After last week's shocking result and the judges' save of Jessica Sanchez, there are still seven singers in the running for American Idol's top prize. However, the competition is heating up and as proven, anyone can go at any time.
Who will rise to the top during tonight's performance and who will fail to impress? Will Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler regret using their one save on Sanchez, or will she continue to prove her worth? Stay with Digital Spy live from 8/7c to find out!
21:58Well, that's it for tonight. Tomorrow, someone will definitely be going home - but who will it be? Join us at 8/7c to find out!
21:54It's the last performance of the night, thank God. Joshua is going to close the night by ruining Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Going To Come', and I guess we're meant to sit through it and then listen to the judges go nuts for it. I give up! He gets a standing ovation.
Steven applauds him for stretching his voice to the limit but still showing restraint. "Your voice just climbs inside of everyone and changes them for that moment," he adds. Uh, wrong. Jennifer loves that he comes out and holds back before letting go, leaving her wanting more. She also begs America not to send him home, but I'm begging you to do the opposite. Send him home, please, for the sake of my sanity. Randy thinks the song was perfect for him since he took his time with it, calling it "stellar".
21:46It's Skylar Laine, y'all! She's doing 'Heard It Through the Grapevine' and I love her and she's great and that's all that needs to be said. So there.
Randy thinks that tonight has been interesting, as Skylar has no problem "connecting and feeling" and doing what she does. He also says that every time she hits the stage, there's a party. I feel that! Jennifer agrees, adding that all the little girls in the audience relate to her and love her spunkiness. Steven calls her a "wild horse that refuses to be tamed" and leaves it at that... thank God.
21:43Jessica Sanchez takes on Otis Redding's 'Try a Little Tenderness' - again, expertly sung. Does she truly feel it? Eh, who can say. I'm feeling sort of exasperated at this point, if you couldn't tell.
Steven loves that she's "stepping out" to win people's hearts, since everyone already knows she can sing. Jennifer thinks that it's great Jessica showed her alter ego, but says that she has to continue to push herself as the competition goes forward in order to make her a winner. "Just the voice is not gonna do it," she adds. Randy pretty much agrees with the other two. The end.
21:33Performing Wilson Pickett's 'In The Midnight Hour', Phillip is back at it. Do I have to say anything about this? Does it matter?
Randy appreciates that he knows who he is and stays true to himself. Jennifer is also super sexually attracted to him again. Basically, everyone's saying the same thing that they said all along. Steven calls it "brilliantly awkward" and "beautiful", whatever that means. He adds that he loves his "character". Okay, Steven.
21:28Elise decides to sing the most stereotypical soul song there is - Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get It On'. Not doing herself any favours here, to be honest, but she does sing it well enough. I still can't get over how much she looks like Mariah Carey.
Jennifer has a lot of respect for Elise, but admits that she needs to show more emotion when she's singing in order to get America to connect with her more. Steven thinks it showed her versatility and "struck a note with every man across America", but he agrees that she needs to kick it up a notch and pick better songs to win people over. Randy says that Marvin Gaye's original was "so simple" and wishes that she let it "breathe and marinate" a bit more.
21:18Colton Dixon is singing 'September' by Earth, Wind and Fire, and he's back behind the piano where he belongs! The version is still very 'him' with a little Gavin DeGraw mixed in. I'm not sure why I said that 'cos it's not really true, it's just what came into my head, okay? It's pretty good, the girls will love it, end of.
Steven loves Colton's voice, but wishes that he picked a more powerful song to display it. Jennifer sort of agrees, saying that while he did a good job, the song wasn't the right choice for him and didn't come together the way things usually do for him. Randy admits that he would rather have seen a song that was way more out of his comfort zone as it wasn't as exciting as it should have been.
21:10Hollie is singing 'Son of a Preacher Man' - nice choice. It's not going to top her Adele performance tonight, but it's really solid. Hollie seems to have hit her stride, which is great! I've always really liked her and thought it was a shame to see her struggling in past weeks. Good for her!
Randy loves that she "dug in" for that performance, calling it "crazy" and applauding her for working it out. He even likes it better than the first round, which Jennifer agrees with. She appreciates that Hollie is showing a new composure which really suits her. Steven also sees that composure, and thinks that she can push it even more in future performances.
21:06Hollie's got a message from Liverpool Football Club, but Ryan needs her to "translate" what they said. Are Americans this clueless? (I ask as one myself - by birth, anyway.) Anyway, we're on to the soul round, now!
21:00Joshua Ledet, aka Mr 'I'm Over This Nonsense' 2012 (that's me being over him, not him being over anything - confusing, I know). He's singing Fantasia Barrino's 'I Believe". Terrible song, but then again, I find him nearly unbearable, so looks like a great pairing. Sure, he sings it "okay". He's "got a nice voice". Whatever.
Randy thinks he's one of the most gifted singers ever on the show and again appreciates that he "pulled back" and restrained himself with the song. Yeah, yeah. Jennifer feels blessed to watch him perform, saying it was "so amazing" to see the way he connects with the material. Steven calls the performance "another stepping stone" before he wins the competition. Uh, not going to happen, but nice try.
