American Idol Journal – Week 8 (Top 6)


Welcome to a night of QUEEN!  They haven’t opened the Queen catelog since Season 5.  It’s a two song night, I always enjoy the two song nights because it gives the contestants a chance to redeem themselves if their first performance is lacking.

And so the real  race begins this week on American Idol, the first ‘thought to be’ top tier contestant has been eliminated, Colton Dixon and the remaining contestants are by default significant fan favorites.  Like last year, we enter the closing weeks with some controversy.  Last year Jacob Lusk managed to with enough votes to still be a dark horse contestant, how similar is this to Hollie Cavanagh making it this far?

It wasn’t until late in the show that I noticed the Hilfiger piece was missing too.

The opening group sing was horrible except of Elise and Phillip.  It wasn’t a great start to the night.

Jessica Sanchez picked Bohemian Rhapsody.  One wonders if she’s ever even heard this song before.   A rocker she is not!  If I said she killed the song I would not mean it as a compliment.  The judges started out pumping JChez up, first Steven Tyler said he thought it was good but conceded that rock was not her genreNiffer thought is was pretty amazing… (I want what she’s drinking!) on what planet would this version ever make the radio?  Randy Jackson was really impressed.  He also noticed she didn’t use any of her signature vocal runs.

Skylar Laine got to follow Jessica with an emotional hit by Queen,  The Show Must Go On.  At least Skylar can sing consistently though it’s tough to hear her sing this style of rock, her country roots come out too easily.  Steven said it was over the top and thought it had shine.  Niffer is in fine form… she said she got “goosies”.  I think I just threw up in my mouth.  Randy thought it was her best performance on the show to date.  Really Randy?  At least Sklyar accounted well enought for herself in a genre she may never have to actually visit again.

Joshua Ledet, first of the guys chose Crazy Little Thing Called Love.  This is a song I think Joshua can do.  I enjoyed it, the best of the first three singers by a mile.  He managed the first standing ovation from the judges of the night.  Randy raved about this performance.

Jennifer actually said out loud that Joshua was her favorite!  Ouch.  Again, agenda, agenda, agenda.  Judges may be partial but they should never let that color their feedback.  This kind of judging will erode the credibility of American Idol as nothing more than a faux talent contest with the results predetermined.

Elise Testone sang I Want It All.  She’s the only one this season that can bring a true rock vibe and this should be HER week.  The other contestants weren’t sure how to sing Queen but Elise breathes this style.  She did a great job and I think connected with the audience too.  Steven said she found her stide, Jennifer said she was in her element… why no standing ovation?  Randy was amazed, saying it was an unbelievable performance.  Again Randy invoked the “best Elise performance thus far” phrase.

Phillip Phillips selected Queen’s Fat Bottom Girl.  This is the kind of rock that Phillip can do too, it sounded like a Mississippi blues rock tune.  Steven brought a bit of nasty to his comments with the “cushion for pushin'”, not sure I want my kids to hear that stuff on a family show. Jennifer thought it was very good and Randy wasn’t in the mood to hand out congratulations for Phillip tonight.  He didn’t pan him

Hollie Cavanagh was up next.  Ryan said she’s on a bit of a comeback since she wasn’t in the bottom three last week again.  Save Me was Hollie’s choice.  Let me be completely fair here… she nailed this tune!  Her first real American Idol victory.  Up to now only Elise was better.  Good for her.  Steven seemed subdued in his compliments.

Jennifer just had to pull the rug out of Hollie’s first really good performance.  I think Hollie had a good time with this song.  She was a bit emotional in the middle of it but got panned by Jennifer for it. I thought their biggest criticism about Hollie was her lack of emotion?

Randy thought it was good but qualified it and essentially took his compliment away in doing so.

For the second round of songs the contestants got to make their own selection.

Jessica Sanchez picked Dance With My FatherJessica sang the song with feeling and emotion, good job.  Jennifer thought it was the best she’s ever heard that song performed.  Steve gushed too.  Randy said he was so amazed at the talent this year and said she was so natural.  How did the mood become somber?  The judges were all quite subdued, melancholy would best describe it.

Skylar Laine sang a country tune.  She used a guitar this time and it prevented her from doing the Skylar Strut.  As country songs go, this was just ok for me.  Pick any past compliment the judges have made to Skylar and they used it tonight. Boring.  I’m sorry for Skylar.

Joshua Ledet sang Ready For Love.  This was a slow and ‘soft’ song which Joshua did quite well.  Another standing ovation by the judges and even a bit of pumping up the audience by Steven as he stood up and turned to them to scream and clap more.  Jennifer said it was transcendent, no surprise there.  Steven thought it was great as did Randy.  I think Skylar pointed out that Joshua has had 12 standing ovations on the show this season.

Elise Testone had to follow Joshua, which tonight is tough.  He’s doing fine but it’s the judges comments that make it so difficult.  The judges don’t hide their favoritism anymore and that, I think, has the effect of demoralizing the other contestants.  I’m sure they feel the deck is stacked against them.  Elise picked a Jimi Hendrix song.  For me the song was ok, not great.  This was an obscure Hendrix song unless you’re a Jimi Hendrix fan.  Steven was in the middle with her performance.  Jennifer raved about it and Randy didn’t think it was a great outing.

Phillip Phillips sings Dave Mathews!  Is that like the pot calling the kettle black?  This was not a well known Dave Mathews tune and it was strangely uneventful for Phillip.   The audience gave him a standing ovation.  Steven didn’t really like the song but liked watching Phillip, Jennifer thought the song was obscure.  Randy was wholly and completely impressed.  A divided judging panel is probably a good thing.

Hollie Cavanagh chose a Miley Cyrus song.  Once again Hollie sang very good for this song.  This has been her best night and I think if fans vote based on actually nightly performances she should survive.  The judges finally gave Hollie a standing ovation.  Randy and Jennifer couldn’t say enough good things about her.  Steven poked fun at her accent and added how much he like her song.

The best of the night goes to Hollie Cavanagh and Joshua Ledet.  Both were solid tonight.

In the middle is Skylar Laine, Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone.  Both Phillip and Elise had great first songs but average second performances.

At the bottom tonight is Jessica Sanchez.

Look for the bottom three to be Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone.  I think Jessica will be going home.

Thanks for reading this far.