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!

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

  1. Marie says:

    Holly had a totally wrong outfit for a song that conveys so much sexuality.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Hollie always wears the wrong outfit, IMO, but her vocals were much better. Plus, she seemed to have more personality. At least she’s not wearing those Janet Lennon ballgowns that Lauren wore last year.

      • Tarc says:

        I laughed because the first time that Hollie finally dressed her age (instead of a 40ish business woman), she kinda looked like a swan. Jessica tends to dress too old as well.

  2. Lois Benton says:

    No one was great tonight. Colton’s “Bad Romance” was pretty bad indeed. “September was also bad, although I don’t know the original and can’t compare it. And I hated his performance so much that I will never youtube it. It’s not that Colton’s voice is bad, it’s just that his performance is bad. Phil Philllips, on the other hand, is good for a laugh. He wants to be an old blues singer or something, which I’m down with, but it gets old and the girls and Joshua can actually sing. Everyone else was pretty good, but dagnab this show when Colton and Phillip are the frontrunners only because they’re cute guys. Are they really that cute? Phillip is cuter than Colton and I like his singing better. Can we just let Colton go? Please?

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      Joshua is physically better looking (though more suitable as a male model kinda guy) than both of them (which isn’t difficult as Phil and Colton aren’t really good looking…they’re just on a popular tv show filling a role)

      • mona says:

        I completely agree. Joshua is very handsome and looks more like a proper ‘man’ than the two boys, but that’s probably not what most little white girls (AKA the Idol powervoters) are going for exactly.

        • Tara says:

          I think they’re all attractive in their own way. But if I picture them in 20 years, I see Joshua as a well groomed man of business, Colton as a spokesperson either media or religion and Phil2 as a beer bellied truck driver. But that’s just me.

          • Marsaili says:

            Awww, poor Phillip, LOL! His father doesn’t look like that, he’s a pretty distinguished looking older man—I think Phillip will probably age well!

    • Marie says:

      One Tweeter said it right that tonight is about fan bases not about performances. Everyone was average.

    • aravis says:

      The original September could only have been sung by Deandre among this season’s contestants. Philip Bailey in Earth, Wind and Fire sang it so you can imagine how different it was.

    • Mel says:

      I love Colton, and although his performances last night weren’t my favorites of his, I still enjoyed them. So…no, we can’t.

    • tewence says:

      you should listen to the original of september and hear how off and unrecognizable colton’s version was.

  3. Vicki S. says:

    Skylark needs to watch out for that stalker fiddler! I didn’t like her “Born This Way” – thought the lyrics lost a lot of the meaning.

    Actually that seemed to be the theme of the night. Joshua’s “Believe” didn’t have nearly enough time to build into the powerhouse it could have been.

    Not my favorite show by far.

  4. NO ONE will go home tomorrow!

  5. aravis says:

    I think it would have left a better impression on the audience if they’d sang the current songs last and the soul songs first. They all performed better in the first set.

  6. Mary says:

    Well here is my 2 cents. It wasn’t a train wreck. All have talent it is going to come down to who has the largest fan base that is willing to keep voting. Sorry I think Elsie will be going. My bottom three were Colton, Elsie, and P2. Skylar has talent, but I don’t care for
    Her twang she is the bottom four. Top tonite were Joshua and Holly. Jessica was in the middle for me. I Am excited to see Mr. Kris Allen tonight love his new song.

  7. chris z says:

    Slezak – for the first time that I can remember we are not on the same page (not even in the same book). I do not feel the Skylar love, at all. I thought Elise, Joshua and Holly won the night. I think Philip is very one note(a note nowhere near the melody btw) and Colton makes way too many bad choices. Jessica is an amazing singer, but does not generate enthusiasm for some reason.

  8. Scott says:

    I don’t get all the “Phillip always sounds the same” comments. To me, nobody ever comments on the fact that Joshua always sounds pretty much the same (with the goshdarn cheesy choir in the background). I was not on the Phil train at all, and I realize that Joshua has the better voice, but he picked up another fan after yesterday. He does mix it up – I don’t understand why people don’t see that. If you are telling me that “Movin Out” “Still Raining” and last night’s two songs all sound the same, you need to go back and listen again…. he’s giving quite a range. Some of them are built all on passion and using his voice for coloring, some have more melodic range… he’s really branching out.

