Peaking Duck

Steven Van Zandt is the mentor this week for our top five who will be singing songs from the 60’s and British pop artists.  For all practical purposes, we will refer to Steven Van Zandt as “Silvio”, his character name from The Sopranos, so we don’t confuse our Stevens.

For round one, little Hollie has chosen “River Deep, Mountain High”.  Silvio tells her that she is a bit too people pleasing and she needs to act like she doesn’t care what anyone thinks.  I think she did a great job, but it’s a little too late for her to save herself.  Steven dives in and says he enjoyed it, “thank you Lord!”  JHO could feel her attacking the song and DAWG loved it too and said “dude you wore it out!”  OHRS comments that she is “settling in”, but it really is too late in the competition to just now be finding her “wheelhouse”.

For round two, she performs “Bleeding Love”.  This could be tough for her because she is likely to fall into her Celine Dion trap…aaannnnndddd, she does.  I think this could be her last week.  Steven loved it but admits he doesn’t know the song.  JHO loved the runs and called it amazing.  DAWG points out that it was a big song to take on, which it was, he called her the “dark horse” and said she is peaking at the right time, but I still think she is a day late and a dollar short.

Dave Matthews is up next with “The Letter” and he has changed up the version.  Jimmy and Silvio argued a bit and Jimmy is concerned about the key change in the song.  Phillip goes with it the way he wants to, as usual.  DAWG dives on it first and says he loves it, the show is down to the wire, and he loved the way he made it his own and “vibed it up”.  JHO doesn’t know these old-timey songs.  If he had kept the melody, I am sure she would have recognized it.  Steven missed the melody too, but said he got away with it “like the Stones got away with it”.  He also said Phillip waves his “freak flag, so well”.  Sidebar:  OHRS revealed that Phillip has a girlfriend and she was in the audience.  There go all of his tween girl votes.

For round two he chooses “Time of the Season”.  He gives a rather mellow performance and you know he only chose the song because he wanted to sing “who’s your daddy” to JHO.  DAWG liked the melody, but he’s not jumping up and down (thank God).  JHO gave him the token “good job” and Steven echoed.  Wahh wahh!

Skylar attempts to “Knock on Wood”, but the song wasn’t working for the mentors, so they switched her up to “Fortunate Son”.  Jimmy says she needs to put a “jet pack on” for this performance.  She is definitely lively and JHO uses her phrase of the night “you attack every single song”.  Steven enjoyed the “boot scoot” and gave it an overall “fabulous”.  DAWG says she was born to be on stage.

For round two she sings “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”.  Silvio and Jimmy hope she can give it her country flair.  She does a nice job, judges are happy.  DAWG says she’s peaking at the right time and he is transfixed.  JHO knows she wants to win and admired her composure during the performance after her high energy in round one.  Steven loved it as well says more proof it works when you work it.

BB Chez takes on “Proud Mary”, but Silvio advises her against it because he hates the song, but she did a good job in rehearsal.  Her dancing is lacking and all she is doing is tiptoeing around the stage in super high heels and a dress the size of an air mail stamp.  Wardrobe department over did it because she really can’t even move.  The judges are yakking for a bit too long after the performance.  JHO goes first and basically says she thought she would miss Elise, but Jessica filled the void.  BURN!  Steven said she gave Elise’s experience a run for the money.  DAWG was in a different place and called it “barely okay”.  JHO intervenes and gives him a “WHATEVER”, but DAWG holds his ground and says it pales in comparison to Tina Turner’s version.  Well duh…

“You are So Beautiful” is her round two pick and Jimmy worries it will be too loungey or reminiscent of Muzak.  So to lessen the cheese factor, the Fox intern lit 50 candles and placed a barefoot Jessica in the middle, sort of like a stage centerpiece.  It was totally pageanty and she feigns some emotion at the end.  Steven tells her she’s gonna be number one.  JHO said it reminded her of the Whitney performance and she captivated the audience.  DAWG said she’s at the top of the leader board, as if he is on Dancing With the Stars.

Mantasia “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” us to love him.  Jimmy is ready to sign him to a record deal and says he has a gift.  Josh delivers a solid perf and Steven calls him one of the top two Idol contestants of all time, although he was distracted by the background dancers and the sleeves on Josh’s jacket.  JHO calls him “sick” and DAWG said he could bring back R & B like Terrence Trent Darby.  I’m not so sure about that comparison, but props to Josh.

Round two brings us “Love Somebody”.  Josh was not sure about the song, so he left for 15 minutes and came back to deliver what Silvio said was one of the greatest performances he’s ever heard in his life.  In true Josh fashion he is awesome.  I do like his howly growl and he gets the first and only standing O of the night.  DAWG is blown away, he can’t believe Josh delivered something he never heard before with such passion.  “No matter what goes down”, says DAWG, “Josh is one of the best singers on the show ever”.  JHO says he is the best that she has seen in 50 years, uhh…JHO you haven’t been alive that long.  Steven echoes their sentiments and they are all in awe.

Mantasia and Dave Matthews provided us with the awkward moment of the night, sponsored by Coca Cola.  It was a duet performance of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”.  Phillip looks like a sleepy sea turtle and overall the song makes me want to take a nap.  It’s like an 8th grade talent show and Phillip puts his arm around Joshua at the end, and Josh has lost the lovin’ feelin’, because he pushes him away and laughs.  Now that Colton is gone, who will hold sweet Phillip in the night?  I guess this performance is more of an exhibition rather than a competition, so they don’t take it too seriously.  Steven is bummed that they didn’t embrace and calls them a “match made in heaven”.  JHO felt the fear and DAWG thought it came alive once they let go.  A fine bromance indeed…

Hollie, Skylar, and BB Chez gave us “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher”.  They did a nice job, but nobody wants to comment.  Steven said it was a weird arrangement, JHO called it “cute”, and DAWG said it was okay.

On to the results…Mantasia is called up first, but it doesn’t take a Philadelphia Lawyer to know he is safe.  Jimmy comments that his performance is hard to beat and on the second song “the sky opened up”.  Josh is so quiet and subdued when he talks to OHRS.  It’s so different from his stage performances.  It’s odd, but who cares, he is safe.

Hollie and Dave Matthews face their fate next.  Jimmy liked Hollie’s approach and felt she was more believable. Jimmy thinks Phillip was bland and has been coasting, I would concur.  Jimmy did give him props for staying strong despite the fact that he is not feeling 110%, but he still thinks it’s curtains for him.  OHRS pretends to throw Phillip’s chewed gum at Jimmy,, but it doesn’t matter because it is Hollie going to the stools of death and Phillip is safe.

Skylar and BB Chez are up next and Jimmy says Skylar is a fighter, but the people sitting on the bench during her performance were too corny.  The whole people as props thing did not work.  Jimmy thought Jessica was beautiful on the Joe Cocker song but her Tina Turner was a travesty.  He felt the styling was too burlesque.  JHO comments the dress was too tight and if the queen of camel toe is saying that, you know it’s a problem.  Jessica is ridin’ down a rainbow on a unicorn and Skylar faces the stools.

DAWG says both of the bottom two sang their faces off, JHO said the show was amazing and losing anyone is tough. Steven comments that the top five has never been better.  Skylar is going home and the judges are stunned.  I am a bit surprised too, Even though Hollie “peaked” this week, I thought she was the sitting duck, about to be picked off.  As JHO’s eyeliner runs, we reflect on Skylar’s journey, but something tells me this is just the start for this little firecracker!

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