Welcome back. Well we are down to the Final 8. The Judges Save is still in play, so there is still that safety net. No thanks to J.Lo, who we have since learned voted to keep Heejun. Um, lost a little more respect for her, gained some for Steven and Randy, who knew? Anyways, tonight the Final 8 will perform songs from the 80s with Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal from No Doubt as mentors. She has been a mentor before, and she was pretty decent, if I remember. It was a relatively decent week last week, so we'll see if that holds form. Tonight we will get the regular performances, and girl/guy duets. Should be interesting, so, let's get to it:
Solo Performances #1:
DeAndre Brackensick(I Like It)Gwen thinks that Deandre looks scared when he is singing, so he needs to overcome his nerves. Jimmy thinks that if he doesn't overcome them he'll be Bottom 3. Deandre chose this somewhat obscure DeBarge song. With a decade of songs it's interesting he goes for this one. He seems pretty comfortable on stage and even works the audience a little. I didn't like the song choice, but he did all he could with it. It was a very solid performance.
Jennifer=Liked it a lot. Felt that he was super comfortable. All very natural and he sounded amazing.
Steven=Totally captivating. Has owned his voice. Exceptional today.
Randy=Wants him to keep using his natural voice with his falsetto. One of his best performances.
Elise Testone(I Want To Know What Love Is)
Elise had 2 choices of songs, she was gonna go with the overplayed, overdone Hallelujah or this Foreigner song. I am so glad she went with her mentors' suggestions. Not just because I like her voice on it, but because that other song has been done so many times I think I would have resented the whole performance. But likely, she did go this way and I think she was very good. Definitely not as powerful or intense as last week, but her voice is so cool. She can do so many little vocal tricks, and runs with it. Elise gets the choir treatment when about 10 people come to sing backup for her. I love her voice, not as much as last time out but still a really nice job.
Steven=Not the best song choice. But loves her voice. Yeah.
Jennifer=Looks beautiful. Has a powerhouse voice, but it wasn't totally right every time out there.
Randy=Never quite hit the pitch right. Just under the pitch every single time. Knows she's much better than this. Out of tune everywhere.
Duet Performance #1:
Colton & Skylar(Islands In The Stream)
The new Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.Nice! It's an interesting pairing. It more fits Skylar's voice obviously, but Colton did a nice job as well. The whole thing was a little boring, but their voices were solid. Randy thought it was sweet and nice. Enjoyable.
Solo Performance #2:
Phillip Phillips(That's All)
This is one of my favorite Genesis/Phil Collins songs. I don't know if it's because I actually liked this song choice, but this was my favorite Phillip performance thus far. He did a lot with a very simple song. Tony Kanal told Phillip to connect to the audience and stop playing guitar for one little section of the song, and it really worked, I can see that Phillip really connected with the audience and the song. By far my favorite performance of Phillips.
Steven=I love his individuality. Just loves that he is who is. Keep up being himself.
Jennifer= The beginning wasn't all in his comfort zone, but towards the end he really picked it up and it was really great.
Randy=Loved it. Great song choice. Mad props to Tony Kanal's advice.
Duet Performance #2:
Hollie & Deandre(I'm So Excited)
Not gonna lie I always think of Jesse Spano from Saved By The Bell when I hear this song. And if you know that reference you get extra bonus points. But this version was cute. They are both so young, so it sounded like they got picked to perform at their Senior Prom.Steven thought it was a beautiful duet and that Hollie finally let go.
Solo Performance #3:
Joshua Ledet(If You Don't Know Me By Now)
Gwen Stefani thinks that sometimes Joshua does too much with his voice. Jimmy Iovine suggests they make the arrangement much simpler.Interestingly the song starts with the choir, and then Joshua appeared. That's some interesting treatment he got there. It almost sounded like Joshua had a different voice at points. I don't know if it was more gritty or something, but it just sounded differently. He can sing, this guy can really sing there's no denying that. I kinda agree with Gwen Stefani's first statement that Joshua sometimes does too much, but tonight it ended up being just about right. Joshua gets the first standing ovation of the night.
Jennifer=A powerhouse performance. Loved that he held back, and then he let it all go. It was spectacular.
Steven= Over the top great. Can't believe he has a voice like that at his age. It wasn't and was over the top in all good ways.
