American Idol: Top 7 - April 11, 2012
Top 7 - Songs From The 2010's - April 11, 2012
1. Skylar Laine - "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You" A
(originally by Kellie Pickler)
Skylar is a truly captivating performer, more than just a singer. I think that's what makes the difference between someone that has a good Idol run and someone that translates their Idol success into a real career. It was a little bizarre that Jimmy Iovine tried to dissuade Skylar from playing her guitar (imagine if they did that to Philip!), so I was glad that she stuck to her guns. She has a great way of interpreting the lyrics and telling a story. While that is a hallmark of country music, not every country performer has that ability (see: Lauren Alaina). Loved the guitar on the track. Overall, a great song choice for Skylar. Since this wasn't a big crossover hit, it's likely that Skylar's version is the one the audience will know and remember.
2. Colton Dixon - "Love The Way You Lie" A
(originally by Skylar Grey, sampled in Eminem & Rihanna's song)
I was glad to see that Colton covered the original song, with its beautiful and poignant lyrics. This was gorgeous and haunting and cemented Colton as a more consistently original contestant that Philip. I find it a bit disturbing that Jimmy Iovine feels the need to pit contestants against each other (ie: Jessica vs. Hollie last week and Philip vs. Colton this week). The arrangement with just the strings section and the piano was absolutely perfect in the creation of an "Idol Moment" for Colton. It is crazy that the judges gave a standing ovation to Joshua this week but not Colton. Maybe the producers told them that giving 5 standing ovations in one night (2 weeks ago) is overkill.
3. Jessica Sanchez - "Stuttering" A-
(originally by Jazmine Sullivan)
I have never heard the original song but Jessica did a great job with what is an inherently difficult song. I love that she chose a stripped-down arrangement to really show off her voice. The chorus features a stuttering intonation (hence the title of the song) that is extremely hard to pull off without sounding a bit off - and Jessica managed to do this. She reminds me so much of Beyonce, from all of her song choices to her hand gestures and affectations. Her high note at the end was really gorgeous. One of her best performances.
4. Joshua Ledet - "Runaway Baby" B+
(originally by Bruno Mars)
I could see Joshua having a career in the style of Bruno Mars after Idol is over - a neo-soul/R&B type of thing. I was happy to see Joshua do an uptempo song because we know he can. Unfortunately, in this day and age, no musician can make a career solely on doing ballads. No, not even Adele. Joshua brought a ton of fun energy to this song and showed what a great overall entertainer he is. I am still not a fan of the strained vocal acrobatics he incorporated towards the end of the song though.
5. Hollie Cavanagh - "Perfect" B
(originally by Pink)
I don't understand why the wardrobe people feel the need to dress Hollie in some sort of "Dancing With The Stars" reject costume each week. I think it makes the audience take her less seriously as a contender. That said, Hollie's performance this week was good, but not great. I think the arrangement allowed her voice to shine through, but also it makes it easier to hear each flaw. Hollie has a stronger voice than Pink and it was easy to see. That said, Pink sings the song with more raw emotion which is fitting for the subject matter. I think there was an improvement for Hollie from last week to this week, but she still may be in jeopardy. She didn't deserve the harsh judges comments however, when almost everyone else gets a free pass. Overall, it's a solid performance but not one I would download or seek out again.
6. Philip Philips - "Give A Little More" A-
(originally by Maroon 5)
I was glad to see that Philip looked like he was having FUN FOR ONCE! He brings an angry energy to each song, even when the lyrics don't demand it. I thought he brought a better, sexier tone to the song than the original. One of my favorite performances from Philip, whose consistency is turning into complacency quickly. If Philip wants to follow in the footsteps of Kris, Lee, and Scotty, I think he needs a true Idol Moment that sets him apart from HIMSELF.
7. Elise Testone - "You And I" A
(originally by Lady Gaga)
This was unbelievable. Elise has quickly emerged as my favorite contestant and the one I have consistently voted for each week. A perfect song choice for her, although I would have loved to see her sing "Paparazzi" (unfortunately that song came out in 2008/2009 and thus was not eligible for this theme night). Elise has a jazzy voice that is perfectly suited to this type of song. She throws herself so passionately into each song and I loved her ad-libs towards the end. I will listen to this version of the song over and over again - it is right up there with Haley Reinhart's A+ performance of the song last season! (I have to give the edge to Haley though. Check out her unbelievable performance here.)
Best of the night: Elise
Worst of the night: Hollie