yup says:

        Sooo agree with you. Skylar shouts because there is NO unique in her voice. What are these States coming to….this is the reason special singers like Adele come from United Kingdom.

      • kcostell says:

        Jessica and Elise did their best in their second performances to prove they didn’t know either.

        Jessica’s performance would have worked so much better if she had Tried a Little Tenderness, and Elise felt like she was dragging me forcibly off to her bed instead of seducing me there.

        • Layla says:

          Jessica’s feisty rendition gave it a whole different meaning of standing up to someone who did her BFF wrong. Maybe giving the boy a wakeup call before he loses his girl. Really enjoyed it!:)

          • Marsaili says:

            Naw, I felt she was trying to scream some tenderness down someone’s throat—it was the total wrong approach to the song–a 16 year old shouldn’t be singing this song anyway, how is she supposed to understand what it’s about? It was an inappropriate song choice for this kid.

      • kerson fernandez says:

        yah. your’ right!

      • ccorbett says:

        I completely agree with you. This was the first night I’ve been able to watch the whole show live, and kept thinking, “why is everyone oversinging?!” As I said over on another chat board, it would have been nice to hear something down a notch or two with some nuance.

      • Suggestor says:

        AI ALUMS on Jessica tonite:
        “I sang “Fallin” for my #Idol audition. She sang that MUCH better than I evr did! U made that “save” count, girl!”
        “SERIOUSLY!! The notes sure connected to my skin and gave me chills in the first 5 seconds of the song!!!”
        Adam Lambert:
        “… Jeeeeeez. That first run was nuts.#futurepopmegastar””

        • seattlejohn449 says:

          thought this was Jessica really stepping it up tonight…she really seemed more invested in the songs and had more depth than she has shown previously…best of the night…should win the whole shebang and I’m looking forward to a properly produced CD to bring out all her nuances and ablity to sonically soar

          • HudsonRiverside says:

            Interesting take – I noticed Jessica focused less on perfect technical notes and delivered more rawness which is what I like about P2. Interesting that they were tweeting about sharing the ride to the studio this week so wonder if the idols ever talk about this kind of thing amongst one another? The next few weeks will be very interesting because all the performers are starting to see where the room for play and emotions come in. Hollie is starting to get it as well.

      • C says:

        Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I’m totally tired of being screamed at by Joshua, Jessica and Phillip. Skylar screams too, but at least she blends it with some energy and stage presence. Colton is the only one in this competition now who knows how to change up the volume level.

        • Scott says:

          Yeah, pretty sure that Phillip didn’t scream yesterday… not sure what you were listening to

          • C says:

            Okay, maybe Phillip doesn’t scream volume-wise, but he’s always doing a snarling, gutteral thing with his voice back in his throat, like I would if I was screaming at someone. His voice is so ugly that I struggle not to mute whenever he’s singing. My daughter, who knows his Usher song from last night very well, couldn’t believe his rendition. She said “Is he pranking this show?” She thought it was horrible. I thought it had very little range, just like Slezak. I wish I knew the original better.

          • Tarc says:

            Phil didn’t do that on the Usher cover – he was using a plain old straight-toned chest voice. I’d heard the song before, but it’s general my view that it’s not hard to improve an Usher song (she’s never been a favorite). However, Phillip did go back to his bluesy voice for Midnight Hour, and it was amazing. You probably just aren’t used to hearing much blues.

        • groogrux says:

          C – I agree with you on Joshua and Jessica. but not Phillip. While Colton is good in a classical rock kind of way I much prefer the gutteral earthiness of Phillip’s voice. I prefer singer songwriter musicians in the style of Dave Matthews. I don’t really like “performers” who just get up there and sing..too many ex-Mickey mouse clubbettes: Brittany Spears, Christina, etc.. I don’t take them seriously. I don’t know the usher song but it is completely ok to sing it differently than the original version. The goal is to adapt the song, make it your own not mimic it.

          • Leah says:

            I agree with you.I also enjoy singer songwriters myself.I just find them more unique and real.Maybe it’s because it comes from life experience and there own take on life.They don’t have to mold themselfs into a song as they are the song.

    • John Smith says:

      Jessica gets her bus ticket punched tomorrow night with Joshua sweating it big time.

      • Yo' says:

        I thought Jessica oversang tonight and I thought she was (or should be) too young for her first song; she was kind of a sexed up tween. On the other hand, I just love Joshua – I need him to make an album so I can just turn out the lights, close my eyes and feel it. He will never win, but it would be lovely if he did.

        • Lana says:

          @Yo I so agree with you, Joshua always takes me on a wonderful journey and I can’t wait for his album. There is something I noticed about Phillip which makes me wonder if this is why I can’t really connect with him, he does not look at anyone straight on. Its like when you are talking to someone and their eyes are looking all over and you wonder if they are even listening to you cause they don’t look at you. That’s what Phillip does. I really was watching and not once did he look into the camera and sing to me. In fact he seems not to be able to look at anybody even when they are talking to him. That may be due to shyness but he needs to get out of that if he wants to become the artist he thinks he is.

          • Nikki says:

            Huge Phil fan here. Gotta say that I totally get what you’re saying about him having no eye contact. Could be shyness, could be that he’s nervous or really concentrating or maybe just going into the zone. I noticed that he didn’t look into the camera much when Ryan was giving out his numbers, either.

          • Marsaili says:

            I’ve noticed that too—and I think that shows signs of a lack of self confidence—even when he sings he’s looking everywhere but the camera—although when he sings with Elise he does look at her. I don’t know if he just doesn’t remember to look at the camera or he’s just trying to forget that all these people are watching him so he doesn’t freak out? I love Phillip, but he does need to work on eye contact. Of course, when Nirvana first started playing live, Kurt Cobain was so freaked out that he would play and sing with his back to the audience—so at least Phil is able to face forward, LOL!

          • PRLA says:

            Lana: your comment is 99% equal to the comment my wife made yesterday night to me. Her explanation however is different: she thinks that not only is he shy, but seems a little bit autistic as well.

          • Marsaili says:

            Joshua autistic??? No, I don’t believe it—I have an Autistic son, I don’t see even a hint Asperger’s in Joshua. I think it is just shyness and awkwardness.

          • Marsaili says:

            Woops, sorry, I got confused by the conversation NOT JOSHUA, LOL—I did briefly consider that for Phillip, but seriously, no—he’s socially awkward—just a little—but I don’t think he’s Autistic.

          • Ash says:

            I agree that Phillip not looking anyone in the eye is just due to social awkwardness. He’s clearly a low-key guy who probably isn’t used to being the center of attention and having all eyes on him so he gets nervous when he has to perform in front of a huge crowd. I may be alone here, but I actually find this trait to be endearing, not off-putting. It makes him seem more like a real person and not someone who is putting on a show for the cameras, and I like that. He comes across as more sincere to me than some of the others who constantly play up to the cameras and the audience.

        • SallyinChicago says:

          I don’t know why Jessica at 16 yo isn’t singing younger songs….she’s singing these old R&B songs and it’s tiring. I wonder as she was going through her 10 years of singing lessons and concert bookings, is this her repertoire? To sing Otis Redding, Alicia Keys, all the R&B songs? Who was she entertaining all those years? She’s 16, she needs to lighten up, she needs to smile! This is what the audience is missing and why she will go home early.

          • HudsonRiverside says:

            Watch her old youtube clips, she sang all sorts of current songs. If you look at the cleared songs list, not many of the very current songs are on there. No matter what she won’t be choosing any Miley songs because her voice is too strong and mature for that.

          • Marsaili says:

            and thank goodness for that, Miley Cyrus can’t sing—or she can, but she isn’t that great. Jessica blows her away by leaps and bounds!

        • SallyinChicago says:

          I agree and she’s getting old with the “older” songs that are so serious. I want her to break out and sing “younger”….and does Jess ever smile?

          • HudsonRiverside says:

            Well the theme is Motown so R&B is part of that. Her voice isn’t a young teeny bopper’s voice, it’s a mature voice that fits the requirements to sing such songs exceptionally well. I wonder how many people here actually knew how old she was during the early rounds? As for lightening up, she was accused of not taking things seriously by others so people tend to see what they want to see. Plus, she had someone close to her pass away the night before so it is understandable that she’s not going to be in a bubbly mood.

