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. junebug says:

    Phillip may be the next to leave. His “Time of the Season” paled in comparison to Blake Lewis who totally killed it. Cannot believe they didn’t call him out for not hitting those high notes.Wasn’t feeling his version of “The Letter”. I’m not a big fan of Joshua, but he sang circles aroung Phillip in their duet..

  2. Jane says:

    How could you say Jessica’s performance was antiseptic when Hollie’s pageant arms were in full force last night? I hope your not trying to sit shotgun on the bus Randy is trying to drive over Jessica. His critique was total BS. And as for Skylar, what was up with her thicker than usual accent? I’m from the south and even on my most drunken occasions, I don’t sound like Yosemite Sam, which is exactly what she rootin’ tootin’ sounded like last night. I thought Joshua sang the best last night hands down. The standing O’s are getting ridiculous, but his last performance was wonderful, (omg I think I almost got goosies!) I think Skylar is in real trouble, unless Hollie’s fans get complacent after her ok performances the judge’s heaped on that praise onto.

  3. miranda m. says:

    skylar is just a typical country singer. nothing great. hollie’s pitch is all over the place. she’s sooooooo trying hard. phillip as always singing different songs and make it sound the same.

    so i’ll go for the TALENT – JESSICA and JOSHUA.

  4. writerross says:

    Hollie is as interesting as watching the paint dry. Sorry. Watching paint dry is more authentic and fun. You would pay to watch her sing? Why? And is she getting the judges’ push so goes home tonight on a high,er, note?

  5. C says:

    I don’t have time to do a full run-down (washer broke last night, so I missed some performances), but I just have a few general points to make:
    1. The judges’ praise for Joshua is getting a little…no, make that a LOT…laughable. The constant standing O’s, the talk about him being the best singer in the last 50 years….it’s insane. His voice is lovely when he keeps it restrained. But when he cuts loose into that snarly screaming territory, I reach for the “mute” button. That’s not music, it’s noise.
    2. Speaking of noise, it is past time for Phillip to leave this show. The thought of him winning over ANY of the other contestants is upsetting. “The Letter” was ridiculous–a song should have a melody. And what ever made him think he could hit those notes on “Time of the Season”? The duet with Joshua, hearing them sing right after each other, showed how painfully inferior his voice is.
    3. I think Hollie’s got a clearer, sharper, better tone to her voice than Jessica, although “You Are So Beautiful” was TECHNICALLY the best song of the night.
    4. Jessica LOOKED absurd for the first half song. Who is giving these girls these massive earrings? Sooner or later, one of them is going to lose a lobe onstage?
    5. Skylar’s choice of “Fortunate Son” was PERFECT and “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” (one of my all-time favorites) was impassioned and beautiful.
    Please, please, please, Phillip go home. (But I bet it will be Hollie.)

    • NikkiQM says:

      You are so beautiful was just SONG OF THE NIGHT, no technically needed. Her first performance was definitely not her best moment but she killed it with her second song.

  6. writerross says:

    You know what’s wrong with Josh? When he is NOT singing, he’s so not present. No stage patter ability at all. Yawn. There’s nothing that personally endears me to him. A VOICE alone cannot make a career. I’d rather my singers be imperfect but someone I can connect with before, during and after the music plays.

    • john says:

      I agree. He comes across as somewhat aloof, especially when he seemed appalled by Philip and the idea of standing/singing next to him. He also doesn’t really react to anything that’s being said to/about him (i.e. when someone tells you that you’re one of the best singers to come around in the last 50 years, you should act at least a little bit floored by it – even if it’s coming from JLo).

      • TopCat says:

        How about just accepting the fact that he’s a just a shy, humble 20 year old kid who really has never had an experience like this??? I don’t recall Carrie Underwood being all that dynamic during season 6. And how about Scotty McCrearie or Jason Castro?? They’ve never really had much to say off stage. And I could name a ton of star performers who really aren’t all that dynamic off stage. All that matters is how Joshua performs when he’s on stage and he’s in a completely different place. I for one, would like to focus on his amazing talent.

