Time to see how Jessica Sanchez responds to being saved by the judges last week on American Idol Season 11. And then there is the standing ovation competition to watch. Colton Dixon was angling for his first in last week’s results show and it seems Joshua Ledet receives a standing o form the judges every week. Can Phil Phillips, Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone reverse their negative momentum and can Skylar Laine keep her American Idol freight train rolling?
American Idol Season 11 brings us “songs from now and then” tonight. That means the performers will sing a Billboard #1 hit from this century and then a soul song from a previous decade. As we said in our American Idol Season 11 Top 7 Power Rankings, this theme should favor Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Elise Testone. However, the expectations can backfire on these three and, there may be some backlash if they are not spectacular.
At least we won’t have any more of the meaningless duets because each Idol will perform twice this week. It should make for a fast paced show so let’s jump right in and watch this show together.
By the look on his face, Kris Allen is trying to figure out what Jennifer Lopez is wearing.
Ryan starts the show with an acknowledgement of Dick Clark and the news of his death. Dick Clark was a mentor to Ryan Seacrest.
We get going right away with Hollie Cavanagh singing “Rollin’ In The Deep”. No mentoring partner for Jimmy Iovine tonight. Hollie Cavanagh is channeling Adele all the way down to the hair. Hollie’s big voice can just out power this song. Very good performance, perfect song choice, odd ending. The judges are giving Hollie a sitting smile. Stephen gives her the “I can’t judge it. It was so beautiful.” J-Lo loved her tonight. Purple Randy says it was close to perfect and for the first time ever he felt her emotion. Nice opening for Hollie Cavanagh.
Colton Dixon is doing Lady Gaga? I never expected to hear “Bad Romance” from Colton Dixon. Colton looks great in his rock star red leather pants. I don’t know. He certainly pulled off the big rock music moment. I don’t think he felt the song so it was not special, but it was big and flashy. Randy and J-lo thought it was up and down but loved the overall performance. Stephen loved that he is taking chances and loved it. I appreciate the chance he took, I think he made a Colton statement.
Elise Testone jumps back on the roller coaster with Alicia Keys’ “No One”. Jimmy and Elise dive right into her frustrations at her lack of fan support. There just seems to be a dark cloud around Elise Testone. Elise seems very discouraged. I don’t love the tempo of the arrangement. I did not love that performance. The phrasing took some of the emotion from the song. J-Lo got her first “gooseys”. Stephen did not seem to like it but said he loved it. Randy says she sang a great song very well. He loved her restraint. I think she may be in trouble.
This is turning out to be an odd night. First Colton sings Gaga and now Phil Phillips is singing “U Got It Bad” by Usher. Very nice. It looks like happy Phil is back. Nice arrangement, intimate performance and a standing ovation from the judges. J-Lo says that was great. She loved the re-interpretation of the song. Randy calls Phil Phillips a true artist, original and true to himelf. I don’t know if I am as crazy about that as the judges, but I liked it.
Jessica Sanchez now starts her comeback with Alicia Keys’ “Fallin”. Jimmy tells us she needs to blow our mind tonight. This is a great song, but a bad selection song for her. The lyrics are very mature so it feels like she is putting on a show. That is exactly what she does not need to do. The singing was great but the performance felt contrived. Stephen says she sang like she was mad at the song. J-Lo loved that she just plays with songs (in a good way). randy says she does not know how good she is. Brilliant singing but empty performance for me.
Now it is country time with Skylar Laine. Now we get a country version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”. What a night of twists and turns. We now have Skylar Laine rapping. The Idols have decided to take the familiar and make it strange. The opening verse was kind of a low register challenge for Skylar.I didn’t really like that. I think the arrangement held her back. J-Lo loved it, saying a more perfect song for Skylar does not exist. Stephen just claps and Randy says it was amazing. The judges are loving a lot of music I am not feeling.
Now Joshua Ledet is performing his idol, Fantasia, with “I Believe”. There has not been a song written that is more perfect for Joshua Ledet and his ability to throw down the gospel. Wish we could hear more of that. Once again the judges give him a standing ovation. Randy says he is one of the most talented singers Idol has ever experienced. Randy says he made us feel every note of that song. J-Lo says she feels blessed to watch him sing. Another tremendous performance by Joshua Ledet.
Hollie Cavanagh is back with an “old” song. We now understand that the “old” songs are paying homage to “Soul Train”. We are on the American Idol stop on the Soul train line.
Hollie Cavanagh is now singing “Son of A Preacher Man”, made famous by blond, British soul singer, Dusty Springfield. This is Hollie’s most passionate, engaging performance of Season 11. That was fantastic! Randy says she worked it out. Both Randy and J-Lo liked this better than her first performance. That was great, has Hollie flipped the switch. Everybody better watch out, Hollie Cavanagh could be climbing up from the bottom.
We now get Colton Dixon‘s interpretation of “September”. Oh wow, I think I am hearing a radio hit. Ryan Seascrest will be playing this in his radio show this fall. Colton has turned this funk-soul into an alt-rock ballad. Stephen thought the song did not show off his voice. J-Lo and Randy agreed with Stephen. I disagree with the judges, I thought that was great.
Elise Testone is now singing “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. We are now seeing the limits of Elise’s soul. She is over singing the song and missing the deep soul of the song. This is really just falling flat. There is no intimacy or honesty to this performance. Rather than singing to a person, which is what this song is about, she sang to a crowd. J-Lo tried to criticize her without saying bad things. J-Lo says she is struggling to connect. Randy thinks the song was not right for her voice. Randy agrees with me that she over sang every chorus. That did not work. Elise admits she is over thinking her performances.
Phil Phillips is now singing “In The Midnight Hour”. This is a perfect choice for his voice. If you have not seen the movie “The Commitments” get it now. Yep Phil Phillips has found himself. He just slayed that song. He had fun, he had runs and he danced. So good. Randy says “exactly what you need is what you always have’. J-Lo wants to dance with Phil. J-Lo loves Phil Phillip’s spontaneity.
Jessica Sanchez is making another bad song choice with Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” and completely over sings the opening verse. I am sorry, you completely missed the angst and longing of this song. If Simon were here he would say that it was a cruise ship performance. Of course the judges loved the performance. J-Lo said America needs to start connecting with her in their heart. That performance did not connect with me at all. I am greatly disappointed with Jessica’s two perofrmances tonight.
We go immediately to Skylar Laine with a country interpretation of “Heard It Through The Grapevine”. I liked this better than I thought I would. However, once again, the performance does not seem to connect with the mood of the song. Randy said it was brilliant. J-Lo loves her spunkiness. Stephen says Skylar Laine is like a wild horse that refuses to be tamed. That was a fun performance sung perfectly.
“A Change Is Gonna Come” by Joshua Ledet. This has the opportunity to be special. It was not, but the judges leap to their feet again. I think he needed more time to build that song. Stephen loved the restraint but I thought it was a little subdued. Randy says the song was perfect, it was stellar. I could have used a little less restraint in that arrangement. Joshua Ledet is now up to six standing ovations on American Idol Season 11.
Phil Phillips and Hollie Cavanagh had the best nights. I thought Colton Dixon was better than the judges gave him credit for. Joshua Ledet was great compared to everyone else but himself. I think Elise Testone failed tonight and may go home tomorrow night.