          • Kate says:

            “Does Jess ever smile?” are you kidding me? She smiles after every freakin song!

    • duh says:

      noo. jessica is the best

    • Hollie had a great night but then so did Skylar.
      Colton and Philip were both solid.
      Still think that Elisa, Jessica and Joshua could all easily be in bottom 3 again , but unlike the judges I really like how the soul song by Elisa started.
      Not really sure who is heading home but I could not imagine Colton, Philip, Skylar or Hollie not being back next week.

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    • Faz says:

      Colton is so bad — I don’t understand why he’s on the show in the first place. None of the performances were great.

    • Blow says:

      Holie was best overall, consistent and great vocals on both.
      Philip second best, I think his After Midnight was the best performance of this year on AI.
      Skylar was good then blah on second performance.
      Jessica was boring on first and just bad on second
      Colton was bad on first and second was boring safe
      Joshua was pretty good, def didn’t deserve 2 standing ovations
      Elise was good on first, bad on second

      Bottom 3, Joshua, Jessica, Elise. Jessica goes home

  2. Joshua killed it, Skylar killed it and Phillip was consistent. I totally get what they are saying
    about Elise and Jessica to a certain extent but did they have to really go on and on about it.They make it so uncomfortable to watch. They don’t know when to quit when they are ahead, which isn’t very often. Randy not knowing Marvin Gaye’s name, and then saying Al Green, and then giving up and just saying “HE”, was hysterical. Randy loves shouting out names so to see him stumble was funny for me. Not gonna lie.

    • Techie says:

      For me for you that was the best moment of the night, dude.

      • john says:

        I HATE to say it but I think the “judges” were right last night. Everyone seemed to be singing in a state of desperation last night, rather than singing like they owned the place and the song was their own (like Adam Lambert and Fantasia would). They all have technical talent but we’ve all seen it by now. At this point, they have to do something that gets to you emotionally, yet you can’t just go do that because someone like J-Lo tells you to. You either can or you can’t. If nobody is grabbing you like that, then it comes down to which of the Teen Beat type boys gets the most Bieber girl votes. This unfortunately means the death of the most talented ones in the following order: Elise, Jessica, Joshua, Skylar.

    • Shana says:

      I agree that those three killed it. Jessica definitely broke out of the shell she’s been in the past few weeks as well. and Randy, ughhhh. I couldn’t even bring myself to laugh at his gaffe of the week because I was truly embarrassed for him.

      • John Smith says:

        Jessica continued to stink the joint out as she got another tongue bath tonight. The judges will soon realize America’s backlash vote for any contestant but her.

      • Marsaili says:

        She broke out of her shell and screamed a song about tenderness. I thought her first song was good, though too old and mature for her, but the second song was terrible. She sang that so wrong. They should have the mentor interpret the songs for these youngsters so they understand what it is they are singing about. Might help them connect better.

        • Templar says:

          ITA TALT is a deep thinking serious song and she sang it with a smile and a tempo that seemed like a repeat of Turn The Beat Around. Stomping around the stage like Gloria Estefan. She had zero connection with that lyric.

          • chistosa says:

            Have to agree. Her second song was terrible and I can’t believe the judges praised it.

        • Tom22 says:

          I really liked her second song . In my opinion, while I get your irony, the “tenderness” lyric is itself a bit ironic in that its really a polite way of saying “come get me hot and bothered you fool”

          Whether or not at 16 she’s entirely able to grasp that is open to a few types of debate, but what is important is that at least something similar is in her mind when the lyric comes out her mouth.

          In my mind the lyrics in these blues songs relating to sex are actually metaphors for a greater “letting lose” …;..”forget the hell about the limiations people are trying to put on us and the various tugs the mundane world is putting on us and just f-ing put your fist up in the air and shout with joy unhibinated exulation of the world around you!”

          Its the feeling you have if you’re in great shape an have just run 200 yards at full speed at a beautiful beach at sunset , in a just cool enough breeze to make it comfortable….

          … .the highest form of human feeling.. a gutteral self confidence and indifference to any ouside concerns.

          It is funny though that the word “tenderness” is a vehicle for saying “stop with all this other crap and lets go somewhere bigger together”

    • junebug says:

      I just thought Randy was sad. Marvin Gaye is a freaking Motown legend.

      • Tom22 says:

        I can’t even listen to Randy mostly because of this sort of thing. Well he says so many things wrong its hard to choose but I
        can forgive him for not being a good speaker(why the producers pay a poor speaker is questionable on the producers part, not his)
        I can forgive him for having a different twist on what sort of people he likes and know he’s human and might not be noble enough to put his personality preferences asside while commenting (he’s entitle to voting privately based on personality)

        I really can’t forgive him (or respect him or whatver) for comparing mediocre performances to his very favorite legends. Can he really feel that way ? Can you adulate Marvin Gaye and really feel that Joshua is on that level ? For me its idiocy or lying, and I suspect the second and ,, well liars piss me off.

        Are there really people here who have listened to all marvin gaye originals and adore that sort of music and think Joshua is on his level now ? he might have potential and develope to something like that but the open soul of Marvin brought on top of his voice was remarkable in a way Joshua maybe scratched here or there in the beginning half of a few songs and loses by the end.

    • Davey says:

      Skylar certainly killed my eardrums last night.

  3. justin says:

    what’s with the no hollie love? rolling in the deep was amazing. the best moment of the whole show. incredible. she isn’t giving up she is fighting harder. i feel like she is the haley of this year.

    • k. says:

      I agree with you I thought it was her best. Maybe Hollie just needs to stick with British singers?

      • agreed says:

        Hollie was better than Skylar. Skylar=un-special singer. The singer choice Skylar picked to sing is 100% opposite of her because Lady Gaga has a interesting voice.

    • Davey says:

      How can Hollie be the Haley of this year when this is only second good performance she’s given this competition? Haley was good almost every week.

      • selena says:

        O disagree. I hated haley in the beginning. I couldnt wait for her to leave. Her turning pt was benny and the jets. I still think michael overpraised her

        • Tarc says:

          Haley *murdered* (in the best way) Blue first thing out of the box. She was amazing the entire time. I’m not sure what crack they were smokin’, but I’m glad the audience was listening by the end.

        • ladyhelix says:

          For the record – Bennie and the Jets was top 11… (this week would have been Top 6)

      • gregk says:

        I liked and voted for both H’s on both seasons.

    • abfidy says:

      Yeah, I was definitely feeling Hollie more than Slezak apparently. I thought she was the most consistent all night, though Joshua and Skylar were predictably awesome. Dare I say dream final 3?

      • J says:

        I agree with your final three.

        Michael, Hollie was awesome tonight. She came back swinging. I don’t understand what you’re not seeing/hearing.

    • Emily says:

      Definitely agree. I actually liked her “Son of a Preacher Man”. It was uptempo, which i have been waiting for her to do, and i thought she did quite well. Really liked her “Rolling in the Deep” too. I thought this was a very good night for her. Pretty weak for Elise and Jessica in my opinion though.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I’m going to agree about Hollie. I thought both songs were very good and I think she’s the first contestant to do a decent job with “Son of a Preacher Man”.

        • Tom22 says:

          oddly enough I sort of agree. While I won’t be listening to her cover of it or anything, those sort of up beat songs can sort of be deadly third rails to so many idol singers and that is a tough song.

          Her voice in the low range of the song is really pleasant and emotion filled where so many struggle.

          I still felt in other places it was a bit of a lawerence welk version of a soul song…they weren’t really groving enough on the sencond and forth beats and had little of that “triplet” influence where the “sway” of the pendulum almost turns a sould song to 6/8 at least with some beats and lead in notes taking a third, of a beat (not that any groving musician would write it out)

      • Tarc says:

        Hollie’s Rolling was great, but egads, no, on Preacherman. It wasn’t good. Check the original…. it wasn’t even close.