        • MA says:

          Right on!

        • sally says:

          Carrie Underwood was completely the opposite of dynamic and I thought she was the most boring winner of american idol — but look at her now. But again there’s so much criticism of their offstage presence, i don’t think that joshua is off limits in that respect. He could show some personality, more like what he did when he and hollie were going at it.

      • tim says:

        i agree, all this robotic personality that people say about jessica is ridiculous especially when compared to joshua’s lack of personality shown on screen when he talks or exactly when he’s told that he’s the best singer in 50 years. That reaction to philip was a bit offensive.

        • HudsonRiverside says:

          I notice Joshua kind of tunes people out that s not named Hollie, and that’s because Hollie is well Hollie. I’m glad people are seeing more of Jessica’s personality, she may have gotten more time to know the camera crew these past few weeks and is more comfortable. Also, the less coverage of “Project Runway Idol ” the better for getting to know the idols more. But yea, back to Joshua, he seems really distant and not very appreciative of the praise.

          • pmet says:

            I actually think Joshua is very appreciative of the praise. He seemed a bit overwhelmed after his last performance last night. He whispered or mouthed thank you twice during the judges remarks last night and looked a lot like a deer in the headlights. He is, after all, only 20 years old in spite of the fact that he is able to perform like a pro. Off stage I truly believe is much more introverted. Look back to season 2 and Ruben Studdard. He stood there wide-eyed at the remarks and would either nod or smile slightly. That was it. He said later he was trying to concentrate- lol.

          • CIP says:

            I absolutely disagee. I take Joshua’s quiteness as complete humbleness and because he’s perhaps overwhelmed by everything. I think he’s completely appreciative of his praise. He always thanks the judges for their postive comments, he might even be a little embarrassed by it. Just because he’s not this overly confident, talkative kid (ie.-Casey James, Hee Jun, Sklyar) doesn’t mean he’s distant or unappreciative. We have to remember, these are KIDS.

  7. NikkiQM says:

    I think everyone aside from Philip was on point last night. Poor guy is either in pain or really has a very limited vocal range, either way its his time to go. I thought Hollie was good but I just dont like her song choices. It always an over the top full of glory notes song. But she is getting better every week. I dont get all the Skylar love either, she can sing but her hollering can get distracting as well as her shaking and over excitement while on stage. Id like to hear her sing a subtle song and stop the screaming, That would be a moment for her. I think Jessica’s first performance was technically good but she was very awkward dancing on stage. I just dont think thats her vibe and she tried to show versatility in her performance and it didnt work out, unfortunately. But she redeemed herself with her second song, for me that was the performance of the night. She deserved a standing O. To take such a simple song, sing it slowly and add some beautiful glory notes, it was perfect. Performances like this is why she deserves to win. I like Joshua and understand that he sings well but I feel as if he sings the same way every week and the constant pimp spot placement and standing O’s from the judges are getting ridiculous!
    #1 Jessica – You Are So Beautiful (without a doubt)

    • ET says:

      I agree with your comments except for the one about Jessica’s second song; I didn’t like it. It was technically brilliant but, once again, she failed to connect emotionally; maybe it’s her age that is keeping her from doing that. I think she has already peaked, where Josh and Hollie keep getting better.

    • cccloc says:

      I think Hollie is taking her directions from Joshua who always gets Standing O’s. Bet she’s watching in the wings — “how does he do it” and finally gets it.
      Jessica has plateaued.

  8. MrTemecula says:

    Phillip didn’t try last night. He wrecked a great first song, albeit very artistically. The second song choice was ridiculous. It’s a terrible song. It’s a terrible song singing-wise for him. And if he was going to chop up a song, that was the song to deconstruct. He didn’t even try. And the duet was a bad joke.

    What is disappointing is after the last four white-guys-with-guitars winners, Phillip is the most talented of the bunch. It’s a shame he seems to have given up.

