American Idol Season 11 Top 10 Performances

We are approaching the end of American Idol Season 11 and so I thought I would take a moment to share with you our favorite performances of the season.  Season 11 has been one of the best in American Idol history.  The top 12 was solid and the top 10 has no weaknesses. If you have read our coverage of American Idol Season 11 you know it will be heavy with some Joshua Ledet.  Here are the One21music top 1o performances of American Idol Season 11.

1) “Everything” by Colton Dixon

This performance started off the night when the American Idol top 9 were allowed to select their favorite song.  Christian musician Colton Dixon set the entire show on its ear that night in one of the most emotional American Idol shows I have ever seen. Here is Colton Dixon singing the definition of his Christian faith.

2)”To Love Somebody” by Joshua Ledet

Everyone already knew Christian musician Joshua Ledet was unique singer, but when he took this song he had never heard and did this with it, all of the professionals associated with American Idol knew they were in the presence of a special talent. Here is Joshua Ledet stealing the show on American Idol Season 11 top 5.

3)”Without You” by Joshua Ledet

This was when it dawned on me what kind of voice Joshua Ledet possesses. This song is virtually impossible to sing and Joshua performed it effortlessly. Every other perfromance I have ever heard of this song you got the feeling the singer was fighting to control “Without You”. Joshua Ledet just mauled this song on the American Idol Season 11 top 9.

4)”Whole Lotta Love” by Elise Testone

The highlight of Elise Testone‘s run on American Idol Season11 came when she closed the top 9 show with this Led Zeppelin classic.  This showed Elise at her most joyful, confident, rocking self.  That was something we did not see enough of from her.

5)”Still Raining” by Phil Phillips

The American Idol Season 11 top 9 show was something special. Four of my top 5 songs come from that night. With “Still Raining” we see Phil Phillips in his full glory. He growls and scats and stomps his way through this Johnny Lang song and takes us to the future with his own mini Phil Phillips concert. This is what got Phil into the top4.

6)”The Show Must Go On” by Skylar Laine

This is just a singing clinic put on by Skylar Laine.  She delivers a perfect vocal performance and a riveting visual performance of this lesser known Queen song.  This is one of the numbers that showed America that country girl Skylar Laine is also big time singer Skylar Laine.

7)”Stuttering” by Jessica Sanchez

This is Jessica Sanchez‘s most complete, mature performance of the entire season. This song is big enough for her voice and has plenty of room for all of the runs she loves to do. Rather than just sing the song she embraces and engulfs the song and delivers a stellar moment for her and for us. Watch Jessica Sanchez perform “Stuttering” on American Idol Season 11 top 7 show.

8)”River Deep Mountain High” by Hollie Cavanagh

Hollie Cavanagh had been hinting at this for several weeks. She flipped the switch a few weeks ago and finally, in the American Idol Season 11 top 5 show, she embraces her artistry and delivers a great performance of one of pop music’s best songs ever. Watch how she holds her head so defiantly. Watch how she effortlessly moves around the stage. See Hollie Cavanagh as the star in front of this big band.

9)”When A Man Loves A Woman” by Joshua Ledet

Sometimes you just gotta SING a soul song.  On the American Idol Season 11 top 11 show we did not know that Joshua Ledet would become the king of standing ovations.  But by the time he had finished wringing every ounce of soul out of this iconic soul song we knew Joshua Ledet was something special. The judges leapt to their feet halfway through the song and were jumping up and down and cheering through the entire second half of Joshua’s performance.  This was the first of many command performances on American Idol Season 11 by Joshua Ledet.

10)”September” by Colton Dixon

I know that many people did not like Colton Dixon’s interpretation of “September”. I loved it and I thought it was overlooked. Look for this on Colton Dixon’s first album.

