American Idol Season 11 Top 3 Results-Live

Last night was not the best night of American Idol Season 11Joshua Ledet was good, and even had some great moments, but he has been better.  Jessica Sanchez struggled with “My All” and Phil Phillips showed the limitations of his talent with “We’ve Got Tonight”.  I don’t know who will go home tonight.  I think it should be Phil but I think he is a lock for the finale.  Between Josh and Jessica, it seems the voting momentum would go Jessica’s direction with Hollie Cavanagh‘s departure. But an American Idol Season 11 finale without Joshua Ledet would be a crime.

Enough speculation, let’s suffer through the next 60 minutes to see what America has to say.

And we have another Ford video without Phil Phillips.  How many videos has he actually made this year?

What does Jimmy Iovine have to say about Joshua Ledet’s performances last night?  Jimmy did not like “Imagine” or “I’d Rather Go Blind” or “No More Drama”.  He thinks Joshua did the most with the material he had but it was not his best night.  Jimmy says Joshua Ledet should absolutely be in the American Idol Season 11 finale.

Next up for the Jimmy Iovine review is Jessica Sanchez. He thought she missed with “My All”.  He thought “It Don’t Mean A Thing” fell short.  Even with his own pick, “I’ll Be There” he thought she struggled.  Jimmy said Jessica Sanchez can sing on the Grammy’s but fell short of saying she should be in the finals.

Finally we learn what Jimmy has to say about Phil Phillip‘s performances last night.  Jimmy thinks “Beggin” demonstrates that Phillip’s sound is becoming less derivative. He described  “Disease” as a total snooze fest. Jimmy thinks Phillip won the night with “We’ve Got The Night”, that it was his best performance of the season.  Jimmy raved and raved and raved.

Time for some results.  Who is in the finale?  The first one in the final the finale is Jessica Sanchez. Joining her is Phil Phillips.  America blew it.



American Idol Season 11 Top 3 Performance Live Blog

The time has come for American Idol Season 11.  Tonight we get to see the parades and the homecomings.  Tonight Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips each perform three songs to convince America to put them into the finale.  I could make an argument for at least three others to be on this stage tonight, but not a compelling argument.  This has been a strong season filled with thrilling performances, and it comes down to this.

I am pretty sure that  Joshua Ledet will amaze us tonight with his soaring, grinding vocals.  You can bet that we will hear plenty of grunts, wails and big notes from Jessica SanchezPhil Phillips will growl and grimace his charming way through three songs tonight.  Each one of these performers has made a compelling argument for their place in the music industry.  Record executives are drooling to catch whichever of these three fall out of American Idol Season 11 this week and start recording their debut record.

The biggest danger for Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips will be song selection.  Each of the American Idol Season 11 top 3 will perform one song selected by the judges, one song selected by Jimmy Iovine and one song that they select themselves.  For all their ranting and ravings about song selection, the judges have proven to be surprisingly bad at selecting songs for the top 3 in years past.  Let’s hope none of these three performers are submarined by a bad song selection from the judges.

It is time for the show to start and I am excited.  Join me for what should be an exciting evening.

Joshua Ledet opens the show tonight.  Randy picked Etta James’s “I’d Rather Go Blind”, great choice Mr. Jackson.  The first verse was a little pedestrian but Joshua begins to dig in during the middle of the song.  Incredible scatting conclusion to that song.  Again the judges leap to their feet.  Steven calls it “another Joshua moment”. J-LO says he brought down the house and Randy says he is a classic.  In my opinion Joshua Ledet could have taken off a little earlier in the song but he ended with another seemingly uncontrollable, craaaazy soul throwdown.

The judges select Mariah Carey’s “My All” for Jessica Sanchez.  The opening verse is too breathy, sung in her lower register, with too many runs.  I did not understand a single word of that first verse.  When she opens her lungs for the chorus we can hear the lyrics but when she returns to the verses we do not hear any words.  I understood very little of that song.  Randy called it execellent.  J-Lo acknowledged how hard the song was.  Steven talks.  That song looked hard for Jessica and I am not sure that is what you want at this point of American Idol Season 11.

The judges picked “Beggin’” for Phil Phillips.  I am not familiar with this song or Madcon.  It is a perfect fast-paced, grooving song for Phil Phillips.  This song highlights the rhythm and sonic dynamic decisions that are Phil Phillips trademarks.  That was a fun, exciting performance.  I don’t know if we saw anything new from Phil Phillips with “Beggin’”.  J-Lo says he caught the groove and rode it all the way home.  Steven got carried away and compared Phil to Bruce Springsteen. Come on, Steven let’s not get carried away. Randy says we just went to the Phil Phillips concert.

