American Idol Top 5 Tackle 'British Music' and the '60s: Who Were Your Faves? Take Our Poll!

skylar laine idolA potential bromance sputtered awkwardly. Ryan Seacrest pretended not to know the difference between a daffodil and a tulip. J.Lo and Steven Tyler respectively admitted to never having heard “The Letter” and “Bleeding Love.” And Randy Jackson one-upped them by going all “durrr”-faced when confronted by the word “crustacean.” (In his defense, it does contain more than two syllables.)

But who cares about such ignoble details when you’ve got the American Idol Season 11 Top 5 doing their darndest to one-up their own personal best performances and give us major Idol Moments in the process?

Yep, gripe all you want about the show’s anemic efforts to clear new and unexpected songs. Kvetch about Randy perpetuating Simon Cowell’s haggard, unfunny, “Ryan, are those high heels for you?” jokes. But you can’t really say there have been more than a handful of bum notes for the last four or five weeks of competition. (Which is what made a certain front-runner’s British Music performance so strikingly unfortunate this evening.)

Anyhow, I’ve got a full episode recap to write — look for it on Thursday right here at — but before I do, let me give a pithy breakdown on the evening’s set list.

The ’60s
Hollie Cavanagh: Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” | Quite possibly the best she’s sounded all season, and undoubtedly the most command of the stage she’s shown since the live rounds began.

Phillip Phillips: The Box Tops’ “The Letter” | Just because you make it different doesn’t mean you’ve made it better. I mean, I could substitute motor oil for milk, but it wouldn’t make my Raisin Bran Crunch any tastier, now would it? Which isn’t to compare Phillip to motor oil — his “The Letter” wasn’t bad at all — I just missed that melody.

Skylar Laine: CCR’s “Fortunate Son” | Girl is like a trunk full of illegal firecrackers: Dangerous and ready to explode at any second. Skylurrrrrrrvvvvve this girl!

Jessica Sanchez: Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” | I feel the urge to break out the cilice every time I find myself agreeing with Randy, but for me for you, while Jessica hit all the notes (vocally and fashion-wise), it all ended up feeling a little antiseptic. In other words, this was good, but Trenyce did it better. (Uh-huh, I went there.)

Joshua Ledet: The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” | Similar to Jessica’s performance, Joshua had the right jacket (damn, I wish I could work a look like that) and all the right notes, but the sum was not entirely equal to the parts. This was more of a walk, when it needed to be a full-fledged canter.

British Pop
Hollie Cavanagh: Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” | With a stripped-down arrangement and a glory note as big as The Rock’s bicep, Hollie managed to do something Leona Lewis never quite accomplished: Making me really feel the pain and beauty of this Ryan Tedder composition.

Phillip Phillips: The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” | I’m not sure what the judges were hearing, but those high notes on the chorus were to Phillip like rolls of bargain-brand paper towels on the top shelf of a supermarket to a little old lady: Highly upsetting and well out of reach.

Skylar Laine: Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” | Speaking of retail stores, take the price tag off Dusty’s haunting Brit-pop classic: With tonight’s pitch-perfect rendition, Skylar totally owned it.

Jessica Sanchez: Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” | Every once in a while, an Idol vocal lives up to the ridiculous “mist and candles and special lighting” treatment. And that’s exactly what Jessica did with her nuanced, moving cover of Joe Cocker’s soul classic. Yeah, the glory note was one of the best we’ve heard in several seasons of Idol, but the rest of it was equally sublime.

Joshua Ledet: The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” | Joshua was so tremendous, I can’t even be mad at the judges for giving him his 13th standing ovation of the season. I just hope that “13” — or the hand-me-down ladyblouse from Colton Dixon — doesn’t prove to be unlucky.

Phillip & Joshua: The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” | I don’t know what was going on here. Kris Allen and Adam Lambert already provided a template for guy-guy affection on Idol, and this catastrophic collision did not live up to it. (Joshua’s falsetto riffing almost made up for it, though.) (Also, did Ryan possibly torpedo Phillip’s chances by revealing he’s got a girlfriend?)

Jessica, Skylar & Hollie: Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” | Even if it wasn’t the stuff of “Slow Ride” legend, it still gave each of these ladies a chance to show off her impressive chops, so I can’t be mad at it.

What did you think of Top 5 night? Take our poll below, then hit the comments!

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. Ann says:

    Would it be possible to have a different contestants photo at the top of the article? It feels like Skylar is being crammed down my throat.

    • pmet says:

      Thank you, Ann. I am getting so tired of Slezak’s pimping of Skylar. Although I think she is talented, I find it difficult to understand the words when she sings and I don’t think she always connects to the music. Slezak gives her a pass each week and just loves the hell out of her. I’m just not feeling it. To each his own but of the five remaining I would like her to be the first to go.

    • Name That Tune says:

      I’m beginning to think that Michael is as infatuated with Skylar as he was with Haley R last season.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Big difference is that Haley could do crazy things with her voice and had mad musical skills. She could sign anything from pop to jazz and even more than held her own on the country duet even.

  2. Beth says:

    I was really impressed with Hollie tonight. She is peaking at the right time, like Randy said. (His only useful feedback tonight.) I didn’t think Phillip Phillips was that bad, although yeah the high notes were out of his range and The Letter was melodyless and therefore sounded like everything else he sings. I don’t have a problem with him, I just think it would be a travesty if he won. I wish the judges would do something instead of letting another WGWG coast to an undeserved win (I mean, I will defend Kris Allen’s win to anyone but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!) when there are great female contestants this season and Joshua Ledet.

    Anyway, I think it would be better for PP and JL to not win b/c they can’t do the cookie cutter Idol machinery thing as well as the girls can.