    Really think it’s unfair for people saying he always sounds the same. To me Joshua, heck even Jessica usually do the same type of song, and it’s been pretty unforgettable lately. Great voices on those two – but I feel no real passion from Jessica and Joshua’s thing has gotten old, and gives me a headache…. Just my two cents worth… but, what do I know? :)

    • Scott says:

      Hahaha obviously meant pretty forgettable, not unforgettable!

    • Tarc says:

      I think it’s that a lot of people just don’t have an ear for blues. Simon Cowell never developed an ear for jazz, and he pretty much ejected all jazz singers as long as he was a judge, and he’s a pro. If you listen to the blues, P2’s songs sound amazing and different from one another. If not, no so much.

  9. Cathy says:

    I tweeted Nigel this morning because something occured to me — a number like “Son of a Preacher Man” would be more effective if Holly would interact with a couple of guys in the audience — a little eye contact, etc. But Nigel generally fills the pit with busloads of college girls. I think that this is unfair to the female contestants as a whole — shows bias towards the male performers as far as that audience connection. What do you think?

  10. Sue says:

    I think for me Hollie owned it for once and I was pleasantly surprised! Next Phillip and then Joshua

  11. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    Quite disappointing outing for my fav Joshua. I expected him to kill it – what with this “soul” category. I think he underestimated this beautiful Sam Cooke song. Didn’t think he understood it, didn’t feel what it means, it didn’t need the big ending nor any runs… it’s a slowburn song. Very underwhelming… [didn’t like his 1st song either]

    On a more positive note – Colton was terrible! Yay!

  12. junebug says:

    I don’t believe there is a definite bottom three. It is anybody’s game. All the singers in the top 7 are good. It just boils down to personal preference. Do you like subtle or bombastic? Sassy country or bluesy? Edgy or traditional? None of the choices are wrong.

    • Marsaili says:

      That’s my thing with this season–I think ALL the contestants are awesome—and they are all so totally different that you can’t really compare them to each other–and it’s silly to compare them to past contestants because they aren’t like anyone else. To me, this has been the most exciting season of Idol ever (I’ve been watching faithfully since season 5) and while there are past contestants that I was completely gaga over usually from their day 1 (David Cook, Daughtry, Haley, Adam) I have liked every single one of these kids since their day one and I cannot pick an absolute favorite!

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Good points.
        I prefer Elise and P2, and I run hot/cold on Joshua. But all of the contestants are very good and I won’t be upset if any of them wins. Colton and Jessica are my least favorite but I guess I’m in the minority on that one.
        I’m predicting Elise, Joshua, and Jessica for the bottom three tonight.

        • Marsaili says:

          That’s who I have in the bottom 3 as well, and it’s going to be painful no matter who gets sent home—but I really hope it isn’t Elise—and much as I love Joshua—I’m hoping she hangs on like Haley did last year.

        • junebug says:

          Weird. That’s my bottom three as well, but I won’t be suprised no matter who is on the “stools of doom”. My favorite is already gone, so I’m not really routing for anyone specifically. I just hate being told if I don’t like a certain singer, either I’m def, a teen girl, or not right in the head. If I had to pick who I personally would like to see as final two it would be Skylar and Colton, but that’s just my opinion.

  13. idolmama says:

    Hey Michael I disagree with most of your comments today. Don’t usually do that. Were we watching the same show? I think RITD was one of Hollie’s best performances. She finally sang with confidence and really looked like she was enjoying being on the stage. For weeks Jimmy has been saying it was a contest between Hollie and Jessica, and that Jessica was always going to win. I think hearing that week after week just eroded Hollie’s confidence until last week. Hey guess what Jimmy, Hollie won the contest. That’s why Hollie sang so much better last night she found out she won the battle.

    I do agree that Son of a Preacher Man was a poor song choice for Hollie. It’s a gritty, sexy song and it was a little embaressing to see squeaky clean Hollie sing it.

    P2–I never quite realized it until last night but he doesn’t seem to have much range. The songs last night seemed to consist of only 3 or 4 note melodies. And when he goes into a higher registar he shouts/screams. Maybe that’s why some people feel he does the same thing each week. Not that his style is the same but that he only sings a few notes even when he is singing around the melody. Actually found the sax player distracted from his singing. He was my favorite when the competition began but each week he has gotten lower and lower on my list.

    Jessica–Fallin’ was really good but Try a Little Tenderness was terrible. I thought the upbeat temp arrangement was terrible but that probably isn’t her fault. I just don’t think she really understood the lyric. Like Hollie’s Preacher Man these girls are just too young to understand the story. That being said it is nice to see innocence.

