And Then There Were Two…

It’s been a hectic week and since we all know what has happened, I am going to mix it up a bit.  Our new American Idol is…Phillip Phillips.  I highly suspected he would win, and rightfully so, he stayed true to himself, did his thing, took risks, he was original, and he didn’t rock a pageant gown one time.  I also read yesterday that during his Idol stint, he went through eight surgeries!?!?!  Could this be true?  What a trooper.

On performance night, Dave Matthews won the coin toss and he picks the number two pimp position.  Off we go…

Round One – Simon “Creator of the American Idol Threshing Machine” Fuller Pick:

BB Chez is doomed to sing “I Have Nothing”.  Uggh, I thought Whitney was off limits.  When she hit the refrain where she sang “don’t make me close one more door”, it’s a little rough for me, but it’s a tough song to sing.

Dave Matthews sings “Stand by Me”, he gives a typical Phillip performance and it’s actually a bit boring.  Sorry, not too impressed with round one.

OHRS goes to the judges and JHO calls it “a battle of the opposites”, DAWG has a definite opinion and gives round one to BB Chez.  Steven is ignored by OHRS, which means he is just saving up his canned phrases he learned at Promises, Malibu for round two.

Round Two – Contestants’ Fave:

BB Chez selects “The Prayer” for her favorite moment, and quite frankly I don’t remember her performing this song.  I am really disappointed, I had hoped she would be the scrappy, feisty, little Jessica we fell in love with during auditions.  I am just not into this Celine Dionnie, Whitney, Mariah, pageanty crap over and over.

Dave Matthews reprises “Movin’ Out”.  I do recall this song and it was a descent performance the first time.  We are also treated to another reprise of the blonde saxophone player, but this time on a clarinet.  He delivers another standard/solid performance, the crowd goes bananas.

OHRS defers to Steven for round two and here we go again.  He says “you don’t always have to be a good egg, hatch or go bad.”  HUH?  He says Phillip has hatched some, but Jessica took round two also.  DAWG jumps in with DAWGGED determination that it was a dead heat, while JHO is in Phillip’s corner.  No surprises there.

Round Three – Contestant’s Hand-Crafted Hit in a Can:

BB Chez sings us “Change Nothing” and she does adequately, but the song blows monkey balls.  She is probably the type of contestant that the mental threshing machine known as Idol is looking for.  They can mold her young, impressionable mind into what they want, and spit her out into the world.  Phillip isn’t going to stand for that type of treatment.  DAWG comments that he did not love the song, but felt she made something out of it.  He also comments on how she has her own swag and flavor and was disappointed in the “pop star” performance.  JHO echoes and wants to see more soul and blues quality.  This is exactly what I mean when I say I want to see the scrappy BB Chez we first met.  Steven was not feelin’ it either.  BB Chez sort of, half way admits that she didn’t really like the song either, but of course she will do what the threshing machine gods tell her to do.

Sidebar:  I miss Josh.

Dave Matthews sings “Home”.  It’s more his style and he is accompanied by a marching band, which can only help his case.  It didn’t blow my socks off, but it got a standing O from the judges.  DAWG and Steven kind of looked at each other like “are we gettin’ up?”  DAWG loved it and thought it was perfect, brilliant, genius.  JHO thought it was Phillip Phillips, (thank you Senorita obvious) and Steven thinks he is da’ man.  At least he was original and showed more of himself.

The results show is a two hour and seven minute star-studded finale event, we will hit the highlights and I will grab Revenge from “On Demand” since I missed the first seven minutes due to this Fox scheduling buffoonery.

Phillip did a nice duet with John Fogerty, but I have to say the real spectacle on this results show was the return of Mantasia with…ahem…Fantasia.  At least I think that is what it was.  They had horrendous a scream off to an Elton John song.  Quite frankly, my ears and eyes could have done without her, she sounded like a cat on a waffle iron.  And well…she looked…she looked downright scary.  She had an unbeweavable weave inspired by the “Cher Collection” and she was stuffed into a cat suit like smoked marked-down kielbasa.

We enjoyed a gag reel of Jimmy the snapping turtle calling JHO “Jessica” about 80 zillion times.  He pretends to care, but he doesn’t and he has no intention of ever giving a shit.

The top six ladies sing with Chaka Kahn.  It appears they woke Chaka up from her nap and stuffed her into a chocolate brown onesie.  DAWG and OHRS were rockin’ out and JHO is missing from the judges table, which tells me we are going to have to endure the likes of her in a cat suit too.  OY, a collective OY.  It’s cat suit fever…who wore it best?  I would have to give it to Chaka, at least she didn’t have cutouts on the thighs.

Rhianna showed up to perform, which is good considering she recently blew off her Saturday Night Live dress rehearsal.  Skylar and Reba gave a nice duet and we also got a tour of Steven’s dressing room complete with a sloth.

