Idology: Hollie Rising, Elise Exiting, Phillip Coasting, and Skylar...Conquering Outer Space?

We’re down to just five contestants on Season 11 of American Idol, and even though one of ’em isn’t Elise Testone, the show must go on*. On this week’s Idology, Season 6 standout Melinda Doolittle and I discuss the surprising rise of Hollie Cavanagh and what that means for her female competitors Jessica Sanchez and Skylar Laine; the Terminator-like march of Phillip Phillips; the nonstop standing ovations for Joshua Ledet (and why they make us nervous); and the fact that the judges are now advancing their collective agenda not with their words, but with the tones of their voices. (* Trademark: Skylar Laine)

Plus, we’ve got cameo clips from Community, Aliens, Buffy, and Twin Peaks, as well as what has to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever said in front of a video camera (even if it’s totally true). Watch for Melinda’s “????” facial expression after you press play below, and enjoy! 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. Kee says:

    I don’t think Skylar’s “Show Must Go On” is the performance of the season. Great performance, but Elise’s “Whole Lotta Love” is the better and the #1 performance of the season. If you base it on What Not To Sing (, Idol database), Elise was more favored with a score of 92 than Skylar’s (60+).

    • Vivi says:

      “Show Must Go On” was definitely not the performance of the season. But it’s in my Top 10…ish. If we’re going by the whole season (including Hollywood, Vegas, etc.) then my performance of the season is “Doesn’t Matter Anymore”. Geez, I even got chills just typing the name of the title! As far as Top 12, it has to go to Elise’s “Whole Lotta Love”.

    • Eric says:

      In my opinion, “Vienna” was even better than “Whole Lotta Love” and it ranks as my #1. I just felt that it was much more quieter song; I think her connection was clear, and there was a lot of soul in that performance.

      • noa says:

        YES! Vienna is still my favorite. even though i’m loving Bold As Love right now. it’s just so cool and different. and i didn’t know the John Mayer version, so i had never heard that song sung that way and i think it’s just unbelievable! so as much as i loved Whole Lotta Love, these were better in my opinion. and i guess that if i had to choose Vienna would still be #1.

        • MA says:

          Me too! I love Vienna; that’s probably my favorite Billy Joel song. And Bold As Love just gets better and better the more I listen to it. It’s really good.

      • Eric says:

        Just to be clear, I do love Whole Lotta Love as well, I just feel of Elise’s performances, WLL is the one that people tend to recognize.

      • Tom22 says:

        Me too on Vienna… its the only peformance of the season that I think will be worth listening too after the season is over.

        A good performance needs to be better than the original.. or equal but DIFFERENT enough that you would sometimes choose to have the new version in your playlist.

        The Zepplin song really was a band number as much as a vocal in my boat, and its more of a part of a set added for spice to me than something I’d listen to by iteslf…. I don’t think of that song as a singers song even if it took real skill to sing it.

        What was and what shall never be , however is more of a singers song and a singer telling a story. On top of that, Haley brought a different smoother , less “sex drugs and rock and roll” feeling to it that makes it easy to listen to at times (most times today in my life) where I don’t feel like rocking or thinking back on being drunk or whatever rocking out.

        Vienna however was really awesome. Elise had plent of other chances and I really didn’t feel like any of her other interpetations were worth listening too over and over… and I really wasn’t feeling like she was on the verge of giving us another one any more than the other remaining contestants might have a break through moment … all seem about evenly likely to me.

    • Kee says:

      I love both “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” and “Vienna” as well. Definitely in my Top 5.

    • jen says:

      Michael has completely lost his mind. Performance of the season??? Good lord. Michael, go listen to the Queen original and read the flipping lyrics. It is not a happy song. Why was the idiot Skylar SMILING during parts of it?? If anyone else did that you’d be all over them, why does Skylar get a pass?? Secondly, her singing was okay – in no way great. Take off your blinders already! Rating that over Elise’s Whole Lotta Love?? Just. No.

      • tewence says:

        YESSSSSS THANK YOU! i was thinking the same thing about her smiling? i think that song should be performed with emotion being the star, and not big notes. definitely not the performance of the season.

        • Kirk says:

          ITA Skylar had zero emotional connection with that lyric. It’s about dying of AIDS for cry sake. She sang it like a pep squad member at a football game. FAIL!

          • Lunakit says:

            ^^ THIS ^^

          • J. May says:

            Really the only person who can connect to the original lyrics of any song is the person who wrote the song. After it’s out there it will always be open to interpretation. Just ask Trent Reznor and how he regards “Hurt” to now belong to the late great Johnny Cash.

      • Marsaili says:

        I think you are wrong about the performance—while I wouldn’t say it’s the best of the season–it was certainly one of the best of the night and she IS a great singer. You obviously don’t like her–that’s cool. But she is a heck of a lot better than you give her credit for and Michael is right about that. Nice calling her an idiot—it’s so nice to see people give critiques and use name calling and profanities (NOT). I guess you just weren’t able to get your point across well enough without resorting to name calling—kinda destroys any argument you make.

        • jen says:

          Try listening to the original version song. Try reading the lyrics. You clearly have no idea what is about as well. Anyone who attempts to sing that song AND SMILES is a complete idiot. It’s something called common sense. Instead of seeing what was clear to anyone actually watching the performance you want to bash anyone who points that out. NIce try.

          • Marsaili says:

            Jen, I’ve been listening to Queen since 1974–my first album was A Night at the Opera, I really don’t need you to tell me to listen to the lyrics. No, I didn’t bash–I said–you don’t like her==that’s cool—but resorting to name calling is immature and wrong—no matter what. Maybe you should try watching Bambi–there’s a nice lesson in there for you about name calling and being mean.

          • Marsaili says:

            Oh, and not only did I NOT bash (that’s your thing) I did not bash ANYONE else, either—I only responded to you. Gee, how is that bashing anyone who points that out???? Nice try back at ya!

          • Tarc says:

            Don’t feel bad Marsailli – it’s a new conservative thing being promoted: call anyone that even mildly disagrees with you a ‘basher’. Dare to say something about two millenias of Christian gay persecution: basher. A woman is being raped (literally or metaphorically, as in Arizona) and dares complain: basher. (Yes, I’ve seen all three in print). You get the picture. It’s ridiculous.

          • wendeeloo says:

            I agree with Marsaili that you calling people names like “idiot” because MAYBE she shouldn’t have been SMILING is an over-reaction and reveals how unkind you are ‘Jen’.

          • Suzie says:

            All I have to say about Skylar’s performance is that if Freddie was alive, that would have killed him. And not in a good way.

          • Tarc says:

            And from everything that I’ve read, Freddie was a great person and would have been thrilled to death with Skylar singing one of his songs.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Wow, Marsaili, I’m impressed – someone else has “A Night at the Opera”.
            I”m not going to criticize the way Skylar sang “The Show Must Go On”. perhaps she interpreted the song differently and the lyrics meant something else to her rather than what they meant originally.

          • Marsaili says:

            I’d have to rate A Night at the Opera as one of my all-time favorite albums–right next to my Beatles collection. I’d love to hear a different take on The Prophet Song or ’39 or Death on Two Legs, or Love of My Life! I think I need to go listen to that album, now! Good music to clean kitchens by! ;-)

        • tewence says:

          i guess bullying isn’t as bad as name calling…?

      • Tuzo says:

        I totally agree! I thought that Skylar sang the song well but the emotional connection to the material was just not there. Sure, the song has a willful resolve to it’s message but that needs to be tempered with the poignant melancholy in the lyrics. Without that contrast I thought it lessened the impact and triumph of the song which was disappointing since the song is so great.

      • MusicGrrrl says:

        Not just the smiling but the screeching! Just the clips they kept showing over and over on Idology made me cringe every time. That song is supposed to be SUNG, not screeched.

        • Kirk says:

          You are absolutely right! She was screeching when she couldn’t sustain any of the end notes to a phrase. She’s a screamer without range.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Yea, I agree with you. She gets LOUDER and LOUDER on a song that benefits from pulling back, It was musical theater, with the idea that the GLORY NOTE is supposed to move you. Only it’s as predictable as the sun rising every day.

