American Idol Top 6 Results Recap: Any Way the Wind Blows, Doesn't Really Matter [Updated]

jessica sanchez elise testoneWe’ve reached the point in the American Idol season when results nights get truly, madly, deeply depressing — and not just because voting off Katy Perry in place of one of the stupendous Top 6 contestants is inexplicably not an option.

But seeing how it was Queen week on Idol, it seems appropriate to find some solace in the words of the late, great Freddie Mercury:

I’ll face it with a grin.
I’m never giving in.
On with the show.
The show must go on.

Yes indeed, no matter how you feel about this week’s elimination — and to be honest, I’m feeling a little like someone grabbed the two-thirds full bottle of sauvignon blanc out of my fridge and poured it down the drain (emotional distress level: horrified) — there was no way I was going to bed tonight without feeling a little disconcerted about someone getting a farewell montage set to Scotty McCreery’s “Pleeeeuhhhzzz remayyyymmmber maaaayyy.”

American Idol Top 6 Performance Recap: They’ll Keep on Fighting Till the End

Because ultimately, although I (and most of you) have spent the last four months nitpicking, kvetching, scrutinizing, and backseat driving over the “journeys” of the Season 11 wannabes, the earnest part of my heart (all 96 percent of it) has to give it up to the last six contestants standing. They’re really good. Good in a way that chart-toppers like Rihanna and Katy Perry and LMFAO and Justin Bieber could only fantasize about if they took the stage without the benefit of a backing track and/or an army of highly skilled backup singers.

So on with the show. The show must go on.

Before we dish this week’s results, though, a few thoughts on the telecast:

* I generally don’t give a flying fig about how many votes are cast each week, but I thought Ryan’s note that this week’s 58 million tally was 10 million more than the corresponding week in Season 10 just proves how evenly matched the current field is, and what a motivator that has to be to the various contestants’ fan bases.

* Yo. Yo. Check it out. The Queen Extravaganza was just a’aight for me, for you. Discuss!

* What I don’t want to discuss? The Top 6′s trip to TMZ. Why not just roll the contestants through a pile of dung, force them to wade through a stream of toxic sludge, then douse them with anthrax powder? The end result would be just as humiliating and equally foul, without giving any unnecessary publicity to Harvey Levin and his creepy empire. (Side note: I can’t imagine any scenario where J.Lo would’ve found funny that joke about hot young guys — including current beau Casper Smart — who’ve advanced their careers by romancing the “On the Floor” singer. And I’m a little bit surprised Uncle Nigel would allow her to be ridiculed like that in her own backyard, even if she can dry her tears with $100 bills.)

* Listening to Jimmy Iovine complain about Jessica’s choice of “Bohemian Rhapsody” — just a week after declaring he’d make sure she chose more age-appropriate material for the remainder of the competition — I couldn’t help but wonder: Why didn’t the Top 6 get their usual mentoring session with the Interscope chairman this week?

* As Elise took her spot at the Silver Stools of Doom (TM), my husband turned to me and asked, “Is she on her cell phone?” Obviously, she wasn’t, but wouldn’t that have been the most jaw-dropping response to a Bottom 3 placement in American Idol history? (Think about it for next week, Hollie!)

* Oh how I want to go down with Casey Abrams to the barber shop.

* My non-Idol-watching friend Drew, visiting for dinner tonight, summed up Stefano Langone’s guest performance pretty succinctly: “He’s like the Scott Baio version of the Black Eyed Peas.” I have to give Stefano 10 points for enthusiasm and a reasonably catchy chorus, but those lyrics (“my ex wants sex tonight”?), those wack backup dancers, and even the song title (“I’m on a Roll”? Like a ham and cheese sammich?) are all Rated SMDH.

* Talk about damning praise: Jimmy Iovine describing Hollie’s cover of “The Climb” as “as well as [she] could do.”

