First off, I do apologize that the posts this week on my Idol recap are up later than my usual East Coast promptness but a new work sched is slightly throwing me off kilter so instead I’ll try to make up for it with a WHOLE lot more bitchiness. I’m kidding, don’t worry- how could I possibly be a bigger dick to this show’s producers?

Last week we got current music for once and I truly believed it offered the most interesting overall performances that we’ve seen this season. Thankfully, the good idiots at Idol have decided to both hurt and help themselves by combining new and old tonight by having the kids sings two songs each: one hit from post 2000 and one song pre. At this point, we have to take what we can get and have faith the remaining (actually talented) singers will pick from the myriad of classic decade older songs and turn them into something relevant and downloadable. As you likely know, we’re re-visiting the “Top 7” as last week the front-runner, Jessica Sanchez, was bottomed out by the votes only to be saved without second thought by the judges. This week there WILL be someone sent packing and it’s all based on tonight’s performances (well, it’s based on what the producers decide, but it’s fun to pretend that votes matter)- so let’s get to it!

Hollie Cavanagh – “Rolling In the Deep”

First up is Hollie taking on the indomitable Adele. Typically this would be setting up for failure, but damned if she didn’t do a great job on her tiny, raised stage. Dressed horrifically in wide-legged shear pants (CHRIST), Hollie overcame her wardrobe malfunction and owned this song from note one. Slowing and speeding to add her unique spin to the well-played song, the tiny blond was without error and sounded powerful without overbearing. See THIS is how you do it Joshua!! I loved it.

Colton Dixon – “Bad Romance”

Like the (actual natural) blond before him, Colton opted to take on an extremely difficult act and took up Lady Gaga herself tonight. However UNlike the singer before him, Colton blew his chance on stage. Starting off sounding more like Weird Al than Gaga he turned it into some Gob performance by the end and the whole thing was just disappointing. He is never a bad performer but this opener was Colton at his worst IMO. I couldn’t believe when the judges allowed him to get away with this bull but then again, he’s a cute boy and that’s what sells Idol downloads. Lame.

Elise Testone – “No One”

“Makeup of the Night” mos def goes to this girl as she looks stunning with gold highlights and it almost, ALMOST gets me past the ridiculous wind-blowing smashing into her face throughout this song. Get real, Idol: she needs zero gimmicks. Elise sounds a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Combining a bit of swagger (just enough to not make it obvious she’s a white girl outside her wheelhouse mind you) with her classic scratchy sound, this golden locked beauty killed it. It was absolutely her version and still it fully nodded to the Alicia Keys original mix. The judges are boners yet again and over-criticize where Josh or Colton would have received roses and standing O’s and I’m once again convinced they’re attempting to push down this “un-sellable” talent simply because they’ve been told to by the higher ups.

Phillip Phillips – “U Got It Bad”

I always, ALWAYS get called out for being way too nice to Phil just because we’re secretly dating but, honestly, you have to give him props for picking such a polar opposite to his sound song like this Usher hit. Picking a song is only half the work though, the other half is sounding great and making it your own and [email protected] if my boy didn’t do just that. He was sooooo cute and so strong up there. The judges jump out of their chairs to praise him and it’s never been more appropriate. No, he was not as boomingly powerful as Hollie or sultry as Elise, but he was giving it his all as he strained to hit every note as dead on and pitch-perfect as he could and he sold the whole audience on it. I’ll admit they are pushing him haaaard to win knowing he’s what tweens want, but hell, after this song how could you NOT want him?

Jessica Sanchez – “Fallin”

Okay, it has to be said: those mid-air umbrellas around the stage? WTF Idol. Thankfully, the talented Jessica ignores her ridiculous surroundings and lays into the second Alicia Keys of the night and kills it like Elise before her. Her hair is blown out to 80s extreme and she looks like she’s wearing Nefertiti’s necklace but who the hell cares, she sounds awesome. Somehow able to pull off the sound of any diva, Jessica is soul perfection and gets huge accolades from the judges who are likely afraid that any decent will send her home tomorrow as she’s been proven to be fallible come voting time. Silly J Lo, don’t you know Nigel Lythgoe throws a dart at their pics before Thursday’s “tally” is done and picks the one he hits to go home? Regardless, Jess is a star and shows why she’s been seen as the one to beat until now.

