American Idol Top 5 Performance Recap: Modern! English!

phillip phillipsIf you’ll allow me to paraphrase Phillip Phillips (covering the Zombies), “it’s that time in the (American Idol) season for loving (our favorites).” Indeed, the Idoloonie Nation has devoted the last four months to auditioning dozens of singers for the role of America’s Next Top iTunes Obsession, and with each of the five remaining finalists having delivered 13 live solo performances, our allegiances have pretty much been pledged, our opinions have been pretty well formed, our speed-dialing fingers have been worn down to bone and sinew (as has the space between Randy Jackson’s ears).

But with the finish line less than a month away, there’s often a dark underbelly to the love we feel for our Idols. It surfaces in blogs and message boards and phone conversations. “Phillip has no talent!” “Jessica has no emotions!” “Skylar’s too nasal, too spastic!” “Hollie’s too stiff, too pageanty!” “Joshua doesn’t sing, he screams!”

And to be quite honest, there no refuting these arguments. Music is a subjective art form. It can’t be graded like a math test or quantified like a Jennifer Lopez endorsement deal.

Which is why we must give thanks for the Idol judging panel of Tweedle-Huh?, Tweedle-Abs, and Tweedle-Yo!. No, I’m not saying these highly paid “experts” — this, Randy, is how air quotes are used — are of any use in separating the wheat from the chaff, the Kelly Clarksons from the Ke$has. On the contrary, the judges are useful in giving the Idoloonie Nation a common ground, an outlet for unleashing all the angst and stress and disappointment of the American Idol journey. Still smarting over Colton and/or Elise’s exits? Rage against J.Lo for admitting she’s blissfully unaware of The Box Tops’ “The Letter.” Frantic that you didn’t get any busy signals while voting for your favorite this week? Then point and jeer at Randy for his confusion over the word “crustacean.” Miserable that Phillip Phillips missed his high notes this week like an aardvark trying to plant a kiss on a giraffe’s lips? Um, then you might have to use me as your personal punching bag, ’cause Uncle Nigel’s lackeys sure didn’t seem to notice!

Look, I’m never going to say Phillip doesn’t have talent or that he wasn’t worthy of a Top 5 (okay, a Top 7) finish. To do so would be to ignore a solid (and sometimes quite excellent) body of Season 11 work that includes “Still Rainin’,” “Movin Out,” “Hard to Handle,” “In the Air Tonight,” and a sublime audition to “Thriller.” But this week, not all the “Does your daddy let you date?” smoldering in the world could mask the fact that P2 flat-out got owned by Jessica, Hollie, Skylar, and Joshua — in two sets of performances. And it’s hard to justify anybody advancing to the Top 4 on an 0-for-8 losing streak.

With that in mind, let’s get down to the business of dishing indivdual performances:

The ’60s
Hollie Cavanagh: Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” | I’ve spent half of Season 11 trying to remember why I was so bummed Hollie got cut during the Season 10 Green Mile episode, and for the last two weeks, Hollie has been loudly (and effectively) reminding me. “River Deep, Mountain High” was a study in sublime power vocals, without any unneccessary embellishments. I mean, if you’ve got a high-quality, perfectly cooked fillet mignon, are you really going to muck it up with horseradish or ketchup or blue cheese? Similarly, Hollie held back on the melisma and the vibrato and the riffing, delivering a classic melody with heart and soul, while strutting around like the Pied Piper as her backup singers and brass section trailed along, transfixed. The “I love you, baby” breakdown was one of my favorite musical moments of the season, and you can’t really argue with a little flirty interplay with the bongo drummer, either. Scary opening performance slot be damned, the Liverpool lass might just last another week in the competition!

Phillip Phillips: The Box Tops’ “The Letter” | I’m not entirely sure why Phillip chose “The Letter,” when he freely admitted he wasn’t crazy about the original version. But even more confusing to me was how Randy could declare the performance a rousing triumph while noting there “was not quite as much melody in the chorus.” That’d be like looking at a blank sheet of newspaper and saying “there’s not quite as much story on that page.” By compressing the refrain to a hiccupy/growly three-note range, Phillip sucked all the intensity and urgency out of the composition. We’re supposed to believe our narrator is so moved by his lover’s writing, that he’s eschewing a high-speed train for a pricey airline ticket. By the time Phillip was done telling us about how “my baby she done wrote me that letter,” I wasn’t sure if he’d be inclined to mosey across the street to see the lady in question. I dunno: Phillip might just end up getting get that ticket for an aeroplane — because if he’s ever going to be at risk of packing his bags and heading back home, this is the week.

Skylar Laine: CCR’s “Fortunate Son” | Skylar frequently gets described as being the Season 11 firecracker, and indeed, this performance highlighted the fast, dangerous, and explosive “POW!” that she often brings to the table. On its surface, a Vietnam protest anthem seemed like an odd fit for this gun-totin’ Mississippi teenager, but I felt like she channeled the cheeky anger of the chorus quite nicely. I don’t know anything about Skylar’s political point of view, but the way her voice floated skyward on “It ain’t me,” the way she worked every inch of the stage with a fearsome stomp, I believed she wasn’t no millionaire’s son, protected from the ugly realities of a nation at war. Or maybe I just really like the sound of her voice when it’s paired with a growly, swamp-dwelling melody?

Jessica Sanchez: Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” | I’ve said it all season long that Jessica is at her best when she’s dropped in uncharted musical territory and is left with nothing but her own excellent musical instincts to find her way home. Unfortunately, her mentors this week kept her tethered to Tina Turner’s iconic rendition of this CCR ditty, right down to the lineup of leggy backup dancers and blasting horns and gam-centric choreography. Oh sure, there was that slowed-down blues-y intro, when you’re coloring inside the lines of a Tina Turner sketch, chances are you’re going to run out of ink before the picture is completed. Jessica hit all her notes, and managed not to tumble off the stage while attempting to dance in ridiculously high heels — a continuous and wrong-minded styling issue for almost every woman on this show for four or five seasons running — but as Randy said, the end result was “just okay.” (Eww, it feels gross to agree with Randy.)

Joshua Ledet: The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” | In much the same way Jessica’s opening number failed to catch fire, Joshua’s “Ain’t Too Proud” also felt like it was stuck thigh-deep in ’60s hepcat choreography and an arrangement that did nothing to reinvent this dated slice of Oldies Station cheese into something fresh or modern. Yes, Joshua’s sequin-striped sleeves were fabulous, as was the daffodil in his lapel — side note: Ryan, you weren’t fooling anyone acting like you thought that was a tulip — but when the Season 11 history book gets written, this performance will really only be noteworth for a mentoring session that had this exchange:

Steven Van Zandt: If you happen to sign him…
Jimmy Iovine: HAPPEN?

In other words, don’t worry if the Season 11 Standing Ovation Activator (TM) gets sent home before the finale: He’s getting himself a major-label deal before the summer tour comes to a close.

British Pop
Hollie Cavanagh: Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” | This that made me go “Squeeee!” like a 9-year-old girl: Hollie’s to-die-for dress, featuring an amazing train of black cobwebs. The sparse, piano-driven arrangement that allowed her voice to live front and center from start to finish. The absolute pitch perfection. That glory note, which truly and honestly bled with conviction, and brought this Ryan Tedder composition to life in a way I’d never before experienced. (Nah, I’m not really into Leona Lewis, sorry.) Things that made me grumble: The animated heart exploding into silly shards backdrop. (MY GOD THIS SEASON’S BACKDROPS ARE AWFUL! Whew, I feel better now.) J.Lo saying this: “We put you through the ringer because we always believed in you!” when she really meant was “Sometimes it’s fun to play with contestants like cats with balls of yarn.”

Phillip Phillips: The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” | I’m not going to belabor the catastrophic results of Phillip attempting to hit those falsetto notes on the chorus of this psychedellic ditty. I’ll just say it was about as fun as watching a second-grader strike out every time he goes to bat for an entire season of Little League. (Oh, my inner 9-year-old just winced at the memory.) Even worse, Phillip seemed to struggle with the lower notes of the verses, too. Which made it all the more bizarre when Randy went on and on about how this performance proved that Phillip “really can sing the melody.” Um, did it, Randy? Did it? J.Lo and Steven praised it, too. So either we have a case of the judges holding back their criticism so as to not activate Phillip’s voting bloc, or the judges knowing Phillip is so far ahead in the voting that they need to start justifying his inevitable coronation, regardless of what he does on stage. Thursday night’s results show — and whether or not Phillip lands in the Bottom 2 — should tell the tale.

