We start out this week mourning the loss of Milli Vanilli, but somehow the final seven find a way to carry on. Each week, these intros reflecting on the latest casualty are getting more and more melodramatic. It’s not like the boy died, his hair will go on! OHRS descends the Hasbro’s slippery steps and the audience is going extra crazy, but certainly not for the shameless Tommy Hilfiger plugging. After those two minutes of obscurity, we get on with the show, music from 2010 to today, so in other words, songs these kids actually know. Akon is our guest mentor this week and we will get a view of the Idols’ hometowns.
We start in Mississippi, which is where Skylar hails from. Her granpaw can’t wait until she gets home so they can kill dat big deer! Skylar is taking on a Kellie Pickler song “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You?” Jimmy is a bit hesitant at first but she blows the roof off the dump in rehearsal. Akon calls her voice “F*ckin’ stupid”, but in a good way. Kinda like when bad means good. Skylar decides to play the guitar for her performance and she does a pretty good job, but I think she should have forgone the guitar. DAWG said it was so in her wheelhouse, crazy hot, crazy good. JHO said the pitch was perfect and Steven says “the crows may crow, but the hens deliver the goods”. Way to start the night. Cluck, cluck, cluck…
Tennessee is the next stop where Colton hangs his hat. He is going to sing “Love the Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey. Jimmy says “it’s you against Phillip, let’s cut the shit”. Colton doesn’t like Jimmy’s comparison one bit, so he has to think outside the box. Unfortunately, this was very reminiscent of his “Piano Man” performance, so in essence, he did not find his way outside of the prom invitation box. It was okay, but not the “game changer” that Colton hoped for. It looked like Steven was going to stand, but his mangled toes kept him grounded. JHO felt he did the song his way, it was very “Colton”. Steven admired his jacket and said his perf was record-ready. DAWG liked the subtlety of the performance.
Elise and Dave Matthews are teaming up for another duet on “Somebody That I Used to Know”. Sidebar: Elise looks unusually orange tonight, someone set the spray tan gun to “Snooki”. Steven loves the song and loved their rendition, JHO tries to politely say that Elise kicked the shit out of it and Phillip, just kinda laid there. (Yes, I realize my inappropriateness). DAWG gives the round to Elise.
BB Chez is up next and we visit California to see all of her fanfare. The song choice is “Stuttering” by Jasmine Sullivan. Jimmy tells her a story about Akon predicting that Jessica was “the one”, he said “feed her a few more hamburgers, and she’s ready to go”. Whatever that means, probably that he would like to see more junk in the trunk. She is an amazing singer and once again delivers a great perf. DAWG will love the skatting. DAWG jumps in first and said she set the bar really high, superb. He says she “slayed the biggest fish of the night.” Are fish really slayed? JHO wants her to take us on a “Joshua” kind of ride. Steven has forgotten where he is again. OHRS comments on the “fish slayer” feedback and DAWG clarifies that she took down a whale and Steven pipes up “dragon slayer”. Yea yea…stay in your lane homeboy…Steven’s got this.
Mantasia is celebrating his 20th birthday and OHRS has a surprise video from Fantasia for him. She is in what appears to be a studio, to make it look like she is still actually a working performer. Louisiana is Josh’s home state and the whole town is wearing “Team Josh” tee shirts. He will sing “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars. It’s good to see him do something up tempo, but the 60’s mod vibe doesn’t seem to really suit him. It must have sounded better in person because he gets the first standing O of the night. Steven said it was a work of art and he pushed Josh to get a phone number from the 6’ tall backup dancer. JHO labeled him as a true performer and DAWG says he is in the zone and he has gotta have it. I say it looks like Josh’s pants were a wee bit too tight.
Colton and Skylar are duetting again and little Skylar must have missed her mark because she is wandering around on the stage behind OHRS before the Fox intern grabs the cane and yanks her out of sight. They will sing “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, but first they confirm that there is no romance between the two of them. They do an okay job, but I think Skylar took the round. Steven basically says they had “sing sex”. Please the girl would snap him in half like the little turd-stick that he is. JHO enjoyed the harmonies and DAWG just thought it was okay, a little pitchy.
Up next is Hollie from Texas. She is ready to start fresh with “Perfect” by Pink. Hmmm…big shoes Hollie, big shoes. Jimmy thinks she is missing some experience and really needs to “turn the gas up”. She does an acoustic version of the song and she has a great singing voice, but she doesn’t have the grit. The wardrobe department has her dressed like a tragic ice dancer, which isn’t helping her case.
In a word it was “nice”. JHO starts out with the “you look beautiful tonight” kiss of death, Steven says it “wasn’t perfect, it kinda laid there for me”. I don’t think he realized how totally inappropriate that sounded. DAWG agrees, but said she did better than last week. Poor little Hollie, she just doesn’t have the chops and I think this little lamb may be going to the slaughter.