Skylar Laine – “Born This Way”

Hmm I’m not sure about this one Skylar. See, the thing is that you really need to depend on your country bumpkin’ votes to keep you in this game as it’s not gonna be your voice that wins it for you- that’s Jess and Hollie’s thing. So, when you- though admittedly originally- remix Gaga with your country sound, you risk alienating your base. Stick to pro-life, anti-gay, bible-is-the-word-of-god songs because you just might find the 300+ lbs voters who love you opting to go to the kitchen for more grits (sp?) instead of pressing redial on your vote number. I think Skylar sounded cool and while it wasn’t my favourite, I genuinely appreciated the attempt. Still, her voters are who they are and they ain’t Lady Gaga lovers so it could be a risky move and so far she’s my worry pick of the night. Thank hell she sounded great.

Joshua Ledet – “I Believe”

I’m glad this happened. I’m glad Joshua was once again stuffed into a too-tight-for-him blazer; I’m glad he announced his personal Idol is Fantasia Barrino(really, REALLY I’m not suppose to make a bye-bye-closet comment after that?); I’m glad he basically less-than copied without any unique twist to the original; and, I’m glad the judges shot up and declared HIM the best singer this show has ever had. You’ve GOT to be kidding me. Fantasia MURDERED this song on Idol and it just proves how god damn stupid this show is when they spout out crap like “BEST EVER“. Actually, screw it Idol, you want to compare? I’m posting Fantasia, singing this song on Idol as she cries her eyes out and outplays Josh by a million. I’d forgotten just how spectacular this song is and literally have goosebumps as I listen to it while typing. YOU decide!

Fantasia Barrino – “I Believe”

Seriously. YOU tell me that Josh is better and the “BEST” this show ever has. Randy Jackson, shame on you! You’ve been there since the start and have no excuse for idiot statements like that that get used by TV Guide and to sell this episode as: “Randy finds the BEST voice Idol’s ever seen.” It’s marketing, sales and commercialism at its worst and I absolutely loathe it, but love that we have such a clear example of just how stupid the scripting of this show has become. Oh, and before its said: no, the fact that Josh only got to sing have what Fantasia did doesn’t matter, that’s just more reason why one shouldn’t so easily give him the all-time-Idol-crown. UGH! Sorry, rant over: back to the show as we hit the pre-2000 songs.

Hollie Cavanagh – “Son Of A Preacher Man”

Pretty in pink Hollie- who now looks like a divorcee trying to keep up with her Legally Blond daughter in law- still can’t pull off youthful but does her best to sing despite her disconnect. She remains collected in her second song of the night but doesn’t move me as much as she did the first time around. Her singing comes off as a bit rushed to me- and not just because it’s a faster paced song. It’s less unique than the Adele cover and seems almost desperate to me. The judges nonetheless give her high praise and I’m left wondering if it’s just me.

Colton Dixon – “September”

Some bad song choices by this kid tonight. Yes, I typically praise taking a song and totally spinning on its head but this and his first were not the way to go this evening. This song did a lot better going through the “coltonizing” process of turning something emo-alt and throwing in a piano as Colt always seems to do. Thankfully, this second time up is a much better round in my ears and despite his stupid-ass hipster scarf (Colton, we ALL know it’s a thousand degrees under those lights: go play Jenga at a bar and ironically order a virgin rum and orange crush to go, ugh), he sounds pretty downloadable. Having said that, the judges shock me and claim he’s a bit middle of the road on this. I don’t even pretend to understand what is and isn’t okay to those three anymore- and given the fact that they just read whatever is handed to them by the producers I doubt they try to predict or understand it either. No, he wasn’t the best but it certainly was better than round one so what the frig is up, panel?

