The theme last night was Queen and Contestant's choice. Not since season 5 have we done a Queen night. Is it any coincidence that season 5 was probably the last season where there was a batch of very talented contestants such as this? It's tough to say if this season's crop are stronger vocalists than Chris Daughtry, Elliott Yamin, Kellie Pickler, Paris Bennett, SMASH's Katharine McPhee, and Bucky Covington (okay, maybe he wasn't the strongest) yes....Taylor Hicks among others. But, it's easy to see why they save Queen nights for when they have a group that can take a stab at some Freddy Mercury fronted tunes! Anyway, let's get to the recap!
As the judges said, everybody had at least one good performance last night, so it's a tough night to figure out. I do disagree on one person having a good night, but that person has something else going for him or her. So let's give this a shot.
Consistency is "Queen" (or King I guess)
- Skylar Laine - "The Show Must Go On" and Jason Aldean's "Tattoos on this Town" - I challenge anyone to tell me who other than Skylar has been the most consistent contestant of the bunch. As I mentioned last week, I think she has a really strong chance to win this whole thing. Every performance tells a story and she has more stage presence than many country contestants that have preceded her (INCLUDING Miss Carrie Underwood. Carrie's voice was/ still is unmatched, but she had to grow into her stage persona. And I still laugh at some of the performance antics with the arm motion/kicks she does on stage!) She rocked out on the Queen anthem and then secured the country vote with singing one of Mr. Aldean's biggest current hits. For the judges to even call her out on picking a bad song is ridiculous. She was singing to her hometown and that was sweet y'all. And anyone that takes pride in HOMETOWNS in the south will eat that stuff up! Skylar has to be safe this week. You never know, but come on. She was great! Oh wait, I forgot to say something in this analysis. MIRANDA LAMBERT!! Whew that was close. Anyone thing it's a coincidence that Miranda has a song called "Gunpowder and Lead" and Skylar wrote a song called "Diamond Studded Pistol"? Good times.
- Joshua Ledet - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and India Arie's "Ready for Love" - I have to agree with Miss Lopez. Whenever Joshua takes the stage, we know we're in for a wild ride. He rocked out the Queen classic and made people want to get up, dance and clap. Great stuff. And I would say the most consistent performer next to Skylar. The ballad was very slow, but just listening to that voice is a treat. And he his some amazing notes with an intense emotion and earned himself a standing O from the judges. Surely, he's safe tonight. Though, nothing would surprise me anymore on this show.
"Climbed" out of previous bad weeks, but enough?
- Elise Testone - "I Want it All" and Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love" - As always, I enjoyed Elise's performances. I thought she rocked out on the Queen song showing those crazy vocal twists she can take on a song. I think the Hendrix song was definitely a mistake. I mean, she nailed it and had a blast doing it. And I enjoyed watching it. But, for both songs, I was just hoping she would have picked different songs. And it was very naive of her to think EVERYONE knows "Bold as Love". I mean, I've probably heard it before but it's not on regular rotation on my iPod or anything! She is right though, the rock songs are her forte and should she make it through this week, she should continue down that path. But, it's going to be a close one tonight.
- Hollie Cavanagh - "Save Me" and Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" - Once we saw Hollie slated to perform 6th, we knew she must have something special going for the final song of the night. Her Queen song was typical Hollie. She belted out those notes beautifully. And actually hat red Power Suit she had on seemed to give her a bit of confidence in the performance. But, when she really shined was on her go to crowd pleaser, "The Climb". It has to be her favorite song to perform because you could tell she actually identified with the lyrics and just went to down on it. There's a lesson in that performance to Miley herself on how to actually sing a song! It was wonderful, and you would think that would renew her life in this competition a bit. Of course, with Hollie staying around, that means someone else needs to go.
- Jessica Sanchez - "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father' -Constantine in season 4 did the best version of this song on Idol, so it's hard to see anyone else attempt it since. Of course, that was 7 years ago. But with Jessica's inability to really feel these songs and with the advice she received last week to try and sing younger songs....the Rhapsody of all Rhapsodies was a tough one to take on. It wasn't awful, but it was NOT great. There definitely is something to be said about her dedicating a song to her military-bound father. And it might even win her some military votes and some father votes. But, I do not agree with the judges on the performance being stellar at all. It was good, but it was missing the impactful punch it needed to make every father watching shed a few tears. I hope she doesn't get booted after being saved a couple weeks back, but there is a wildcard at play here.
- Phillip Phillips - "Fat Bottomed Girls" and Dave Matthews Band's "The Stone" -Absolutely DREADFUL rendition of "Fat Bottomed Girls". Even worse than the Idol Top 6 performing it at the beginning of the show. He screamed the repetitive song and just wasn't himself at all. Of course, Phillip doesn't really have much vocal range so he was very much out of his comfort zone. The judges of course, were drinking the kool-aid and said he was fantastic. Except Randy, at least he stuck to his most over used critique "I'm not jumping up and down. I was good, I won't say I loved it" ...something like that. And then, if that first song wasn't bad enough, he embraced the comparisons to Dave Matthews to honor is favorite band. And no, he didn't do "Ants Marching" or "Satellite" or "Crash into Me" or a song that everyone knows. He did "THE STONE". I know it, because I used to be a big DMB fan. And I figured Randy, being a "musician", would have heard of it so he could give a better critique. I'm sure it took talent to absolutely clone the DMB version of the song complete with Sax (RIP DMB Sax player) and Violin. But, it was an ABSOLUTE CLONED performance! It was Dave Matthews doing Dave Matthews! Why on earth would he do that? Was he trying to get booted this week? Randy said his musical choices were outstanding. He chose to perform it just like his favorite band! Come on!!! Alas, though, Colton was booted last week and Phillip has yet to be in the bottom 3. He has fans, he has the support of VoteForTheWorst.com, and he has a quality of the past 4 winners of American Idol. He plays guitar, hes a man, and the teenage girls will text until he wins! I'm almost annoyed already that he will not be eliminated tonight. But, I might be happy to see him get a bottom 3 scare. Let's see what we can do here.
Bottom 3: Jessica, Phillip, Elise Wildcard: Don't need it. It shouldn't be anyone else
Elminated: Jessica Sanchez - She doesn't deserve to go. It could easliy be Elise tonight, but I just couldn't pick her! And if it's Phillip, I'll be elated. But it won't be, unless we see some pigs sprout wings tonight.
That's all I have. I look forward to your thoughts as always. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!