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American Idol 11 - The forbidden land
by Mollee_Francisco
Mar 08, 2012 | 3131 views | 1 1 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Every year, we hear the judges tell the contestants to steer clear of both Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston's respective catalogs so it was especially surprising to get just that for our first theme night of the season? I'll admit, I was fully prepared for a night of train wreck performances, but these kids are slowing drawing me in. There are more than a handful of contestants that could take the Idol crown and they proved their prowess Tuesday night. 

The rundown:

Joshua Ledet

I Wish

I loved Joshua last week and he impressed me again this week with an upbeat cover of "I Wish." He listened to Jimmy Iovine and Mary J. Blige's advice to really punch the song and it worked. He sounded good and he was fun to watch as he worked that stage. He's my favorite guy by far. 

Elise Testone 

I'm Your Baby Tonight

Elise got her original song choice "The Greatest Love of All" yanked away from her in favor of "I'm Your Baby Tonight." She didn't look comfortable with the change during rehearsals and that seemed to carry over to her live performance. She never really embraced the song and the performance suffered for it. 

Jermaine Jones

Knocks Me Off My Feet

While I love marveling at how tall Jermaine is, I don't think he's found a song that he connects with or a song that fits that deep voice perfectly. (Truthfully, I'm dying to hear him on "Ol' Man River" which I realize has no contemporary context whatsoever, but it would be such a great fit for that voice! Aaahhhh!) We crowned a deep voice last year. I don't think it's going to happen again this year. 

Erika Van Pelt

I Believe in You and Me 

Gah! What is she wearing? I'm so fearful that Erika is letting herself by molded by Idol producers too much. She needs to hold tight to what makes her Erika (hint: it's not donning pageant gowns or picking sweet ballads). She's a rocker chick, so rock! Whitney's catalog has a lot more to offer than just the power ballads and I wish Erika would picked something more fun than this.

Colton Dixon


Stevie Wonder couldn't be more out of Colton's wheelhouse and it showed. I remember nothing from this performance other than the strange "Inception" images on the screen behind him.  

Shannon Magrane

I Have Nothing

Oh, the innocence of youth. Shannon fell victim to a song that was deceptively bigger than her talents. "I Have Nothing" beat her up good.  She would have been much better off picking a fun number from Whitney's early years. Instead, Shannon stands alone as the real stinker of the evening. 

DeAndre Brackensick

Master Blaster

It took me most of this performance to figure out that it was the reggae vibe that was forcing DeAndre to dance like fire ants were crawling up his leg. I liked how he showcased his range on the song although I think his enunciation of the lyrics left something to be desired. I'm not sure I caught more than six words throughout his 90 seconds on stage. 

Skylar Laine

Where Do Broken Hearts Go?

I honestly couldn't be more in love with Skylar than I am just two weeks in to the season. I DON'T EVEN LIKE COUNTRY MUSIC! But I love this spunky songstress. She could have easily fallen prey to the song like Shannon did, but she really made it her own. Skylar took direction from Jimmy and Mary and it paid off. Mini Reba (that's what I'm calling her) ramped the song up so that her big notes at the end really shined. And she looked like a star throughout. I can't wait to see what else she does this season. 

Heejun Han

All in Love is Fair

Heejun cracks me up handing out signed pictures of himself. He's not going to win this competition, but he's not going to leave early either. His voice is good enough that he'll be around long enough to assure that a career in show business is inevitable. Can't you just see him doing red carpet interviews at all the major awards shows next year? 

Hollie Cavanagh

All The Man That I Need

If Hollie can show a little more personality, she can go far this year. She's got a huge voice (and in such a tiny body!). She tackled "All The Man I Need" with no problems. 

Jeremy Rosado

Ribbon in the Sky

Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy I fear that you may get the boot Wednesday night. This performance was just not memorable enough to eclipse the precariousness of his Wild Card slot. Jer Bear's voice is velvety smooth, but I don't think there was anything there to get people to pick up the phone this week when they didn't last week. 

Jessica Sanchez

I Will Always Love You

It's always daring to take on Whitney's signature song, but Jessica nailed it. She hit all the big notes she had to and stayed true to the song (a smart move post-Whitney's death). Jessica's is a voice to be reckoned with.  

Phillip Phillips


Truth be told, I'm sick of "Superstition" in all its various incarnations so I wasn't blown away by Phillip Phillips. Still, my poo-pooing of the song will not hurt him one bit. He is beloved. I'm just looking forward to a different theme night for him. 

Tonight, the judges will pick who stays and who goes among the bottom vote-getters for the guys and girls.  What do we think of this X-Factorish move? And who do you think will land in the danger zone? My money is on Erika Van Pelt and Jeremy Rosado with Jeremy getting the boot.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
March 08, 2012
There are only three "real" contenders. Jessica, Hollie and Philip. Joshua is WAY too one-dimensional. No shot to win. Early money is on Philip. Not because he's the best singer (that is Jessica), but because he is the best performer.
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