Elise Testone – “Let’s Get It On”

Right as I’m about to type: WHAT were you thinking with this song choice, Elise comes on and actually sounds pretty damn good. I realize quickly that truly Elly is the only of the group who could even hope to take on this too-sexual classic Marvin Gaye song without sounding like a complete idiot. Smiling through this one, I’m just happy to see my girl in such a good mood. Nope, it wasn’t her best and won’t earn a standing ovation from the judges who never like her enough, but it was her being her and I liked it. Thankfully she picks something that even kids will likely recognize so I’m hoping that somehow helps to stick her in voters minds, but that said, I don’t think this performance raised the bar from her great opener.

Phillip Phillips – “In The Midnight Hour”

Grrrrrr I’m not happy with this old-school song choice either. Phil isn’t quite making me soak with this one and that truly hurts to admit. He’s doing some Ray Charles thing with his jazz/rock twisting and sound and I’m just wishing he’d stop singing and take his clothes off. Still, he’s without pitch or tone issues, so you always have to give him that. The whole production is overdone with 50s vintage signage plastered all about him and more saxophone than Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” video and I’m just happy to know he’ll be safe on looks alone. The judges somehow call THIS awesome and great. I know, I know, I should always be on my man’s side but even skunk-haired Colton was better and of course Elise was throughout the night but had she given this act, they would have tarred and feathered her before she even left the stage! Grrrrrrr.

Jessica Sanchez – “Try a Little Tenderness”

I love her so it’s okay that I say this: sloooooow your role on the diva notes Jess, once a night is enough. Within 5 seconds, the purple-panted songstress is rockin’ her sassiest and highest notes as she “wah wah wah wahhhhhs” her way into the chorus. I think on double song nights we need to see a quiet and controlled Jessica as well as the powerhouse soul singa’. She exemplifies a shift we’ve seen in Idol as they constantly try to hit the highest, strongest, biggest notes instead of connecting on heart and emotion. Jessica is always a brilliant singer and does a great job even though the judges put a weird tone on their “nice words” they essentially back me up by saying Jess can’t just win on her huge voice alone.

Skylar Laine – “Heard It Through the Grapevine”

No one can say this southern belle is a dummy. Every week she finds song after song to revamp and countrify and never does it sound forced or boring. I’ve called out this girl a bit today on her song choice but loved this one and she looks like an excitable little girl bouncing around the stage and pulling in the audience. You KNOW this girl is a role model to many a singin’ wannabees out there and I say good for it. She’s sweet and innocent and I hope enough to beat some of the remaining less-thans (*cough*HollieN’Josh*cough*)

Joshua Ledet – “In The Midnight Hour”

Singing the “civil rights anthem” (or however Seacrest so down-our-throats puts it), Joshua is once again the disappointment of the night. The bulk of the performance is boring as hell and once he gets to the final and huge (at least they’re suppose to be) notes, he booooombs. It’s lack-luster and just not right: interestingly, in the past I’ve called him out for blowing up every performance and yet when he finally contains it he does it SO poorly. Honestly, if the choice is between this and exploding? Fine, explode sista, cause restraint is NOT your strength. The whole thing is just bad and yet…. wait for it…. the judges absolutely love it. THOUGH!!! WATCH closely to the clip as Randy, then J Lo, and then Stephen sloooowly react to the end and reluctantly standing O the kid. You can literally HEAR Nigel telling them in their ear piece that they’re fired if they don’t stand for him. I’ve never seen anything so forced until Ryan tries to joke that Joshua was probably staring at Lopez’s breasts bahahahaha. Ryan, you don’t get to be the only secret gay on that stage: he was staring at her musculature. I.Love.It. Thanks for proving me right Joshy.

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

While I think that this might finally be Josh‘s week to go with such uninspiring performances, I worry that the judges and their abundant love of every misstep he takes might woo too many kids to keep him in. Elise is always on my to-go list because it’s only a matter of time with her even though she’s arguably the most mature and strongest talent up there. Cards on the table, we all know what happens on this show is up to the judges and that’s why I’m arguing it’s Hollie to go as she isn’t connecting with the kiddies and will never take top spot. Check in tomorrow but not before you sound off below!

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