    And ugh, I miss Elise and Colton and Deandre. What a good mix of contestants they had this season.

  3. dj says:

    I agree about not understanding the judges’ love of Time of the Season. Those choruses were painful. And you’ve got me noticing the lady blouses and the standing O’s after watching Idology, so I’m paying attention. I thought Jessica deserved a standing O for You Are So Beautiful. It was a flawless vocal in my book.

    I have to agree with the majority and say it’s time for Philip to go home. But it’s at the point where anyone can go home, so Thursday nights are scary. I missed Elise tonight.

    • sam says:

      Blake lewis sang (and made it a classic rendition) of time of the season.

    • HudsonRiverside says:

      Doubt you’ll see the judges get up for any more of Jessica’s performances. They have already squandered perfect opportunities the past two weeks that any one they do in the future will come off forced. I mean, not giving “You Are So Beautiful” a standing O was pathetic. They gave her lots of praise but c’mon that girl was incredible tonight!

      • jaxguy says:

        Yeah you are right. You are so beautiful deserved a standing o the most. Josh was good but Jessica was incredible.

        • Sandi says:

          Truth jaxguy. Are you sure you’re not my alter ego? ;)

          Jessica won’t get any standing ovations for the same reason they’ve decided that she NEVER deserves the pimp spot. The producers are apparently done with her. I can’t for the life of me figure out why because she’s everything you would think they’d want – young, skinny, pretty, and insanely talented. But there’s no doubt about the fact that they want her gone.

  4. llws88 says:

    Both of Hollie’s performances, Joshua’s second song, and Jessica’s second song were the only performances that mattered tonight in my opinion! So happy that Hollie had a great night because her voice is just that amazing. Her and Joshua just stood out for me. Joshua blew the ROOF off with his second performance…my God….I thought he was going to cry blood he seemed in such agony…it was an amazing amazing amazing performance!

  5. JoJo says:

    OMG…Joshua on “To Love Somebody” – how could this not win the night?

    • Marsaili says:

      How could it not win him the competition? WOW!

    • jaxguy says:

      Because it was good, but I didn’t love it. I’m sure it’s because it’s one of my all time favorite songs and I don’t think anyone can top the Bee Gees version, not even Janis Joplin. But like I said it was good.

      • Marsaili says:

        I would have never thought that anyone could top the Bee Gee’s version—that song is SO close to my heart—but Joshua did it for me tonight . BUT–I did NOT get the same feeling from the studio version—unfortunately! It was still the song of the night for me–with Jessica’s You Are So Beautiful right along-side it!

      • seattlejohn449 says:

        thank you, thank you for reminding me of Janis’ great KOZMIC BLUES album… and what made the Beegees stand out when they started was how restrained and introspective and fragile and tuneful those harmonies and voices were…I STARTED A JOKE, NEW YORK MINING DISASTER, TO LOVE SOMEBODY…sigh…in a total class of their own before Saturday Night Fever and the high energy disco came along and changed their style

        • Marsaili says:

          Joshua got me listening to all the Bee Gee’s older stuff (pre-disco—and hey, their disco stuff was great, too!) and OMG, I had forgotten how wonderful they are–their lyrics, their harmonies, their music. To Love Somebody is one of my very favorite songs and Joshua was terrific on it last night, I FELT it!

  6. MA says:

    Okay…I absolutely love Skylar and she sang “Fortunate Son” really well and she completely sold me on it, but I had to laugh a little when it came to an end because I don’t think Skylar realized it’s an ANTI-war song. It reminded me of Ronald Reagan and and his (mis)appropriation of “Born in the USA.” Ha!
    My love for Hollie grows still. Oh, Hollie…can we please keep you around another week?
    My love for Phillip continues to wane. I don’t really get the Dave Matthews comparisons, but he always looks so pained. I feel for you, man, but it brings me down.
    I like Jessica sort of (and I have her in the office pool…go Jessica!) and if you close your eyes and just listen, she’s fantastic. But she’s just not very fun to watch. I will say that she has a lot of personality backstage, though.
    Joshua was pretty darn good! Great singing, great performing, great outfits! The jacket WAS fly. But top-two best Idols ever? Really? Kelly, Adam, Mindy Doo, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie, Carly, Haley, Casey, Fantasia, Blake Lewis…really?? Will this insane hyperbole ever stop?
    Shut it, JLo. Jessica does NOT even come close to replacing the soul of Elise. Please.
    Shallow comment for tonight: Boy, JLo looked pretty. Dang.

    • Terri says:

      “Will this insane hyperbole ever stop?”

    • jaxguy says:

      Yeah. I agree on much of what you said. I know many here will protest but I think the greatest AI contestant was Adam. HE WAS NEVER BAD. It’s as if Randy forgot all of AI’s history except last year and that Steven and JLO never watched the show until they became judges. Katherine McPhee was great most weeks too. And look where she is now. So their hyperbole is just that.

      • C says:

        Absolutely 100% agree. I think his perfection is the reason the last few seasons seem dull to me. NO ONE else has his gift for being able to go high and/or loud without getting snarly or gutteral and still supporting the note. NO ONE else has his gift for staging. I don’t think he will ever be duplicated or bettered.

      • MA says:

        Kat! Yes, she was pretty consistently good too. I agree about Adam. His type of music isn’t my favorite, but he was interesting AND good AND unique throughout. I always had a lot of respect for him.

    • Name That Tune says:

      See, Jessica can’t give you a JLo performance, ‘cuz she’s trying to sing, not dance.

