Teary-Eyed Contestants Sing Their Hearts Out on "American Idol" on March 28, 2012.
Who did well on performance night on March 28, 2012, on "American Idol"? Who is in jeopardy? Here's my take on the evening, with rankings and predictions.
- Sometimes I Cry
- Colton Dixon
- Skylar Laine
- Hollie Cavanagh
- DeAndre Brackensick
- Jessica Sanchez
- Elise Testone
- Heejun Han
- Phillip Phillips & Joshua Ledet
- Joshua Ledet
- Predictions: So, who’s going home tomorrow night?
Sometimes I Cry
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, Fox, 8 pm (ET) Deandre Brackensick, who sang fifth in tonight’s “American Idol” performance night, sang Eric Benet’s “Sometimes I Cry.” That song could have been used as the theme of tonight’s performances, with several of the remaining 9 contestants tearing up at key moments.
First up was Colton Dixon, who selected a LifeHouse song, and, after giving the females in the audience lyrics like, “You’re all I want, you’re all I need. How could it be any better than this?” (which Colton described as his “favorite worship song of all time”) he teared up a bit, to start the evening off. Steven Tyler declared, “You’ve got that star quality,” while Jennifer Lopez gushed, “You’re a performer. You’re amazing” and Randy---who has a genius for stating the obvious---said, “I think I could be looking at a contender for the title.” (Someone should clue Randy in that all the contestants are there because they are “contenders for the title.”)
Skylar Laine from Mississippi followed and selected a Miranda Lambert song. She had on the most horrible outfit I’ve seen this year: a black studded pleather motorcycle jacket with a weird asymmetrical top with a white border that emphasized exactly the areas that a short somewhat stocky performer like Skylar should be seeking to de-emphasize. The earrings for all the girls were so large that a wind might have taken any of them skyward. Jennifer praised Sklar’s “unbridled energy”, while Randy declared, “I loved it. It’s all about telling a story. You are a powerhouse singer.” Skylar’s outfit during her trio was just as bad a choice, but her enthusiastic performances remained typical for the country girl from the Southland.
Hollie Cavanagh probably received the least glowing reviews from the judges after she sang Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel.” She, too, teared up, saying that it was celebrity judge Stevie Nicks’ story of her mother’s recent passing that caused her to lose it. Steven Tyler said, “I just wish you’d have sung a different song. It was just okay for me.” I’m with Steven on this, and Randy pointed out some “pitchy moments” for Hollie. She looked lovely in an all –white dress with a silver necklace collar and her hair down, and the stage effects of fog and snow were equally effective, but it wasn’t Hollie’s best night.
Deandre Brackensick, as mentioned above, sang fifth, and selected an obscure song, despite the fact that Jimmy Iovine and Stevie Nicks pointed out that, “He’s one of the guys in jeopardy here.” Deandre chose to display his impressive falsetto range, but he selected a song (Eric Benet’s “Sometimes I Cry”) that was not that well known. Steven Tyler chose to say, “You gave Prince a run for his money” So beautiful” referencing the high runs in the song, and Jennifer Lopez used the word “Crazy” five times. Randy, in his usual bombastic fashion, said, “That’s who you are. Guess who else is back in the house!” I’d like to see Deandre resurrect some old BeeGees hits if he insists on singing in this high falsetto voice, but nevermind about that for now.
The final singer who did not do it for me tonight (to be followed by the “hits”) was Jessica Sanchez, undeniably one of the most vocally talented of the girls. Her song by Beyonce: meh. Jessica used a set with red doors and wore a dress with a train that was not her most attractive look (plus the de rigeur huge earrings). Although Steven Tyler dubbed the dress “beautiful” and Jennifer Lopez used words like “Beautiful. Gorgeous. Great performance,” for me, Jessica had an “off” night. I’d say that about all of those mentioned above.
So, who really hit the vocal ball out of the park on “American Idol” on March 28th?
