The name of the game on American Idol this week is “Queen,” followed by Contestant’s Choice alriiiiiight. Please pretend I said that in a roller rink DJ voice, then played the Ghostbusters song. I made suggestions for who should sing what Queen song, which were quickly dispelled by actual song choices. I think this will be a difficult week for Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cavanagh, who may or may not be singing “Fat Bottomed Girls” tonight. No, there’s no way.
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Ryan Seacrest tells us that this stage has housed “no less than two shocking results.” He doesn’t think we can take much more; not if we continue to consume red meat in this way. For me, it has been more than two shocks. I am shocked just by Jennifer’s crazy C3PO’s Sexy Girlfriend look tonight. Can I handle ten performances tonight? I AM TOO WEAK!
ROUND 1: QUEEN
I am also shocked that Randy, not Ryan, is narrating this introduction to Queen. Did Randy insist that he be the voice of definitive music knowledge and connections? Two dudes from Queen stopped by to counsel (very effectively, I might add!) the Top 6 contestants before taking on their music. Man, they are cool.
Roger Taylor and Brian May are playing with the Top 6 as they sing a medley of Queen songs. They started with a soulless version of “Fat Bottomed Girls,” and then we got a preview of who might do well with this song catalog as they took turns on “Another One Bites the Dust.” As I’d hoped, Skylar is doing really well, and Phillip and Elise are doing as well as we had expected. Joshua is a bit out of place, and Jessica is just flat out annoying me tonight, growling out part of “We Will Rock You.” She’s just being all sixteen-years-old about it, you know? I have no thoughts on Hollie during this medley, except “nice pantsuit.”
Did Elise mess up when she went to “of the woooorrrrrrld” early on “We Are the Champions”? No matter. I was happy to see Roger Taylor and Brian May just slaying away up there, not caring that these teenagers don’t have the life experience to make these songs personal, as they’d suggested.
Allegedly, Ryan Seacrest is ailing tonight. So that’s why he’s sitting on a stool to introduce Jessica Sanchez, singing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Alright, Jessica. WHERE is my color and WHY did you turn into the Great and Powerful Oz? It was alright, not as exciting as this song can be, and she didn’t get to the fun stuff (“Galileo Galileo!”). Not like this guy did!
Steven said rock isn’t Jessica’s forte, but she was still good. Jennifer thought the vocal was beautiful, but not so much on the “rock” performance. Randy actually loved it, and appreciated the restraint. RANDY’S PIN SAYS “YO” TONIGHT!! You been reading my diary, Randy? Ryan, please don’t touch the contestants, we can’t have another Hollywood Week-level epidemic on our hands.
Ryan does not look well, and this is my new obsession for the night. CAN HE MAKE IT?
Skylar Laine sings next, performing “The Show Must Go On.” Skylar could really sing any Queen song and I would enjoy it. She has the edge necessary to take these songs on. She is doing a good job with this song, but I would prefer just a hint more drama. She seems a little tired. But the show must go on, Skylar! It picked up toward the end for a satisfying conclusion. Steven loved it, the Droid Hooker of Tatooine got goosies, and Randy declared that Skylar’s gotta have it. Whatever that means. I think Skylar won the medley, though, for what it’s worth.
Joshua Ledet is singing “This Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” which is an interesting choice for him. I think “Somebody to Love” would have been much better for him, but I guess he has to have fun this week to show some personality. Joshua is great, there is no denying that, but I don’t know that this was the right fit for him. It’s almost like his voice was too big for the song? The judges rose to their feet, though, so I guess it was good! Randy says Joshua is “so ready,” and he loved it. Someone get me that “YO” pin before I rip it off that powder blue suit jacket. Jennifer says the Joshua part of the show is her favorite part, which could be the kiss of death for him. Steven thought it was fantastic. I think it was fun, but no one asked me.
Ryan is back on his feet! Could this be a moment of recovery before a Spanish Flu-like fall? Stay tuned.
Elise Testone chose “I Want it All” and a red tambourine to play. It doesn’t make her seem less nervous/self-conscious, though. I think this competition’s got her in her head. This is the right Elise, though. Rocking out, in front of a band. This could keep her around another week, I’d reckon! Steven said this was the right song choice for her, Jennifer said Elise was in her element, and Randy said “what a night so far!” Are the judges over Elise? I’m not sure. This was the right song, though. Randy called it one of Elise’s best performances to date and I agree.
Phillip Phillips is singing “Fat Bottomed Girls.” YES! This is what I wanted. I love this song, and I think Phillip can have some fun with it. And look at him, wearing oatmeal instead of grey tonight! It is predictably delightful, and didn’t sound like the same performance he usually delivers. A nice change of pace from Phillip Phillips. It was a bit too short, but I was also worried about his head exploding, so it worked out.
He was a little below the note, so I’m not sure it ever got there, but it was fun. Steven liked it, Jessica loves the “different flavors” of Phillip (FIFTY SHADES OF GREY). Randy liked it but didn’t love it. It’s time for Phillip to get some tough love around here, I reckon.