BB Chez sang “I Will Always Love You”, which allowed DAWG and Steven to enjoy a stolen “bromance” moment.  There was a sorta funny medley inspired by DAWG’s favorite phrase “you could sing the phone book”, where the contestants literally did just that.  There were some lyrics about plastic surgery and bratwurst and Josh had to steal the moment and upstage everyone.

JHO delivered not one, but count ‘em, two songs…oh goodie.  At least she chose to forgo the cat suit and she went with the sequined hammer pants.

Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo were called on stage and Ace proposed to Diana.  Apparently, Diana has turned into a plastic Barbie doll, but she finally speaks and tells OHRS that she is speechless.  Ace gives her the “David Webb” ring, because of course nothing is on this show is done without blatant product placement.  Well played Ace, the American Idol shameless plugging machine has taught you well.  The lovely couple will be back in three years to tell us that “thanks to Huggies, they are having a baby!”

Hollie and Jordin Sparks performed together and all I can say is that Hollie makes Jordin look like an amazon being beamed in by the smoke monster!

The guys gave a shout out to Robin Gibb with a tribute medley and Jessica got a chance to sing with Jennifer Holiday.  At this point, Steven has now disappeared from the judges table, so Aerosmith must be up next.  Jennifer Holiday is amazing, but she looks a little bunny boiling psycho when she sings.

OHRS introduces Aerosmith, which he says he has been waiting two years to do.  Now that they have ironed out their differences and gotten their shit together, the original five are back together.  I wasn’t particularly wild about the first song “Legendary”, but it’s good to see them back in action and rockin’ their “wheelhouse”, as DAWG would say.  Of course, they pull out a classic “Walk This Way” for their second song.  Good for them, I hope the toxic twins can finally put their grievances behind them and continue to perform until they just can’t perform no mo’!

Jessica and Phillip do a final snoozy duet, and OHRS finally announces Phillip as the winner.  He hands him a guitar and Phillp starts to sing us “Home”.  He is in total shock and then the emotion hits him and he can barely sing.  Way to go Phillip.

Well it’s been an adequate season…some good stuff, some boring, some predictable.  And this was probably the most low-key finale we have ever seen.  We will see what the next round in January brings.  Peace, DAWGS!

Good Things Come in Threes

Our final three are ready to perform fresh off of their “Hometown Hero” visits.  First round is judges choice, round two is contestant choice, and round three is none other than our resident snapping turtle, Jimmy Iovine’s, choice.

It is important to note that Randy Jackson looks like a melon ball in his orange sherbet jacket…in case you missed it:

DAWG announces judge’s choice is “I’d Rather Be Blind” for Mantasia.  Oh Mantasia, how I’ve missed that voice, it’s like butta.  But will our judges stand up so early in the show, YES!  JHO is a little slow on the take, but he gets a standing O from all three.  Steven called it “surreal”, JHO yammered on about the difficulty they had picking a song for him.  Uh, JHO have you forgotten?  Josh can sing the phone book and it would sound great.  DAWG wants to see Josh bring his talents to the modern side and give the R&B world a lift.  Would that lift be akin to a palette cleansing sorbet, DAWG?  Sidebar:  There was a Kraft commercial right after this performance that featured the same song…hmmm…coincidence or just another shameless sponsor tie in to the money making threshing machine that American Idol has become?

JHO introduces BB Chez with “My All”.  She loses points right out of the gate just because it’s a Mariah Carey song.  I did not find her to be great, she sounded a little shaky.  DAWG thought it was beautiful and she did a good job even though he agrees, Mariah should be off limits.  JHO gave her the “beautiful, beautiful” treatment, and Steven said people hang on her every note and she should get used to encores.  He tacks on his vote of confidence saying she will be the last one standing.

Dave Matthews is next and Steven announces the pick is “Beggin’”.  JHO is rockin’ out, he puts his own spin on it and I’m glad to see him do something different.  The crowd goes wild and JHO says he is “funny” because he messed with the melody.  Steven utters another phrase he learned at Promises Malibu, “when your face is in the sun, the shadows fall behind you”, and dubs him the modern day “Boss”, a.k.a., the next Springsteen.  DAWG said he is “in the zone”.

Round one concludes with a mixed review by the judges.  JHO is in Phillip’s pocket, DAWG and Steven are both on the fence.

We start round two with Mantasia and he delivers his own choice “Imagine”.  I have to say I prefer the David Archuletta version.  While Josh is always amazing, this was not my favorite performance from him.  Steven thought it was over the top, again.  JHO found it to be more controlled and she went on about his performance and his ability to “dig deep”.  DAWG asked him why he chose the song and Josh said he heard it on the radio at the last minute, and he liked the message of the song.  DAWG also loved the pull back, but we still got a little Josh at the end.

