Anyway, enough of my life story, let's get onto describing the butchering (and some brilliant renditions) of some legendary music!
- Phillip Phillips - "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" - I really don't want to like this kid with all of his Dave Matthews copycat mannerisms. He brought them back last night, but something about his bluesy (can't think of another word for it) rendition of Billy's classic was pretty darn cool. I was digging the vibe. I like his changes in the melody and I actually felt that HE FELT the song and what the lyrics were all about. Good stuff. Still hope he doesn't win though!
- Elise Testone - "Vienna" - Every week I find myself wanting her to do great and feel like she will never have a big fan base. And maybe she still won't after this week. But kudos to her for having the guts to go with an album track off of The Stranger album. Now while "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" is easily my favorite Billy song (also off of The Stranger), Vienna is another one of my favorite tunes. But, I know barely anyone outside of the rabid Billy Joel fanbase knows this song. So, while I was excited for her to tackle it, I thought she'd crash and burn. But man, what a fantastic rendition of a beautiful tune. She did Billy proud! (if he'd ever watch American Idol!) She was so animated, so energetic, doing some crazy runs. In the words of season 11 Randy, she sang the "I don't know what"" out of that song. Hopefully, others will agree that she had her moment. And please people, get Billy's "Vienna" on your playlists pronto. Everytime I hear the song, I just forget how much I love it!
- Colton Dixon - "Piano Man" - Colton told us last week to wait until next week to see what he had planned. Who knew he'd even get the pimp slot!? Well, he deserved it with this rendition. My immediate thought? SOOOO much better than Josh Gracin in season 2. I never thought I'd hear a different rendition of Billy's most popular tune and most "sing-a-long worthy" tune. But, I really liked what he did with it. I never saw "Piano Man" as a depressing, "my life is over now weep with me" type of song, but Colton really emoted that and sold it. It was awesome. Granted, I am still biased and this guy does a pretty solid rendition and the people love it just as much!
- Jessica Sanchez - "Everybody Has a Dream" - Okay, I love that Jessica wanted to be all inspirational and stuff with picking this song. But I don't think she realized that Billy was singing about his life long dream was to "get with a girl" if you know what I mean. That was pretty much the running theme of The Stranger album (hello "only the good die young")! But whatever! She still did a fantastic vocal. I hate to use the phone book analogy so I'll just indirectly reference it like that.
- Hollie Cavanagh - "Honesty" - Ugh, she sings amazingly. But, how could she expect to be able to put all the emotion behind this song that Billy did? She turned it into a Celine Power Ballad. And that's fine. But I like the raw Billy Joel emotional style. Screaming, sweating into the microphone, letting that girl have it! Ugh, I'm too close to Billy's music! But, obviously she's still awesome.
- Erica Van Pelt - "New York State of Mind" - Well, the makeover was interesting and probably enough to keep her around this week. The vocal was decent. I thought she overdid some of the singing, even though Randy would suggest that she continues to over sing. It was okay. Nothing special.
- Joshua Ledet - "She's Got a Way" - "I have never heard this song before". FAIL!!!! The only thing that saves Josh this week is that he has had ridiculously amazing weeks before and he still sang great this week. It was the "EMOTING" that I had a problem with. I don't care if you just heard the song 5 minutes ago. It's not too hard to feel what Billy's feeling on "She's Got a Way"....I mean, how hard is it to interpret his deep down affection for a woman that he can't quite pinpoint but he needs her in his life forever? (okay, in hindsight, maybe a punchline considering his marriage track record) There is the obvious question here and I don't want to seem shallow for saying it. But maybe certain people in this competition can't identify with "liking girls" if you know what I mean! Anyway, all the elements were there in this performance for him to knock it out of the park. With the climactic arrival of the choir and his "taking it to Church" build-up the whole time. But, it just lacked that...I dunno....UMPH!!! Some type of feeling. I know he'll be safe but come on man. You're going to have to sing POP songs during a pop competition. You better dig down and find your emotional center! (crazy that I was siding with the judges on some of this stuff this week)
- Skylar Laine - "Shameless" - Also crazy that right when I complement the judges I have to drop Randy down 10 notches. Brad Paisley NEVER performed "Shameless". Obviously, Skylar was going to pick the song because it was a ridiculously huge Garth Brooks hit. And Randy tried to play down her comment of Garth performing the song too. "Oh yeah, I may have heard about that" Oh man, aren't these judges supposed to be music professionals? Come on Randy! Anyway, I thought the song choice was absolutely predictable. Billy actually did have a country song on the Piano Man album called "Traveling Prayer", not that I'd expect Skylar to perform that or even know to look for it. But come on Skylar! Stop being so obvious! Whenever COUNTRY week rolls around, she will not hesitate to pick a Miranda Lambert tune. Anyway, to the performance. I can not for the life of me figure out why they picked the key they did for her to sing it in. The first half of the song, she couldn't hit the low notes. And when she got to her power high note area, the notes weren't very high. I think they could have raised it a half step or whole step and it would have sounded a lot better. BTW, why did almost EVERYONE pick a ballad? Billy Joel used to be a Top 40 Pop Artist with lots of up-beat songs! Granted, the 2 people that did upbeat songs are in our bottom this week!
- Deandre Brackensick - "Only the Good Die Young" - A girl literally about convincing a young teenage Catholic Girl to "give it up" before marriage. Deandre comes out with his hop, skip and a jump shaking his milli vanilli hair and singing like the teenage girl Billy was trying to convince in the first place. I just do not enjoy this kid at all. But this week really showed his weakness. This song is one of Billy's biggest hits and he technically sang every note correctly. But the feeling of ownership and understanding of the song was missing big time. I was so excited when they put him on first this week. This could be the week that he goes! I would gladly endure another week of Heejun for it to happen.
- Heejun Han - "My Life" - I guess I understand why he pretended to do a ballad but then decided to strip off his tux and party like a rock star. I mean EVERYONE went ballad besides him and Deandre. But, OUCH. How awful was this performance? It wasn't even funny, for the right reasons. Again, I don't mean for this to be taken the wrong way, but did anyone feel like they let William Hung into the Top 12 and just have a go at it? I know Simon would have been terribly embarassed by a performance like this. He would have told this kid to take a hike. Thankfully, Steven had the guts to say something similar. "The music business will kick your ass if you don't take it seriously." SERIOUSLY! What a joke of a performance. But again, I'd rather him stay than Deandre. But I don't know.
BOTTOM 3: Heejun, Deandre, Erica (Wildcard pick: Skylar)
Eliminated: Deandre Brackensick - Too girly for my taste. And he went first! One can dream. One can dream!
That all I have for today folks. Would love to hear your thoughts! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!