Skylar Laine: Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” | Oh how the staging for Skylar’s countrified twist on this Brit-pop classic took me back to the days of watching Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters variety show with my parents back in my grade-school years. I mean, the streetlight props and the ridiculous couple sitting on the random park bench didn’t exactly pulsate with modernity. And yet I agreed with J.Lo that there was a passion and a power to Skylar’s delivery that somehow elevated all the silliness on stage around her. The kid really knows how to spin a yarn: When she got to the “It wasn’t me who changed but you/ And now you’ve gone away,” I got the same woman-done-wrong-singing-so-right chills that Skylar made happen during her Kellie Pickler cover a few weeks back. I worry that the relative quietness of this number compared to Jessica and Joshua’s subsequent explosions could put Skylar at risk this week, and if she goes home, I suspect I’ll be quoting another line from this ballad. “Left alone with a memory. Life seems dead and so unreal. All that’s left is loneliness. There’s nothing left to feel.” Yeah, folks, I’m in that deep.

Jessica Sanchez: Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” | Like I said in my post-show write-up on Wednesday, 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 the song was equally sublime. And while Jessica’s rendition didn’t have the haggard, world-weariness of Joe Cocker’s classic, that’s not really the mood you’d want from a 16-year-old anyhow. Jessica brought to the song a freshness and innocence of first-time love, and a reminder that even if the judges seem reluctant to give her standing ovations, she is nevertheless a legit contender for Scotty McCreery’s crown and sash.

Joshua Ledet: The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” | It can’t be easy taking the stage after a video rolls with your guest mentor stating that your quickie studio rehearsal was “one of the greatest performances I’ve ever heard in my life.” I mean, talk about pressure! And while I’m not certain Joshua’s live version of “To Love Somebody” could hold up to such massive hyperbole, it was certainly another tremendous moment in his Season 11 journey. I don’t really know how to describe what Joshua does. It’s like he crawls inside a song and then has to use the power of his voice to turn it inside out, to find his way back into the world. If that’s a step too far, you have to at least admit that Joshua’s unabashed R&B holleration turned the Bee Gee’s pretty wisp of a melody into something totally different and decidedly more stirring. Here’s hoping Standing O #13 doesn’t prove his undoing.

Phillip & Joshua: The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” | Three things we learned from this: Either Joshua and Phillip’s senses of humor are drier than a Texas sidewalk on a hot July day, or they really weren’t into the idea of this duet; Joshua needs to realize that there’s nothing wrong with a guy putting his arm around you — even (especially?) a guy as dreamy as Phillip; and Phillip doesn’t really benefit from a head-to-head comparison of his and Joshua’s vocals.

Jessica, Skylar & Hollie: Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” | Let’s give 33 points apiece to the Season 11 ladies for diving into a cheesy little group performance without a single complaint, and for using that enthusiasm to make it actually enjoyable. And we’ll give that one extra point to Hollie for a high note that was as stellar as it was unexpected.

Letter Grades for This Week’s Performances
Hollie (Brit): A
Jessica (Brit): A
Joshua (Brit): A
Hollie (60s): A-
Skylar (Brit): A-
Hollie, Jessica, Skylar Trio: B+
Skylar (60s): B
Joshua (60s): B
Jessica (60s): B
Phillip (60s): C+
Phillip & Joshua Duet: C
Phillip (Brit): D+

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. James says:

    FIRST!!! Good article Slezak Phillip clearly the worst

    • Gorm says:

      Slezak Phillip would be a terrifying almaglm of man. Prone to bouts of flannelism and austere interior design, yet always wearing that grey henley underneath like a never nude, growling and stomp-dancing at anyone that dares come close enough to try and remove it.

      • Joseph says:

        Thinking that I am not the only one in the anti Joshua camp give how he is being shoved down the throat of the audience.
        If Joshua makes it to top 2 , I will vote like a fiend for anyone up against him.

        • Gene says:

          And you won’t be the only one…I’m sick of watching the other judges follow Randy’s lead when he stands up for Joshua, especially when the others (Holly, Jessica, Skylar) have done better just before him. Sucks!

          • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

            How grown up of you, to vote to spite the judges despite how good he is.

      • Spider3tattoo says:

        Not trying to sound like I’m defending his style choices, because he needs A LOT of help, and no just with clothing…but…my daughter is color-blind and sees only grays and some greens. She almost always wears gray. He might be color-blind as well?

    • SanDiegoCat says:

      Phillip’s funky arrangement of the Letter reminded me so much of Casey from last season! And on Time of the Season, Phillip couldn’t hear a sound in his in-ear monitor, so he couldn’t hear his own voice. Singers use monitors for a reason. Up on stage with all the noise, you can’t hear what note you’re hitting without them. So give Phillip a break, for heaven’s sake. A technical malfunction is not his fault.

      • Bob says:

        American Idol did not allow the use of ear monitors until a couple seasons ago. So many years of great (and not so great) performances were done without the use of ear monitors. And somehow they managed.

        • Njloonie says:

          Why didn’t the judges even mention the earpiece? I am guessing because it wasn’t on their preprinted notes.

      • Leila says:

        Not giving him a pass. He wasn’t really out of tune, he just couldn’t reach the – not so high – notes. His voice cracked.

      • shelbybb says:

        I agree, I don’t think Phillip could hear himself and yes it wasn’t his best week. I did think he looked better than I’ve seen him look in weeks. He didn’t seem to be in so much pain.
        Just gotta add Michael, there are a whole lot of people out there that love P2’s sound and will support his future career whether that starts tonight or in a few weeks, it really doesn’t matter much.
        In fact we might just love P2 more than you love your beloved “Joshua/Skylar can do no wrong” team.
        Not getting your grading system but hey it’s your show!

        • takakupo says:

          That is a ridiculous sentiment that “This was not his best week” and that may have been ill. Even Jennifer said last seasons that no matter how sick you are, you HAVE to perform and you HAVE to do well! It’s your job. You’re a singer so sing or cancel your performances. Philip has been pretty bad for the last 4 or 5 weeks now and better artists than him have gone home. His artistry can only carry him so far and right now, he just doesn’t deserve to be there. The voting system is broken.

    • adamfan says:

      Agree, while I really enjoyed Philip in the beginning, he is sounding like a one trick pony. Also, why is “16 Year old” Jessica always dressed like a Malaysian hooker.

  2. PRL says:

    Hollie A, A-, B+: easily the best of the night, with a A- average.

    • Jenay says:

      Bleeding love was wonderful, much better than the original. The only thing that would have made it better is if Chelsie and Mark (So You Think You Can Dance) were dancing to it!

      • mrOCD says:

        Bleeding Love easily places into the Top 5 performances of the season for me. It will be a travesty if Hollie leaves tonight.

        • Ben says:

          While I don’t disagree with the first half of your post, the reality is that Hollie may leave tonight because she has been over the course of the season the weakest of the 5. I would be sad if Hollie went after that – she deserves to stay another week – but I couldn’t honestly call it a travesty, because her fate might have been sealed based on what went before before she even sang, and I don’t see that as necessarily unfair.

          • mrOCD says:

            Maybe I should have said instead: it will be a travesty if Hollie leaves tonight BEFORE Phillip. Even if you want to consider their whole body of work, Hollie has Phillip beat, given how she’s being doing fairly well over the last three-four weeks and definitely better than Phil. But that’s just one guy’s opinion. And it doesn’t really amount to much in the face of Philliip’s powerful voting fanbase.

      • MaC says:

        Better than the original? Hollie has no soul, and the high notes Leona hits in that song are amazing! I really don’t understand all this Hollie love. She’s like Celine Bot 2.0 but without such a great voice and the performance experience.

        • ejones says:

          Hollie did have the help of one of the backing singers for many of the more difficult higher notes to hit

        • takakupo says:

          Being a great singer is more than just your range. “Bleeding Love” does not require an oz. of soul, but lbs of conviction and Hollie had it in spades. Whether or not anyone believes it was better than the original is a matter of opinion but Hollie is definitely a great singer.

        • Marla says:

          Thank you.

      • FreeHaley says:

        I wouldn’t say it was much better or even better than the original, Leona Lewis has an insane voice, but it was damn and was one of the season’s best.

      • crystal says:

        lollz… yeah

    • Brigette says:

      She was absolutely the best. She’s gotten so much better and deserves to keep going in the competition.

