It's getting down to the wire on American Idol's 11th season - with only six contestants left, it's anyone's guess and the hopefuls will have to work extra hard for America's votes. Tonight, they'll get two chances to impress, taking on one of Queen's greatest hits as well as a song of their own choosing.
Who will be the star of the show? Will the usual suspects win over judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler, or will some old favourites fall flat? Stay with Digital Spy live from 8/7c to find out!
21:59Well, that's it for tonight. Tomorrow night, someone is going to head home. I think Hollie and Elise will end up in the bottom two. To find out if I'm right, join us tomorrow night (April 26) at 8/7c to find out!
21:53Randy loves it, saying that she was the Hollie they all love and calling it "beautiful" and the perfect song for her. Jennifer is glad that she stepped it up and did a great job of it. Steven does an Australian accent (uh, whatever) but also thinks it was great, adding, "Good for you."
Next, Hollie - who people make fun of for her Liverpool accent - gets to sing Miley Cyrus's 'The Climb'. How many times have we heard this sung on this show (and every other)? I do like it - and she sounds fantastic, even if she does fall short in the performance aspect in comparison to some of her fellow competitors. I feel like Hollie's journey is coming to a very swift end, which is a shame because I've always really liked her.
21:44Steven thinks it was "very entertaining and very off-the-wall", saying that Phillip found his niche. Well, I'd say it. Jennifer thinks it was a little too obscure and artsy for this point in the competition, which makes her a little bit scared. Randy disagrees with Jennifer, saying that he showed his true colours once again - he's an artist and will never be anything else. Right. We get it.
Next, Phillip catches stick for his unattractive singing faces - LOL to that. He's singing... Dave Matthews Band. Seriously. It's 'The Stone'. Does he not care that he's constantly compared to them? I suppose not. Now he just sounds like a carbon copy and it takes away his "originality" (which I never thought he had much of), which is not really a good look. It sounds fine - if you close your eyes, you'd probably think it actually was Dave Matthews.
21:37Steven loves the Janis Joplin in Elise, but thinks that she needs to pick songs that everyone knows. Jennifer agrees, but thinks that she slayed the song so much that it didn't even matter. She also appreciates Elise's interpretation and calls her one of the best singers in the competition.
Randy is a fan of both Hendrix and Elise but thinks it was the wrong song for this point in the competition, saying that she attacked the track when it could have been kept simple.
Elise Testone is hitting the stage next - she's taking on Jimi Hendrix's 'Bold As Love' - not sure about this song choice. It's in her wheelhouse, sure, but the song structure doesn't really allows her to do much with her voice with it. Good for her for sticking with the type of tracks she's comfortable with. She does get to hit some more interesting bits in the second verse but I predict a bottom two for her tomorrow - unfair but true.
21:28He gets a standing ovation for the performance - unwarranted, but whatever. Randy doesn't even know what to say anymore (that makes two of us) but thinks it was an "unbelievable" performance (that makes one of us). "Beautiful!" he adds. Jennifer is also speechless but finally calls it "transcendent" because he snaps everyone to reailty, a real gift for an artist. Steven "goes off into another place" when he sings and can "smell the finish line" for Josh, claiming that he'll have a super successful career.
Next up, Joshua Ledet. You'll have to forgive me if I don't type much about him. Apparently he screams all the time, according to his fellow finalists. Right, so he screams offstage, too. Anyway, he's singing India Arie's 'Ready For Love', which is a great song. He's actually toning it down a little for this one so far, so I don't hate it as much as I usually do... so long as it stays that way.
21:17Randy is full of praise, saying that he's a "ginormous fan" of Skylar and loves her range and how fearless she is in every one of her fun performances. Jennifer says that seeing how comfortable she is makes it great to watch. "You took us there again!" she adds. Steven agrees with the others, though he admits that he missed the "flair" she puts in other performances, even though she can "do nothing wrong".
Up next, it's Skylar's turn - she's singing Jason Aldean's 'Tattoos On This Town' and she's playing the guitar and she's great and SOMEONE GIVE HER A RECORD DEAL. Sorry, I can't type anymore, I just wanna watch her be awesome.
21:12Jennifer thinks it was the best performance of the song ever given on the show, citing the tenderness, the feeling and her vocal ability as things that made it a stand-out performance.
Steven insists that Jessica could never sing a song "bad", saying that it "touches on Whitney, but has its own thing going on". He adds that it's an honour to watch her unfold her wings week after week. Randy is amazed at her talent - along with the rest of the Top 6 - applauding Jessica for being such a natural.
Time for round two - contestants' choice. Jessica is singing Luther Vandross's 'Dance with My Father' tonight, since her dad was recently deployed overseas. I don't know, guys - Jessica seems to have lost a little of her mojo, so to speak. This is supposed to be incredibly moving and beautiful and while yes, it is well-sung technically speaking, it leaves a lot to be desired. I don't feel anything, I just feel like I should be feeling something that I'm not. No thanks.
