Television
Apr 19, 2012

IDOL: TOP 7 (AGAIN!)

After the almost elimination and judges save of Jessica Sanchez last week, tonight’s show has the potential to be the best night of the season. With two contestants facing elimination this week, the pressure will really be intense. Of the seven remaining contestants, all have been in the “Bottom 3”, at least once with the exception of Phil Phillips and Colton Dixon. For the first time this season, each contestant will be singing two songs.

The theme of tonight’s show will be “Now and Then”, the first song will be a current release and the second song will be songs from the hit music show, Soul Train. Before the performances got underway, the show opened with a moment of remembrance to Dick Clark, who passed earlier today. A man who’s work including American Bandstand, made shows like American Idol possible. Idol host and Clark’s good friend, Ryan Seacrest, said a few words and in true Clark fashion, said “The show must go on!”. Here’s a recap of the Top 7’s performances.

Hollie Cavanagh: Hollie kicked off tonight’s show by singing Adele’s, “Rolling in the Deep.” Hollie looked great and sounded even better. This was her second strong performance in a row and a great way to start off the show. Steven Tyler said “You came out of your shell tonight. It was perfect, I can’t even judge it.” For her second song, Hollie sang, “Son of a Preacher Man”, by Dusty Springfield. Randy said he liked it better than her round one performance. I didn’t agree, I thought her first song was definitely better. Either way, Hollie definitely had a big night. She showed that she wants to stay in the competition, and I will be surprised if she is in the “Bottom 3”, this week.

Colton Dixon: after two average performances in a row Colton sings a truly hard to listen to version of Lady Gaga’s, “Bad Romance.” While the judges all seemed to like it, I thought it was off key and a boring performance. This is the third week in a row that Colton sang a song made famous by a female entertainer (Cyndi Lauper, Rihanna and Lady Gaga) and those were his worst three performances of the contest. I think it is time for a change for Colton. For his second song, Colton sings Earth Wind and Fire’s, “September.” It was truly a bad choice and arrangement changes that he made to the song did nothing to highlight his voice or the performance. Based on his performances, Colton could be headed to the “Bottom 3” for the first time.

Elise Testone: looking beautiful in an orange dress, Elise sang “No One”, by Alicia Keys. Being in the “Bottom 3”, two weeks in a row Elise really needed a good performance and I think she delivered. Steven Tyler said. “You sang your little tooshie off.” For her second song Elise tried a funky version of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”. To me it was more like “Let’s Get It Over.” It just didn’t work for me and it didn’t work for the judges either. This performance should guarantee her position in the “Bottom 3,” for the 3rd week in a row. Only this time she is probably going home.

Phil Phillips: in a huge risk, Phil Phillips sang “You Got It Bad”, by Usher. It was clearly the best performance of the night and the judges gave him a standing ovation. Jennifer Lopez said. “It was so sexy and this song showed your versatility.” For his second song Phil Phillips sang Wilson Pickett’s classic hit, “In the Midnight Hour”. Backed by a full horn section this was the perfect song choice for him. The judges loved it and so did I. This was a very strong night for Phil. After two average weeks Phil definitely turned it around and is a back to being a contender for the finale.

Jessica Sanchez: With a look of determination on her face Jessica Sanchez (as always) did a beautiful version of Alicia Keys, “Falling.”. The judges clearly enjoyed the performance and Randy Jackson said, “I loved how you got mad at the song”. Steven Tyler added, “I hope that America wakes up from its slumber and votes for you.” For her second song Jessica sang Otis Redding’s, “Try a Little Tenderness.” She sang the song too fast for my liking and I could never really get into the performance. Steven Tyler seemed to like it and said, “Good God Almighty, Bless my soul you have done it again.” Overall her two performances were pretty good but after what happened to her last week it is hard to predict what is going to happen tonight. Has the American public grown tired of Jessica or did everyone just assume she was safe and didn’t bother to vote. Her trip to the “Bottom 3” last week definitely had an impact and turned out to be great TV. People have been talking about it all week. Despite pleas from the judges to vote for her tonight, she could be in for some tense moments during the results show.

Skylar Laine: sang Lady Gaga’s country version of “Born This Way.” I have never heard this version of the song and while she did a good job, I just didn’t like it. To me, this is too popular of a song to drastically change, so no matter who sang it I probably wouldn’t have liked it. She followed that up with a performance of Marvin Gaye’s, “Heard it Through the Grapevine.” It definitely wasn’t one of her better performances and she appeared to be shouting throughout the song. While she sings with great enthusiasm and confidence I personally have grown tired of Skylar and all of her songs just seem to blend in together. To be fair, the judges all loved Skylar’s performance and she has a huge country fan base that will support her to the very end.

Joshua Ledet: sang “I Believe”, by Fantasia. This was the perfect song choice for Joshua and he sang it beautifully. For his efforts, he received the second standing ovation of the night from the judges. For his second song, Joshua sang Sam Cooke’s, “A Change is Gonna Come.” While it wasn’t as good as his first performance it was still very good performance wise I thought Joshua had a very strong night. He sang with emotion and at the same time stayed in control. Clearly this was a very good night for Joshua. The question is does he have enough fan support to stay in the contest. The judges all liked him and pleaded with the voters to keep Joshua in the contest.

I thought there were some good performances tonight and if I had to rate the contestants from top to bottom it would be Phil Phillips on top followed by Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh, Jessica Sanchez, Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon and Elise Testone. Unfortunately, the best performances don’t always get rewarded and I believe that tonight’s “Bottom 3”, will be Colton, Elise and Joshua with Elise and Joshua going home. Joshua just doesn’t have the young teenage fan base and despite doing a great job last night, I think he is danger of going home. We will find out together tonight.