      • MA says:

        I don’t actually want a JLo performance, but I wish Jessica were more fun. She’s too stiff and rehearsed for my taste. I want her to let loose…not whip her hair around or jump on things, but look like she’s enjoying herself, whatever that is. She looks very “by the book” to me when she performs.

        • Name That Tune says:

          And she’s 16. That’s her biggest problem. I winced at her selection of Proud Mary. It was a repeat of the same mistake she made with Bohemian Rhapsody last week. Then she comes back with a stellar performance of YASB.

          But I’m looking at 2 singers who are trying to do the same thing every week – Hollie (River Deep/Mountain High) and Jessica. Both of them went for the DIVA song. I wasn’t impressed with either one of those performances. Play back Pia’s performance of River High/Mountain Deep, and Hollie just sounds stale. Like Jessica did on Proud Mary.

          I give a slight edge to Hollie for RHMD over Jessica’s PM. But the edge goes to Jessica on YASB over Hollies BL.

  7. Alexandra says:

    I thought Jessica was terrible. That vibrato is like a lawn mower. Great talent, bad habits. Ruined You Are So Beautiful.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I find it interesting that everyone complained non-stop about Casey James’ vibrato but very few people have mentioned Jessica’s vibrato. Either it’s not as bad as it was, or I’ve just gotten used to it, or both.

      • Alexandra says:

        Lol, great point. I hated both, so at least I am consistent!

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          You get a Made Me Laugh. :-)
          Casey James’ vibrato didn’t bother me as much. I’ll admit vibrato bothers me less in male singers than female singers.

    • Terri says:

      Thank you.

    • jaxguy says:

      thank god you are in the minority.

  8. darcy's evil twin says:

    Wow, JOSH-U-AHHHHHHHHH! I really enjoyed “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, but “To Love Somebody” knocked my socks off. He absolutely deserved that Standing O and I think it was to his benefit that he didn’t know the song. When the girls were singing “Higher and Higher” all I could think of was how it would sound with Joshua on the lead vocals.
    I positively loved Hollie tonight. She did a good job with “River Deep, Mountain High” and even had Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound right there on stage with her – and I loved her dress. “Bleeding Love” was lovely (and I don’t like that song).
    Oh, Phillip, Phillip, Phillip. You have gone and done a Paul McDonald on me! I swear, “The Letter” was John Belushi doing the Joe Cocker version of the Box Tops version. I don’t need to add anything to how dreadful “Time of the Season” was. Granted, I never liked that song in the first place and I think I like it less now, if that’s possible.
    Jessica was very good tonight but she should take a music theory class before she goes on in this business.

    • Terri says:

      “Oh, Phillip, Phillip, Phillip. You have gone and done a Paul McDonald on me!”

      LOL! If ever there was a contestant I supported past his due date, it was Paul McDonald.

      • Marsaili says:

        He was just so darn perky and those pearly whites hypnotized me into voting for him every week! I loved Paul, he was like Phil is for me this year—quirky, talented, different and very polarizing!

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Absolutely – and those deadly blue eyes. Speaking of deadly blue eyes, and going a bit OT, it would appear that for all the clobbering Casey James took from the judges on Idol he’s going to have the last laugh.
          I still like P2 but his performances last night were not good.

          • Marsaili says:

            Casey is going to be playing a local honkey tonk here and it’s been sold out for ages (big concert venue—local honkey tonk kinda diminishes the size) I’ve been trying to win tickets through the local radio station. He’s doing very well—his song “Let’s Not Call it a Night” is doing great on the radio station and CMT and GAC–he truly is going to have the last laugh!

            P2 is done, I fear, and at this point it’s time. I don’t know if his health is just taking him out—but the other kids are miles ahead of him as far as growth in the competition. He’s got exposure now, I think he’s going to be just fine after Idol—and hopefully he can go get that surgery he’s been putting off and get back on his feet!

    • lbw says:

      I totally agree with everything you wrote!!

    • Name That Tune says:

      I keep watching both of Joshua’s performances. He’s a tricky dude. I have to remind myself that he is always delivering 2 outstanding performances and one of them blows me away more than the other. So ATPTB wasn’t as stunning as TLS, but it was better than anything else from the other 4. Which makes Hollie vs. Jessica a distant echo in my mind.

  9. Kirk Sansom says:

    I added up the votes for each contestant and divided by two I did not include the compilation song scores.
    1. 17.62 ==> Hollie (Finally found my groove) Cavanaugh
    2. 9.08 ==> Jessica (I can sing but you don’t feel me) Sanchez
    3. 8.99 ==> Skylar (Any country singer who makes the top 5 always gets signed) Laine
    4. 8.16 ==> Joshua (ew don’t touch me, they might realize I’m gay) Ledet
    5. 3.96 ==> Phil (I don’t care anymore since Elise and Colton are gone) Phillips 3.96

    I wonder if people voted the same way on their phones as they did in this survey. I seriously doubt it. I really like P2, but tonight he was AWFUL ~ and yet another frontrunner goes home? If you look at the averages Hollie has more than twice as many votes as any other contestant, Jessica and Skylar are neck and neck and rounding out your bottom 2 Joshua and P2.

    Going home?

    It doesn’t matter, because they are all worthy but probably Joshua

    • Marsaili says:

      No, way–if Joshua goes home I will be shocked into a coma!! I’m letting go and ready for my P2 to go home this week—I’m a realist, I liked his performances, even the weaknesses but I realize they didn’t compare to the rest. It’s time. Joshua stole the night for me—he is so full of passion and feeling and his vocals are WOW! I’ve said that a lot tonight! I love your “nicknames” of the contestants, that was really funny, LOL!

    • MA says:

      Hahaha…I love the nicknames!

