“American Idol” had quite a tribute to Billy Joel this week — there were some moments that we loved, some moments that put us to sleep, and Heejun Han doing something that seemingly made Steven Tyler so irrationally disgusted that he wanted to storm off the stage (even if we kind of loved it).
Here’s the rundown of how the top 10 did over the course of the evening.
DeAndre Brackensick, “Only the Good Die Young” – We love this song, and we were actually really thrilled to see that DeAndre was singing it. The problem? We really didn’t think that he did much of anything with the song at all.
We will at least give DeAndre credit for looking like he was having time during the performance, but this is really half the battle on a show like this. You also have to perform! It was fun, but we have a feeling it will be forgotten over the course of the night.
Erika Van Pelt, “New York State of Mind” – First things first, Erika’s hair! Congratulations to Erika for trying to differentiate herself from all of the other blondes in this competition. We’re actually still debating what it resembles more — Kris Jenner or Charilze Theron’s version of “Aeon Flux.”
As for the performance, it was actually similar to DeAndre’s even though it was slow — it was good, but there was absolutely nothing special about it. What also worried us is that this is the fourth straight week that Erika has performed a slow song, and if it wasn’t for the hair people may have tuned her out.
Joshua Ledet, “She’s Got a Way” – Like Steven Tyler, we really weren’t familiar with that song. This is not to say that the song was a bad performance, but it was something that we really had to prepare ourselves to hear.
Vocally, there’s no question that Joshua once again threw every trick in the book into this performance — but we’re going to repeat what we said from last week in that we would like to see Joshua actually strip away some of the vocal fireworks. We know he can do that, but can he be vulnerable?
Skylar Laine – Wow. How else can we say this? Someone better start taking Skylar seriously as a threat to win this entire competition. We really think the judges just need to re-watch this one (especially after they give universal praise to less deserving contestants). Even though Skylar nailed this song emotionally, she still received mixed feedback.
Elise Testone – First things first, we have to applaud Elise for bringing up some music students on stage. Why? It may seem like just a small thing, but this gives her a much-needed dose of “remember me!” that some of the show’s younger viewers need. So far, the only thing really going against her has been that she doesn’t really appeal to the voting crowd.
While we’re still not sure Elise did herself any favors by singing “Vienna,” it was one of the better performances of the night at this point in the competition. Then again, though, we have to wonder why the show feels the need to put for straight ballads in the middle of the show.
Phillip Phillips – We’re really not feeling Phillip at the moment. While the judges may have praised him for sticking true to his roots, we’re not quite sure we agree about him opening throwing Tommy Hilfiger’s advice back in his face. Then, he also performed with his guitar despite being told not to.
We’re not sure if Phillip is just being himself or being arrogant, but his performance on “Moving On” really was not as special as it could have been. Then again, that may be because we spent so much time looking at his all-gray ensemble with a scowl on our face.
Hollie Cavanagh – How many ballads do we have to hear this week? As much as we love Hollie’s voice, we are starting to get a bit bored by her.
There wasn’t anything exciting about this performance thanks to it being yet another ballad, and it may actually be the worst one she has done. There were a few missed notes, and there also wasn’t that much of an emotional connection.
Heejun Han – It may sound strange, but we actually kind of loved this performance in a really bizarre sort of way — kind of in the same way we love watching the same episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” even though all of our friends say it’s a problem.
This was just so much fun! While his vocals may not be anywhere near the best, we’d much prefer Heejun dancing around in his street clothes to 2 million ballads by people unwilling to change their style around. If you loved Heejun, you’re going to love this. If you hate Heejun, get ready to see him another week regardless.
Jessica Sanchez – It’s a little unfair to Jessica, but we were still so distracted by Heejun gallivanting around the stage that her performance was a little overshadowed.
We will say this, though — from what we heard, it was incredible. The thing about Jessica is that she’s clearly a star, and she may be the safest bet this program has where there are so many people allowing themselves to be boxed in. She mixes things up, tries interesting song choices, and seems grateful every step of the way. Is she a winner? We’re thinking about it.
Colton Dixon – The best Colton has sounded in this competition. While he was a little screechy at times, this was completely authentic and may be the only song from this evening we could see ourselves watching on YouTube again and again.
While we don’t understand why the judges stood for Jessica and not for him, we really were touched by this. Is it Colton’s moment? Maybe — if nothing else, it does move him up a few places on the leaderboard.
What did you think about Billy Joel Week? As always, feel free to share your comments below and take our poll! As for who’s in danger, we are nervous for Erika, DeAndre, and Hollie — and yes, we still think that Heejun is going to be safe.