        • TheBeach says:

          Very true. I thought she was really good on Rolling but just ok on Preacherman. You guys are probably going to think I’m nuts but do you know who does a stunning version? Katy Sagal (yep, that’s Peg Bundy) It’s on the Sons of Anarchy CD and she kills it. Soft, wistful and yet world-weary all at the same time.

          • Tarc says:

            Oh, I’ve heard that. Yes, awesome!

          • Walrus says:

            No reason to be stunned by that…. Katy started as a singer and dancer before becoming an actress. I remember the first time I saw her, she was a backup singer/dancer for Bette Midler. Now I feel old.

        • Mary says:

          it is not suppose to be like the original, that is the problem everyone wants them to change it up but then complains it not like the original. Geez guys give them a break. Mike you are the only one who liked Colton bad romance. I Didn’t like either song.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          @Tarc – check the original, LOL? Okay then – believe it or not I have a Dusty Springfield CD in my car. But I don’t need to listen to it – I think I pretty much have it memorized.
          I wasn’t comparing Hollie to the original. I just said she was the first contestant to do a decent job on that song (although, did Crystal Bowersox sing that song on Idol or is it just on YouTube. can’t remember)
          Katy Segal was one of the Harlettes for Bette Midler. Dang I’m old!

          • Marsaili says:

            I agree, I love the original version of that song—and I thought Hollie sang it very well. I don’t remember if Crystal sang it on Idol or not but I know I have heard her—she is just so good at getting to the emotion of a song and conveying it so well. Man, I just love her singing, LOL!

          • Tarc says:

            LOL! Congrats on having good taste. I couldn’t find any reference to Crystal doing it, but I think you might be right. I just didn’t think Hollie’s version worked for me – it started on full blast and stayed there (with no where to go) and it completely lacked charm. So, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. Her Adele cover was much, much better. And yes, I can SO see Katy as a Harlette,,,

    • J says:

      I almost hate to say this because I often really do like Hollie’s singing, but I thought she kept singing sharp during Rolling In The Deep and that gave me bad ‘goosies’ up my spine when it happened. :(

    • Shana says:

      I think Hollie was the first contestant on any singing competition to do justice to an Adele song, and Rolling in the Deep at that. She made her much-needed comeback.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Hollie’s “Rolling in the Deep” was very good but Haley Reinhart also did an outstanding job last season with the song – in her polka-dotted dress!

        • abfidy says:

          I’d still give the round to Haley because even thinking about the run she did in that song makes me want to dig up the episode on my DVR, but that doesn’t take anything from Hollie at all. I thought she did remarkably well with a very difficult song. Definitely out sang Erin from The Voice though, that’s for sure.

        • Bonnie A. says:

          I love watching the YouTube of Haley singing “Rolling..” when the backup singers look over at her and are impressed. One of my favorite performances of all time on AI.

        • Tom22 says:

          Among so many other things I like about Haley’s voice was that she brought an optomistic world view to the Adele song which Adele can sound like she’s alternatively mad and feelinlg sorry for one’s self.

          Haley’s take sounds like, its really a shame that _you_ missed the boat on something great the world has out there to offer us.
          We almost had it all — i a positive thing
          – with a subtext in my mind liek .. “hey its a shame we got to the championship and didnt’t pull it out (and can get lost in a few things i’d do differently if I linger there) but there is always next season”

          while adeles is like “we blew our only chance , and I blame you for this crappy place im stuck in cause I can’t get what you caused me to lose”

      • Marsaili says:

        I think that Haley did “Rolling in the Deep” better than anyone but I have to say, I really, really liked Hollie’s performance tonight—I loved “Son of a Preacher Man” too. I don’t know what Slezak was going on about—I thought she did really well!

      • gregk says:

        I second that. Everyone else who sang Adele got criticized for it.

      • crayzforIdol says:

        I think that Elise did a great job on “One and Only” earlier in the season.

    • Erin says:

      Remember how cool Haley sounded when she sang that song last year? How she took small melodic choices but sounded sublime the whole time? Yeah, let’s just think of that…

    • Yo' says:

      I thought she did the best with that song of anyone I have heard cover it except Adele. It worked for her and it was a big chance because it usually does not work.

    • TheBeach says:

      Hollie’s RITD was by a far her strongest and most pitch perfect performance.

    • tom says:

      Hollie is still my second favorite female singer in the whole competition, i think she’s amazing. Still hoping for a jessica/colton finale.

    • junebug says:

      I like Hollie and Skylar much more than Jessica.

    • Jaycee says:

      Hollie’s version of “Rolling in the Deep” is the best condensed voice competition version I’ve ever heard. Adele songs are very hard to deliver, and Holly did it great. Starting big and a capella with the chorus was genius.

    • Marsaili says:

      I have to say—I was really happy when she made it to the top 10 and then she just kind of blended in the background for me—but the last few weeks she’s really come alive–I thought she was excellent last night and last week and, even though I know I’m in the minority here, I really liked her “Jesus Take the Wheel”. She got the message from the judges and she’s finally showing us what she can do—I hope she doesn’t get voted off because I’m excited to see what she can do next!

  4. jaxguy says:

    Hated everything Phillip did. PUKEY!

    • Chris says:

      Good for you

    • sguarbmp says:

      Philip is Lee Dewyze part 2

      • brandon69 says:

        you took the words out of my mouth. Sad but true! this is the reason why, like in season 9, I get the feeling I won’t like the final.

      • Erin says:

        Ha ha! i agree, Phillip is a better Lee (couldn’t be worse) and Colton is a watered down David Cook.

        • Marsaili says:

          How about this—Phillip is Phillip and Colton is Colton? Geez, you people are ridiculous.

          • Erin says:

            Joshua is Fantasia, Skylar is Lauren Alaina, Elise is Haley, Jessica is J-Hud, and Hollie is going home! BAM! now I’m ridiculous.Hahahaha

          • Leena says:

            Whoa whoa whoa! Comparing Skylar to Laurence Alaina is like comparing Toddlers & Tiaras to Bad Girls Club…Skylar is lightyears ahead of Laurence Alaina, even now. Compare Lauren’s performance a few weeks ago to almost any of Skylar’s. Huge difference.

          • Leena says:

            Oh my word… I didn’t realize wouldn’t recognise “Lauren”. Sorry!

          • Marsaili says:

            LOL, I was wondering why you were calling her Laurence—she doesn’t look like a Larry to me! Darn autocorrect! ;-D

          • Brenda Russsel says:

            I think Lee DeWyze is much better than Phillip-He wasn’t so awkward on stage as Phillip and his voice is much better than Phillip’s-he doesn’t scream even though his voice is raspy. He also did not sound the same every week and took some fasion advice-he dressed better as the show progressed and still stayed true to himself. His Treat her like a lady, Simple Man, Beast of Burden, A little less conversation, That’s life and the Boxer, Falling Slowly with Crystal Bowersox were great perfromances well praised by the judges-did you even watch season 7 or 9 or are you just repeating what you have heard in the media or from others? And Colton is no where near David Cook- much better voice, more skilled in his arrangmments and better stage prescence. His Billie Jean, Eleonr Ribgy, Bab O’reilly, All I really need is you, and The World I know, Still haven’t found what I’m looking for were awesome. Every week he was consistent and good and that is why both he and Lee DeWyze won American Idol..These dudes aren’t in the same league- At all.

        • Flippy from Happy Tree Friends says:

          Huh? Phil makes me actually LONG for Lee. And to be fair to Lee, he had a few great performances in his pocket. Treat Her Like A Lady and The Boxer, anyone?

          • Sunshine says:

            Sorry, no. And I even voted for Lee. But I think Phillip is way better than Lee.

          • Tarc says:

            There wasn’t anything wrong with Lee DeWyze other than Idol trying to force a pop/blues/bluegrass singer do pop songs. I think Phillip is a far better vocalist, though.

          • Marsaili says:

            I don’t know why everyone is always dissing Lee—I have a few of his songs from Idol on my iPod and they are awesome. No, he isn’t a stand-out like Cookie or Daughtry and yes, he did have pitch problems here and there, but I always liked him overall. I still think Crystal should have won that year, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.

          • Tarc says:

            Lee’s whole pre-Idol album Slumberland was awesome. Of course, he didn;t have Idol trying to make him a pop star (which he isn’t).

