When the theme was announced – “current songs” – there was hope that the crushing tedium of the last few weeks would end. Then the song list came out (it’s been tweeted out each week – without the singers’ names attached), and for the most part, it looks like a list someone totally out of touch with music would consider “current”. So we can assume Jimmy Iovine heavily influenced song selection this week.
With only 7 singers left, and two hours to kill fill, there’ll be more non-competition songs (duets and trios) this week. I am wondering what’s going to happen when we’re down to about 4-5 singers – 4 songs each? Group dance numbers? The forced two-hour episodes might be what finally kills this show. But with grim determination and mediocre song selection…
THIS! … is American Idol!
The montage tonight comes from footage in DeAndre’s hometown of a crowd of friends and family watching his elimination last week, plus obligatory shots from backstage of the other Idols crying over it. To be brutally honest, I don’t get the reactions of the singers – they know someone goes home every week – they’ve all watched the show for years… and it’s not like they’re never going to see DeAndre (or any eliminated singer) again… they’re touring together all summer!! Sheesh. It’s a competition, people. Act like you know that.
You know, I’ve been kidding about how the voting audience hates women – but there are still four women in the final 7. Unfortunately, that’s four women for Tommy Hilfiger to commit fashion on. Let’s hope they continue to ignore him. I am.
This week’s mentor is Akon. And there’s more hometown video, as the montages are all about the singers’ hometowns and footage from hometown viewing parties. Already?
Skylar Laine – “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” by Kellie Pickler
Wow – white girl with guitar… this is kind of odd. But Skylar doing a Kellie Pickler song makes sense – Kellie’s got a similar singing style. A shame she got buried in the Death Spot this week… but again, winning isn’t the goal for Skylar. She’s already gotten what she needed – visibility. She’ll be in Nashville 10 seconds after the summer tour ends, and have a record deal a minute or two later. As she has all season, she did a solid, professional, and entertaining performance. I hope it pays off for her.
Big surprise – Steven Tyler is “enamored” by the women on the show. The combined age of the four women remaining on the show doesn’t quite equal his, does it?
Off to break… the fundies’ favorite is next…
Another big surprise – the Idol hashtag for Colton’s fans is #messengers. Fundie much?
Colton Dixon – “Love the Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey
Why is Colton’s hair looking like a Davy Crockett-era coonskin cap? He’s back on piano this week. I don’t know if it’s the song, or Colton, but this did nothing for me. I mean, it’s an OK song, and he did an OK job with it, but that’s about as enthusiastic as I can get. It was a song, and he sung it. He runs the risk of being blown away if someone pulls out a massive performance later. And I am simply stunned that the judges are praising the fact that this was “almost a lullaby” (Randy). Do they want to put the audience to sleep? EDIT: There must be a reason this was credited to Skylar Grey instead of Rihanna/Eminem. Clearances?
Back off to break… the first time-killer is next…
Duet: Elise/Phillip – “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye
The pre-song montage is somewhere between bad comedy and high tragedy…it comes off as Phillip being a prick again… interesting song. They did a really nice job with it. I may have to go find the original. And Phillip’s prediction that Elise would outshine him… was probably true.
After the break, Jessica goes back to her childhood… 2010.
Jessica Sanchez – “Stuttering” by Jazmine Sullivan
There’s something a little off about a 16-year-old (I think) singing a torch song… more surprising that she chose an album track from a lesser-known (to the Idol audience) artist… but she did a terrific job with it. It’s obvious this means something to her, and her performance showed it. Well done. For once, J-Lo has a point – Jessica’s been solid, but hasn’t really had the Idol Moment. She’s going to really make a memory in order to win this…
Next… Joshua trying to do something current? THIS could be interesting…
Joshua Ledet – “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars
He got a birthday shoutout from Fantasia (playing off the “Mantasia” nickname he got) before the montage… oh my… he CAN do uptempo music. This might well be a game-changer… I think if he’d done another ballad, he’d have been guaranteed to be voted off… instead, he’s probably bought himself a couple of weeks by simply being entertaining… the other Idols should make note of this. Of course, with my predicting skills, he’ll probably get voted off and thus scare the other Idols back to doing nothing but safe ballads.
Another #gottahaveit from Randy… please, please make it stop…
Duet: Colton/Skylar – “Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean
Bit of an inversion of the original song’s dynamic, and – to an extent – a stunt by Idol trying to push “backstage romance” rumors (by having the singers keep denying them). Too bad Skylar keeps talking about her boyfriend back home in Idol publicity… this was time-killer, but it was really good time-killer. They do have a good on-stage chemistry, and as I said last week, you will definitely see them duet on tour. Quite enjoyable — this song can only help both of them stay a bit longer (pun somewhat intended).
Break… Colton’s got a point… I’m not sure I’d go out with a girl that comfortable with a gun, either…
Hollie Cavanagh – “(expletive deleted) Perfect” by Pink
Little straight-laced Hollie doing a song by a raging drunk (did I say that?) like Pink? Here we go… This goes into the “another OK performance” file. She sang the song nicely, and I got no impression at all that she had any connection to or interest in the song. We still have no idea who Hollie wants to be as a singer… and this could well get her voted off this week, Idol Glory Note or not.
Break… Phillip’s doing Maroon 5… one arrogant jerk doing a song by a lead singer also considered by many to be an arrogant jerk. It fits.
Phillip Phillips – “Give a Little More” by Maroon 5
Not much to say here other than the fact that he’s on guitar (shocker!)… slow start (“intimate”, Iovine called it – whatever) building to a good (but not great) performance… he did what he needed to for another week, but at some point, he’s also got to create that Idol Moment. Like Jessica, he’s been on cruise control – you almost have to wonder if Idol will toss both of them into the Bottom Three to shake them up… and the judges turning on Phillip a bit (plus the fact he is a bit of a prick) is probably why VFTW adopted the presumptive favorite this week…
After the break… another time-killer…
Trio: Hollie/Jessica/Joshua – “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” by Kelly Clarkson
They need to be careful about the Joshua/Hollie shipping… flyover America isn’t quite ready for this… another credible and entertaining performance. They were clearly having fun and just cutting loose up there…
One more break before Elise gets the Pimp Spot…
Elise Testone – “You and I” by Lady Gaga
Oh, hey… the Product Placement Zone returns… and a live-on-Skype shoutout from Jason Segel, who appears to be either a fan of Elise’s or who is willing to pretend so at Seacrest’s request… she’s on piano this week to start… she needed a really big performance after last week… not sure this was big enough. It was good – really good – but after last week’s visit to the Bottom Three, she might have needed more.
My Bottom Three: Hollie, Phillip, Colton
America’s Likely Bottom Three: Hollie, Elise, Colton
(with the possibility that the producers will try to pull off a “shocker”)
I’d send home: Phillip (I just don’t like him as a person at this point – but if this happened, he would absolutely get the save)
America will send home: Hollie (who won’t get the save)
See you tomorrow morning for the results recap – James Durbin and Jennifer Hudson return to the Idol stage, so check it out tonight… preferably on DVR so you can skim past all of the filler…