BB Chez takes the stage for round two with “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”.  All I can say is OY, a collective OY.  She is blatantly stroking Steven’s ego at this point because there was nothing great about this performance.  Steven gives her a token standing O and said she made a great song greater.  JHO points out that Steven is hyper-critical of anyone that sings his stuff, (uh not quite so Ms. Ho, shall we flash back to Lauren Alaina?) and DAWG says she is choosing some “tough hills to climb tonight”.  Overall he felt she delivered.  Eh…not so much.

Dave Matthews takes on round two with “Disease”.  It’s a classic Phillip performance, nothing extraordinary, but he gets a little snog from the blonde sax player at the end.  JHO didn’t feel the “wow”, which we need and want right now.  Steven echoes and says he doesn’t have a disease he’s got a bug, “get used to it, because you never will”.  DAWG skips around the bush for a bit and says he didn’t like it either.  He calls it subdued and he can do those things in his sleep.

Sidebar:  DAWG is making me crave some orange sherbet.

Mantasia is up for round three with “No More Drama”.  Josh is bouncing up and down too much, he is giving me a headache.  No standing O this time and DAWG starts out the critique by saying it doesn’t matter what he does, he has laid out everything he has on the stage.  JHO praises his “perfect marriage” of having control and at the same time he lets it go.  Steven called it over the top.

BB Chez gives us her round three with “I’ll Be There”.  Another okay performance and her key change in the middle was a bit odd for me.  I’m not sure what the significance of the amusement park shapes in the background is either, unless that was ordered up by Jimmy to give the feeling of “youth”.  Now if you were really paying attention, you can see Steven whisper to JHO “she changed keys twice”.  Which she did, it was all over the place.  Steven said “don’t bore us get to the chorus”.  JHO said she sounded just like Michael Jackson and DAWG didn’t love it.  He defends his position by saying it’s the end of the comp and we need a Creamsicle moment!

Dave Matthews receives his special beat box delivery from Jimmy for round three and he will sing “We’ve Got Tonight”.  Well this is a bit odd, he sounds and looks so uncomfortable, maybe it’s just me, but this is totally out of his element.  And he is clutching his left thigh for dear life.  Judges are going to either like it or hate it.  DAWG elevates his melon ball self, and Steven and JHO follow suit in the standing O.  DAWG thought it was his best performance on the show ever and he finally had a moment.  JHO thought it was sweet like a lullaby and Steven said he sang like he didn’t give a shit, which is a compliment.

We move on to results and I am just ready to get it over with.  JHO is wearing an abomination in color blocking and Steven is sporting the sorbet shades tonight.  Sorry JHO, it looked better on the runway…trust.

 

We start out with all three contestants already on the stools of death.  I guess technically they are the bottom three.  I don’t know why we tool around with this crap, OHRS is going to drag this out for 60 minutes we will never get back.

He summons Mantasia center stage to reflect on his performance and we get Jimmy’s reaction.  Jimmy felt round one was very good, but not his best.  It was not only not worth a standing O, but Jimmy was laying down at the time.  He felt round two was over blown and round three was missing something and Jimmy takes responsibility for song choice without melody.

We are treated to a performance by Lisa Marie Presley, which is altogether a bit dark and strange, when did she go goth?  Oh well, I’m freaked out by the performance and the fact that she was married to Michael Jackson.  Gotta give her small props, she works that miniature tambourine like nobody’s bidness.

BB Chez is called to the stage next to receive her critique.  Jimmy did not think round one came together and wasn’t enough to win.  Round two didn’t wow him either and round three was a bit of a bummer because she had to change key to sing the Michael and Jermaine parts.  There is something about Jessica that is missing for me, in the audition rounds she seemed a lot more scrappy and feisty.  She was a bit too subdued.

We are treated to a performance by Adam Lambert, who is a perfect example of how some of the losers of this competition turn out to be more successful than the winners.  Glad you’re still rockin’ it out and doin’ it your way!

Dave Matthews prepares for his Jimmy-lashing.  Jimmy enjoyed round one, but summed it up with “no harm, no foul”, which isn’t exactly a booming review.  Round two was a “snooze fest”, and he sums up round three by saying Phillip won the night.

The final three stand before the judges and OHRS asks for final words.  DAWG of course says they are the best ever, big careers in front of them.  JHO…journey… heartbreaking… connected… moment… talented… toss up.  Steven loves them all and is so proud that they have the courage to have a dream, “and if you don’t have a dream, then you can’t make a dream come true”.  WTF kinda crackerpot self-help books is he reading?

BB Chez and Phillp are the final two and my poor Josh is getting da’ boot, what the crap?!?!  He sings us out and it’s game on for the other two.  Farewell, our sweet Josh…

So who will take the competition?  Will Phillip be able to carry on without his partner in bromance?  Next week Idol is airing on Tuesday, I don’t know why they feel the need to change the scheduling now, but I guess we should all get used to it, because we never will.

