1. Hollie Cavanagh – Rolling in the Deep (Adele)
One of her strongest performances yet, she was pretty close to perfect on a very tough song. Still lacking stage presence though.
2. Colton Dixon – Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)
It was an interesting idea to rock this up, and I can imagine a full-length version of this kicking some serious backside. Unfortunately, the edit used here was a little bit all over the place. Still very, very good, however.
3. Elise Testone – No One (Alicia Keys)
I’m not a fan of this song (by which I mean I HATE this song) and can’t say Elise did anything to change that. Bits of it were excruciating, but then so is the original.
4. Phillip Phillips – U Got It Bad (Usher)
Taking an urban song and making sound like a folksy Eurovision song is no bad thing. It didn’t set my world on fire, but the guy clearly is a talented musician, and have to agree with Randy’s point that he’s a “true artist”. It’s certainly one of his better reinterpretations.
5. Jessica Sanchez – Fallin’ (Alicia Keys)
Having to prove the judges were right to have saved her, she pulls out one of the big guns. By her standards, it was safe. By which I mean perfect, but dull.
6. Skylar Laine – Born This Way (Lady Gaga)
Needless to say she opted for the country version, and, surprisingly, it wasn’t great. The lower register sounded out of her range and the upper bits were shouty. Hmmmm.
7. Joshua Ledet – I Believe (Fantasia)
I was all ready to hate this, but didn’t. Mostly. Again, agree with Randy for commending him on holding back. THAT is the performance I’ve been waiting to see and hear from Joshua. A giant leap in the right direction, as long as I overlook that he still hacked up a few trademark hairballs.
8. Hollie Cavanagh – Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield)
Blimey, Liverpool FC wishing her well! Even I’m impressed. More near-flawless vocals, more inexperienced performance. She’s improving, but not fast enough.
9. Colton Dixon – September (Earth, Wind & Fire)
Turning a disco classic into a OneRepublic-esque ballad worked surprisingly well. He even managed to make “ba-de-yah” sound sincere. But why? Why? WHY? A wasted opportunity, I fear.
10. Elise Tesone – Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye)
This is the side of Elise that I like. Clearly in her element once more, she was effortless in this song and the musicality dripped from her fingertips. Definitely the best performance tonight. The judges chose a very odd time to attack Elise’s stage presence.
11. Phillip Phillips – In The Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)
Probably on a par with Elise’s last performance when it comes to sincerity and (a more awkward form of) musicality, and yet his growly vocals still did very little for me. He really is this year’s Scotty.
12. Jessica Sanchez – Try A Little Tenderness (Otis Redding)
This is one of those showboating songs that requires great vocals, but rarely impresses due to its overfamiliarity. Case in point.
13. Skylar Laine – Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)
It’s not me, it’s you. Skylar’s just not doing it for me tonight. I actively hated this. Not only the worst tonight, but her worst to date.
14. Joshua Ledet – A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
Ah. There’s the Joshua I know and despise. Bored bored bored. I KNOW this guy can sing but these aren’t “goosies”, they’re hackles.
The dodgy group number is back, and this week it’s Dancing in the Street. For some reason Jessica’s mic is turned down to almost off and Skylar still sounds terrible, whilst Colton and Joshua’s voices actually blend rather well and Elsie sounds great.
2009 Idol champion Kris Allen did a decent job with what he made sound like an impossible song to sing (The Vision of Love), whilst LMFAO did everything they could to distract you from their abysmal vocals on an even worse song (Sorry For Party Rocking).
The bottom three are revealed to be Hollie (again), Elise (again) and, for the first time, Colton. To be fair, he’s getting a bit big for his boots so kind of glad he’s had a dragging down to earth. But not enough for him to actually leave, which is the unfortunate scenario we now face. I almost wish they’d let Jessica go home last week instead, but he’s clearly going to have a huge career outside of Idol. To prove it, he reprises Everything, the only Idol performance of his I didn’t like, and does it brilliantly. Gutted.