    As for the judging, it looks the Hollie vote numbers have gone up. America doesn’t tolerate puppy kicking, and the judges’ comments have been re-calibrated. Was Hollie performance that much better than Jessica’s? No, but Jessica is running toward the bottom and is getting mostly nice-job treatment. Besides, Skylar is as good as vocalists as either of them and twice the performer. And how is it that Hollie was able to pick a contemporary number, while everybody else was stuck on a stogie song from the 60’s and 70’s? Hey, AI, get your thumb of the scales!

    • Tony says:

      Time of the Season is not a terrible song.

    • HudsonRiverside says:

      “You’re number one” doesn’t sound like nice job treatment. Jessica’s just not getting the Joshua Standing O love. Judges are also pulling back on Hollie due to the dead since they received several weeks back. They actually have people believing she has a stronger voice than Jessica. How quickly they forget that she can dial it up depending on the song like she did with her Joshua duet. Holle singing at 100% is Jessica dialing down. Although I woud pick Hollie is my second fave if P2 gets the boot this week.

  9. ET says:

    I really like all the remaining contestants and wish they could ALL be in the finals. That being said, at this point I’m seeing a Joshua vs Hollie finale; the two of them (especially Hollie) keep getting better each week, while Jessica, Skylar and Phillip have all either peaked or stagnated. I had not been a Hollie fan before now, but after last night, I can see her tremendous potential!!!

  10. Tony says:

    I don’t know what your love affair with Sklar is… She can’t even sing normal songs without that weird country twang even in songs where it doesn’t belong. I think its grating on the ears.

  11. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    Now that I’ve watched the performance in full. I have to say, I love Joshua’s first performance so much more! That is a very difficult song to sing, believe it or not. with a very simple base, it’s all melody and rhythm with his voice. He did a tremendous job, AND tried to dance in unison with the backups! Amazing! His 2nd one? Not so crazy. Probably because I really love the original. But am curious how he did it in the practice run cos I didn’t think it was that great live. Loved Jimmy and Little Stevie!

    • ET says:

      I think Josh did a good job with the first song, but there was something off about the arrangement; the band sounded “tinny” and just didn’t have enough punch to back him up. His second song was absolutely magnificent and just blew the Bee Gees original totally out of the water!!!

    • HairLikeATeddyBear says:

      Oh, maybe I should add, after reading all this comments THEN watching the show. P2 is way better than what most are saying and i didnt think Skylar was anywhere near all these accolades, she was very off tonight. How interesting… expectation is a bitch!

  12. Word Money G says:

    This is the deepest and most talented group of Idols yet. The fact is, they’re all good. They’re all going to make a record. Any of the top 5 could have won other seasons. To rip any of them is silly. Now its a matter of style choice. You like country, you like Skyler. You like R&B, you like Joshua. You like midgets with huge voices, you like Hollie and Jessica. You like weed, Phillip Phyllis Phillipian Philharmonic is your guy.

    Anyone can win, anyone could be eliminated.

    Hollie – Was great last night, and looked like an American Idol winner for the first time.
    Why she wins: Did you listen? I think it’s not been her confidence that was screwed up, it was the mix in her ear. I think she’s now used to singing on TV with the in-ear monitor, and now she’s nailing it. Plus, she’s a blond-haired, blue-eyed, cute as a button kid from Texas. Remember people – there is VERY heavy voting from middle america and the south. East and West coast influence is diminished.
    Why she loses: Nigel might mess with her mix. She might not have a clue what the lyrics of her song mean.
    Prediction: Goes to the final 2.

    Jessica – Clearly an amazing talent with one of the best voices ever on the show.
    Why she wins: See above. Honestly, she’s so talented that she could eventually be the biggest selling artist this show produces.
    Why she loses: Her personality. Does she have one? Hollie has at least been shown as “cute.” Jessica appears to be a driven artist who will have to manufacture what her personality will be. America could more easily relate to Hollie and leave Jessica behind, even if Jessica’s the better singer.
    Prediction: Shockingly gets bounced at #3

    Phillip – Have you heard? He’s an artist. Artists don’t need melodies or lyrics or any of that stuff. But charisma off the chart.
    Why he wins: HE’S SOOOOOOO CUUUUTE!!! See LeeDeWyze and Kris Allen. And maybe America flips the bird at the show and says “We don’t need the money notes, and the power ballads, we like individuality and artistry and HE’S SOOOOOOO CUUUUUTE!!!’
    Why he loses: Might sound better if you’re high. Maybe America is hung over and doesn’t remember to vote and instead goes to the 7-11 and gets Cheetos. Or maybe Phillip does to 60’s songs and blows both of them when the other contestants kill theirs.
    Prediction: He’s gone tonight, people.