20:59Steven loves that she picked a Queen song with a strong melody and thinks that she did a good job with it. Jennifer felt her get emotional in the middle and says that while she'll always sound good, it went off a little bit in the middle and she wished she would have seen more from Hollie in terms of enjoying it.
Randy also thinks it was good - which happens a lot for her - but wanted her not to hold back so much so that she could have a "moment" that shows off the fact that she could actually win.
Hollie Cavanagh is the last to sing her Queen track - she's picked 'Save Me'. I don't know this song, and I don't know why she's dressed like she's a 35-year-old Home Shopping Network presenter, but I do love Hollie. Unfortunately, this performance is super bland - a definite step back from last week, I think, and she just may find herself in the bottom two again this week.
20:49Steven starts talking all kinds of nonsense before getting to saying that he likes seeing Phillip "get all outta breath" (???) because it shows "character that no one else has". Okay. Jennifer appreciates that Phillip gives things "a different flavour" and shows a different side of himself every week. Randy likes it but doesn't love it, saying it was "good" and leaving it at that.
Time for America's heartthrob (that's a thing, right?) Phillip Phillips to take on 'Fat Bottomed Girls'. Why am I not at all surprised that he chose this song? I'm sorta over his contrived raspiness, I must admit. We get it, you're a "real artist", but you don't need to look constipated every time you sing so much as the most basic note. I don't think much of this performance. He sounds like he's yelling and it's reminiscent of a small-town karaoke bar.
20:41Steven says that Elise found her stride and sang it like the classical song it was - he really enjoyed it. Jennifer agrees that she was in her element and calls it natural and sexy. "The whole thing just came together on that one for you," she adds.
Randy is also wowed, dubbing it "unbelievable" and applauding her for picking a song that allows her to do several different things with her voice. He believes it was brilliant and one of her best performances to date.
Moving on, Elise Testone is taking on 'I Want It All'. Now here's a great singer - despite her lack of popularity. She sounds great. It's nothing mindblowing, mind, but she's a solid performer and is in her element with this type of music, so I dig it. She plays around with the notes, making some of them softer and prettier and then letting out her signature rasp. It's quite good.
20:37Because apparently we're listening to two different things, Steven and Randy give him a standing ovation. Randy calls it "unbelievable", saying that it had everything - vocals, performance, charisma, etc. To each his own, I suppose. He also compares him to Sam Cooke, which I think is a disgrace.
Jennifer loves all the singers in the competition but Joshua is her favourite part of the show because she always knows she'll get an inspiring vocal and great performance. Steven thinks that he has a "classic style" that sounds like nobody else. Thank God.
Joshua Ledet is singing 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'. I hate it. I'm over him, I'm over this scream-singing, the song doesn't suit him, etc. It just doesn't work at all. I don't even want to type any more about it, that's how much I dislike it.
20:28Steven thinks it was "over the top" in the best way, as Skylar had a bit of shine, as well as lots of energy and passion. "That was fabulous!" he adds. Jennifer has goosebumps, calling it "crazy" and "powerful" that she's capable of such a performance at a young age, articulating every point of the story and feeling every word. Randy calls it "incredible", naming it as one of her best performance and applauding her for being effortless.
Skylar Laine is up next, y'all! She's singing 'The Show Must Go On' - great pick. Listen, I'm going to come out and say it. I want Skylar to win, okay? I think she's fantastic and I love her. Also, she wrote a song called 'Diamond-Studded Pistol', which is not only hilarious but probably really amazing, too. This performance is great, she's great, end of.
20:18Steven thinks that Freddie Mercury would have been proud to hear that, even though rock isn't Jessica's forte. Jennifer thinks that she sounded beautiful but went into the rockier side, it fell flat because it needed more in the performance side. However, she feels it was an overall great effort. Randy loved it because she used great restraint and changed her usual approach to music. However, he advises her to channel Tina Turner when looking to do such big performances in the future.
Up first, Jessica Sanchez is singing 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. I kill this in Guitar Hero, for the record. She's singing it well enough, but... something is totally missing from past weeks and I don't like this at all. Totally wrong song choice, I think. Plus, Idol is pulling some hokey black and white screen effect... and then exploding into colour on the bridge. Snoozeville.
20:11'We Are the Champions' and 'We Will Rock' you were included in the medley, which, admittedly, could have gone worse.
20:06Roger Taylor and Brian May are playing alongside the Top 6 as they perform a medley of some of Queen's biggest hits. They actually sound good in the opening notes.
20:04Oh, and in case you care about Queen (or think you might), it's time for a little history lesson from Idol! And no one get your pants in a twist in the comments, either - I get how important Queen is for music, blah blah. It just seems off-kilter with the Idol vibe. But Brian May seemed more than willing to sit down with the finalists for a pep talk, so whatever.
20:03It's Top 6 time, y'all! (Getting ready for Skylar's performance, obviously!) It should be... well, no, I'm not even going to say interesting. Why a Queen night every single year? Why? Queen was alright, sure, but are there not a million other artists they could pick to dedicate a night to? On another note, J.Lo is dressed in head-to-toe gold - some sort of sequined tracksuit - and I'm both confused and intrigued by it.