Unlike with every other post I’ve done about Idol, I’m going to start off today with an angry rant. I can only assume Nigel Lythgoe was tired of online writers like myself calling him out on his shit and providing readers with a fast source of “just the songs and only the songs” as his team of lawyers have begun sweeping YouTube for open-source clips of the episodes, forcing us to rely nearly exclusively on idol.com (no I will NOT link that) for web-access to the evening’s performances. I’ve just had to spend my time going back to my article from a week ago where all the links have been “removed for copyright product” and put in coding to idol.com’s videos to be able to continue to offer you guys and gals access to the singing (Thanks DAN for letting me know about it!). I’m hoping tonight some brave youtuber will post regardless so I can show you the vids as long as they’ll stay up so you can avoid having to watch this two hour show- which, as we all know is 20 mins of singing and an hour and forty of ads, plugs and Ryan Seacrest vamping. As the show continues to drag in the ratings, it’s clear they’re attempting to jack up Nielsen Ratings and keep generation X, Y and Z offline and keep our TVs on, to ensure Coca Cola gets their 2 billion dollars worth.

Okay, rant over! What’s up tonight? As we saw last week, recently uberly out-and-proud Christian rocker Colton Dixon got surprisingly kicked off due to poor song choice, a clear desire not to be tied down by the Idol label, oh, and more than likely a rigging by the producers of the show who didn’t like his “screw you attitude” to the judges’ critiques last week. We come now to our Top 6 Performers! Tonight will see each kid once again take on two different songs as they’re forced to sing from the songbook of Queen (talented band, yes, but relevant? good god no) and a random choice of their own. I’m getting use to hating Idol and their producers 100% of the time so when they give us even the possibility of hearing something contemporary at least half the time, I’ll take it.

Group Medley – Queen

First up is another annoying group medley of Queen hits. While I usually try to avoid commenting on this mess at all, I will point out that the songs they included were ones I’d very much expect them to save for the kids’ individual attempts. Does this mean they’re going to repeat the songs later or were these big hits actually the leftovers from what the contestants themselves chose? Either way I’m surprised and annoyed. The songs included: “Another One Bites the Dust”, “We Will Rock You”, “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “We Are the Champions”. It’s hokey and I never like them mashing the singers contrasting tones together and although on their own they sound decent (Phil was perfect and I can’t wait to see his solo later), going from one contestant to another just sounds clumsy. But, it’s over now; let’s move on to the real show!

Jessica Sanchez – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

If any of you know this song from the Idol video game you’ll know there’s that IMPOSSIBLE high/sustained note that always kills you as you try for a perfect score. That said, I think Jess is a bit better singer than I am so I’m not too worried! They start her off in black and white (literally, the screen changes contrast) and it’s interesting enough until three giant versions of her head show up on the screen behind her and she looks like the Wizard from Oz and it explodes into colour. As I’m typing this I’m realizing I’m missing her actual singing due to the production, but honestly, that’s probably what will happen to you. It sounds almost like she’s saving herself for something bigger and “more important” later as she gives a mediocre performance. The song is famous yes, but not a relevant one for this year’s competition and I think Jess is gonna suffer for this lack-luster effort, lame remixing and a poor song choice for her voice. Not a great start.

Skylar Laine – “Show Must Go On”

I did NOT know this was a Queen song! Likely you’ll remember this better from “Moulin Rouge” and Nicole Kidman‘s brilliant performance of it. I absolutely got goosebumps tonight remembering it as my favourite moment of the movie as she nearly dies on stage performing it. That said, Skylar ROCKED out at it. She’s masterfully controlled in both movement and sound as she glides between volumes, ranges and emotions without missing a beat. Honestly, I know I’m promoting this one a bit hard but considering this sweet girl was never my top pick, I’m blown by how amazingly she did. Her typical countryfying was actually very limited (though still present) in this one and I appreciated the restraint. She looks gorgeous as well and as a gay man I gotta shout out for that! While Randy says: “It’s one of her best performances” I say shut up, you say that every other night. I’m saying the same though and I actually mean it. Final note: THIS didn’t get you out of your seats judges but EVERY SINGLE JOSHUA SONG DOES??? Bull shit. Congrats Skylar!