  10. Jessica says:

    Does anyone else think Jessica should have sung “You Are So Beautiful” a cappella? I think that would have been gorgeous, and she could have pulled it off. I thought the arrangement sounded really cheesy and took away from her voice.

  11. Andy J says:

    As Anne Robinson would say, “Phillip, you are the weakest link. Goodbye”. It pains me to think that a much more worthy contestant might be going home because seriously Phillip really and truly stank up the joint tonight. I mean, his Zombies was Paige Miles “Against All Odds” bad, and his rearrangement of “The Letter” made Colton’s rearrangement of “September” look like a musical masterpiece,

  12. Annie says:

    Phillip had one of the worst performances that has ever been given on the idol stage. Please let him leave on Thursday. Hollie, Joshua and Jessica are three of the best singers to ever compete on American Idol, and Skylar is one of the best performers, they deserve to make the top 4 a lot more than Phillip does.

    • jaxguy says:

      of the better singers you are right. There have been some clunkers from bad singers, but none as bad from a singer many feel is good.

  13. sam says:

    Both jessica and philip are at the bottom according to dial idol — so you guys had better vote vote vote. I don’t know how skylar gets to be number one.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Yeah Skylar appeared, from the clips, to have a not so hot week. She might not be #1 though as dial idol had Hollie as #1 last week and in reality she was second from last by a hair. Dial Idol has gotten the very bottom spot correct lately though even if it’s been wrong about all other spots. Philip could be in serious trouble and another Colton top to bottom shocker (although Philip has had two not to hot weeks so in that sense it wouldn’t be a complete shock).

      But he is well behind on dial idol prediction and even more behind on busy signals.
      He may be in trouble.

      But dial idol has also said things are super close they said Hollie could be #1-5 last week and Elise #2-6! It comes to down to every last vote this season I think.

  14. brandon69 says:

    If I were part of the idol machine- I’d be worried about Lee Dewyze2 (aka P2) winning this thing. They must have enough sense to realize that an idol winner selling 15 records is not a good thing? when he sang that duet with joshua, his limitations became conspicuous to even casual idol watchers.

  15. real2reels says:

    This is Hollie’s greatest week yet… she was very much in touch with the song, delivered the right emotions, hit the right notes. I wish she stays and get the credit she’s due.

  16. hardy curtis says:

    Jessica’s you are so beautiful should be a standing O. don’t know with the judges… :(

  17. Lisa says:

    Phillip wrote his ticket back to the pawn shop tonight IMHO. He cannot sing a melody and proved that horribly tonight. He also proved in spades that he is a Dave Matthews wannabe and anyone that had been to a show knows by his song choice tonight. The duet was just uncomfortable…eewwe.
    Hollie sang for he life tonight and succeeded on all fronts on both songs. She proved tonight that she is a forced to be reckoned with and FINALLY blocked out all to vitriol that the judges have been saying and just sang. You go girl!!
    I loved Little Steven as a mentor. I think he and Stevie Nicks have been the best thus far. I think Stevie should be a judge next season!

    • llws88 says:

      I thought I was the only one who thought Phillips second song and his segment in the duet was just HORRID….My ears were bleeding when him and Joshua sang Righteous Brothers…because Joshua held his own..but Phillip…wow…he was a mess. THen on his second song…I was like is it me or the judges are completely tone deaf (e.g. bias)….his high notes were atrocious! He was barely hitting them..yet the judges said he sounded amazing…wtf are they listening too?! To me…Joshua and Hollie topped the night….Phillip was the worst..time for him to go!

      • Templar says:

        What’s really in those Coke cups?

        • Jason says:

          The judges smell the blood and want Philip gone! They praise him so his voters think he is safe!!!1

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Oh, Templar. I am still laughing at that comment and have wondered the same darned thing!

      • AS says:

        Philip is better than that…he threw in the towel. Why else attempt all those falsetto notes. The judges said very little, but not cause they liked it…they want him gone, but if they criticize him too much, it will incite sympathy votes. Personally, I hope he lives to see another day and restore his image. Jessica will not win…she can’t connect emotionally with a song. She should go.

        • Suzie says:

          Just a thought. Maybe Phil wants to go home. He’s had the exposure. he’ll get paid handsomely for the tour, and he’s hurting. Think back to when jason Castro mouthed the words “Don’t vote” when he wanted off the merry-go-round.

      • Bobbi says:

        Joshua and Philip duet exposed his weaknesses. It also highlighted little Jessica’s power because Joshua wasn’t even at powerhouse mode with Philip and dwarfed his performance. Jessica held her own with Joshua a few weeks ago, and even showed when to pull back when Joshua lost sight of the duet on the last run.

  18. Jo says:

    I think the Ike and Tina version of Proud Mary should be retired from Idol, along with a long list of other songs. It’s been done a number of times. If it has to be covered, I’d prefer CCR and Foggerty’s original version. That I don’t get tired of.

    As much as they’re all good singers this year, I had to force myself to actually watch it tonight. To channel Randy, this season is just okay.

  19. jax says:

    Love Hollie!!! She was wonderful tonight, and I’m really happy for her. She’s gaining confidence and has finally gotten out of her own way. Hollie has been my pick from the beginning. I’m thrilled she’s still around!

    Skylar sounded beautiful during the first half of “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” when she stuck to the melody and then … she started screaming. Why???? Same for Joshua. “To Love Somebody” is an all-time great song. Loved the first half until … he screamed the last half. I don’t understand what the judges love about screaming. Isn’t melody the whole point of singing?

    Does anyone remember Nadia Turner killing that Dusty Springfield song in Season 4?

