Last night’s Idol was frankly boring. Although I am very familiar with the songs of Billy Joel, it was obvious that most of the singers weren’t and this is the ongoing problem of the show. Yes Joel, The Beatles and the like are legends, but when your contestants were born years after your last hit and barely know, or care about, who you are it doesn’t make for good performances. On top of that, Jimmy Iovine and this week’s mentor Diddy made for an annoying pair. I still don’t know why we should care about Tommy Hilfiger‘s styling advice, just dress them for Pete’s sake! Sigh, on to the singers.
DeAndre Brackensick was up first with “Only The Good Die Young.” DeAndre met with Tommy and the other stylist first. When he asked for him to take his hair down, I think DeAndre got a little scared that he might suggest he cut it. While talking with Iovine and Diddy, Jimmy went on about how he could relate to the song because he’s a repressed Catholic. What the hell does that have to do with ANYTHING?! He also told DeAndre to look at Jennifer the first four lines of the song because she’s a Catholic too. Last night’s Idol was sponsored by The Vatican, apparently. DeAndre was just, okay. He sounded good, but it felt like he was just trying to get it over with. The judges liked it, even though it was nothing special. I hope DeAndre gets back on track; I don’t want to see him go home too early in the competition.
Erika Van Pelt sang “New York State Of Mind” which according to Diddy should only be sung by real New Yorkers. Erika is actually from Rhode Island but she loves NY, too. Erika’s look was nothing special, and Tommy actually did a good thing here by telling her to chop off her hair. She appeared on stage with a sleek new cut that had been dyed a very dark brown. It totally worked for, and now she looks more like the the sort of edgy artist she could be. I didn’t love every minute of her performance but the run at the end was great. The judges loved it of course, so we won’t be seeing Erika anywhere near the bottom for the results show.
Joshua Ledet went with “She’s Got A Way.” Josh told Jimmy and Diddy that he was nervous about the song, which I think meant that he wasn’t familiar with it. He started his performance sitting backwards on a chair, surrounded by smoke. If I’m not mistaken, he was also barefoot. It really wasn’t his best, even though there were some good notes here and there. The choir at the end didn’t save it for me either. The judges were split on him, and I think voters might be, too.
Skylar Laine did a country fried version of “Shameless.” She was oddly starstruck with Diddy, and then revealed her obsession with boots to Tommy Hilfiger. I thought she sounded good, but she still doesn’t really do it for me. She is nothing if not consistent though, but I would like to hear something not so twangy from her.
Elise Pantone chose “Vienna,” which like Shameless, I’m not all that familiar with. She ignores Tommy’s advice to not do layering, which might have been a good idea because he wanted to put her in bell bottom pants. I mean seriously. She also didn’t take Diddy’s advice about doing a song no one knows. I thought the last note was a bit flat, but Elise did a pretty good job with this. Steven said that she “was all over the place but still stayed in the room.” Randy said that she finally had a “moment.” Way to step it up , Elise.
Phil Phillips went with “Moving Out.” I was a little excited to see what he would do with this. I like how most of the contestants went completely against the advice they were given and just kind of stuck to their usual thing. Diddy wanted Phil to get rid of the guitar, although I think he was right about it maybe becoming a crutch. Tommy wanted to spruce him up a bit, but Phil is obviously not shopping at any of his stores. I thought his voice was perfect for this song, and he even kind of made it sexy. I like that Phil stressed that he was just trying to be himself, without coming off obnoxious like past contestants have done. I’m sure the people behind Idol know that Phil has a large female fan-base, but let’s not try to turn him into some sort of sexy symbol for the show. It’s weird, and he’s obviously not comfortable with that. Or getting Steven’s old scarfs.
Hollie Cavanaugh took on another big song with “Honesty.” I’m not mad at Hollie for this, it’s her thing, but I think even the judges want to see her do something else. She was the only one that really welcomed Tommy’s style advice, but I think she should stick with the glittery dresses because that suit made her look a little old. Hollie is small, but the podium was a bit much, the whole staging was. Steven thought she over-sang the song a bit, and there was even a “pitchy” thrown her way. I’m so sorry for that joke.
Heejun Han sang “My Life.” Hee Man, my dear, what was that? Okay, I do love Heejun’s sense of humor, he definitely lightens up the show, but now we do have to wonder how seriously he is taking the competition. Even I don’t take it that seriously, but I’m not up there singing for a record contract. When meeting with Tommy he was obviously trolling a bit, he baffled him by mentioning Madonna as a style influence. On stage he starts off in a suit by a piano and then starts to stutter a bit. I thought he had forgotten the words or had gotten nervous, but nope he’s totally doing a different song! Ah, you got us Heejun! This was bad, and Heejun probably doesn’t give a s***, but this could have been a great, fun performance if he had been more serious about it. His vocals were off, well everything was just off. So Randy and Jennifer liked that he decided to be different while everyone else did ballads, but Steven seemed a little annoyed. “Are you happy that you took the piss out of this song?” he asked. Well, you were fun while you were around, Heejun.
Jessica Sanchez also went with another big song, “Everybody Has A Dream.” You want to guess how much this song means to her? I like Jessica, but I feel like she might have a “Pia Problem” with doing too many ballads, even though she always hits them out of the park. It was a pitch perfect performance and the judges and audience loved it.
Last up was Colton Dixon who sang “Piano Man.” This is probably one of Billy Joel’s more well known songs, and Colton made the right choice with this. He mentioned that he missed playing the piano during his performances so he was excited to get to sing this. I think he was the only one that was completely sure in his song choice. The staging and lighting really made the performance, and this was a great way to end the show. Diddy said that he would buy this single if he made it, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people would.
I’m a little disappointed that no one wanted to do “Uptown Girl.” Was it too much to ask for “We Didn’t Start The Fire?” With this round over, the Top 10 will go down to 9. I expect to see Heejun, DeAndre and maybe (unfortunately) Joshua in the Bottom 3.
We’ll find out on Thurdsay night’s results show.