  3. TinyTim says:

    Philip reminds me of Kris Allen, please it is time for him to go.
    Joshua did a great second song
    Holly was best overall.
    Skylar wasn’t very good this week on bad song choices.
    Who dressed Jessica for that first song?

    • mrOCD says:

      Um, Kris Allen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Phillip Phillips. That is all.

    • SanDiegoCat says:

      Phillip reminds you of Kris Allen? That’s a huge compliment since Kris has one of the best voices and is one of the biggest innovators ever on Idol!

    • Kris Fan says:

      Well, Phil better be thanking you bigtime, cuz Kris Allen is a fantastic vocalist, performer, and songwriter. Plus Kris is adorable.

      • Ray says:

        Kris Allen had real talent, as a arranger of music, song writer, and singer. To compare him to Phillip is an insult to Kris.

        • omfug says:

          I absolutely agree about Kris Allen, he has a gorgeous voice, it was unfortunate for Kris that he was on in a season that had a showboat like Lambert (who appealed to the hysterical frau crowd) on as well, but for those of us who like nuanced, simply beautiful voices, great rearangement skills, not to mention real talent as a songwriter, Kris Allen richly deserved to win Idol–P2, not so much.

    • Bonnie A. says:

      Thought Kris Allen was AMAZING on “Heartless” and “Falling Slowly”,
      “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Live Like We’re Dying”, especially! He is such a great songwriter. I’ve loved Phillip all season but last night was sub-par. Still will be downloading his music to my iPod more than the others. It’s personal preference and I find his voice/arrangements interesting. Know that’s not the popular view right now.

      On the other hand, Joshua oversings the songs from my poing of view and it’s just too much for me. Again, personal preference which Michael was writing about.

      I think this has been a fantastic top 7, and have looked forward to Wednesday nights with great anticipation.

      • Davey says:

        I still have Kris’s songs from his season win on my iPod and he delivered week after week. Really his choice of songs on Idol makes for some very pleasurable listening. The only thorn was that stupid coronation song he had to sing but then it was balanced by his duet with Adam with Queen and his super cool duet with Keith Urban. P2 had had none of those moments that Kris had because Kris has a much better voice. And he had gotten much better as performer with time.

  4. Peachhy says:

    Stephan lessard tweeted to phillip that he thought he owned his 2 performance. Phillip tweeted back saying he didnt think it was good because his ear monitor wasnt working and he couldnt hear anything. Maybe that is why he sounded unusually bad and at least he realizes it

    • macy says:

      Yes, he did remove his monitor early in the performance.

    • wickerpark says:

      Dear P2 fans, let’s just admit the fact that Philip has limited range and can never hit those high notes whether his monitor is working or not. And if he gets eliminated, it’ll have nothing to do with Ryan mentioning his having a girlfriend. It will be because of his poor performance the past two weeks. Let us let him go in peace before he makes another embarrassing week on AI.

    • deedee says:

      His ear monitor wasn’t working?? M gawd! I was already suspecting that they were giving him the ol’ heave-ho, but this almost confirms it.

    • Yo' says:

      I’m kind of surprised no recapper has mentioned this, because I wondered at the time if it affected the godawful tune.

      • Jason says:

        That’s been a conspiracy theory for awhile that they purposely put something in the ear monitor to help sabotage contestants they want gone!!!

        • FreeHaley says:

          It is interesting Elise’s monitor went wrong, Jacobs constantly went wrong once they wanted him gone and I believe Haley’s went wrong a few times. You do wonder.

    • Bobbie says:

      Elise popped her ear monitor out at the beginning of her “I Want It All” performance because it wasn’t working either and yet she managed to carry the tune just fine, if not excellently. Then again, she is used to performing with a live band.

      • SanDiegoCat says:

        Very few people have natural perfect pitch. Most people have to be given the key by the instruments. It doesn’t mean one is a better singer than the other.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Most people don’t although the percentage does tend to be much higher among top musicians than among the general public, although even there it’s hardly universal by any means.

  5. Lauren says:

    Maybe Randy meant Phillip is physically able to have a melody come out of his mouth? Therefore sing one? That’s all I can figure. Phillip’s performance was one of the worst I have heard on Idol’s live stage. I would love to hear the judge’s justification for giving him zero criticism. I hope Jimmy flips out about it tonight when he give his critique.

    • Bobbie says:

      I agree. Phillip was just awful all night but it hasn’t been the first time. It is definitely past due for his exit, though he is still the only one who hasn’t been in the bottom 3.

    • TheBeach says:

      Jimmy’s critiques, while often spot on, are so predictable. It’s painfully obvious that he knows the results ahead of time and fashions his words to match the results. If he rips someone, you can bet they are in the bottom 3 and if he sings their praises, they’re safe. It’s happened every week and is way too transparent.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        But not always. Was it a couple of weeks ago where he predicted Hollie would be in the bottom three, but she wasn’t? I think that might have been the week Colton went home, and as I recall he was critical of Colton’s performances but at the same time stating what colton should do differently.
        I’m beginning to think they should do this like the Academy Awards – have two guys in Tuxes from VeryImportantAccountingFirmWithFancyName walk out with a briefcase handcuffed to their wrists and the results locked inside, LOL.

        • TheBeach says:

          Ha…I think that was Price and Waterhouse if memory serves… and it doesn’t always:)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            that’s it. Have the Price and Waterhouse guys walk on stage and Ryan can unlock the briefcase right there in front of God and everybody.

        • Templar says:

          If the vote tallies were honest and independently monitored that might work. but Idol is so crooked they won’t even release the vote numbers. The viewers are incredibly naive if they think their votes are the determining factor. They are continuously manipulated by song choices, performance order, judges’ scripted evaluations and the way they fill the stools of doom with non eliminees. If they want a voting boost for someone who isn’t going home, they place them in the bottom 2 or 3. They are trying to let Phil go home without breaching his contract. If they had placed him in the bottom 2 this week, he’d have gotten a voting boost. So they put Hollie in there instead, knowing it would boost her as well as the fact that she’ll pick up her best friend Skylar’s votes. This will push her to the finale against either Joshua or Jessica. JMO

      • Jason says:

        I’m pretty sure he does his critiques on the night of the show right after the performances. Once or twice he has said Hollie messed up tonight!! Not last night. Unless he is faking that !!!

    • Ben says:

      I think its very justified. Do you not realise that strong criticism of bad performances is frequently what helps those people to survive when they have big fan bases (via the sympathy vote). The best chance Phil has of going tonight is that his fans realised too late just how under threat he was.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Maybe he is so up there in votes they don’t dare ruin his rep even though he seems to be fading badly the last few weeks? They never got on Scotty much and he was never doing anything particularly special and some of the performances like the lookee here lookee there were just ridiculous, Simon was ripped that to pieces, but instead they said it demonstrated he was already concert ready and that is was beyond fantastic.

  6. Bobbie says:

    Ha! I can’t believe Joshua pushed Phillip off of him. If I wasn’t convinced before that Joshua was a closet homosexual before, then I certainly am now! Hollie did well enough to stay if you ask me. I can’t believe you gave Skylar A’s and B’s for her work. Yikes. I felt this was her weakest effort by far and she absolutely butchered Fortunate Son. On a final note: Man, did I miss Elise last night!

    • Eric says:

      Gotta agree. Elise was sorely missed last night :(

    • I thought the same thing about Joshua. ONLY a homosexual man thats not yet comfortable with his sexuality would be uncomfortable being jokingly affectionate with another man. That whole comment about fighting for Phillips girlfriend LOL gurl, please.

      • well… either that or a homophobe. but i think in this situation option A is the more likely of the two.

      • Bobbie says:

        I absolutely agree. Hope Joshua finds the closet door one day. I also LOL’d at fighting over Phil’s girl and am constantly laughing at these little “straight” reaffirmations about getting the background dancers’ phone numbers and such. Yeah, riiiiiight.

      • Yo' says:

        Bullfeathers. It depends on your upbringing. This kid is the son of a minister. And, once again,
        who cares?

      • sara says:

        Tell me, do you have a PhD in Gay? How else did you apparently gain all this absolute wisdom? Josh just turned 20, it’s not at all unusual for teenage boys/adolescents to act like that, for many different reasons (most of them being cultural), and none of them are clear indicators of anybody’s sexuality.
        Maybe you should sign up for a refresher course or something?

