American Idol 2012 – Week 7 – 2010s

1. How Much I Loved You (Kellie Pickler)

Skylar performed that like it was the winner’s single, throwing all of her emotion into it and stretching her voice to its limits, but in a very, very good way.

2. Colton Dixon – Love The Way You Lie (Skylar Grey/Eminem & Rihanna)

For a man to pull off a song with such a large range that was written for a female vocal is impressive indeed. No bells and whistles, no showboating, no screeching. Just respect for the song, and a great delivery.

Again with the duets.

First up, Phillip and Elise do “a Gotye track” and surprise everybody by choosing “Somebody That I Used To Know”. It was evidently Elise’s choice, if Phillip’s stropping is anything to go by. As it turns out, it wasn’t a great choice as the song suited neither of them, let alone both of them.

3. Jessica Sanchez – Stuttering (Jazmine Sullivan)

Back in her comfort zone of ballads, I don’t know the song, but it sounded absolutely perfect to me.

4. Joshua Ledet – Runaway Baby (Bruno Mars)

I felt his moves were a bit cringe-inducing, but at least he’s trying something new. He managed to get a few of his trademark screeches in, but it wasn’t his usual car crash. I heard the first duff notes of the night though.

Duet #2 sees Colton and Skylar reunite for Kelly Clarkson & Jason Aldean’s Don’t You Wanna Stay. Apparently people think they’re dating, although it appeared to me more like that’s what they’re hoping people will think. Colton had the vocal edge as Skylar’s harmonies sounded a little off, but they do make a good team.

5. Hollie Cavanagh – (F***in’) Perfect (P!nk)

I flat-out adore this song, and quite liked (though certainly didn’t prefer) Hollie’s slowed-down interpretation. Surprised by the judges’ muted reaction as the vocals were phenomenal. No it wasn’t [hesitates] “perfect”, but yes it was a huge improvement on last week.

6. Phillip Phillips – Give A Little More (Maroon 5)

What is it with Phillip and slowing songs down to a near dirge? The original has a similar vibrancy to Moves Like Jagger, and this was more of a mellow jam. Ironically, the more the band kicked in, the closer to 33rph it felt. Phillip actually managed to fall below Joshua for me this week. Yawn.

Joshua and Hollie are joined by Jessica for Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) for the final triet. Jessica sounded inexplicably awful, Joshua was mostly tolerable (until the end) and Hollie looked a bit lost. Oh dear.

7. Elise Testone – You and I (Lady Gaga)

It’s a pretty dreadful song, but a good one for a show like this, as it’s an excellent vocal showcase. And it showed Elise to be an excellent, if not perfect vocalist. Had this been last week I’d have said she’s on a roll, but I’m not sure if it was strong enough to save her after last week.


We’re treated to a familiarly shambolic performance from the remaining contestants. P!nk’s awesome Raise Your Glass got the “honour” of being massacred this week. Elise, WTF was that?

Last year’s rocker James Durbin performed a song- possibly the heaviest track from an Idol contestant yet. But just poppy enough for me to find rather catchy, so no doubt will alienate his target audience.

Another Idol alum, Jennifer Hudson, performed a rather disposable duet with Ne-Yo. But it’s worth her visit if only to remind us why the judges’ save was created.

Back to agreeing with Jimmy Iovine again this week. Mostly.

The bottom three are a total shock.

Elise (okay, not that much of a shock), Joshua (I literally punched the air in delight), and Jessica (W.T.F????????)

And we say goodbye to… Jessica!?!?!?! Well, no we don’t, as she’s barely two lines into her “Save Me” song and the judges storm the stage in outrage to announce they’re using their save. For quite possibly the first time EVER, it was used correctly. Phew. Next week promises to be exciting stuff!!!

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    Haven’t been on this site for a while, but after the Top 7 Results show, thought I would check out what you folks were saying.  It was shocking to most North Americans (including Canadians) that Jessica and Joshua were in the bottom 3, never mind that Jessica received the lowest number of votes!  Are people just assuming that she will win and not voting as a result, or was there something more sinister at work here?

    I totally disagree with your opinion of Joshua. He is a fantastic R&B artist and performer.  Having watched X-Factor for several years and reading the comments on this site for a couple of years, I think that you Brits just don’t “get” this musical genre.  