  20. tom says:

    I thought skylar did the worst tonight, she pretty much butchered the dusty springfield song and i’ve heard that song done so well and she couldn’t even reach the high notes. She’s got a career in country and doesn’t need to win idol. I’m so sick of the overpraising of Joshua — he’s not THAT good. Jessica and Hollie ruled the night.

  21. tim says:

    Joshua and skylar can go home, so stop voting for them, lol

  22. Angie says:

    I thought Hollie performed really great tonight. She seems to be getting better. Phillip and Elise have been my favorites, but Phillip picked the wrong song with “Time of the Season”. He cannot sing that high. Also, the duet with Joshua did nothing to help anyone. He might be in trouble.

  23. Aaron says:

    This top five is very, very strong and I honestly thought I would never say this, but Hollie owned the night for me. She displayed a fervent, exciting energy I have never seen her do before on the show and her second song was simple, yet gorgeous and deeply connected. She showed a nice dichotomy between the two songs and I really hope she stays around.

    Sue me, but I actually really liked Philip’s cover of The Letter even though it was vastly different from the original. His second song was an absolute nightmare however, and I’m really thinking it could send him home. Yikes.

    Although I admire Skylar’s effervescence and I do think she’s definitely a natural performer, her voice is so nasally and grating to me and it pisses me off that the judges NEVER point out that her pitch is oftentimes all over the place–especially on You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. Her first song was okay although there was a big disconnect from her interpretation to the actual lyrics of the song.

    Jessica’s Proud Mary wasn’t nearly as bad as Randy claimed it was–it was a bit Tina Turner-lite–but she sang the crap out of it. Her second song was probably the best performance of the night. So simple yet ethereal and that falsetto at the end was stunning.

    I actually preferred Joshua’s first song to his last. I think he’s super talented but he really needs to reign in his voice…it frustrates me because I don’t think he’s getting the right guidance from Jimmy and he sure as hell isn’t getting it from the judges who stands up for him at the drop of a hat. The judges wouldn’t know subtlety if it slapped them across their face. Josh’s To Love Somebody started off promisingly but then it suddenly veered into some gospel-tinged scream fest. There was no emotional or dramatic build up to it, so I personally felt it was a bit jarring and disconnected. Whatever.

    I’m really hoping Phil goes home tomorrow because he truly showed that he’s the weakest vocalist of the bunch.

  24. Kyle says:

    Sorry but your obsession w Skylar is totally blinding your judgement. EVERYTHING she does is amazing, over the top, to the moon & back according to you… & it’s totally turned me off from her. It’s no better than when Nigel picks a favorite to pimp all season long, regardless of how good or bad they get.

  25. Layla says:

    Jessica> Hollie>Joshua>Skylar>Philip tonight.

    Jessica’s second song was enough to win finale spots on Idol, The Voice, X-Factor and AGT combined. :)

  26. afghan says:

    I love both Skylar performances. I would go to tour just to hear her perform. I am not much of a country fan, but I would buy anything Skylar does at this point. She owns the stage. She has an amazing stage prescence. Win or not, entertaining a crowd is like Randy said what she is born to do. Hollie is peaking at the right time too. Amazing voice for sure. America loves underdog so I am scared for Skylar. Hollie might make top 4. I don’t know who makes Jessica’s fanbase, but she’s been safe the past 2 weeks so she may be again. My only critic of her is her philipino fans. They really get on my nerves on YT. They go on everyone YT videos talked bad about them, then said America vote for Jessica. but I can’t blame her for that. Joshua is supposed to be the next American Idol. But, only time would tell. PP, I have no comment now. I agree with him though, you don’t change a winning horse.

    • Mark says:

      I’m not any kind of country fan — and I would gladly go somewhere to see Skylar perform live. She is fantastic. Is she as amazing a singer technically as Jessica or Joshua? No. Does it matter? Not one bit.

  27. Tahoe Mike says:

    A lot of people are saying that Fortunate Son is somehow not a red state song, and wrong for Skylar. It was a protest song from the Vietnam era that pointed out that the children of the privileged class weren’t the ones bearing the brunt of the war. It is not anti red state values, on the contrary it is anti elitist. It is an anthem of the common man. It is also a kick ass rock and roll song, and she sang the hell out of it.
    I liked her on You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, but it wasn’t pear-fect. She did push it a bit at the end, and Dusty never did that. Skylar could well have a current country hit with that song, once she has sung it a few more times.
    A big comeback night for Hollie. I just can’t help rooting for that one. I only vaguely recognized Bleeding Love, but I know it now.
    I have to give Jessica full marks for You Are So Beautiful. I am not really a big fan of hers, but I have to give her credit for that one; she earned it.
    Joshua is a throwback to the age of the great Motown soul singers, and I for one welcome that in a big way. He will be a star, have no doubt about it.
    P2 did not measure up tonight. If there is any justice in the world; he is toast tomorrow.

    Vote Team Deer Hunter!!!!!

    • NedPepper says:

      Fortunate Son is not a red state song. It’s not a blue state song. It’s an anti-war protest, anti-greed blue collar rock song. It’s doesn’t belong to one party or another. Just want to clear that up.

      • Tahoe Mike says:

        Yep, pretty much the point I was making. I was just responding to a bunch of earlier posts.

      • Marsaili says:

        But it is about how the rich kids’ parents bought their way out of the war. And we know what color their parents most likely were—and it wasn’t blue.

        • NedPepper says:

          White? ; )

          • NedPepper says:

            I’m not saying it doesn’t lend itself to the left and the 60s rebellion. It CAME from that time. But blue and red were different back then. (Although I’m a liberal and I love that song…but I still can’t claim it as liberal song in today’s definiton.) If she really wanted a pure red state song, she’d have gone with Skynard.

