You gotta be cool. Relax… Queen is one of my all time favorite bands so I was excited beyond belief to get to ‘American Idol’ Queen Night last night. Would the performances live up to my expectations? Well yes, pretty much they did!
We almost had our first ever ‘American Idol’ without Ryan Seacrest after a nasty stomach bug left him hooked up to an IV. But like the old pro and champion of the world that he is he battled on and we were spared having to watch Nigel Lythgoe host. The show must go on. Thank you Freddie Mercury in heaven for sorting that one for me.
Here’s how the performances went:
First up, Jessica Sanchez, and this was one week when I really wasn’t looking forward to seeing her, her performances so far to date having been great but in no way synonymous with rock. The show gave her all the help they could, giving her “Bohemian Rhapsody,” arguably Queen’s best song ever and probably the most popular. J. Lo wanted more “running around” and “hair throwing” so Jessica looked like a rocker but I’d have settled for her sounding like one. Randy’s advice was to channel Tina Turner! Would Jessica even know who she is?
I preferred her on the contestant’s choice round, when Jessica dedicated Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” to her dad, who’s about to be deployed to Singapore. OK, for ‘preferred’ read ‘cried over the emotion of it.’ But she was beautiful on this. Jennifer thought it was the best she’d ever heard the song sung and all the judges were struggling to criticize what Randy called “truly amazing” vocals.
Skylar Laine had a tough job in my eyes. She was given “The Show Must Go On,” which was written about Freddie Mercury’s battle against AIDS, for those of you that don’t know. (I can’t believe it’s so long since this musical genius left us.) It was always going to be emotional and Skylar did an amazing job on it. She even made me forget Freddie and really owned the song. “It’s crazy that you’re eighteen years old,” said Jennifer as the performance gave her ‘goosies.’However, Skylar hasn’t got the ability that last season’s Scotty and Lauren had: to keep me interested in Country songs I don’t know. So her version (which could be exactly like Jason Aldean’s original “Tattoos On This Town” for all I know, largely passed me by. Randy loved it, though.
Joshua Ledet sang “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” which I found a bit shouty. It didn’t have to be that crazy and I wish it hadn’t been. The judges were on their feet at the end, though, and Jennifer showed blatant favoritism, saying, “Is it bad to say that Joshua is my favorite part of the show?” Probably, since you’re a judge and somehow meant to be impartial. For the contestants’ choice round Joshua sang India.Arie’s “Ready For Love.” He showed much more restraint here and I liked that.
Elise Testone was up next with “I Want It All,” so why on earth didn’t Randy trot out his usual catchphrase on this? Disappointing, Mr Jackson. Elise really rocked this out. It took my breath away, so I can only surmise that it’s in the very best sense of this phrase that Jennifer said she “murdered” it. Did it really take her as long as this to realize classic rock is what she’s best at? She took on “Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix for the second round. Neither Randy nor Steven were thrilled by the song choice. Randy accused Elise of “boxing with the song,” and Steven claimed that no one knew it. Well, I didn’t know it, for sure, but Elise is happy to go for an older crowd, it seems. I think Steven is worried for her alienating the young voters (which is most of them, let’s face it.) “I just feel like you slayed that song so hard it didn’t even matter!” said Jennifer.
Phillip Phillips sang “The Stone” by Dave Matthews Band, pretty much how they sang it. So disappointing. I much preferred him on “Fat Bottomed Girls” during the Queen round. “Very entertaning, very off the wall, typical Phillip Phillips,” said Steven but for Jennnifer it was “too artsy” and “too obscure.”
I was saved from laughing the fact that Hollie Cavanagh sang the Queen song, “Save Me” when she is probably going to have to beg for votes soon by the fact that she was actually rather good on this song. Jennifer noticed that Hollie had looked more emotional than usual, and it was all because she really connected with the song. So why then did Jennifer feel the need to go on and on about how important it is for Hollie to connect with the song? She must have been relieved (amazed) when she got a standing O from the judges for closing out the show with “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. “Now that’s the Hollie Cavanagh that we love! Hollie is back!” said Randy.
What were the standout performances of the night for you? Who’s going to be in trouble on the results show tonight?