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            @Tarc – okay, I’m going to forgive you for telling me to listen to the original of “Son of a Preacher Man” and tell you I agree 100% on your comments on Lee Dewyze. I tried so hard to like him but Idol forced him into a box where he didn’t belong. If they’d let him choose music that’s more suited to him (like P2 is doing most of the time) he would have been so much better. I still liked Crystal but it’s nothing short of a miracle that Lee won.

          • Tarc says:

            @DET – LOL! Sorry, I just meant that Dusty was such an understated genius that it’s easy to forget just how stellar her delivery was. If you have a chance to find DeWyze’s Annabell, it’s teriffic – and mostly bluegrass. (And that kinda shocks me that I adore that song… it’s a pop/bluegrass crossover like the Duhk’s Mists Down Below – which is also genius.)

        • Rick says:

          I guarantee you if Simon were still a judge he would have torn Phillip a new one with those Jack Nicholson Shinning faces he makes. Lee was great every week and I agree 19 destroyed him, his original bootleg albums are great. Even the Idol joke Taylor Hicks was great on the show but sucked afterwards. You don’t win AI by being bad, but not the best singer wins but usually they are at least in the top 9.

      • Peyton says:

        Haha that seems brutally unfair. I like Philip; he (plus Skylar and Elise) probably sings/plays music that most closely resembles what I listen to on a regular basis, but I don’t think he’s anything absolutely amazing. He’s a good singer with an average voice who stays on pitch, for the most part. I don’t actively WANT him to win, but I wouldn’t be outraged either.

        Lee, on the other hand, was absolutely nothing but pitch problems. He was just a big dull pitchy dud up there. I mean, I don’t hate the kid, but I will NEVER understand how he beat Crystal. Even the teen/cougar vote doesn’t seem to explain it. I really think he’s the only Idol winner who maybe didn’t even deserve to be in the top 12.

        • Tarc says:

          I’ll agree that Lee shouldn’t have beaten Crystal, but obviously she was even less a pop star than DeWyze (who isn’t one either). Lee had made two pre-Idol albums (the more recent was was awesome) so I’m sure 19 was more interested in him. The major problem is that DeWyze does pop/rock/country /bluegrass – not at all pop. I think Idol messed with him a bit, but I’m sure he’ll figure it out. I’m sure P2 saw that and that’s whay he’s reticent to let the Idol machine confuse him too much.

          • Peyton says:

            I’ve never listened to any of his pre-idol stuff so I had no idea that it wasn’t pop. Now I’m kind of intrigued! I didn’t hate the kid by any means and I even downloaded a couple of his Idol songs, I just felt like the win came completely out of left field and that he was wildly inconsistent. Most times when someone who I’m not necessarily a fan of wins, I can usually work out how they wound up there. Lee winning just baffled me though.

          • Tarc says:

            And it is interesting that when he does his own stuff, it becomes more apparent that a lot of his ‘pitch problems’ become this vaguelly Celtic-country-bluegrass twang that works. DeWyze’s Slumberland is on iTunes so you can sample it – check out Annabelle first.

          • Marsaili says:

            Wow, I listened to Annabelle—that is a great song and that’s not the Lee that was on Idol. He sounds SO much better singing like this! I think I’m going to have to buy his album, or two! Thanks for the heads up!

        • Bonnie A. says:

          You like the same three singers I do, Philip, Skylar and Elise. Will listen to their songs on my IPOD but I’m not interested in downloading the other contestants’ songs.

          • Tarc says:

            I’m so with you on that. And honestly, if you add Skylar for the country folks, that subset would fit precisely on the Top 200 on iTunes right NOW.

        • Tom22 says:

          I preffered the tone in Lee’s voice a little but I think PP is a much better musician that knows exactly how to use his voice and probably has a music of his own within him waiting to be brought to the world. Like all true artists, there is a sublte message about how to see the world that comes along with how different words are carressed even beyond the meaning of the word in the specific context of the song. Poetry can bring mutiple messages at once. A song about inustice and a lack of freedom will carry something of the positive notion of what freedom is when that word is passed through in the other context.

          The thing about Lee (to me) was that he had a really really awesome performance of a very important song in 20th century social conciousness, and a very classicly enjoyable song to listen to: The Boxer.

          Maybe you don’t share the opinion, and thats all fine and good because artistry is somewhat in the eye/(ear) of the beholder…. but I thought he took a great Simon and Garfunkel song.. and all time classic, and took it to another level.

          I’m of the personality to look at successes and more likely to ignore failures (unless people can’t manage to hit a slow fat pitch thrown right across the plate) when it comes to creative endevours.

          Creativity is more like a Thomas Edison failing 1000 times in getting the lightbulb right than a captain of a passenger jet who damn well better get it right everytime.

          Performance is somewhere in between.. with live shows being closer to the pilot perhaps.

          Still I watch idol hoping for a great peformance here and there. Lee’s the Boxer would be high on my all time idol list.. even better than b’s Summertime .. which i think is sung better in any well staged operatice version true to Gershwin’s formal musical genious.

          Phillip has yets to do the best performance(or equal but fairly distinctly different in tone) ever of a great song.

          This year, I would only rank Elises “vienna” in that category and sort of better in a way because she made a modestly forgettable song a truly memorable one the more times i listen to it. I haven’t liked anything else she’s done (i love zepplin but I didnt’ think she brought much more to that song which to me, wasn’t entirely a singers song but a cog in an impportant album or an appropiate piece of hard rock style ambient musice (like ambient while shredding mogels)

          • teatime says:

            Tom22 I enjoyed reading you post. It is very thoughtful and interesting. I particularly like the accurate description that, “Creativity is more like a Thomas Edison failing 1000 times in getting the lightbulb right than a captain of a passenger jet who damn well better get it right everytime.”

    • Tarc says:

      Phillip and Skylar killed it tonight – the best of the show by miles.

      • TheBeach says:

        I really enjoyed P2 tonight. I thought his first song was really, really good and “Midnight Hour” was lots of fun. What I noticed most tonight though was that for the first time in weeks, I thought he looked healthy. His skin tone was better and he had that twinkle back in his eye that has been missing lately. He just seemed to be having fun again and I liked it.

        • Tarc says:

          I’d guess he’s having off and on trouble with his kidney stones.

        • Peyton says:

          Agreed! I wasn’t super crazy about his Usher song but I absolutely loved “In the Midnight Hour.” His enthusiasm was infectious, really. I feel like maybe that’s why a lot of people (or at least I know it’s true for me) connect well with Phil and Skylar. Most times they seem just genuinely happy to be performing and I think that tends to go a lot further with people that coming across as affected or desperate or studied.

          • Tarc says:

            Agreed. I think that’s why Hollie and Jessica get so much grief (and usually deservedly). Though I think that’s more Idol’s fault for allowing kids so young in the contest; they just aren’t mature enough yet for the emotional requirements of the show, and it leaves them ‘faking it’. That, then, disenfranchises a decent segment of viewers.

    • Krista says:

      Bummer for you. Phillip gave me goosies!

    • mick says:

      I don’t get him at all. Reminded me of Taylor Hicks on the 2nd performance(not that I’m bashing Taylor.) The 1st performance might have been a change up from the original but it was horrible.

      • seattlejohn449 says:

        he was obviously trying to change things up with the Usher song and not using his guitar later but he still sounded mostly the same…and if singing a deep soulful song what was up with the goofy grin?

    • Suggestor says:

      Disagree! Philip gave some new looks to his performances.

      • karenb says:

        I’ve been wanting Phillip to sit on a bar stool and mellow out for several weeks now. I’m so glad he finally did-I think it was a nice change.

        It also probably saved him some energy to do that fancy dancing!

  5. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    I think this is the first week in a very long time that I will not be voting for anyone. They’re all so close! I really don’t care who wins or who goes home next; I just want to sit back, listen to them sing, and see what happens. What does this mean?

    • k. says:

      It means that this is a damn good season. When it gets down to 5 I think I might stop trying to make predictions.

    • Shana says:

      you know, I can’t seem to imagine next week without any one of them. I don’t know if it’s the extra week or what, but this is the most exciting top 7 in years.