    Joshua – This guys voice does better gymnastics than Nadia Comenici (Was going to go with Kerri Strug, but feared nobody remembered her). On the loved him and left him songs, he’s absolute money.
    Why he wins: He’s that damn good. After Phil gets bounced, he picks up some female vote. Next week’s theme: James Brown week.
    Why he loses: Because even if he’s as good as he is, there is no more market for true R&B. There just isn’t. There’s no real R&B on the charts anymore. What Joshua does is amazing, but there isn’t much demand for it, sorry. Plus his sexual ambiguity doesn’t leas me to think little girls all want him to come over.
    Prediction: He goes next week.

    Skylar – After reading a lot of these comments, I can’t understand why people don’t realize that she connects with her lyrics better than anyone. Girlfriend is a true show person, commanding the stage better than anyone other than Adam Lambert. if Carrie Underwood had her showmanship when she started they would have stopped the show after week 1.
    Why she wins: The demographics of the show are in her favor. It’s a show aimed at red-state America, it’s why it does as well as it does. And Skylar is poster child for middle america. Plus, she can sing.
    Why she loses: Hollie makes a surge and she has to split her “white-girl” vote. Or next week’s theme is James Brown week.
    Prediction: She’s your Season 11 American Idol.

    • ET says:

      I think it’s gonna be a Joshua vs Hollie finale; I agree that Jessica gets bounced at #3. To me, Skylar tanked on her Dusty Springfield cover last night. Phillip is gone tonight (hopefully). Josh and Hollie are the only ones that keeping better each and every week!!

    • HairLikeATeddyBear says:

      I laugh when people say there is no market for Joshua’s style, perhaps it’s true if you mean he should try to fit into mediocrity which is abundant and that’s all there is. When such a rare sound and star quality comes around (which I think he has) – doesn’t it define the market? James Brown, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Elvis, Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson etc, didn’t make it because they tried to be ‘marketable’ and sounded like everyone else. They MAKE the market! I am not saying Joshua will def be one, but it will be helluva exciting to witness if he can somehow bring back good music, good melody and real voice and make a difference to the sad state of popular music the way it is now, which I have to say is pretty damn sad.

    • C says:

      Perfect summation of the season at this point. Really spot on. Enjoyed reading it.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      next week…isn’t it time for hometown visits and personal/producers/judges picks yet?

      • dj says:

        That’s not until top 3.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Agh! Don’t bring up hometown visits now that Elise is gone. I was actually going to have one just about literally in my back yard (assuming they did a home town roots visit and not a current address visit and went to Kinnelon, NJ). That isn’t likely to ever happen again. And Elise had been my favorite performer this season (and compared to quite a few other seasons) to boot.

  13. idolmama says:

    I am not a country music fan but I do appreciate a country song when it is sung well. And I am just not understanding Michael’s praise of Skylar. I thought her performance of Fortunate Son was frenzied and that made it distracting. I also kept wondering if she really understood the lyrics. Her phasing made it appear that she didn’t. I understand that some country artists do have a nasal sound to their singing but sometimes Skylar is so nasal that she loses the melody and sounds like she is talking the notes.

    I found P2’s behavior very annoying last night. What was with the silly faces every time the camera showed him before commercial breaks. His second song was terrible. He was really struggling to get into a falsetto. It was painful to watch and hear. He really is just a three note singer. His performances in no way came close to the others.

    Hollie is really coming into her own. She has worked so hard to improve and each week she has gotten better. I was really upset to hear she was singing Bleeding Love. I hate that song. I don’t care how great Leona Lewis’ voice is I have always found her version irritating to listen to. However, I can NOT say the same about Hollie’s performance. For the first time I understood the feeling behind the lyrics and actually liked the song. It was amazing how Hollie gave it so much more than Leona. Way to go girl.