Joshua Ledet – “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”

Please, dear god, do not let the judges jump out of their god damn seat unless this boy shatters glass with his vocals tonight- that’s all I ask. Singing a VERY odd song choice, too-tight-vest-Ledet takes to the stage with a faster-paced diddy and I’m smiling hoping it’s a fast track to elimination town for him tomorrow. I’m not sure exactly who or what he was emulating with his freestanding mic piece but it came across like he was trying to eat an apple the entire time. Where Stephen Tyler’s metro mannerisms come across as vintage rock star, Josh’s meandering across the stage just screams fey and I worry this might finally be the week that the bible belt wakes up and boots him for “bein’ a sinner”. His singing was more screechy than sexy and that speed does NOT work for him. Oh, and, wait for it: a DOUBLE freaking standing ovation by Randy and Stephen. I CAN’T STAND THIS!! What the hell is going on in their mind that Skylar is worth a clap and this kid has forever earned R-Dawg getting out of his seat? I’m pissed and confused. All I can think is that this is Randy’s pick to win and dedicate to their mutual hometown so he’s up and hollering no matter what he hears- that is if he’s even listening to these blah performances of Josh’s at all. Can YOU explain this to me??

Elise Testone – “I Want It All”

Looking like the living embodiment of the late Janis Joplin with her sheer, floor-length half dress and a clanging tambourine, Elise did a great job tonight. Yeah, you’ll likely notice a slight like of enthusiasm in my tone as I realize that likely Elise fans and even not-so-much fans will fall head over heels for this song but it didn’t quite do it for me. She was in control, sounded mature and strong but I think what bit me was the repetitive chorus and lack of difficulty in the song. That said, I think she made a great choice singing a rebellious song that she could dominate without any worry of a mistake because the second she slips, those bitch judges are there to tear her a new one. Looking back I think this was a great decision by one of my favourites and I’m upping my excitement for this act knowing that it likely swayed more than a few votes her way tonight! The judges loved it but then again they just standing O’d Josh so what the F do they know?

Phillip Phillips – “Fat Bottomed Girls”

Well, we have our answer: they are re-using songs from the intro. Why Idol? Queen has 1,800 songs to chose from: why you gotta make my boy a repeat? Still, this boy dominates the stage every time he takes to it as people ignore the big ol’ vein on his head, his mostly unchanging sound and his lack of outfit attempts and focus on the fact that he’s SEXY AS HELL. His whole attitude makes you want to end up locked in an ATM stall with him for the night and you don’t even realize he’s wearing some loose-fitting awful pale dress shirt over some teal american outfitter tee because he sounds just so hot! The song was well-done but mostly because Queen is much more his wheel house than any one else’s tonight save possibly for Elise so really he had it made. It’s cute that Stephen likes and points out Phil often runs out of breathe as he kills himself with every song but Randy “didn’t love it”. Go have another crawfish sandwich with your “boy” Josh, Randy!

Hollie Cavanagh – “Save Me”

Dressed once again inappropriately, Hollie tonight looks like she’s on her way to an important business meeting and thought it would seem imposing if she wore 12lbs of jewelry around her neck. Oh Hollie. The song- hilariously titled “Save Me“- could very well be the one that sends her home as she’s never sounded older or out of touch. She of course is a power house with her voice as she always is but spends the time looking at the floor or fluttering her eyes closed and we continue to have trouble connecting with the lass. I think she, Jessica and Josh are definitely the losers from round one despite the panel’s push for Ms. Ledet.

Jessica Sanchez – “Dance With My Father” (Luther Vandross)

I have to admit, I barely know this song. I’m not really sure what the hell contestants are thinking when they are offered free reign to choose any song they’d like and they go old, like really old, and not even popular old. I’m sure in its hey-day this was quite the hit, but you find me a 13-year old girl who’s heard of this and I’ll believe it’s actually gonna help the front-runner/nearly eliminated Sanchez stay in the race. She sounds of course amazing and seems to hit every note she goes for with sincerity and strength but I just don’t know that this was the right choice for her.

Skylar Laine – “Tattoos On This Town” (Jason Aldean)

I do appreciate when a singer is able to take up an instrument, it just instills me with more confidence in their ability as a musician, so, when Skylar picks up the guitar for her second song of the night I’m excited for her. However, like with Jessica, I have no clue what the hell song she’s singing- thankfully, I ain’t who this country gal is trying to get to vote for her and I’m betting my bottom dollar the southerners loved this choice. This modern down country hit is originally by a man and I’m lovin’ Skylar taking it on with her sweetness and sass. She sounds great and is smart to go back to her roots for her second song after wooing the general audience with her Queen number. Damn this girl is SMART.

Joshua Ledet – “Ready For Love” (India.Arie)

Am I going to know ANY of tonight’s songs? First off, just because christ-crusading, hipster Colton Dixon is gone doesn’t mean you have to wear his scarf as you sweat bullets on stage, chunky! Doing some very-high pitched song from a stool in the middle of the stage, Josh gets too into the emotions of this song and his voice sounds more driven by tears than talent and it gets in the way of his natural solid sound. While I forgive singers missing the last few notes as tears and heart take over, this entire piece- and particularly in the middle- ware mired by his emotions and it was hard to even understand what he was saying. I’m not going to continue to harp on his because at this point, it’s like blaming Sanjaya for staying on as long as he did: this is all about the judges now. ANOTHER STANDING OVATION?! If I found out tomorrow that this kid was secretly the son of Bill Gates and that his dad had been paying the judges off then entire time I wouldn’t doubt it for a second. It’s not his fault the exaggerated reactions of the judges are as ridiculous as they are- I blame them and whomever is pulling their strings. This was NOT worthy of the only whole-group standing O adding to the one from Randy and Stephen earlier. I dare Joshua fans to call me out for this being imbalanced and unjustly earned time after time after time without fault. I.don’t.get.it.

