American Idol: Stevie vs. Whitney

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Wow. I just realized that I have little interest in this Top 13. Hopefully that will change as we watch the American Idol contestants perform and get to see their personalities. Of course, I could stop watching, but fun would that be?

So, the shtick for this episode is that the guys will sing Stevie Wonder songs and the girls will sing Whitney Houston songs. Stevie Wonder vs. Whitney Houston? Yeah, that’s an even match-up. Not. On Thursday night, Ryan Seacrest will “reveal” the bottom guy and the bottom girl — and then the judges will decide who goes home. This ought to be interesting.

This week, the American Idol contestants worked with Jimmy Iovine and Mary J. Blige. Josh Ledet was the first to perform. I wasn’t thrilled and I really tried to be. The judges thought he did fabulous but, more interesting was the get-up on Randy Jackson. He was wearing a grey jacket with a brown fur collar (not cute) and a weird beaded pin. Um. What.

"American Idol Randy Jackson Pin"

That pin is allegedly Betty Boop and is allegedly (I’m alleging it) a monstrosity. Look, people, you can’t just string some beads together and think you’ve created a masterpiece. That’s not how it works. And guess what? Someone wasted no time in creating a Facebook page for the Randy Jackson pin.

"American Idol Randy Jackson Pin"

Elise Testone initially tried to sing “Greatest Love of All,” but Jimmy Iovine and Mary J. Blige were not digging it at all, so they recommended “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” I’m not denying that she has a fabulous voice (she’s probably my favorite female contestant) but this didn’t showcase her talents. The American Idol judges weren’t thrilled, either.

Jermaine Jones hit the stage next. Personally, I’m not a big fan of his singing style. The judges had constructive criticism for him, for a change. I want him to stay on this show til the end because the best image of every episode is Jermaine Jones standing next to Ryan Seacrest.

"American Idol Jermaine Jones Gentle Giant Ryan Seacrest"

Next up: Erika Van Pelt. I like her, too, because she’s got a rocker voice and style. She sang “I Believe in You and Me.” Wow. She owned it!!! Yes, three exclamation points. One is not enough. The judges were clapping, too. Jennifer Lopez had “gooseys.”

Colton Dixon then sang “Lately.” He has a great look, I’ll admit that. He’s cute, which doesn’t hurt, either. But, more often than not, I can’t make out what he’s saying because he barely opens his mouth. That combined with how he tends to mouth the microphone makes it hard to understand him. However, he did very well and the judges were happy with his performance.

Shannon Magrane’s performance fell flat. I didn’t think it was so horrible, the way the judges reacted. But, even she admitted that her nerves got the best of her and she didn’t do her best. That’s a shame. She’s so sweet. She’s also 6 feet tall so when you add heels, she towers over Ryan Seacrest, which is always fun. Another reason to keep her on American Idol.

Deandre Brackensick definitely upped his game this week. I enjoyed every moment of it. The judges were pretty pleased as well.

Skylar Laine sang “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” with a country twist. Not thrilled, but that’s because I don’t like country. She pulled the high-note card (quite well, admittedly) but, all in all, I didn’t feel like she maintained a consistent sound throughout the song.

Heejun Han hit the stage next. He’s a little comedian, that one. But he’s also a good performer. This guy could really do something this season.

Next up: Hollie Cavanagh. She nailed it (including the high-note). That was crazy good. Oh Lord, I sound like Randy Jackson.

Here we go with Jeremy Rosado, the kid with the big heart. How many times do we have to hear that? Apparently, we’re now calling him “Jer Bear.” Can I throw up now? He did OK…not great. I think he has a great voice but he simply doesn’t perform well. Randy Jackson didn’t think he did all that well, either.

"American Idol Jessica Sanchez I Will Always Love You"

Jessica Sanchez performed “I Will Always Love You.” I was speechless. She was absolutely extraordinary. That was insane. Randy Jackson declared it the best vocal of the evening. It was, without a single, solitary doubt. I hate to say this, but it gave me “gooseys.”

Poor Phillip Phillips had to follow that. It doesn’t really matter, though, because he’s really in a league of his own. He sang “Superstition” and played the guitar (always a hot, er, I mean good move). I love this guy but I’m thinking that viewers might get tired of his shtick (which comes off as Dave Matthews-y). Steven Tyler said, “There’s no words for it; you just are.” Whatever the hell that means.

On a side note, thank goodness the American Idol judges pepper their critiques (if you can call them that) with words like bravado and falsetto, so at least we know that they actually know something about music. All in all, their critiques are useless.

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