    • Marsaili says:

      I totally agree, I usually have my fav picked by now and I’m rooting for them alone—but this year I can’t pick just one. Each week the fav changes depending on the performances. I’ll be really sad to see anyone go home, but at the same time I’d be happy to see most of the win!

      • TheBeach says:

        I feel the same way. Each week I seem to have a different fave or two. That speaks well for this Top 7 and I hate to see any of them leave.

    • Erin says:

      This is the first time I would consider seeing a Idol concert. I mean, it should be amazing.

    • junebug says:

      I agree. My favorite already went home, but I think all the singers this year are amazing. It will come down to personal preference. I don’t see any front runners.

  6. michelle says:

    thought Hollie redeemed herself tonight — her voice is really pretty. I like Jessica, but it seemed like she screamed a little too much tonight. Loved Joshua!

    • llws says:

      I agree…Jessica did way to much wailing..especially with her second song. All restraint and control went out the window this week. But you she’s the judges’ pet…they loved it….I dont know how the American audience will take it but I certainly thought it was a bit to much this week.

  7. k. says:

    I thought it was Skylar’s night…when it really shouldn’t have been. I don’t think she had the best performance but she was the most consistent. I know people are saying we should get a country night for her, but I kind of like her changing things up to fit her style. It shows her strengths better than if they just handed her a country theme.
    As for results…
    I want Jessica, Phillip, and Elise in the bottom.

    However my money is on Hollie, Colton, and Elise. With either Hollie or Elise going home.

  8. B says:

    Did I really hear J.Lo say “open your mouth,” “feel it,” and “juggle some balls” too close together in a critique for comfort?

  9. Owen says:

    Wow, I thought Phillip was fantastic on Midnight Hour, amazingly sexy and a completely lived-in performance… Didn’t quite understand the love for his first song though..

  10. karenb says:

    Wow Slezak-I couldn’t disagree with you more on almost every thing you said! Usually I agree with you 100%.

    It doesn’t seem like you enjoyed the night very much lol

    IMO Phillip was the best of the night. Joshua was second. Everyone else, to me, was just meh.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Yeah, lots of weird recap comments. I feel more and more than Nigel has some weird mind probe installed in Slezak’s bedroom and is little by little re-programming him. From his only pseudo love for Elise and his over the top no matter what she does she is the best love for TPTB favorite Skylar.

      • abfidy says:

        Nah, the production wants Jessica to win. Skylar is a happy accident for them. She’ll make money, and open concerts for someone big no matter what place she comes in, so while the production is happy to have her around, they’re not going to try to push her like they will for Jessica, who may have a place on the pop scene: their ultimate dream.

        • Owen says:

          Please, even if Jessica goes home tomorrow she will be a star. Believe me, that girl has fans in the industry. They may let her cook a year or so more, but Jess does not have to win American Idol to be the biggest star of Season 11. That’s gonna happen anyway. I’d say Skylar will have a great career as well. Actually, the only ones who really NEED to win this show are Elise and Hollie. I’m pretty sure 19 will pick up the options on all the other five. Elise’s only hope is if Haley Reinhardt’s CD does well…

          • MusicFan says:

            Totally agree with your comment Owen. Jessica is a star and she will have a career out of this regardless of who is crowned and the most successful of all the contestants (they are all talented).

          • TheBeach says:

            I dunno. I’m afraid if Elise were to win, the Idol machine would put out a very un-Elise CD.

          • abfidy says:

            I think the difficulty for Jessica is that she would be going into pop/R&B which is the most difficult market to break into, so she would need the machine backing her. Not that it’s a reflection on her talent, it’s really just the market itself. Radio would need to know that she could sell records and move an audience, and if she doesn’t win, it could be a major problem for her in that regard.

        • Tarc says:

          Colton and Skylar have current voices – just check out the iTunes Top 200. They fit right in. Phillip and Elise aren’t far off. No one is buying power balladeers. Sorry – just ask Leona Lewis (who is far superior than either Hollie or Jessica).

          • JC says:

            Woah no one is buying records of power balladeers? have you heard of Adele’s someone like you? that’s a power ballad right there. I don’t know what your taste in music is but I like me some vocal powerhouses like Celine, Mariah, Whitney, Adele and Kelly. I’ll take them over Kesha, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber anytime :)

          • HudsonRiverside says:

            Leona Lewis had a smaller stage to be recognized on and she still had a BIG hit, so we can’t count her out. There’s a huge market for power ballads. What’s great about that is that looks are not as mandatory so the singers have much longer successful careers. The ones the teen girls gravitate to have a shorter lifespan unless they somehow change to their tastes.

          • Tarc says:

            Adele is an exception in pretty much every way to the rule – and that’s because she’s the voice of a generation (or two). Even the amazing Jesse J is having trouble getting traction in US markets, and the other singers you mention? Christina has to ride Adam Levine’s coattails to chart, and the others have been AWOL from the charts for years. (And I agree that the awesome ladies are vastly better than the lesser artists you mention). @HudsonRiverside – we’re not seeing a large market for power ballads, and haven’t for years (with Adele being a consistent exception to every rule because she’s just so damn good).

    • Michael says:

      So funny you should say that…I had completely different reactions that Michael to about 2/3 of the contestants as well! Slezak,can’t wait for the full recap tomorrow to see more of where you’re coming from on these.

    • Art says:

      Slezak, I have to say you have got to review the tape tomorrow. Overall I’d say it was Hollie’s best night of the season and Jessica’s weakest. Kind of a role reversal because Hollie looked like she was having fun both songs and Jessica looked forced. I think Jessica has more talent, but not tonight.
      My favorite was easily Phillip on ‘U Got it Bad’. I just felt it could have been him doing his own song as I watched. I was disappointed in the ‘Soul’ songs overall. Such great songs, but none left me with a feeling close to the original.

  11. morganisaqt says:

    gotta give Hollie props for song choice, everyone knows Perfect, everyone knows Rolling in the Deep, she’s a wee bit craftier than we give her credit for, it the judges aren’t gonna be nice, she’s taking it in her hands and taking big risks by choosing well known songs and singing the hell out of them.

    • McFudge says:

      Hollie has a lovely voice, but what I really love about her is that she’s been able to get past all the OTT criticism from the judges week after week and come out with a fantastic night. In that way, she IS like Haley (although Haley definitely had more of a “screw you, judges” attitude, which was awesome.)

  12. J says:

    Hollie, Skylar, and Joshua were AMAZING. These three are getting my votes.

    Also, Elise was good, not great. But she deserves to stay another week.

  13. Annie says:

    Skylar won the night. I’ve never been a fan of hers, but she was amazing. Joshua made a mistake trying to cover Fantasia’s coronation song. He’s an incredible performer, but he couldn’t replicate the emotion that she put into that song. He was good but reserved during his second song. Jessica was amazing as usual. Colton should have been roasted for his second performance.

    I think Elise is leaving. She has horrible song choices, and her insecurities are keeping her from connecting with the songs.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Wow could you parrot much more what TPTB want you to say? She is too insecure to connect?? Heck the other week they just told her to stop connecting so much since that is her strength and to focus on the vocal work instead and now they go 180.

  14. Wow, lots of tepid reviews there, eh, Slezak?

  15. Sebby says:

    anybody else having a problem voting for Joshua? I keep getting a recording saying the number isn’t valid but I know I’m putting in the right one!

  16. Kristen says:

    Sorry Michael, I usually agree with you but Bad Romance was a hot mess. Colton should go home for that performance alone.

    • Shana says:

      I did not like it either. There were a few parts that were okay, but the rest, not so much. I don’t think he should (or will) go home for it though.

    • NedPepper says:

      Thank you, I’m not alone on this. It was a diaster.

    • Justin says:

      It was TERRIBLE. Actually both of his performances were bad. I am not on Slezak’s page at all this season like I usually am.

    • Owen says:

      Slezak is trying to brown nose Melinda Doolittle who is a big fan of Colton’s.