A Fine Bromance

Judges are dressed particularly mis-matched this week and DAWG in the midst of a plaid explosion.  JHO is in a sequiny hombre number and Steven all white.  JHO and Steven are sporting up-dos that I could do without.  OHRS emerges down the Hasbro’s slippery steps and his girlfriend is in the audience tonight, so OHRS will be on his best behavior.

The top four take the stage wearing outfits that are equally as heinous as DAWG’s.  Round one is called “California Dreamin’”, meaning any song from any band or singer from or song about California.  Translation:  Pick a Song, Any Song.  Round two is songs the contestants wish they had written or songs that inspire them.  Translation:  Contestant’s Choice if not talked out of it by Jimmy Iovine.

Dave Matthews is up first and we rehash his journey and the 1,000 faces of Phillip Phillips.  During round one, he wants to know “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”.  The blonde saxophone player has, she is back and I guarantee that is all Steven has his eye on.  I actually enjoyed his upbeat performance incorporated with his own style.  Steven says he is “living proof that the road to success is always under construction”.  Phillip announces he has cotton-mouth because he is nervous, it had nothing to do with is medicinal marijuana [I kid…I kid].  DAWG said it was rough in the beginning, but then he found the pitch and he was right on the money.

Later in the show, Philip kicks off the “inspiration” round with “Volcano”.  Jimmy says he is in a different place this week and the “butterfly” has come out.  He delivers a unique, solid performance.  Steven says he could listen to it over and over and he heard the musician in Phillip this time.  JHO said very few could have pulled that off and it is a testament to who he is.  She said it was one of the most beautiful, poignant moments a contestant has ever had.  It is painfully evident, that she doesn’t know what to say.  There are others who have pulled that off and there have been more beautiful, poignant moments.  DAWG says “so yo, that’s what’s up right there”, he felt it was one of his best performances the whole season.

Hollie is up next and we relive her rejection from last season and how far she has come this season.  While that is all fine and good, I just don’t see her winning.  She will perform power ballad “Faithfully”.  Another big song that has the potential to sound like a hot ass Celine Dion mess.  She’s off to a slow start, but she has the wind machine on her side.  It doesn’t really work for me, I think she has fallen flat.  DAWG says she is still “peaking at the right time”.  I don’t get it.  JHO is crying.  I don’t get it.  DAWG name drops again and reminds us how he was in the band Journey.  We get it DAWG, but those glory days are over.  JHO was touched by how much Hollie has grown.  Steven says she made her creativity bloom.  I don’t know, I guess I am expecting more at this point, or maybe I have given up on Hollie since I am fairly certain it is curtains for her this week.

Hollie knows she can’t make us love her in round two with her boring and unmoving version of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”.  Again, she picks a big song that I don’t think she can really connect with.  It’s very 8th grade talent competition for me and she kept her eyes closed through most of it.  Let’s see what the judges think, she sorta looks like she knows she blew ass.  Steven said she fell short and gave her a “sorry baby.”  JHO said you have to go through some stuff before you can sing songs like this, she should have sang it to America, she also gives her a “sorry baby.”  DAWG said the song gave her nowhere to go.

Mantasia is back and he is dedicating his song to his father, “You Raise Me Up”.  We journey back to his rejection in season 10 and DAWG told him to come back and “slay the whole thing”, which I think he may do.  Josh delivers an effortless performance and he is literally raised up, the stage lifts up and Josh is towering above his choir.  He comes down long enough to accept his props.  JHO starts and ends up bragging that she predicted the final four, she loved the “draaaama” and advised him to stay consistent to the end.  Steven said he sang his little tush off and DAWG liked that he brought Groban to church and called him amazing with a ginourmous career ahead.

Next, Josh lays it down with “It’s a Man’s World”.  Jimmy brags about how he got to watch James Brown record the song and after rehearsal, he tells Josh to save his voice and to “give me a call if you need anything”.  Josh chuckles and says “I ain’t got yo’ phone number.”  Proves how good Josh is, he has Jimmy Iovine stammering like a school girl.  Josh is f*ing killin’ it and we get a shot of the judges and they are all totally lost in this performance.  Annnd…wait for it…standing O.  The first performance seemed a lot more restrained and Josh couldn’t really move around and stink up the stage.  But son of a motherless goat, this boy just laid it the f*ck down!  Steven said he sang with “compassion”, but I think he meant “passion”.  He says “I can go home right now”, meaning his job as a judge is done.  Hell yeah, shut the front door!  JHO said that we thought we had seen everything Josh had to give, but we hadn’t.  She starts speaking in Spanish tongues and calls it “sickening”.  DAWG said it is one of the best performances in the history of any singing show.  JHO said she went to church and DAWG said they “got religion”.  The funny thing is, Josh is completely cool and collected, like it’s just second nature to him.  Hey Josh, we gotch yo’ number…mmm hmm…

BB Chez takes us down memory lane with some of her home videos of her singing.  We understand Jessica, all you have ever done, and all you ever want to do is sing.  You have been working hard your whole life, all 16 years of it.  We get it BB, but girl you got a lotta livin’ to do.  She takes on “Steal Away”, she does a pretty good job, it’s bluesy so Steven will love it.  JHO was happy to see that she started growling at seven years old and calls her “one of the best”.  Steven loved it and said she nailed it and DAWG loved the whole vibe of it, she can sing the phone book.