I think Joshua Ledet and Phil Phillips left Jessica Sanchez in their dust for round 1.  Randy calls round 1 for Joshua and J-Lo calls round 1 for Phillip.  Steven abstains.

It is time to follow Joshua Ledet to Westlake, Louisiana.  In the heart of Cajun country they know how to celebrate.  Joshua’s homecoming was 9 hours of  church services, parades, parties and a concert.  Watching Joshua move through his hometown, he just looks like a star.  Joshua Ledet chooses to sing “Imagine”.  Surprising and interesting, how will this go?  That was not the most exciting Joshua Ledet performance but it did show his enormous musical talent.  He sang the song beautifully and he made all of the right choices with pacing and dynamics.  Steven loved it. J-Lo discusses that his performance quality is what makes him special.  Joshua just explained why he is so great.  He heard “Imagine”, loved it and committed to standing back and delivering the message of the song.  Joshua Ledet is a singing savant.

Now we go to Chula Vista, California with Jessica Sanchez. Jessica experienced her first helicopter ride from Hollywood to San Diego. Jessica Sanchez chooses “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”.  This big Aerosmith ballad is perfect for Jessic’a talents and she takes advantage with big soaring choruses and dramatic notes.  My only problem was that I could her Steven Tyler through hear entire performance.  Steven says she took a big song and made it bigger.  J-Lo says her last note sent everyone into the stratosphere.  Randy says she delivered a big moment at the end.

Time to head back down south as Phil Phillips takes us to Leesburg, Georgia. Phil’s favorite restaurant named a meal after him, they also have some great pizza deals.  The “Phil Phillips” is a half order chicken chili nachos with no vegetables. Oh my gosh, Phil’s bawling daddy is packing heat! Phil Phillips chooses Matchbox 20′s “Disease ” to make his big statement. The low key arrangement of Phil on guitar with bongos and sax is the opposite of Jessica’s big orchestra.  This is a little bland.  I didn’t really like that.  Nothing wrong with it but nothing special either.  J-Lo agrees with me. Steven thinks it was good but not over the top. Randy did not like it thinking it was too subdued.  I agree with the judges?  How can that happen?

Now to the final round.  Jimmy chooses “No More Drama” from Mary J Blige for Joshua Ledet.  Jimmy thinks this song gives Joshua the opportunity to “take it to church”. This season’s idols are going crazy in the audience.  Wow.  Jimmy was right.  Joshua Ledet just went off on that song! Randy says people should just stand up and vote for Joshua. Randy says he is an amazing singer and an amazing performer.  J-Lo says he has the magic of knowing exactly what he is going to do and completely letting go at the same time.  Steven says it was over the top.  I stand by last night’s article that Joshua Ledet should win American Idol Season 11.

Jimmy chooses “I’ll Be There” for Jessica Sanchez.  Finally, an age appropriate song for Jessica Sanchez, but does it have enough range for her singing chops?  Beautiful tone in her opening lines.  Great job, Jimmy.  This was perfect for Jessica.  That was a beautiful performance that showed the beauty of Jessica’s voice.  I loved her great tone, her restraint and her big notes.  Steven and J-Lo loved “I’ll Be There”.  Randy could not get excited and did not feel like she created any moments with the performance.  That performance showed me things I could grow to love about Jessica Sanchez.

Now, for Phil Phillips, Jimmy chose Bob Seger‘s “We’ve Got Tonight”. Let’s see if Phil sticks to the melody.  Maybe Phil should stop distracting us with the fanatical rubbing of his leg.  This song highlights Phil Phillip‘s limitations as a singer.  He struggles reaching the range of that song and his voice sounds thin. The judges give that a standing ovation?  For that? Randy says it was his best performance.  I don’t get it.  J-Lo says it was sweet like a lullabye.  Steven says it does not matter if you hit the notes as long as you have the passion.  Does that mean I have a shot?  I got passion!

I think the judges just handed Phil Phillips a spot in the finale.  Join us tomorrow night to find out who joins him as we live blog the American Idol Season 11 top 3 results.

Joshua Ledet Should Win American Idol Season 11

I started to do an American Idol Season 11 power rankings, but it did seem disingenuous. As much as I respect Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips, Joshua Ledet should win American Idol Season 11Joshua Ledet has put together the single most impressive season of American Idol I have ever seen.   Joshua Ledet gives us hope that the burgeoning “old soul” movement my actually blossom into a full fledged soul music renaissance.