        She’d have blown me away if she could have reined it in like Joshua did with RFL.

        Jeez, I thought Michael could recognize over-singing.

      • John says:

        This is the first season ever that I’m not on the same page as Slezak. Maybe he’s trying out what it feels like to be wrong…? lol. If he just prefers Skylar as an artist then fine; this whole show is about personal preference. But Skylar’s Show Must Go On was nowhere near performance of the season. In fact, it was pitchy at times.

      • db says:

        because j-lo told her to….lol

      • ohreli says:

        I dont think Skylar sang it as a happy song. Look at the end-she looks serious determined and fierce—not happy. I am sure Freddie didnt think you had to sing it without a hint of a smile—that is the whole point of the complexity of the emotion of the song—smiling on the outside no matter what is going on inside. Maybe she cant bring to it all the complex nuance of Freddie Mercury (or any adult for that matter), I think she understood more than you guys are giving her credit for.

        • Marsaili says:

          I agree and I think sometimes when people are deep into a song–that they may smile but they aren’t actually smiling—if you know what I mean?! But, some of the people here making a big deal of it are just plain mean anyway—and it isn’t ever worth discussing it with them. I liked how she did the song—it wasn’t the song of the season for me but it’s in my top ten!

      • Static says:

        Not only that, but she had plenty of problems at the takeoff. Listen to the first 30 seconds of the song again, and you’d probably notice something’s wrong. Yes, she did finally seize control and gave us an A+ performance once she hit the chorus, but the neither the flat nor bum notes could be ignored.

    • Kassi says:

      In my opinion, it was nowhere near the performance of the season. I rarely disagree with Michael so much. But seriously, he complained (and rightly so) about Hollie doing Son Of A Preacher Man and DeAndre doing Only The Good Die Young. And now he’s praising Skylar for The Show Must Go On? Come on! This song was waaaay too big for her, emotionally.

    • jimmy says:

      “The Show Must Go On” was so NOT the performance of the season. What are you smoking, Slezak?

    • Yeah, I don’t even think it was Skylar’s top performance, let along comparable to Whole Lotta Love, When a Man Loves a Woman, or I Will Always Love You. All of Elise, Jessica and Joshua have at least two performances that easily top Show Must Go On imo.

    • Vivi says:

      In fact, “Stay With Me” is Skylar’s best performance to date. Easily.

    • TC says:

      Performance of the season so far??? “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Josh- without a doubt.

      • jiji33 says:

        most of josh’ songs were better, as well as elise’ vienna and whole lotta love. i also prefer almost all of jessica’s songs.

    • Yo' says:

      I agree absolutely. but Skylar was damned good. Those notes were something!

    • Tarc says:

      Yeah, season Top 10 for sure. Vienna, Piano Man, It’s Rainin’, Midnight Hour, Whole Lotta Love… there is some stiff competition there. If you include all pre-show songs, This Woman’s Work and Thriller might be in there, as well.

    • FreeHaley says:

      +1 Elise’s Whole Lotta Love was miles better. I mean just look at all the crazy little things she did with it, the rising voice flutters and all it was nuts. Skylar’s song was just a well sung song. Lots of songs get well song over the course of a season. I can think of more than one Elise song, alone, that was better. SOme of Joshua’s and Jessicas were better for sure too. They just had so much insane stuff going on with them.

      I still think Nigel is slowly replacing bits and pieces of Slezak’s brain this season through some diabolical machine he invented.

      madness. MADNESS! I tells yah!

      • john says:

        Not sure where Slezak is getting his 50/50 calculation. Must’ve cut math class in HS to watch Bewitched.
        I think Michael (and many others) like the idea of a come-from-the-back darkhorse like Skylar (or Haley) which makes them blind to the fact that there are many better performances happening all over the place At least 3 of Elise’s were better, particularly the Hendrix one, all of Joshua’s, particularly WAMLAW, and most of Jessica’s, particularly the Stuttering one.

  2. I kept waiting for the “WTF, Jimmy” segment… :( Dude’s comments last week were ridiculously bad.

    Joshua/Skylar for the finale! :)

    • Kee says:

      Especially with Elise’s. Her commentary of Jimmy contained eerie background music combined with WTF comments that I don’t agree with. What is the problem of picking freakin’ awesome Jimi Hendrix?

      • Brigette says:

        Agreed. I was almost tempted to #telljimmy and then I was like, oh god Nigel, stop pushing Twitter, so I resisted.

    • noa says:

      not enough time… as usual

  3. Sasha says:

    LOVED it! I love everything about Idology

    This is redundant but …I wish it was longer :(

    • Brigette says:

      I agree this episode was outstanding. If you notice, it was about 15 seconds longer than it usually is, so that’s probably why! ;)

    • Lunakit says:

      It’s ok Sasha, we are forced to be redundant on this issue because THEY ARE NOT LISTENING TO US!!! (or at least giving enough respect to explain WHY Idology is so short this year… so disheartening.)
      Add my :-( to yours…

      • Sasha says:

        :( I know right?

        I’ll still watch because I’m addicted but yes I hope top 3 warrants something more though

  4. Oh Patrick Dempsey is very distracting…

    • Marsaili says:

      I was wondering where he was in the clip when I saw you post this—and then I saw him off to the side. Yes.

  5. Marie says:

    I was waiting for this to see how Jason reacted. This Idology is hilarious! I’m on a roll!

    • Erin says:

      I have never laughed so hard at Idology. Jason I becoming my favorite part. Quoting Michael was just perfect. And you guys can’t rip on J-Lo enough.

      • alice says:

        JLo deserves to be ripped for blatantly minimizing Elise and Jessica! The have tremendous voices and talent whereas JLo has nothing but a reedy thin auto tuned squeek! That performance with the moronic song recently on Idol was 40 something yr old woman should ever be running around stage looking like a fool in gold lame. (I AM 48 SO I KNOW THIS!) JLo should stick with cavorting with “Casper Federline”! I KNOW this sounds rough but she was such a bully to awesome Haley last season..I am still fuming.


        • Marsaili says:

          I’m 46 and I feel that if you have it–go ahead and show it–if that’s your thing. It’s obviously not yours—and that’s cool but no one can decide what’s good for someone else. She still has it, she looks good—more power to her!

  6. CDWB says:

    Well, I’m out. There comes a point in every recent season where I just don’t care about anyone left in the competition anymore and I just can’t bear to watch. That time has sadly come.

    • Angie says:

      Agreed. I wanted/expected a top three of Colton/Elise/PP2. I’ll probably tune into the finale (unless Skylar is in it), but I have no desire to see how the contestants get there.

  7. jefrank4 says:

    Joshua’s “I’m Ready for Love” — how is that not the performance of the season? It had the vocal control, the beautiful phrasing, the deep emotion, of Melinda Doolittle singing “My Funny Valentine” back in the day.

    • Frank O'File says:

      Maybe. But then again, there was “When a Man Loves a Woman,” or his duet with Jessica on “I Knew You Were Waiting,” or “If You Don’t Know Me By Now…”

    • alice says:

      omg…not usually a joshua fan but that performance was stunning…reminded me of when adam lambert sang tracks of my tears…

  8. Denise says:

    Phillip and Hollie need to go. I would be happy with any of the rest winning. Such a deep pocket of tallent this year.

  9. Two things. First, Show Must Go On was the performance of the season. Second, LOVE Pinky and the Brain!

  10. My only criticism is that your Idologies are way too SHORT!! I want more!

  11. NedPepper says:

    That’s because it’s not the performance of the season, Slezak. (Whole Lotta Love by Elise gets that honor.) Skylar has a voice…but it’s shown best when she DOESN’T screech out a country song. That’s where it’s complicated with Skylar. She sings better when she’s not “playing the country girl.” Seriously. I do have to say, my enthusiasm has waned tremendously after Elise went home. I quit watching the Voice after Jordis was axed, and while I still like the contestants on Idol, I wouldn’t buy any of their records. And isn’t THAT the point of this show? To get excited about a musical talent? (I’ll answer my own question. No, not anymore. It’s about whether your daddy lets you date….excuse me while I vomit.)