For round two, Jessica is telling us with “And I’m Telling You”.  For some reason, after Josh’s second performance, I am so not in the mood to listen to her.  Jimmy said if the judges and audience see what he saw in rehearsals, it could be “game over”.  She does well, pours all her emotion into it, she gets a standing O and Steven says “tell me how you really feel.”  Well I for one really feel like Jessica’s dress is an experiment in color blocking gone horribly wrong.  JHO says there isn’t anything left to say and Jessica is very emotional.  DAWG says that Jessica, Josh, and Phillip are really in it to win it.  He calls her “phenomenal”.  Somewhere backstage, little Hollie is feeling about 1” tall.

And now, Crappy Duets, presented by Coca Cola:

Mantasia and Dave Matthews pair up to sing “This Love” by Maroon 5.  It’s totally karaoke and the cheese factor is at an all time high.  They have the dueling ebony and ivory pianos going on too.  It’s just bad.  Steven calls it perfect, JHO compares it to Usher and Adam Levine coming together, and DAWG liked when Josh went up and when Phillip did the “uh uh uh”, then he started speaking in tongues.  I did not care for it.  But I do care for OHRS saying to DAWG “when I look at you in that jacket, I want to buy an ice cream.”

Hollie and BB Chez perform “Eternal Flame”.  They literally come out swinging as they are both suspended from the ceiling in swings.  They actually sound pretty good together at times, but in other parts they are outshining one another.  DAWG said it was a little strange for him and he didn’t like it, thought it was weird.  Josh and Phillip break the tension by jumping into the swings.  JHO didn’t think it was that bad and Steven said they have turned into their favorite swingers.  OHRS points out that power couple, “Jillop” is the new Hollywood bromance.

We are treated to a shameless plug for Adam Shankman’s new musical “Rock of Ages”, which also stars Julianne Hough, which explains why she is in the audience.  Adam says that Tom Cruise is in the movie and he “sang his assless chaps off in the movie”.  OHRS pretends like he is going to ask Julienne to marry him, but he produces a prop note he wants her to give to Tom Cruise.  I bet the note says “Dear Tom, you are tinier than me.  Love, Peaches”.

It’s decision time and judges come out and it’s like a fake red carpet with fake fans behind velvet ropes.  OHRS burns up valuable live air time saying hello to the fake fans, we are ready for results already!  OHRS is not revealing any results tonight, he is just calling the contestants up one by one and reflecting on Jimmy’s feedback:

Phillip – We know he will be safe, so I don’t know why OHRS is wasting more time.  Jimmy was happy with his performance overall and said he would have signed him if he saw him in a club on a cold night.  Hmm…as opposed to a warm night?

Hollie – Jimmy feels she is peaking in the wrong direction and she crashed and burned on the Bonnie Raitt song.  Agreed.

Mantasia – Jimmy felt that the first performance was too full on gospel.  However, Jimmy was captivated by the second song, it was magic.  WORD TO YO’ MAMA!

BB Chez – Jimmy says the growling trick is getting old, but the second performance was flawless.  He says that Tommy Matola contacted him and said he would attend Jessica’s first concert.  Jimmy admits he knew Scotty would win last year, but he is clueless on this year’s final.

It wouldn’t be Idol without another shameless plug of a sucky song and a bump-n-grind with JHO and her ghost boy.  She performs “Dance Again” and she is dressed in a bedazzled unitard and she is clearly lip synching.  This is a family show, JHO, put your naughty bits away!  Jeezus, first Xtina forgot to put on her pants two weeks in a row on “The Voice”…et tu…JHO?  At the end her boy toy Casper the ghost picks confetti out of her weave and she says “he’s so cute”.  Vomiting.  In.  My.  Mouth.  Well at least our down to earth judge JHO isn’t too self-indulgent…

Finally, OHRS lowers the boom.  Our final three are BB Chez, Mantasia, and Dave Matthews.  Little Hollie is heading home and I think she knew it based on her reaction.  Her bestie Josh cries off his guyliner while Hollie sings us out like a little champ.

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!

Queenage Dream

First we must note  that JHO is dressed like C3PO and she has MC Hammer pants.  These are the same pants she had on last year when she performed.  I sure hope another performance is not in store for tonight, it’s more than my little heart can take.