* Congrats to Randy for maintaining his cycle of ostentatiously stupid accessories this season with that “Yo Yo Yo” necklace. As fellow Idoloonie @AdamBaranker pointed out on Twitter this week, all of the Dawg’s “YO” paraphernalia should be secretly flipped backstage and turned into “OY.” (I would also accept “NO.”)

Anyway, on with results…

Sent Directly to Safety (In No Particular Chronological Order)
Jessica Sanchez
Joshua Ledet
Phillip “Does your daddy let you date?” Phillips

Sent to the Bottom 3
Elise Testone
Hollie Cavanagh
Skylar Laine

First One Sent Back to Safety
Skylar Laine

Elise Testone

Ugh. I’ve got nothing. Well, except for the fact that I’m bummed the cameras cut away at the exact moment Elise dropped to her knees and began to bring her exit performance of”Whole Lotta Love” to a raucous, Middle Eastern-inspired conclusion. This is how her Idol runs ends — not with a bang, but with the cold open of Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch.

I’ll be back overnight to update this post with more details — including a discussion of Jimmy Iovine’s “totally” “spontaneous” “responses” to Wednesday’s performances — but until then, I turn things over to you.

What did you think of Top 6 results? Did Elise deserve to get booted? If not, who should’ve been sent home? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. nielsbohr says:

    bottom 3 last night should have been: jessica, skylar, hollie with jessica going home. if not for the idol pool i’m in, i would not watch the show with the judges’ or jimmy’s comments anymore. they just bring down a good performance like elise’s. it’s no fun listening to them (esp. steven & randy).

  2. Chris says:

    I fast forwarded through the Queen tribute band, Katy Perry, and Stefano’s performance (I’ve never really enjoyed Stefano and can’t call myself a fan but glad he’s seemingly found some success).

    I also wondered why Jimmy wasn’t part of the mentoring session this week also. I mean how could Jessica have picked an ‘age appropriate’ song from Queens successful short song list they were given? I understand why she chose or was chosen to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and thought she did a great job, with all things considered, in my opinion. Even though Jimmy is successful as a music producer and Chairman at Interscope-Geffen-A&M, it wasn’t because he picked songs for those globally successful bands… so…. (not much of an Iovine fan either).
    And his critique of Hollie’s cover of “The Climb” “as well as she could do”, brought back a memory of a former Season 11 contestant who was assumed in the bottom three by his critique before they’d even performed yet for votes. He’s just diabolical at times….he really is. I think Hollie could do so much more if she knew how to ‘perform’ – because she can sing!

    I thought Elise had a good run on the show and I am a fan. I look forward to what she does after the tour. I will miss the rock aliment of the show though…and for that I agree with the down the sink syndrome. At this stage of the competition they are all winners for seen and unforseen degrees of song at this point.

    I am looking forward to seeing how they do with next weeks theme and to Coldplay’s (LOVE them) performance (real song writing artists – full of melody). Perhaps the not so melodic contestant will pick up some pointers from Chris (who is by far not the best singer in the overly populated world of singers, but so good at what he and the rest of the band mates do).

    Cheers to you Elise and thank you for what you’ve given to us, to enjoy until next time :)

  3. Tom says:

    Here is my problem with the Queens night … we have BJ night, Queen night, and 80′s night, so out of the 7 shows thus far 3 of them have been about music that was relevent, and out of style, before the birth of all of the contestents except Elise, who would have been in diapers … I think they should have eliminated 80s night and done something more relatable to the current group of contestents …

    • C says:

