'American Idol' Recap: Diva in the House
Jessica Sanchez 'slays the biggest fish' while Joshua Ledet continues to impress
By Carla Patton
The top 7 are singing songs from this decade this week on "American Idol." And what a decade it's been! These last two and a half years have been legendary in the music business, no? But more importantly, this theme gives the top 7 an opportunity to show what type of artists they'd be if they were to get a record contract but no time machine. How can they handle the hits of today? Is there a place for soul artists like Joshua Ledet?
To be fair, Skylar Laine had a very adorable hometown and "Grandpaw." Skylar has chosen Kellie Pickler's "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You." Akon, allegedly, was like, "Yo," when she sang. Skylar offered to play the guitar while she sings this week, and Jimmy said not to do it if it would hold her back because it's not about how many tricks anyone can do. But she's out there with the guitar! I haven't heard this song, but I like it now. If another former contestant can do it, why not Skylar?
Um, can we discuss how Colton Dixon is from a town called Murfreesboro? I like him more already. Jimmy told Colton that he's behind Phillip, which he hated. Colton has chosen to sing Skylar Grey's "Love the Way You Lie" and declares it will be a game changer for him. I don't think you get to declare that, Colton. He sounds a little better than he did in rehearsal, sitting at that white piano. The high notes just weren't floating right, though. I think it will keep him safe this week, but it wasn't a game changer. Colton feels great about it, and the judges seemed to like it, too. This performance -- and his reaction to it -- cancelled out any favor he gained from me being from Murfreesboro. You don't get to say how well it went, Colton! We get to decide!
Oh, no. Dream Team Phillip and Elise are singing "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye, and I'm nervous. This song is right on the cusp of being overplayed, and I still want to like it when all is said and done. Phillip isn't so into the song, but I like the dynamic this clip package is showing between them. It made me like Phillip a lot more. This performance does, too. It's hot! I don't like what they did with the chorus, though. It got too spooky. Is this a Tim Burton-inspired backdrop?
I think they took some of the power and emotion out of the chorus by falling off the end of all the notes and swinging into the next ones. And, naturally, I prefer any rendition with Matt Bomer in it. Randy and Jennifer crowned Elise the winner of this round, and so did Phillip.
Why are fans of Jessica Sanchez called Blue Jays? I must be missing something. Jessica chose the not so popular "Stuttering" by Jazmine Sullivan. Akon wants to steal Jessica Sanchez, but he'll have to wait with everyone else until she either wins or is eliminated. Things are opening up for Jessica! Diva, werk. Jessica manages to sit on the piano and not make it cheesy. I am not familiar with this song, either, but it sounds like it's a good choice for Jessica. And she's making me like it. Ooh, it gave me emotions. Randy thought she slayed the biggest fish of the night. It was so good he's mixing metaphors. Jennifer predicts that Jessica Sanchez will be taking us on a ride, and she wants something even more impactful. Jessica, the fish/whale-slayer. "Not that we want to take down a whale," Ryan noted, doing some quick "Idol" PR.
Joshua Ledet just had a birthday, and he's in another white suit jacket. For his 20th birthday, Fantasia Barrino wished "Mantasia" a happy birthday. He loved it! He is just too cute. He's singing "Runaway Baby" by Bruno Mars this week to give us a change of pace. Good! I approve of this. The arrangement is super fun, and I'm glad this isn't just a ballad night. Joshua is having fun with it, and I think he might have it in him to take it further than last season's Jacob Lusk. It's not too gospel-y, I don't think. I like his pink socks. The judges were ecstatic.
For whatever reason, Colton Dixon is being shoved into another country duet with Skylar Laine. I understand wanting to make the girls look good this season, but this just seems blatant. Country is not right for Colton, even though he's from Tennessee. They're singing "Don't You Wanna Stay" by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. So, people think they're dating? I never got that. I will say this for Colton: He can hold his own next to Skylar, and he can own the camera like no one else this season. The chemistry is getting weird between them as they duet and simultaneously work hard to convince us that they are not into each other. They wouldn't even look each other in the eye. Colton sounded good on this one, and Skylar sounded natural, since the song favored her anyway. Randy thought it was "just OK." No one was declared the winner by the judges, but I'll say it: Colton!
Uh, oh. Hollie Cavanagh is taking on "Perfect" by P!nk. She pronounces the word, "pehfect," because she has fans in Liverpool, too! Akon and Jimmy seem confident. Hollie is still insecure, though, as she tells us she wants Jimmy to call her a professional as he has done with pretty much every other contestant left. At least her skirt is made of Muppet. They slowed down the song and drained it of its rock 'n' roll. I don't care for this arrangement. This song is way more exciting, usually. Why do they keep doing this to her song choices? "You look beautiful tonight," Jennifer tells her, getting the comments off to a bad start. No standing ovation for you, Hollie. "It kinda laid there a little bit for me," Steven admitted. It got very quiet, probably because everyone's taking a quick nap before the next duet. Even Ryan gave his own little comment: "Well, it was definitely stronger than last week." Ouch!
