AKON is the guest mentor, he seemed to offer only good things about each contestant, I’m suspect when a mentor won’t speak of the challenges their mentorees have. Tommy Hilfiger was featured in the beginning of the show emphasising the attention to style that is injected this year.
Skylar Laine sang a relatively unknown song by Kelly Pickler. Pickler is a former Idol contestant and has managed a successful career in country music, she was also a guest on last weeks show. I think this is her first time starting out the show and it was a solid outing as Skylar goes. It’s pretty much straight up country. Randy thought she could have a hit with this song, Jennifer rambled on about her pitch (which was spot on be the way) and Steven referred to her singing as a “complete sentence”.
Colton Dixon was up next and chose “Love The Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey. He sang brilliantly in my book. He’s a seasoned performer and seems as comfortable behind that big white Steinway Grand piano as he does working the stage. Jennifer gave him a back handed compliment about the song not being a big enough. Steven raved over the performance and his coat. Randy thought it was a wonderfully subtle performance.
Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone sang a duet again. I wasn’t expecting duets for a second week in a row or at all again, but here you have it! Last week most of the duets came off well and likely helped save some and sink others. These two were very good last week. They picked a song by Gottier, Somebody I Used To Know. Once again I think they nailed it. The judges gave Elise most of the high praise for the song, but I think it is all for appearances, to keep folks voting for her. Phillip was equal to what Elise brought to the tune. I like them both and want both to compete next week too.
Jessica Sanchez selected a 2010 song by Jasmine Sullivan. AKON and Jimmy Ivine would use her today if she wasn’t in the competition, they like her that much. The song she picked came off wonderfully, it’s hard to not get a good performance from her. Randy thought it was fantastic, Jennifer said it was really beautiful and thought she could take all of the American Idol fans on a ‘ride’. Steven said he forgets where he is when she sings. I don’t really pull my punches on this review, I wasn’t impressed the way the judges were. The song was technically perfect but it didn’t connect with me.
So much emphasis is placed on connecting with the audience, I think she falls short at that point. She gets the applause but I’m not so sure the fan support will be there once the pool of contestants is thinned. I think votes for departing performers will go to others, not her.
Joshua Ledet came out singing a Bruno Mars tune, Run Away Baby. Now this was an exciting performance, the first of the night. It brought the judges to their feet for the first time this evening too. This week Joshua lived up to all his hype. Steven and Jennifer raved, Randy thought he was the total package.
Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine sing their second duet, a love song. I am getting tired of the “we’re not dating” routine, enough already. Now as for their song, the song went as well as the earlier duet by Phillip and Elise. It was a great showing. The judges all thought their harmonies were good. Randy wasn’t as impressed as Steven and Jennifer.
Next, Hollie Cavanagh sings Pink! The song is entitled, Perfect. It was a good song for Hollie and she sang well. She is having difficulty connecting with fans and it’s because she is just trying to sing her songs perfectly. She had one pitch issue in the song but was otherwise flawless in my view. Jennifer wasn’t impressed and neither was Steven. Randy was more generous and thought she did better than last week. Unless another train wrecks show up tonight, she’ll probably be gone tomorrow.
Phillip Phillips chose a Maroon 5 song. He decided on an acoustic presentation, it’s his strength. Once again, brilliant, he is the only contestant that is concert ready now! Steven was impressed, Jennifer down played his outing as something close to ‘regular’. Randy agreed with Niffer. I think Phillip is a story teller and he does that better than anyone else this year.
Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh and Jessica Sanchez sang as a trio. They sang a Kelly Clarkson song. It didn’t work for me. Ouch! Oddly, the harmonies were the worst part of it all. The solo pieces were pretty good. Also, I think Hollie does better in a group situation. The judges comments didn’t make any sense, in fact, I’d say they were being nice. This was not a great performance and it would NEVER make it as a stand alone release. Reminds me of the phrase we hear on ESPN… “C’mon man!”
Elise Testone closed out the night singing a song by Lady Gaga. Elise completely redeemed herself from last weeks lousy performance. She was spot on and exciting to watch. Randy and Jennifer sang her praises saying she was BACK. Steven called it genius.
The high points of the night, Colton Dixon, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone.
Middle of the pack this week are Skylar Laine and Jessica Sanchez.
The bottom feeder, Hollie Cavangh.
We’ll probably see Hollie, Skylar and Joshua in the bottom three this week with Hollie being sent home.
Thanks for reading this far.