US Air Date:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 (8-10pm)
UK Air Date:
Thursday, April 26, 2012 (8-10pm, ITV2)
Themes: Queen / Contestants’ Choice
In the hours (maybe only just minutes) before American Idol started, word spread around the web via TMZ that Ryan Seacrest had fallen so ill that there was a chance he wouldn’t be able to host tonight. But he decided to not let this take him down and he ended up hosting. But it was obvious throughout the show that he wasn’t completely himself; at times his voice was mellow, and many times he either sat down or stood next to the judges.
To get Queen night started off, the Top 6 are joined by Queen’s own Roger Taylor and Brian May on performing a Queen greatest hits medley.
1. Jessica Sanchez: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
This is a huge song to take on. And it’s almost an impossible one to do on Idol because you have to pare it down to only around 90 seconds or so and the full version goes on for a while. But Jessica did really well. The slow start showed off her beautiful vocals. During the middle upbeat part, the band almost drowned her out, but she was still able to power her voice to good effect.
2. Skylar Laine: “The Show Must Go On”
Honestly, I haven’t heard this tune in quite a while (maybe ever since it was last done on Idol), but nonetheless, it’s still a great song. For most of it, Skylar remained really steady, and then just hit it out of the park with those brilliant, powerful notes during the final quarter. This is the strong Skylar that we’ve been seeing lately and that’s going to get her far. I loved this performance!
3. Joshua Ledet: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
This is the perfect song for Josh, with the right amount of everything for him. He could let loose without going too far. As the song progressed, he got more into it. This is one of his strongest of the past couple weeks.
4. Elise Testone: “I Want It All”
I have no idea what this song is. But regardless, it fit her right. She brought out the rock that she’s been known to do really well in weeks’ past. She gave it her all, and even used a tambourine. She hasn’t impressed like this in a while. But the downside is that nobody knows this song–The theme is Queen; you’re picking among some of the most memorable songs around, and you come up with this, one that nobody knows? That’ll hurt her.
5. Phillip Phillips: ”Fat Bottomed Girls”
They’re all definitely picking songs in their wheelhouse tonight. He changed the arrangement up slightly in the first half, which was jarring (I didn’t know what to make of that). But once it went back to normal in the back half, I really enjoyed it. The only downside I have echoes Randy, in that I wasn’t blown away. But at the same time, there was nothing wrong with it.
6. Hollie Cavanagh: “Save Me”
Everyone’s been doing really well tonight so far, but not Hollie. Right off the bat, her voice wasn’t on par. She did have some great power notes that I liked. But overall, something didn’t click with me, and she seemed awkward on stage during this.
For me, Round 1 goes to Skylar, with Joshua and Elise coming up behind her, and Hollie at the bottom of the pack. Now for the contestants’ choice…
1. Jessica Sanchez: “Dance with My Father”
Even if she’s in the Bottom 3, this is what’s going to save her, because of the song choice and the fact that she dedicated it to her father who is serving in the military. And it doesn’t hurt that she sang truly beautifully; it was intimate and filled with emotion. This is much better than her Round 1 song. And I liked that we got to see her personality come through in the intro video, something that some may not have seen from her lately.
2. Skylar Laine: “Tattoos On This Town”
When it started, I was worried that this was going to end up having slow and muddled results. But it turned out to be really pleasant, and it’s a track I can see on her album (not a single, but another track). It wasn’t meant to be a showstopper, but that doesn’t matter–I still liked it.
3. Joshua Ledet: “Ready for Love”
I’m not familiar with this song. I was preparing to be disappointed because of how slow it was, but it turned out to be haunting and delicate and, again, beautiful. That run at the end topped it off perfectly. I didn’t think he would top his Round 1 song, but he did.
4. Elise Testone: “Bold as Love”
Again, what are these songs? There were some strange moments at times, and maybe that was just the song doing that. But this is gonna hurt her, as will the fact that both of her songs were unknowns. She’s most in danger.
5. Phillip Phillips: “The Stone”
This round, they’re able to pick their own songs, so why are they doing these strange and obscure songs? Do they not know how to compete on what is a competition show? His voice sounded like a grinding machine the whole time–not good at all.
6. Hollie Cavanagh: “The Climb”
She rebounded from Round 1. I can’t stand Miley Cyrus, but I love this song. And Hollie brought this out at just the right time because she’s been on thin ice lately. Her voice was exceptional, and she showed why she should be here. And you know what? With this number, she just voted off Elise Testone.
Round 2 is a three-way tie, with Hollie, Joshua and Jessica at the top. During the intro videos to each contestant in Round 2, we got to see all the singers talking about each other, and it was hilarious! They were making fun of each other, picking on one another, and just have a grand ol’ time. It just goes to show how much they’ve all bonded and become friends over the past couple months or so.
Favorite Performances: Skylar Laine (“The Show Must Go On”) / Hollie Cavanagh (“The Climb”) / Joshua Ledet (both songs) / Jessica Sanchez (“Dance with My Father”) / Elise Testone (“I Want It All”)
My Votes: Joshua Ledet (30 votes) / Jessica Sanchez (20 votes)
Bottom 3 Predictions: Jessica Sanchez / Elise Testone / Hollie Cavanagh
Elimination Prediction: Elise Testone
We’ve had two back to back shocking eliminations (granted, one of them didn’t go home because of the Save). Will these shockers keep coming? I want to say no, but at this point you never know. If things settle back down this week and we go back to having normal eliminations, then Elise is going home, for sure. Hollie did some major work to save herself, and she did. And because of that, her moment with “The Climb” will result in Elise’s elimination.
But I’m having a hard time picking who will join Elise in the Bottom 3. I don’t want to say Jessica, but I have a feeling she will, mainly because she performed first. But what will save her is “Dance with My Father” and her special dedication. I’m also saying Hollie will join them (though I’m saying that very hesitantly), but only because she’s been skirting elimination for a long time and the same could happen again (but not all the way).
Now, I could be completely wrong on Jessica and Hollie (I’ll most likely be wrong on Hollie). The moments that the two of them had that will ensure their survival could end up putting Joshua and Phillip in the Bottom 3. So it’s definitely a tough one. I’ve said this before: We’re really getting down to the wire and it’s becoming extremely hard to cut people now.
Who was your favorite this week? And who should go home?
During the results show, last year’s Stefano Langone will return to the Idol stage to perform. And as far as the contestants go, another one bites the dust (sorry about that Queen pun). See ya then…