    Here’s where I’m at. I’ll take a Joshua win. I’ll take a Jessica win. I’ll even take a Hollie win, just for the surprise of it all. (It’ll at least make good TV.) But if Skylar or P2 win….it might actually annoy so much (as last year’s finale did) that I might finally shake my obsession with Idol. It’s too predictable. And Skylar will sell records in Nashville REGARDLESS of whether she wins. Some contestants…actually need to win. Joshua needs to win to be relevant. So does Hollie. And when they’re all this evenly matched…that’s where I’d throw my votes. But I’m not so sure I’m going to feel this giant need to vote anymore. I’m not invested. The winner feels inevitable. And that’s a bummer.

    • Sawyer says:

      I with you on that. With Elise gone, I might just Michael’s recaps and the check out any performances on Youtube

    • tewence says:


    • Tarc says:

      And, unsurprisingly, I’d vastly prefer a Skylar or Phillip win. I’d bet 19 Entertainment agrees.

      • Flippy from Happy Tree Friends says:

        On Skylar, sure. On Phillip, nope. Add to the fact that he’s also one of the folks being shoved down people’s throats is just irritating.

        • Marsaili says:

          but you have to rise above all the games—if you don’t like Phillip at all, do so simply because he isn’t your kind of singer—don’t let them manipulate you into liking or hating someone—either way they win!

        • Tarc says:

          People are voting for the person that they like. No one is ‘shoving’ anything (he’s a successful contestant on the same show as the other successful contestants) – if you don’t like Phillip, just skip him. I do it all the time to Joshua when he starts screeching.

  12. Leila says:

    Joshua is the big revelation this season. The other ones left are not quite ready for primetime, even though they are all very talented (except for Phil, he should have been gone before Elise and Colton).

    • Tarc says:

      Ya know, you don’t get it, and that’s clear, but maybe a thinking person might clue in that they might be missing something when so many people obviously are seeing something that you are completely missing. Considering Phillip hasn’t been in the bottom three (I don’t think), it’s extremely improbable that he ‘should have been gone’. Rather, it means that you have really bad taste.

      • tewence says:

        it’s all a matter of opinion, and you have a huge one. do you get pleasure from being a jerk?

        • Tarc says:

          It’s not ‘all a matter of opinion’ – unfortunately some people make that mistake. A thinking person just might figure out that they might be missing something when presented with overwhelming factual evidence (like many, many weeks of consistent voting records). And pointing out the truth is precisely that – pointing out the truth. It’s too bad if you can’t handle it. *shrugs* It’s far, far from being a jerk – I said nothing insulting. And seriously, it’s not like I care about your opinion of me one way or the other.

          • tewence says:

            you being a jerk is not about insulting anyone, it is about your tone. also, votes don’t dictate fact…instead it shows the similar OPINION of a large group of people. aaaand cue comments about how tone can’t be interpreted from text.

          • Marsaili says:

            Honestly, I don’t understand why these people have to be so insulting–to people who don’t agree with them, or to the contestants. We can all spar and debate and hotly disagree, but when you use profanity or call people names—you have diminished yourself and your opinion—it’s no better than being a child. I guess you and I are the targets for these people this year, Tarc, we’ve got our own little club going on here ;-) I know I state my opinion strongly sometimes–but usually it’s because someone has said something so insulting and inane, that the mom in me comes roaring out. And the adult in me just wants to bring them down a step. As they should be. Fine—Phillip likes Dave Matthews—we all know that—but he STILL does NOT sound anything like him—and I will hotly contest that for the rest of the season. I think half the people that call him a “copy” haven’t even listened to Dave Matthews—they are just jumping on the “let’s insult Phillip and his talent” bandwagon. I’ve watched his Youtube videos, I have all his recordings, I’ve listened to the countless times (along with the rest of the top 10). He does not sound like Dave Matthews. Period.

          • Tarc says:

            Thanks for admitting that I was not a jerk to anyone; you just don’t care for my ‘tone’. Since I get paid (in part) for my ‘tone’ (and I’m perfectly fine with my tone), it’s unlikely to change. You are always free to ignore my posts and avoid responding.

          • Tarc says:

            @ Marsaili – I know, right? I’m really indifferent to most posters; their posts speak for themselves. I really don’t care for hypocrisy, though. It’s always rich when the rudest people bark at others for simply disagreeing with them.

  13. reen says:

    Ohhhh, I wish these videos were longer. : / I love both of your insights, even if I don’t always agree (Skylar’s the show must go on as a top 1 to 3? mmmm, top 5 maybe… (: ) This week’s voting should be interesting–hard to guess who the top four will be. This is the first year in a very, very long time that I really wouldn’t be upset who made the final 4, 3, 2, 1–even though my initial favorite is gone. Hollie’s voice is beautiful, even if her stage presence needs work; Joshua is the whole package, even if his musical genre isn’t my favorite; Jessica’s talent is sublime; and if Skylar doesn’t have a stellar career in country I don’t know who would. She’s a firecracker. Phillip oozes cool, and even if he doesn’t have riffing range, you feel his connection to his songs. Idol is unbelievably good this season. Nice to see.

    • Jeff says:

      Finally a positive comment from someone with musical knowledge. I agree 100%. I love them all

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I agree as well, but I do love Joshua’s musical genre, particularly the “old school” stuff. And Hollie does have a beautiful voice.

    • Marko says:

      Exactly right. Very talented and diverse group. I love this season.

  14. MA says:

    Great, great Idology this week as usual!! I’m with Melinda; The Show Must Go On was fantastic! Top three for sure. But Elise oughta get the top slot…and maybe #2 also.
    Jason, you’re the best! (Or at least one of the top three best. :)

    • Tuzo says:

      Yes, Jason is the best! I would take 20 minutes of just idol clips mingled with movie/TV show clips with some subtitles! And, how could I not have seen it before? Hollie is Newt from Aliens! They sort of talk the same too. And that reminds me of this Aliens quote which would make for an awesome JLo riff: “My mommy always said there were no monsters – no real ones – but there are.”

      • MA says:

        See..I’ve been seeing Hollie as Rue from the Hunger Games and have just been enormously grateful that she won’t have to take a spear to the chest. But I didn’t even think of Newt! Kinda better.

  15. Eric says:

    My Top 5 FINAL performances

    1) Vienna- WLL seems to be the fav Elise song for most people. But, for me, Vienna had so much soul and emotion behind it. It started soft and then built to a climax. I thought it was a great song for her, and I loved that it wasn’t a done-to-death choice. The song just fit her voice so well. She also made it her own and we got to see another side of her voice (jazzy, bluesy). Finally, THAT LAST RUN!

    2) Ready for Love- Joshua has gotten the reputation as a “shrieker”. But, like Melinda said, he showed here that he could hold back and finess a song. There was clear emotion behind the performance, it was a left-wing choice, and I like that it showed off his R&B and soul chops.

    3) Whole Lotta Love- I’m a little biased b/c I’m a huge Elise fan but regardless this was an amazing performance. She knew the song so well, and it showed. She worked the stage so well; her maturity and experience really shined through. She navigated very difficult song seamlessly, and she made it her own (Middle Eastern fan dance :D

    4) Show Must Go On- This is my fav. Queen song so I was a little hesitant to adding a country twang. But I thought it really worked, and the song allowed Skylar’s vocal ability to shine through. She proved here that she had a powerhouse voice, and I love country-rock Skylar more than just country-Skylar. For me, she also managed to convey the story of the song as well.

    5) Stuttering- This is still my favorite SONG CHOICE of the season. I did not know the song at all but Jessica really sold me on it. I loved that it was slowed down and she started at the piano. She showed us other elements of her voice (the scatting), and the sang the living hell out of it. I also thought that there was connection for her, it was “age appropriate” (still think Jimmy is ridiculous for that critique). My fav. Jessica performance so far.

    • noa says:

      same list except i’d replace” Ready For Love” with “Bold As Love”. 4 and 5 are good choices for non-Elise performances.

