Thursday, April 26, 2012
American Idol: Top 6 - April 25, 2012
Top 6 - Queen & Contestant's Choice Week: April 25, 2012
1. Jessica Sanchez - "Bohemian Rhapsody" A/A-
What an unexpected song choice from the girl with arguably the biggest, most traditional "American Idol voice" in the competition. It was gorgeous and nuanced. Really phenomenal overall. I thought she did a great job overall with a song that should never be reduced to 2 minutes. Jennifer Lopez was right when she said that Jessica could have commanded the stage more for such a true rock 'n roll song.
2. Skylar Laine - "The Show Must Go On" A/A-
Skylar sang with so much passion and conviction. But in the back of my mind, I had Carly Smithson's unbelievable version from Season 7. The second half of the song improved on the first. Skylar has such a big voice and is so fierce. I would love to say that I think she's a lock for the finale, but at this point, I'm not sure what will happen. Regardless, what a tour-de-force performance! One I am sure I will play many times on iTunes.
Check out Carly's version here.
3. Joshua Ledet - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" B
I have never liked this song and I'm pretty sure my love for Tim Urban's gorgeous hair distracted me into giving Tim's Season 9 rendition a better grade than it deserved (a B+ if you're curious). I wasn't much a fan of this version either, which veered into shouting at points. One thing that's consistently wonderful about Joshua is that he's an awesome performer. I loved his use of the old-fashioned, 50's doo-wop style microphone, which earned a lot of bonus points with me. I liked it better on a second listen than I did on the original broadcast.
4. Elise Testone - "I Want It All" A-
This was the moment where I felt like I was at an Elise concert. (No I didn't borrow that phrase from Randy...God help us all.) One thing that Elise always brings to her performance is a sexiness and worldliness that her younger contestant peers can't ever match. This was such a great fit for her voice. Overall, a great job and song choice by Elise with lots of passion and energy.
5. Philip Philips - "Fat Bottomed Girls" C+
Philip sounded out of breath from the start on one of my All-Time Favorite Queen songs. It fell short of the original version or even Mark Salling's (Puck) amazing cover on Glee. It was pretty average for me, for you.There isn't much I can analyze here, except how bizarre it was that Steven Tyler said to Philip, "I love the way you run out of breath". Isn't that considered a bad thing for a singer? Hmmm.
6. Hollie Cavanagh - "Save Me" B-
Hollie's performance didn't really grab me. I never got into it the way I wanted to. An interesting and a bit unorthodox song choice that sounded like it would be a match made in heaven for Hollie's voice in theory at least. Maybe it was that the chorus was so repetitive (always something that bothers me more than your average person). The ending was pretty beautiful though.
7. Jessica Sanchez - "Dance With My Father" A
Jessica's version was breathtakingly beautiful. She brought something special to this song, undoubtedly. I wasn't sure I agreed with her song choice for personal reasons. Her voice was flawless and confident. However, I finally felt true emotion from her as she connected to the song more this week than in any past weeks.
8. Skylar Laine - "Tattoos On This Town" A
Skylar made Jason Aldean's hit song sound like she had written and recorded it herself. She delivered such an impassioned version of this song I believed every single word of it. I loved how she dedicated it to her friends and her hometown. Skylar has quietly and consistently become the one to beat on this competition and perhaps the contestant most likely to go on to a successful post-Idol career.
9. Joshua Ledet - "Ready For Love" A-
I instantly remembered Michael Lynche's Season 9 version of this song - the only other version I've ever heard. I didn't know who the original was by until I looked it up on the Internet. That said, I have never really warmed up to this song. Joshua picked two songs tonight that I never cared for. But I really liked Joshua's rendition. I loved the emotion and overall vocal performance by Joshua. He has such a beautiful voice at times when it is harnessed in the right song. I think Joshua's performance was better than Michael's version.
10. Elise Testone - "Bold As Love" B
What a BOLD move for Elise to pick a song by Jimi Hendrix, let alone one that isn't one of his most 3 or so well-known hits. The degree of difficulty on this song was by far the highest of all the songs performed by the contestants tonight. It required to dip into talk-singing, lots of interesting inflections, tongue-twisting lyrics that are reminiscent of poetry, and an overall 70's vibe.
11. Philip Philips - "The Stone" D
If I never heard this again, that would be great. No melody, no fun, nothing I liked. I thought it was a bizarre choice for Philip to cover a Dave Matthews Band song, considering the incessant (and spot-on) comparisons between him and my least favorite band of all time. I hated the violin component of this song. Pretty boring overall, even though I usually like but don't love Philip.
12. Hollie Cavanagh - "The Climb" B+
My first thought was that Hollie's voice may even be too big for this song. But I have to give her credit for picking an age-appropriate song after past choices like "Son Of A Preacher Man" may have been a bit too old for her thematically. Her voice sounded beautiful here in both the big moments and the dialed back ones. The last note was perfect.
Best of the night: Skylar
Worst of the night: Philip