      • Justin says:

        That was my exact impression Owen.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I disagree. Mr. Slezak has been on the Skylar Train and Melinda Doolittle clearly is not. So I’m not sure why he would be trying to “brown nose” Melinda when it comes to Colton.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      worst of the night…twice

    • McFudge says:

      I wouldn’t call it a hot mess, but it didn’t do much for me….singing the chorus as low as he did ripped the excitement out of it, I thought. And I hated his boots. #shallow.
      I didn’t like his second song at all. Is Earth, Wind and Fire “soul”, anyway? Never would have described them that way. I’m a Colton fan and found his performances disappointing. I think he’ll be safe, though. Everyone deserves one less-than-stellar night. (Except Elise, apparently.)

    • Mary says:

      I would like to send Colton a prom invitation and …. a decongestant.

  17. Emily says:

    can I vote for Kris Allen “Sitting in A Chair in the Audience”

  18. Scott says:

    Jessica snarling out Try a Little Tenderness was an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Bleah.

    • donie says:

      Yeah, that was a strange direction to go with that song.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      didn’t like Jessica’s “Try a Little Tenderness” one bit – It started out okay and then it went into this weird “Latin lounge arrangement”. WTH????
      Maybe I’m just too stuck on the Otis Redding version. However, I liked the Alicia Keyes song better than anything Jessica’s done.

      • Marsaili says:

        I think the way Jessica sang that song just proves how she doesn’t connect with her songs. I was trying to explain to my teens how that song “should” be sung—Otis does it with intensity but you FEEL the wanting and the desire and the need for tenderness—all I heard from Jessica was screeching—and why not—she’s a 16 year old kid—she shouldn’t really know anything about those feelings yet. I wish the mentors would work on picking songs that are more age appropriate for the kids.

      • Davey says:

        Jessica would have been better off just singing Tenderness as a slow song but she was probably told she needed to liven it up because her first song, which was stellar, was slow, too. She should have done another song altogether.

      • HudsonRiverside says:

        I actually liked the latter part of that song a lot. Jessica had small bit of the Etta version in there but added it a feeling of angst and woe. You all keep saying Otis but I’m starting to doubt you haven’t listened to the latter part of the album recording. Otis just about LOSES his mind at the end! Joshua would be going “That’s a bit much” :D

  19. C says:

    Poll says 3 but we could only pick one.

  20. MusicGrrrl says:


  21. Davey says:

    I didn’t like Skykar’s second song at all.

  22. Jake says:

    Joshua sings the same song every night…I can’t remember the last time he didn’t have eight people behind him singing the chorus.

    • Shana says:

      last week…

    • Erin says:

      Thank you!! They used to save the choir for the finale but jeez if he isn’t marching them out every week. Could you imagine a whole CD of that overwrought crap? Sorry to fans, i know he’s loved, but I just hope he resides on the Gospel channel after this so I don’t have to hear him no mo’.

    • Lois Benton says:

      I get what you’re saying, but it’s true for all the contestants, isn’t it–depending on what you like? What I love about Joshua is that he’s an entertainer. I still laugh just thinking of him running/prancing acorss the stage on “I Wish” and his absolutely perfect “When a Man Loves a WOman”. He just Becomes the songs. It’s amazing. Skylar is a spunky entertianer too, but I just don’t like the style. I like osme country, just not that.

      • McFudge says:

        Joshua has a great voice; I just don’t like the way he uses it. Every song, he gets kind of out of control screamy. And he always looks like he’s in pain, especially at the end of his songs, when he seems like he’s about to cry. Just once I want to hear him do an entire quiet song without turning into Mariah Carey at the end.

        • Tarc says:

          I agree. I like Joshua’s vocals for about the first minute, and then it gets grating. But the other day, he did a Bruno Mars song and it was fantastic (until the last big push at the end, but I can handle that). That was the hirst and only time he convinced me that he could move records. I think it’s a combinaiton of material and control that could make it work for him.

  23. Alexandra says:

    I thought both of Colton’s performance were absolutely terrible, Jessica’s train has run off the tracks, Phillip was better than I expected and Elise was the most consistent by leaps and bounds.

    • Yo' says:

      Last week I thought Colton was the shoe-in winner of this; this week seemed to bring out all the harsh in his voice. I thought he was the worst of the night. I liked Elise’s “Grapevine” better than the original, which has never been a favorite.

  24. rod says:

    Hollie really improved over the last few weeks, i think she bought herself another week in the show, she had the one great performance (now )and a good one (then), poor elise she is in real trouble tomorrow. I really like Skylar but the her 2nd song wasnt good at all, and Colton´s September was just awful

  25. Samantha says:

    I still love Colton and I happen to loved his version of ‘Bad Romance’ so I hope the fans will still vote for him. This week is the best Hollie has ever been imo usually I hate when people do Adele songs but she did amazing with that song. Jessica and Joshua imo BOTH over sing and its very annoying. Jessica was horrible tonight.

  26. Rob says:

    Haven’t you been saying P2 should flip an R&B song like he did in Vegas with an Usher song? well he listened did you?

    • Chris says:

      Thinking the same thing… I thought this was redemption week for p2. He’s been off for a few weeks, but he had a good range in his two songs, and he even lost the guitar!

    • Kriata says:

      ITA. I even entertained the thought that P2 had read Slezak’s suggestion.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Agreed! I really enjoyed P2 tonight, especially since he got my memo and sang Wilson Pickett’s “Midnight Hour”.
      Unfortunately Joshua did NOT get my memo. Sing anything by Sam Cooke EXCEPT “A Change is Gonna Come”. Good grief, Sam Cooke had tons of great hits and everyone always wants to sing the same old thing!

      • Tarc says:

        And bizarrely, he chose ‘Change’ and didn’t bother to sing the melody (at all). It was a trainwreck for me – disconnected and nearly unreconizable.

    • Shana says:

      agree about Phillip. He chose one of the best Usher songs and delivered.
      The second performance was just as good.. love it when he does that scatting thing

    • Owen says:

      Melinda Doolittle is not a fan of P2, thusly Michael now no longer is as well…

    • Tarc says:

      I’m glad that you pointed that out. I was laughing when I recognized the song, thining how it would slap down several of the people that post here. He did a great job, shook it up, sang the melody, and not a growl in sight. Take that haters. :P

  27. Ash Q says:

    I have issues with people covering Adele songs. Adele is so passionate and powerful when she sings, that when people cover it, it’s never as good. Even when they do a good job -it doesn’t compare.

  28. Paisley says:

    Your poll only let me choose one! My top 3 were: Colton’s Gaga, Skylar’s Gaga, and Philip’s Midnight Hour but I would add Josh Ledet’s Cook for a top four. I fear for Elise and Jessica, but I think Holly should be next but will probably stay. Jessica did not help her relatability issue with either her boring song choices or her styling. I would have loved for her to cover “Respect” I think she or even Elise could have done better with that song. I disagree with the judges on Colton’s version of September — I really liked it, but his Gaga was better.

  29. Owen says:

    After an hour of east coast voting, Dial Idol (which was oddly somewhat accurate last week) the top three are Joshua, Phillip and Jessica. The bottom are Elise, Skylar and Colton with Hollie in the middle.

  30. Ella says:

    joshua is seriously getting old, i would have much rather seen him do something like “runaway” baby then two power ballads that sounded almost the exact same and if the judges keep on giving him a standing o everytime i think america is just going to get sick of it, i know i am.
    jessica, she was vocally great and i enjoyed her performances, but i feel like she could have done even better for someone just coming off the save. it was just typical jessica and a little too safe, i liked her second song a lot better!
    elise i have a feeling is going home. she was fine, but she was also just boring and i think her attitude is going to be perceived as bad by a lot of viewers so i think she will be axed :(.
    colton, i actually hated bad romance, and liked his second song.
    philip-first song was the best performance of the night. hated second song
    hollie-enjoyed both her performances, think she will be b2 but outlast elise.
    skylar-won the night, was the only person who was great on both songs.
    btw these are not rankings or anything i just randomly recapped

    • Marsaili says:

      What attitude did Elise have? She was awesome tonight, not a boring bone in that chick’s body (you must have meant Jessica—I watched the show twice and both times dozed off during Jessica’s song)

      • Layla says:

        “I watched the show twice and both times dozed off during Jessica’s song” @Marsaili , hmmm unless we have several people posting with the same name you have very detailed crits lambasting Jessica on this very thread. Was she so “screechy” that you doze off ? ;)

        • Marsaili says:

          No, I didn’t really criticize Jessica on this thread. I said she sang the songs well, but I fell asleep. I appreciate her talent and her beautiful voice—but she does nothing for me, I don’t feel anything from her when she sings—although I DID say in this thread that her Fallin’ was really good and that I did feel something from her when she sang it! ;-D

      • Tom22 says:

        Elise’s “attitude” is of a an urbanite woman.. which is uncomfortable to like 70% of the country for a number of reasons. Too subtle perhaps to take on, but I’m sure the way she talks makes people think she is like women a little too “politically correct” etc. . even if she hasn’t displayed any thing like that directly on the show.