    Would have loved for Joshua’s second song to have remained less screechy and more stripped down from all the fireworks. He lost points for me for you this week.

    Jessica’s Proud Mary. Just too old of a song for her. She’s 16 and her shimmy dancing imitation of Tina Turner was just that. A 16 year old girl trying to imitate an adult. Reminded me of Toddlers and Tiaras. Her version of You Are So Beautiful was fabulous. That had sincere feeling and didn’t come off as if she was singing in front of the mirror.

    My final thought. I think the contestants need to watch out for Hollie. She is definately inching up each week. The others are becoming smug and too sure of themselves.

  14. betty says:

    come on vote hollie guys im so happy that she has shown that she can definitely win this thing!!

  15. john says:

    The show definitely wants Philip gone this week. Bringing out the girlfriend is code for “we want Philip gone this week.” It doesn’t seem like he cares that much either. Everyone knows that if he gets through this week, it means that a more talented performer got knocked off, which means that the show loses a little more of its quickly ebbing credibility.

  16. marie says:

    I don’t think it’s possible to overstate just how much Hollie has improved over the course of the season.
    Several times, I had referred to her and another contestant as the “teenage wind-up singing dolls.” To my surprise and delight, this morning, I find myself repeatedly humming “Bleeding Love;” that would never have happened before last night because I really hadn’t thought much of the song before. Going to definitely have to buy Hollie’s recording later today. She has quite evidently worked very hard and she’s come so far in terms of communicating emotion and feeling through a song – brava, young lady. You’ve won me over as a fan.
    So many terrific performances last night – what an excellent season – way to keep me very entertained even without Elise, to my amazement!

    • MrTemecula says:

      Hollie does remind me of Carrie Deer-In-The-Headlight Underwood time at idol. Carrie was a stiff. But look at Carrie now. Carrie is a natural now. But does the world need two Carries or two Hollies?

  17. Gale says:

    Phillip sounded like he was passing a kidney stone on those falsettos. I still prefer Jessica’s singing to Hollie’s – Jessica makes it look so effortless, and has the ability to sing runs without straying from the melody. She brings artistry. Hollie looks like she is trying to hard.

  18. cccloc says:

    Is Idol taking cues from the XF with the staging? All the dancers and flashing lights on stage?

  19. C Freddy says:

    I love P2 but he was bad last night but my biggest disappointment is Michael Slezak–you have lost all credibility with your Skylar love–that girl had no business singing Fortunate Son you could tell she had no clue what that song was about–it was a slam to any CCR fan. I had liked her in the past but after tonight I want her to go

  20. mick says:

    OK, Phillip was really bad in all 3 songs. Sorry Michael, Joshua was horrible in the duet and his 1st performance was karaoke. Jessica is always good but perhaps because she is so young something is missing.. Also, the sitting on the floor thing really turns me off. Skylar is good and has so much energy and power but the nasally twang that enters her voice sometimes is not pleasant to me. Hollie really stepped it up tonight although I despise Bleeding Love but her version was definitely better than Leona. The girls duet was decent with Hollie really sounding good again & Jessica almost disappearing in it.

  21. Jack says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t like Joshua’s voice? The timbre in his voice always sounds shallow to me, there is no solidity there. Obviously this doesn’t seem to bother the judges or most commentators, but for me I like to feel the “floor” under the vocals is solid not made of sand. In other words, when Joshua tries to dig into a note the voice just kind of oozes, it has a graininess that doesn’t appeal to me. Graininess can be a very compelling sound in vocals, but unless the singer can also deliver solid notes when needed I tend to lose interest.

  22. Shaka says:

    I just saw a poll online from the LA Times, for the best performance of the week which includes The Voice and American Idol. Juiliet Simms is the winner by a landslide. Interesting and over the top true.

