Home > American Idol, Recaps, Television > American Idol Recap – Top 13 – Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston

American Idol Recap – Top 13 – Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston

The gents are singing the songs of Stevie Wonder and the ladies are singing the songs of Whitney Houston.  You couldn’t get better material.  I have been waiting for a Stevie week since season 3.  Tomorrow night, the bottom man and the bottom woman will be revealed, and the judges will decide who stays and who goes.  Can’t say I mind that.  They can hopefully right any potential wrong that may arise.

Jimmy Iovine & Mary J Blige are coaching tonight.  Can it get any better than that?  Can Mary J come back every week?

Joshua Ledet – “I Wish”
Holy schamoley.  Love Joshua.  MANTASIA!!!!!!  Awesome that he came out swinging with an upbeat song and proved he can do anything.  This guy is the real deal, America.  Please don’t be racist.  And please don’t be stupid.

Elise Testone -“I’m Your Baby Tonight”
One of my favorite Whitney songs, and I think wise that Jimmy & Mary J steered Elise away from Greatest Love of All, which just couldn’t have been done well.  I love Elise, and I thought she sounded great.  The song was new to her, so it didn’t feel like it was coming naturally to her.  Yeah, it wasn’t her greatest performance, but she was still GOOD.  I think they are being a little too hard on her, and I think she handled it like a pro.  Once again, America.  PLEASE DON’T BE STUPID.  She’s the best.

Jermaine Jones – “Knocks Me Off My Feet”
First of all, he ditched the white pants!  Second, he actually looked like he belonged in the competition.  Last week, he seemed like a special needs child.  This week he looked like he felt he belonged there.  And he sounded great.  JLo was right – he needs to do a better job of connecting with the audience.

Erika Van Pelt – “I Believe In You And Me”
Mary J said Erica is like a steak and potato dinner.  Totally.  What a rich voice.  Beautiful.  Simple, classy, strong.  I LOVE THIS WOMAN TOO!  So happy for her.  She should never have been a wild card.  She should have been voted through.  I am so glad the judges like her as much as I do.

Colton Dixon – “Lately”
One of my favorite Stevie songs.  And Colton did a good job.  A little too rough for ‘Lately’, but he sounded solid.  JLo and Steven liked him better than I did.  Randy thought it wasn’t perfect and also felt the tender moments were a little weird.  This guy is going to win this competition, isn’t he?  Ugh.  He looks kind of like a rodent.  Well, there have been worse.  He’s definitely talented.

Shannon Magrane – “I Have Nothing”
‘The Pride of Tampa’ was not the pride of 55 West 11th Street this evening.  Although tonight, I just feel bad for her.  The song was WAAAAAAAAY too big for her.  She tried to both have soul and to hit the big notes, neither of which she did well at all.  Not the right song choice for poor Shannon.  But I don’t hate her anymore.

Deandre Brackensick – “Master Blaster”
Certainly his best live performance to date.  I can’t say I loved it.  But I liked it.  Oooch – Steven called him the ‘male Naima’ – not the best compliment one could convey.  Steven and JLo loved it.  Definite improvement.  And way better than Naima.

Skylar Laine – “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”
I expected a disaster on this one.  Hardly.  If I hadn’t heard this song (a million times) before, I would have thought it actually was a country song.  This woman is MAD talented.  She gave Mary J goosebumps.  Me too.

HeeJun Han – “All In Love Is Fair”
Nice haircut.  The performance was 100 times better than last week’s performance.  100 times better.  He’s got a great personality, and at least he proved tonight that he doesn’t deserve to rank #13.  But some diction would really help him out.

Hollie Cavanagh – “All The Man That I Need”
This little girl has a huge voice.  Damn.  I think she needs to connect more with the songs and with the audience.  But as all of the judges said, she nailed it.

Jeremy Rosado – “Ribbon In The Sky”
Another one of Stevie’s best (although there are a lot of them) – a gorgeous, emotional song.  But not one to tackle unless you are amazing.  And Jeremy is not bad, but he is not amazing.  And he was trying so hard.  You don’t want to see a singer try on that song.  I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for Randy.  He didn’t quite believe it tonight.  Neither did I.