And I could just keep going until this article never loads on anyone’s computer.  American Idol Season 11 has been my favorite so far.  The performers are fantastic, Jimmy Iovine has found his rhythm as a mentor and there have been so many great performances.  Here are few that fell outside my top 10:

“Bleeding Love” by Hollie Cavanagh
“Supersition” by Phil Phillips
“You Are So Beautiful” by Jessica Sanchez
“Let’s Stay Together” by Elise Testone
“Ready for Love” by Joshua Ledet
“Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Skylar Laine
“A Song For You” by Heejun Han
“All The Man I Need” by Hollie Cavanagh
“Sometimes I Cry” by DeAndre Brakensick
“A Change Is Gonna Come” by Joshua Ledet
“Son of A Preacher Man” by Hollie Cavanagh
“U Got It Bad” by Phil Phillips
“I Will Always Love You” by Jessica Sanchez
“Don’t You Know How Much I Love You” by Skylar Laine

Three more weeks to the finale.  If the final four can keep up this pace, American Idol Season 11 will go down as maybe the best ever. Join us next week for our top 4 power rankings and our live blogs of the performances and the results.

American Idol Season 11 Top 12 or 13 Guys Live Blog

Welcome to American Idol Season 11 on One21music where we cover the entire extravaganza but we highlight Christian musicians.  Tonight the Top 13 guys perform.  Here are the Top 12 and we will add number 13 in a few:

Aaron Marcellus
Adam Brock
Chase Likens
Creighton Fraker
Heejun Han
DeAndre Brackensick
Eben Franckewitz
Jeremy Rasado
Joshua Ledet
Colton Dixon
Phil Phillips
Reed Grimm

I am in L.A. tonight and tomorrow so this will not be exactly live because half of the country has already seen this.  But read on to see my reactions to the performances as they happen.

New stage for American Idol Season 11 looks pretty good in gold and white.  Now the judges put forward 12 guys from Hollywood and will select a 13th from four others: Jermaine Jones, David Leathers, Richie Law and Johnny Keyser.  But we will find out about that later.

First up is crazy rocker Reed Grimm singing “Move Like Jagger”. I have never heard this song but evidently it needed censoring. I don’t know about the first part but after he hits the drum and starts scatting the performance hits a peak.  An unfortunate spot to perform but a good enough performance to move him on to next week. The judges love the jazz take on this popular tune.

Next up, Christian musician Adam Brock puts his gospel, soul, jazz twist on” Think”. I don’t know how America will react to Adam Brock but I love to listen to hear him sing.  He has that casual ability to seamlessly scale his voice up and down his range that enables him wail with control. Two great performances to start the Season 11.  Who knows if he goes on but this performance was finalist worthy.

Following Adam Brock is Hawaiian heartthrob DeAndre Brackensick.  He picked a perfect song for his voiced with Earth Wind and Fire‘s “Reasons”.  DeAndre’s nerves are getting the best of him as he keeps missing on this song’s falsetto.  I have heard him hit those notes but this is a mess.  He hit some big notes in the middle but he muddled through the beginning and the end.  Of course, the judges heard something different than me. J-Lo actually said his voice was perfect.  And DeAndre already has groupies that Ryan brings up onto the stage.

Now get to see if Colton Dixon can fulfill the promise that we all thought he had in Season 10. Colton is at his piano, where he is at his best, singing Paramore’s “Decode”. Boy, as he gets up from that piano and marches to the front of the stage, he looks like a star.  Oh wow he jumps up on the piano like he owns the stage.  Well, Colton delivered a perfect singing performance and established himself as a star. Randy calls him an alt rocker and J-Lo calls him a relevant artist. Even in his interview with Ryan he pl;ays the crowd by asking them how he they liked his performance.  I think we see Colton Dixon next week.

Now Christian teen Jeremy Rosado takes on Sara Bereilles‘ “Gravity”.  We love Jeremy’s brown-eyed soul but he seems a little lost in this song.  He is too breathy and not showing his beautiful tone.  When he tries to wield his full throated voice he loses the pitch.  I don’t know Jeremy, I am not sure that gets you past this week.  I guess the judge’s are not going to say anything critical. J-Lo is gushing over his artistry and Randy loves Jeremy.  Let’s hoping this works out for Jeremy because he is a fave of One21music.

