With the surprise elimination of Colton Dixon on Idol after his first time in the “Bottom 3”, the competition will certainly intensify tonight. With only six contestants left one bad performance could mean elimination.
Two weeks ago it looked like Jessica Sanchez was going to run away with the competition, but after a detour to the “Bottom 3”, the competition has really tightened up. Despite the setback, Jessica Sanchez continues to hold a slight lead on the top spot in my rankings followed by Phil Phillips. With strong performances the last two weeks, Joshua Ledet has moved up to a strong 3rd. He is definitely improving each week and has become a real contender. Skylar Laine, Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone make up the rest of the field. The theme of tonight’s show will be “Queen Week”, with contestants singing the songs of the 80’s rock group Queen. With hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody to Love”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Are the Champions” and “Show Must Go On”, the contestants have a wealth of great songs to choose from. Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury had one of the best voices in rock so the contestants will have their work cut out for them. The second song will be the contestant’s personal choice. Here’s a recap of the Top 6’s performances.
Jessica Sanchez: opened the show with Queen’s, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It was truly a bad song choice and an overall poor performance. It started out well but by the time she got to the second verse she had lost control of both the song and the audience. She will definitely need a good performance with her second song if she wants to stay out of the “Bottom 3.” For her second song Jessica sang an absolutely beautiful version of “Dance With Her Father”, by Luther Vandross. It was a touching performance and it showed both the strength and softer qualities of her voice. J-Lo said, “That may have been the best I have ever heard that song sang.” Hopefully the American Idol voters will forget her first performance and vote for her based on her second song performance.
Skylar Laine: sang one of my favorite Queen songs the “Show Must Go On”. With her recent performances all blending together, this was a perfect song choice for her and she did a really good job with a difficult song. Randy Jackson thought it was one of her best performances of the contest and I agree. Going back to her roots for her second song, Skylar sang Jason Aldean’s, “Tatoos On This Town.” While it was a good performance, it wasn’t nearly as good as her first. Overall Skylar had a really good night and should be back for another week.
Joshua Ledet: sang another great Queen song, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”. He immediately got the crowd dancing and clapping and at the end of the song the judges gave him a standing ovation. Randy Jackson loved the performance and gave him four check marks for his vocals, performance, character and charisma. For his second song, Joshua sang an absolutely beautiful version of India Arie’s, “Ready for Love.” Back by a string quartet, his performance was absolutely perfect. The judges agreed rewarding him with his second standing ovation of the night. I thought it was the best performance of the night. Joshua clearly had a big night and has put himself in the position to win it all.
Elise Testone: sang “I Want It All”, and she sang like she really wanted to stay in the contest. It was her best performance since she sang Led Zeppelin’s, “Whole Lotta Love.” She truly seems comfortable sing classic rock songs and will need another strong performance if she wants to stay out of the “Bottom 3.” For her second song, Elise sang an almost unrecognizable version of Jimi Hendrix’s, “Bold as Love”. I definitely didn’t like the performance and she received mixed reviews from the judges. Steven Tyler said, “You got to do songs that people know, you can’t pick the cherries with your back to the tree.” As usual Tyler has left us with an interesting quote to think about!!! Either way, with that performance I expect that Elise will end up in the “Bottom 3”, again tonight.
Phil Phillips: I love Phil Phillips!!! He is definitely my favorite American Idol contestant in years and as always I look forward to his performances. For his first song he did a good job with Queen’s, “Fat Bottom Girls.” While it was far from his best performance, it was enjoyable. For his second song, Phil sings Dave Matthew’s, “The Stone.” It is hard to believe that in 11 seasons of American Idol, Phil is the first contestant to sing a Dave Matthews song. It was definitely worth the wait. Backed by a saxophone and a violin his vocals were perfect and the arrangement was great. For me, his performance was truly special. As much as I loved the performance, he received mixed reviews from the judges. In particular Jennifer Lopez who questioned the song choice saying “It was just a little bit obscure, and a little too artsy”, for her. As usual Phil seems unfazed by the judges comments and is going to win or lose this contest singing the songs he wants.
Hollie Cavanagh: looking beautiful in a bright red pants outfit Hollie sang, “Save Me.” While I thought she did a great job on the song it might have been a bad choice since not too many people were familiar with it. At this point in the contest, you have to really blow away the audience and lack of fan familiarity with the song didn’t allow her to achieve this. For her second song, Hollie sang “The Climb”, by Miley Cyrus. This was absolutely the perfect song choice for her and she sang it perfectly. For her efforts the judges rewarded her with a standing ovation. I was happy for Hollie, she has probably received the most criticism of all of the contestants and has managed to remain positive throughout the contest. Overall I thought she did a god job tonight and while she might be in the “Bottom 3” again tonight, I think she will survive to sing another week.
I thought there were some very good performances tonight and if I had to rate the contestants from top to bottom, Joshua Ledet would be the clear winner of the night followed by Skylar Laine, Phil Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone. I think Elise’s run will end tonight.