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American Idol Recap – Top 8 Performance Show

It’s ’80’s night with guest mentors Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal from No Doubt.  We’ve also got duets tonight in addition to the solo performances.  Thank goodness Tommy Hilfiger has been relegated to a small cameo in the audience.

The Brackensickness – “I Like It” by DeBarge
DeAndre starts out in the audience so that he could high-five producer Nigel Lythgoe on his way up to the stage.  No question, his best performance in weeks.  I’m not saying for one minute that he should still be here, but he didn’t embarrass himself this week.  The judges are pimping and pimping and pimping him.

Elise – “I Wanna Know What Love Is” by Foreigner
Not my favorite Elise performance to date, but solid.  Steven agrees with me – not really the right song for her.  Jennifer focuses on how beautiful Elise looks.  Randy says she was pitchy.  I don’t know that I agree with him.  But their comments have basically damned her to at least the bottom three if not out of the game entirely this week.

Skylar & Colton – “Islands In The Stream” by Dolly Parton
Duet, also known as Colton sings with some woman there in the background.  Not because Skylar didn’t sound amazing (she did).  Simply because the camera constantly followed Colton and chose angles flattering to the new blond.  I loved the duet.  They both sounded great.  But Colton could not even be bothered to interact with Skylar.  The guy was singing to himself, while Skylar really tried to build chemistry in a one-sided game.  I have no interest in Colton.  Zip.  Even Skylar made a point of clearing up that she and Colton are NOT dating.

Phillip – “That’s All” by Genesis
Oh, my love Phillip Phillips.  I really want to say you can do no wrong.  But you were really off pitch for so much of the song.  I know it doesn’t matter as much with the way you sing, but it does matter.  And I know you’re not an angry man, but it would be nice to see you express a different emotion while you sing.  Steven says he loves being who he is.  JLo says nothing, and neither does Randy.  Wow – they really did let him get away with being under pitch for most of the song while they skewered Elise for something I did not hear.  Note to the reader: the magnetic attractiveness does not extend to Phillip’s brother who played back-up for Phillip on the song.

Hollie & DeAndre – “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters
This song will always be the song my family walked in to at my Bar Mitzvah party.  Boy, Hollie really sounds better on up-tempo songs.  And it is nice to hear DeAndre in his chest voice.  Although an odd pairing, they sounded great together.

Joshua – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red
YOU GO, MANTASIA!!!  Simply amazing.  Flawless.  Judges give an actually deserving standing-o.  If ‘Tasia weren’t currently knocked up, she and Joshua could have the most unbelievable duet in the finale this year.  Although he won’t win the whole thing, he certainly deserves to.

Jessica – “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston
Thank goodness she chose an upbeat song tonight.  She really needed to show more than the balladeer.  That being said, I don’t think it was terrific, and I think she also had a lot of pitch problems tonight.  Tough to listen to after the solo track of Whitney singing this song went viral recently – pitch perfect and unbelievable.  The judges will not offer her any criticism because she is the ordained.  I also do not want to hear one more word about “Bibi Chez”.  You’re not old enough to have an alter ego.

Phillip & Elise – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks
What a great pairing and a great song for both of them.  I this one more than each of their solo performances.  The judges agree with me.  I forgive you for earlier, Phillip.

Hollie – “What A Feeling” by Irene Cara
Yay.  Hollie has left the diva ballads behind.  And the frumpy outfits too.  Huge improvement over last week.  Steven said her pitch was all over the place.  Jennifer said she needs to let go and feel it.  No question that comment is right.  She is so controlled.  I’m just so familiar with the original song, where Irene Cara was also so effortless and free.  I feel bad for her.  She’s trying so hard.  She just doesn’t feel it.

Jessica & Joshua – “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” by Aretha & George Michael
One of my favorite unappreciated songs.  Wow.  Awesome.  These two sounded amazing on their own, amazing together, interacted so effortlessly.  I felt like I was watching the top two perform at the results show of the finale.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Colton – “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper
Good song choice.  Good arrangement.  Good performance.  I think perhaps my favorite Colton performance in a very long time.  Not nearly as self-indulgent and self-involved as usual.

Skylar – “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
Thank you, producers, for giving Skylar the pimp spot this week.  She has always had random slots where she could be easily forgotten.  Yay Skylar!!!  She chose a ballad and one that showed immense range.  Standing-o from the judges.  She sounded great.  I really hope it’s enough to keep her out of the bottom three.

My Ranking of Tonight’s Performances:

  1. Jessica & Joshua
  2. Joshua
  3. Elise & Phillip
  4. Colton
  5. Colton & Skylar
  6. Jessica
  7. Hollie & The Brackensickness
  8. Elise
  9. Phillip
  10. Hollie
  11. The Brackensickness

Who Is Going Home

This week is fairly clear:

  • Joshua, Jessica, Colton, and Phillip are most definitely safe.
  • As for the rest of them…
    • Skylar will most definitely stay in the competition after tonight’s performance and absolutely deserves to avoid the bottom three.  The producers did their best to position her well.  If she doesn’t hit the bottom three this week, she may stay a contender.  If she does hit the bottom three, it’s a clear sign that America isn’t on her side.
    • Despite DeAndre‘s improvement and ridiculous pimping by the judges, he most certainly deserves to be in the bottom three and I think is likely to be there simply based on the strength of other performers.
    • Elise is highly likely to be in the bottom three tonight.  And while I don’t want that to happen, I cannot complain too much about it this week, since she didn’t stand out.
    • Hollie is assured a place in the bottom three, despite also not having such a bad performance, and I believe that due to the Brackensickness will also likely go home.
  • Should go home: The Brackensickness
  • Will go home: Hollie

What a joy it is to have eight performers in the top eight who can actually sing and to truly not know who are going to be the top performers of the night heading in.  Congrats, Idol, on finally making this about talent again.  Too bad a lot of America has already left due to your previous shenanigans.

Wertheim out.

  1. Brian Dunkleman
    April 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Eileen and I have major disagreements with you on 2 points:

    — Hollie’s performance was just painful to watch. Let’s face it she’s great for radio.

    — Anyone who sings a song from either “Beaches” or any movie starring Meg Ryan needs to go home ASAP.

    We do agree that it was puzzling that no one mentioned that PP was out of tune!

    • Michael Wertheim
      April 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      I’m with you on the Hollie front. On the other point, you’re just looking for reasons to hate on Skylar!

      Sent from my iPhone

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