    Agree with a much earlier comment from the first page. My ears hurt after so many of the performances especially Skylar’s and Joshua’s. Is everyone shouting because the band is so loud? Or is everyone shouting because someone told them that is how you get the “soul” into “soul’ music? Really makes me want a theme night of “unplugged”. Let’s hear some acutal singing not screaming.

    Elise–I don’t usually agree with any conspiracy theories etc. but I really felt that the Judges, JLo in particular, were going to give watered down praise not matter how good she sang. They had to make sure she remained in the bottom three so their favorite Jessica won’t go home. How can you say she sang with no emotion? That second song was full of feeling. They had to throw some sort of criticism at her because they knew she received more votes that Jessica last week and they have to do everything they can to keep their darling Jessica in the competition.

    Colton–great first song, terrible second. Usually like it when songs are flipped but somehow this one just didn’t work. I kept hearing Simon saying it was self indulgent.

  14. Davey says:

    I kept thinking–what would Kris Allen have done with these songs? Looking forward to hearing him do his single tonight.

  15. Davey says:

    So Hollie is decent for one week and now she’s the second coming? It’s the only remotiely good perfformance she’s given since Week 13. She sang the Adele song for about 2 minutes. Let’s see how she does next week.

    • Mary says:

      I personally feel she had more than one good performance since week 13. You can tell her confidence was shot, but whose wouldn’t be when the judges were downright cruel. She has not been the only one that had “pitchy” moments, but the brow beat her about it. I honestly feel they wanted her off so hopefully the votes would go to Jessica. I do not believe that Jessica has ever been the front runner. A good and fair judge would point out the positives and negatives, and give critiques to all the performers. I actually do not put much stock in their opinions but many do.
      I have never in all the years of watching seen so many Standing O. I am beginning to think one of them needs to stretch their legs and the rest follow suite. If it was a true standing O they wouldn’t have to look at each others and say are we doing it. I think they all have talent, but I would only purchase a couple of their music.

  16. tewence says:

    thank you for being accurate about phillip for once! i have to admit, the show last night had me FUMING! it’s like they are grooming phillip for the win. the first song, what the EFF? there were, as you said, like 2 or 3 notes…1 of which might have been in tune. by the way, not so unpredictable as the judges say. has he not already done an acoustic version of an usher song? i predict that next week he will take a song and play the guitar, and growl, and make uncomfortable facial expressions, and maybe even have a saxophone. how they could say he is connected, then barely even acknowledge jessica’s kick ass performances, i am unsure. they are judged on a completely different scale…because they ARE on a different scale. jessica (for example) is WAY ahead of him vocally, so they judge her based off that standard. same can be said for phillip but in the opposite way. if they closed their eyes for phillip’s next performance, they would definitely be VERY disappointed. the second song was more of an atrocity than the first. didn’t even hit a dang note…nope, he didn’t hit a single note out of the 4 he sang. he doesn’t have range to perform anything different than the week before, and they are actually doing him a disservice by pushing him straight to the top. what kind of album will he have if he wins? some over-produced non-genuine pop crap (a la lee desnooze’s “sweet serendipity”). i can’t imagine how terrible that would be.

    also, thank you for being honest about skylar. her second performance was a definite flop. how could you change the melody of that song so much to be unrecognizable??

  17. James says:

    Jessica sucks. Hope she goes home. I am sure it will be Joshua though

  18. MrTemecula says:

    Of all the singers, I’d be interested in Phillip songs. Colton is dull, a cliche. There’s is no there, there. Phillip always does something interesting.

    • Joe says:

      Philip Philips is the only one who creates real excitement and is ready for the real world. Josh, Elise, Skylar, they will all vanish by the wayside in 6 months. And a word of advice for Josh…you truley have so few redeeming qualities….going on and on about Fantasia being one of your role models doesn’t sweeten the deal! Be smarter than that.

      • TC says:

        Joe-what an assanine thing to say. But then again, how could I take you seriously when you say P2 is the only one who creates “real excitement” to the show. That’s comical. How could you say Josh has no redemming qualities?? The kid sings far better than most contestants ever on Idol (including your beloved P2), performs with a lot more energy and emotion and is just an overall great showman. I don’t care for gospel, R&B or soul music, but there’s something special about Josh and for you to say he has few redeeeming qualities is just plain laughable.