Dave Matthews is up next all the way from Georgia. He’s come a long way from the Sanford and Son Pawn shop where tons of local people are clamoring to get their hands on some of the crap that our magical Phillip has touched. He will sing “Give A Little More” by Maroon 5. Akon and Jimmy give him some pointers in the coaching sesh and once again pitting him against Colton to stir things up. He does a good job, but he sounds consistently the same. Steven jumps in first and notes how he is evolving and calls him a Steve McQueen/Johnny Cash kinda guy. Oh Steven, go back to daydreaming about waterskiing squirrels, will you? JHO agrees, but felt it was underwhelming and has seen this performance before. She actually crystallized my thoughts eloquently. DAWG concurs and said it started out strong, but then “normalized itself”. Phillip is his usual self and is like “whatevs, man.”
Hollie, BB Chez, and Mantasia are up next with a group number “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. We learn that Hollie and Josh are besties and BB feels like a third wheel. Jessica actually sounds a little shaky and overall it’s a bit disjointed. Like three drunk friends who thought they were going to 80’s karaoke night. I understand “sorbet jeans” are in, but the outfit choices were hideous here. JHO said she is proud, Steven says it was beautiful, and DAWG thought it was great, but gives the edge to Josh. I would agree.
Elise from New Jersey is up next and OHRS surprises her with a video message from Jason Segel. Of course, OHRS says he sent Jason an e-mail and he sent the video right over. Geez Ryan, we know you are all powerful, but you don’t have to flaunt it. When they said she would sing Lady Gaga, I knew she would go with “You and I”. It’s actually a good song choice for her, but Jimmy and Akon are riding her like a cheap suit. She has to nail it and stay out of the bottom three. This isn’t my favorite Elise moment and the wardrobe choices are not flattering either. Haley Reinhart got a lot of crap last year for singing this song, which I happened to think was a good Haley moment. The judges love Elise on this pick, DAWG shouts “Elise is back!” JHO and Steven loved it as well.
We are ready for the results and OHRS is wearing an azure blue pocket square, a tie clip, and a vest. He looks utterly ridiculous. Don’t …like…tie…clips. The top seven perform Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and let me just apologize to all of America. The whole number was ghastly. The only redeeming moment was a shot of Colton laying in Dave Matthews’ lap having his precious hair fondled. Although I think this crosses the Colton Dixon line, people.
The whole performance is cornier than a bucket of wet cheese and it reminds me of a bad high school production. I think Pink needs join Alicia Keys on the American Idol blacklist of artists whose songs are verboten. Somewhere across the pond, Simon Cowell is huddled under a blanket with his pet Rachel Crowe, he sips a cocktail, strokes his moobs, and thinks “thank God I bailed on that train wreck.”
OHRS starts presents Colton with some fan mail, which is a prom invitation in a scary box from a girl in Wichita, Kansas. We do not get to see the contents, but it appears to be a “dream book” with pictures. Colton says “oh snap, it’s a strong maybe”. Hollie gets an invitation to a spring formal in Mississippi and they flash a photo of the young Tate who is asking. Elise received some feather earrings from a fan, she presents one to Steven, and he puts it on his ear. Sidebar: Steven is sporting a half pony up-do this evening that makes him look sassy and well, odd.
OHRS summons Hollie and BB Chez to the stage first. Jimmy said they are both very good technical singers. Hollie has some bad habits that make her too stiff and calculated while Jessica is effortless. OHRS directs each to an opposite side of the stage to start a group, obviously the haves and the have nots. But which is which? I think the answer is fairly self-evident.
James Durbin returns to the stage to perform his new rock song. He seems to be taking after Colton in the hair department, but the question remains, foil or one step? Little James has gotten married and he is also going on tour and just sold 100,000 records. Glad to hear he is doing well, but he looked better with dark hair.
Thank goodness OHRS re-explains the two group formation thing, whew…I was so lost. Anyhoo, Elise and Dave Matthews face the music and Jimmy describes them as singer-songwriters, which are “character singers” not technical singers. Jimmy’s little rant describes exactly what I feel about Phillip. He sounds like Dave Matthews singing a Maroon 5 song and Jimmy predicts he will be bottom three. Elise did all right by Jimmy, but not enough. Phillip is sent to join Hollie and Elise is sent over to Jessica.
Colton and Mantasia are up next and Jimmy felt both did well. OHRS discusses how the judges have not given Colton a standing O yet, but the judges vehemently deny that. He divvies them up between the two groups of impending doom. Skylar is still pending and we reflect on her evening. I thought she actually did really well, Jimmy is afraid she may be left behind, but compliments her by saying she is both a singer-songwriter and a technical singer. OHRS sends her back to safety, but asks her to pick the group she belongs with. She refuses to choose so OHRS puts his meaty paw on her and puts her with Hollie, Phillip, and Colton.
Joshua, Elise, and Jessica are the bottom three and a mass upheaval of shock takes over the audience. DAWG says America got it wrong. Interestingly, Steven speaks for the group and says they will definitely use the save tonight, which actually makes the last part of the show a bit anti-climactic. OHRS dims the lights and sends Joshua to safety. The shocking twist here tonight is that Jessica is in jeopardy and Elise is safe. JHO charges the stage and grabs the mic from Jessica. DAWG and Steven follow suit, they tousle Jessica around like a little rag doll and shove her over to safety. I don’t know how you do it on Q’Viva JHO, but here we don’t physically shove the kids around. The studio is all atwitter, OHRS lunges in to “break it down”, DAWG says they are using the save and compels America to vote for the best and Jessica is one of the best. As I sorta predicted, the judges would use the save for Jessica.