After what was clearly the worst night of the season, American Idol is looking for a big rebound tonight. To reach that goal the “Top 7” contestants will be performing songs from this decade (2010 to the present). Singer, R&B recording artist, songwriter and record producer Akon will be joining Jimmy Iovine as this weeks’ celebrity mentor. With only 7 contestants remaining, it appears that the only question left to answer is who is going to be standing next to Jessica Sanchez in the finale.
It really doesn’t matter because whoever it is will finish a distant second to Jessica. Here’s a recap of the Top 7’s performances.
Skylar Laine: sang a strong version of Kellie Pickler’s , “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You”. While I wasn’t familiar with the song, I definitely enjoyed the performance and it was a good way to open up the show. In an interesting moment, Skylar chose to play the guitar despite the advice from both Jimmy Iovine and Akon to focus on her singing and leave the guitar at home. It didn’t turn out to be a problem, she looked great and sounded like a real country star. The judges loved her performance and Steven Tyler even broke out a new quote when he said “The crows may crow but the hens deliver the goods.” Skylar clearly wants to stay in the competition and based on her performance I think she will.
Colton Dixon: Let me just say that I am a fan of Colton Dixon and I think he has a chance to be a star when he eventually records his own music. He has a unique voice, but for me, it sometimes doesn’t translate well to a lot of other entertainers’ songs. Case and point, his performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”, and last nights’ performance of Rihanna’s, “Love the Way You Lie.” Both performances were off key and just plain boring to listen to. It might be a good idea for him to stay away from songs that female artists have had hits with. Starting the song on the piano, Colton definitely has the look and feel of a real “rock star.” Unfortunately I never felt the emotion or energy that this song should have. For me, it was just an average performance and certainly not a performance that people will be talking about today. On the flip side, the judges really loved his performance and there are a lot of people who feel that Colton has a legitimate chance to win it all.
Jessica Sanchez: Up next is Jessica Sanchez who has been dominating the competition. Tonight Jessica is singing “Stuttering”, by Jazmine Sullivan. Wow, that is a difficult song, but it’s no problem for Jessica. Looking beautiful, sitting on a white piano, Jessica delivers another exceptional performance. She clearly is feeling no pressure and is ready to take her place as the next American Idol champion. The judges loved her performance and Randy Jackson said “You did an amazing job. You slayed the biggest fish of the night.” This was easily the best performance of the night.
Joshua Ledet: sang an upbeat version of Bruno Mars, “Runaway Baby”. It was a strong performance and a definite change in what we normally get from Joshua. When I think of Joshua, I normally think of ballad type songs. This performance clearly highlighted his versatility. While it wasn’t the best performance of the evening, it was definitely entertaining and should be enough to keep him out of the “Bottom 3.” My only concern for Joshua is his fan base. His performances the last few weeks have been very good. The question is does he have enough fan support to beat out male favorites Colton and Phil. At this point, I don’t think so.
Hollie Cavanagh: after three less than stellar performances, once again the pressure was on Hollie to give a perfect performance to stop her freefall in the competition. Fittingly enough, Hollie sings Pink’s “Perfect.” While her performance wasn’t perfect, it was very good. It was clearly her best performance in a month. In fact, I thought it was one of the better performances of the evening. The only question is whether she did enough tonight to overcome her previous bad performances and find a way to stay in the competition another week. While the judges thought her performance was better than previous weeks, they said it was far from perfect. Always a bad sign, J-Lo started off her review of the performance by complimenting how beautiful Hollie looked. Unfortunately due to the strong performances of the other contestants tonight, I expect that Hollie will be in the “Bottom 3”, again tonight.
Phil Phillips: after a poor performance last week, Phil gave a good performance of Maroon5’s “Give a Little More.” I really like this song and truly enjoyed Phil’s version of the song. Phil received mixed reviews from the judges, but who cares. Phil certainly doesn’t. In an interesting moment during rehearsal, Jimmy Iovine wanted to know if Phil really wants to win it, meaning the American Idol crown. While Phil says yes, I am not convinced. I don’t think Phil cares if he wins or not. He doesn’t want to be a pop star. He just wants to play and sing what he wants, the way he wants to, and that is one of the reasons why I love this guy. While I am still rooting for Phil and look forward to his performances each week, I think he will be just as happy to see one of the other contestants take home the American Idol crown.
Elise Testone: wrapped up the show with a very good performance of Lady Gaga’s, “You and I”. I thought this was a great song choice for Elise and it really highlighted her strengths as a singer. The judges all liked her performance and Randy Jackson said “America, Elise is back! That was the perfect song for you, you needed a moment and I think you got one.” On a side note, I don’t know who picked out Elise’s outfit but it was absolutely horrible. She had been dressing really good the last few weeks but the dress she wore last night was a bad choice.
Well, this was a definite rebound night with good performances from all of the contestants. With the only seven contestants remaining it is getting harder and harder to name a “Bottom 3.” It is at this point in the contest that some good singers are going to be sent home. Purely based on tonights’ performance, my “Bottom 3” would have been Colton, Elise and Skylar. However looking at the total picture including past performances and fan base, I believe that tonight’s “Bottom 3”, will be Hollie, Elise and Joshua with Hollie going home. Let’s find out tonight.