        • Bobbie says:

          LOL, oh please, sara. It might not be completely out of the question that an (insecure) 20 year old would do that but I can’t think of many straight 20 year old guys who flail around in a pair of short shorts acting like a tween girl (as seen a few weeks back). You can join the legion of Claymates and Sparkle Frau in your high level of denial if it makes you feel better, but I am just calling it like I see it. Joshua is GAY GAY GAY GAY. Give him a few years and the closet doors will be bursting open.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Or he’ll live a double life and hide in church. His father’s a minister, and I’m bettin’ it’s the type that calls homosexuality a sin.

          • sara says:

            Oh gee, way to pull out the “Frauen” card, how very convenient for you.
            Aside from the fact that I wasn’t even talking to you, I never said anything about whether Josh is gay or not, because 1) I don’t know and 2) I don’t give a crap and am not sure why you do.
            I was referring to how the guy I was actually replying to so very self-confidently said that “ONLY a homosexual man” would act that way, which is such a ridiculous thing to say it’s not even funny anymore.

        • 28 years of homosexuality has given me this “absolute wisdom” :)

          • Spider3tattoo says:

            I agree with you Paco. My gaydar is pretty good. I just think he doesn’t even know yet himself and he seemed *very* uncomfortable there. Not even a smirk like it was a Bro-joke.

          • sara says:

            Hahaha, oh jesus. I guess that’s supposed to explain everything and automatically turns everything you think about other people into a fact? Obviously your own sexuality gives you absolute and undebatable insight into everybody else. Ridiculous.

      • Ben says:

        Meh, I’m straight, and I remember once hugging another straight guy (as a complete joke) and got this exact reaction. He was 100% straight. Some people just don’t like their personal space invaded. Drawing huge conclusions from tiny things is a bit silly.

        • Ben says:

          Not that I’m disagreeing that he might be… he does give off the vibe. I just think it is a silly detail to use as evidence.

        • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

          But but but, everyone is psychic here and just KNOWS whats going on. No IMHO or “this is my take”; they just KNOW. I for one am sick of it. I loved reading how so-and-so WILL sing this song (on the songlist thread) after the fact. So many wrong, but so many so damn sure of their fake knowledge.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Or, he doesn’t like P2. Whatever his sexuality.

    • TheBeach says:

      Tyler actually made a lot of sense (for once) last night when he told J&P2 to just own the duet and sing it and that there was nothing wrong with doing that.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I agree – I think I posted this earlier but I almost got the idea they didn’t understand that two guys really did sing this song. P2 left me with the impression that he thought it was originally a guy/girl duet. Why do I think Colton and P2 would have been better? It wouldn’t have sounded any better but there would have been a far better comfort level, IMO. Clearly those two had no problem joking around with one another.

        • GeorgeR says:

          I think that Josh was just trying to keep composure and keep it together he is a very serious performer and Phillip was messing with him the whole song, I saw Phil do it with Elise too scratching his chin I dont think there is any animosity between them, just boys being boys A couple of frat boys with Phil like a seasoned senior and Josh being a serious sophmore.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Well, P2 can be a bit of a smart-ass. I can feel Josh cringing at the thought of doing a duet with P2. They don’t go together – like oil and water.

        • FreeHaley says:

          You know I think it may have been. They have to plan the week before. I think they expected Elise to outlast Hollie and that it had been planned for Elise to be part of it. It was just a crazy though I had when I flipped channels and caught that bit, and now that you mention that P2 apparently made it clear it had been planned for girl/guy I think it means they show had intended Elise to do it. duet.

          (then again where would P2 have gone? with the three girls in that song? that doesn’t make sense at all actually and they did give hollie that last second standing O last week, which was odd, maybe they thought it would make hollie’s fans complacent last week, but they simply miscalculated and overdid it a bit and got elise bumped off, who knows, the whole show is so ridiculous, that people even talk like this and speculate, they’ve lost the plot and ruined it all).

      • Olita says:

        Basically, they both have never seen Top Gun.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          LOL. I thought the same thing. But Ryan’s seen it – he referenced Maverick and Goose.

          • Jason says:

            Is that a reference to the theory that MAverick and Ice MAn were closet homosexuals. There’s a movie where Quentin Tarantino discusses this theory. “You can ride my tail anytime!!!” oe soemthing like that.

    • CMC says:

      Really? You can’t see that whole Joshua/Phillip exchange wasn’t meant to be a joke that the producers thought up?? In the real world, I bet Josh and P2 are good friends. The laughter during and after thier performance together made me think that the two were having nothing but good fun. I think viewers read into this non-performing thing way too much and its skewed based on their favorites. Can’t we just focus on their performances?

      • Bobbie says:

        People can focus on whatever they want to. The show is for entertainment purposes only, whether it be for singing or anything else.

    • Mara says:

      I actually thought Joshua was openly gay until like two weeks ago. Poor guy, it’s probably the religion thing that is the problem.

    • FreeHaley says:

      Yeah Elise was badly missed (or should would have been had I bothered to watch ;) ).

    • naepooh says:

      I agree, Joshua didn’t have to act like Phillip had the plague or some disease, it was just the thing to do after singing the song….joking around is all. Don’t worry Joshua, Phillip has a girl friend so he wasn’t trying to make a move on you!!!!!!

  7. connerc says:

    Glad you have a picture of Phillip. Might be the last time. Even I couldn’t vote for him last night.

  8. Ange says:

    I think Phillip is *trying* to go home. I know we’ve all heard this little gem in the past, but I really think he knows/feels his time on Idol should be up. He’s going to be just fine after the show and if he exits now he’ll be able to stay true to himself rather than have do deal with the orchestrations of the Idol machine.

    • Ange says:

      Also, consider the introduction of the girlfriend.

      • MamaLis says:

        See, that’s what I said last night. As soon as Ryan announced GF I saw a third of his tween voting block give up. I know, I know, Chris Allen had a wife. But this is slightly different. P2 has been ‘profiled’ from the beginning as sort of the sexy-single-artsy-musician-fly kinda guy. I dunno…
        Also, it was rather suspect and bold (?) that Ryan even mentioned it – that directly and this late in the competition. I mean, is anything an ‘accident’ over at Idol? Hmm.

        • deedee says:

          Yes, I’ve been saying the same. Nothing is an accident over at Idol – they just like to make things SEEM casual and off-the-cuff, but there are calculations going on for every detail. Now, take the announcement of GF + non-functioning ear monitor, and we can see that Philip is politely being shown the door.

          If I have not been watching this show obsessively for 8 years, I would not have picked up on the subtlety of the show’s sneaky ways.

          • TheBeach says:

            Perfectly said…audience manipulation at its finest.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Do we even know that it’s really his girlfriend, LOL? Could have been a paid actress. And how convenient that his ear monitor didn’t work.

          • shelbybb says:

            Well said deedee and so right. But P2: we’re here waiting for your solo concert!

          • Marsaili says:

            He’s had pictures of his girlfriend (yes, it’s her) up on his Facebook page since Idol started back in January—so it wasn’t a secret that he had one, it was never discussed openly before, either!

        • Mary B says:

          The reason it was mentioned last night is she just flew in from Georgia and was in the audience. He has never hid the fact that he had a girlfriend. He has mentioned it on twitter and also Facebook. T

      • chistosa says:

        That makes no difference at all. First of all, teen girls are not voting for Phillip, they are not even watching Idol. If as suggested on other blogs, cougars are voting for Phillip, the introduction of a girlfriend would make no difference to them. And even young ones who might be voting for him because he is good looking would not let the presence of a girlfriend deter them. What girl hungering foe a celebrity doesn’t thing he will leave his significant other in the highly unlikely event that they ever meet face to face. Silly to even think that knowledge of a girlfriend has any impact on voters.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          The cougars are voting for him? Hey, not the cougars in Cougar Town where I live, not after those performances last night. We DO have standards, LOL.

          • Yo' says:

            Hear, hear!

          • TheBeach says:

            Hey Darcy, I’m just guessing by your post that you live in Tampa, right? Fort Lauderdale here.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            No, I’m actually in the Midwest. One time I made the comment that all my neighbors loved Danny Gokey and someone said, “Good grief, where do you live? Cougar Town?”. So that’s where I get the reference.

          • themediaho says:

            “We are Cougars, hear us roar. Philly squared we do abhor!”

        • Ben says:

          I actually agree with this, the teen girls I know don’t watch idol, and the Phil fans I know are the older ladies. And anyway, whoever thought that teen girls would vote for the hot guy only because they were single? I bet the impact of the gf is absolutely negligible.

