American Idol 11: Top 10 Perform

It’s Billy Joel week on America Idol and Tommy Hilfiger is giving fashion advice to start off. PDiddy is giving the musical advice along with Jimmy Iovine this week.

DeAndre Brackensick is doing Only the Good Die Young. Not sure how much Tommy’s fashion tips helped but he’s smiling like Puffy told him to do. He’s kinda giving it a soulful karaoke style thing going on. It kinda sounds like a light FM cover band version. Kinda meh to start off the show tonight. JLo liked his laid-back vibe. Randy Jackson didn’t think it was super special but it was a good job, just ok. I’ll agree with RJ.

Erika Van Pelt is doing New York State of Mind. Now that’s a good song for this competition. Jimmy and Puffy tell her to hold back a bit. They die her hair black and cut it short, wow, just wow. She looks totally different. She’s solo with the piano to start off, adding a nice sultry touch to the song. Kinda lounge feeling, giving us some nice extended notes at points, really nice version showing off her range from low to high. Randy loved the vocals, says she’s one of the best in the whole competition. Jennifer Lopez said it was a beautiful vocal. Steven Tyler said she put a lot of personality into.

Joshua Ledet, after getting formalwear from Tommy Hilfiger, will be doing “She’s Got a Way”. He’s sitting on a chair backwards on a smoky stage like a jazz club or something. He’s putting his own little touch into the song, adding some runs and falsettos where there aren’t any in the original, changing the phrasing around a bit. He’s making sound like a church choir thing, not sure how well that worked. His voice was good, but the arrangement was just plain odd. The crowd loves it though. JLo didn’t feel like he was connected to lyrics. Steven Tyler says he doesn’t know that song?! really?! but says he sang the sweat out of it. Randy says they’re both right.

Skylar Laine is doing Shameless. Oh the song that Garth Brooks covered, not surprised really I guess. She puts her trademark country twang on it, giving it the rocking chorus that the song calls for. It’s a little more reserved than either the Garth of Billy Joel version until the end when she belts out a big note before reeling it back in for a sweet soft ending. Randy thought it was pitchy in the beginning but liked the middle to end, pretty good. Jennifer dug it. Steven loves how she hits the chorus with conviction and she breathed life into the song.

Elise Testone is doing Vienna. She starts it off with her smoky gravelly growling voice, it’s a bit off sounding to me. She’s changed up the song a bit, not for the better. It’s all over the place and the whole thing is just awkward. She’s trying to do too much with the song. Everyone’s loving it, I mean it did show off her vocals but it didn’t work for me. Steven Tyler says the melody was just fantastic. JLo- says it was beautiful and confident. Randy says she’s unbelievably talented and she had a moment.

Phillip Phillips (aka Dave Mathews) is up next doing Movin’ Out. There he is with his acoustic guitar, doing it a slowly in his trademark Dave Mathews style. But it’s working with the growling and changing up the pace to a slow reggae swing like thing. JLo says he is who he and has to be who he is. Randy thought it rocked.

Hollie Cavanagh will be doing Honesty. Diddy gives her some good advice about the meaning of the song. Right from the start you can tell this is a good song for her, showcasing her powerful voice. She’s pretty much feeling it, very Celine Dionesque. Slight vocal mess-up at the end there with the wrong lyric for a brief second but she pulled it through, overall very good. Steven thought she was pitchy and overthinking the song but it was good. Jennifer says she didn’t know every note of the song. Randy says yeah she has to nail every note, she has a big voice but she has to let go.

Heejun Han, a New Yorker, is up next, getting some advice from Jimmy and Diddy on how to handle criticism. He’s doing “My Life” and gives us a really funny slow song fakeout at the beginning before stripping off his suit for a t-shirt and the upbeat song. Wow he sounds like a totally different singer. This is high energy and he’s really playing to the crowd and camera. Great stage presence and some decent vocals. JLo loved how much fun he brought and she enjoyed it. Steven doesn’t know what to say, says he needs to take it a little more serious. Randy says there were some vocal problems but it was entertaining.

Jessica Sanchez is doing Everybody Has a Dream. He has literally 100 hits, why is she choosing this unknown one? The song definitely shows off her voice with it’s soaring repeating chorus. There’s not much to the song and I sort of want to not like it but it’s working. Steven says she’s gone way past his judging and thank you for letting us hear you sing. JLo says that song was written for her, a defining moment. RJ says she’s consistent an

Colton Dixon closes out the night with Piano Man. Big song to choose. Colton’s solo on the red piano, slowing the song down quite a bit. It’s like Coldplay doing Billy Joel and I like it. He’s really putting his own spin on it. The crowd goes bananas, rightfully so. JLo says he sings with pure feeling. Steven Tyler says his choice of chords was stunning. Randy Jackson says it was a touching moving performance.

Our prediction for the bottom three this week: DeAndre, Elise Testone, and Joshua Ledet. I think unfortunately, it’s DeAndre’s week to go.

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