Isn't Phillip Phillips's father, Phillip Phillips Sr., so cute? What's up, P2 Sr! Confusingly, Phillip is singing "Give a Little More" by Maroon 5. Phillip also doesn't care about being pitted against Colton because "Colton's a good guy." Do you know you're in a competition, Phillip? Or are you just kind of hanging out wondering why so many of your friends are going home each week? This is the Dave Matthews Band arrangement of a Maroon 5 song, but at least this marks the return of my favorite "American Idol" recurring character: Saxophone Lady!
It was great in the moment for Phillip, and I would love to hear it at an outdoor concert. But I feel like he's not changing enough. Steven noted that with each week we can hear more melody and words from Phillip. Yes, both good things! Melody! Words! Jennifer felt like she'd seen this performance before, and I'm proud of her for saying that. He's such a nice guy, though.
Hollie and Joshua are BFFs, and I guess Jessica is just a third wheel in this trio. They're singing "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson, and the girls sounded absolutely terrible walking fast and singing in the beginning. Is this just a song that people don't sound good on? It was weak, and the contestants seemed tired and downtrodden. Hollie looked distracted. This was just a throwaway performance. Oh, and then to assert her dominance as the female diva this season, Jessica outdid Hollie in the runs over the top of the chorus.
To close out the night in the pimp spot, Elise Testone is singing Lady Gaga's "You and I." She should get a better response this season, now that the song is more popular. Look at that outfit. It is epic. She got a personal message from Jason Segel, which was odd. He's a personal friend of Ryan Seacrest, you see. Elise has the best friends, I think -- like that one who made the instructional video on how to vote for her. Elise wanted to start out playing the drums, which was a crazy Reed Grimm idea. You are not Reed, Elise. Thank God.
I will have to go back and re-watch Haley's performance last season, but I feel like I prefer it. Elise flips around on the note a bit too much for my liking. She's getting desperate, nervous. She lost some of the pitch in there, too. I've been an Elise fan in the past, but I think she's slowly losing the hold she once had on things.
"Elise is back!" Randy shouts, tiredly. He needs to end the show on a high note, I suppose. Jennifer liked it, too, calling Elise a "closer," and Steven said it was genius. Maybe I'm just ... hungry?
What did you think of Wednesday night's performances?
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Missed the creativity of DeAndre on the show. His voice was unique.
Jessica, Joshua and Hollie were great!
Jessica is on another level!
Jimmy is obnoxious.
I am liking Skylar more each week because she seems to be one of the few who is just being herself. I felt the same way about Scotty McCreery last year--each week I liked him more and more.
Jessica and Joshua are seemingly the ones to beat, but....
Jess has pipes but there is still something about her that seems disconnected. She is all vocals and does not get to me. She's a Diva and I don't buy her act.
Joshua is more the complete act and is less into himself.
I like Elise as well especially last night and two weeks ago. I still think that she can bring it and be there at the end.
The judges have hacked at Hollie for four straight weeks now and I think they are unnecessarily negative.
I have said this before, but contrary to others, I do not think this years crop is as good or as interesting as last years.
I still stand on my 4 as
Josh Jess Elise Skylar
Only my opinion, I could be wrong.
With regards to Sanchez's song, she had a single pianist and thus her performance was more muted and less rousing than Ledet's Bruno Mars huge production number. But then the judges had the audacity to give her back handed compliments and then criticized her song choice for the lack of a huge production number?
And where a few others see a "diva" in Sanchez, the rest of us see an extremely talented 16 year old girl with a huge karaoke background but with very little public performance experiences. We see her growing as a performer (each week she shows more confidence and stage presence as well as less karaoke and cruise ship moves) as she spreads her public performance wings more each week.
By contrast, Hollie is even more unsure of herself each week and has not improved on her performance presentations. In all fairness to Hollie, last week she tried moving around the entire stage for her song. Instead of gushing and rewarding her like they have lavishly done every time DeAndre and Ledet moved around the stage, the judges slapped Hollie's effort down and killed her confidence (obviously she is NOT one of their favorites).
Based on their performances, it looks like Elise and Hollie will hit the bottom two again. Hollie's inexperience and nerves have gotten the best of her and Elise is simply not good enough to compete with the remaining singers.
All the contestants are good singers and there are some that are clearly better than others, but the judges favoritism is painful to watch. No matter what Hollie does, she is heavily criticized yet others get praised week after week no matter what they do. Last season the judges were too easy on all the contestants, this season they are making up for it by picking on Hollie in particular and giving her negative comments. I never would have believed that Steven Tyler could be so mean to a young girl who is clearly trying her best.
Jessica is great, but as others have said too much of a Diva. I don't enjoy her act and her attitude. She will be a very successful singer but I hope she gets voted off, everyone needs a doze of humility to set them on the right path for the future.
Overall, I only watch the show because I like the kids, otherwise I now record the show and fast forward over the judges comments. Next I will stop watching all together and just follow the results on the web.
And by the way, watching Jennifer's raunchy video last week on a family show was extremely offensive to me and I blame AI for putting it on.
The new title AMERICAN IDOL starring JOSHUA & JESSICA, backups being the rest of the contestants.