They saved the best for last.
Elise Testone sang Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta’ Love’ and brought the house down. Steven Tyler told her, “You made Robert Plant proud.” Jennifer Lopez proclaimed that it was “some real rock star stuff” and Randy said, “An amazing job. Congrats!” Elise had a bit of an advantage in that she has sung the song with her own band previously. She also had the confidence of knowing that Stevie Nicks thought she was outstanding and said she would hire her right then, if she needed a singer, saying, “I don’t like to sing with just anyone.” Elise really brought the heat this night!
Heejun Han also did a nice job with his choice of the Donnie Hathaway song “I’m Singing This Song for You” and much talk of how he has turned his attitude around. The judges did give him a standing ovation, and Steven Tyler said, “You did it. You turned it around. That was great.” Jennifer Lopez remarked, “You don’t make it this far by mistake.” Randy praised Heejun’s “buttery, beautiful tone,” although noting that “it wasn’t perfect.” Heejun has been in the bottom three more than once, and, last week, he definitely pissed off Steven Tyler. Was his good job tonight enough to keep him from going home? We’ll know tomorrow (Thursday, March 29, 2012).
Phillip Phillips & Joshua Ledet
Two (of the four) best, for me, were Phillip Phillips and Joshua Ledet.
I happen to be a Johnny Lang fan (“Lie to Me” being my favorite) and have seen him in concert, so I did know his song “Look Out My Window,” and I loved what Phillip did with it. Phillip is always interesting and, as Stevie Nicks remarked, “He’s gorgeous.” That was right after Stevie told Phillip (who asked for her autograph), “You’re going to be a very big star.” Randy said, of Phillip’s performance, “That was a great performance. Amazing. I love you. I love the individuality. Big Props. You got big things in front of you.” To me, Phillip is a young version of Dave Matthews, so the Johnny Lang twist was appreciated
Joshua Ledet was also “on” tonight, singing Mariah Carey’s “Without You” (Harry Nillson version0 and doing it justice. Randy said, “Dude, I think that was flawless. It was emotional for you.” That comment was in reference to Joshua’s tearing up at the end of the song, which made the fourth contestant of the night (Colton, Hollie, DeAndre and Joshua) and the fifth standing “O” from the judges.
The contestants also formed trios to sing spirited versions of songs by Michael Jackson (Deandre/HeeJun and Joshua), Madonna (Skylar/Jessica and Hollie) and Fleetwood Mac (Colton/Elise and Phillip). These were very enjoyable, and I only wished that Skylar’s sweater didn’t hang below her white jacket, which stuck out and emphasized her generous posterior. The hat wasn’t working for me, either, but she sure is a spunky singer. And, after all, this is a singing competition. The other comment that amused me was Jennifer Lopez' mentioning that it was a good thing that the boys were not auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance?" Heejun was swaying one way, while the other two boys (DeAndre and Joshua) were swinging the other), but the vocals were good.
Predictions: So, who’s going home tomorrow night?
I'd put Phillip Phillips, Joshua Ledet, Elise Testone as “safe.” Heejun Han was good tonight, but did he do too much damage to his image last week and in prior weeks? Colton has a female fan club, (of which I am not a member), so they’ll probably phone him in. Skylar was her usual spirited self, although she had on horrible outfits; Hollie looked beautiful but made a few vocal gaffes. DeAndre did his falsetto schtick, which the judges seemed to love, but did the folks at home? And Jessica was lackluster. If Jessica Sanchez were to show up as the lowest vote getter, I believe the judges would use their once-in-a-season “save” for her.
If I were a betting woman, I’d stick with the two boys who have become regulars in the bottom three (Heejun and DeAndre) and throw in one of the girls who were off their game tonight, which means Hollie first and Jessica second, since her song didn’t receive as enthusiastic a reception as some of some others.
If they kick Elise Testone off after that performance, there is no justice.