    I am really beginning to wonder why the girls on American Idol wear 3 inch heels when performing an up tempo song? What’s wrong with say 1.5 inch? I know its ‘fashionable’ and perhaps they want to look taller but they’d perform miles beyond what they’ve done with a better center of gravity. I mean look at the boot scootin’ Skylar did – proof in point. To each their on I suppose… its so ridiculous though. I’ve seen them each stumble when performing (quick to gain their footing back so far) more than once and am just waiting for one of them fall over.

    For the comments regarding Skylar not identifying with the CCR song, it’s about rebellion and if Skylar is nothing more she is rebellious and has made no secret about it (you know that honky tonk country gal that she is with her guns and ammo). THAT is why the song choice stuck with her. Her Dusty cover was so not up to par – way way waaay over sung and undone.

    I really felt like both of Joshua’s performances last night were the worst of his run. His second performance we’ve seen from him time and time again – but I think I am just done with it. He’d seriously have to shock me to get me to vote for him going forward. I also found it curious that they decided to show on camera Jimmy Iovine saying they were definitely going to make a record. Hmmm….. It’s funny considering Jimmy started out calling Josh “Sister Act 3”. But good for you Joshua, well deserved.

    Hollie is finally starting to peel back the onion for herself. She’s always had an incredible tone to her voice and she sang her heart out last night. I think she can do more though (get her out of those &*^%ing heels).

    Phillip – – – – yeah. If I hear one more excuse as to why he’s missing melody I’ll have to nominate it to some world record. I am sure he’s a perfectly great song writer and someone else should be the lead to his band…or have several singers like Fleetwood Mac.

    Jessica did such a beautiful job last night. I felt like her Proud Mary performance could have been a little more dynamic (get her out of those damned 3.5 inch heels) She is 16…wow 16… Still waiting on the younger song choice Jimbo.

    Hollie and Jessica were by far the best of the night for me. I have a feeling Phillip is in the bottom three along with Skylar and Hollie.

    • marie says:

      Sadly, those aren’t 3-inch heels, which were the standard for “high heels” when I was their age; those are more like 5- or 6-inch heels. Truly ridiculous – but then again, who am I to say; I haven’t worn anything but “sensible” shoes in decades!

      • pmet says:

        I actually thought Jessica did a really good job with Proud Mary. However, had she worn 3 inch heel, instead of the 6 inch heels, she would have really been able to move around the stage much more naturally and less awkwardly. It took away from her performance.

  23. IMHO says:

    Great Idology – love you 2 together! Can’t saw we agree on the contestants – I think my problem with Skylar is that I feel like she wants to punch me in the face or something – perhaps I should listen to her with my eyes closed! P2- love, love, love him! Will totally buy his music! Will probably say goodbye tonight sadly….

  24. E says:

    I’m a big PP fan, but he was bad last night. Unlikely I’d ever buy any of the other contestants music, but I appreciate talent and performance of all the rest being WAY better than PP. I think the reason “The Letter” was not familiar to JLo was because it was unrecognizable as he sang it. I bet if she heard the original she’s be like “oh yeah”.

    I didn’t like Skylar’s 2nd performance. Don’t know if she was encouraged to sing those big notes at the end or if I’m just old enough to recognize the song and didn’t like “glory – noting” it.

  25. gailer says:

    “Also, did Ryan possibly torpedo Phillip’s chances by revealing he’s got a girlfriend?” Exactly Michael!!
    And I noticed Ryan commented “controversy” when the judges didn’t agree! Since when do the judges have to agree on this show?? I miss Simon

  26. dilia says:

    Unpopular opinion coming:
    I really miss Colton and Elise. They were more interesting than anyone left and they changed things up. Im not saying the people left are untalented because they are amazing (except phil and even hes had his moments) But they are all predictably competant. No surprises, no excitment, no risks. Colton and Elise took risks and changed things up week to week. I miss them

    • sam says:

      Why is that unpopular? Colton is one with the most Facebook likes and twitter followers and he is sorely missed.

      • MA says:

        …and Elise has a pretty big fan base here. Not unpopular. I miss them too!

        • idolmama says:

          Did you notice last night that JLO said Elise was her favorite singer? It is strange because all see ever seemed to do was criticize Elise.