I also understand that OHRS was extremely ill the night of this show, but what a trooper.  I bet that damn Brian Dunkleman released germs into Ryan’s hyperbaric chamber, hoping to get his “gig” back.  It’s Queen tribute night and we are treated to a flashback retrospective of the band, Freddie Mercury’s unitards, his unique singing voice, his guyliner, and his commanding stage prowess.

Brian May and Roger Taylor sit down with the idols to discuss how they can pull these songs off.  I love that no matter how wiry and grey Brian May’s hair has gotten, he has not surrendered his rock and roll mullet.

They start the show with a medley performed by the top six.  They muddle through it all, but the real star of the medley is Brian May with his guitar solo.  DAWG gives them a Wayne’s World style “we’re not worthy” bow.

First performance will be a Queen song and the second performance is contestant choice.  BB Chez is up first, taking on “Bohemian Rhapsody”, tough song for even the most talented singers.  I am not sure how to address the special effects here, she is in black and white and the background singing faces are all of BB Chez, creepy at best.

She breaks out into the rock part, she is in full color, she does the fandango, the tempo changes quickly, then it slows down.  There is no good way to sing the song in 90 seconds without hacking up the arrangement, which made it sound completely disjointed.  Throwaway performance.  Let’s see what our panel of esteemed judges thinks…Steven thinks rock is not her forte, but she was good.  JHO said she sounded beautiful, but the rock part was not there.  DAWG noted that she didn’t sing any runs, but he thought it was great and told her to channel some Tina Turner.

For her second performance, she chooses “Dance With My Father”.  It’s a typical Jessica performance, but she added the wind machine.  JHO starts the judging by saying it’s the best version of that song she has heard on the show.  Steven says she can’t ever sing bad, it’s a “joy, pleasure, and an honor” to watch her.  DAWG loved it too and can’t find a thing wrong with it.

Skylar will sing “The Show Must Go On”.  She actually did a really good job with it, Steven called it “over the top”, JHO got goosies and thought it was powerful and great, DAWG called it “incredible” and one of her best performances to date.  He brings back his phrase “she’s gotta have it!”

Her second performance is “Tatoos on This Town”, it’s in her “wheelhouse” and she sounds good.  DAWG is a “ginourmous fan” and thought it was great, JHO wants her to keep “wowing”, and Steven gives it a “ditto”, but said he missed some of the “flair”.

Mantasia takes on “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, he puts a bit of a big band, throwback vibe on it, of course he gets a standing O from the judges, but JHO is a little slow on the take.  The bucket of concrete in her hammer pants must be weighing her down.  DAWG gives him “four checks” for all areas of his performance and calls him a “Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett young dude in the making”.  JHO looks forward to his performance because they surprise her and are always inspiring.  Steven says he sounds like nobody else and says Freddie would have loved it.  OHRS notes that the security guards were even dancing.

His second performance is “Ready For Love”.  Again, a standing O from the judges and a flawless performance.  Steven actually turns around and encourages the audience to scream more.  DAWG is speechless and calls it “unbelievable, crazy good”.  JHO is also speechless and calls it “transcendent”, Steven says it takes him to another place and says he can “smell the finish line”.  Wonder what that smells like, pennies and feet?

Elise sings “I Want it All”.  JHO is rockin’ out, but Elise looks a bit somber after her performance.  Steven enjoyed it “over the top”, JHO thought she was in her element, DAWG thought it was unbelievable and the song was so right for her, one of her best.  Elise says this was really her “wheelhouse”.  There is that damn word again.

Her second song is “Bold as Love”, she has an interesting scarf thingie that is attached to her ring and the back of her dress.  She does a half-singing, half-talking performance, it’s not great and I’m guessing she will be on the stools of death.  The judges have an interesting reaction, Steven doesn’t even applaud.  He liked the Jimmy Hendrix song, but she has to do songs that people know… “you can’t pick the cherries with your back to the tree”.  Elise is stunned, she thought everyone knew the song.  JHO didn’t care because she thought Elise “slayed that song”, DAWG is a fan of her and Hendrix, but it wasn’t right and he did not love it.  JHO keeps saying “NO, NO, NO” as OHRS creeps on to the stage to wrap up this insanity.

Dave Matthews is up next with “Fat Bottomed Girls”.  I am not sure this was the best song for him, but it’s definitely different than his usual style.  Steven launches into a “bigger the cushion…”, but he stops himself, then JHO takes offense that he is looking at her.  He loved it and so did JHO.  She was glad to see a different side of him that didn’t remind everyone of Dave Matthews.  DAWG is being “really honest” and said he didn’t love it, but it was good.

