'American Idol' Season 11, Episode 25 Recap - 'Top 8 Perform'
It's 80's Week (because apparently Billy Idol week didn't count enough as 80's Week), which means that Heejun Han gets his "in memoriam" video with the font from Grand Theft Auto Vice City. Leave it to a show with this level of depth and thoughtfulness to reduce a decade to a font.
So Heejun, the lone beacon of levity in this way-too-serious show, is gone. Get ready for even more bad jokes from Seacrest. It seems that each week, we're going to have a ridiculous picture of Randy Jackson on the screen.
Seacrest says that this week's 80's theme will be bringing many of us back to "the days of our high school prom," as if the audience for this show wasn't mostly made up of 13-year-old girls. Most of your viewers weren't even in utero, buddy.
DeAndre is up first for his solo performance, and he's a bit taken aback by guest mentor Gwen Stefani. He's singing "I Like It" by Debarge, because it goes really high. Surprise. Gwen tells him he looks worried all the time. He looks a little more confident during the performance, which starts in the audience. DeAndre gives an emphatic high five to producer Nigel Lythgoe, who is really getting down to this song. So far, I have counted five hair tosses and two hair flips. Oh, right, the singing: yeah, it's not bad.
The judges love it! Jennifer notes that it was "very natural," and loved all the hair work. They give feedback on the important stuff, you know? DeAndre tries to say "double-edged sword" but stumbles, and Seacrest either thinks he said "dull-edged sword" or is calling attention to the stumble and being an asshole.
Elise will be the next one up, doing "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, or "I Wanna Feel What Love Is" by Foreigner. Gwen loves her, and they all decide to opt for the Foreigner song. The performance is good, because Elise is good, but she gets drowned out a bit by all the backup singers. "Hallelujah" may have been the better choice.
The judges kinda love it! Steven doesn't think it was the best song choice. Randy thinks it was pitchy, which I didn't hear. As if Elise needed the help getting to the bottom three.
Oh fantastic. Colton and Skylar are here to sing "Islands in the Stream"... the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton song. I guess Skylar gets home field advantage on this duet. Honestly, it's kinda weird to see just the two of them on stage together. Odd pairing.
The judges love it! JLo thinks Colton was "the perfect partner" and Steven says it was "a match made in heaven." Meh. The harmonies were spot on, though.
Phillip is up next, taking on "That's All" by Genesis. He's clearly unprepared at first, but Gwen has faith in him, mostly because he's ever so dreamy. The performance is very Phillip, which is to say there isn't much to differentiate it from previous performances. He also has his brother in law up there with him, which is nice.
The judges love it! Steven says "you're just a wildflower, aren't you?" to which Phillip replies "I dunno." Ha.
Hollie and DeAndre are doing a little Pointer Sisters, because this is something that needed to happen. Better idea: cut the show down to one out and get rid of these duets, which end up not having any bearing on the competition. Also, anybody having "Saved By the Bell" flashbacks with this "I'm So Excited" business.
Joshua will be singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Simply Red. If Jimmy is to be trusted, it's going to be very impressive. Sure enough, it has a nice build, some of that trademark Joshua wailing, and a really high note. He doesn't cry this time, but it was still pretty nuts.
The judges love it! JLo notes how Joshua held back at first and let the song build, which was one of the best things about it.
The only person who could follow that is Jessica, who will be singing "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston. Apparently Jessica has an alter ego named "B B Chez" or something. Stop it. You're better than this. Gwen knows that Jessica is a great singer, but tells her to find some moves on stage that are less lounge-singer-ish. Dunno if she took that note, but she definitely gave a strong vocal performance.
The judges love it! Steven says "everything you do is beautiful," and come to think of it I'm not sure Jessica has ever gotten a negative note. Ever.
Elise and Phillip are up now to duet on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," presumably with the blessing of last week's guest mentor Stevie Nicks. It's a good pairing. Phillip looks very uncomfortable without his guitar.
The judges love it! Why wouldn't they? This song has nothing to do with the competition!
Hollie time, and she's doing "What a Feeling," a song that Jimmy never liked, and apparently he passed on the soundtrack. Oops. Hollie's note is that she needs to be less technical and feel it more, which is the same note that she's had for the entire competition, so we'll see if she finally takes it... nope. Granted, she may have been thrown off by the awkward technical difficulties, but not her best.
The judges don't love it! Steve notes on her pitch, which was definitely erratic. JLo says she has to "release" and "let go" when she gets up on stage.
Joshua and Jessica will be doing "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. Of course they pretty much kill it, because they're Jessica and Joshua. If there were a God, this would be a preview of our finals.
The judges love it! Randy name drops Aretha and George and how he worked with them on this song. JLo calls it a "dream pairing" and says "Final? Maybe?"
Colton is up next to do "Time After Time," which seems like an odd choice, which Gwen agrees with, but also says that he kills it. She also sings harmony with him. The performance isn't bad, but it isn't all that Gwen made it out to be until it gets to the breakdown with just Colton and the drums, which is kinda cool. The thing about Colton, though, is he knows how to perform, use the stage, and look like he belongs up there.
The judges love it! Steven thinks Colton could do a record right now, and loved the drummer. JLo notes that he was in sync with the band and used the stage well.
Last up is Skylar, who it looks like will end up doing "Wind Beneath My Wings" after she pulls it out in rehearsals and impresses Jimmy and Gwen. I'm surprised, because I don't think ballads are really Skylar's strong suit, but she does a pretty good job with it, despite the ridiculous CGI eagle on the screen behind her. Good lord.
The judges love it! Randy says he thinks it was her "best performance to date," and tells her to "be all you can be." Is Randy a recruiter for the Army from the 90's now?
The judges aren't sayng who they think are in trouble anymore, nor are they picking out favorites, so here's what I think, because I matter, dammit: Hollie is clearly in trouble, and probably should have been gone last week. Elise is in trouble because of the bad feedback, but can hopefully hang on and get past Hollie. As for the third in the bottom three, it could be anybody... DeAndre would be my best bet, as people don't seem to be on Team Skylar so much this year, but she was probably helped by going last.
Who do you think will be in the bottom three tomorrow?