Joshua Ledet’s Incredible American Idol Season

I wasn’t around for Kelly Clarkson‘s triumphant season 1, so I can cannot make this claim fully.   Joshua Ledet has put together the most impressive string of performances in American Idol Season 11. From “When A Man Loves A Woman” to “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” to “Without You” to “To Love Somebody” to “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”, each week he amazed and surprised Jimmy Iovine, the judges and me. Each week we though he had peaked and each week he set a new bar of amazement. Last week’s version of “Its A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” was nothing short of a revelation.

Steven Tyler said of this performance, “I have never heard anything like that in my life.”  Randy Jackson declared it the best performance ever, on any singing competition show.  I just got chills watching the video.

Joshua Ledet Is A True Soul Singer

We have not seen anything like Joshua Ledet since Terrence Trent D’Arby in the 80′s. With the second generation of Motown, the emergence of superstar Michael Jackson and disco’s flash, soul moved from the blues based street music of the south to a radio friendly pop genre. We traded Al Green for Usher, Curtis Mayfield for Maxwell and Otis Redding for Luther Vandross.  R&B is not bad, but it is not soul. Unlike so many soul performers on these singing shows, Joshua Ledet is not copying the greats, he is taking their songs and making them his own.  A shining example of this is when Joshua sang “When A Man Loves A Woman” early in the season.  This song was perfect when Percy Sledge put it to record 40 years ago.  They might have well as retired the song because everyone who followed was just copying, until Joshua Ledet began to show off.

This was the moment when we began suspect that Joshua Ledet was something special.  It was not the first of the 13 standing ovations Joshua Ledet received from the judges during American Idol Season 11, but it was one of the most enthusiastic.

Joshua Ledet Can Make Soul Cool Again

Yes, Steven, Jennifer and Randy are given to hyperbole, but 13 standing ovations? In two seasons I have not seen Jimmy Iovine so anxious to get his hands on a singer. Jimmy Iovine cannot wait for the end of Joshua Ledet‘s American Idol journey because he wants to make a record. You can see Jimmy anxious about songs to put on Joshua’s first records because he wants to take advantage of a special talent. From Mary J Blige to Akon to Little Steven, industry veterans are truly excited by the young soul singer.

We do not know if Joshua Ledet has written any good songs, but most of the truly great soul songs were written by someone other than the singer. The talent of a true soul singer is the ability to interpret someone else’s song.  Joshua Ledet blew everyone’s mind when he turned a song he had never heard into this in just a few days:

This is a great British pop song. Joshua Ledet turned it into a a soaring soul tour de force.

We don’t know if Joshua Ledet will win American Idol Season 11.  As a matter of fact, we think he is the least likely of the top 3 to win.  Jessica Sanchez seems to be a perfect selection for the tweener voting crowd and Phil Phillips has yet to see the bottom 2 this season.  However, let me be clear, Joshua Ledet should win American Idol Season 11.

Join us tonight as we watch Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips perform for their spots in the American Idol Season 11 finale. They will perform one song selected by the judges, one song selected by Jimmy Iovine and one song that they select. Two hours should leave room for full performances of each of the songs. Join us for our live blog and share our immediate reactions to the close of one of the best seasons of American Idol.

American Idol Season 11 Top 4 Results Live

One mind blowing performance last night, a few very good ones and some disappointments.  Go to our American Idol Season 11 top 4 performances report to share our live reactions.  I went back and watched the show last night and my opinions did not really change very much.  That does not mean the rest of the experts agree with me.  Some thought both Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez were amazing.  Some thought just Jessica and not Joshua, some thought Joshua and not Jessica set a new standard.  Pretty much everyone agreed that Phil Phillips was okay and that Hollie Cavanagh made some bad song choices but was treated unfairly by the judges.

If you have read any of our articles you know that we are thrilled by the soul sensibilities of Joshua Ledet.  I also know that not many people like or even appreciate the great soul music that erupted out of Memphis, Nashville and Muscle Shoals in the 60′s. However, last night Joshua Ledet summed up all that is great about traditional soul music.  The dynamics of his performance, the pace changes, the repressed roars and the not so repressed roars all combined to pay homage to Otis Redding, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and all those greats from the sweaty R&B clubs.  I have not seen anyone in the music scene over the past 25 years that captures that energy and can deliver it with such unbridled talent.  Joshua Ledet is at the bottom of some of the voting prediction sites.  If he goes home tonight we will have lost the only original artist left on American Idol Season 11.

Now it is time to find out who gets a home town parade and who will quietly go home to start their music career for real.

David Cook will perform live and we will get a taped performance from Jennifer Lopez, but we really only care about the results.