Determined to remind everyone that he is exactly like Dave Matthews, Phillip selects an obscure Dave Matthews song, “The Stone”.  He delivers a way too literal version and the judges don’t look thrilled.  Steven thought it was entertaining and off the wall, he loved the female fiddler, of course he did.  JHO thought it was too obscure and artsy, she tells him there will be a time and place for that.  DAWG disagrees somewhat and likes his artist side.  It spoke to him “a hundred million percent”.  OHRS embarrasses his girlfriend, saying she sighed, blushed, and said “yummy” when she saw Phillip backstage.  They cut to a shot of Julianne Hough laughing and she has no clue she is on camera.  When she figures it out, she dives behind some equipment with her ginourmous purse.  It must be what she carries around OHRS in.

Hollie is singing “Save Me”, which is an emotional ballad, I am not sure she is pulling it off.  Her robotic Celine Dion ways just aren’t cuttin’ it.  If you ever hear the original song, Freddie conveys this feeling of just being absolutely broken.  Little Hollie is too young and inexperienced to connect to the song.  Just my humble opinion…Steven thought she did a good job, JHO struggles to find her words, but doesn’t feel she connected or enjoyed it.  She does give Hollie some good constructive criticism about performing.  DAWG didn’t feel she had a “moment” with the song.

Her second attempt is “The Climb”, it will chronicle her climb over to the stools of death.  I think Hollie and Elise may be in trouble this week.  She actually redeems herself on this one and she receives a standing O.  DAWG says “Hollie is back!”, JHO thought she really stepped it up, and Steven thought she sang it like it was “going outta style.”

Time for results where “another one bites the dust”.  First to face their fate is BB Chez and Elise.  Jimmy felt the “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a mistake and the creepy faces of Jessica in the background scared him too.  Glad I wasn’t the only one.  He felt her second performance was much better and she understood her audience.  Jimmy also thought Elise made bad choices, he felt like he was “in a nightclub somewhere in the back of beyond”.  That’s where Elise was performing before she auditioned for the show.  It was a “double down” on bad choices of the night.  OHRS announces Jessica is in the top three and he sends Elise to the stools of death.

OHRS has Casey Abrams on hand when he returns and Casey is sporting a full on frizzed out do.  Stefano is back to perform and it’s almost like something I wish I could un-see.  It’s beyond cheezie, he really belongs in a boy band or on a Carnival cruise ship.

Hollie and Mantasia are up next and Jimmy comments that Hollie may have chosen “Save Me” as a subconscious plea to the audience.  She redeemed herself with the second song.  Jimmy was impressed with Joshua and sees him making it to the final.  Hollie is sent to join Elise and Joshua goes to safety.

Sidebar:  I never thought I would see the day where Steven Tyler was hawking Burger King.  Wow…just…wow, it is the end of civilization as we know it.

Another quick sidebar on the Katy Perry performance:  The performance was military themed with nigh vision camera work, good shout out to BB Chez’ dad who is shipping out the next day.  Also, Katy Perry can’t sing live, she sounded terrible without auto tune.  Although, we have to give her props for not lip-synching.

Next up are Skylar and Dave Matthews.  Jimmy thought Skylar did a good job and was confident, but he felt the second song was indulgent.  Jimmy revealed that Phillip has also not been feeling well and it’s taking a toll on him.  He felt that the Dave Matthews song choice was a mistake, but he enjoyed seeing the judges disagree so he didn’t fall asleep.  OHRS sends Skylar to the final stool of death and Phillip goes to the couches.  He summons Hollie and Elise back up and sends Skylar back to safety.  The lights dim and Elise bites the dust.  Hollie gets one more chance, but my guess is it will be short lived.  Elise looks a bit shocked, but she actually got to do some pretty cool stuff throughout her journey and OHRS reminds her that Stevie Nicks wanted to hire her.  She sings us out with her Led Zepplin song and JHO rocks it out with full on stank face.

Mixed feelings, while I knew she wouldn’t win, I really thought Hollie had hit the end of the road.  See y’all next week, when that will likely happen.

You Gotta Get Low to Get High

It’s the top seven tonight performing some current songs from today and some older soul songs of yesteryear.  The judges enter and JHO has taken quite a few liberties with her dress tonight.  It’s spray painted on and there are some crazy side cut outs that show off her marvelous abs, but if anyone can pull that off, she can.  I can usually spot an Herve Leger when I see it, but I am not sure who designed this.  I am sure it will be all over “The Fashion Police” this Friday night.

OHRS kicks off the night by acknowledging the passing of Dick Clark.  But OHRS knows Dick would want the show to go on, so without further ado we proceed to the festivities.  Each contestant is doing two songs and little Hollie is kicking it off with “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.  Oy vey…why is everyone singing this song?  Jimmy is working with Hollie on her nerves, and the judges seem happy, Steven said she finally came out of her shell and she was perfect, JHO is thrilled, and DAWG said it was close to perfect, a bit pitchy, but she has finally “arrived”.

Her second performance of the evening was “Son of a Preacher Man”.  DAWG said she “dug in” and said she “worked it out”.  JHO liked the performance better than the first and said she is showing a new composure.  Steven says she has the vehicle, but thinks she can push it even more.  DAWG cries out “drive the car!”

