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American Idol 11, April 11: Perfect?Page 2
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Only Hollie could turn what was pretty much already a ballad into even more of a ballad. It’s an unplugged version with just her and a guy on guitar. That guy looks a lot like James Durbin, by the way. The song is slowed down way too much; it feels like it’s dragging. And though Hollie sounds good, I don’t think this is enough for her.
Jen feels Hollie fighting. She sang beautifully and should be proud of herself. That sounds like a goodbye to me. Steven says it’s not that important to be perfect. That also sounds like a goodbye. Randy laughs nervously, saying it’s very quiet in the auditorium. The performance wasn’t perfect, but Hollie redeemed herself from last week.
Ryan asks Hollie what she was thinking just before she started singing. “Don’t mess up,” she replies. Makes sense to me.
Everyone loves Phillip. Enough said. He misses his family’s pawn shop, but he’d rather be here.
Phillip’s song is “Give a Little More” by Maroon Five. Jimmy doesn’t like his arrangement at first. I think Jimmy’s still bitter about… everything, really. He doesn’t want Phillip to be different just for the sake of being different. Jimmy tells Phillip it’s between him and Colton, and Colton may be ahead. Phillip really, really doesn’t care.
I thought I didn’t know this song, but when Phillip hits the chorus, I realize I do. It’s perfect for him. It doesn’t really sound current, though. Not that Phillip’s been known for doing current songs or current arrangements of songs.
Steven thinks that the more Phillip takes things seriously, the more he hits the notes. Or something. I think that’s what he said. Phillip looks like a Johnny Cash/Steve McQueen-type guy. Jen agrees with that part, but she thinks the performance was underwhelming. She wants to see Phillip break out and show all that he is. This wasn’t everything she knows he can give. Randy’s with Jen; this wasn’t Phillip’s best performance. He liked how the song started, but not when it got normal. Heh. Don’t be normal, Phillip!
Hollie, Jessica, and Joshua team up to sing “Stronger” by the original Idol herself, Kelly Clarkson. Their video package is all about how close Joshua and Hollie are. Jessica says it’s strange. I think she feels a little left out.
The song is… Okay. Joshua sounds good. Jessica sounds off. Hollie sounds like Hollie. The harmonies sound awful. It’s surprising, since Joshua and Jessica were great together last week. Their voices just don’t blend well here. Things don’t come together until the bridge.
Jen tells us what we already know: This is “the season of the big voice.” The performance was amazing. Steven thinks it was beautiful. Randy likes this trio; they all sounded good. Give me what these guys are on. Randy would give the edge to Joshua.
Ryan chats with Elise about Easter, the gang’s first day off. She and her mom went to see Jeff Who Lives at Home. She wondered if Jason Segel ever watches her. Well, of course. He greets her in a video. Ryan claims that Jason just sent that in a few minutes ago. And he was sitting around in a tux, apparently.
A friend of Elise’s made a tutorial video on how to vote for her, and we get to see part of it. The bits we see are funny. She’s singing “U and I” by Lady Gaga. Good choice. Akon’s frustrated by her in rehearsal since she wants to play drums. He tells her to just kill it. Jimmy notes that Elise did well but landed in the bottom three. She thinks she let go too much. He wants her to improvise in rehearsal because something could happen that she decides to do in her performance.
Instead of drums, Elise plays the piano on the first verse. It’s a pretty good performance, but I feel like it’s lacking something. Maybe she’s trying too hard. Parts of it feel rushed. It just seems a little messy. I don’t think it’ll keep Elise out of the bottom three.
Randy says Elise is back. But… where did she go? He thinks this was the perfect song for her and the perfect vocal. He wants America to know that Elise is talented. We know, Randy. Jen says Elise did exactly what she wanted to do – she let go but also kept control. No one can sing like her. There’s a reason she got the finale spot. Steven says this was genius; Elise did it again.
After the recap, Ryan asks the judges if these are the “lanes” the singers might take in their careers. Randy approves of that. Skylar could have a hit with her song. Basically everyone was good. Jen likes that they did current songs. Steven says they’re falling into their own niches. The songs picked them this time.
Ryan asks how the judges score the singers now: on tonight or their whole run? Jen says people have favorites and will probably stick with them, unless someone had a spectacular night. That’s why the judges push them to have bigger moments. Randy notes that consistency is really important now. A song doesn’t have to be really popular; the singers just have to perform it well. It’s about being great in every performance. Steven says they need to crawl into America’s hearts. That sounds dangerous and creepy.
Who are the judges worried about? Jen worries about everyone. Steven doesn’t answer. Randy says it’s impossible to know what will happen, so people need to vote for their favorites.
Predictions: Hollie and Elise in the bottom three, maybe with Jessica, if her fan base lags.
Tomorrow: James Durbin (hey, what a coincidence!) and Jennifer Hudson. Ooh, good lineup.
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Jenn Brasler, an associate editor of Reality News Online and a writer/book enthusiast/secret spy from Falls Church, Virginia, has e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org),Twitter (@jennb47), and a blog about ‘90s YA books and TV shows (‘90s Flashback). She wishes Jason Segel would send her a video message.
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