Looks like Phil Phillips couldn’t make it to the Ford video shoot.  It is amazing how he has fought through illness all season to stay on American Idol Season 11.

First results already.  First up Phil Phillips. The screaming girls love them some Phil Phillips. Jimmy Iovine thinks Phil Phillips found his true voice last night. Phil Phillips’ fate has been kept secret by Ryan Seacrest.

Now we will not find out what happens to Hollie Cavanagh. Jimmy says Hollie crashed and burned last night, but we still don’t know what the 70 millions voters had to say.

David Cook’s new song “The Last Song I’ll Write For You” is pretty good. That could be a hit.

Now time to hear what Jimmy has to say about Joshua Ledet. Jimmy hated his version of “You Raise Me Up”, but Jimmy agrees that Joshua created the type of magic rarely seen on American Idol, with “It’s A Man’s World.”

Jessica Sanchez gets to take the trip across the stage to Ryan. Jimmy thought she was just putting on a show with “Steal Away”, but he loved the Dreamgirls song. Jimmy called it “shock and awe”.

Okay 12 minutes until the end of the show.  How is Ryan going to reveal the American Idol Season 11 top 3?

Who is safe?  Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet are having a parade. At least we know that the two best singers of American Idol Season 11 made it to the top3.  The final American Idol Season 11 parade will be for Phil PhillipsHollie Cavangh just could not put enough great performances together to make it all the way to the end, but it was a tremendous run.

Join us next week as we drive to the final of American Idol Season 11.


So JAmerican Idol Season 11 Top 4 Live Performances

Game is on.  American Idol Season 11 is down to its final four.  Will the hard charging Hollie Cavanagh overtake season long favorite Jessica Sanchez?  Will Joshua Ledet’s incredible run of performances be enough to get a full throated gospel/soul singer to the finale?  Can the rapidly fading Phil Phillips ride his tremendous popularity to the title?  Many believe that the finale and the winner are pretty much decided.  I think all of this will be decided by the performances over the next two weeks.

Tonight the American Idol Season 11 Top 4 will sing two songs.  They will sing songs that “they wish they had written”.  That could be anything.  The other song selections should be of the “California Sound”. Don’t know what that means. I hope everyone is amazing and we get each performers best shot tonight.  Join me now as I live blog the American Idol Season 11 top 4 performance show.

The first theme is California Dreamin.

Phil Phillips is up first with “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”.  This is one of the first rock songs of my youth.  Phil performs without his trusty guitar and interprets this as a light hearted summer song.  I doubt Phil knows this is a war lament song, like many of CCR’s songs.  He sang it pretty well, but I did not not like his cheery, light hearted interpretation. J-Lo says his vocal quality was perfectly chosen.  Randy thinks he started off pitch but quickly recovered.  The judges seemed to like that much more than me.

Hollie Cavanagh goes big ballad again with Journey’s “Faithfully”  I am not sure this is going to help Hollie’s quest to make it into the American Idol Season 11 top 3.  Watching her strut across the stage, there is just a new cockiness in Hollie’s entire demeanor.  I am not sure this was the best song to show off her big voice.  She fought through most of the song in her lower register.  She hit some big notes at the end but we needed more of that than we got.  Randy loved what she did with his band’s song.  J-Lo hits it with her comment about how laid back Hollie has become.  Stephen loved her choice of song and her performance.  Maybe I am just in a bad mood tonight but the judges are loving these performances much more than me.

I am just not understanding these song choices.  On a night when Joshua Ledet needs to show his modern relevance as a pop artist, he chooses Josh Grobin’s “You Lift Me Up”.  Okay, Joshua Ledet is dedicating this song to his father. Didn’t know that was a gospel song. That was another vocal tour de force by Joshua. I loved those breaks in the middle of the song.  That was a great interpretation of a song I did not think could be interpreted.  All of the judges are in awe of Joshua Ledet and his future.

Jessica Sanchez makes the most interesting song choice of the night with Etta James’ “Steal Away”. Jessica picked a song that allowed her to let loose with her big vocals and she did just that.  Fantastic performance.  She romped and stomped all over that song.  J-Lo says she is one of the best female singers on the scene today.  Randy loved how she tapped into the blues.  That was my favorite performance of the night so far.

Finally, Phil Phillips gets to sing a duet in his wheelhouse. He and Joshua Ledet do a good job with Maroon 5′s “This Time”.

American Idol is wasting a lot of time tonight with duets, group numbers and videos.  Let’s get on with it.