          • Marsaili says:

            Yeah, she could sing Sweet Home Alabama or maybe Gimme Three Steps would be more up her alley ;-) Joshua could always answer back with Southern Man. LOL! I would suggest Phillip but since Neil Young is nearly always in a falsetto, Phillip may have an aneurysm trying to hit all those notes! (jk, you know I love Phillip!)

          • Marsaili says:

            Well, yeah! ;-)

    • MA says:

      It’s not about liberal or conservative, no, but it is decidedly anti-war and anti-establishment. Skylar doesn’t come across that way to me, and since she sang it with fist-pumping gusto, my guess is that she didn’t quite get it. But I don’t live in her head; I could be wrong. Maybe she’s more Ted Nugent than George Bush. Mostly I just found that funny. I thought she sang it really well, though, and even threw her some votes. I’m pro Team Deer Hunter!!

  28. NedPepper says:

    What in the frak did P2 do to The Letter? That was horrid. Dude peaked weeks ago. Everyone else is getting better.

  29. Meme says:

    Hollie won the night with both of her songs. Jessica had one great one as did Joshua and Skylar with Phillip provided the weakest performances this week. I am amazed at Hollie’s growth in both her confidence and stage presence. I said to myself … If you close your eyes and just listen, whose voice could make you want to hear an entire album of songs? It became very clear on Wednesday night … and the answer surprised me.

  30. afghan says:

    So one question, Slezak is not allowed to have favorite? I love you Slezak and I fell in love with Skylar’s stage prescence and energy like you did.

  31. joseph says:


  32. tanya says:

    I absolutely pulled a Melinda Doolittle and got out of my chair for Joshua’s second song. So soulful and raw, I don’t think he’s a screamer at all. He’s one of the few I think really feels the emotions of the songs.

    • matt says:

      i can’t wait for what she has to say on idology about it tonight. i love melinda’s fangirling of josh. it’s adorable.

  33. James says:

    Phil was certainly the worst tonight…but I would not shed a tear if Jessica or Joshua went home…Great singers but I do not like them personally at all…

  34. Lois Benton says:

    If Phillip doesn’t go home tomorrow, then the show will simply have to change its name. After half a decade (!) of white boys of mediocre talent advancing over far more deserving contestants, the show will be more properly called “American Cute (Sort of) and Boyish White Guy,” “American Idol–NOT!” “America’s Out-of-Touch with Contemporary Music,” or, inspired by Ryan Seacrest, “Who Do You Love?” Even if Phillip doesn’t eventually win, his surviving this week would make a total mockery of the concept of the show, so they should just go ahead and at least have an asterisk next to the title of the show, with a little clarification.

    • tim says:

      Whatever! You know how many bad nights Elise had, yet how many times was she saved and Hollie came close to going home, yet she is everyone’s favorite tonight.

      • Shel says:

        I will not be happy if tonight begins a Hollie run and win of the title – she should have been gone long ago. BUT… I cannot deny that both her songs tonight were great – good for her! And with all due respect, Elise never had a “bad night” – both songs? nope, not even one song – as bad as Phillip tonight. And the major difference is? The judges were silent, when they never let pass an opportunity to point out any real or imagined flaws in Elise’s performances.
        Phillip should have been in the bottom 3 several times IMO and wasn’t…that doesn’t make him worthy of being safe tonight, even though I bet he is.

      • MA says:

        I will be thrilled if Hollie marches to the top, but I gotta agree with Shel about Elise. She didn’t always do everything as great as she did something else and she was off that night when her dog was sick, but she was never bad, not like Phillip was yesterday. And I like Phillip fine. Plus the judges’ critiques to them were so biased it’s laughable. Both Phillip and Elise did the same kind of thing and approached Idol the same way, but only Phillip was revered for it. At this point, they’re all good and someone has to go home. Might as well be Phillip.

        • Shel says:

          Thanks for the add-in! We may not agree on everything (good luck to your Hollie!) but the bias shown in the judges’ comments, especially between Phillip and Elise has been blatant.

  35. Katie says:

    Phillip’s performance of “Time of the Season” was nothing short of torture. If only I had been the one in the household in control of the remote. I could have saved myself from enduring a great amount of physical pain (not to mention a great amount of emotional pain when I thought of how awesome an Elise or Erika performance would’ve been instead).

  36. Marcus says:

    Anyone who said p2 butchered his songs clearly didn’t hear skylar sing fortunate son. One of the greatest rock songs ever and she just butchered the hell out of it, seriously what she did was just unforgivable so I hope she gets the boot. I had thought she was ok before but after that I’ll be mad if she ever even gets a record deal.

  37. matt says:

    clearly some of yall have never been to slezak’s blog before. he usually has his favorites that he stans hardcore for, they can do no wrong. there was melinda, allison, haley, elise and skylar this season. when they have a completely catastrophic major misstep, he’ll call them out for it, but anything else and it’s nothing but praise. skylar had no catastrophic messteps. slezak is entitled to his opinions, as are you… just because skylar has never been your thing doesn’t mean you need to knock him down for her being his. if you’ve ever watched idology this season, he and melinda RESPECTFULLY disagree all the time.

    round 1 was hollie’s and skylar’s. round 2 was definitely jessica’s and josh’s. so many beautiful moments tonight. it could be anybody going home tomorrow night, but i really hope that it’s phillip… like him or not, you have to admit he was off his game tonight. time of the season was awful. i’m hoping they steamrolled him tonight by introducing his girlfriend and giving him nothing but praise for underwhelming to awful performances leaving his fans complacent and turned off that he is unavailable. the girls and josh performed way above him tonight and he deserves to go.

    bottom 3: phil, hollie/skylar/jessica (pick 2)
    should go: phil
    might go: one of the girls unfortunately.