Randy= Wanted to stand up from beginning to end. Can sing anything.
Jessica Sanchez(How Will I Know)
Gwen Stefani can't believe how good she is at her age. I am glad that Jessica chose an upbeat song, I love her obviously in those ballads, but it's great to show a different side sometimes. She seemed really young, and youthful on stage, but still carried all that poise. You can see she owns the stage, playing with the audience, and the backup singers and band. It's not a powerhouse song, so it doesn't leave as big of an impression, but it's fun, and I think she did a great job.
Jennifer=Two powerhouse vocals in a row. It's crazy how she is so young but seems like a woman on stage. It's unbelievable that that voice is coming out of that little body.
Steven=Voice is so fantastic. Everything she does is great.
Randy=Did an amazing job. Had some big shoes to fill, but still sang the song effortless. The maturity in this girl is crazy.
Duet Performance #3:
Phillip & Elise(Stop Dragging My Heart Around)
Why Didn't Elise sing a Fleetwood Mac song for her solo performance? This is the second week in a row that she sang a Stevie Nicks song for practice, first when she sang with Stevie Nicks in rehearsal, then during her trio performance. She should have found a great Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac song for her main solo performance. Either way I really enjoyed this performance. The mix of their two voices were really great. The performance was really intense and fun and all that good stuff. All 3 judges really loved this performance, and wanted more and more.
Solo Performance #4:
Hollie Cavanagh(What A Feeling)
Jimmy initially thought it was a corny song, but when Hollie sings it becomes something more. I am glad that Hollie went the non-ballad way as well. She definitely let loose more, and seemed to have more fun and felt more comfortable. Her big voice is still there, but she was able to do more with it.
Steven=Some pitch problems all over the place. She got there at the end, but it took awhile to get there.
Jennifer=Can see she is listening, but still isn't letting go fully. Felt a little forced, and needs to make things seem more natural.
Randy=Has the talent to do some amazing things. But she still is thinking way too much.
Duet Performance #4:
Joshua & Jessica(I Knew You Were Waiting For Me)
These are two powerhouse voices, so it's cool to hear them together. They both just have crazy, dynamic voices. It was a fun performance, and I really enjoyed it. All 3 judges give this performance a standing ovation, and I definitely agree. Randy says that they are 2 of the best voices ever. One of the greatest performances to ever hit the Idol stage. This was a dream pairing. Jennifer offers this as maybe a prediction of the Finals.
Solo Performance #5:
Colton Dixon(Time After Time)
In one of the cooler moments, Gwen Stefani actually sang a little with Colton to help him out. I've heard this song done many times, on this show and other singing competitions, so the way Colton performed it was different, and I really like the whole arrangement. It's fast and very rock. I really enjoyed this performance, from beginning to end.
Steven=So good he can do a record right now.
Jennifer= Was in sync with the band. Felt that he went on a journey and thought it was amazing.
Randy=Made this song his own. Loves seeing what he does every single week.
Skylar Laine(Wind Beneath My Wings)
Originally Skylar was gonna do Dolly Parton's "9 to 5", but she switched it to this Bette Midler classic. We haven't seen Skylar do a straight ballad, so it's a nice change. I know the Bette Midler version, and comparing it to this version is like comparing apples to oranges. She really countrified it. She didn't do too much with it. It was simple but quite effective. She really built the song up, it started slow, but she really started getting into it, and by the end she was really hitting those high notes and gave such a beautiful moment. Brought tears to Jennifer Lopez's eyes.She also got the second standing ovation of the night.
Randy=Wow, wow. Best performance to date. Be all you can be.
Jennifer=Just told audience not to count her out. Can sing with the best that are still left.
Steven=Best song to pick for her voice and to end the night. Great beginning to her career.
Hollie. Unless the Save is utilized. She was Bottom 2 last week, and got another relatively bad critique by the judges. She's in some danger.
*With so many good contestants left, there's a chance that the Judge's Save will be utilized every week now. I think the worst performances are still better than some past Idol performances that were deemed good. So there's a good chance that the Save will be utilized.
*I think as a whole, there were a lot of great performances tonight. I think Joshua, Jessica, Colton, Skylar and Phillip had a great night. This really is a very strong season. Although Jessica, Phillip and Colton have had the most consistent runs thus far, there are still so many great voices left.