Phil Phillips wishes he had written “Volcano” which was written by Damien Rice. Back with his guitar Phil Phillip is accompanied by a cello. This was brilliant choice by Phil Phillips.  The song is contemporary but not well known and it is a perfect song for his voice.  This dark, simple, haunting performance marks the re-emergence of Phil Phillips. Stephen says he has never heard Phillip sing like that.  J-Lo says very few people could have pulled that off.  She called it one of the most beautiful, most poignant moments in the history of American Idol.  Randy says it was one of his best performances of Season 11.  We loved that performance.

Hollie Cavanagh wants to write “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. Let’s see if she can. Beautiful singing with a beautiful voice but I think the production was a little over the top.  Hollie just got caught up in the production.  Stephen thought the song came up a little short.  J-Lo just does not think she connected with the emotion.  Randy did not think the song fit her talent.  He said the song had nowhere for her to go with the song. Unfortunately, this was not the night of great performances that Hollie Cavanagh needed.

So Joshua Ledet is doing James Brown, “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”.  He is singing it to honor his mother’s role as the backbone of their family. This kid is the real deal.  Soul just oozes from this performance.  What a showcase.  The growls, the grunts, the screams. OH MY GOODNESS. Joshua Ledet just set American Idol on fire.  Anyone not amazed at this moment does not understand soul music.  Stephen says no one has ever sang that good on this show, ever.  Stephen says he has never seen anything like that at.  J-Lo had to turn to spanish to express herself. Randy says it is one of the greatest performances of any singing show ever. With that atomic performance, Joshua Ledet just said to America, “any questions”?

Now time to finish the American Idol Top 4 with Jessica Sanchez singing “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls. This is Jessica’s response to the judge’s save.  This is the perfect song for a singer like Jessica Sanchez. That was some crazy good singing, but I think it was too much too soon.  She went big and crazy right from the beginning and she sort of lost me.  The rest of the performance was sort of muddled for me.  I would have liked a little more emotional development and dynamics in the song.  The judges do not agree and give her a standing ovation. The judges said it all with their standing O.

Joshua Ledet had the best performance of the night. Phil Phillip defined his identity as an artist.  Jessica Sanchez showed off her voice.  I am afraid the Hollie Cavanagh did not raise her game enough to hang with these other three performers.  Joins us tomorrow night as we find out how our American Idol Season 11 top 3.



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 5 Results Live Blog

Last night was a fulcrum for American Idol Season 11.  Most of my colleagues at online publications agree that tonight’s results will tell us a lot about the American Idol Season 11 finale.  The consensus online is two fold.  First of all, Hollie Cavanagh was amazing last night and could be on one of those big American Idol turnarounds that we seem to see every season.  Secondly, Phil Phillips was pretty bad.  Most of us agree that his “Time of The Season” was one of the worst performances on American Idol this year.

What does all of this mean?  First, if Hollie Cavanagh can avoid the bottom two tonight, we must consider her a threat for the American Idol Season 11 finale.  I never thought I would say that.  Then, if Phil Phillips survives tonight we should consider him a likely candidate for the finale.  If Phil Phillips is not in the bottom two tonight I think Phil Phillips is the favorite to win American Idol Season 11.

All of that just distracts from the amazing show Christian musician Joshua Ledet put on last night with “To Love Somebody”.  His dynamic, gut wrenching interpretation of that Bee Gee’s song blew Little Steven away, left Jimmy Iovine speechless, and slayed the judges.  Each week we worry if Joshua Ledet has peaked too soon, if he can match the wonder of his previous performances and each week he raises the bar higher.  As good as the American Idol Season 11 group has been, Joshua Ledet has no peer.

Christian musician Skylar Laine did not soar as high as Joshua Ledet but she did amaze us all with her versatility and singing prowess.  Jessica Sanchez once again delivered amazing vocals into flat performances.

We expect to see Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips in the bottom two tonight, but the time for speculation has ended and it is time to find out who goes home on American Idol Season 11.

Coldplay and Carrie Underwood are in the American Idol house tonight.

We jump right into the results with Joshua Ledet. Five minutes in, that must be a record. Wow, JimmyIovine called “To Love Somebody” the best performance on American Idol Season 11. Joshua Ledet wants to make records that speak to people.  Joshua Ledet is safe. It is amazing that Joshua Ledet remains so humble and soft spoken in the wake of this overwhelming adulation.

More results now with Hollie Cavanagh and Phil Phillips.  We will learn a lot right now. Who’s it gonna be? Jimmy Iovine says Phil Phillips has been coasting. I agree. Hollie Cavanagh is in the bottom two and Phillip is safe.  Guess what that says.  Phil Phillips is an American Idol juggernaut.

