Wednesday, April 25, 2012
'American Idol 11' - Top 6 perform Queen and personal favorite
Voiceover Man brings out the judges who come in through the audience. J’Lo looks like she’s wrapped in gold lame. Ryan reminds us again of Colton’s departure.
Video package on Queen. Oh Freddy, how we miss you. Huge crowds at their concerts. Sadly, Freddy passed in 1991.
This week, Brian and Roger sat down with the Top 6. Joshua looks like he has no idea who they are! PP wonders how other singers can do Freddy’s songs. “Be human... keep faith in yourself... keep going.” ‘Idol’ hasn’t opened up the Queen songbook since season 5. Oh boy, a ga-roop number to start the show. They’re singing a medley of tunes, including “Fat Bottom Girl,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “We Will Rock You,” and finishing up with “We Are the Champions.” Tears come to my eyes as I remember what used to be and is no more. Spin Freddy, spin!
Round One - Queen
Jessica Sanchez - “Bohemian Rhapsody”
This starts out in black and white. She’s too melodic in the beginning and get screechy in the middle. She has a pretty voice, but I don’t think this was the right song for her tonight. Rather dull, all in all. And, Jessica’s in the death spot, which is never good.
Steven says Freddy would be proud, but points out rock isn’t her forte. J’Lo says she sounded beautiful singing the song, but when she went into the rock part of the song, she didn’t really rock out enough. Randy says he loved it because she sang no runs and used restraint. He says she needs to channel a little Tina Turner if she’s going to rock.
Because we had the Queen medley and visit from Brian and Roger took up fifteen minutes, this week, it doesn’t look like we’ll be having any moments with Jimmy before the performances.
Skylar Laine - “The Show Must Go On”
Skylar sings this rather uncountry-like, if that makes sense. She proves that she can sing something other than a country ditty and uses her “big voice.” She really connects with the lyrics and puts everything she’s got into it. Surprisingly good.
Steven says that was over the top. He says she put a shine on her voice and says it was fabulous. J’Lo has goosies. The word that comes to her mind is really articulating every part of the story. “It was powerful.” Randy says that was incredible and calls it one of her best performances ever. “Ryan, this girl right here... she’s gotta have it, dude.”
Ryan says this is the point in the competition where we can start counting down to the finish line. Randy thinks she could make it.
Joshua - “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
Another song Fantasia sang! He’s using a little hand mike, which is kind of cool. I love this. Joshua has a real old-school vibe, and this song feels like something from the 1940s. His vocal gymnastics are outstanding and he totally nails it.
Standing ovation from the judges. Randy says that was unbelievable, and gives him four checks for all the elements. He reminds Randy of Sam Cooke and the old dudes. Little Steven is in the house. J’Lo loves all the singers, but Joshua’s part of the show is her favorite. She always knows she’s going to get a great vocal and it’s a surprise every time. Steven says Joshua has a classic style that sounds like no one else,. “Freddy would have loved the way you did the two-step.”
Elise Testone - “I Want it All”
Elise is working a tambourine. I would have preferred her singing more “rockin,” but her vocals and energy work just fine. J’Lo is diggin’ it. Elise has such great texture to her voice and really tears this up. I love the way she enunciates her words and her phrasing on this.
Steven says she’s found her stride and really enjoyed it. J’Lo says this was Elise in her element. Randy is amazed at how great the night is. He thinks this was one of her best performances to date. Elise says she’s learned this is her wheelhouse and wanted to own it and sing with conviction.
Phillip Phillips - “Fat Bottomed Girls”
No guitar tonight, which gives us a chance to watch PP move. And move he does, or perhaps a better word is lurches! The singing is the same as always. PP has his style and he’s sticking to it. And why not? It’s worked so far. Randy and J’Lo aren’t clapping, they’re talking.
Steven says, “The bigger the cushion, the bigger the cushion.” He loves watching PP sing and run out of breath. Brilliant comments. J’Lo loves that PP gives them different flavors and this week, did not remind her of Dave Matthews. Randy isn’t jumping up and down. It wasn’t OMG! No, it wasn’t.
Ryan says he never seen Randy jump up and down.
Hollie Cavanaugh - “Save Me”
Bring on the Celine Dion voice again. Actually, this is probably Hollie’s best performance ever. She has a really nice tone and this song is in a great key for her. Very nice.
Steven says he loves the way she sings a Queen song and thinks she did a great job with it. J’Lo says she felt Hollie get emotional in the middle, but she wants to see her enjoy it more. She still thinks Hollie is thinking - “Just perform, people are going to watch, either way I’m going to have a good time.” Randy says that was well-said. He thinks she’s been having a lot of good performances. He doesn’t think she should hold back. Everyone needs to have a moment where they can win.
Hollie says last week she was really comfortable and knows it’s time to step it up.