Bottom 3: Hollie, Phillip and Elise. Either Hollie or Phillip will be gone.
I say Phillip is too laid back and Hollie is too stiff (with no coaching advice) she's got a great voice. BTW AI judges need to find another excuse than that PITCHY term its becoming the key as to who is going to hit the road.
What to do, so early in the competition with the winners being declared, Jessica and Joshua, as for the rest they just need to enjoy the ride and do some sightseeing.
I agee with most here. Hollie I thought was very good yet the idiot Steven was not impressed. He is a complete waste on this show. Jessica for being 16 is really unbelievable and Joshua is also very talented. Skylar has a good country voice and Colton is a good soft rock singer. I do not get the Phillip thing at all and Elise is just ok.
My top five are Jessica, Joshua, Hollie, Skylar and Colton.
This judges have not been good this year.
There is something soooooo nice about Holly's voice ---- I don't understand why the judges always have negative comments about her. She was terrtific last night. If Jessica was so wonderful, how come she sang an unknown song? And what's up with Phil? He wasn't himself last night, except for the faces ???
OMG, I am so glad to read the comments and see that others are seeing the same thing I am.
Jessica has a good voice but come on now, no connection with the audience and I am sick and
tired of JLo and company giving her all the props. I thought Holly was really good last night and
finally connected with the audience and then they trashed her. These judges are ready to make
me puke. I'm pulling for Skylar, Colton and Joshua - used to like Phillip alot but I think he misses
home and is over the BS of this show. I hope Jessica finally makes the bottom three. That's who
the judges are saving "the save" for. I think they know it is coming but once it's used, it's gone
and then they won't be able to save her when she gets voted off cause it's coming....I can feel it.
Still voting for Skylar and Phillips but called a few times for poor Hollie just because she is adorable, does sing well and is being treated way to harsh for my liking. They have to be honest but I don't see Jessica being THAT much better then Hollie, She is way more confident because I think she is a spoiled little brat but other then that their voices are pretty equal. I could SO tell that Jessica was trying to get louder then Hollie when they sang together and tried to step on the poor thing
I am not a fan of Colton and the hair and skinny jeans just drive me insane (in a bad way) but he did VERY VERY well on his solo last night. Was the best of the night for me but I am sorry, couldn't vote for him. He has his share from the teenies anyway. I will say that IMO Phillip is WAY more interesting and WAY more attractive His looks, laid back attitude, sweetness and creepy way he sings is just HOT as he11
If Hollie isn't sent home tonight I will vote for her a bit more because I just feel she is being too bullied and LOVE the way she talks- TOO CUTE!!!!
I actually prefer Elise to go home tonight, then Jessica, then Joshua if I had my way but I know that's not going to happen.
Bottom line - Holly is a class act but a bit inexperienced. I hope she goes very far this season.
sofasu - I totally agree with you, they are saving the save for Jessica or maybe even Joshua. Hopefully America will show them who is in charge and even if they use the save, the voting will show them who the true American Idol is.
I feel like I'm not watching the same show you guys are.
The bottom for me tonight were Phillip and Hollie. I like Phillip a lot but last night was his worst performance, besides the duet with Elise which I loved. Hollie is an awesome singer. I think she sang lasts nights song really great, BUT I don't see her connections to the songs or the audience when she sings. I think she feels if she sings the songs well and hits all the notes then it's good enough, but it isn't... at least not for me.
Last night I think Elise, Jessica, and as much as she annoyes me, Skylar, were the best of the night. I do see Jessica's emotion and connections to the songs. Skylar has gotten better over the weeks but I still think other females are better singers. I liked Elise's performance last night even though I didn't think it was her best.
Josh and Colton were in the middle of the pack for me. I liked their performances but that's really all I can say. Oh! I don't think Josh deserved a standing ovation but it was a good performance.
I CANNOT STAND ANY OF THE JUDGES. THEY ARE TOTALLY USELESS. THEY SPEW THE SAME PLATITUDES EVERY SINGLE WEEK. EVERY TIME ONE OF THEM OPENS HIS/HER MOUTH I WANT TO THROW SOMETHING AT THE TV SCREEN. HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO HEAR RANDY SAY: (INSERT NAME) IS BACK!"? OR THE EVER-POPULAR:"IT JUST DIDN'T DO IT FOR ME."? OH AND LET'S NOT FORGET: "YOU KNOW WHAT I LOVE?" AS FOR OTHER TWO, NEITHER WOULD KNOW A NEW IDEA OR THOUGHT IF IT CAME UP AND HIT THEM IN THE FACE. STEVEN'S ON-GOING SEARCH FOR SOMETHING ORIGINAL TO SAY IS LAUGHABLE: HENS AND CROWS? WHAT NEXT? BIRDS AND BEES?
DOES ANYTHING THAT THEY SAY HELP THE CONTESTANTS? RHETORICAL QUESTION. IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE OVER-DONE BACK-UP MUSIC/MUSICIANS/SINGER, THE OVER-THE-TOP STAGING AND THE NON-JUDGMENTAL JUDGES, AMERICAN IDOL WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER SHOWCASE FOR YOUNG SINGERS.