Who’s it gonna be? Jessica Sanchez or Skylar Laine? Jimmy says Jessica Sanchez‘s “You Are So Beautiful” was spectacular. Jessica Sanchez is safe and Skylar Laine is in the bottom two again.  I am not happy about this.

Both of these girls look mortified. Tonight we lose Skylar Laine.  That is a travesty. We have lost the two best stage performers too early.  Both Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon deserved to go deeper into American Idol Season 11.

Join us this weekend when publish our American Idol Season 11 top 4 power rankings.



American Idol Season 11 Top 5 Performance Live Blog

New news about the American Idol Season 11 Top 5.  Tonight they will sing one song from the British music scene and one song from the 60′s. As we said in the our season 11 top 5 power rankings, the race to the finale is close and everyone needs to be great on every performance.  Joshua Ledet needs to continue to stay rooted in his ballad power while demonstrating versatility with an upbeat soul or pop number.  Skylar Laine needs to demonstrate her versatility without losing her country foundation.  We would like to see a little more growth from Phil PhillipsJessica Sanchez needs to create deeper emotional connections with her performances and with the audience and Hollie Cavanagh needs to have four straight mind blowing performances.

Expect a lot of music from the 60′s because that was the height of British pop music and, well, the other half of the theme is “songs from the 60′s”.  Little Steven of the E Street band and The Sopranos is the celebrity mentor tonight and we expect him to be very good.  Let’s jump in and enjoy some good music on British Week.

Hollie Cavanagh starts the night off with “River Deep, Mountain High”.  Hollie is stepping out.  Little Steven gives her a little punk advice.  This is a new, sassy, aggressive Hollie Cavanagh.  She is dancing and prancing around the stage like she is Tina Turner.  Oh by the way, she is throwing that big voice around like a bully on the school yard.  I love this Hollie Cavanagh! Yes, yes, yes.  That was her best performance of the season.  Stephen says “Thank you Lord”.  J-Lo says she could really feel her attack the song. Randy makes it unanimous- he loved it.  I agree with Randy-She wore it out.  Is Hollie Cavanagh attacking American Idol Season 11? Everybody better watch out!

Phil Phillips is singing “The Letter”.  This is a great song for Phil Phillips. Steven talks Jimmy our of his advice for Phil. Phil leads a big funky arrangement of this 50 year old song. I like his syncopated rhythms.  Very good Phil Phillips! No highlights but a lot of fun. Randy loved that Phil made it new for him. J-Lo says the song lacked melody but he is compelling to watch. Stephen missed the melody but says Phil pulls it off.  Kind of mixed reviews.  I had fun with it but I was not blown away.

Skylar Laine brings CCR’s “Fortunate Son” to the stage. Not he rorignial choice but Jimmy convinced her to sing it. I don’t know. Skylar Laine is so good that I enjoy every minute of every performance but I don’t think she really embraced these lyrics.  J-Lo says she attacks every single song.  Stephen says it was fabulous.  Randy says Skylar is born on the stage. The judges love her so much that they do not discuss her performance.  It was entertaining but not earth shattering.

This should be interesting. Joshua Ledet and Phil Phillips are performing a duet of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”.  This should be interesting. I just lost a little respect for Joshua Ledet.  He had never heard of this song? Neither of them can sing the low parts of this duet. This is pretty bad. I will stop talking now.

Jessica Sanchez blows Little Stevens’ mind with “Proud Mary”. Feeling like I am in Vegas. She is singing the notes with aplomb but I just don’t feel the grit and raw energy of that song.  J-Lo loved her movement and her great voice.  Stephen is hearing the blues.  Randy thought Jessica’s performance was barely okay. I agree with Randy, but J-Lo does not.  I think Simon would have eviscerated Jessica Sanchez for that performance.

Now Joshua Ledet is looking for another standing ovation with “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.”  I don’t know.  Is there enough in this song for Joshua Ledet to ride.  It is mid-tempo Motown song without many big notes. Okay, so I was wrong. Where does he pull those notes from?  This guy is a STAR! Amazing. Stephen just calls Joshua one of the top 2 Idols of all time. J-Lo calls Joshua sick. Randy pulls out a Terence Trent-D’Arby reference and says Joshua could launch an R&B renaissance.

Round one goes to Hollie Cavanagh and Joshua Ledet.

Can Hollie Cavanagh keep her momentum with “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis.  Little Steven says to just sing it to one person and think about the audience. Who is the girl and what did she do with Hollie Cavanagh.  Another great, engrossing performance. Perfect timing and great performance dynamics and a huuuge note to put an exclamation point on the performance.  Hollie Cavanagh is fighting her way back onto American Idol Season 11.  Stephen it was beautiful. J-Lo says she had a breathtaking run at the end of the song.  Randy says it was unbelievably good and she was two for two tonight.  I love me some Hollie Cavanagh tonight.  Randy says she is peaking and I agree.