Elise Testone – “Bold As Love” (Jimi Hendrix)

Singing a Jimi Hendix turned John Mayer hit, Elise slays tonight with another great performance. STILL, I don’t recognize the song (but at least Mayer is recent) but I can hear this was a great match for Elise’s voice and talents. It’s making me smile ear to ear hearing so many “guy” songs by girls tonight as I think that’s the ultimate test of a song and I think scratchy, sexy Testone did a perfect job of showing how to transfer a song through the gender lines. She just beams out there and you can see she loves doing what she does and it comes across through her talent… that is until idiots like Randy tell her: “sorry dawg, wrong song choice”. I’m without words to explain the fury I have about the titled judging going on in this show. YES, I’m biased in my writing, I’m allowed to be as a third party commenter. NO, Randy et al you can’t pick on one time after time and promote another deafly as you’re their mentors and judges and there to make them the best they can be, not snuff out the ones you don’t like. As she finished her performance you see Randy barely smiling, Stephen just sitting there and J Lo somewhat clapping. It’s pathetic to see the monstrously contrasting difference this act’s critique garners compared to Josh’s. Even if you liked Josh’s better, there’s no way he earned falling backwards, outrageous cheering while she gets nothing, some claps and nothing. I’m pissed.

Phillip Phillips – “The Stone” (Dave Matthews Band)

Wow, is this actually happening? Is my boy singing the band he’s been so repeatedly compared to? I love it. Still, I don’t know the song itself like with the rest of tonight, but most anyone who’s every heard DMB will recognize the sound and feel this is Phil in his area of expertise. While he looks cute as a button all in black, the song’s lyrical portion is a bit outplayed by the awesome instrumental accompaniment (particularly the furious violin) and I’m wondering why Phil didn’t take on something so purely him like “Crash Into Me”. Lopez backs me up and wishes he’d sing something a bit more recognizable though Tyler congratulates him on the risk-taking. I’m quite sure that his smile will save him this week though it wasn’t his best singing-wise. There’s not enough other contenders to rely on looks alone at this point and it’s past time where he can take lesser-known song choices like this just because “he likes the tune”. If Phil wants to win, he needs to give us something we all know the words to and sing it in his sexy growl with a Phil Phil spin on it. Just sayin’.

Hollie Cavanagh – “The Climb” (Miley Cyrus)

Well, who knew it would be a Miley song that I finally recognize. Also, how gay does that make me?! This one at least has a huge rise in it which is right up big-voice Hollie’s alley as she needs a killer final performance to have a chance to stay in this thing. She sounds stronger than the first time around and thankfully more appealing to the kiddies as well despite the silliness of the lyrics and its creator. I don’t like when the original far outshines the remix these kids attempt and that’s how I feel about this one. While I’m NO Miley fan, I do remember thinking: “Damn, that’s pretty good” at her version of this and Hollie’s honestly falls short. It’s likely her last few minutes on this stage and I think she could have pushed it a little more. Her notes were pitch-PERFECT and I absolutely give her credit of that but I know she has more emotion and strength in her and despite the ridiculous standing ovation that means nothing at this point, I think this blond is at serious risk of going home.

Adam’s Loser Picks for Thursday:
Hollie Cavanagh
Joshua Ledet
Elise Testone

I’m thinking this is finally it for Hollie. Even though they gave her the final spot of the night which always helps come voting time, I think her look, style and appeal isn’t meeting the voters and she’s gonna fall short tomorrow night. I think Elise is brilliant and did great tonight, but as I’ve said, I think the voters aren’t understanding her and even more are being so vindictively misguided by the ranting of ass judges with their heads up Josh’s butt that she’s in real trouble yet again. Coming to Josh, I don’t know how he’s lasted as long as he has. If all the kids put out CD’s tomorrow, I’m telling you this one would have the lowest sales. He doesn’t have a unique sound you couldn’t find in any church choir and his personality wouldn’t fill a shoe. He’s the gift-wrapped contender the judges seem for some reason to want to stay in but he’ll be going over the next few for SURE. Congrats to Skylar for dominating tonight, I think Jessica should be fine as Elise will take the place that should have been her’s in the Bottom Three. Tune in here tomorrow to find out!

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American Idol 11: Top 6 Finalists