'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.
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.
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 ???
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.
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.
Enough of Joshua!!!!! He's not that great. Stop standing after his boring , usually screaming attempts to sing. Enough country as well, too much of that last year. Are the judges listening to the same show???? Randy is prejudice......
LEAVE POOR HOLLY ALONE. Love Colton, I hope Joshua goes.
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.
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.
This was the most ridiculous display I have ever seen on this show! I like Jessica Sanchez & have no problem with them saving her, however, what the judges did was unfair to the other contestants on the show. The judges should NEVER show favoritism & for them to react the way that they did was like a giant kick in the face to all of the rest of them. I must say this show has really taken a turn for the worse now that Simon is gone. I wish the best of luck to ALL of the contestants and even though my ranting will most likely go unnoticed, I do hope that others who feel the same as I do will choose to speak out as well & maybe get the attention of FOX & the producers of American Idol to get this matter changed. EVERY contestant should have a fair shot at being AMERICA’S IDOL NOT Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson & Steven Tyler’s Idol!!!
That was so inappropriate of the judges of what they did. I agree this girl has a great voice, but she is not the best in America, and I felt so bad for all the other contestants last night watching that whole ridiculous thing.
When you are a judge in a contest, you need to be fair to everyone, and last night showed so much favoritism for this young lady, I guess it is a good thing that America is voting and I hope that America votes the same way next week, no more saves, thank goodness.
The voting American people had it right on who should be in the bottom 3 and the one to go should OF BEEN Jessica. Then next should be Joshua. I can't stand his screaming in every song he sings and half the time you can't understand what he is suppose to be singing. Jessica is too into herself and leaves me with the impression she thinks she is better then everyone else. I think the winners should either be Sklar or Colton, they are good in any of the songs they have sung.
The judges in my opinion stink. They have their favorite. You could tell that tonight, when they jumped up and ran on stage to save Jessica. I hope that the american voters keep with their choice they made this week and vote Jessica off next week-- Judges won't be able to do anything then.
GO COLTON AND SKLAR--GOOD LUCK