    • E says:

      i did think that the possibility of him standing beneath the confetti shower might NOT be what he wants. And yes, people have thrown that out before, but honestly I don’t think he’ll be upset in the least if he goes home. But I have to admit, I’d be curious to see him matched up with whatever “real music star” in that finale.

    • Terri says:

      Maybe he’s exhausted from enduring a hectic Idol schedule while sick.

  9. Charles T says:

    Phillips’ shtick is old to me – good luck to him (I’m sure he’ll have a following), but it’s time for him to leave.

    BTW, Union Rags on Saturday…

  10. Marcie says:

    Michael, if you were 9 years old in second grade, you SHOULD wince! LOL

  11. I actually prefer Phillips version of Time of the Season to the original. oops @ me. lol

    My girl Hollie KILLED Bleeding Love tho. I got off of my feet and started clapping when that song was over. She MURDERED it. it was amazing. Im glad she woke up all nonbelievers. My loyalty for her never faltered.

  12. J says:

    In my own home, I gave two standing ovations. One for Hollie’s BRILLIANT interpretation of “Bleeding Love.” She really drove home the lyrics in a beautiful way and made the music behind her vocals subtle. Kudos to Steve Van Zandt for that piece of advice, and his overall mentoring.

    My second ovation to Joshua for “To Love Somebody.” He knows how to lay emotion on that stage.

    Skylar, amazing. Girl can bring it on stage each week. Slow song or fast paced.

    These three contestants are my ideal top 3 and are stars.

    • sara says:

      Yep, those were the two performances of the night and among the top performances of the whole season. Fantastic. I also agree with Skylar being the third MVP, that would really be a beautiful top 3.

  13. macy says:

    I think Joshua will be going home tonight. I sincerely try to enjoy his singing, but it is just too much holleration for me, to the point where it is unpleasant to hear. And this is coming from someone that loves R&B, gospel, etc., including singers that belt it out like Aretha, Mary J. Blige etc. There is just something so grating when Joshua lets go. I enjoyed Ready for Love last week because he had some restraint, but the end of the Bee Gees song this week was just too much for me.

    I enjoy Phillip’s music quite a bit and could tell his monitor wasn’t working. I think to say that he is only in the competition still because he’s cute or because he said “does your daddy let you date?” is very much trivializing him. I really enjoy his music.

    • Leila says:

      Macy, sorry but people who do know music and music history are in awe of Joshua. Phillip is mediocre at best.

      • macy says:

        Leila, it is exactly as Michael stated in the article, that music is a subjective art form. I know music and music history as well as any other reader here. There is no way that you can state that all people that know music and music history are fans of Joshua. Some may be, some may not be. Some like vanilla ice cream, some like rocky road, some like orange sherbet. Not everyone is in one category. I respect Josh’s talent but the singing is not enjoyable to me. So, sorry back at you.

        • seattlejohn449 says:

          I’m with you Macy…TOO PROUD TO BEG is the first time I actually enjoyed a Joshua song beginning to end because he was restrained…I don’t get Slezak being on the louder is better train this season as Josh and Skylar have left me scratching my head why people admire their continous oversinging…myself I love ballads and slow songs and nuance so I was really disappointed TO LOVE SOMEBODY and YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME started great and ended up loud and grating and annoying

        • Leila says:

          You can’t assume all readers know music as much as you do. Take it from real musicians who, like Bruce Springsteen’s bandmate last night, considers Joshua one of the best performers he’s ever seen. The guy enjoyed Phillips weird take on The Letter, but it was clear he had way more praise for Joshua and Jessica than all the others.

          • macy says:

            Right, Leila, that is Steven Van Zandt’s opinion. Everyone has their opinion, and is entitled to like what they like. Even if I were a music scholar that style would not be for me. If someone had a PhD in nutrition, they still might not like carrots, OK?

          • Snsetblaze says:

            And I have to point out that Stevie Nicks said Lindsay Buckingham would have hired P2 for Fleetwood Mack and she would hire Elise for her band. So everyone has an opinion.

          • Njloonie says:

            Stevie nicks just liked his grubby look.

      • Sandi says:

        Leila, I’m sorry but I simply hate it when people imply that they know must better than other people and if you don’t agree with them, you know less. Just as Slezak said, and I said in his blog from last night (Did you read my post before you wrote this Slezak?) music appreciation is just opinions.

        I personally don’t care much for Joshua. I don’t deny his obvious talent but I don’t find him current or marketable. I also don’t get this deep emotional connection that Slezak thinks is undeniable. To me it seems affected. I always get the impression that whatever he’s singing doesn’t mean much to him. It’s just a series of words used for him to showcase his range. Now, if you need some credentials to prove the validity of my opinions, I spent several years in marketing for a major record label – and that is NOT Internet BS. But I don’t have to “know music” to have an opinion.

        • Leila says:

          it’s not just opinions. Some people actually have an ear for music, can READ music and understand what is actual good singing, and have listened a variety of genres from classical to jazz to R&B and alternative rock, and that can’t be said for the majority of the AI audience or forum posters.

          • Sandi says:

            You’re right. You’re smart and the rest of us are stoopid.

          • Sandi says:

            I just realized you might not get the sarcasm in my misspelling. You’re remarks come of as quite pompous, sorry to say.

          • Ben says:

            Leila, while I agree with you that Joshua is, objectively, the best singer in the competition, and anyone with any amount of music training will appreciate that fact – I agree with everyone else that having an objective appreciation of Joshua’s skill doesn’t necessarily translate to him being their favourite.

            It often frustrates me that singers like Phil, who are clearly technically lacking comparitive to singers like Joshua, hang around. That is because I put a bit more stock in the voice than the genre. But I think that is the rare perspective – I think most people put more store in genre, personality etc than actual technical accuracy. If this wasn’t valid, musically, then you wouldn’t have the judges loving Phil at all – they’d not only be praising Joshua but bagging on Phil every single week.

            My point is, that being the best singer doesn’t necessarily automatically the best contestant, the most saleable, or the most deserving winner. I feel Josh (or maybe Jessica) probably is the deserving winner this year, but last year I felt Scotty was, and he clearly wasn’t the best singer. I think Joshua is more marketable than some people seem to think, but that’s just because they themselves are not fans.

            I’ve been a pro musician. It teaches you that talent like Joshua’s is undeniable; but that talent is not the only aspect of music with merit.

    • C says:

      Thank heaven there is someone else who agrees with my feelings about Joshua. Everyone’s praise of him makes me feel like I’m the one going crazy. I want him gone next week–this week it has to be Phillip. I’d love an all female top three.

    • TheBeach says:

      I’ve got to take up for Macy a bit here. I grew up listening to and loving Soul, R&B and Rock so I do feel as qualified as any other poster to have an opinion on Joshua. Do I think he has a wonderful instrument:Yes. Do I think some of his ballads are over the top and could benefit from some restraint:Absolutely. Are some of his performances becoming predictable:Yep.
      If you listen to the great soul singers of the past, such as Al Green, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke (James Brown not so much), etc. they all knew how to caress a song and save the bombast for emphasis. They did not full-out scream throughout the song. I was very impressed with Joshua’s “Ready for Love” for that very reason and it was great. He’s young,raw but very talented. Maybe studying how the greats became “great” would be beneficial to his career.

      • Yo' says:

        I think many songs on this show could benefit from restraint, but I have finally acquiesced to the fact it ain’t gonna happen: these singers have only a couple of minutes to make an impression and if they don’t throw all the furniture and appliances into the mix, they lose.

        • MamaLis says:

          You know, I think that’s true, Yo. When they do try a more nuanced or quiet performance, the odds (usually) are that the feedback begins with, “Hi baby…..”

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I don’t completely disagree with either Macy or TheBeach – music absolutely is a matter of personal preference and I happened to love both of Joshua’s performances last night. Soul/R&B/Rock encompassed singers with a wide variety of styles – from the sublime, lovely vocals of Sam Cooke to the over-the-top, “screamy”, bombastic approach of Tina Turner and James Brown (not to mention Joe Cocker, if you want to toss in a white guy). I do think Joshua is singing what he is feeling; however, I agree with TheBeach that Joshua could benefit from advanced studying and less is sometimes really more.

      • Ben says:

        One thing you should remember (or I could be just assuming) is that you are probably comparing studios with live performances. Studios (even with Josh, and probably with the great soul singers too) generally show more restraint than live performances, and they probably are not reasonable comparisons.

