Last week we said goodbye to DeAndre Brackensick and his hair and his falsetto, and Jennifer Lopez was super sad about it but we didn’t really mind. The crowd in the studio tonight doesn’t seem too broken up either; there’s a ton of cheering and squealing at the top of the show.
Tonight’s theme is Songs From This Decade, which means that the Top 7 will be singing songs released from 2010 until today, and also that Jimmy Iovine has brought Akon along to help him mentor this week.
Joshua Ledet, “Runaway Baby”: Hey, we wanted Joshua to do Bruno Mars! Thanks for cooperating. Hashtag update: Josh’s is #jjewels. He may not have Bruno’s smooth dance moves, but he’s stronger vocally, and he’s got such excellent showmanship. He really engages the crowd, and by the time he’s done, he gets a standing ovation from the judges, their first of the night. “Every time you sing, you sell it,” Steven says. “That was an unbelievable performance... I think we’ve got somebody here who’s got to have it,” Randy says.
Colton and Skylar, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”: Colton and Skylar want to make sure we don’t think they’re dating. Guess what, guys? We don’t! Rest easy. Their performance doesn’t change our minds, either — they sound all right, but there really isn’t much chemistry there. “That was beautiful,” Steven says. “You did a nice job,” Jen says. “I thought that was okay,” Randy says.
Skylar Laine, “Don’t Know How Much I Loved You”: Jimmy’s not sure about Skylar’s song choice until she starts singing it, and then he’s psyched. Also, if you want to tweet about Skylar you should apparently use the hashtag #skoutlaws. Skylar has tons of fire (yes, actual fire) on stage and she’s playing a guitar. She sounds pretty great and it’s nice to see her with an instrument, but the performance is much better when she stops playing — it seems like she’s little too focused on the guitar while she plays. “This is what you love, this is what you should do... that was crazy hot and crazy dope,” Randy Jackson says. “It sounded like it was in perfect pitch, you really, really nailed it,” Jen says. “The crows may crow, but the hens deliver the goods,” Steven Tyler says, which he think means he wants a girl to win.
Hollie Cavanagh, “Perfect”: So many Glee memories tonight, remember when Kurt and Blaine sang this one? So cute. Also cute is Hollie’s hashtag, #holliepops, by far the best of the night. Hollie doing Pink should be interesting; she has zero percent of Pink’s badassness. Hollie’s dressed in some kind of figure-skating outfit and her phrasing is a little odd. Pitch-wise she’s doing pretty well, at least. “We’ll see how it pans out,” Jen says, which is pretty ominous. “It kinda laid there a little bit for me, compared to how you usually sing,” Steven says. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot better than where you were last week,” Randy says.
Colton Dixon, “Love The Way You Lie”: Colton’s Twitter hashtag is #messengers, FYI. Jimmy thinks Colton is behind Phillip (hey, so do we, check out our Power Rankings!) and needs to figure out how to surpass him. Colton’s got a white piano and a string section and tons of billowing fog, and he’s looking pretty cute in a maroon striped jacket. The performance is pretty and it’s right in his wheelhouse, but it’s — dare we say it — a tiny bit boring? Not bad by any means, but not thrilling, either. “You always surprise me with your approach to the notes,” Jen says. “You could’ve recorded that right there and have it go out to people,” Steven says. “You are an artist, we’re two for two right now,” Randy says.
Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips, “Somebody That I Used to Know”: Did y’all see Blaine and Cooper Anderson sing this song on Glee last night? Dreamy sigh! Elise and Phillip have some very handsome shoes to fill. Anyway! Phillip says in the pre-song clip that this is way out of his genre, and it is, but he does okay. Elise does better, but neither of them completely nail it. “You guys nailed it,” Steven says, ironically enough! Jennifer says they made it work as a duet which, um, it IS a duet, Jen. Randy says Elise did better and it seemed like she sang more, and Phillip sort of adorably says “she’s just a better singer than me.” Aw!
Phillip Phillips, “Give a Little More”: Phil’s hashtag is #philatics, which is just kind of weird. There’s a whole awkward conversation with Jimmy about how the girls love Phillip and the girls love Colton, and maybe they love Colton more, and Phillip is dying of embarrassment. He’s also wearing a blazer tonight and a lot less growly than usual. It’s good -- his last few performances have seemed a little samey (if still enjoyable) and this is a nice change of pace. “Really love the way you’ve changed and evolved, you’re like a Steve McQueen, Johnny Cash kind of guy,” Steven says. “For me it was just a little bit underwhelming... I’ve seen this performance now a couple of times,” Jen says. “I think we’ve seen that a couple of times... I don’t know if it was a ‘wow’ kind of a moment,” Randy says.
Jessica Sanchez, “Stuttering”: Jessica’s hashtag is #blujays. Why are we fascinated by this? Oh well. Jessica’s picked a really obscure song, but Jimmy says it doesn’t matter because she’s magical. Which ends up being true, because we don’t know this song and it’s actually sort of boring, but it’s awesome anyway, so way to be, Jessica! “I love the arrangement that you did... what you did tonight is that you set the bar really high... that was superb,” Randy says. “Right in the middle you really started digging, and I saw it... what I’d love to see from you is some Joshua-type performances with how impactful they are,” Jen says. “You slay it every time,” Steven says.
Jessica, Joshua, and Hollie, “Stronger”: Poor Hollie. She’s out of her league here, and her pants are pinkest thing that’s ever existed. This whole performance is just sort of awkward and unnecessary. Idol should stop forcing these duets and trios and just let the show be an hour or an hour and a half, we think. “This is the season of the big voice,” Jen says. “Beautiful, nice going,” Steven says. “This is a great trio right here,” Randy says.
Elise Testone, “You and I”: Hey! This was our pick for Elise this week! She must love us! Her hashtag, if you’re wondering, is #theeelites. Elise starts off on piano before grabbing the mic and heading to center stage. She makes some nice vocal choices so that her performance doesn’t mimic Gaga’s, and she just sells the hell out of it. “America, Elise is back! That was the perfect song for you, you needed a moment, I think you got one tonight,” Randy says. “I love her... you did exactly what you wanted to do, you let go but you kept control at the same time,” Jen says. “You took a song that’s so simple and you made it genius,” Steven says.