American Idol has two themes tonight: the Sixties and Brit Pop. Oy. Thankfully, we have some more Jimmy Iovine mentoring for this episode. He was joined by Steven van Zandt.
Hollie Cavanagh, who was up first, chose “River Deep, Mountain High.” I’m not sure if I don’t like the performance or if I don’t like her. This was definitely a strong performance, and her voice was big and beautiful…but I still wasn’t thrilled. She’s just not my cup of tea. The judges loved it.
I can’t figure out what pin Randy Jackson is wearing today. It’s silver (I think) on a gold jacket. Come on, dawg. I want to critique what you’re wearing! (Later in the show, Ryan Seacrest referred to it as a crustacean…but we still didn’t find out what it was.)
Phillip Phillips did “The Letter” by The Boxtops. Hmm. I liked it. I didn’t love it but it was as good as anything else he’s done. The judges commented on how they missed the melody from the original but said he completely pulled it off and applauded his originality.
Next up: Skylar Laine. The mentors were not thrilled with her song choice so they picked something else for her. Much better choice! The judges loved it. As usual.
Then we had to suffer through a duet of Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips doing “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling.” Oof. Please never pair these two up again. Joshua definitely did better, in my opinion, but it still stunk in general. Steven Tyler called it a “match made in heaven.” Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, though, recognized that they were awkward through the first half of the song, as though they were uncomfortable singing a duet with another guy.
Jessica Sanchez then sang “Proud Mary.” I thought it was fun, high-energy, and exciting. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler loved it but Randy Jackson didn’t like it. Randy’s issue was that it’s hard to do justice to a song that is so famous — and so famously performed by someone like Tina Turner.
Joshua Ledet chose a Temptations song, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” During his mentoring session, Jimmy Iovine said he was going to make a record with Joshua, which was surprising (although pleasing) to hear. I thought his performance was great and he did the Temptations proud. Randy Jackson was thrilled with his performance and made reference to Terence Trent D’Arby (what?!?). He then commented on Joshua’s jacket and the bright yellow flower he was sporting. It was referred to as a tulip but I’m pretty sure it’s a daffodil, kids.
Round Two: British Pop
Hollie then chose “Bleeding Love” for her second song selection. She did fine…I just don’t find her interesting or all that charismatic. The American Idol judges were quite pleased with her performance, though.
We then heard from Phillip Phillips, who did a Zombies song. I thought it was one of his better performances. It was smooth and fun and just easy-going. The judges enjoyed it as well…and were happy that he sang the melody.
The three girls then performed as a trio…and they definitely nailed it. It was so much better than the guys’ duet. The judges were also happy.
Skylar Laine then chose “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” I was, finally, blown away. That was a home run. The judges thought so, too.
We were then treated to Jessica Sanchez singing “You Are So Beautiful.” It was a beautiful vocal but I’m not sure the performance was dynamic enough to get her the votes she needs.
Joshua Ledet then sang a Bee Gees song. No, I’m serious. I was on the fence about it — he did a lot of yelling, which bothered me — but the judges were on their feet by the end. Randy Jackson told him he was one of the best singers ever on American Idol.
Best Steven Tyler quote: “The only thing that gives experience a run for its money is a 16-year-old.” (after Jessica Sanchez performed)
I can’t even pretend to have an inkling as to who will be eliminated during the American Idol Results Show. It could be Hollie…or Phillip…or anyone, really. It’s a crap-shoot.