    • Marie says:

      Macy-if you can’t appreciate Josh’s passion and energy on stage, then you have no pulse. You keep telling yourself that Phillip stunk last night because his monitor wasn’t working. The bottom line is that he pales in comparison to Joshua (and the others) in the vocals department. That duo with him and Joshua just proved it. Josh inadvertently made him look silly

      • macy says:

        Where oh where Marie did I ever say that I don’t appreciate Josh’s passion and energy? I said that I respect his talent, but it is not enjoyable TO ME. How is that (my preferences) something that is debatable?

        Yes, comparing Phillip and Joshua is like comparing apples and oranges. But guess what? Some people like apples, and some people like oranges. Some people like both and some like neither. Two of my favorites of all-time are Bruce Springsteen and Luther Vandross. And they are nothing alike, and that’s OK. Just because Bruce may not have the beautiful, smooth, silky power that Luther had, does not mean that he is not every bit as enjoyable to me.

    • bonni says:

      Joshua is a great singer but he does tend to substitute Jacob Lusk type straining and hollering for emotion when a little restraint would be far more effective. Unlike Lusk at least his hollering’s in key but still, he’s a great vocalist who doesn’t need to resort to histrionics. The OTT straining/screeching at the end ruined a perfectly fine rendition of To Love Somebody. My one gripe about his version of Ain’t Too Proud to Beg was his failure to use his falsetto in the chorus, especially on the key words “please” and “plead”. I kept waiting for that falsetto to kick in to highlight those two words and it never did. Frustrating! That song always reminds me of The Big Chill but his lack of falsetto left me chilled, lol.

    • Mary B says:

      Listen to studio version of “Time of the season”. It is really good.

  14. 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.

  15. Frank O'File says:

    What Joshua does is tear a song from his guts. There’s not a note that this guy sings which isn’t infused with emotion. I know there are people who call it screaming…it’s an argument around since time about soul singers and emotive singers like Streisand. But frankly, matched with Josh’s talent, it’s sublime.

    • RD says:

      Can only agree. Joshua sings from somewhere deep inside and transports you.
      If there’s any justice Philip should go home this week.

    • deedee says:

      My test of a great singer is if s/he can make me cry. Joshua makes me cry. He’s ridiculous.

      • IdolFan says:

        Folks Joshua grew up in a church raised by a very religious family. He learned from the best – his father. The choir and his father’s words of god and the holy spirit through his sermons have taught this young man how to emulate emotion into song. If you’ve been to a Baptist church in the south you will understand otherwise you’ll never understand where that passion comes from and why it can be a whisper or a scream. His talent is that he can sing and transmit everything he’s grown up around, the only way so far he understands how to receive feeling and transmit it back. He’s good at it, even if he gets lost in the ‘preaching’ sometimes.

        Good on ya Josh – good luck with the album and best of luck to each Idol tonight.

  16. Tracy says:

    In my opinion Holly won the night. I hope she sticks around. I had to forward through Phillip’s second performance. It was just painful to listen to. Also did anyone notice the way he kept almost clutching his side during the duet? It looked like he was in pain.

  17. Am I the only one who didn’t like Hollie’s version of River Deep, Mountain High? I mean, Bleeding Love was fantastic, but her first song was ok-ish.

    • jcs says:

      I didn’t think it was great either.

    • TiaGata says:

      No I didn’t necessarily like it, in the words of ST from a couple of weeks ago – “It just sorta lied there.” I was waiting for more, and more never came. It was ok, but not like everybody keeps saying, and I watched it a couple of times.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I think one of the problems with “River Deep, Mountain High” is it’s all “Mountain High” and not much “River Deep”. It starts on a high point and it just kind of hangs out there. I admit I love, love, love Tina Turner singing that song (and Darlene Love, for that matter). I thought Hollie did a decent job with the song – but her “Bleeding Love” was amazing. That was the first time I ever liked that song.

  18. STFU says:

    So another awful WGWG is going to win? lol. So glad I stopped watching this worthless show.

  19. Leila says:

    I heard Steven Van Zandt say “best performER” not performance. In any case it was a good performance by Joshua if not his best on the show (When a Man Loves a Woman, All By Myself, Ready for Love and Jar of Hearts were the best for me).

  20. Sonic Wave says:

    I went from being totally dismissive of Hollie and wishing that she would go home over Elise and other contestants for weeks to being a total fan. Call it Kris Allen or James Durbin Syndrome.

    • Eric says:

      Right there with you. Gun to my head, I wanted Hollie gone badly instead of Elise, but she REALLY stepped it up last night. Both performances changed my mind

  21. Steve Z says:

    I’m afraid for Skylar. If P2 makes it through this week, I think Skylar is the one that will go home. And if she goes, her votes will go to P2.

    Is P2 just believing all the judges hype so mych that he feels he is indestructable? How could he think either of those songs last night did him justice? (Or that he did them justice?) The only hope is that the introduction of his girlfriend may have weakened his hold on the female fan base.

    • George R says:

      Years ago it might have weakened Phillips fan base but pictures of him and the girlfriend have been on the internet for months and these kids have all seen her.

  22. TiaGata says:

    Skylar – while I liked her way back when (week 1 of live performances), I find her voice to be very thin and lacking in any real vocal quality. She can sing loud and do a run that sounds like a note at the end of every few words.

    Jessica – can sing, but she can’t “sang” (urbanism)…she is better than Pia was, but still not a person I would buy. She has practiced “singing” so long, she has no performance skills at all.

    Phil – I agree there is something about him that I like, but it isn’t necessarily his singing, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I still don’t think that whatever it is I like is the thing he needs to win. He should not get the crown.

    Hollie – I liked her far more than Skylar starting with the 2nd week of live performances, I heard the “good” in her voice and was impressed. I was really pissed when she landed in the bottom 3 on one of those weeks and Skylar was praised to high heaven that week, and I thought she was definitely the weakest link (that is when we still had all the girls EVP, Elise, Jessica, Skylar, Hollie). I still don’t want her to win because…

    Joshua – is my pick for the win, although last night, I finally had the feel of “Joshua feels the same each week in my brain.” I just wasn’t particularly feeling his ATPTB, but I did like his 2nd song, until he went all gospel-y on me, wasn’t feeling that part at all.

    So as things go, that is how I rank the AI contestants at this point.

  23. lesliemr says:

    Wow, nobody’s posting. I really enjoyed last night’s show despite missing Elise. There are four clearly talented people there, plus one that used to be interesting but has kind of worn out his shtick. I hope the voters agree and P2 sings us off tonight.

  24. jcs says:

    Regarding Hollie, I realize that she has a nice voice and makes few mistakes, but I just find her so forgettable, and I really can’t see what kind of album she’s going to do. I assume they’ll try and turn her into a teen pop star, but here voice is too contemporary sounding. honestly, she’s talented, but outside of maybe a role on some YTV shows, I am not sure we’ll know Hollie in a couple years. maybe I’m wrong. Also, I didn’t hate ‘time of the season’ and I am not Phillips biggest fan either. Usually I am on the same page as Slezak, but not this year. Skylar’s second song was average, not flawless as Randy (and Michael) suggested.

    • Mcjagger says:

      Being forgettable and bland was the same criticism I had of Jordin and even Carrie, though Carrie’s cuteness (as my 9 yr old would call it) probably got her some votes. IMO Hollie is on a similiar trajectory…

      • takakupo says:

        The only problem with that assessment is that both Carrie and Jordin were NEVER, I repeat and stress, NEVER in the bottom 3. I love Hollie. She’s been my favorite all year long and I’d say she deserves as much to get into the finale (my belief is that unless you have a moment on the show, than you don’t deserve to win and none of the last two winners nor Philip has had a moment, though arguably, Hollie’s moment might have been “Bleeding Love”. We just have to check back with whatnottosing and see alter on) but her winning seems like a long shot since the only winner who has ever really been in the bottom 3 has been Fantasia and Kris Allen.

        I will say one thing about that argument though, that this season has been unconventional in more ways than one.

  25. Steph says:

    Jessica’s version of You Are So Beautiful was perfection. I loved Hollie’s version of Bleeding Love and Joshua’s performance of To Love Somebody was crazy good.

  26. macy says:

    In reference to something Michael said, Phillip’s sense of humor *is* very dry — he’s been exhibiting that all season.

  27. Jen says:

    I enjoy Phillip’s performances every week & really hope he doesn’t get sent home.

    Hollie to me was the best last night. I really enjoyed her 1st performance.

  28. MamaLis says:

    I agree Josh is something sublime. I love the metaphor of him having to crawl out of a song! Something spectacular surely does happen. Another fantastic moment was Jessica’s “You Are..” Watching it again on the tivo… what she did with her voice, honestly, was quite brilliant. And I can’t believe I’m going to say this: but I might be becoming a fan of Hollie’s. (gasp) Her Bleeding Love was A-mazing!
    So…. ya….. if we’re being fair here, it’s time for darling P2 to exit. It just is.
    This is a wonderfully talented group. Wow.

  29. Jason says:

    Holie’s “Bleeding Love” was possibly in the top 2 or 3 performances of the season. She was sublimely perfect!!!! Josjua is a superstar. And for once on the Joe Cocker song I started to see what people saw in Jessica. She is really good on the high notes. She should emulate Mariah carey more then Beyonce as her high notes are where her money is!!!!

    • MamaLis says:

      I agree Jason!! Also on Jessica, when I replayed that song, not only the high notes but those runs at the end – crazy! I tried to make my regular “talking” voice swerve like that & not only couldn’t I do it, I sounded like I was dying! haha She’s really got a gift. (As does Josh…. As does Hollie…)

  30. BobN says:

    As always a good recap, but I think you didn’t give enough superlatives to Jessica’s version of “You are so Beautiful”. For some reason, I found the entire song just ethereal. Though I rarely to this, my wife and I actually played it back twice. Joshua’s last song really won me over as well. Great jobs by both Holly and Skylar on both of their songs. Definitely agree that Phil was the weakest of the night, though I don’t think I would have graded them as harshly as you did. Overall, this might have been the best overall Top 5 night that I have watched.

  31. GO HOLLLIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Jason says:

    QUestion. Was Joshua homophobic or just kidding around? I always kind of thought he was gay!! IS he trying to keep that in the closet to win the competition ala Lambert?

    • TiaGata says:

      I am torn about his sexuality, but I know I find him sexy. I think coming up in the church may play a role in his androgyny. That male lead in a church choir seems to illicit “gay vibes.” I first thought he was leaning towards being gay when he sung a song and his wrist went limp. But then I liked how he thought the girl on the podium behind him was sexy a few weeks back. And then I further dismissed the gay thoughts of him, because of a song he sung a couple of weeks ago, and I for some reason thought he was on the DL singing it to Hollie. I think he and Hollie may be more than just “friends” that they both have a crush on each other.

      BTW: DL stands for down low.

      • deedee says:

        I don’t know if he’s gay or not. IF he is, he’ll figure things out in time. He’s only 19, and from a Church background! Maybe Idol is not the time or place to be exploring his sexuality.

        Besides (and I said this on the other thread), maybe he and Phil were just joking around about Phil’s penchant for bromancing the men in the competition. He went from Heejun, to Colton, and now only has Josh to “make the moves” on. Maybe they were playing off that theme, with Josh not wanting any part of it. Maybe it’s a running joke behind the scenes.

    • MamaLis says:

      I don’t know. I def don’t think he wants to talk about it quite yet. Some men have effeminate traits. I (do) know he thought the girl in one of his songs was “smokin’ hot.” If that means anything…

      • flutiefan says:

        nope, doesn’t mean anything. someone can find someone else attracted while not being attractED to them. i’m a straight woman and there are many females out there whom i find to be gorgeous.

        • flutiefan says:

          ooops. that was supposed to be: someone can find someone else attractIVE while not being attractED to them.

          • Jason says:

            Also, he could just be saying that. He did say he couldn’t take his eyes off J-Lo’s abs remember?

          • deedee says:

            That wasn’t Joshua, was it? Wasn’t that Heejun? It had to be Heejun! LOL.

    • CMC says:

      he was kidding around…as was Phillip.

    • TheBeach says:

      I really don’t think Adam ever tried to hide his sexuality (maybe Nigel did). He seemed to be winking at his viewers each week like we were all in on his little “secret” and just came out (pardon the pun) week after week with amazing performances.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Adam would have had to have sung from inside an empty refrigerator box to conceal the fact he was gay, and I’m not sure that would have worked. Nobody is more inept at picking out a gay man than me, but I picked up on Adam instantly. Not that it mattered a bit – he was incredibly talented and I loved every one of his performances.

        • MamaLis says:

          Wasn’t he awesome? And so sexy!

        • MissO'Ginny says:

          Hello DET! I know you’re regular poster and a sharp-eyed Idol monster and this is strictly OT but I saw a guy’s face in the audience behind Randy Jackson when he was talking to Jessica and Joshua after their performances. Is he an actor or athlete or just a ramdom hot guy? Lil’ help please….TIA.

      • MA says:

        Adam also lost to the squeaky-clean straight boy. Just sayin’…

      • Spider3tattoo says:

        Adam said in an interview I read, sorry I can’t remember where at the moment, that he wasn’t allowed to publicly acknowledge he was gay while he was on the show, and what I inferred from the rest of his interview was TPTB decide what gets disseminated and what doesn’t. His ‘outting’ and possible non-win came from a pap photo catching him kissing his then-boyfriend hello thru a car windshield.

  33. TinyTim says:

    Please don’t question the great Joshua, he is the greatest singer in 50 years according to Jennifer even without having an album out.

    • Marie says:

      Well TinyTim, Josh may not be the greatest singer in 50 years, but he certainly is phenomenol-especially for his age. Don’t let the judges praising comments negatively impact your opinion of Joshua. He’s just a humble kid with a CRAP LOAD of talent who doesn’t deserve the backlash of the judges incessant adoration

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Agreed. Joshua is a true performer and entertainer in addition to being a top-notch vocalist. Even if I didn’t care for his singing (which I love) I could never argue with his showmanship.

      • ejones says:

        Its his sameness that will be Joshua’s undoing, very little versatility in voice and performance. That’s been the problem with all this season’s contestants.

  34. Marko says:

    The judges are just terrible. The worst panel ever.

  35. Kristi says:

    How sad is it that we are debating the romantic interests of a contestant in regards to whether he’ll go home in a singing competition. (and no I am not talking about Joshua) Regardless, P2 really messed up his second song. How did NO one tell him that sounded awful in rehersals? Or how about the fact that I don’t believe he CAN do falsetto to begin with??

  36. Mylio says:

    Regarding the Joshua/Phillip duet. I think it was an arrogant, perhaps strategic gesture on Phillips part to put his arm around Joshua. It appears that Joshua is still “closeted” or at least uncomfortable coming to terms with his own sexuality. He is still quite young, and has probably lived a somewhat sheltered life in his church world in a small town in Louisiana. I guess his insecurity is amusing to a handsome, cocky, straight guy like Phillip who seemed unable to resist taking advantage of Joshua’s discomfort and tried to embarrass him and push him off-balance a little prior to his solo performances. That’s part of why I felt, especially in the Temptations number, Joshua seemed a little tight and restrained, not letting Joshua be Joshua. He is clearly infinitely musically superior to Phillips, and the last thing he needs is a bully pushing him off his game. Phillips tactics should not be rewarded. It’s time for PP to go.

    • deedee says:

      Nah, I don’t think Philip was trying to be cruel. Not at all. Is it that unusual for a guy to put his arm around another man? Come on now, I think you’re reading way too much into it.

      • MamaLis says:

        I just went and watched again and I agree Deedee. No way was Phillip being a “bully.” No way.
        Phillip was goofing around and he took Joshua off guard. 20 seconds later they were standing arm-in-arm. End of story.

    • Sarrah says:

      you are reading into this far too much. I think they were honestly just joking. Phillip was trying to embrace the awkwardness and joshua is just awkward in general. Joshua’s twitter picture used to be of him and phillip with phillip’s arm around him. I think they were both joking. You may not like p2 but i’ve heard he is a hell of a nice guy and i dont think he is a bully or cocky.

    • macy says:

      What??? You actually read Phillip to be that conniving and manipulative? Singing preferences aside, have you not noticed all season that he just has that sense of humor? He put his arm around Ryan later in the show, for gosh sakes — was he trying to push Ryan off-balance as well? He stroked Colton’s hair. What was his dark motive there? Several times at the close of the show (before Heejun left), he and Heejun would inch up and stand right behind Ryan. You may appreciate that silliness or you might not, but goodness gracious don’t accuse him of having such evil motives when all season long he has exhibited that he just has a playful sense of humor. Get real.

  37. bjp says:

    And who can’t tell a daffodil from a tulip, Ryan?!

  38. Sandi says:

    Slezak – You gotta take the “solo” out of the poll title because you have the group numbers in there. Sorry to be picky.