Now Phil Phillips interprets The Zombies’ “Time of The Season”. This song was one of the highlights of Blake Lewis’ American Idol run a few years ago. Phil Phillips tries to sing the melody and we discover why he has developed his unique performing style.  This singing is really not good.  I think I will use the word bad. I feel bad for Phil Phillips. It is going to take all of his charisma to survive this performance.  Randy uses the word great? Did I hear a completely performance and then finally called in “nice”. J-Lo says it was relaxed. Stephen says he sang it well. I cannot disagree more vehemently with the judges.  I thought that was one of the worst performances of American Idol Season 11.

The girls now sing “Higher and Higher”. This is pretty good.  Three big voices just letting themselves wail.  That was fun.

Time for Skylar Laine to make her mark tonight. She chooses “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”. That was perfect.  Skylae Laine wrang every bit of power and emotion out that song.  I love the way she tells the story of the song. Randy says it was perfect. J-Lo says Skylar Laine is winning the audience over and raves over her performance skills. Stephen says she brought that 60′s song into the 21st century.  No reason to send Skylar Laine home after that performance.

Jessica Sanchez is doing Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful”.  The judges worry that the song is too and pretty.  Jessica Sanchez just proved she can sing a song without making a run out of every verse and it was beautiful.  That was so restrained and controlled and quiet that it pulled us all onto the stage with her.  This was maybe her best performance of the season. The judges just loved it.  I just loved it too. That was amazing.

Joshua Ledet finishes the evening with “To Love Somebody” by the Bee Gees.  I am without words to describe the joy of watching the birth of this great singing talent and superstar performer.  Joshua Ledet just put every other performance tonight in it place– behind him.  Of course the judges leap to their feet.  Randy says wow.  Randy says you have to be born to do what Joshua Ledet just did.  Randy says Joshua Ledet is one of the best singers ever on American idol.  J-Lo says he is one of the best singer of the past 50 years.  Stephen says that would be a hit record today.

Join us tomorrow night to watch the crime of sending someone home after a night like this.


American Idol Season 11 Top 5 Power Rankings

We are making the turn to the American Idol Season 11 finale.  Twenty-three days until we know who captures the Season 11 American Idol crown.  For One21music, Joshua Ledet and Skylar Laine have distinguished themselves as the class of Season 11.  However, Phil Phillips has shown tremendous popularity and is a real contender.  Jessica Sanchez seems to be a few years away from turning her tremendous talent into the full package.  Hollie Cavanagh has mounted a mini comeback to recover from the brink of elimination.

American Idol Season 11 Top 5 Power Rankings

1) Joshua Ledet- The most consistent performer of American Idol Season 11 is clearly Joshua Ledet.  The most spectacular performer of American Idol Season 11 is arguably Joshua LedetJoshua Ledet is the best male singer in the past three seasons of American Idol. As Skylar Laine pointed out on American Idol Top 6 performance show, Joshua Ledet has received 12 standing ovations from the judges this year, including two last week.  And what a revelation last week was.  Joshua’s second song “I Am Ready for Love” was a season highlight.  However, it is his performance of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” that was the revelation.  As Jimmy Iovine pointed out, thar Queen song revealed his tremendous cross-over potential.  Last week was the final judgement for us, Joshua Ledet deserves to win American Idol Season 11.

2) Skylar Laine- She was in the bottom three last week, which was a disappointment, but if anyone has the talent to beat Joshua Ledet, it is Skylar Laine.  She has as big a voice as any of the three reamaining females.  She owns a strong American Idol demographic, the country voters.  Skylar Laine‘s commanding stage presence, riveting confidence and fearless performance style sets her apart from everyone else on American Idol Season 11.  Skylar Laine’s biggest asset, her clear country roots and style, is also her biggest weakness.  When Skylar avoids modern country pop music, she soars.  However, at every opportunity she selects a popular country song that does not demonstrate her talents.  Her version of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” is a perfect example.  This song allows her to demonstrate the full range of her vocal, interpretive and performance skills in a way that few modern country songs can handle. She needs to be very careful with song selection the rest of this season. The right songs will land her in the finale but if she forces the country on us, she could go home prematurely.