20:55Up next, my lil' country superstar Skylar Laine. Y'all know I love her cos I say it every week, just like I say 'y'all'. She's taking on Lady GaGa's 'Born This Way' - country style. Listen, it's not my favourite performance of hers, but I still like her. The key is a bit off - way too low for her for the entirety of the first verse - but once it picks up, it gets better.
Jennifer loves that version and believes that there was no more perfect song for her to sing. Steven is glad that she was "born that way", saying that she's giving all the other girls a run for their money since many voters love country and will support her. Randy agrees, adding that she has crossover appeal and is "so beyond ready" to him.
20:45Steven thinks that with talent like Jessica's, she has "the right to get mad at a song". He believes it was passionate and that America will certainly be won over. Jennifer loves the vulnerability of her youth, but thinks it's "insane" the way that she's able to play with the song "like she's juggling balls". Uh, okay. Randy stands behind their decision to keep her around, calling her talent "other-worldly" and saying that she probably doesn't know how good she is. I beg to differ on that one, Randy.
20:42It's time for Jessica Sanchez - please, hold your gasps and your gentle condolences for her troubled moment last week. It's all going to be okay, I promise. She's also singing Alicia Keys; 'Fallin' is the song. Jimmy wants her to feel the music so that she can have a big moment.
The actual performance is, as per usual, technically perfect but not so much in the whole 'feeling' department. No doubt she's an incredible singer - I can't even hate, here - but I sorta of wonder if her age isn't holding her back a bit, since she obviously lacks the life experience necessary to connect to many of these songs.
20:35The actual performance is staged as a mini singer-songwriter circle. I mean, listen, admittedly this is something I would have been swooning over at the age of 17 or so. Of course, now I'm older, wiser and a little too gay too appreciate it, I suppose, but it's sort of eye roll-inducing. Still, it gets him a standing ovation from the judges, so whatever.
Jennifer lets out an ear-shattering scream, but before she can talk, Steven says that he feels like "a chump" because he was fooled - turns out, Phil has melody and swagger. Who knew? Jennifer thinks it was "so sexy" and loves when he shows "that side" of him as it displays his versatility as an artist since he can sing any song. Randy smiles every week when he sees Phil because he feels like he's a "true artist" who always tries to be original and be himself.
20:32Look, guys, it's America's sweetheart Phillip Phillips! He's singing Usher's 'You Got It Bad', which could potentially be an interesting choice. Of course, he's doing it with his raspy, guitar-playing flair that's totally him, but who knows, it could work. You know what else works? The fact that a bajillion teenage girls are going to vote for him even if he burped the entirety of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'.
20:24Elise Testone has a lot of ground to make up for, since she keeps ending up in the bottom three. This week, she's singing Alicia Keys' 'No One'. Err, not really a great choice for her, I don't think, and I can't imagine she's going to end up anywhere but the bottom again tomorrow, to be honest. I do like her, mind - I just think this competition isn't for her. She sounds okay, it's just... eh, not the best.
Jennifer thinks that she does well "naturally" and "beautifully", saying that the song gave her goosebumps. She also appreciates that Elise's "eyes come alive" when she's singing. Steven loves her and her voice, but wishes that she would have chosen a song with a better chorus. However, he applauds her for "singing [her] little tooshie off". God help us all. Randy is a huge fan and thinks she sang a great song well, especially since she stayed with the original melody.
20:19Up next, Colton Dixon is singing Lady GaGa's 'Bad Romance' - in his own style, of course. Jimmy Iovine is nervous as to whether he can pull off such a big song and urges him to push himself, but it could go either way. I personally hate this rock remix of the song, but I do like Colton when he's behind his piano. Can't say he's not true to himself, though.
Randy feels like he was at a Colton Dixon concert and thinks that he is "so in the zone", even if this wasn't his greatest performance. He loves to see the interpretation of GaGa and believes it was "so smart". Jennifer finds it "exciting", saying that she loved certain points but felt lost during some of the lower parts. However, he has so much character that she doesn't think it matters.
"You've gotta get low to get high," Steven adds, saying that he finds it hard to pick his favourite part of the performance. He also utters some other mumbo jumbo that makes little to no sense, something about leaving the shore to reach another island or something. You know what he's like.
20:09Hollie actually has a great voice and those opening notes are killer, to be honest. I'm eating my words right now, guys - this is probably the best Adele cover I've seen on one of these competitions - and Lord knows they are plentiful. She seems more confident and pitch-wise, it's pretty near perfect, at least to my untrained ear. I'm a fan, for sure.
Steven is glad that she finally came out of her shell and took a song that everyone loves and did a perfect rendition of it. Jennifer is "so happy" and loves that she felt every word of the song. Randy thinks it was "close to perfect" as a few notes were off, but admits that he finally felt what she was singing for the first time. "Hollie, very well done!" he adds.
20:05The singers will be singing two songs tonight - one from the 2000s and another, a classic soul song. Interestingly enough, Hollie Cavanagh is up first and she's singing... Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep'. I mean, how many times do I have to tell these people to leave Adele the hell alone?
20:01Well, here we are again. Just in case you forgot about last week's "shocking" twist, some plinky piano music will play over a montage (which includes Jane Lynch in the audience displaying what can only be described as righteous indignation) of Jessica Sanchez's save. We even see Jessica watching the clip again herself back at the Idol mansion. Get your tissues, guys!