      Three of them also have been about the “relevant” music–songs of 2010, 2011 and 2012, songs of the 2000′s, and the half this week that was a free choice. Face it, the best pop music was written “way back when” when there was no rap “music” and no advanced technology like auto-tune. So the songs had to be singable. Also, to get radio play, which was the main vehicle for music then, the songs had to be brief, memorable and easy to relate to by a mass audience. I’ve really missed having Lennon/McCartney songbook and Andrew Lloyd Webber nights this year. I can’t tolerate the poor quality of contemporary songs.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I’m giving you a “Hell Yeah!”
        I am not completely dismissing contemporary music. There is plenty of good stuff on the radio – Adele, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, etc. IMO the songs of the 2000s have been a lot better than the 90s. That dreck sent me running to listen to my husband’s country stations. When Hootie and Blowfish released their first CD in the 90s they were tremendously popular because of the sing-a-long quality of their music, something that had been sorely lacking on Top 40 radio.
        Several times last week Steven Tyler mentioned songs that had a “strong melody”. Those songs that Colton sang with the nondecript melodies and P2′s DMB song just didn’t push any of my buttons. Viewers can complain all they want about “non-relevant music”, but I have to ask – non-relevant TO WHOM? Anyone born after the first Gulf War? Say what you like but I think the purpose of the Theme nights is to separate the wheat from the chaff – I always think of how Adam Lambert and David Cook were able to sing anything. that’s the mark of a good vocalist. Kelly Clarkson made her mark on Big Band Night with “Stuff Like That There”, one of the best performances ever on Idol. It didn’t mean Kelly was going to go out and record a bunch of “irrelevant” Big Band numbers and songs from the American Songbook. It demonstrated her talent and versatility as a vocalist. The complexity of the melodies from the songs of the 40s are a good way to weed out the wannabes.

  4. april says:

    I really loved Elise. Still do. I’m sorry she got voted off. I still like Hollie and Philip.
    Who I wouldn’t mind seeing leaving in this order. Skylar, Joshua, Jessica.

  5. Joe says:

    All of the final Contestants can win….I think we all know that. However, Elise was a lounge lizard at best. Josh has serious talent and so does Jessica. There is no disputing that. There is also no disputing that the judges with their ridiculous standing ovations of both of them is the producers and judges way of once again trying to push them down our throats. Josh is annoying and a Primadonna. His love of Fantasia shows his complete lack of judgement and doesn’t sweeten the deal either. She won in the weakest season ever and has done nothing but prove that she is a complete waste anything imaginable. Holly has an Amazing voice but seems like she needs a little seasoning. So does Jessica. Both are very young for their age….which is saying a lot. Not to mention that there are probaby 10,000 young, under 100Lb and under 5ft girls that can do that same. They don’t inspire and aren’t different….hence Jessica’s elimination 2 weeks ago. Philip is Different, exciting to watch, immensely talented, and is not something you come across everyday. He is a real artist and probably couldn’t care less if he wins…he’ll do better than all of them at the end of the day. Sorry folks, but America, for once, is getting it right.

    • Marie says:

      Your comments are foolish and have no merit. You say Josh is a prima donna based on……?? And you are judging him based on the fact he likes Fantasia??? How ridiculous.
      And if you want to call P2 a “real artist” because he plays guitar then so be it. The truth is that he IS NOT “different” or original as you put it because he is a carbon copy of Dave Matthews-right down to his facial expressions when he sings. As a HUGE Dave Matthews fan, I just can’t appreciate Phil and all his mediocre performances to date. His talent doesn’t come close to any of the remaining contestants. If he wins this thing, once again, it will be another “fail” year for Idol

      • Tarc says:

        I’m really glad that we don’t see the same thing in any way, shapre, or form in P2. I’m a big DM fan as well, and they’re really very little alike.

    • Sean says:

      Fantasia’s season was far from the weakest. Jennifer Hudson, Diana DeGarmo, George Huff, etc, have all had very successful to credible careers. That was one of the best classes and I forgot to mention LaTonya.

    • Layla says:

      Some people must have no idea of Jessica’s range and how she hits some insane notes in one run. She had Adam Lambert going crazy on her first run of ‘Fallin’. Just look up youtube where someone actually notated her vocal note ranges and octaves. She hits notes that few pop singers hit and those who do are very well known (Adele, Beyonce, Xtina & Mariah etc.). You just don’t find 10,000 girls sorry.