    • Vivi says:

      That’s why I was so happy when Jessica said her song choice for that night was “Stutterin'”. I am a huge Jazmine Sullivan fan and knowing Jessica singing that song to such a different audience made my night. If anyone is not familiar with Jazmine, please do! Her debut album is damn near flawless. She was nominated for 5 Grammy nominations including Best New Artist. Granted, she didn’t win that year but still, at least she was recognized!

  16. noa says:

    i really wanted Jason to add confetti to Elise’s finale performance. where was it?? and i’m still waiting on the iphone app so i can add it to any Elise performance i want!

  17. Chris says:

    Master Blaster, When A Man Loves a Woman, Whole Lotta Love, Sweet Dreams – all great from the season!

    Skylar took voice lessons for two years, so it didn’t surprise me that her voice didn’t crack. She knows how and when to push and when not to (not that cracking is predictable) but still… It was the best from her two last week (but it didn’t overwhelm me).

    I will miss Elise TesTONE! She was so on it last week – all over it – gah.

    Hollie (the judges are nitpicking at this point) and Joshua will have to pull out all the stops this week (and the judges need to keep their butts in their seats this week).

  18. Casey says:

    Slezak, I’m with you on admiring the hell out of Skylar. I hate country music, but that girl has an awesome enough voice that I enjoy everything she sings. Someone in the comments above was complaining about her smiling during “Show Must Go On,” or something to that effect, and thus not getting the feel of the song right. I didn’t notice her smiling so much as enjoying a badass song with conviction; it’s a song about determination and endurance despite everything, and she showed that. AND she belted a high F# at the end – twice!

    It kills me that Skylar has to do so much to keep her fans while Scotty did nothing special all season long and won.

    • Name That Tune says:

      However, part of delivering a song, especially one that you are calling “The Performance of The Seaon” is nailing the part you are playing. Nailing an F# does nothing for me if you don’t understand what you are singing about. If she wants to impress us with the F#, pick a different song.

      • MA says:

        How can you possibly say she didn’t know what she was singing about? Do you live inside Skylar’s head? Once an artist releases a song (or book or poem or piece of music), it becomes whatever YOU think it’s about. So what if Skylar wasn’t singing about AIDS? She’s not Freddie Mercury. She’s Skylar, and she clearly understood and conveyed the larger meaning of the song, which is “you have to push through and keep going and be true to yourself no matter how crappy things are.” That’s a song about life, not just AIDS. Don’t take everything so literally. Any good songwriter (or novelist or poet) would tell you that.

        • Name That Tune says:

          Again, her performance was all about hitting the glory note, not playing the part. That song is not about glory notes. But most of her performances are.

          • MA says:

            Sorry…I just don’t see it. Music often benefits from a big dramatic rise. There’s a lot of power and emotion in that. There’s power in the small moments, too, but she didn’t play it that way. It all fit the song perfectly to me, and I thought she did a great job.

          • MA says:

            And I’ll say again, that song is whatever anyone thinks it’s about. To say “that song isn’t about glory notes” seems narrow. Why not? If the glory notes work, which for some of us they obviously did, go for it. The idea that you (or I or Michael or Melinda or JLo or anyone) can definitively say what music or a particular song “is about” totally turns me off. It’s not about any of our interpretations; it’s about Skylar’s. Did she pull off her interpretation? Yes, I think she did. It’s the same reason I consider Randy a moron for slamming Elise. Did she pull off her interpretation. Yes, she absolutely did. Not liking the interpretation is something entirely different.

          • Name That Tune says:

            MA, for me, the Glory note didn’t work in this song. Even Freddie didn’t take it there. He shot for some glory notes, but there were plenty of places in that song where he pulled back.
            Even good musical theater pulls the glory note trick. If the actor/singer makes you believe it, it works. If s/he doesn’t, the song sounds like you’re trying to manipulate the audience.

            Ought to watch SMASH. That show is best when the songs avoid the glory notes. Ivy/Megan sang a glorious song last week without a single glory note. And “The Show Must Go On” is pure Rock Opera.

          • MA says:

            We just gotta agree to disagree, my friend…

        • Name That Tune says:

          Well, I would say the failure is that I didn’t get any sense of melancholy from her performance. It’s not a “happy song”

          “Empty spaces – what are we living for
          Abandoned places – I guess we know the score
          On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for…
          Another hero, another mindless crime
          Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
          Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore
          The show must go on,
          The show must go on
          Inside my heart is breaking
          My make-up may be flaking
          But my smile still stays on.
          Whatever happens, I’ll leave it all to chance
          Another heartache, another failed romance
          On and on, does anybody know what we are living for?
          I guess I’m learning, I must be warmer now
          I’ll soon be turning, round the corner now”
          Outside the dawn is breaking
          But inside in the dark I’m aching to be free”

    • Josh T says:

      One thing Skylar has going for her is her personality and energy. She brings it to every performance. Hollie>stiff, most of the time; Jessica>no connection whatsoever; Joshua> great performances and voice, no connection for me; Philip> an artist, but I’m bored with him

      • michael m. says:

        totally disagree skylar has no connection AT ALL with the material, with the audience, with everything. that’s why she ended up in the bottom three. i will not be surprised if she’ll be eliminated this week.

  19. Amy says:

    Agree 100-1000% re: JLo’s “as if she wasn’t paying attn” commentary after Hollie’s “Save Me” (which I also loved and “felt”)…ignore, Hollie. Made NO sense. “Want to see you smile?!”…this advice to the girl they’ve been telling to not think about technique as much as what she’s singing about. Then she sings a serious, melancholy song that she gets into the feeling of, wholeheartedly, and JLo asks for a Disneyesque smile?? Wha–at?
    Btw, Michael…JLo makes her money branding cheap jewelry over at Khol’s…even more than shakin’ her thang on stage…and certainly not from s-i-n-g-ing. Thank goodness for merchandising deals. Melinda may be right about the non-polarizing aspect, and the middle of the roaders going for Hollie. But to some degree it doesn’t give Hollie enough credit. For me…she’s just been someone with a great voice that showed promise, while needing some growth, who I wanted to see stick around and improve and surprise us…and maybe even excel by end of season. Not because she was an underdog…but because of the raw talent that was there, and because it would make a great run if she actually continued to hang in and blossom to a surprising finish.
    Jessica..I’m in the camp Melinda described here….”not really feeling her”, while acknowledging her vocal talent…just doesn’t thrill me for whatever reason that accounts for personal taste. But I agree about JLo’s comments, “in your sneakers thought we’d see hair tossing etc” baloney. I agree with Melinda again…JLo does all that ilo real singing…she’s more performer/dancer than singer…whereas Jessica was really singing and needn’t jump around…she moved just enough to me.
    Agree with MS about Joshua too…I loved his “CLTCL.” I was wondering how the judges themselves don’t think they need to step back on what seems now like automatic standing o’s for him. I, personally, feel no backlash to Joshua because of it…but I understand those things often do turn Idol’s audience/voters off.
    Skylar…still love her. Her notes during the song were awesome. Though that last one for me was just a scream. I had the feeling she’d sing that last note better with practice, like if she does this during tour…which she maybe should. Anyway, that’s a nitpick. it was great and did show even more vocal strength and range as well as her usual show-womanship.
    I still think Elise’s “Whole Lotta Love” was performance of the season, if I HAVE to pick one in a season that’s given us a LOT of great stuff….but Skylar’s “Show Must Go On” was up there for sure. I said in your other thread…I think it just got down to process of elimination and Elise’s time being up, if she hasn’t gained more votes, which seemed apparent as she consistently was in bottom 3. I liked what Elise did; sounded great, liked the choices…both performances. I liked the unique Hendrix pick, and I’m not even a H. fan or familiar with a lot of his stuff. I disagreed with Randy; I felt like Elise’s voice took the place of H’s guitar licks…which I thought showed her vocal talent.
    Phil was Phil and I enjoyed him again. Loved how “Fat Bottom Girls” was the vocal continuation to last week’s “bad boy” comments. I’m not a Dave Matthews fan, not sure how I’ll like PP after…but I’ve loved everything on Idol he’s done.