  19. Bonnie A. says:

    I got so tired of hearing from the judges about “letting go” and showing emotion during the performances, when Philip and Skylar do it so naturally, it’s infectious. But then the judges don’t praise Philip and Skylar enough for how well that “sells” their song and performance. I’m VERY tired of these judges’ comments.

  20. Betsy says:

    I totally thought of Kristi Lee Cook and 8 Days a Week when Skylar was butchering “Heard it through the Grapevine.” Noble effort to do something creative, but MAJOR FAIL. Skylar has talent, and she’s cute and spunky, but I’m tired of her screaming every song – she has no nuance or character to her voice.

  21. Static says:

    Elise was splendid with No One. Brilliant vocal performance, brilliant delivery, and professional from start to finish–for me, it was the performance of the night. Yes, that might be my bias towards Elise speaking, but I think it would have been my favorite with or without it. I felt Let’s Get It On is tied with I Wanna Know What Love Is for Elise’s worst of all time, but it was still fine at the very least.

    I usually sat on my couch trying to look for a semblance of a connection with the song whenever Hollie comes on. But this time, with Rolling in the Deep, I felt it right off the bat. Although I feel it fell short of Haley’s version by a mile, I dug it. And me digging Hollie in itself is a miracle. I would have hoped for her to stay another week if that didn’t mean doom for Elise. If Elise goes out this week, I may jump aboard her bandwagon if she does well Top 6 Week–otherwise, I think I’ll stand by Joshua.

    Speaking of Joshua, I thought both of his performances were world-class. I’ve never liked his natural voice, but his control, delivery and ability to connect with his songs more than makes up for it. I don’t think I’ll buy his record post-Idol, but he’s definitely one of my favorites currently.

    I think the bottom three will be Elise, Hollie and Colton, with either Elise or Hollie going out. I think it’s Hollie’s waterloo, but Elise is in as much danger as Hollie is.

  22. jga94 says:

    I thought Hollie came out swiniging…I liked her the best tonight.

    Jessica was flawless as usual but a little much too much growling and melisma for my taste….

    Joshua was his usual….he’s great…just nothing new….

    PP is just not my cup of tea…

    I don’t dig Colton…

    Skylar has got spunk and a great voice but again just not my cup of tea…

    But Randy was right….these group of singers are definitely loads better than the singers in the other reality shows out there…..

  23. jga94 says:

    I disagree with Slezak that Hollie misinterpreted the song…I think she got the right idea…that was why she was a bit daring (for her standard) with her dress and she tried growling a little….but because this is a reality show and we get to see a bit of their real personalities in the show….we the viewers are somehow biased…like we automatically think these singers don’t understand the meaning of a song because they’re not like that in real life….I liked both Hollie’s performances but I like RITD better because it has a greater degree of difficulty being such a popular song now and it being from the Adele….she did great….

  24. Sandi says:

    For once I thought the judges got it right except for Phillip. Each week he wounds the same to me. Personally, he looks a little pyscho to me with crazy eyes, and vien in his head about to pop. Joshua’s problem with the voters is he doesn’t show any personality, but I voted 1 1/2 hours for me last night.

  25. darcy's evil twin says:

    Mr. Sleazak, I’m not sure if you hadn’t had enough chablis when you watched last night’s broadcast, or if “The voice” has made you cranky, but I think you need to re-watch the program. I normally agree with many of your opinions but I think you were a bit off on some of your observations.

  26. Name That Tune says:

    So the only ones who nailed both songs was P2 and Skylar. Hollie reverted back to the pedantic robot on her second song. Joshua didn’t connect with “Change.” Jessica is still awesome, but I wasn’t feeling it. I think Elise goes home tonight.

    • Joe says:

      I think Elise is going home too. Hollie may be robotic, but they called Carrie the same thing.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Skylar was the only one who didn’t hit either song. She was ok on one, not bad, but the others in round one were all better (even Colton by a little). On round 2 many were more uneven but she may have been the most uneven.

  27. ali427 says:

    I was so sure that Elise was going to do “Son of a Preacher Man,” which is perfect for her voice and one of my favorite songs ever. Almost cried when squeaky clean Hollie made it sound like she was at a high school pep rally. Would have been a moment for Elise; instead, the most passionate and textured singer is probably going home. Sigh.

  28. Ana says:

    I’m gonna be pretty pissed if Colton goes home.

  29. jga94 says:

    Slezak’s reviews are so obviously skewed towards his favorites….tepid comments for Hollie who was fantastic tonight…I actually thought Skylar was one of the worse (along with Colton) this episode….but that’s not saying they’re bad…just that the top 7 are all so good….so maybe the better term is less good than the rest….