          • FreeHaley says:

            Yeah it was also weird how at the end Randy walked up and praised her like crazy and said she was guaranteed and awesome career, etc. Where the heck was that when each week he was saying she was one of the only two who didn’t deserve to be in the finale??

      • dilia says:

        Facebook likes dont mean much obviously. And the unpopular part was that they are more interesting than the rest. Most people seem to disagree with me on this that ive talked to

      • Sandi says:


  27. Red in Denver says:

    I have to completely disagree with the comments made by Michael about Jessica Sanchez: Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful”.

    Music is, without a doubt, a matter of taste (at least mostly). Unlike Joe Cocker (or Ray Charles) versions, HER version of the song had about as much emotion and soul as a bag of Wonder bread.

  28. kim says:

    I honestly don’t get why there is this sudden revelation that Hollie is great — she has always been great (except for that Flashdance song), you all just haven’t paid attention or just listened to the judges. In the beginning of the competition, Randy said that hollie and jessica could be the final 2. Hollie is better than skylar from day one.

    • MA says:

      Hollie has always had a fantastic voice and tons of personality off-stage, but she’s not been a great performer. She often looked stiff and uncomfortable to me, just young and inexperienced. But the last couple of weeks, she’s really started to move beyond that. She seems to be settling into herself really well and that shows in her performance. She’s now got a great voice, tons of personality, and some strut and swag. I’ve always liked Hollie, but now I’m loving her.

      • marie says:

        Agree with MA!

      • pmet says:

        I agree. I used to have to close my eyes to really enjoy Hollie. Her voice was really pure and very pretty but her stage presence was lacking. She has really come together as the total package.

  29. Pepper says:

    Jessica sings beautifully but there is just something not so likeable about her, and honestly other than her voice, she’s just boring. Holly sings beautifully, but so what? Watching an entire concert of her (or Jessica) would, I think, bore me to tears. And I can’t think of an album of hers that I would buy. Skylar? Great voice, great concert, would buy the album. Joshua? Great voice, great performer. Probably a great concert. Phillip? May buy his album, don’t know if I’d care about watching an entire concert of him.

    • HudsonRiverside says:

      Doubt Jessica’s original album will contain all these old fogey / Brit theme songs. From the one original she posted on youtube “What Ya Want” when she was 14, it will be high energy with a couple of slower R&B songs.

    • pmet says:

      I have to say that I usually find it difficult to say that I would go and see the Idol winner in concert (my exception was Adam Lambert who, of course, did not win). Although I like a lot of Kelly Clarkson’s music I still wouldn’t go and see her in concert. I might now see Carrie Underwood in concert because she has become a more dynamic performer — she was most certainly NOT that when she won. Right now it is too soon for me to judge that — Skyler I can only take in VERY small doses and would not want to see live. Joshua, I agree has a great voice and is a great performer. He is a maybe. The other three — for me with regard to seeing them in concert the jury is still out. Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t download their music or buy a cd which is very important to the winner of Idol.

  30. JAO says:

    Blake Lewis’ Time of the Season was MUCH better than P2’s. I did love Hollie’s Bleeding Love & Jessica’s You are So Beautiful (I think it was her best). Skylar always pleases as does Joshua. I would love to hear him sing more Sam Cooke.

    P2 needs to go.

  31. J says:

    Slezak sort of lets his biases take over him because Skylar was easily the worst of the night in both rounds.

  32. Ann VerWiebe says:

    I think when Skyler does R&B she sounds really Adeleish.

