American Idol 2012: Top 10 Performances Recap

Colton Dixon Piano Man

Tonight the American Idol 2012 Top 10 took on songs by Billy Joel, and I must say, this week was scores better than last week.

Aside from the bad advice from Diddy and Tommy Hilfiger, that is. American Idol should stick to the usual stylist and let Jimmy Iovine do all the mentoring by himself.

As always, I’ll review each performance and assign the letter grade that I think each deserved. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section below.

DeAndre Brackensick, “Only The Good Die Young.” Was it just me or did he forge half the lyrics? Maybe he just doesn’t sing clearly? At any rate, I felt like he didn’t know the song and I wasn’t impressed by any of it. He had a couple of OK moments, but not enough to make it national-TV worthy. (C-)

Erika Van Pelt, “New York State of Mind.” First of all, A+ on the hair. Erika basically reinvented herself tonight. From her makeover to her performance, she might be able to shake those close calls she’s had the past couple weeks. I thought she handled the song beautifully. Could her drastic makeover cost her votes? I’d hope not. If anything, I’d think she could earn a few more from it. (A)

Joshua Ledet, “She’s Got A Way.” Joshua had a weird, slow start and it took him a while to get anywhere with the song, but when he did finally get there he did great things with it. He might want to consider chaining things up a bit, though. He’s starting to sound bit like a broken record. (B+)

Skylar Laine, “Shameless.” I never realized this song was the same song that Garth Brooks had done until she started singing. Had I known, I surely would’ve picked this song for her. It was the right song for her for sure. And after a shaky start, she handled it well. One of the best things about Skylar is that she has a great connect with her audience. Next time she sings, look at her eyes. It’s as if she’s connected to everyone in there. That’s a gift. (B+)

Elise Testone, “Vienna.” Not that it matters to anyone, but this is my favorite Billy Joel song. I’m so glad someone sang it. And Elise did wonderful things with it. She’s a really good singer and I hope voters realize that. There were a couple times where she should have pulled back a little, but I get why she didn’t. She’s got to give it everything she’s got just to grab a couple votes from all the girls texting in for Colton and Phillip. (A-)

Phillip Phillips, “Moing Out.” This was one of the coolest arrangements I’ve ever heard on Idol. Ever. It’s right up there with David Cook’s version of “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey. Phillip’s performance was flawless. He’s gold. (A++)

Hollie Cavanagh, “Honesty.” Let’s see. Last week she dresses like 50 year old and this week she dresses like a 65 year old. I think that might be the wrong direction. But who cares about that. She’s a great singer. And even though I didn’t hear the “pitchy” issues the judges did, I was a tiny bit bored. But I can find nothing wrong with her singing at all. (A)

Heejun Han, “My Life.” OK, Heejun should get an A just for pulling Tommy Hilfiger’s chain. And even though he was going for laughs with his performance, I thought the Hilfiger bit was funnier. I’m actually kind of offended at how much of a joke he’s making it all out to be. All I can think of is how much better Reid Grimm would’ve been in his place. Oh well. America will tire of his antics eventually. (F)

Jessica Sanchez, “Everybody Has A Dream.” Yes they do. I actually had a dream during this performance because I was that bored! I was SO bored during this performance. She’s got the technical skills, but there’s some disconnect she has in there. I’m just not getting a connection with her. Maybe it’s that her voice has little soul. I can’t figure it out. But that’s fine because I’m apparently the only one who feels that way about her. (B+)

Colton Dixon, “Piano Man.” Pimp spot. Pimp song. Lucky Colton. Basically who ever ended up with the honor of this song was going to do great things. It’s Billy Joel’s signature song. But Colton was the one who owned it tonight. Sure it was all very predictable (right down to Colton saying God was coursing through his veins) but he sang the hell out of it (no pun intended). Colton is a great artist. (A+)

Now it’s time to figure out who is safe and who isn’t. Please keep in mind that these predictions are based only on how I think America’s votes might play out. These are not my personal opinions (because if they were, I’d end up saying Heejun should be sent home).

100 Percent Safe: Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez

Most Likely Safe: Skylar Laine, Holly Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han

Possibly the Bottom Three: DeAndre Brackensick, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt

Possibly Going Home: DeAndre Brackensick

My Thinking: While I don’t think Erika or Elise deserve to be in the Bottom 3, I think that’s the way it will play out. BUT I don’t think they’ll have anything to worry about because I think this might be it for Deandre. If not Deandre, than probably Erika. There’s a chance that the judges could use the save on her, though. If Elise is the one with the least votes, then the judges will definitely use the save on her. Deandre, however, probably doesn’t stand a chance to get the judges’ save.

I hope I’m wrong about Elise or Erika and America decides Heejun should start warming the Bottom 3 seats. But I’m doubtful.

What did you think of the performances? What do you think will happen tomorrow night?