  30. Greg says:

    Cannot stand Joshua, I cringe as every week the judges give him a standing ovation for his choir performances. He belongs in a church choir, and stands no chance fo selling any more albums than William Hung

  31. Joe says:

    Reading the comments of some, including Micheal’s it appears to me that many of you forget what the show is looking for. While it technically is a signing competition, it is called American Idol…not America’s best signer or the voice. They are looking for a complete package that can not only sell records but create so much excitement that they sell out arenas. Some of the most successful stars of all time didn’t have the greatest voices… Springsteen, Tyler, McJagger, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, etc. Look at Daughtry as well. Fantasia “may” have had a good voice, but she went knowhere. She won in a bad year and basically doesn’t have a single redeamable quality….she doesn’t sell out arena’s and never will. Carrie could sing as well as any contestant, but she also has charisma and looks like a cover girl model…again…a complete package. Elise, Josh, or Skylar for that matter will go nowhere. Not to say they can’t sing but they will not fill arenas. People taking shots at Philip Philips is ridiculous. He is a true talent. He has Charisma and stage Presence. Just like Scotty did last year. Best voice, maybe not, but he will sell more than the others and people will clamor to see him. Holly is a complete package as well…just a little young or inexperienced.

    • MyTwoCents says:

      I am not sure how you measure success. Fantasia has been nominated for a lot of Grammy’s and also won a Grammy last year, had an album go Platinum and was voted 32nd out of the 100 Greatest Women in Music. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but it’s just wrong to say Fantasia went nowhere…. wow.

    • Marsaili says:

      I wouldn’t say they will go nowhere, though—if these kids can make a living off their singing–that is something great! There are plenty of former Idols out there—they aren’t superstars like Carrie or Kelly, but they are touring and making albums and earning a living with their music. Carrie and Kelly—they are one of a kinds—-there is no way that every person that wins Idol is going to be a big as they are (although, Scotty is on the way!) I think if a person can quit their dayjob and live off their music—that is a successful career! Big stars don’t always fill arenas! I took my sons to see Ozzy Osbourne last December—the concert didn’t sell out so our tickets were bumped up to a better section and better seats–and that’s OZZY! of course, I think the economy and ridiculous ticket prices have a lot to do with it, too!

    • Cip says:

      Joe-don’t you have a job or something?? Get back to work. Your evil spewing, and dissing all contestants, except for your beloved (and may I say extremely overrated) P2 is getting really old. If you can’t see the talent in these young kids, then it’s hard to take any of your comments seriously. Your bias is laughable and offensive at the same time. And BTW, I seem to recall Simon Cowell always saying that this was “a singing competition”. Unfortunately, it’s viewers like yourself who don’t see it that way

  32. Kathy V. says:

    I’ve listened to a lot of mediocre renditions of Rollin’ in the Deep this season on other singing shows, and Hollie hit a homerun last night. She embodied the song, the richness of her voice and soaring chorus were a total surprise. All that talent is confined in an inexperienced teenage girl. Impressive.

  33. MyTwoCents says:

    I thought all the Idols did a really good job last night with at least one of their songs! Good show!

    I do think they should have done Then first and Now last …. I liked each of their Now performances and am mixed on the Then… I think Hollie missed the meaning behind Son of a Preacher Man, but sang it OK. I’m not sure what Colton was thinking on the EWF redo….? I have to assume someone else pushed the Then choices on these contestants or the pickings were extremely, over the top slim. I know that could have not really have been what Elise really wanted to sing for Then (purely from her feedback).

    I disagree with any of you who are not voting (if that is truly the case). If you are torn because you felt they were all good please at least vote once for each contestant. It takes a difference of one vote to send them home until the finale.

    I LOVE all the buzz around Jessica, especially after last week. She is getting so, so, so much rightfully deserved attention. What a gift she has and a ton of new followers on Twitter. I am so nervous for Elise. I don’t want her to go home! This is going to be a tough night no matter who gets let go!

    • Marsaili says:

      Exactly, from here on out it’s going to be a heartbreak every week when someone goes home. I have never seen such a great group of kids—and I loved the group last year for the most part—Pia, Jacob and Stefano were just ok for me—but this year I think everyone is great and it’s going to be really hard to see any of them go home from this point out!