  6. Joe says:

    I think we all can agree that all of the remaining contestans can win. However, Elise was a lounge lizard at best. Josh has serious talent and so does Jessica. There is no disputing that. There is also no disputing that the judges with their ridiculous standing ovations of both of them is the producers and judges way of once again trying to push them down our throats. Josh is annoying and a Primadonna. His love of Fantasia shows his complete lack of judgement and doesn’t sweeten the deal either. She won in the weakest season ever and has done nothing but prove that she is a complete waste anything imaginable. Holly has an Amazing voice but seems like she needs a little seasoning. So does Jessica. Both are very young for their age….which is saying a lot. Not to mention that there are probaby 10,000 young, under 100Lb and under 5ft girls that can do that same. They don’t inspire and aren’t different….hence Jessica’s elimination 2 weeks ago. Philip is Different, exciting to watch, immensely talented, and is not something you come across everyday. He is a real artist and probably couldn’t care less if he wins…he’ll do better than all of them at the end of the day. Sorry folks, but America, for once, is getting it right.

    • Red In Denver says:

      Look, Joe….. Music is a matter of TASTE, in large part, so ‘there is no disputing that’ is not a statement that fits. I disagree with at least half of what you said above; and I doubt that EVERYONE on this blog would agree 100% either.

  7. sparks says:

    I can’t believe how much hate Hollie is getting. It’s not like she was pimped by the judges, if anything, she was on the chopping block as much (if not more) as Elise. Besides, she was good this week and so was Elise.

    Phillip should have gone tbh. He’s talented, but the weakest link in this group.

  8. Jrs says:

    Hated stefano last year. Hate him even more after that crap!!! Glad stank-face Elise is gone

  9. Chuck says:

    Give me Jessica in the finals. The girl’s crazy amazing!

  10. Volcfom says:

    Just an observation: David Cook’s season is the first year that contestants were allowed to play instruments. Since then, every winner has fallen into the “WGWG” category. If the option to play an instrument were revoked, do you think girls/minorities would have a chance again?
    (That being said, I think it was a good move to allow them to play and add another level to performances, but it has skewed the results ever since.)

    • teatime says:

      It helps if we know the contestant is also a musician. It helps if we know the contestant is also a songwriter. Those are good things.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think Volcfom and teatime have both made interesting points. And I’m not sure how I feel about the whole instrument thing. My jury is still debating.

  11. Red In Denver says:

    Elise had the most unique, NATURAL voice on the show. VERY sorry to see her go She was my favorite, although I had no doubt she would be voted off: She’s a female and she’s no longer a teenager.

    Love Joshua, although I could do without the ‘huh’ or ‘uh’ at the end of every musical phrase in his up-tempo songs. In the early days, the judges used to point out a singer’s bad habits; but no one’s said a word. I am also really impressed with Skylar and Holly. For some reason, although I recognize Jessica’s voice is technically amazing, she annoys me. I think it may be her ‘diva’ facial mannerisms when she’s performing; but I’m not really sure. She just doesn’t seem genuine to me.

    I would not have been at all sad to see Phillip go. I’m so sick of the goofy faces and odd body movements AND feel like he’s just a Dave Matthews knock-off. I’m shocked that this is what passes for an ‘artist’, at least in the eyes of the three super-qualified(???) judges.

    • Ray says:

      I agree with most of your comments. My first reaction to Elise going home was not to vote any more. I have now decided to vote for Skylar and Joshua, and not because of the judges. I cannot get myself to vote for Phil. I am not impressed with Jessica, and I won’t vote for Holly because she should have gone before Elise, and I believe she will be gone before three are left. I believe that Skylar and Joshua have the best chance to win over Phil.

  12. Angela says:

    Hollie should’ve gone home weeks ago. I can’t believe she’s still here and both Elise and Colton are gone. I want a Jessica/Joshua finale, but it’s probably going to be Phillip and Skylar (who is, for the record, good but just not up my personal alley, though I like her spunk). Phillip has pretty much already won.