Gospel singer Aaron Marcellus calls himself a regular dude who has a big dream.  Aaron sings “Never Can Say Goodbye”.  I would have preferred him do something with a little more impact.  He looks great in his silver and black and he sings the song perfectly, but I don’t know.  I am not sure this propels him into the top 5 guys. However, the entire audience and the judges leap to their feet at the end of the song. Randy calls the run at the end of the song “crazy”. Stephen says he is the total package.

Country crooner Chase Likens confesses that he is a whistler.  This Christian musician is singing “Storm Warning”, a country rock tune.  The music is drowning him out and the song does not really give him anything to work with. With all of the great performances this may not get Chase into the top 5 guys.  Stephen and J-Lo both talked about how good he looks, uh oh.

We are half way through the performances and it is obvious that we are going to be upset.  There are only spots that will be voted on to next week and I have already seen five I would like to send.  Problem is that I don’t think all next 7 performances will suck.  So get ready to be say goodbye to some performers who deserve to stay.

New Yorker Creighton Fraker now takes his first shot with America. Is he really singing a Cyndi Lauper song? Yep, that is “True Colors”.  This is a pretty terrific vocal performance with great dynamics and tremendous range. J-Lo gushed and Stephen says that Cyndi Lauper is home crying. Randy makes the veiled observation that Creighton can sing but that America will probably not vote for a 28 year-old New York street performer.

Phil Phillips, he of the unfortunate name, is up next.  He is bringing his Dave Matthews vibe to “In The Air Tonight”.  I love this arrangement.  This may be the first time I have ever enjoyed this song.  Finally, one of these guys takes their time and dominates a song.  That was awesome.  Phillip Phillips has delivered the best performance of the night. The judges must be tired but Randy does deliver an actual criticism of his arrangement.  Of course I strongly disagree.  That was awesome.

Now Eben “Beiber” Frankewitz has left school to follow his dream. He is making the mistake of singing Adele‘s “Fire To The Rain” and it is not working out very well.  He seems overwhelmed by the sing and I am not sure he has hit many of the notes and ever found the melody.  Sorry, Eben that was the worst performance of the night.  Randy noticed but he couldn’t help compliment Eben on the performance.  if Eben goes through it will be because America’s teenage girls show up for him in the voting.

Now we roll on with Heejun Han and he continues to bring the humor.  He is singing “Angels”.  A very, very good singing performance but he did not bring much personality to the stage.  In a cut night like this he may not have brought enough pizzaz to the television.  The judges all agree that it was not the best song selection to show off his voice.

Another of our favorites now takes the stage.  Gospel blower Joshua Ledet is singing “You Pulled Me Through” and he starts with a gospel run.  You go brother! The first singer to stand in the middle of the stage and just dominate the room with his voice.  Incredible. Josh Ledet is a crazy good singer yall! That’s right everybody on your feet.  This kid, with no performing experience, just walked in and dominated this show tonight.  That was a LeBron James dunk.  J-Lo is right that Joshua can be a gospel singer, an R&B star, Joshua can be anything he wants to be.  Incredible.

Finally, we learn that Jeremiah Jones gets a second chance. Can his crushingly deep voice carry this Gospel crooner to the Top 12? Singing “My Father” which I am not sure was the best choice for his vocie.  However, the song does show his range and he sings it beautifully.  Jeremiah is thrilled to be back and is enjoying every moment of this opportunity.

Well that was a great start to American Idol Season 11.  There were 9 or 10 performances that deserved to be rewarded with a place in the Top 12 but some really good people will go home on Thursday night.  Based on these performances I think Joshua Ledet, Phil Phillips, Colton Dixon, Aaron Marcellus and Adam Brock deserve to be in the Top 5 and, if that happens, look for the judges to add Creighton Fraker back into the mix.  However, do not dismiss teen friendly singers DeAndre Brakensick, Eben Franewitz and Jeremy Rosado.

Join us tomorrow night as we do our in the moment reactions to the Top 12 girls performances on American Idol Season 11.