Jessica Sanchez – “I Will Always Love You”
Where did this woman come from?  How can you take on that song and actually nail it?  Wow.  Sang rings around JHud at the Grammy’s.  She’s flawless.  I wish we had gotten to hear the whole song.  I hope she gets better at connecting with audiences.  I think that’s the only think that could hold her back from taking the crown.  Oh yeah, possibly also that America is racist.

Phillip Phillips – “Superstition”
There is zero question in my mind that this guy is going to be an ENORMOUS star.  It doesn’t matter in any fashion where he finishes this season.  In fact, I think he would greatly benefit from not having the burden of the Idol crown that would lead him to make at least one underwhelming album before his career could really get underway.  This dude is going to follow Daughtry’s career path.  Except I will buy his albums and go to his concerts.  Oh, and his performance was great.

My ranking of tonight’s performances:

  1. Jessica Sanchez
  2. Joshua Ledet
  3. Phillip Phillips
  4. Erika Van Pelt
  5. Skylar Laine
  6. Hollie Cavanagh
  7. Colton Dixon
  8. Elise Testone
  9. Jermaine Jones
  10. HeeJun Han
  11. Deandre Brackensick
  12. Jeremy Rosado
  13. Shannon Magrane

Who will be in the bottom:

I can’t see how the bottom girls will not be Shannon and Elise, and I can’t see how the bottom guys will not be Jeremy and Deandre, as they ranked for me.  If Jeremy has as many fans in America as he does on the judging panel (which he doesn’t), Jermaine could slip into the bottom with Deandre.

Here are the scenarios:

  • I am fairly confident that Shannon and Deandre will be the bottom woman and the bottom man, respectively.  If that does happen, I’m not quite sure what the judges will decide.  Base on tonight and the fact that they love him, they should pick Deandre.  But if America doesn’t say they like Deandre tonight, will they ever?  I think they may save Shannon, since she has a better chance of going farther.
  • If Elise should unfortunately end up as the bottom woman, they will save her over either Deandre or Jeremy.  No question.
  • If it’s Shannon and Jeremy, I say they save Jeremy.
  • If Jermaine should slip into the bottom, I think they will save him over Shannon, but for sure not over Elise.
  • Finally, if I’m being honest, America didn’t rally around Erika last week, and they could make the same mistake this week.  She will also be saved against any of those guys.

So I think that the folks with the highest probability of going home are as follows (in order from highest to lowest):

  1. Shannon
  2. Deandre
  3. Jeremy
  4. Jermaine
  5. Elise
  6. Erika

The other folks are not worth ranking (although HeeJun should be in that list).  Make sure to vote to SAVE ELISE TESTONE!

Before we part this evening, I must thank Nigel Lythgoe for finally casting a season of Idol with talented singers.  What a pleasure.  This is what made me love the show and the concept from the beginning.  I want to hear good singing.  I want to feel like it is a real competition.  I want to feel like the winner deserves to be the winner.  Like Kelly Clarkson.  Like Fantasia.  Like Carrie Underwood.  Like David Cook.

Blast from the past #1:

Before there was Mantasia, there was Fantasia.  Here she is during season 3’s Stevie week.  Re-experience the magic:

Blast from the past #2:

Jennifer Hudson very ambitiously chose Whitney’s “I Have Nothing” during season 3’s movie songs week.  It was an extremely bold choice that ratcheted her up to Fantasia and LaToya London’s level.  What an absolute travesty it was when the three of them ended up in the bottom 3 the following week, keeping George Huff, John Stevens, Jasmine Trias, and even Diana DeGarmo in the competition.  How insane is it that we had three African-American women of their caliber in season 3, but they couldn’t find ONE to place in the top 24 this year.  Anyway – as if you needed any reminder of how bad Shannon Magrane was tonight, watch Jennifer do Whitney proud:

SAVE ELISE TESTONE!!!  Wertheim out.

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