    Colton and Philip are always terrific and Elise can be great too (witness: Whole Lotta Love).  Skylar is so so for me, but I’m not a big country fan and she’s very young.  Holly has a nice voice, but she is a little insipid and too young and inexperienced at this point.  Too bad she didn’t wait a couple more years to try out for the show.

    Well, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.  Next week I think they have to get rid of 2 contestants so that should be interesting.  

  2. Simon Williams

    I’m new to this site as both a reader and contributor, so haven’t seen any other commentary on this show here. It’s interesting that you have found trends though. These opinions are entirely my own, so I’m always interested to hear otherwise. I have British friends who sometimes disagree, sometimes agree. Mostly the former.

    I’d say Brits don’t really get the North American obsession with genre, at all. With a few niche exceptions, our radio stations are largely unsegregated, playing whatever songs are popular, whether current or old, with no attention paid to whatever genre to which they belong. With R&B seemingly saturating the North American market, we get a hell of a lot of it, albeit in a watered-down pop version. Some of it’s dreadful, some of it’s fantastic, most of it is meh.

    The biggest bugbear for me (and a lot of Brits) is melisma; singing fifty notes when one would do. It rarely improves melody and the bad examples far outweigh the good. What Skylar did with Wind Beneath My Wings was amazing, and I’d love to see her version replicated. The kind of random improvising the likes of Joshua attempts, I doubt even they would be able to recreate twice. I’m a fan of melody and harmony, not vocal jazz. If you think you can improve a song, do so. Don’t just throw trills, runs and screeches out there randomly in the hope that something sticks. If I wanted to hear yodelling, I’d watch Austrian Idol. I don’t believe you’re getting lost in the emotion of the song, I believe you’re just showing off.

    I kind of get why some would say Joshua has a great voice. He has a large range and I can hear a deep tone that has so much potential. But he consistently sounds as though he’s coughing up hairballs, and I cannot understand why that sounds even tolerable to anybody, let alone preferable. It’s not singing. Rather than getting lost in the song, he’s showboating at the expense of the song. Like Christina Aguilera, he has a phenomenal instrument but also an arrogant disrespect for melody that makes live performances unbearable.

    We seem to agree on Hollie and Skylar- they both have potential, but they are inconsistent and inexperienced. Either way, neither are quite ready yet. However, as vocalists I’d love to see one of them in the final three alongside Colton and Jessica. I’ve been predicting a Jessica-Joshua-Phillip final three, so this has shaken things up nicely. I’m now suspecting Phillip-Colton-Joshua. *Shudder*.

    Elise is hit-and-miss. I find the tone of her voice a little grating, but she performs with experience and sincerity; you can tell she LOVES music and gets lost in every performance (in a good way). I’d love to root for her, but too often dislike the sound that comes out of her mouth. If she had Hollie’s voice, I’d be excited.

    Phillip I don’t get. At all. His growly vocals have a very limited range, and he doesn’t merely slow down songs, he kneecaps them. There’s “making it your own” and then there’s ruining it. To my ears, he does the latter. He’s not quite Lee Dewyze bad (I think Phillip CAN sing) but I find I mentally skip his songs every week, much like Scotty last year. So there’s your winner, then.


    I’m enjoying this discussion!

    The interesting thing about genres is that they are always evolving.  There’s a lot of black southern baptist musical traditions that have crept into R&B and I think that’s what you’re witnessing in Joshua.  The melisma and “showboating” are part of the physical evidence that the artist is getting lost in the music. Because Canadians are bombarded by so much U.S. music, I guess we are a little more familiar with R & B.  Actually, Joshua does have a lot of control over his voice (unlike Jacob Lusk last year) and he could undoubtably repeat a performance with great similarity.

    Philip Phillips is kind of his own man.  He’s from the southern states, and is sort of a mix of country (NOT western) and rock, with maybe a little bluegrass thrown in. There used to be something called folk-rock…..maybe that better describes him.

    How Lee Dewyze beat out Crystal Bowersox still mystifies me.

    I was thinking Jessica-Colton-and either Philip or Joshua as the final 3, but who knows now!!  We’ll see how the performances and voting go this coming week.

    Those American A.I. voters are a bunch of loose cannons!


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