American Idol 2012: Top 8 Performances Recap

American Idol 2012 Skylar and Colton

Tonight the Top 8 took to the American Idol 2012 stage and performed songs from the 1980s. Each contestant sang individually once and a second time in duets.

It wasn’t as strong a night as last week, but it was still a pretty solid show. As always, I’ll review each performance and assign the letter grade that I believe each deserved.

Download the American Idol Top 8 studio performances now

In order of performance:

DeAndre Brackensick, “I Like It.” Again with the falsetto overload. I get it that he’s good at that. But if I want to listen to an entire song in falsetto, I’ll put on the Bee Gees. And even then, I’m all “no thank you.” There were a couple moments were we dipped into his lower range and I liked that. I wish he’d stay down there more. But as soon as I started digging it, he’d go back up and blow it for me. (C-)

Elise Testone, ” I Want To Know What Love Is.” I might still be on an Elise high from last week but I didn’t think her performance was bad at all. I think the judges were unfair to her and for someone like her who is on the cusp of being in the top or the bottom, I think they were too harsh. I even got the “goosies” during the chorus. So JLo, Randy and Steven can go (insert expletive here) themselves. (A-)

Skylar and Colton Duet, “Islands In The Stream.” OK, there’s something super cute about Skylar doing Dolly Parton, so I definitely enjoyed that. Overall though, it was kind of just OK. Colton and Skylar do have a decent chemistry, though. I guess I’ll grade the duets this week. (B+)

Phillip Phillips, “That’s All.” Phillip is a great singer and I’ve been accused of being a biased fan, so needless to say, I’ve given him good reviews so far. But this week I was actually a little bored. I’m ready for Phillip to do something different – just for the sake of the competition. I get it that he is who he is and he’s there for one reason only. I respect that immensely. But trying to branch out and embrace the competition is also important. (B+)

DeAndre and Hollie Duet, “I’m So Excited.” Eh. Uh. Hm. Yeah. No words. (C+). Edit, I watched it again because I was distracted at the time. It wasn’t as bad as I first thought (D), but I was still pretty bored with it and annoyed by DeAndre’s over-singing.

Joshua Ledet, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” Talk about time for a change. Phillip has nothing on this guy. Joshua is a phenomenal singer. Plain and simple. But for the sake of everything great, CALM DOWN for five minutes. Give us a softer side or something. I’ve been into all of his performances so far, but this one just didn’t do it for me. He still did some amazing things with the song, but it really didn’t need all those runs and growls.  (B-)

Jessica Sanchez, “How Will I know.” Whitney again? I guess that’s OK. Jessica’s performance definitely stayed the most true to the 1980s theme. The song choice and arrangement was just right for the theme. And on top of that, I believed Jessica this week. She was connecting with the audience and smiling and enjoying herself. All while delivering a top-notch vocal. This is what I’ve been asking for. I’ve been rudely attacked by her fans the past couple weeks (for not even bad reviews, mind you), when all I wanted was a more playful and happy Jessica. She gave us that this week. Let’s hope it continues. (A)

Elise and Phillip Duet, “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.” OK, I take back my iffy review on Phillip. He redeemed himself here. And not that she needed to redeem herself to me, but Elise had some redemption of her own. The judges loved her vibe on this one, as did I. Great duet. (A)

Hollie Cavanagh, “What A Feeling.” At first I thought this was just what Hollie needed. She needed to step things up, drop the ballads, and get back in the game. But it didn’t’ turn out that way. I’ve always thought Hollie was a great singer, but tonight I started to see what others have apparently been seeing. It just didn’t’ work out for her. And that’s sad because she has a great voice. (C+)

Joshua and Jessica Duet, “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.” I don’t even know this song, but I want to know it now. Joshua and Jessica were amazing. Easily the best duet of the night. Joshua was in a better zone and Jessica, though a little stuffy again, nailed the vocals. (A+)

Colton Dixon, “Time After Time.” I felt like Colton’s performance sounded too familiar (and he later admitted to ripping it off so I know I’m not crazy). I didn’t think it was a bad performance, I just thought it sounded like every guy band from around 2003 (Blink 182, Simple Plan, etc.), yet the judges called him current and unique. I think his sound is “so 10 years ago,” honestly. I think he’s a great singer and musician, but I think he’s getting a bit overrated by the judges. (B+)

Skylar Laine, “Wind Beneath My Wings.” When I heard someone was doing this song, I think I reacted the way everyone else did. I was like “Really? This?” I was certain it would be lame no matter who performed it. But Skylar freaking killed it. She was a little nasally, but she was crazy good. I saw a lot of Reba in her tonight and that’s pretty cool I think. So, take that America and your Bottom 3. (A+)

And now we get to the part that always confuses people so much that I should just stop writing about it. Haha. I’m going to PREDICT what might happen tomorrow night based ONLY on how I think America’s votes MIGHT play out. These are not my personal opinions. I’m just going on about eight seasons of watching American Idol and learning voting patterns and trends and what not. So if I gave someone up there an A but still think they’re in the Bottom 3, don’t call me an idiot. These predictions have nothing to do with my grades. Shew. I think I finally explained that well enough. Or did I? Haha.

  • 100 Percent Safe: Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips, Colton Dixon
  • Most Likely Safe: Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine
  • Possibly the Bottom 3: Hollie Cavanagh, DeAndre Brackensick, Elise Testone
  • Possibly Going Home: Hollie Cavangah
  • Will the judges use their save if it’s Hollie? No.

My Thinking: OK, I think Skylar did something that will save her from the Bottom 3 this week. And I think the judges cutting on Elise will put her back down there. Whether it’s Skylar or Elise in the bottom 3, I don’t think either of them are at risk of leaving this week. I think that’s most likely going to be Hollie or even DeAndre. And I don’t think the judges will save Hollie. They could save DeAndre though, because they like him a lot.

There’s one more scenario that just popped in my head. Elise could have picked up a lot of fans last week. Enough to keep her out of the bottom, which could push Joshua down there. Just a thought.

What did you think of the performances and how do you think the votes will play out Thursday night?