‘American Idol’ 11 Recap: Top 12 (Minus Jermaine Jones) Performs

At the top of the show, Ryan Seacrest teases that the show, in cooperation with law enforcement, has let go of one contestant. We all know that it’s Jermaine Jones, but they’re saving it for later in in the show to talk about.

Joining Jimmy Iovine as mentor is will.i.am. If I remember correctly, I believe he did this at least a few times last year. He’s been really good on Idol and provides excellent advice and suggestions along with Jimmy.

1. Phillip Phillips: “Hard to Handle”
Last week, he gave one of the best renditions of “Superstition” I’ve ever heard. Could he top it? While “Hard to Handle” was not at the same level, he didn’t disappoint at all. The gravely raspiness in his voice didn’t weaken after having that surgery. Hopefully the iTunes version is just as good as last time as well.

2. Jessica Sanchez: “Turn the Beat Around”
After two back to back perfect performances, she was bound to disappoint eventually. And that may have happened tonight. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with her voice, but nothing stood out to me here. A couple times, she might’ve pulled her mic away from her mouth too soon, causing her voice to lessen.

3. Heejun Han: “Right Here Waiting”
I was trying to think of a nice way to say this, to find something positive to say. But to be honest, this was another boring performance from Heejun. This is not him at all. He did nothing with his voice to breathe new life into the song. If he doesn’t change soon, he may not be around much longer. He’s reminding me very much of alum Thia Megia, who pretty much only did slow and boring ballads.

4. Elise Testone: “Let’s Stay Together”
She was one step away from being eliminated last week. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this will help her. Her voice is way better than Heejun, and I can’t criticize her voice. But in terms of getting more votes, is it enough? I hope so.

5. Deandre Brackensick: “Endless Love”
I’m trying to figure out why he chose this song. I loved him on “Master Blaster,” but “Endless Love” is not it for him. His voice was off at times — very unlike him. And of course, he had to put in the falsetto at the end; this reminds me of Siobhan Magnus, always having to put in the “note.”

6. Shannon Magrane: “One Sweet Day”
During the opening verse, she started strong and I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about her. But she stumbled during the middle, with some amateur and karaoke moments. She did get it together for the most part by the end, but it might not be enough to save her.

7. Colton Dixon: “Broken Heart”
Colton started off very strong and the focus was on his voice. But once the band really started up and they joined in with him, the band may have over-powered him a little bit. The fact that nobody knows this song could hurt him.

8. Erika Van Pelt: “Heaven”
Again, as with Elise, Erika’s voice is always great. There’s an argument to be made that she didn’t do enough with the song; but it didn’t bother me a whole lot, just a little. In the rehearsal, Jimmy wanted the band at one point to stop and then start back up. But I didn’t hear that in the performance; what happened? That would have made it very powerful.

Now it’s time to watch the footage of executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick confront Jermaine Jones about his criminal history. The EP’s bring up the fact that he provided fake names to police, a different one for each crime. He was criminally charged. Jermaine says there was no fighting involved when that topic’s brought up — he didn’t give a very strong argument. He didn’t bring all this up with Idol in the first place because he was scared and thought that if he didn’t say anything, he could just forget about it. Oh, Jermaine, Jermaine, Jermaine — how naive. Not saying anything will only make it worse, as we just saw (and as we’ve seen in past years). Nigel and Ken say that because Jermaine has four outstanding warrants, they have to disqualify him from the competition. All I have to say is, goodbye, Jermaine. You weren’t on long, but that was more than enough for us. He would’ve been eliminated in the next couple weeks anyways, so I’m actually glad he’s gone now.

9. Skylar Laine: “Love Sneakin’ Up On You”
This song seemed to fit her really well. It wasn’t perfect, but there were definitely many moments that stood out. Hopefully, she’s the turning point in the night and things will be better from here on out.

10. Joshua Ledet: “When a Man Loves a Woman”
With this song, Joshua had the potential to shine. Did he? Not only did he, but he was better than everyone that performed before him combined. He put everything he had into it — passion, energy, soul, everything. The final quarter was just too perfect. I got flashbacks big time to Fantasia. I can’t say enough great things about this performance, he was that good. These words can’t do it justice. Just watch it for yourself.

11. Hollie Cavanagh: “The Power of Love”
Celine is my favorite artist of all time. What nerve to take on Celine in such a big way. Some might say it was predictable, but I don’t care. She almost cracked on that final note, but tonight, she had the best female voice. Powerful and beautiful. The past couple weeks, I’ve been having this thought: I have this feeling that she’s going to be the darkhorse and could go very far in this competition. I see her, over the course of the season in the weeks to come, constantly improving and growing and becoming this year’s Allison Iraheta and Haley Reinhart (in terms of the darkhorse status).

Favorite Performances: Joshua Ledet / Hollie Cavanagh

My Votes: Joshua Ledet (20 votes)

Bottom 3 Prediction: Heejun Han / Elise Testone / Shannon Magrane

Elimination Prediction: Shannon Magrane

With Jermaine Jones disqualified, will anybody be eliminated this week? If past years are any indication, I would think they don’t cut anybody. We were still able to vote at the end of the show, and Ryan did mention that we’ll find out who makes up the Top 10 and who will go on tour. That sure seems like they’re getting rid of someone. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we go through the whole process of the results show all the way to getting a bottom 2 or 3 and then in the final moments of the show, Ryan says everybody’s safe this week. That’s what I think is going to happen. But if not, who will go home?

The singers in danger are Heejun Han, Elise Testone, Deandre Brackensick, Shannon Magrane and Erika Van Pelt. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because overall, this was a bummer of a night. Outside of Joshua and Hollie (and possibly a couple others), there were weak performances left and right.

If there’s a Bottom 3, I’m going to go with Heejun, Elise and Shannon. Shannon is the most obvious here. I’m also going with Elise because she was in the Bottom 2 last week. And Heejun was the worst this week; then again, he’s got a fan base and they could really rally around him and save him. Who knows, maybe Deandre or Erika will be in there. You never know.

So then who goes home? My gut instinct says to go with Shannon. Elise could either be at the very bottom or second to the bottom. I would love it to be Heejun, but I doubt it’ll happen for at least a couple more weeks, unfortunately.

But like I said, I believe that no one will go home this week. If they eliminate two (Jermaine and someone else), then the rest of the season’s schedule will be messed up and they’ll have an extra week to try to do something with. That’s why I’m going with everybody’s safe.

What did you think of the Top 12 — um, 11 — performances this week? Do you agree that it was a weak night overall? Did Joshua channel his inner Fantasia?

During this week’s results show, I have no idea what will happen. Either a second person will be cut, or they will psych everyone out until the very last minute and send no one home. But what we do know is that Demi Lovato and Daughtry will perform, plus there’s apparently some Jennifer Lopez news that Ryan mentioned; what could that be? See ya then…