    • Amy says:

      ..eek.. so much for “pithy” commentary. Wrote fast thoughts, and no edit. Mea culpa for too long!!

  20. Tom says:

    Hollie rising?? she was bottom 2 last week … Hollie is finally singing to her potential, which is not really that remarkable beyond her very nice voice… do you ever say “wow” when she is done? or “did you hear how she sang that?” … as much as Jessica has not excited the audience with her stage presence, you listen to her vocals and you hear the subtly and special things in the way she is singing … BTW, I dont think either wins …

    • Amy says:

      I agree…I’m thinking neither wins too.
      I’m thinking right now looks good for Skylar/Josh/PP in top 3. I change my mind on who of those wins, every week. That’s what’s made this year interesting to me…other years I always had one clear favorite and winner.

    • MusicGrrrl says:

      Yes, pretty much everybody I know says “Wow!” each time Hollie finishes. We love her voice and singing style! She’s definitely the best on the show this season and has been from the start.

      • ET says:

        You ARE kidding, right??? Hollie was the weakest of the top 8 and gets through by the very skin of her teeth every single week!!! There is absolutely nothing remarkable or exciting about her; she picks the easiest songs imaginable and sings them to the level of your average Saturday night karaoke bar performer……. no “it” factor will ever be found anywhere on her person.

        • jga94 says:

          I think you will be in the minority when you say that Hollie is the weakest of the top 8.Maybe you should define what “weakest” means to you because definitely in terms of vocal ability, she is most definitely “stronger” than Deandre, Colton, Phillip (too “stylistic”) and Skylar (altho Skylar does seem to show of late that she too can be a vocal force to reckon with).Elise may not be a power siner but she has lots of “vocal gymnastics” in her arsenal. I think Joshua and Jessica are her match when it comes to vocal prowess altho I’d give the edge to Joshua and Jessica on performance skills and extra vocal tricks.

          I think a lot of people here disagree on one thing or another because this season’s talents (up to top 10 even…most definitely the best top 6-7) are just so up there.I really hope most of them if not all find success and continue to sing professionally.

          I still like Hollie best though.

      • Suzie says:

        I want Hollie, Joshua and P2 in the final 3. IMO Skylar is obnoxious and Jessica is boring.

    • Name That Tune says:

      Do I ever say “Wow” – never. While she got a lot of kudos for The Climb, I found it rather predictable & safe. “Save Me” was a flawed performance that left me feeling the same way.

      So let’s do the Vote Fair exercise.
      *Would you pick Hollie over Joshua? No
      *Would you choose Hollie over Skylar? No
      *Would you choose Hollie over Jessica? No
      *Would you choose Hollie over P2? Maybe,probably not.

      But she does have that pretty blonde hair and those blue eyes. That will win her votes every time.

      • MamaLis says:


      • Tarc says:

        I’m not seeing Hollie’s rise – at least to any extent that will sav her from elimination. She still can’t find the active camera, look at it meaningfully, or even make a facial expression while singing live. I will credit her for making studio recordings that are MUCH better and more emotional than the live performances. I think she just needs a lot more stage seasoning. She’s just 16 – at 22 she could be absolutely amazing.

        • Flippy from Happy Tree Friends says:

          She’ll probably go the Haley or Diana route, which TBH, ain’t the worst thing in the world for her, really.

        • Marsaili says:

          Hollie is actually 18! I think she’s improving each week—she’s been loosening up on stage, conveying the proper emotion for the songs she sings. Save Me blew me the heck away—I totally agree with everything Melinda said about it!

          • Tarc says:

            Oh, I agree that she’s getting better in her stagecraft, but I’m not seeing the gains I think are necessary to win this year. I still think she’ll be much more of a force to be considered in a couple years. I think she’ll also be quite a stunning young woman (where now, all I can think of when we see her out of makeup is that she’s stilla kid – and that’s in no sense a bad thing).

  21. Love you. says:

    I love this whole Slezak Dolittle thang. Is it Slelittle or Dozak? Whatever it is – More please. And thank you.

  22. tewence says:

    let’s be serious. elise was the MOST genuine, seasoned artist on the show, and america doesn’t get…and apparently neither do the judges…?

    skylar does a fine job, her voice isn’t tremendous, and just because she goes crazy when she sings doesn’t mean she is connected. DEFINITELY NOT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON.

    hollie needs to go….good voice but not great and BORING.

    jessica is the bomb. dance with my father is a stupid song, but she did great with queen…she gave the unexpected song choice everybody says she should have.

    joshua is still great. not much room for improvement since he is already so good, even though his style is not for everybody. he is a smart performer.

    peepee…please leave. over this fake artistry and growly ish people call singing. he is somebody who probably grew up playing guitar and singing at the local coffee shop and somehow found himself in the top 5 of american idol. bye.

  23. Amy says:

    Meant to comment on MS’s last week’s Idol post about Elise’s exit performance…YES! I agree…I found myself wishing I had been in the live audience so I could see the ending after she dropped to her knees! Failed Fox edit/timing…dang!! :(

  24. Marsaili says:

    Amy, if you go to, they have the rest of the performance and the chatting afterwards.

    • MamaLis says:

      Thanks for the tip on the post-show videos. Those were kinda emotional. Elise for sure and even the Colton one. Geeeeez. .’o (and Randy is such a…. dork.)

  25. Kelly says:

    When hollie sang that song in vegas about thinking about changing the world (idk what it was called) but that gave me chills. That was the performance of the season for me.

    • Sam says:

      it was change by carrie underwood and yes that was very good. She showed a lot of maturity and emotion in that performance. I had to go back and youtube it because i didn’t remember, but she did a really good job.

    • ThemApples says:

      You’re right, she was very good. You could call her in the Top 5 easily after that performance.

  26. MusicGrrrl says:

    Jessica did not do Bohemian Rhapsody well!! What are you thinking? She did the slow, legato parts well because that’s what she does. But when she got to the rock portion she had the same problem that she had on the disco song earlier in the season: She refused clip her notes. When you’re singing rock (or disco), you can’t hold the notes out for the full four count like you do on slow songs. Maybe she’s had vocal instructors or choir directors tell her “Hold the note for the full count! 1, 2, 3, 4!”. But when you’re singing rock, doing that weighs the song down and makes it sound, well, not rocking. For instance on the part “Just gotta get right out of here” Freddie doesn’t even hold the word “here” for one beat, maybe just a half. Jessica held it out for the whole four beets “heeeeeeere,” and it really dragged the song down.

    • Marsaili says:

      Noooooo! Just gotta get right out of he e eer—it’s more like 3 counts that he sings here.

      I get what you are saying—there was another song she sang that she held the notes too long—but she’s clearly not a rock singer, that is for sure—but her voice is so good….It just is.

    • IdolFan says:


      The song had to be performed and who else could have even come close to doing it justice? No one. It’s the same reason they gave her “I Will Always Love You”. What you said rings true to most degrees and it’s why Stephen said what he did.

      Aside from that I thought she did an outstanding job. Freddie Mercury is not easy to cover so I applaud her 16 year old lungs.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        IMO “Bohemian Rhapsody” should have been the group number and it would have been nice to hear the entire song.

        • Marsaili says:

          I agree, can you imagine them doing the Galileo’s and the Bishmila’s and Figaro’s???? That would have been cool!

    • Yo' says:

      When Jessica sang this song, whatever it is that makes the song great was missing. Maybe it is technique. Maybe it’s conviction. She sang the song well, but for the first time ever it did nothing for me.

      • Thom0065 says:

        No.. its an impossible cover in 90 to 120 seconds … would be like trying to cover Stairway in that short a period of time ..

  27. SanDiegoCat says:

    Phillip is great every week. I know not everyone loves his style of singing, just like some people can’t stand country, but trust me, as someone who loves that style of music, Phillip does it really, really well! Can’t wait to see him win!!

    • Sam says:

      i like phil to but im scared of getting backlash for defending it. I guess his style just doesn’t connect with a lot of people, but it connects with me.

