Talented Girl, Wrong Competition: Why Elise Testone Was Eliminated from 'American Idol'
Talented Girl, Wrong Competition: Why Elise Testone Was Eliminated from 'American Idol'
What led to Elise Testone's ultimate demise on American Idol? What didn't?! Elise seemed to have the cards stacked against her from the beginning, and made matters worse by growing more and more aware of it as time went on. She had a semi-regular spot in the bottom three until this week, when a good performance of Queen's "I Want it All" wasn't enough to save her from the lasting impression left by a confusing performance of "Bold as Love" by Jimi Hendrix.

Elise Testone auditioned in her last year of eligibility for American Idol. The age cutoff is 28 years old, because on the brink of 30, your attractiveness to the world EXPIRES apparently. Elise was well aware of this, but she auditioned, possibly on a lark or a dare from her band. Ah, what the hell, right? And Elise was (is!) great. She's a great singer, but she's an old soul, and she became less and less accessible with every performance.

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Elise won her spot as a finalist with a superior performance of Adele's "Someone Like You," a song she was comfortable with. But the first week of performances for the Top 13 was a bad one for her. The theme was Whitney Houston songs, and Randy told her she was "boxing with" "I'm Your Baby Tonight." Elise became defensive, and complained about the schedule, having to learn this song in addition to the group number, and I think that stuck with the viewers for weeks after.

Elise Testone yo-yo'ed in and out of the bottom three each week, as the rest of the contestants focused on winning "America" over. So while everyone picked their favorites and voted for them week after week, no matter what, Elise got left out of the mix. Jimmy Iovine even noted one week that she was the only contestant left being judged week-to-week strictly on her performance.

The highlight of Elise Testone's stint on American Idol was when she performed Led Zepplin's "Whole Lotta Love." She knew the song, she was in front of a band, they rocked out. It was all working.



In the results show recap poll, I asked you what you think it was that did Elise in. At this point, the majority say it was her attitude. Things really came to a head last week when the judges asked Elise to show more vulnerability. She had a shot as she teared up talking about her dog after the first performance, but after the second one, she got defensive again. She didn't understand the competition, it didn't understand her, and she was probably tired of living with a bunch of teenagers.

Song choice, attitude, the age of one's soul, relatability, and just general over-it-ness swarmed together in the perfect storm, contributing to Elise's elimination. Once she was played out by Scotty McCreery's "Please Remember Me," I think we all breathed a sigh of relief, Elise included. Randy accused her twice of "boxing with the song," and it seemed she was also boxing with the competition. She'll do so much better away from the competition, back with her band, singing whatever she wants to for no one's text votes. Elise Testone is immensely talented and I wish her the best in the context where she's capable of her best: outside this competition.

(images courtesy of FOX)


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