    I agree with so much of what you said except for your agreement with Randy on Jessica’s Proud Mary. But honestly, it’s gotten to the point where the girl can do no wrong in my book. It saddens me when I hear commentary that says she’s not improving as much as the other girls. Well, um, I’d see she’s pretty near perfect and that’s hard to improve upon.

    The judges won’t give her a standing O even though they basically stand up for everything not Jessica or Colton (yes, I’m still brooding) related. The producers won’t give her the pimp spot even though she has not had it once (ONCE!) since making the finals. I do not get it. At all. I just hope I’m not the only one who thinks she is as spectacular as she is and she makes it through this week.

    • wickerpark says:

      Jessica should start picking songs that the tweens will recognize in order to get new fans and make it to the top. Look at Hollie, she started gaining more fans when she sang The Climb and then Bleeding Love.

      • Sandi says:

        Maybe you’re right. I doubt she (or Hollie) completely take ownership of the song-picking process. I’m really doubtful that Jessica would jump at the chance to sing Proud Mary. Even I wasn’t alive the decade that came out and I could be her mother.

      • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

        Hollie got more fans when she started singing in tune.

    • Kate says:

      It’s not just you. I love Jessica to bits too! I think she’s amazing.

  39. George R says:

    They really were great last night Hollie truly pulled it off I had noticed the strong voice long ago but her new body language is terrific, would love Phillip to stick around but if based only on last night…I never should have doubted the Mighty Slezak….Of course if Phillip survives I will have a new comment lol

  40. Janet says:

    Am I the only one that fell asleep during Jessica’s You are so Beautiful? Look, I know it was technically perfect (she usually is), but I didn’t feel it at all. Maybe it’s just that the song is so cheesy and done to death. I also found Proud Mary extremely awkward. I think she is somewhat in danger, though not as much as Phillip. Both of his performances were awful. To me, Hollie clearly won the night, and good for her! Though Joshua’s last song was unbelievable. It gave me chills.

    • Christie says:

      I”m totally with you Janet, I was very bored by Jessica’s song, but I’ve also never been particularly fond of that song! I wish Jessica would pick more contemporary songs. Obviously she was limited in the 60’s theme, but she had a world of options for the British theme and chose what I think of as a cheesy and dated song.

    • junebug says:

      I totally zoned out like I do on all her ballads.

  41. George R says:

    “Phone Conversations” is that an option!!!! Is there a Slezak Line? In the height of “Idol (looking for a word thats not already used by a competitor) Ferocity”, we should be able to call Slezak to talk us down (visa card in hand of course) he could be like the OctoMom and the Lohans hmmmmm

  42. Natou says:

    Like Slezak said, at this point in the competition, everyone has their favorites. The only thing that help is people that used to split their vote then once one of them left start voting for just 1 person. I know Hollie fans are also Skylar fans. So when one of them leave the other will get a huge boost. Jessica and Joshua same dynamics. So we will see where the chips fall tonight. Slezak, my feelings for Skylar are similar to yours. I will feel deep pain if she leaves tonight. But, Hollie and Joshua are my 2nd and 3rd favorites. I voted like my life depend on it last night for Skylar. Hope that was enough!!

  43. Sarrah says:

    i hope phillip goes home tonight because he is my favorite and i dont think he will benefit from winning the show, he needs to make his own album at his own pace and not have the machine control it.

    • MamaLis says:

      I watched the Slezak interview with Adam Lambert a few days ago. When asked about making a record with the Idol “machine” he surprised me by being very intelligent and positive about it. He said they were very supportive and onboard with his ideas. (Good to hear.) He also made the point that hey, if Idol’s got the money and backing – use it!!! Many people make great records that sit in the corner somewhere. He had a great attitude and was going to take advantage of every opportunity he could!

  44. flutiefan says:

    it appears i’m the only one who can’t stand Joshua.
    oh wait, none of my friends do, either…yet somehow he’s been crowned this stellar vocalist. sorry charlies, the guy is just not good.

    • Cheryl says:

      You’re not the only one, I can’t stand him either…

    • Cip says:

      he’s not good to you and your friends. He’s GREAT to me and mine

    • sara says:

      Amazing how you conclude that if you personally (and your friends) don’t like something, it automatically means that it “just isn’t good”. What an impressive display of logic!

      • flutiefan says:

        i never made correlation nor causation. just stated my observations. nice try, though, sweetie.

        • Jack says:

          “it appears i’m the only one who can’t stand Joshua.”, “oh wait, none of my friends do, either” —> “sorry charlies, the guy is just not good.” you base your observation of him being not good on the fact that you and your friends don’t like him. that’s correlation. now if you said you THINK that he isn’t good instead of a definitive statement like that… :)

  45. Realist says:

    I think it’s Skylar’s turn to go.

    • MamaLis says:

      You know… I’m wondering if it’s not Phllip it might be Skylar. Only because as people are talking about who thrilled them last night, I’m hearing here name not so much. :o

    • Name That Tune says:

      I’d agree with that, except the country vote got 2 people in the finale last season. I think her fan base got scared after her trip to the B3 last week.

  46. MamaLis says:

    Let me add this about Hollie: I haven’t been much of a fan of hers this season and she admittedly hooked me last night with Bleeding Love (& I do like the ‘fight’ in her). But you couldn’t strategize her “path” on the show if you tried. To “peak” at the exact right time – now – yet hoover at the bottom (before now) over and over while managing to NOT get kicked off!! Her path has been one of risky business and she’s defied the odds by surviving.

  47. Christine L says:

    Was anyone else surprised that 4 out of 5 singers chose such old songs for their Brit pop song? On a night when they were already singing an oldie, I expected more up to date choices. I gave Hollie an extra half point for picking a modern song. I thought she won the night with Joshua a close second. Couldn’t understand the judges telling Skylar that she excelled at telling a story. She clearly didn’t have a clue what Fortunate Son was about. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me didn’t have any of the plaintiveness the song deserves. I love her but last night was not her best. Phillip should go home–he was out-classed last night, Jessica had a great performance in You Are So Beautiful and an off-putting one in Proud Mary. Jimmy and Steven were fun to watch. Last year Jimmy was hard to take but this year I’m really enjoying him.

  48. Yo' says:

    We are at that stage of the contest where I don’t want my favorite to win. Right now that favorite is Joshua and I don’t really see that winning will make a difference to him: he has a contract and there is some pressure on Iovine to make his first album a good one. I want his and Elise’s album.

    • deedee says:

      Will be interesting to see if Elise gets signed. I kind of doubt it. But SO HAPPY that Jimmy is already ready to give Joshua a contract. That’s the main point of winning, isn’t it? Now he doesn’t need to pressure himself over the title.

      • MA says:

        There are a lot of record labels out there, including some cool indie ones. Elise may not end up at 19 Entertainment, but I bet she makes an album. And I bet it’s good, too.

  49. Loni says:

    Is it just me or did Jessica flub her words in the trio last night? I just know Higher and Higher really well because it’s my wedding song. There was a part toward the end where Skylar and Hollie were looking at her and a few bars without her singing. Then when she started again, she had a little “opps, I forgot it was my turn” smirk. The line should be “And now with my loving arms around you…” and I think she just chopped a few words off.

    Anyway, it was an excellent show last night! Loved your recap Michael.

  50. flutiefan says:

    i’m finally getting to see last night’s show… and man, you are all WAY too harsh on Phillip. i was fine with the 1st song, and while the 2nd song’s high notes were very weak, i was ok with the rest of it.

    • deedee says:

      I am by no means a fan of Phillip, but I agree with you here. He wasn’t THAT bad. In fact, his first song, “The Letter” is indistinguishable from his other so-called “good” performances. To me, he always sounds exactly, exactly, exactly the same, and so I can’t for the life of me fathom how some people call one song of his a success, and another a failure.

      His second song, “Time of the Season”, was a slight departure for him because he sang the melody. Yeah, he couldn’t reach the high notes, and that was painful to watch. But I much preferred it to his usual tuneless wails.

      Anyway, Dialidol has him last, so there’s a good chance Slezak will be interviewing him next week.

      • Sandi says:

        Agreed. There have been FAR worse performances on the Idol stage. But I agree with Slezak that he was thoroughly outdone by the rest of them.

    • MamaLis says:

      I watched it this morning, myself. I didn’t think P2 was (that) bad. I mean, he’s so darn cute. But the vibe I’m getting from here – and I agree – is that while people like P2, performance-wise, it’s just his time to go. He just was the 5th best last night.