I give Round One to Joshua, then Skylar, Elise, PP, Jessica, and Hollie. J’Lo and Randy give Skylar the first round. Steven says he was worried about the contestants singing Freddy songs, but thinks they did it well. He also thinks Skylar wins the first song.
Round Two - Personal Favorite
Before each performance, the other contestants basically mock out the one who's about to perform. Good stuff!
Jessica - “Dance With my Father by Luther Vandross”
Jessica dedicates this song to her father who will be deployed to Singapore soon. Phillip thinks she might be an alien, and that when she goes to school, she’s really being worked on by government agents who are making her sing better every week.
I love this song, so I judge anyone harshly who sings it. Jessica sounds a lot like Beyonce tonight. She does it beautifully. Brings me to tears. Nothing more needs to be said.
J’Lo says Luther was one of her faves ever and says this was the best she’s ever heard it sung. The feeling makes it beautiful. Steven says Jessica can’t sing a song bad. he says her voice touches on Whitney, but she’s got her own thing going on. It’s been an honor for Steven to listen to her. Randy is amazed at the talent and thinks they all can jump on the charts and have a career. He says now that she’s making the connection, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it!
Jessica’s father will be in the house tomorrow night.
Skylar - “Tattoos on this Town by Jason Aldean”
Back to the country twang and Skylar got the guitar. I’ve never heard this song, so for me, it’s fresh. Great job, right in her wheelhouse, and solid. This is the kind of song Skylar will record. And she will be recording no matter where she finishes in the competition.
Randy says he is a ginormous fan. He calls her fearless and effortless. “Dude, another great performance.” J’Lo says she’s so comfortable. Steven says he missed the flair, but she can do no wrong. He wants her to find songs that take her voice to “that place.”
Ryan asks Skylar if she has any tattoos. She has a feather on her arm to remind her that God will take your problems and make them light as a feather.
Joshua Ledet - “I’m Ready for Love” by India Arie
It’s a slower Josh tonight. Lots of emotion in this one. He takes it to the depth of his range and then slides back up to the middle. Quiet, subtle, beautiful performance.
He gets a well-deserved standing ovation from the judges. His 12th as Hollie later points out!
Randy says he’s speechless and says Josh is way beyond his age in talent. “These people are really singing, this is what it’s about.” J’Lo just shakes her head and calls it transcendent. She says the minute he starts singing everyone is suddenly present. “It’s such a gift.” Steven says he goes off into another place when Joshua sings. “I hope the label finds you some good songs and you’re off to the moon. I smell the finish.”
Elise - “Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix
A Jimi Hendrix song... this may be a first on ‘Idol.’ I think Elise has just decided to sing what she wants, the way she wants, and this strangely works. She really is good at this. But, I’m afeared, she’s gone this week.
Steven says she touched his heart with this song, but warns she needs to do songs people know. She says she thought everyone knew it! J’Lo says she knows what Steven is saying, but she slayed that song it doesn’t matter. She thinks Elise is one of the best singers in the competition. Randy says it wasn’t the right song for this time in the competition. He felt like she was boxing with the song and there was so much information, maybe if it was sung simple, more people would have gotten it. Hey, I got it.
Cool, Wallace, the guitar player is Elise's friend and bandmate. He did great.
Phillip Phillips - "The Stone" by Dave Matthews
PP does Dave Matthews, dressed in black. And he sound just like him. There’s really nothing more to say. It’s a cool arrangement, though, I’ll give him that.
The judges don’t seem to be impressed. Steven says entertaining, off the wall, typical Phillip Phillips. He thinks PP found his niche. J’Lo says it was obscure and artsy. She says song is so important and she needs him to do songs that will get him on the last show so he can win. Randy disagrees. He says what PP did was showed his true colors. He loves PP is an artist and that he showed that side. “Die, sink or swim, PP will always be PP!” He loves it because he is also a musician.
Ryan says they were backstage and PP ran by Ryan’s girlfriend, Juliana Hough, who sighed, blushed, and said, “Yummy.”
Hollie - “The Climb”
She sings it better than Miley, I will say that much. Hollie is showing more confidence onstage, and it seems this time, she wasn’t thinking too much. She felt this song and it showed.
Standing ovation from the judges, which pleases her. Randy says this is the Hollie we loved, perfect. J’Lo says that was stepping it up. Steven loves it too.
Hollie says this was the perfect time to bring this back!
Round two to Josh, then Jessica, Skylar, Elise, PP, and Hollie. Overall , for me, it’s Joshua, Skylar, Elise, Jessica, Hollie and PP. Bottom 3? Tough one, but I’m going to say it will be Elise, PP, and Jessica, and Jessica will go home.
Ryan chats with the judges. J'Lo says she's still surprised Colton's gone, which is why she warned PP about song choice. Steven says they've earned the right to sing what they want. Randy says we have to vote. Randy says everyone did great this week and doesn't know who might be at risk. Steven was most impressed with Skylar.
It's now over to us!
Results tomorrow featuring Stefano Langone and Katy Perry.