  13. Justin says:

    Elise had a classy exit and great (though unfortunately cut short) sing out. She was my clear favorite and who I thought had the most talent of all the Idols this year. However, I still knew her time was up as soon as Hollie got the standing O and resigned myself to that before the official results. Hope Elise got the exposure needed to get a recording contract. She really deserves one. Her studio recordings are terrific. On a side note, my favorite has NEVER won this bloody show: Season 11 can now join Seasons 5 (Elliott), 6 (Melinda), 7 (no one really), 8 (Allison), 9 (Alex) and 10 (Haley). Guess it’ll ALWAYS be that way and I just don’t see eye-to-eye with viewers of this show.

    • Red In Denver says:

      I agree (even with your favorites for several of the seasons you mention above).

      I figure we probably don’t see it the same as the majority of VOTERS because, I suspect, the majority of voters are teenage girls between the ages of 13-16.

      • Justin says:

        You’re probably right. Elise has next to no appeal to tween power-voters. I cast about 20 per week using my facebook account but I have to get up and go to work the next morning so I can’t be up half the night like many younger viewers. I suspect many of Elise’s fans are probably in the same boat as I.

  14. Gabby says:

    They waited until the perfect time to unleash Jessica’s “My father is being deployed” story to cater directly to Middle America. That – in addition to her being saved – is going to boost her for several more weeks on this show. Next week we’ll probably learn her grandmother has cancer or some such nonsense. Aside from Colton and Elise, the other casualties are going to be Hollie and Skylar. Joshua is currently being propped up with the succession of Standing O’s, but that is going to eventually turn people against him (considering the fact that he has clearly not even deserved most of them). I suspect it will be Phillip vs. Jessica. I hope to God Phillip (WGWG5) wins. It will be what this deceitful show deserves with all of the producer interference and lame manipulation tactics instead of relying on talent and letting America chose who they like without their “guiding hand” to force the outcome Sir Nigel wants.

    • Layla says:

      Gabby pretty classy – Jessica’s grandmother died two weeks ago.

    • Suggestor says:

      Of course, Philip’s kidney stones sickness was also probably for votes right? Same with Elise’s sick cat? Funny how those stories are fine with you but Jessica’s father being deployed is some kind of strategical move on her part. She gets criticized for NOTconnecting and then when she finds a song she really connects with it becomes some kind of ploy. Talk about deceitful.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      There’s that hilarious “middle America” comment again. WTH does that mean? I’m in “Middle America” and while Jessica’s talent is over the moon I’m not fond of that style of singing, and I don’t care if her father single-handedly captured Osama Bin Laden and cured cancer.

  15. syb says:

    With the closing notes to Whole Lotta Love AIS11 just got about 75% more boring to me. Good luck to the rest, but it’s starting to look like the Mickey Mouse Club up there. No room past about T5 or T6 for anyone with any sort of sophistication or maturity. Sing a song that everybody can sing along with–go for the heartstrings, be humble and perky, or be the guy next door, a little quiet and broody, and the AI crown is within reach. Too bad, but I’m glad Elise’s last performance in competition was for her fans, and not to pander to the “Climb/Dance With My Father” crowd.

  16. Jessica says:

    I really have been loving Jimmy this year. He is the only one actually saying anything to help these guys. Jessica singing “mama i just killed a man?” What she’s like 90lbs? Sorry I don’t care how well she can sing when I can’t relate to what she is singing. Thank you Jimmy for being the only one who has mentioned this. Simon would of fried her on it weeks ago. I also don’t like trying to get votes b/c daddy is is getting deployed and my husband served in the Air Force for 9 years. Something i don’t understand is Phillip keeps getting the “you sound like Dave Matthews” but what about Jessica trying to sound like Beyonce’? I really hope Jessica doesn’t win and I really wanted a female winner this year.

    • Jessica says:

      Phillip and Joshua in the finale would be perfect. I wouldn’t care who won. And no I’m not a teenager voting for the “cute guy”.

