American Idol Top 9

There were two promising pieces of information to start off the show this week: Contestants would be singing songs by their “idols,” which means they basically just sing whatever they want; and Stevie Nicks is the celebrity mentor. My sister is a Fleetwood Mac fan, and my all-time favorite song is “Songbird” (although I sometimes prefer the Eva Cassidy version), so this was good news.

Let’s begin with fashion. Jennifer wore yet another white pantsuit, but ohmygosh she looked so beautiful.

Steven wore pants that were strikingly similar to Elise’s, which gave Ryan some jokey times, and Randy wore a leather jacket and some sort of colorful beaded necklace that looked like a colored wooden rosary I had as a child.

Colton Dixon started off the show. I’ve begun to like him more recently, but I thought he was shaky this week. He sang a worship song and was overcome by the Spirit and brought to tears.

Now, listen. I love Jesus too. And I went to a Christian college so I am VERY familiar with worship music and Christian singers. My problem here is, our worship leader at my school could sing this better than Colton just did. I do think he could have a career in Religious music though. I just don’t know in which direction he’s headed.

Skylar Laine sang “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert. I LOVE Miranda Lambert. I, like Skylar, sing to her music in my car often. I wish I liked Skylar more.

In order to fill the two hour time slot, the contestants had to perform medleys in groups of three. Colton, Elise, and Phillip performed a trio of Fleetwood Mac songs and I LOVED it. Although, we can all agree there was no way Phillip was harmonizing here.

Heejun redeemed himself a little by “taking things seriously” and singing a slow ballad. He’s a good singer, but I was bored out of my mind. He was eliminated (oops, spoiler).

Hollie Cavanagh allowed Jesus to take the wheel, and he said, “I’m gonna drive you right into the metal torture chairs of the bottom 3.” The most notable thing about the performance (to me) was that she wore a necklace from Kim Kardashian’s collection and Kim tweeted to her about it. So….yeah…I follow Kim Kardashian on Twitter.

DeAndre performed an Eric Benet song. It showed off his falsetto again, but I just don’t know about DeAndre. Jennifer Lopez told America to vote for him because she wants to see him for “a few more weeks.” Normally, I’d do what J.Lo tells me to, but not right now. I agree with Jimmy Iovine that he needs more experience, and I wish he was in his 20s or 30s so that he could give audiences the kind of believability that Maxwell and Eric Benet do. Experience is necessary for the connection to those kinds of songs. And I know, because I know things about music. Like that it has melody and stuff. Anyway.

I love Beyonce and Jessica Sanchez loves Beyonce and I love Jessica Sanchez. When I found out her idol was Beyonce, I screamed, “ME TOO, JESSICA!” I wanted her to sing something uptempo, because one of the judges (who cares which) once told her to stick with ballads, and that was terrible advice. I really think she can do more than just ballads. She could easily be a “Beyonce” kind of artist. This performance of the slowed down version of “Sweet Dreams” was incredible. I can’t believe the judges gave five standing ovations on performance night and this wasn’t one of them. Jennifer Lopez told Jessica thatBeyonce should do this at her next concert, which she has. I don’t mind that Jessica borrowed the version, and wore a very similar shoulder-pad-heavy outfit.

I agree (again) with Jimmy Iovine on the fact that while teenage girls that vote on American Idol typically vote for guys, they need to reevaluate and vote for Jessica. She’s the best on this show, and she could really benefit from winning in a way that Phillip Phillips doesn’t need.

Speaking of Phillip Phillips, Stevie told him, “Had it been you, me and [fellow Fleetwood Mac singer Lindsey Buckingham] in 1975, Mick Fleetwood would have asked all three of us to be part of Fleetwood Mac. You’re that good.”

I can totally get behind that statement. He sang “Still Rainin” by Johnny Lang, and of course I loved it because I love him no matter what.

Joshua Ledet sang Mariah Carey’s version of “Without You” and although it was beautiful and he cried, I just didn’t connect (I am turning into an evil Randy/J.Lo hybrid robot with my critiques here). I just don’t feel like I know enough about who Joshua really is to feel what he’s feeling when he sings this song. Does that make sense? Of course it doesn’t.

Also at some point in the midst of all this, groups performed Madonna and Michael Jackson medleys. The Fleetwood Mac cover trio was so much better than these that I refuse to comment further.

Elise was the show-closer which means you knew she had something good up her sleeve. She performed Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” which the over-50s at our viewing party really embraced. I can’t remember the last time someone performing on American Idol had this much fun. I’m not always Elise’s biggest fan, but she has been seriously on fire. AND Stevie Nicks harmonized with her on “Dreams” during the rehearsal segment, which just blew my freaking mind. If Stevie loves her, so do I.

The results show was awkward, and as I mentioned, Heejun was sent home. It was his time. Nicki Minaj and Scotty McCreery performed, which is just the most random pairing of performances ever thought of. I refuse to listen to Scotty sing, but through my fast forwarding I heard the words “sweet tea,” “Amen,” and “Friday night football games,” so yeah,  Scotty, we get that you’re country. Nicki performed her new song “Starships,” which is not my favorite track she’s done. And I’m a Nicki fan. Her facial expression in the picture below totally explains how I feel about the performance. You don’t need to do this, Nicki…:

 When you can do this. [NSFW]

So what are your feelings? Is your one-two Jessica and Phillip? Or would you throw Elise or someone else in there? Did you feel uncomfortable watching J.Lo watch Nicki Minaj? Do you agree that this was the best episode of American Idol in, I don’t know, forever?? Thoughts, please!

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