      • Marsaili says:

        I totally agree with you—don’t let the haters deter you from proclaiming that! They don’t realize yet that not everyone thinks like they do–and they have a hard time dealing with that! Phillip is awesome, he certainly isn’t for everyone—but enough people enjoy him to keep him doing well on Idol! Whatever happens on Idol, he’s got a fine career ahead of him!

      • MA says:

        I think Phillip is tremendously talented. Haters gonna hate. Just ignore ’em.

      • Robin says:

        I love Phillip too. I have purchased most of his studio versions. I love “The Stone”…comes across amazing in the studio…you can’t make that a 90 sec song. I have a lot of Elise’s too…it’s the kind of music that I like. I don’t want Phillip to win though. I don’t want to see him compromise his style and be cookie cutter. Plus, you don’t get to see the winner on tour until the end. I want to see him, Colton and Elise all through the show…especially hope Elise and Phil do Gotye!

        • Robin says:

          I would also add that Idol needs a girl to win. I have liked all the WGWGs since David Cook, but maybe a girl win (the talent is there this season for it to happen) will finally break the streak and remove some of the belief that Idol is broken.

        • Tarc says:

          Yeah, I just listened to the studio versions of Phillip’s songs last night (rather than the performance versions), and they really underscore that he’s very distinct from Dave Matthews.

  28. Erin says:

    I love and agree with almost everything on IDGY except that the standing O’s are turning America off. Nigel & co. can say they are in fact working since Joshua has not been in the bottom. Also, it may seem like a rise of Hollie, but the bottom 2 finish does not bode well for her either.

    • Vivi says:

      Joshua has been in the Bottom 3. Twice. Top 13 and Top 7. Which, funny enough, when he performed a fast song. And that’s when I’ve enjoy him the best.

  29. marie says:

    If I weren’t already married, I’d propose to Jason.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Heck, I’m straight and I might propose to Jason hah.

      I think Mr. Slezak has gone off the rails a bit this season at times, but Jason is on track as much as ever and single handedly saving some of the Idologies from going over the rails and crashing off the bridge and smashing into the gorge in a ball of flame and smoke.

      Where was the fricking insane level of outrage from Slezak over Elise’s elimination? Sure he doesn’t seem happy, but his level of passion about it is not much more than the JLO “eh” body language on her positive Elise comment!

      What is this Skylar for performance of the season?! When it wasn’t even the performance of the night! And at least three other contestants have each had more than one that was easily better.

      Anyway he had some more brilliant editing of Idology again this week.

      • Marsaili says:

        Honestly, since they’ve cut the video’s down to 10 minutes (SOB!) I think he just doesn’t have the time to expound on his “outrage” or anything else for that matter—he’s barely got enough time to talk about the 6 performances—I was hoping Jason would take us out with Elise–but there wasn’t enough time for that, either!

  30. Jenny says:

    Agreed SanDiegoCat! Phillip is very talented & should make it to the finals & win.

  31. livvy says:

    Best performance : Joshua’s When a man loves a woman

  32. Marsaili says:

    I don’t care if the judges stand, sit, do headstands or what—I love Joshua no matter what and I’m not gonna let their opinions or physical actions sway me (especially after seeing how they treated Elise and Hollie—no respect left for this bunch—and Jimmy is on notice, too!) Joshua has not sung one song that I didn’t FEEL from my toes to my hair follicles on top of my head. He’s the whole packages (YES, the WHOLE PACKAGE is what matters, even Colton said so in his interview!)

    Honestly, though, I will enjoy who ever wins this year. I like all the kids left—I do like some better than others but they are all so talented in their way that I think any of them can win and they all deserve it. (YES, P2 as well!) I’ve never felt this way before, but if I can applaud the judges for one thing, this year and last year they picked the best bunch of contestants since season 7.

    The one contestant that I would have picked over all the others is gone (but not forgotten, ba ba BA!) so I will just relax now and watch the rest of the season. I’m not so melodramatic to say I refuse to watch—I’ve invested this much time, I like the kids that are left, I’ll be happy to see it through!

    • Sarrah says:

      OMG THIS ^^^^^ i think this has been such an amazing season and all the people left are fantastic. I would be fine with any of them winning. They are ALL talented and deserve it in their own way. I will probably listen to all their albums and i have never said that before in past seasons. The judges picked an interesting talented group this year and i am very pleased with this season.

    • MamaLis says:

      Well said, Marsaili! I think Joshua is a little phenom & am blown away by his performances! And while I also like all of the kids, in my mind I feel like I know who should probably go next. But who knows, maybe she’ll really step it up this week…

  33. MA says:

    Hmmm…what are my top five performances of the season? Here goes one attempt to rank them:
    1. Elise, “Vienna”
    2. Elise, “Whole Lotta Love”
    3. Skylar, “The Show Must Go On,” or Joshua, “Runaway Baby”
    4. Elise, “Bold As Love”
    5. Phillip, “Moving Out”

    • noa says:

      oh! moving out was fantastic. almost forgot about that one!
      this is great, i never have more than 5 i truly love, and this year i might have 10…

  34. DG says:

    Top 15 Performances thus far for me (only counting from top 13):

    1. Elise Testone–Whole Lotta Love
    2. Elise Testone–Vienna
    3. Skylar Laine–Born This Way
    4. Joshua Ledet–I Wish
    5. Joshua Ledet–Runaway Baby
    6. Joshua Ledet–When A Man Loves a Woman
    7. Jessica Sanchez–Sweet Dreams
    8. Skylar Laine–Show Must Go On
    9. Jessica Sanchez–I Will Always Love You
    10. Skylar Laine–Wind Beneath My Wings
    11. Phillip Phillips–Movin’ Out
    12. Skylar Laine–Where Do Broken hearts Go
    13. Hollie Cavanagh–All The Man That I Need
    14. Colton Dixon–Piano Man
    15. Skylar Laine–Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You

    Honorable Mentions: Jessica Sanchez–Fallin’, Phillip Phillips–Still Rainin’, Joshua Ledet–A Change is Gonna Come, Skylar Laine–Love Sneakin’ Up On You, Hollie Cavanagh–The Power of Love, Joshua Ledet–Ready for Love

    Honestly, these rankings were hard to do–some of these might change for me, since some performances you didn’t necessarily love at the time stick with you and continue to grow on you.

    I didn’t count the duets, but if I did, “I Knew You Were Waiting” would be somewhere on this list.

    In case this didn’t make it clear–I would really like a Skylar/Joshua finale. My ideal final three was the two of them and Elise, but you win some, you lose some. So Jessica gets Elise’s spot in my final three.

  35. Donna says:

    I don’t think it was JLo that saved Phillip-let’s face it, Phillip has never been in the bottom three because he’s hot. That’s it. Teen/tween girls think he’s cute. That’s why he’s still around.

    • Tarc says:

      LOL! I don’t agree that there is much support that Phillip’s long lasting and sustained support is ‘because he’s hot’. Most people that comment here and elsewhere think Phillip’s as *talented* as the long parade of pros they’ve had on the show. I’m sure 19 Enetrtainment is ready, willing, and able to sign him (in fact, Jimmy Iovnine said (on the show, no less) that he was planning on signing Phillip if he didn’t make the Top 13 cut.) The guy might have some sex appeal, but that’s hardly the stuff were speaking about.

      • Me says:

        There are people out there who think Austin Mahone is “talented” too…and that kid has more bum notes than Tim Urban and Lee Dewyze combined.

    • Marsaili says:

      Donna, that is so dismissive of his talent! From what I’ve seen here, online, on Facebook and Twitter is that guys like Phillip—he has a huge male following—he sings “guy” music, he’s attractive but not in a threatening way (think Rob Lowe). I honestly think that more 18-35 year old guys are voting for Phillip than teenage girls (and many of us middle agers who appreciate his music and talent)

  36. Yo' says:

    That was a hilarious Idology! I too noticed the judges giving praise, but variations of it that managed to dismiss certain contestants. No praise is the same as telling a performer what to do to ensure s/he is in the final two.