  38. NedPepper says:

    Finished the whole show. Thoughts.

    Jessica should have waited two years before auditioning. Technincally, she’s great. But I feel nothing when she sings. There’s no emotional maturity there. That’s a problem. Not even You Are So Beautiful. Sounded great. I should have felt something. I wanted to feel something. But, nope.

    Phillip was awful on every song. I thought his version of The Letter was bad….his Time of the Season was even worse. Not even in the ballpark of being in tune and nowhere near the level of the other contestants. Not even close. Whatever he had…it’s gone.

    Skylar had no idea what she was singing about on Fortunate Son. And she’s gotten screechy latey. Or maybe I just never noticed it. But Slezak isn’t doing her any favors by hyping her up so much only for it to sound really mediocre. The second son was just flat and dull. She could be in trouble.

    Hollie has GROWN. That Leona Lewis cover had been shaking my head and thinking, “that’s how you do it.” It’s the fun part of Idol. Watching people you never imagined would ever have a shot knock it out of the park. First song was pretty solid, too. Makes it interesting.

    Joshua is an interesting case. I don’t think that boy is comfortable anywhere except when he is performing. (Unless he’s performing next to Phillip….that was…really weird.) But when that kid sings, it’s like he becomes someone else. It’s a pretty amazing transformation. His “To Love Somebody” was a real moment. Seriously.

    Hollie and Joshua win the night.

    Bottom three should be Phillip, Jessica, and Skylar. But it probably won’t be.

  39. DG says:


    1. Hollie–Bleeding Love
    2. Joshua–To Love Somebody
    3. Jessica–You Are So Beautiful
    4: Skylar–Fortunate Son
    5. Hollie–River Deep, Mountain High
    6. Skylar–You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
    7. Joshua–Ain’t Too Proud to Beg (I did like it, but he loses points for the most obvious song choice of the night)
    8. Phillip–The Letter
    9. Jessica–Proud Mary
    11-19. Commercials I saw tonight/Randy talking/J. Lo’s Rambling/ Steven not knowing the song Bleeding Love, etc.
    20. Phillip–Time of the Season.
    I told a friend I thought P2’s second performance was the worst we’ve ever seen in a Top 5 show, and she mentioned Jacob Lusk’s No Air, so I’m denying Phillip that title. However, if he doesn’t go home, any other contestant was robbed. I already think Elise was robbed on his behalf. I don’t really know what happened–I did like Phillip at one point, though I was never crazy about him. I think I liked him more in the beginning because I wasn’t on the Colton train at all and they got it in my head it was Phillip v. Colton. Now that that comparison is gone, I just don’t like Phillip.
    I am a Skylar fanatic, but I think it’s her going home tomorrow night. I really do. Hollie gave her two best performances of the past few weeks, Jessica and Joshua had killer second performances, and Phillip hasn’t stopped being attractive and charming. If Phillip goes home, it will not be because of his bad performances, but rather because teenaged girls found out he has a girlfriend. Please, America–don’t rob me of my somewhat ideal final 4. I originally wanted it to be Elise instead of Hollie, but I’M FINE WITH HOLLIE. Just don’t put P2 in my final 4. It’s not even just that I’m over the WGWG thing. I just don’t like him. The world barely needs one Lee Dewyze. It does NOT need 2.

    • Lois Benton says:

      I wanted Phillip to go home weeks ago, but he’s better than Lee DeWyze. I’m a better WGWG than Lee DeWyze, and I’m a girl.

      • DG says:

        I agree he’s better than Lee, but the difference is that Lee won in an incredibly weak season where only one contestant was deserving–Crystal (who happens to be one of my top 3 contestants of all time). Here, Phillip might beat out five or six contestants who deserve it, in a season that might be the strongest ever. So while I would take Phillip over Lee (who in my opinion, had MAYBE 2 really good performances), I find their success on the show to be equally frustrating.

      • Sandi says:

        LOL Lois B. Lee is my least favorite Idol winner ever!

  40. Shel says:

    I need to get to bed, so I will post more tomorrow. But before sleep, I *had* to come here and read a sane person’s review of Phillip’s “Time of the Season” so I would know I wasn’t going crazy! Thank you, Michael! I could not believe they ALL let him get away with those horrible high notes without a note of criticism. I guess Jimmy I and Little Steven were right – simply singing the melody must have put the judges in some kind of trance.
    God, if that had been Elise, they would have left her a bloody pool on the stage (even given that JLo knows we all KNOW how much she loved Elise *eye roll*).

    Thanks again Michael…for confirming my ears still work.

    • Shel says:

      Oops – you can tell I’m sleepy: “simply singing the melody…” above should have read “simply ATTEMPTING to sing the melody…” Apologies.

  41. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    This is my first time watching Idol (because of Joshua) but has anyone in Idol attempted to sing and dance in synch with the backups (even tho’ only for a few verses) before? I mean… that’s no easy feat for an ‘amatuer’, right?? *Joshua-stupor*

  42. Mac says:

    Joshua has only had the pimp spot twice this season! Two weeks back was the first time

  43. Jason says:

    I have a feeling this will be the Carly Smithson factor for Holly!! Absolutely killing it but goes home anyway!!! (Haley and Elise suffered from this too) ! Also loved Fortunate Son and Joshua but Hollie stole the night with two stellar performances!! Glad to see the poll gave love to both!!!

  44. Angie says:

    I stopped watching Idol a few weeks back, but from reading the comments, I would guess that Phillip has a real chance at going home. Plus, I wanted Colton, Elise, and P2 to be the top three and we can all see how well that is working out for me lol.