3) Phil Phillips- He has yet to land in the bottom three and I don’t get that.  I enjoy Phil Phillips but I don’t get why everyone thinks he is so special.  I live in Austin, Texas and I can see twenty guys just like Phil Phillips every night of the week.  One of the secrets of winning American Idol is that you grow and develop every week and show new sides of your talent as the season progresses.  That is how David Cook and Kris Allen won.  I have not seen that from Phil Phillips.  We could interchange his performances from any point in the season and they will be the same.  Consistency is important, but I have not seen Phil Phillips develop under the watchful eye of Jimmy Iovine, the mentors and these judges.  I think he deserves to be here and I think he deserves to reach the top 3, but if American Idol Season 11 develops as it has so far, I will disappointed with Phil Phillips in the finale.

4) Jessica Sanchez- At the beginning, I thought American Idol Season 11 was going to be the coronation of Jessica Sanchez.  She clearly has the voice and the singing talent.  However, in this season of great singers she is not so far ahead of Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine or even Hollie Cavanagh that we can overlook her shortcomings.  For me, she just needs more maturity and life experience.  Many of her performances seem to be just that–performances.  I do not believe her and I do not think she can connect with most of the lyrics she sings.  There have been exceptions and they have been stunning.  “Stuttering” and “Dance With My Father” are two examples of what she can become.  I just don’t think she is there yet. Her 16 years maybe been too focused on her career and I think she just needs to live in the world a little more to find her emotional voice. When Jessica Sanchez does, I will be there with my credit card in hand.


5) Hollie Cavanagh-  It happens every year. Someone who looks lost for much of the season finds their voice and then makes a deep run on American IdolHayle Reinhart and Syesha Mercado are two shining examples.  On American Idol Season 11, that person is Hollie Cavanagh. A few weeks ago Akon told her that someday she would flip the switch from amateur to professional.  Hollie flipped that switch almost immediately and, since then, her performances have been strikingly deeper and more connected.  Her voice has always been great but she has really stretched herself since she met with Akon.  She still tends to favor big pop ballads and has not shown enough versatitility.  This week is British week and with the right song she could make a big statement.  Remember Jordan Spark‘s and “I Who Have Nothing”? However, it feels like her comeback is too little too late to surpass the others in this American Idol Season 11 top 5.

Join us tonight as we watch the American Idol Season 11 top 5 perform from the very broad theme- British Week.  No time for mediocrity now- it is either be great or go home.

American Idol Season 11 Top 6 Results

On American Idol 2012 last night, we watched our 6 contestants rock out with selections by Queen and then a “free choice” song.  It was a memorable night for some and a disappointing night for others.  We watched as our Christian performers Skylar Laine and Joshua Ledet seemed to carry the night.  And we are not just saying that because they are in our top 3!  We thoroughly enjoyed Skylar’s huge performance with “The Show Must Go On” and “Tattoos on this Town”and dropped our jaws when Joshua  sang “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Ready for Love”. Both of these young singers are so talented and we find ourselves wanting them to sing the songs in their entirety each time they perform.  After some of the shocking eliminations this season, the outcome should be exciting.  Who will go home tonight?

This is the final stretch and all 6 want to make the final cut.  Ryan Seacrest tells us that 58 million votes were cast last night, 10 million more than last year.  Wow.  I hope everyone voted for Joshua and Skylar.  (By the way, this is Debbie writing tonight, so if it gets sappy, forgive me.)  Katy Perry, Stefano and the Queen Extravaganza are performing tonight.

So here we go with the results.  Ryan will be calling everyone out in pairs.  First up, Jessica Sanchez and Elise Testone.  Jessica’s Dad is visiting and in the audience tonight.  He deploys out soon.  Jimmy was not impressed with Elise’s choice of songs and doesn’t feel she is safe.  And  after the nation wide vote, he is correct,  Elise is in the bottom 3.

Next pair up is Hollie Cavanagh and Joshua Ledet.  Jimmy felt Hollie’s last song was her best but thought it might be too little, too late. Jimmy was impressed with Joshua and thought he should be in the finals.  Jimmy is right again.   Hollie is in the bottom 3.  Joshua is in the top group.

So we are down to the final pair of Phillip Phillips and Skylar Laine.  Jimmy felt Skylar was competent with her first song but her second song knocked her out.  He felt that Phillip was missing something this week.  The audience is booing at both assessments.  The person in the bottom 3 is Skylar.  Three ladies in the bottom 3 and quickly Ryan tells us Skylar is safe.

So will it be Hollie or Elise??   The person leaving tonight is Elise Testone.  I have to say this wasn’t a huge surprise.  Elise has been in the bottom 3 so many weeks that she had to somewhat expect this.  We wish her well and know that her music career is not over and her unique style will bring her the success that she desires.  Best wishes and prayers Elise.