    Joshua is a great singer, guys, but P2 will win hands down in the looks department, sad and sorry as that may be. Generally, if a male singer is sexy enough, he doesn’t need to be a stud-puppy, but THIS… IS… AMERICAN… IDOL! Good thing Mick Jagger isn’t eighteen and looking for a contract.

  37. Donna says:

    I was a pretty big Dave Matthews fan for years and I am quite familiar with the song Phillip sang this week. For me, this week Phillip crossed the line from being heavily influenced by Dave to completely imitating Dave. And he’s always been riding that fine line for me–from day one.

    • Tarc says:

      I’d invite you to listen to Phillip’s studio songs – they sound nothing like Dave Matthews.

    • mercedes says:

      Totally agree. Said it last week. Go to youtube, close your eyes, and have a friend play Phillip’s version of The Stone, then listen to Dave Matthews version. You won’t be able to tell them apart. Complete and total imitation. You might like P2’s voice, but he is definitely NOT an artist!

      • Tarc says:

        The copy was done deliberately… just like Jessica’s I will Always Love you (though Phillip was tweaking his critics; Jessica was just mimicking).

        • tewence says:

          do you like anyone but phillip? and can you stop talking about him like your OPINION is fact, and nobody else’s is?

          • Tarc says:

            Since Phil *SAID IT* – it just might be fact. Maybe. And *ahem* who’s being a jerk? And, you’ve obviously not read my posts if you need to ask my view of all the current contestants. Maybe you should read something before being rude and making incorrect assumptions.

          • Flippy from Happy Tree Friends says:

            Well, tewence has got a point there. Just sayin’

          • Tarc says:

            That’s unlikely to ever happen. Just sayin’.

  38. Kitty says:

    Jason Averett, I’d like to buy you a drink.

    I was about to type out my top 10 performances of the season, but then I realized I’d be grading everybody on an Elise curve. So in an attempt to be fair, here are my top 10 performances that aren’t Elise, duets, or duets that feature Elise.

    1. “Stay With Me”-Skylar
    2. “Love You I Do”-Jessica
    3. “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You”-Skylar
    4. “Rolling In The Deep'”-Hollie
    5. “Wind Beneath My Wings”-Skylar
    6. “Still Rainin'”-Phillip
    7. “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”-Skylar
    8. “In The Midnight Hour”-Phillip
    9. “Born This Way”-Skylar
    10. “How Will I Know”-Jessica

    Sincerely, Bitter/Angry/Sad Elise Fan That Trying Her Best Not To Descend To Troll Level (I think I need a hug, y’all)

    P.S. My favorite duet was Elise and Phillip’s “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. I also loved “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me”. And Elise singing “Edge Of Seventeen” in the Fleetwood Mac medley.

    P.P.S. Skylar’s “Shameless” gets an honorable mention just because she corrected Randy on which country artist covered it.

    • Kitty says:

      Correction: That *Is* Trying Her Best Not To Descend To Troll Level.

      I hate it when I leave out words by accident. Oh well. *goes off to listen to “Whole Lotta Love”*

    • Marie says:

      I’m dumbfounded that you have pretty much every remaining top 5 contestant on your list EXCEPT for Joshua-who has, week after week, had top performances.

      • Kitty says:

        Joshua is tremendously talented. But to me, it feels like he does the same thing every week. I feel the same way about him that I did about Pia Toscano. I acknowledge his talent and respect it, but I’m just not on the train. I should have said that in my previous comment, but I didn’t think about it.

        And to be completely honest, there is some (well, a lot) pimping backlash like Michael and Melinda have been talking about. I tried to be impartial and failed. I apologize.

        Like I said, bitter/angry/sad Elise fan.

        • Sha says:

          really? I think Joshua is one of the most versatile singers left. He certainly proved that this past week with both of his performances… nothing alike. he did I Wish one week then When a Man Loves a Woman the next. Nothing alike. Runaway Baby was also unique.

          • Cip says:

            I agree with ou Sha!! Unlike some others (who shall be nameless), Josh has proven he can change it up. Love him

          • Suzie says:

            ITA Joshua is the most career ready. The girls have a fair distance to go, and IMO Phil may never be ready.

      • HairLikeATeddyBear says:

        Me, too. This goes to show we have vastly different tastes and it’s so subjective (and noone’s taste is better than others!) I find it difficult to ‘like’ other performances cos I tune out after 2-3 lines. No other person can hook me in. They look too much like they’re singing in a competition. But when Joshua performs – I somehow pay attention! Just bizarre.

    • noa says:

      can we all just go out for that drink together?! i’d give you that hug, but i’m too busy sobbing in the corner since Thursday.

      • Kitty says:

        noa, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Let’s get some vodka sours, listen to every Elise song, and wail about the injustice of it all.

        (I do feel like I need to redeem myself a little bit, so I’ll add that I really enjoyed Joshua’s performance of “I Wish”. I would have put it on my list if I had remembered it before now.)

        *wanders off to listen to “Vienna”*

        • Yo' says:

          C’n I come?

        • noa says:

          yes! let’s have an Elise party. maybe she’ll come too… as long as we’re all talking, have you been to the “Vote for Elise Testone on American Idol” page on facebook? everyone (well, mostly me) have been posting all the interviews and appearances she’s been doing this week. damn. i had set aside time for this google marathon at the end of may, and now i’m not getting anything done. here’s to partying with all of you plus Jason and Elise! MA- you know i have to have you there :)

      • Marsaili says:

        Me too, me too!!! ;-D

  39. Sandi says:

    My opinion, top performances of the season were Colton’s Piano Man and about half of Jessica’s Idol “journey.”

    If you mean that Hollie is rising meaning that she manages to stay in the competition than you are correct. However, she’s been in the bottom 2 the past 2 weeks and that includes last week when they gave her the pimp spot. I would be floored if she makes top 3.

    “The Show Must Go On” is about a man performing while dying of AIDS. I didn’t feel the pain and raw emotion from Skylar that would indicate what the song is about. But then again, I wouldn’t expect a perky 18 year old girl/woman to be able to connect with a song about that subject matter. I’d give it “One of the top performances of the night” and leave it at that. I liked both of Jessica’s performances better.

    Speaking of “Dance with my Father”, I really hate being made to feel guilty for likely a cheesy song like that. I like that song and, hey, since it’s anonymous here – I like “Wind Beneath My Wings” too. And I’m not alone on this. They’ve sold millions of records and the artists have won grammys. There’s nothing wrong with cheesy music! I’m here to defend it!

    • Name That Tune says:

      You know how I know that Jessica nailed “Dance With My Father”? ‘Cuz I had tears rolling down my cheeks.
      The song isn’t cheesy if the actor can play the part. She played it.

      • Marsaili says:

        Jessica usually does nothing to me, other than impress me with her talent but she had me in tears (again) with Dance with my Father. I think it was Ryan’s fault though—talking about her Dad. No, she actually made me FEEL that song, as much as I can’t stand it! The other time she had me in tears was I Will Always Love You because it was perfect. although, it was perfectly Whitney, too.

  40. ThemApples says:

    My performance of the season is DeAndre’s wildcard performance of Georgia on My Mind. Day-um!

  41. MamaLis says:

    That was SO hilarious! Nice job Michael & Melinda … and Jason!!
    [Does anyone know what show that …”1,2,3, uhhh Not!” was from?”]

  42. dan says:

    As much as I love her, I really don’t believe Skylar’s performance of The Show Must Go On was remotely one of the best performances of the season. I can’t help but compare it to Amelia Lily’s version on the UK X Factor, which really was “out of this world”.

    • Eric says:

      I was thinking that the whole time during Skylar’s performance. I like her but, on the list of covers, Amelia’s really is at the top of the list. Michael needs to watch it then compare, and they’re both 18 years old!!!!

  43. raftrap says:

    Skylar is amazing, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, We’ve conquered outer space indeed (that quote on screen got me laughing like a crazy person).

