Saturday 10th March 2012by stereogirl
So the other day we met American Idol’s top 13 contestants for season 11 and to be honest, I don’t really have a horse in this race yet. There are a lot of really strong contestants. I’m partial to Phillip Phillips, DeAndre Brackensick and Colton Dixon for the boys and Skylar Laine, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone for the girls but everyone is really still establishing themselves. Tonight’s episode – American Idol’s 400th (!) episode – really attempted to force the contestants to step up their game challenging the girls to take on songs by Whitney Houston and the boys to take on songs by Stevie Wonder. Some contestants rose to the occasion and exceeded expectations. Some didn’t. Let’s take a look.
Joshua Ledet singing I Wish
This guy just doesn’t stop. So much freaking talent. I absolutely loved everything about this performance. It was awesome to see him show another side of himself. On a show like Idol that versatility is important. You need to be able to keep people on their toes or they get bored. I don’t think we have to worry about that with Joshua.
Elise Testone singing I’m Your Baby Tonight
I don’t see why the judges gave Elise such a hard time on this one. I enjoyed the performance even though she sounded winded at times. It is a tough song. I remember watching Haley Reinhart knock it out of the park with this song last year and in some ways, Elise reminds me of Haley. Perhaps that’s why Jimmy suggested she take on this song. I wonder if he had second thoughts.
Jermaine Jones singing Knocks Me Off My Feet
I do like Jermaine and I do love his voice but I don’t think this was the greatest performance the night had to offer. There’s no doubt that Jermaine has a beautiful voice and one I would gladly pay money to listen to on an album but on Idol? I still don’t think he’s the right fit for the show. Glad people are behind him though.
Erika Van Pelt singing I Believe in You and Me
I was a little back and forth on this one right until the end. Erika can sing. There’s no question of that. I liked her more muted approach to the actual performance as well. She took her time and chose the right moment to step out from behind the mic stand. Good job on many levels. I hope America gets her and puts her through to the next round.
Colton Dixon singing Lately
Colton didn’t listen to much Stevie growing up and this was clearly a big jump outside of his comfort zone but he did a fantastic job. This kid has serious chops. I wasn’t crazy over the start of the song but man, when he got into it, he got into it in a big way. In the end, it wasn’t a performance that blew me away but it was more than enough to keep him in the competition for another week at the very least.
Shannon Magrane singing I Have Nothing
Oh dear. Um… I don’t know what to say here. Nerves got the best of her obviously but I hope she still sticks around for another week. She’s got talent for days and perhaps she’ll learn from this less what stellar performance. She sounded amazing in rehearsals with Jimmy Iovine and Mary J. Blige. I hope people caught that and give her another shot.
DeAndre Brackensick singing Master Blaster (Jammin’)
Every time DeAndre hits the stage I love him a little more. He’s adorable, of course, but this performance was something else. He came out strong and kept it up all the way to the end. I think it was exactly what he needed to do to be taken seriously in this competition. Perhaps Jimmy was right in his assessment of DeAndre last week – he just needed a coach.
Skylar Laine singing Where Do Broken Hearts Go
So, um, wow. I started off thinking, “wait… isn’t she singing those big notes she isn’t supposed to be singing?” Then she hit those big notes and I was thinking “where did that giant voice come from???” What an incredible job. Had it not been for the last two performances of the night, I wouldn’t given the Best Performance title to Skylar. This girl is serious. She could have it won.
Heejun Han singing All in Love is Fair
I love Heejun but I’m not sure I was feeling this performance – at least not as much as I wanted to. While Heejun has a personality that sometimes stands out more than his talent, his talent shouldn’t be underestimated. With that said, I think he could’ve done a bit better. I don’t think it matters. Heejun isn’t going anywhere just yet. America loves him!
Hollie Cavanagh singing All the Man that I Need
How does such a big, booming voice come out of such a tiny girl? My only complaint about Hollie is that she seems to be trying to hide her British accent. I think she should just let it out. It’s something that’s natural to her. Why try to conceal it? I suppose it doesn’t matter. Hollie is super talented. I think she has the chops to win if she loosens up a little and takes on some uptempo tunes.
Jeremy Rosado singing Ribbon in the Sky
Oh God, I hate to say this because I love Jeremy but this performance was just missing something. A song like this takes guts. It needs balls. I don’t think Jeremy quite has the right voice for this one. To be honest though, I think he would’ve had trouble with any Stevie Wonder song. Stevie’s songs have so much soul and so much “oomph”. Joshua and DeAndre got that. I’m not sure Heejun, Jermaine or Jeremy really did.
Jessica Sanchez singing I Will Always Love You
Forget. About. It. Jessica freaking Sanchez. What an incredible talent this girl is. Her delivery was absolutely flawless. She nailed the emotion and the heart of the song and she sounded incredible. It didn’t quite make me cry but only because I saw Jennifer Hudson’s tribute at the Grammy’s and cried all the tears I have over that one. I will be stunned and angry if Jessica isn’t in the top three.
Phillip Phillips singing Superstition
So there I am, watching Idol, pitying poor Phillip for having to follow Jessica when he busts out this fearless rendition of Superstition and blows me away. Not only is this one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs but it’s a song that has been covered to death by, well, every singing competition on the air. Then along comes Philip and blows every other cover I’ve ever heard out of the water. This one excited me. Big time. Phillip Phillips – I would buy your album. Now.
So this week I decided it would be fun to rank the performances. Number one on the list is the one I enjoyed the most. Number thirteen is the one I enjoyed the least. Make sure you let me know how you would rank the performances by commenting below and vote for your favorite performance in the poll below.
- Phillip Phillips
- Jessica Sanchez
- Skylar Laine
- DeAndre Brackensick
- Hollie Cavanagh
- Joshua Ledet
- Erika Van Pelt
- Colton Dixon
- Jeremy Rosado
- Heejun Han
- Elise Testone
- Jermaine Jones
- Shannon Magrane
Part Two: The Elimination
So I haven’t watched the elimination show yet because I have been totally freaking swamped with other work over the last few days, but Facebook just told me Jeremy Rosado was eliminated. Honestly, I’m not surprised, as you can tell from the paragraph above this one. I am pretty disappointed though. I’m not sure I would’ve preferred to see anyone go home in his place but I liked him and it still makes me sad to see him go.
What do you think? Did the right person go home? Who do you think heads home next? Let me know in the comments section below and make sure you come back next week for what I hope will be a more timely American Idol recap.
Tags: American Idol Season 11, American Idol Season 11 Top 13, American Idol Season 11 Top 13 Performance Videos, American Idol Season 11 Top 13 Performances, Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han, Hollie Cavanagh, Jeremy Rosado, Jermaine Jones, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Phil Phillips, Phillip Phillips, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine