No categories this week with there only being 5 left. 60's Night (aka Motown Night) and British Invasion Night aka excuse for mostly more 60s music. Seriously? Where's Beatles, Oasis, Coldplay, U2, and ironically no one wanted to do Adele?. Sometimes I'd love to see the catalog of music these contestants have to choose from. A lot of these songs have been done to death on the Idol stage. But we won't focus on that since they sang the hell out of them (mostly).
The Legit Performances
- Hollie Cavanagh - "River Deep, Mountain High" & "Bleeding Love" - Look out folks, Hollie is on a roll! We had counted her out in those middle rounds, but there was a time when we thought Hollie had a legitimate shot of winning this thing. And to the judges' credit, they thought if she waited a year (last year), that she could seriously win this thing. So, yes, they have always had faith in her. When I saw the set list leaked for last night, I knew instantly Hollie would be doing "River Deep, Mountain High" due to Celine having covered it previously. Hollie loves her some Celine. But hey, the girl nailed it. Steven gave her great advice to stop thinking about everything and just sing. And she went out there with her back-up singers and horn section following her every step of the way and it gave her the confidence to just be awesome. This combined with a toned down version of the Leona Lewis (X-Factor UK Season 1 Champ) hit "Bleeding Love" gave me chills and renewed my faith in the girl. I apologize for counting her out. Amazing night for little miss Hollie.
- Phillip Phillips - "The Letter" and "Time of the Season" - Ugh...I have learned to rule out pretty much everything the judges say when it comes to Phillip. Maybe they know the voting results and know that it's impossible for him to lose this thing, so they don't want to come off bashing him every week. He totally took the melody out of "The Letter" and yes, once again, "Dave Matthewsized" it. I just can't stand them giving him credit for being unique when his whole sound is based on someone who has already created that sound! It's not that it's bad, it's just a shadow performance! So of course, his fans are going to love it and we're going to have to deal with him again. Time of the Season was horrific. Again Dave Matthews possessed his vocals. He did sing the melody but we found out why he usually doesn't. He has a bit of a weakness in those high notes! Oh, how it was painful to listen! So naturally, he'll get lots of votes for it again. I don't hate Phillip, but he's clearly the least talented VOCALIST of the bunch. He might be the most talented musician of the group, but I just don't know if that's what should be the focus. I mean, Randy giving him props on his guitar noodling? It's a SINGING COMPETITION RANDY!!! Oh Simon would have had his head for that.
- Skylar Laine - "Fortunate Son" and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" - I know Skylar was out of breath after her first performance, but I was worn out watching her work that stage. Gotta say it again, she's a little fireball out there. But she fuses her performances with so much emotion that it's impossible not to be drawn in. Throw on top of that that her voice is ridiculously good and you've got something special. With Elise out, she's who I'm rooting for, but these contestants are so good there's only one or 2 that I might be upset if they won. Her country take on the Dusty Springfield hit was equally good, if not better. Beautiful vocal, perfect amount of emotion on display. Awesome. Nothing more to say. She was in the bottom 3 last week. One would hope that this encouraged voters to start calling, texting, clicking or whatever!
- Jessica Sanchez - "Proud Mary" and "You Are So Beautiful" - I think Jessica has taken over the role that Hollie assumed for a lot of the early Top 13 weeks. Perfect vocal performances, yet missing a touch of something. Everyone, their mother, and their mother's uncle have performed "Proud Mary" on this stage. And Jessica decided to do a carbon copy of Tiny's rendition, complete with exactly chroegraphed dance moves that she probably watched in the movie or something. Oh right, Little Steven changed the opening to 1/7 time. Good job, Stevie! You'd think that would have given Jessica a clue to make the whole performance a little more unique. It was good, the vocal was great, but it won't stand out. Her 2nd performance of the Joe Cocker classic might stand out though. Sitting on the stage amongst the candles, we've seen it so many times before. But, with the band cut out to only minimal instrumentation, Jessica's voice and even emotion were on display. Her long high note was amazing. My only complaint were with the runs at the end of the song. The judges loved them which is hysterical. They complain about singing the melody all of the time and doing less runs but then when Jessica did those, they supposedly were unbelievable. I didn't think they were necessary and just added noise to a near perfect vocal. If anything will save Jessica tonight, it will be that performance.
- Joshua Ledet - "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and "To Love Somebody" - Oh Joshua, how awesome you are. And I refuse to refer to you as MANtasia because it discredits how good you are. Sure, doing "Aint Too Proud to Beg" may be a little predictable for him (not as predictable as Jessica doing "Proud Mary"), but it might be the best version of I've seen of it on this show. Surely, it's better than Scott Savol's (season 4) performance! (apparenlty, it was so good that YouTube had to remove it from its servers to save some dignity!) But no one will even need to remember his first performance. Give credit to Jimmy and Little Steven for getting Joshua to do the Bee Gee's hit "To Love Somebody" because they may have just made a star. I don't even know where to begin explaining how amazing it was. But, I believe my eyes were welling up with the raw emotion he threw into that thing. Throw in the powerful voice, that rasp, that controlled scream in all the right parts and you have yourselves an IDOL MOMENT folks! My immediate reaction was if he doesn't win this show, there is something wrong with the world. He is AMAZING. Of course, since then reality has set in and the odds may still be stacked against him. It's anyone's game but Joshua gave a pretty convincing final note here.
- Joshua and Phillip - "You've Lost That Lovin Feeling" - Most of this performance was horrific. And it was because they were embarassed to sing it. Seriously, what the hell? This was like the most popular duet of its time and still has legs! It's a 2 dude duet dudes and it's meant to be sung for WOMEN not to each other! What has happened to today's youth? I mean, what happened to good ol' bromances like Maverick and Goose? (Kudos to Ryan for making the REQUIRED Top Gun reference). Sure, they got into it at the end, but mostly it was comical. And hey maybe that works too.
- Skylar, Hollie, Jessica - "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" - This was a decent performance. Not much else to say.
I did read somewhere a good point. Maybe the reveal of Phillip having a girlfiend will strike him hard in the voting category. That would be outstanding! But, sadly, I think our little plural named squared times 2 Phillip will somehow live on and on and on. It's not fair and yes I am trying very hard to bestow my very successful reverse psychology into this recap! (I'm 2 for 2, right?)
Surely, they won't do a bottom 3 this week to show who the top 2 vote getters are. So, maybe a bottom 2 at most if they even do that.
Absolutely safe: Joshua
Bottom 2: Jessica, Phillip Wildcard: Skylar or Hollie
Elimination Pick: Jessica Sanchez - My rationale? She's already been eliminated, and she and Phillip are the 2 I now think have no business winning this season of American Idol. Jessica is an amazing singer but her age has shown over the past few weeks. And her lack of personality doesn't help too much either (and of course, that could be an age thing too...not that the older Elise had a better on screen personality!). It should be Phillip, but I think it will be Jessica.
So crazy that someone of this group of talent has to go home. Really, it could be any of them for any number of reasons going home. But, I have to imagine that it will be by the slightest margin of votes. And, if Phillip is in the bottom 2, I hope they do NOT reveal who the bottom 2 are. Because you know if he barely escapes elimination, his voters will come back in full force next week guaranteeing him a Top 3 slot and a trip to his hometown. It's probably inevitable anyway, but a man can dream!
Anyway, these are only my opinions and I'd love to hear everyone else's thoughts! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!