  44. sara says:


  45. won't vote for celebrity impersonators says:

    I think there should not be ANY “judge`s saves” in American Idol. Jessica Sanchez should have gone home when the voters said so. She’s nothing more than a celebrity impersonator and celebrity impersonator’s shouldn’t win this competition. That already happened last year. From the moment last year’s winner sang his first note, all I could “hear” is Randy Travis impersonator. When Jessica Sanchez sings, all I see is a black diva songstress WANNABE – she imitates every hand gesture she’s seen in every Whitney Houston video (and others) and personally, I have never seen nor heard an original note come out of her. When she did a trio with Joshua and Holly she went off key THREE TIMES and it seemed to me she did so because she didn’t have a video to study before the performance. There are some very gifted celebrity imitators out there, but they have no business competing in this forum. I’m sure Rich Little could win, hands down, doing Elvis, or anyone else for that matter but it wouldn’t be fair to the REAL CONTESTANTS.
    The other way to gauge who should be the REAL WINNER is, when the finalists perform, close your eyes. Listen only with your ears and your heart. Imagine being in your car, turning on the radio and hearing, for the first time, a new song release by any one of the finalists, but, you’ve only come in, half way through the song.
    Whom, of the finalists voices, would you INSTANTLY recognize without first being told that this is “so and so” performing?
    Joshua and Phillip and Skylar have unique, distinct ORIGINAL sounds. EVEN With your eyes closed, you can immediately pick out their TALENTED, ORIGINAL, UNIQUE voices. They are your final 3.

    • Tommyo2000 says:

      Yes Dave Matthews Dave matthews is very original …

    • Sha says:

      I’m pretty sure she sounded original on the Buddy Holly song… or the Celine Dion song, or the Jazmine Sullivan song… or the Billy Joel song.. etc

    • Lol…. why is it, that Jessica is the only one you heard imitating/mimicking other singers…? Hello? PP is trying to sound like Dave Mathews, Skylar sounded like Reba… lol… You mentioned also black diva? are you racist? It’s a big slap on your face…

      • Marsaili says:

        I do not think that PP is trying to sound like Dave Matthews—he doesn’t sound like Dave Matthews at all—his style is similar—but his vocals are different, more on the line of Joe Cocker. I don’t think Skylar is purposely trying to channel Reba—but she looks and sounds like Reba because that is how she looks and sounds—it’s not purposeful, she can’t help it. Jessica has the unique talent of being able to sound like all the divas that she admires—and it truly is a talent and shows how mad her vocals are. Now, she needs to learn how to sound like Jessica.

        • Thom0065 says:

          Um… he not only sound like DMB, not in a tribute band way, but very similar sound, he move like him, he plays the guitar like him, and basically dresses like him …

          • Marsaili says:

            Oh, so Dave Matthews has the patent on how to hold and play a guitar and how to dress like any kid off the street? That is so reaching and just plain ridiculous. I guess I’m copying Dave Matthews too because I have my guitar up high when I play. Oh wait, it’s because I have short arms that I wear my guitar up high. Oh, and my teenagers all wear henley’s and flannels or t shirts with plaid or flannel shirts over them—does that mean they are copying Dave Matthews, too–cause they haven’t really listened to him or cared for his music at all! Lame.

      • Tarc says:

        Phillip’s studio versions, in particular, sound absolutely nothing like DM – with the exception of the DMB song he did (deliberately identically). Skylar sounds a little like Reba, but not a lot, and that’s just the way she sounds. And Jessica? She sounds like whoever’s song she’s covering.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Tarc – the one time I thought I heard how Jessica truly sounded when she sings was on “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

          • Marsaili says:

            I agree! I did not hear one ounce of Freddie in her voice or in the execution of the song–I feel that was all Jessica—and she did very well with what they gave her. The song, however, sucked—it should NEVER be broken up like that!

          • Tarc says:

            I really need to listen to the studio version of that – the live one was so chopped, I think it’s unfair to judge much by that (chopped up 90 seconds). I guess I’m mildly curious as to what Jessica’s album will sound like (and she should, quite justifiably, get that opportunity). At the moment, I really don’t know – and what she’s currently singing won’t sell much. It will be interesting to see.

  46. Jane says:

    Performance of the season? What are you, kiddin’ me? Colton’s “Piano Man” and “Love the Way You Lie” were better, Elise’s “Vienna” and awesome “Whole Lotta Love” were better, Joshua’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” was better. Jeez, even Skylar’s version of “Where do Broken Hearts Go” was better. She screamed her way through “The Show Must Go On” which is what she does a lot. I’ve said it before, screaming does not equal feeling.

  47. Loni says:

    Put me in the ‘doesn’t get the Jessica hype’ category Melinda. I never have. Obviously, she’s a talented singer, but I just think she’s terribly boring. Sorry to say it, but this is a tv show, as Colton said in his Idology interview, and a girl like that with such a lack-luster personality, will most likely not win. No one who’s ever gotten the judges save has.

    I’m also not jumping on Phillip’s bandwagon either. After Michael pointed out a week or so ago that he only stays in like a six note range, it’s all I hear. And the weird faces he pulls… not attractive.

    I just don’t get the front runners this year, they simply don’t make sense to me. Still sorry Elise won’t be singing tomorrow.

  48. paisley says:

    Fantastic show but no mention of Jimmy Iovine’s annoying faux-clairvoyance on results night? That guy is super-irritating. Anyway, I loved Skylar and Joshua this week. Best performance of the season? I don’t know. But certainly among the best. And I absolutely hated Jessica’s “Dance With My Father” in the way I hated “In My Mother’s Eyes” by Lauren Alaina, totally pandering for empathy votes. I continue to dislike Jessica’s song choices — she peaked with Whitney and it’s been a disappointment each week since then. Great singer, one of the best, but I feel no connection to her when she sings. And although I do like Phillip, he pretty much sings the same songs every week, at least that how it sounds to me. Holly is definitely is improving but I don’t think she can win.

    • MamaLis says:

      I actually think Jimmy is just that good. Or that bad if you don’t agree. He’s been around a long-as* time and for all his facial ticks and twitches, he’s pretty astute in what he sees. At least imo.

      • Marsaili says:

        I have pretty much agreed with him always—except for his critique of Elise this past week. He may have been right in terms of the voters—but her vocals on both songs were out of this world and I felt her song choices were perfect. I don’t know if the general Idol voters (not us oldies who know music) can appreciate how talented and wonderful she is, truly.

        • MA says:

          I actually mostly agree with Jimmy too, but this is where he and Randy totally lost me. I think it’s legitimate to say, “That’s a cool song, but it’s not going to get you votes because know one knows it and it’s very technically and vocally tricky and kids want to be able to sing along. But holy hotcakes you sang the crap out of it!” Fine, if Elise is bad at strategy (I don’t think she is) or doesn’t care anymore (I think she still cared) or no one knows “Bold As Love” (really?? This still surprises me, but I’m starting to believe it), she can take that critique or leave it. But to claim that her song choices were all wrong, and she was terrible, and she was “boxing with the song.” Like…what?? It makes me really wonder how these people have made such names for themselves in music. Then again, something like eight or ten publishers turned down Harry Potter, so not everyone always sees something great, even when it’s right in front of their face.

          • MamaLis says:

            That’s funny both of you say that. I usually agree with Jimmy too, but I also thought he missed the mark with his last critique of Elise. But oh well, people voted before they heard his dialogue so… I don’t know… Idol is “tricky.” I have all the confidence in the world that Elise will do a fantastic album, though, and I already know I will be buying it!! :)

        • FreeHaley says:

          Yeah I felt it was cheap of him to not stand up for her and give her credit and sound fired up about how it could cost her instead of just ragging on her and it all. Weak.

    • FreeHaley says:

      I was kinda let down that he made a big deal about Joshua better not get voted off but then just totally sold Elise out (maybe, maybe he was tryng to protect her and make it seem like it was just her choices and not her voice, but well he coulda instead gone the route where you just call the voters nuts).

  49. gailer says:

    Great Idology! It made me smile.
    As for best performance of season, no way would I consider any of Skylar’s. There were a couple of DeAndre’s I’d give it to.

  50. Betsy says:

    love you, Michael and Melinda, thanks for providing me with funny, fun, smart entertainment! You make Idol more fun to watch.