  45. Jason says:

    Philip is dead last on Dial Idol! Here’s hoping girlfriend gate did him in!!!

  46. Mary says:

    Top three should be Jessica,Holly,Joshua. The reason Jlo didn’t know the letter is P2 made it unrecognizable. He needs to go, I realize this is realty tv, but sorry the guy cannot sing. he murdered both songs, not in a good way. I liked Skylar second song but the first, yes she showed energy, but was out of breath and it didn’t work for me.

  47. Chicago Jim says:

    I have to say that this is the strongest field of contestants for AI ever. Any of the top 7 could have won in several of the previous previous years. Compare Skylar to Lauren Alaina, one of last year’s finalists, and Skylar would have blown Lauren’s doors off.

    Last night, I thought Philip had a terrible night. His re-do of “The Letter” was way too laid back and the Zombies are no doubt roaming the streets looking for what was left of their “Time of the Season.” Jessica probably saved herself with her second song, but her rendition of “Proud Mary” was thin soup. She’s no Tina Turner. Joshua deserved the ovation for “To Love Somebody.” I thought Hollie was terrific on both songs.

    I think that Philip or Skylar goes home tonight.

  48. marie says:

    I’ve not been a fan of either Jessica or Hollie up to now, but seeing them side-by-side in the trio, I have to say, I think Hollie is actually by leaps and bounds the better of the two. For my ears, her voice has a depth and richness Jessica’s does not, at least not yet. Hollie has grown tremendously over the course of the season, while Jessica still suggests to me a little girl dressing up in Mommy’s shoes and singing in front of her bedroom mirror (i guess it doesn’t help that she intentionally invoked exactly that image at one point!).
    Hollie, on the other hand, really moved me last night. I agree with Michael that she may well have bested Leona Lewis on “Bleeding Love;” I was indifferent to the song when I first heard it as sung by Leona, but found it quite beautiful and tender as sung by Hollie. Gorgeous.
    Not to mention, Hollie was MUCH better equipped to take on the legendary Tina Turner!
    For my money, I’d like to see Hollie, Joshua (AMAZING!), Skylar (i really LIKE this young lady; she made me really enjoy the Dusty Springfield number, which usually sounds to me like a big ball of corncheese), and Phillip (yes, P2, go ahead and throw rotten cabbages at me if you want!) advance to next week.

  49. AS says:

    I seriously think Phillip jumped off that flasetto bridge on purpose. I think he wants OUT. Liked his song choices a lot and am really disappointed.
    Jessica’s voice is well, ‘beautiful’ but her performances verge on ridiculously awful….the Tina Turner moves…ugh…the smoke on the floor..ugh. I hope she goes….she sings with tremendous skill and ZERO feeling/understanding….she’s a little Idol robot…trained from birth.

  50. writerross says:

    Sorry but something about Joshua’s immaturity re: freaking out at Phillip’s touch really turned me off. Josh can sing like heck but what was with the fake “Get off me!” face. You know.. trying to hard to hide something tells us you’re trying too hard to keep the truth to yourself. It’s 2012. We don’t care. Sing out, Louise! It was a very sexually repressed scene and it made me like him less. Homophobia is not cool. I don’t care how old you are or what your sexual identity genuinely is… Moving as far as he could from Philip was embarrassing and insulting.

    • Marsaili says:

      I agree, that whole thing just turned me off—and poor Phillip was like “what???”. I don’t know what was going on in Joshua’s head, but I hope that scene doesn’t lose him votes because he was the winner of the night as far as performances go!

    • Chris says:

      I really think the whole thing was staged by the producers and it was an act. You could tell Joshua enjoyed singing with Phil (Phil had him cracking up in the middle of the performance) and I highly doubt Phillip was bothered at all about it. The guys probably had a good chuckle about it back stage It kind of bothers me that people are actually so concerned with crap like this (Elise’s “attitude” in season 11, Jason Castro’s “ambivalence” in season 8, Pia’s “aloofness” last year) and don’t really concentrate on the performances at hand. Now wouldn’t that make for great results?

      • Marsaili says:

        I am totally with you about people making issues out of nothing—but Joshua was clearly backing away from Phillip when he tried to put his arm around him—-it was weird, and he kept giving Phillip dirty looks like—back off. Now, having said that, I am SO against all the conspiracy theories that have been bantied around this year and the Elise’s attitude nonsense—but Joshua was totally put off by Phillip touching him—and that wasn’t the first time he reacted like that, I’m pretty sure he responded like that when Ryan tried to touch him before! Maybe he just doesn’t like being touched in general? I don’t know but something was going on there and I was uncomfortable with it.

        • MA says:

          Okay, I rarely publically say things like this because it’s not my business and kind of offensive and who the hell am I, but if that wasn’t staged (and I’m not convinced it wasn’t), I think it’s entirely possible that Joshua was uncomfortable with both the song and the touching, but I don’t think it makes him a jerk. For all we know, he’s gay and hasn’t come out yet. He’s what…20? This is national TV. And that duet was totally bizarre. Phillip seemed uncomfortable too. I don’t think we should judge.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I got the idea that P2 thought it was supposed to be a duet with a man and woman! And maybe P2 being uncomfortable is what made Joshua uncomfortable. Maybe it they had watched a video of the original Righteous Brothers, who truly put the “righteous” in righteous, it might have helped both of them.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Darcy, it was way beyond clear that neither one of them had ever heard The Everly Brothers sing that song. Or that either one of them understand what it feels like when the relationship you’re in is dying.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Sorry I keep calling them The Everly Brothers. Meant “Righteous”