When compared to weeks prior, tonight’s “Idol” was lacking in a strong theme. Tunes were covered published in the last two years - and we had some mixed results. Here we go:
Skylar Laine “Didn’t you know” was decent but not as good as the judges thought. She was under the notes in certain places and I’m wondering if we were listening to the same song. And no Randy, it wasn’t pitch-perfect - listen to it again. When people talk about how the judges are out of touch and cheerleading, this is why. Grade: B-
Colton Dixon “Love the Way You Lie” was stellar. He was actually in tune, which says something for him. Good direction from Jimmy and Akon in coming out of the bridge, too. Sparsely arranged, and a nice departure from the heavily produced version by Rihanna. Kinda sleepy, actually, but I liked it overall. He, however, irritates the hell out of me - but at least we only had to hear “blessed” once in the piece before the performance. Randy was right about his unique interpretation of the song. Grade: B+
Duet: Phil & Elise A forgettable song sung pretty well. Pretty good harmony but lacking in performance quality or chemistry. Grade: B
Jessica Sanchez I feel like a broken record with her, but “Stuttering” was, once again, phenomenal. Each and every week this petite thing comes out on stage and knocks it out of the hall - and this week is no different. The emotion of this performance, too, is what will last far above her incredible phrasing and scatting. Incredible, awesome, one of the best of the season for its uniqueness. Grade: A
Joshua Ledet For the record, Bruno Mars irritates the hell of me. So, Joshua “Mantasia” Ledet had a high bar to cross. Still, he did a great job - he brought Tina Turner flava to a super-ordinary joint. More than anything he SOLD the song in such an awesome way that he has way more believability than many of the other contestants. I like some of his other performances more than this one, but still, good job. Love his calm, cool and collected personae, too. Grade: A-
Duet: Colton & Skylar Unlike that Bruno Mars song, I love the tune, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” But this had more a feeling of a college assembly talent show than anything else - more because you just can’t cover Kelly Clarkson and get away with it. Skylar has not even close the range that Kelly does, so, yeah. Agree with Randy - just OK. Hence the grade: C
Hollie Cavanaugh ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’ is just not the same without the “F” bomb, and when you couple that with a performance that skirted along pageantry lines, it was just like, meh. I feel bad for this girl because she’s a good singer that seems out of place in certain situations. She seems timid and lacking that fire needed to go a long way in this competition. Grade: D+
Phil Phillips Not his best. But he’ll sail through because the tweens will light up those phone lines like bad billboard in Vegas. “Underwhelming” is the right note from JLo, because the song choice was lackluster and didn’t show anything new. Grade: C-
Trio: Hollie, Joshua & Jessica “Stronger” does not work as a trio. No, no, no. What the hell was Hollie wearing in this bit? there were some cool moments, but overall, it was stilted and strange. A duo would have been better.
Elise Testone Elise has a great fan base because she’s a mad-awesome singer - and a beautiful girl. “You and I,” arguably Gaga’s best song, was a great choice for Elise. And she delivered it about 90% - it’s just the phrasing for it was just a little off. And that may be because Gaga’s phrasing is so singular that it’s hard to rise above it without sounding weird. The open was great and she showed her restraint that the song calls for, and it was current. Grade: B+
Best performances: Colton, Joshua and Jessica:
At risk: Hollie, Skylar, Elise (outside shot: Phil, for his lackluster choice and performance)
JLo fashion grade, mostly for the odd, S&M mesh thing: C-
See you tomorrow for screen caps, video & results!