American Idol 11: Top 7 Perform

Just a month away from the American Idol and tonight’s theme is hits from 2010 until today. That’s a random amount of years I guess. Akon is tonight’s celebrity mentor.

We start off by going back to Skylar Laine’s hometown in MIssissippi. She’s doing a Kelly Pickler song. Akon likes it. Skylar’s playing her guitar for the first time this competition. They’ve got real fire pits on the stage which is more or less the most distinctive thing about this song for me. I mean it’s good, but it kinda sounds like most of her other ones doing that singing/yelling/stomping thing. It’s good, just not unique, for me. Randy Jackson says this song is in her wheelhouse and it was crazy hot. Jennifer Lopez says it was in perfect pitch and they felt her. Steven Tyler loves the way she sings.

Colton Dixon is next and his whole high school came out for him. He’s doing Love the Way You Lie by Sklar Grey. He’s solo on the grand piano on a stage of smoke. This is the slow, indie-rocker style ballad that’s right up his alley. Very tender and nice. JLo thinks he did a good job, wishes there was more to it but good. Randy liked the subtle performance and the sensitivity and that he did it without having to rely on the big note.

Jessica Sanchez is in San Diego with her huge family. She’s doing a lesser known song, which isn’t always a good choice but one that the younger contestants always seem to make. She’s perched atop the piano, she does look like she’s really feeling this one. If nobody knows the song, nobody knows if she’s singing it well or not. It’s pretty decent though, showing off her voice with a little skat run at the end here. Randy says she set the bar really high and it was superb at the highest degree. JLo says it was beautiful.

Joshua Ledet just got called “mantasia” by Fantasia. Ok then. Back in Louisiana, his town is supporting him. He’s kinda rocking it out tonight, pretty high energy funk thing going on with a dancing horn section. It’s pretty different for Josh, in a good way, much more contemporary and poppy. Of course we know he can sing but we never knew he could sing in this way. Really good stuff. Steven Tyler tells him to get some girl’s number. Uhhm ok then. JLo says he has great control of his voice. Randy says it was unbelievable and he was in the zone.

Hollie Cavanagh is up and she needs to start fresh this week. She’s doing Perfect by Pink. Hollie is accompanied by just a guy playing acoustic guitar. She’s holding on to the notes and it’s probably technically a pretty good performance but it’s too robotic, where is the feeling? It feels like an audition rather than a performance, there’s no soul behind it. Just vacant. Great note at the end though. JLo says she looks beautiful which means uh-oh here comes the bad news. JLo doesn’t say much. Steven says it kinda laid there a bit for him. Randy Jackson says it wasn’t perfect but it was better than last week. Nobody’s saying why it wasn’t great.

Phillip Phillips is back home at the pawn shop (cue the Sanford and Son theme). He’s singing a Maroon 5 song. Jimmy Iovine and Akon give him some sage advice. Is that Dave Mathews onstage? Oh no, it’s Phillip. Interesting arrangement with the sax player onstage with him, he’s changed the song up a bit but it’s almost as if his vocal is being lost in the music here. Fun performance, high energy but maybe lacking some meat to it. The crowd goes bonkers though. Steven Tyler says he sang melody and hit the lines and he’s evolving. JLo was a bit underwhelmed and she wants to see him break out and do more. Randy agrees with Jennifer, felt like it didn’t really go anywhere and didn’t have the wow moment.

Elise Testone is closing out the night with Leaving Without You. This is pretty good, it seems heartfelt, and showcases her husky voice and power. Unfortunately it also showcases her disaster of a dress bottom. Nice breakdown section at the end and she’s rocking it out, however I’m distracted by the furby on her hip. Randy Jackson says Elise is back, perfect song and it was hot. The other two agree pretty much.

Not really the most interesting week on Idol for us here, some weird song choices. We’re predicting a bottom three of Hollie Cavanagh (poor performance), Jessica Sanchez (poor song choice), and Elise Testone (poor outfit). The judges didn’t really like Phillip Phillips Phillip Philly Phil’s gig this week but I think America does. And the reverse of that on Jessica Sanchez, good performance but does America care? Regardless I think it’s pretty much a lock that Hollie Cavanagh goes home this week.

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