  31. carol says:

    How can the judges tell Elise she oversang a song, when Joshua does it every single week? I think JLo and Randy are sharing Steven’s substances.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Plus the other week they told her she showed too much emotion and got into it too much and now they say her problem is she can’t connect and get lost in it???

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I loved Elise’s “No One” but I didn’t care for her “Let’s Get it On” one bit. And despite the fact Randy couldn’t seem to remember who the original artist was that sang the song, his critique of Elise’s rendition was right on the money.
      I fear she may be going home.

      • Shana says:

        I agree that her No One was awesome. She sung it effortlessly and seemed to be having fun and letting loose. I noticed at the end of the show she had changed back into the orange dress, maybe to remind voters to consider her first performance and not the second one when voting?

      • elisefan44 says:

        i feel like i must be in an alternate universe, because i absolutely loved elise’s ‘let’s get it on’. i’d read online that she was singing that and anticipated being bored, but i loved what she did with it, and couldn’t wait to buy it on itunes. i guess i just really love her voice. i don’t know – i disagreed with the judges completely on that performance, and judging from the studio audience’s reactions, they did, too. i voted for elise as much as possible tonight…

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          This morning my neighbors here in Cougar Town were raving about Elise’s “Let’s Get it On”. So, there you go. Not everyone disliked it. Granted, I didn’t like that song the first time around but I also couldn’t stand Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” and Crystal Bowersox made me LOVE that song with her version.

  32. Sandi says:

    Well, I officially agree with no one. I loved both of Colton’s performances, thought Jessica was phenomenal and everyone else was decent. Weakest of the night was Hollie for me. I’d rank them as follows:

    Phil Phil

  33. gailer says:

    Yea Michael for dredging up KLK’s 8 Days a Week performance! Who can forget that one?! lol
    I’m glad I am not voting…I really wouldn’t know who to vote for tonight.

  34. blingedup says:

    Skylar was my favorite tonight. Loved her performances — both of them.

    Colton’s September is my least favorite performance in many, many weeks. Just no.

    You know what I’m missing without Simon on the panel? All 3 judges agree with each other about 99% of the time. Whatever the first one says, the other two will repeat. It’s starting to get really annoying.

    • donie says:

      I had a brief wish after Colton’s first performance for Simon to say, ‘What … was that? Look, wrong song, wrong idea. I think you’re going to be in trouble.’

      • NedPepper says:

        I wanted to hear the Simon “Completely self indulgent” comment. Because it applies here.

      • Erin says:

        Awww I miss Simon! I love thinking of what he might say instead of what any of judges are saying. Why do the judges never disagree, never never never? That just can’t be… i mean we all disagree and we LOVE Idol. :)

        • Marsaili says:

          they do disagree—Jennifer has disagreed a few times with both guys and let us know that. Jennifer disagreed with Randy a couple times tonight—when he was nit-picking. Stephen has disagreed with both Jennifer and Randy quite a few times.

          • Erin says:

            i suppose my memory is spotty,but I think that the overall “take” on any given contestant is the same. One may saying “perfect” while another says “maybe not perfect”, does not a debate make. Looking at this board, there is insightful debate and clear opinions missing from a panel of well paid judges.

          • Erin says:

            *delete ”may” before saying*

  35. darcy's evil twin says:

    Colton just went and gave Lady Gaga the James Durbin treatment!

  36. donie says:

    I like most of the contestants and wish some coach(es) would help them out.
    Skylar: great fun energy, pretty good voice. Help her with breath support to sustain her notes. Take the twang down a notch, open mouth and sing.
    Joshua: good voice. Could do some grounding exercises before taking stage. He lost me in the first 20-30 seconds of Change Is Gonna Come by staring awkwardly into the camera, wavering between scowl and smile, when he needed to be centered and connect with the lyrics.
    Just a couple examples. I want to like their performances more than I do. Except Phillip’s, which I’m just not going to, though he seems like a decent person.

  37. Looks like they’ve fixed the poll and you can vote for your top three now.

    This is so very bizarre. For as long as I’ve been following this column (even when Michael was on EW), my opinions were almost exactly like Mr. Slezak’s. This year it’s like night and day… I disagree with him on almost everything. Weird.

    Thought Hollie won the night, but Skylar was a close second. Both had two really good performances. For everyone else I liked at most one of two (Phillip, Joshua), or none of two.

  38. A says:

    Same Sames sings the exact same song/way every week. I can’t even name one song he’s sung!

    • Emily says:

      Totally agree! All his performances blend together. I couldn’t tell you a single song he’s done all season. Every week I enjoy his performance but it’s like I completely forget what he’s sang by the end of the show.

      • Chris says:

        Why is that? Maybe because he picks songs that fit his voice, but aren’t necessarily the most popular? I can name a heck of a lot more that he has done than Joshua or Hollie or Elise

    • Emma says:

      That’s exactly how I felt about the hee-haw who won last year!

  39. H says:

    Loved both Skylar’s songs and Colton’s Bad Romance, his second performance was good but very safe and pretty boring.
    Still can’t get on Elise train, and then farther then less I actually like her.
    Joshua was good as usual, but not exciting for me.
    I loved the end of Jessica’s second song, and over all she was again good but not touching me much.
    Hollie did better on both song then before, but not enough for me to love her performances.
    Love P2 personality, but cant get into his singing. He was as always himself and I already don’t remember what he sang.
    Show seemed little too long for me. Good performances but nothing WOW.

    • Owen says:

      I was feeling that way about him last week, and I didn’t really dig his first song, but his second song might well be my favorite of the night…

  40. llws says:

    I completely agree with you Slezak about Joshua’s rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come’…it’s a song that Joshua SHOULD have killed…but he didn’t. He took his same ol’ model….just took his time with it for 75% of the song and then went on high voltage for the last 25% of the song. The problem is thats not how the song is supposed to be sung. It’s supposed to be high voltage all 100%. When Sam Cooke sings it….you feel his passion, his pain, his hopes for change from the moment he says…”I was born by the river…” Joshua just sang most of the song as if he was singing a love song. So certainly not worth a standing O….he’s a great singer…but he missed the passion in that one.

    As for my favorite performance…I really LOVED Hollie’s Rolling In The Deep…Worst performance of the night was Elise…can she go home now please?!

    • Peyton says:

      YES. That’s exactly how I felt about Joshua tonight. He doesn’t sing the kind of music I listen to and I would probably never purchase a Joshua Ledet CD, but there’s no denying that he’s talented and has a voice. But the ONLY thing I could think during “A Change is Gonna Come” was “THIS IS NOT A LOVE SONG.” There numerous sly smiles and smirks and raised eyebrows from him in the first half. Just…what. What is that? It made zero sense.

      • Tarc says:

        Well, that and he was so far off the melody that the song was unrecognizable. I had to wonder if he understood what the song is about.

        • Tom22 says:

          me too.. … maybe it takes more living than you’re going to get from history books and family told saga’s to really “get it”.

          In a way that might be some progress as the younger generation familary with far more multi racial nation and pop scene (and african american president) just doesn’t get the visceral struggle … the need for not only protest, but for HOPE to sustain the 2 steps forward 2 steps backward and questioning even of people with dark pigmentations belonging to the same species.

    • Devon Lynch says:

      If you thought Elise was the worst performance your a tone deaf cunt. Im sorry but its the truth lol like seriously the reason people think Hollies robotic ass and Phiips growlie self are better than Elises cool tone is the reason we have losers like Scotty Mcreery and Lee Dewyze win. People are idiots.