  34. C says:

    Hollie did a great job on both songs. She’s really improving all of a sudden. While I really like Colton’s voice, he ruined “September” for me–it was way too stripped down for my taste. I’m totally over Jessica. She may be technically perfect, but it sounds to me like she’s beginning to oversing and I’m sick of melisma in pop singers, and her second song gave me a sore throat just listening to it.. Joshua does the same thing in every song, regardless of tempo or genre–start out kind of subdued and turn into a non-musical, “self indugent” mess by the end. Phillip is just a snarling, growling, vein-popping noise maker; not a singer. I love Skylar’s energy and stage presence, but she was getting kind of shouty last night, too. Elise’s raspy, smoky voice really doesn’t suit many songs except for rock numbers like “Whole Lotta Love” (not “Somebody to Love, JLo!) I’d give Hollie the night and hope for Phillip to leave.

  35. Name That Tune says:

    Would anyone be surprised if Colton, Skylar and Elise were your Bottom 3 last night? Or that Skylar, Joshua and P2 are your Bottom 3 and that Joshua is going home tonight?

  36. Minikitty says:

    Just watched Jason Castro and Blake Lewis duet “I’m yours”. Really nice. I miss them.
    After all is said and done the passion these young kids have for music is moving and it’s what keeps me watching this show. All the best to the top7. So talented in so many ways, so young, there’s a long road ahead, I wish them well.

  37. wendeeloo says:

    Those of us who watch Idol at work are in agreement that we are losing interest in this season. There’s just no one person who has been consistent like Haley last year – few wow moments like Elise’s Zeppelin song. Yes, Michael, you could see the judges mutter to each other to get up for Joshua last night – If you didn’t get up for him on a soul song – that was going to be bad for the show – how sponteneous! I am looking forward to Kris Allen tonight because his new song is terrific, I think. Hope he kills it.

  38. Volcfom says:

    I was highly disappointed with the “Then” songs. I listened to all the performances again this morning without watching, and they sounded better. Their stage presence is bringing them down.
    Phil’s “Midnight Hour” was still terrible after the second listen, though. It felt like Top 24 week, and that was a typical throw-the-fodder-under-a-bus treatment.
    I happen to like Colton’s “September”, even though it was a little too Switchfoot-ish. I know I’m in a small minority, but to me it wasn’t the worst of the night.

    My Bottom Three: Joshua, Jessica and Hollie. Joshua going home.
    Probable Bottom Three: All girls with Elise going home. :-(

  39. PFitzDC says:

    Slezak: You I had a seriously parting of the ways this week. Hated Colton’s Bad Romance–second worst performance of the night (preceded by his September). Part of the problem is that Bad Romance (like Bohemian Rhapsody) does not work cut down to 90 seconds.

    On the other hand, I loved both Phillip’s numbers and thought Midnight Hour was HOT.

    We’ll continue to agree to disagree on Joshua, although he showed more life in his eyes this week, and I appreciated that he kept Change Is Gonna Come fairly restrained. (But did you see Randy have to nudge J.Lo to a standing ovation?) Judges weren’t initially all that about it.

    Thought Hollie had her best night by far. Was prepared to loathe Rollin’ in the Deep–every aspiring singer does it…but they had great changes to the arrangement and she nailed it.

    Love Jessica, but I thought she showed she was rattled by last week…Seemed unsure of herself.

    Love Elise, but she’s not meant to be in this competition.

    Skylar is great–but even as a fan of country, I’m looking for someone in a different genre to take it this year.

  40. Robin says:

    Oh Slezak…as cold as January in Winterfell!

  41. meh says:

    i wanted to love PP’s performances more, judging from a few positive comments i heard, but i’m kinda getting tired of the shouty growly singing. u got it bad didn’t do it for me. he was far more superior in the earlier weeks of the competition and i miss it. still hope he grows though, somehow.

    skylar is kinda growing on me. respect.

  42. Forwarddad says:

    It’s 2:00 pm est and Michael’s column still not posted?

  43. syb says:

    Wow Michael. I’ve been nodding, nodding and nodding, and then this week, I feel like you got just about all of it wrong.

    “Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought this was one of the night’s most exciting performances.” I HOPE so!

  44. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    Just listened to the studio version of Joshua’s Change is Gonna Come – for once, it’s much better than his live performance. Soooo good. It’s a great song… can’t just condence it into 2 mins.

  45. Chervern says:

    Well according to your poll Joshua should have went home…perhaps then the voting audience (he didn’t even make bottom three) are’nt the ones watching your reviews…