  33. PatD says:

    Hollie won the night, and ya’ll might think I’m crazy for thinking this, but I’m giving BIG credit to Little Steven for her transformation last night. You could see she really took his “Screw them” advice to heart. It’s almost like you could see her thinking, “I’m just going to do it my way from now on and let the chips fall where they may.” Her “River High” was heaps better than Pia’s (who performed that technically well, but seemed so desperate by that point), and her “Bleeding Love” was a knockout. Leona sang it admirably, but there was a really poignant edge to Hollie’s interpretation. I don’t get the complaints about that arrangement, which I thought was absolutely stunning and which better served the lyrics. And for all the ga-ga’ing over Jessica’s beautifully, long held note last night, go back and listen to the last incredible long note with the sublime short run that Hollie sang at the end of “Bleeding Love.” It was every bit equal the to Jessica’s in technical prowess but with a pure, crystalline shimmer to it. I said way back in Hollywood week that if any contestant had the potential for an amazing growth arc it was Hollie, and wow, what a gamer she’s turning out to be. If she wins this thing, I can see her having a Carrie Underwood level of success as a recording artist.

    I like P2, but he was awful last night. I’m all about artistry and changing things up, but his arrangement for “The Letter” was all over the place, and the second song was really hard to sit through. By the look on his face afterwards, even he knew it was bad.

    Skylar is a little Reba Lambert in the making and has a lock on a career. She doesn’t need to win this thing. I like her, but there was a laughable disconnect between her and the CCR song, and her Dusty redo was karoake like. And very, very nasally.

    Joshua started off the BeeGee song beautifully, but, once again, over sang it and ruined for me.

    I stand by my boring as hell critique of Jessica. She is so darn talented, yet consistently chooses generic, overdone songs, and despite having a gorgeous, silky sound to her voice there is absolutely nothing in her tone that distinguishes her from a dozen other pop divas on the radio. Whoever said upthread that “You Are So Beautiful” only worked because of Joe’s raw, craggy voice hit the nail on the head. That song is incredibly corny lyrically and the stuff of Vegas acts. Her performances last night (especially the Tina Turner lite one) showed me a digression rather than a growth. She’s desperately trying to incorporate everything the judges tell her at this point (right down to the hair toss), rather than just growing within herself. I blame that on her age. If anyone should have waited a year or two to be on this show, it’s Jessica.

  34. bjp says:

    One thing that strikes me about this top 5 (top 7 actually) is how uniquely recognizable each one of their voices is. If I heard any of them signing on the radio now, I could tell immediately who it is, which in the era of audio tune, is a real treat. After a few miserable AI seasons, this and Slezak’s weekly Idology shows — have redeemed AI for me.

  35. Jay says:

    My personal favorite this season is Hollie, I’d love to see her go further – but, I think she proved an awful lot last night: consistency, stage presence, and song interpretation.

    I totally agree that they’re all good. Jessica needs more life experience to be the kind of singer she wants to be, which makes some of her interpretations seem false. She’ll do fine, though.

    Skylar – country music will embrace her regardless of where she lands in the standings. She’ll be fine.

    Phillip seems to have already checked out of the competition. He has a niche, fans will love that, he’ll be fine.

    Joshua needs to stop screaming. It really grates on me. Last week, he reigned it in and sounded superb. He’s good, he just doesn’t need to do that – the adage that sometimes less is more can be very true. He’ll get his record deal, too – no worries.

    I think, out of them all, the one that needs to place highest to succeed is Hollie. Her personality is just now coming out as she gets more confident and gains experience. If she gets a chance at one or two more weeks, I think that will solidfy a record deal for her. She also needs some media training. I’m sure, when she gets a publicist, that’ll be one of the first things they do.

  36. Girlie says:

    It has taken me a while, but I’m pulling for Joshua Ledet to win the whole thing. I’d llike to see Joshua and Hollie in the final. I like affable P2 but his vocals are clearly lacking. Cannot deny that Jessica and Skyler are skilled vocally, but….do NOT like Jessica and I never did. Skyler? No, thank you.

  37. Anna Morris says:

    Um, someone should tell Joshua that the BeeGees are Australian…

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      they were born in the UK but their parents emigrated to Australia. Apparently they are “British” enough for Idol!

  38. Pearl says:

    ” (Also, did Ryan possibly torpedo Phillip’s chances by revealing he’s got a girlfriend?)”
    Please lor… ladies. HEAR IT!

  39. Tracy says:

    Shame on American idol judges for showing favoritism by your standing ovations for Joshua and not the other singers when they are obviously better!!

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