      • Marsaili says:

        Seriously? You use that language to disagree with someone? I think you might want to look in the mirror when you are talking about people being idiots—grow up!

      • Suggestor says:

        We don’t need that kind of language here. This is just a tv show.

      • Scott says:

        Wow really don’t need that kind of language here…. I mean, come on really? Not to mention, I hate country music… and Scotty Mcreery is pretty good.. plantinum album. So wouldn’t call him a loser.. Elise has a very bad attitude, and people don’t like her tone, I think that’s why they don’t vote for he

  41. danna says:

    I thought Haley’s ‘Rolling in the deep’ was truly amazing. Hollie just fell short.

    • Shana says:

      I preferred Hollie’s. Haley had way better performances that rollin in the deep which was just plain for me in contrast to Hollie.

      • FreeHaley says:

        How was Haley’s plain when she did more little interesting things with it? Hollie’s was the far plainer simpler version she just flat power sang it (although she did do that well, it was a good performance.) When Haley did that one bit if you go back and watch even her backup singers were like What?!? Whoa and got huge holy cow smiles on their faces.

        Hollie did do a very good job but her version was more plain and one key, a pure powered version.

  42. Renda says:

    Notice the judges never used the word “artistry” to describe Skyler’s performance even though she COMPLETELY changed the song and made it sound like a relevant country record. Phillip play’s an Usher song on his guitar (which was cool) but didn’t make any other “artistic” changes and yet he is told he is the first “true artist” to ever be on the show. I think Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Haley Reinhart, Crystal Bowersox, among others would take offense to that.

  43. FreeHaley says:

    Hollie had a pretty good start there. Finally unleashed. Not as interesting or magical as Haley’s but very well sung and done with quite a power voice take on it. Judges actually praised it (although Randy had to add in a few weird little snipes about pitchy).

  44. Annie says:

    I still love Joshua and Jessica, but while they didn’t deserve to be in the bottom three last week, they should have done more to stand out this week.

  45. Josh says:

    I don’t get the sudden hate about Phillip from Mike, especially since the Usher Performance was more in line with the performance he loved from Vegas Week *Shrugs* I thought it was well done, if not a little boring…Definitely one of the top 5 of the night…I felt the Soul Half was just a giant trainwreck which was only geared towards Jessica and Joshua, who didn’t wow me either, so waste of time if you ask me..

  46. FreeHaley says:

    Wow, Elise had a GREAT one!

  47. FreeHaley says:

    Round 1:
    oops missed most of Joshua so basing on just the little I heard of it, so I could be wrong

    1. Elise
    2. Joshua
    3. Philip
    4. Jessica
    5. Hollie
    6. Colton
    7. Sklyar

    but even #7 was at least fine, which is rare for all 7

  48. NedPepper says:

    Colton was absolutely awful tonight. Dude, you haven’t won this yet. Getting a little ahead of yourself. Just awful. And Slezak, I’m starting to think you’ve either lost your touch or maybe just your hearing.

    And poor Elise. She’s reaching that Haley Reinhart/Jason Castro level of irritation over what in the hell she’s supposed to do. I think she’s over this, even though she’s clearly WANTS it. Probably more than Phillip does. That being said, I liked both performances. I did. Let’s Get It On wasn’t superb, but I loved the little yell. I honestly think she’s the most talented of the bunch. And she made me like an overplayed Alica Keys song. That, in itself, is a small miracle.

    Speaking of Phillip, first round, great. Second round…seriously? I can shout and dance like I’m having a small seizure too, but you will never see me on American Idol. Interesting to see the Idol machine back on the P2 train. Nigel sees the votes. Can’t bury the eventual winner.

    Jessica is a great singer. But she’s in danger of going home. She just can’t quite connect. We talk about waiting to go this on show until you’re emotionally ready at a certain age…and I think that applies here.

    And it applies with Hollie too. Neither can connect with the audience. This isn’t grade school, giving out gold stars. If you really want to compare Jessica and Hollie, Jessica will always win. Both have outstanding voices. Neither know how to connect with an audience. Jessica at least knows how to “act” it out. Whereas Hollie is still way too stiff. She does have a great glory note, though. And I didn’t hate her Adele cover. Which says a lot, in that I don’t ever want to hear anyone cover Adele again on a talent show.

    Skylar. We know what she’s about. She stays in her wheelhouse. People like it. She’s solid and spunky and makes Slezak break out in goosies. He’s probably not alone. I think she’s found an audience. It’s a little bit Carrie, a little bit Kelly. She might win this thing.

    Joshua’s Fantasia cover was pretty damn spectacular. Wasn’t feeling A Change is Gonna Come, probably because the message got lost in the runs and also because it’s on Idol overplay. But Joshua had a solid night and shouldn’t be going home. But I have no idea.

    Bottom 3? Hard to say. Elise, Jessica….and Colton?
    Should go home? Honestly? Colton. Absolutely. Weakest link. This isn’t American Crush on non-threatening sexually ambiguous guy.

    • Musicfan123 says:

      Hey hot pepper Colton is a heterosexual

      • TheBeach says:

        Not that that’s a bad thing :)

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Not so sure about that, Beach. I keep getting the idea that some people here think it’s bad to be white, male, and straight. ;-) Someone even posted that Colton and P2 were “extremely straight” and I haven’t figured out how you can be more straight that just plain “straight”.

          • Marsaili says:

            LOL, that is hilarious! I think people just run out of things to complain about so it comes down to something so basic and unimportant—OMG, he’s white and straight—when all that really matters is—can he sing?

          • NedPepper says:

            It’s bad to be white, male, and straight? I’m not picking that up at all. I’d say it’s served them well for pretty much…always. And that’s just the way it is. It’s pointless to rail against it. It’s like beating your head against a brick wall just because it’s in your way.

      • NedPepper says:

        If you say so…I don’t care either way. It has no bearing on his musical talent. But I do think there is a certain part of the voting audience that goes for non-threatening pretty boys who are….sexualliy ambiguous….(and my gaydar is strong in the force). Or maybe he’s just too young to know who he is. I dunno. Again, from a musical perspective, he’s the weakest link. And I’ve honestly just had enough of skinny jeans, emo whining, and women’s blouses. And as skinny guy who doesn’t have a this or that sexual orientation, myself…there’s something disingenuous about him. It’s as if he has studied Idol and the tricks to win it. It’s so precalculated. I honestly feel like I have no idea who this dude really is. He plays the Jesus card, the cute guy with an instrument card and the is he or he is not gay card. All HUGE voting blocks on this show. And he needs to eat a friggin’ hamburger. Sorry, that’s my Colton vent. As a fan of both Idol and Survivor, I’ve come to the conclusioin you should never name your child Colton.

    • takakupo says:

      According to, Hollie won the night hands down.

      • Davey says:

        I don’t know what that is, so I couldn’t care less.

        • takakupo says:

          You should check it out. It’s like rottentomatoes or metacritic. It takes every reputable site on the net and gauges the reviews for each contestant, then puts the average rating together. Hollie scored the highest marks on both counts.

  49. FreeHaley says:

    Some of the comments to Elise on the second song were weird. The other week they were stop emoting and connecting and focus on finer points and then today they were like you need to connect and show emotion? SHe actually seemed to be doing that anyway. A bit odd.

    • Peyton says:

      Agreed. When JLo told her she needed to connect more and let her emotions go, all I could think was that Elise is one of the most emotionally connected contestants left. I really think her and Skylar are the only ones who connect consistently.

      Also, come on, JLo. Let’s be real. When was the last time you emotionally connected with a “song” you “sang”? I’m going with “Como La Flor” in Selena.

      • FreeHaley says:

        It is true, JLo definitely hasn’t been singing many songs with any sort of connection other than her days back when she portrayed Selena in the movie.

      • Andy J says:

        If Selena was still alive, do you think she would be enjoying JLo’s career?

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I would like to think Selena would be enjoying her own career. She was standing on the edge of superstardom.

  50. Did you guys notice how much screen time Handsome Fiddle Player got tonight?