Closing out the Queen songs, Hollie Cavanagh is singing “Save Me.” Does that mean this entire show is closing with “The Climb”? Lord. But I’m getting ahead of myself, I had no idea they made pantsuits that small. I think “Save Me” is an appropriate choice for Hollie, who could be on the cusp again this week. It was going well, but her voice cracked at a key moment toward the end. She recovered nicely, and I think she was really feeling the emotions of the song this time. Good work, Hollie. Steven liked it, Jennifer is having trouble telling Hollie to marry Robot-Good-Singer-Hollie with Emotional-Sometimes-Cracking-Hollie.
Jennifer declares Skylar the winner of Round 1, and Randy offered that Hollie needs to step it up and Elise and Joshua were also great. Then Steven reflected on “the new voice today,” what with the Internets and the fancy microphones.
ROUND 2: PERSONAL CHOICE
For the “Personal Choice” (which sounds like an off-brand line of feminine products–is it?) round, Jessica Sanchez is singing “Dance With My Father Again” by Luther Vandross. First, her fellow contestants will talk about her behind her back! Jimmy Iovine is geting shut out of this episode entirely. She was saved and she is tiny. Phillip suspects that instead of going to school, the government is working on her and making her voice better every week. This clip package only made me like Phillip more, and didn’t do much either way for Jessica. She looks better for this performance, and seems a lot more connected. They got the wind machine going, as the song took it to the next level. Jessica really has such a pretty voice, and the power to be the Next Great Diva. It was beautiful, and I’m so thankful she didn’t cry in the middle of it. Jennifer said it was the most beautiful rendition she’s heard, Steven continued to compliment Jessica in general, and Randy said it was great, especially now that she connected emotionally.
What do the contestants think of Skylar Laine? She is a firecracker, loud, and tough. Hollie called her “thick-boned,” when she meant “thick-skinned.” I like when they do this clip package; it’s cute. She’s singing “Tattoos on This Town” by Jason Aldean. She’s playing the guitar and looks adorable. I really think Skylar has what it takes to win this competition, I hope the judges aren’t counting her out. She knows what type of artist she wants to be and now she is executing. It was great! The judges liked it and Jennifer backhandedly congratulated Skylar on staying in this competition and improving. Then Ryan was like “tell us about YOUR tattoos!” Go back to bed, Seacrest! You’re not well!
Ryan Seacrest is looking well again, although his eyes aren’t quite as bright as usual. Joshua Ledet is, according to his fellow contestants, loud/screamy. He is also messy, but who has time to clean when you’re singing all the time? Joshua has chosen “Ready for Love” by India Arie. I love his jacket. This song is nice, and I like that Joshua is doing the gender-swap thing with his song choice, but it was a little forgettable, in my opinion. The judges are on their feet again, though! Steven is even turning around, encouraging the entire audience to stand! Randy is speechless. Maybe I’m just used to Joshua as a great singer and now I’m like “show me something else!”?
What do people think about Elise Testone? Do we know anything about her? It seems like the other contestants are annoyed by her. Yikes. I don’t think her song choice of “Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix will help her, either. It’s sort of a non-singing song. Every time the John Mayer cover of it comes on if I’m listening to the Continuum album, I skip it. I don’t know about her choice to scream parts of it like, “my yellow is in this case not so mellow!” She looked pretty, though! Steven told her to sing more familiar songs and not to pick cherries with her back to the tree. Jennifer said Elise slayed the song “so hard.” Can that song really be slayed, though? Ah, I don’t know. Randy doesn’t know, either. He thought she was boxing with the song. It wasn’t right.
The rest of the Top 6 think Phillip Phillips does weird things when he sings–they are right! They joked about Phillip “pretending” to be sick with kidney stones or whatever he has. But now, Phillip is finally singing “The Stone” by Dave Matthews Band. This is a brilliant move because we can compare him and Dave Matthews side by side and see how similar he will or won’t be as a new artist. It was alright. It sort of felt like a formality–he had to do it. Eh. Steven thinks Phillip found his niche, Jennifer thought it was “too obscure, too artsy.” THOSE PANTS ARE OBSCURE, J. LO. Jennifer said, “I need you to do songs that can get you on that last show so you can win.” Wow. Randy loved it. Randy, give me that pin.
I laughed out loud at Julianne Hough getting excited for Phillip Phillips backstage. She was so adorable, especially when she realized she was on camera and got embarrassed. I can’t believe she’s dating Ryan Seacrest.
The Top 6 is confused about Hollie Cavanagh’s accent. She’s part Texas, part English. They seem to like her, though. I do not like that she’s singing “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. People need to stop acting like this song is good. Maybe Hollie can make it good. She definitely sang it better than Miley, but the song is still just OK. God, her vocal clarity is so insane. For whatever reason, the judges and audience rose to their feet at the end of the song. I mean, it was good, but this song is not a good song! A triumph for Hollie, though, I suppose. Randy declared that Hollie is back.
The good news is, it looks like Ryan made it through the night! He’s got a little pep in his step, and he still has a cute “girlfriend.” Jennifer warned Phillip that one “off” performance can get you voted off, but Steven said “you’ve earned it. Do what you want to do and let America vote.” I’m with Steven, actually. This whole competition and having one “winner” might be bullsh*t!
Who are you worried about? Did anyone have two good performances? Is Skylar going to take it?
(images courtesy of FOX)