Of course, the big story of the night was Jermaine Jones getting thrown out of the competition because he lied to the American Idol producers about having lied to the police about his real name and having outstanding arrest warrants on his name. To read more on that check out this blog post.
But American Idol should be about the performances so let’s get to them, shall we?
Ryan Seacrest’s lame insistence on what we all knew – that we were live last night, got on my nerves so I will spare you that part.
First up, Phillip Phillips has been a sick boy this week, just like when he was a baby. The longtime kidney stone sufferer apparently had surgery last Thursday. So he had the mentoring session for this week, the results show, and kidney surgeries all on the same day. So he stayed still for his cover of the Black Crows’ Hard to Handle (originally by Otis Redding) and didn’t play his guitar as he’s still hurting.
Phillip always looks like he’s in pain when he sings anyway, but he was still literally bouncing with energy.
Jennifer Lopez raved about what a natural performer Phillip is. “It’s in every cell of your body – not to get too medical on you right now.”
Jessica Sanchez probably surprised no one when she said she was “such a little diva” as a child. I liked how her mom tried to say how often baby Jessica used to faint, and then her dad was like “No. Drama queen, please.”
Jessica was amazing last week but thoroughly underwhelming this week with Gloria Estefan’s Turn the Beat Around. She get points for jamming out with the flautist, but the way she pronounced “nitty gritty” was just annoying, as was her literal interpretation of the lyrics in her choreography. I might have liked the “y’all ready?” before the key change, if it hadn’t been made such a big deal of during her mentoring session.
The judges agreed this song was a bad showcase for someone with such a strong vibrato. Jenifer and Steven questioned her sense of rhythm, but they loved her sparkly pants. Sigh.
Heejun Han attempted Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx. Not good. He was out of breath pretty much the whole time and was barely whispering some of the lowest notes. I agreed with Randy who wants Heejun to sing more R&B instead of pop. Yes, please. Did someone give Steve Tyler a truth serum this week? “Really breathy, just wasn’t a great song for you,” he said. And no one mentioned the bow tie. I was disappointed.
Next we heard how Elise Testone was always getting into trouble as a child. Her mom even had to run into the ocean to rescue her once. She was much more impressive than last week, singing Tina Turner’s version of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together. It was perfect for her and was a great way for her to go up tempo but retain her characteristic rasp.
Elise had bragged that her Al Green cover would prompt people to make babies, so obviously Ryan had to revisit that when she was done.
“If there’s a population boom December 14, we’re gonna blame you,” he warned her. Ewwwwww, Seacrest. NO!
DeAndre Brackensick struggled with song choice this week. I woud have preferred his original idea, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, I think, if it wasn’t too cutesie. But instead we got Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross’ cover of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’ Endless Love. The young voters are so much more likely to remember The Lion King than to have a clue about this song. Plus DeAndre has Mustafa hair.
Randy summed it up best: “This was boring and very safe for you at the wrong time.”
Shannon Magrane has come a long way since giving her Dad a Thumbelina ear worm because she used to sing it so much. I liked Jimmy’s suggestion of No Doubt’s Don’t Speak for Shannon, but she went with One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. She hit some amazing notes and I can sort of see what Steven was saying, that she was better when she wasn’t trying so hard, but she is 16, jazzed to be on American Idol and trying really, really hard most of the time.
Colton Dixon had to get in that he had spent some time with one of tonight’s guest performers, Daughtry. Maybe he was nevrvous and hanging on to something he could brg about because he took a huge risk singing a song no one has ever heard before, Broken Heart by White Lion. But I don’t think he has to worry. His money note at the end was amazing. Really amazing. So why was Jennifer so annoying and just said, “I think you look pretty when you sing”? Are these the depths we have to plumb if American Idol can’t mention a “voice”?
But Steven didn’t like it. “I just didn’t feel the song go anywhere, man,” he said before the most polite stand-off in Idol history:
Steven: OK, cool.
I somehow wanted a lot more from Erika Van Pelt’s cover of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven.” She said it felt “so rocky” but this is Bryan Adams we’re talking about here, people.
But the judges agreed she looked amazing. And she did, with those black lacy Stevie Nicks sleeves.
Skylar Laine apparently used to deliberately bang her head against objects (walls, sidewalks, you know, normal as you do) as a child. Be warned, kids! Oh and she has a big knife collection.
I was OK with Skylar playing it safe and going with Love Sneakin’ Up on You by Bonnie Raitt, although Jimmy and will.i.am’s other suggestion of a ghetto country version of Coolio’s Fantastic Voyage would have grabbed the headlines. I just don’t think we should upset Skylar. The head banging…the knives…She was good, wasn’t she? Thankfully she hit all the right notes in the right order and we can be nice about her.
Joshua Ledet covered Michael Bolton’s version of When a Man Loves a Woman and he was amazing. Jennifer Lopez called it “the best thing I’ve ever seen on American Idol.” Wowzer! The judges gave him a standing O and he deserved it. I got tingles at Joshua’s little half-shrugs after huge notes.
It’s hard to say which judge raved about it the most. Steven’s “You gave it up so big, God came through your eyes” was nice. Randy’s “Percy Sledge, who originally did that song, would be very proud and happy” proved yet again he is an annoying name-dropper.
Finally, Hollie Cavanagh got the pimp spot this week, singing Celine Dion’s The Power of Love. It’s OK, Joshua doesn’t need it. America will remember him in their votes. Anyway, back to Hollie. I love her British, non-musical parents, especially when her incredibly nervous Dad said his name was Hollie Cavanagh and then started to cry.
Anyway, Hollie yet again delivered on yet another power ballad. Nice grunts and gestures toward the camera. Steven thought she was pitchy, but basically the judges were complimentary.
Who get’s eliminated tonight? Are the judges going to be lame and send no one home now they disqualified Jermaine Jones? Have you got a favorite yet?