    • Suggestor says:

      “also don’t like trying to get votes b/c daddy is is getting deployed and my husband served in the Air Force for 9 years. ” Why not? That’s her life at the moment and people wanted her to choose a song she connected with. But then again if she hadn’t you can criticize her for choosing a song she didn’t connect with as you did on the Queen song. You pretty much left no room for her to choose a song therefore, your comment is lacking any merit.

  17. Jessica says:

    Oh the new singer for Queen-that was weird. Sorry Freddy can’t be replaced.

  18. Jamie says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so I don’t know if someone already said this, but I’m sick of JLo and the other “judges” insulting me by telling me I’m not sophisticated enough to appreciate an obscure song. Yes, I know the majority of the Idol audience is made up of teenyboppers who think LMFAO, K.Perry or Gaga are “artists”, but still, as an ADULT viewer, I beg you Jennifer, stfu. I’d rather hear music I like and appreciate be sung by a non-winning idol, than hear regurgitated garbage spewed from the mouth of an AI winner.

  19. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    A total Joshua devout here – so move along ‘cos you will certainly spew violently. :)

    This prob sounds like I’m trying to explain why the judges are Josh-pimping / favouring / whatever. In a weird way, I think I know why… because I’m thinking I feel the same way.

    Watching Joshua perform live is special. He definitely has a certain energy on stage (as much as I can ‘feel it’ on TV!) and it reminds people (me) of watching the ol’ greats perform (albeit mostly on youtube) and on the STUDIO channel.

    I must add; I have watched – the master, the hardest working man in showbiz, the great James Brown – live. Stupendous showman / performer. Man – I couldn’t believe how lucky I was (he died a couple of years later but when I saw him, he was still bringing it 100% all 90 mins of it, doing the splits, etc. He was 70 then, I think… good gawd.

    I guess, when someone like Joshua comes along, it’s very exciting to see the possibility. Someone so young with such overwhelming talent – it’s not just the voice. It’s the inate feel of soul and rhythm. Part of it is watching his expression, his movements (not a good dancer, but he’s got rhythm & moves well nonethelss – just needs some good coaching!), his amazing phrasing – I think that’s what makes him enthralling. eg, Jar of Hearts, You Pulled Me Through & of course, When a Man Loves a Woman – all had excellent, expressive phrasing…

    In comparison, his studio versions / arrangements seem pop-y, sounds synthesized, which I don’t enjoy at all.

    The only other 2 that come close (and not even that close) for on-stage performances: Phillip & Skylar. They’re very comfortable with themselves, already know who they are, etc. Just to be clear – I don’t like either of their singing style / voices – am purely assessing them as live performers.

    Ok… I’m done with my Joshua-pandering for the week. I’ll go back to binging on Wilson Pickett now…

  20. FreeHaley says:

    If Elise had just snuck through this week (and maybe the Colton fans that turned on her were likely to have voted anything but ELise this week?? and that pushed her over the edge? things must be very, very close between all this year I think) I wonder if then maybe she’d have gotten just enough Hollie votes to squeak by Skylar next week. If she managed that then I’m sure she picks up a bunch and could get past Joshua and then top three. Damn. It’s the top 6 and top 5 that were the tricky ones.
    Still can’t believe she could get sent home on this week when she was arguably the best and for sure far from the worst. Hollie really hasn’t had a bring down the house week yet, although she wasn’t as bad compared to some others as the judge’s slamming has made it seem, but it seems wrong for Hollie to stay and Elise to go on Queen week of all weeks, come on! Philip certainly did worse this week, although he did seem to be in a bad way. SKylar certainly should’ve gone before Elise. But that’s how Idol is, ever more each season, it seems.

  21. FreeHaley says:

    Not that it matters now, but would Elise have had top three home town visit in NJ or SC? She lists herself as being from S.C. since she lives there now, but don’t they usually want to see home town high school and family home and all that? I wonder what they would’ve done. That would’ve been so cool if it was in NJ and actually had the home town visit more or less in my backyard (not quite literally, but close) hah. Oh well.
    Hopefully she’ll get signed from the exposure from the show.


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