Thursday, May 3, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 5 Performances

Idol is moving right along this season. We have 5 contestants remaining on the show. In my opinion, any of the five could win this thing.

This week we have two themes: Songs from the 60's and British Pop. Each contestant sings two solos and a duet or trio. Jimmy has brought in his god friend "Little Steven" Van Zandt. (I'll refer to him as VZ in this recap) Right off the bat, we see that these guys  have an interesting relationship and will be very funny mentoring together.

Hollie- "River Deep, Mountain High"- Ike and Tine Turner
VZ tells Hollie that she need to get rid of the part of her that needs to please people. She's got to act like she doesn't care who they are or what they think.
I love Hollie's dress- updated 60's look with lots of wow and pow. She has a different look to her tonight, more confidence and attitude. She nails the song. Awesome job. The whole stage is full of people with band and backups but she is in charge.  Nice job.
Standing O from Steven and Randy joins him. All three judges loved it. JLo says "We saw a different type of Hollie out there tonight."

Phillip- :The Letter" - The Box Tops
VZ tells Phillip to go with a different key and melody change up. It's ok to be himself. Jimmy isn't sure it will work for a tv show.
this is a definite change from the origianl song, very jazzy/bluesy. I like it. I think he made it more current. the band in the song is great.
R- You made it your own. You vibed it up. I loved it.
J- I don't know the original song. it lacked melody for me, but you made it your own.
ST- I missed the melody but you get away with it like the Stones get away with it. Wave your freak flag.

Skylar- "Fortunate Son" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
VZ and Jimmy changed her song.Jimmy says this will fit her much better.
Yes, the mentors were right. Song is perfect for Skylar. It works with her voice nicely. She is a rocking country girl with tons of energy tonight.
J- You're getting more comfortable out there. Showing lots of energy.
ST- "You love music and music loves you." Fabulous. I loved it.
R- Fogerty and all would be proud. "This girl was born to do this."

First duet of the night:
Phillip and Joshua- "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" - Righteous Brothers
Very uncomfortable intro with Ryan. I'm sure the guys are kidding but they don't really seem happy to be singing this song together.
Well, this is an odd song and an odd pairing. It's ok, but I definitely don't want to hear it again.
ST- that was good. Just embrace the uncomfortable.
J- Just sing it to the girls.
R- You were uncomfortable, but when you let go, it came alive.

Jessica- "Proud Mary" - Ike and Tina Turner
VZ and Jimmy wanted to talk her out of singing this song. They don't like it because everyone has to sing it at some point when breaking in. VZ suggests a change-up at the beginning on the piano. Jimmy says this is a tall order for her.
I don't like the dress she is wearing. She is too skinny and way too young for the dress. She sounds ok but she is not Tina and definitely should not try to dance like her. It just looks way wrong. IMO, this is the wrong style song for Jessica.
J- You are a little Tina, a little Beyonce. I liked seeing you move.
ST- "The only thing that gives experience a run for its money is a 16 yr old. You sounded great."
R- It was barely ok for me. You took on the biggest dragon of the night. It really didn't sit with me.

Joshua- "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" - The Temptations
VZ says he can't go wrong with this choice. Jimmy says Joshua has a gift because only people with gifts can do that.
Joshua is wearing an unusual jacket with contrasting sleeves. I think he sounds really good on this song. this is the kind of stuff he should record.
ST- You've got to be one of the top two Idols of all time. You sing so fine, it was great.
J- You are a throwback from another era.
R- You can bring R & B back in a different sort of way.

Round #1 is over. Judges say Hollie , Joshua, and Skylar won the round.

Hollie- "Bleeding Love" - Leona Lewis
VZ says to keep it intimate. Sing to one person.
Hollie is seated on the baby grand. she looks beautiful again and she sounds awesome.
ST- "I loved it, I loved it, I loved it!!!"
J- it had a very beautiful and intimate quality. That was amazing.
R- "You're 2 for 2 tonight. You're peaking at just the right time."
Ryan compliments her change since the tear-filled audition almost two years ago in Austin.

Phillip- "Time of the Season" - The Zombies
VZ is excited that this song is close to the original melody but suggests Phil improvise at the end.
Phillip is seated on a stool playing his guitar. Sounds like he is struggling to hit the upper note. ( Either he is or the backup guy is.) The song needs more guitar. I don't really like this performance. It's too soft and slow and he has to really reach for those upper notes.
R- it was a more relaxed Phillip tonight. You really can sing melody. it needed more guitar.
J- It was very mellow.The verses fit his style. He did a good job.
ST- "I'm glad you chose that song and I'm glad you sang melody. You sang it well."
(OK, I guess they didn't hear what I heard. Maybe it was the backup singer struggling on the upper notes.)

Next group number:
Hollie, Skylar and Jessica- "Higher and Higher" - Jackie Wilson
Hollie looks and sounds the best out there on this song. they are all wearing the outfits from their 60's number. It's ok.
ST- "Girls, Great! Weird arrangement, but you sang the hell out of it."
J- Seeing the 3 of you up there side by side is a treat. You all have such great voices and range. You moved well. "You're just so cute. Little dolls."
R- You all sounded great. The arrangement was a little weird. Very nice job. Girl power.

Skylar- "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" - Dusty Springfield
VZ and Jimmy had her laughing a lot. VZ says that Dusty Springfield was the first lady of the British invasion and had country roots.
This sounds like a country ballad to me. It really works with Skylar's "Reba" type of voice. Nice job.
R- "Flawless! I'm believing you." Peaking at the right time.
J- "You're winning the hearts of America."
ST- "You brought that song to the 21st century."

Jessica- "You Are So Beautiful" - Joe Cocker
Jimmy says she needs rougher music to go with her voice not pretty piano.
She is seated on the floor with pillar candles in front of her and fog about to engulf her. This is so much better than "Proud Mary." Nice job. Simple and pretty.
ST- Once again you showed America how beautiful your voice is.
J- You took your time and did some beautiful things. Great job.
R- "So Pro!"

Joshua- "To Love Somebody" - The Bee Gees
Jimmy changed the song choice for Joshua. VZ is blown away when Joshua leaves for 15 minutes and comes back with an awesome performance of a song he didn't know.
This song starts out nice and builds power. he gets a little screachy for my taste but It is a good performance. Standing O from the judges.
R- "Wow! The fact that you can take something like that that you've never heard and deliver it like that, you have to be born to do that. you are one of the best singers, ever, on this show. That was incredible."
J- There are so few people who can perform that way, with that much passion. I think you're on of the best singers I've seen in 50 yrs."
ST- You're such a great artist. To take the song, go in a back room and learn it in 15 minutes, that's what an artist does. that would be a hit right there.

Well, that's the show. I don't know how to rate these performances. IMO, Hollie had the best night. Both of her songs were awesome. Joshua and Skylar were good on both songs but not as good as Hollie. Phillip was good on his first song and Jessica was good on her second song. At this point in the competition there is no telling how America will vote. Will the teen girls keep Phillip out of the bottom 3 once again or will they lose interest in him this week like they did with Colton?  I'll go out on a limb and say Jessica, Phillip and Skylar in the bottom 3.

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