Colton is next and OHRS brings up his sister Schyler, who Colton completely upstaged during the auditions, but she is fully supportive of him.  Never mind the Colton voodoo doll in her purse.  He is tackling “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga.  Jimmy’s advice is to “look at the camera, when you look at the camera, they vote”.  If he’s referring to Colton’s rock star wannabe dead in the eyes stare, well Colton has that down pat.  He has also added a splashy red patch to his hair this week.  I am not a big Colton fan, but the judges sure seem to love him.  DAWG said he was “so in the zone”, JHO loved, and Steven said he needed “to get low to get high”, err?  “when you’re trying to get to the other shore, you gotta lose sight of this one”, etc.  Steven’s got his can o’ clichés out tonight.  Colton tells OHRS that he plans on “expanding his box every week, so I can include everyone in on the party.”  Sorry…no thanks.

His song for round two was “September” and he will give us his “signature stare”.  Steven dives on it and says that his voice is too powerful for the song, JHO agrees and said it didn’t come together, DAWG said it sounded good, but not too exciting.

Jimmy says Elise has a vacation home in the bottom three.  She is going to sing “No One” by Alicia Keys.  She’s got the wind machine on her side and for some reason she keeps squatting down while she sings.  She really should stand upright in her tangerine dream dress.

JHO got her first “goosies” of the night.  No JHO that is just a chill you got from wearing those massive cut outs in your dress.  Can the Fox Intern get JHO a Slanket?  Steven says that he loves her a lot and she sang her “little tushie off”.  DAWG thought she did great and appreciated that she stayed with the melody, which showed a great lesson in restraint.  OHRS grills her about her emotional rehearsal and she reveals that she found out that her dog is sick and may not make it.  Way to garner the sympathy vote.

For round two, Elise tries to get it on with “Let’s Get it On”.  She starts out on the Jimmy Iovine make-out chaise and delivers a typical Elise performance, slow-paced and in her hunched over stance.  The judges don’t look too pleased, JHO starts out and says she has a hard time critiquing her and wants to see more emotion.  Steven thought it showed versatility and broke a few more hearts, but take it up a notch.  JHO says it’s like “when you sang ‘Somebody to Love’ by Zepplin”…uh…JHO, that was “Whole Lotta Love” by Zepplin.  Not “Somebody to Love” by Queen.  Get it straight glamour girl.  DAWG felt she oversang it and he makes an error too and says when “Al Green sang that song”, but he corrects himself.  Elise over thinks her over thinking and she is having a hard time baring her soul in a minute and a half.  She gives OHRS a hug, which I have not noticed her do before.

Dave Matthews is singing “You Got It Bad” by Usher.  Should be interesting, Jimmy thinks he may pick up some new fans.  I actually enjoyed his performance, he did a great job…could it be a standing O?  YES indeedie, a standing O from the judges and I am sure Steven is thrilled to see the blonde saxophone player again.  Steven says he feels like a “chump”, he never knows what he’s going to get.  JHO jumps in and calls it “so sexy” and loved his versatility, DAWG (in his snazziest lilac jacket) calls him a “true artist” and he is original.  He is Phil Phillips and he is “Da’ BOMB!”

“The Midnight Hour” is Phil’s second take and he really seems to be shining tonight.  DAWG loves it and says “exactly what you need, is always what you have”.  JHO wants to get up and dance with him and Steven calls him “brilliantly awkward.”

BB Chez is up next to show us what she’s got, other than a second chance.  Jimmy needs her to figure out where she disconnected with the audience.  She will sing “Fallin” by Alicia Keys.  She starts strong in her “I Dream of Genie” outfit and the whirling red umbrellas in the air are helping too.  She actually stands just fine on her own, no doubt the girl can sing.  The crowd goes WILD and Steven can’t even get his critique out.  He says she has the right to “get mad at that song”, JHO saw her vulnerability and said she played with the song like juggling ballz, err?  DAWG echoes and gives an AMEN for using the save and calls her talent “other worldly”.  DAWG then gives us his own medley with something like “Yo Alicia [Keys], holla at the DAWG man, the girl blew the box out of the song yo!”  OHRS asks her what she was thinking last week when JHO wrestled her to the ground and grabbed the mic.  Jessica thought she was going home, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.  What a ratings stunt that was.

Jessica also wants us to “Try a Little Tenderness”, although her voice was a bit more “Benson and Hedges” than tender.  Judges loved it, well, because they love Jessica.  Steven likes the fact that she’s “steppin’ out”, JHO felt BB Chez coming out, but she needs to start pushing so the audience can connect with her.  DAWG agreed with them “absolutely the correct”, she needs to connect with the emotion and the lyric.

Skylar is up next and Jimmy wants her to take it a step further.  She is doing the country version of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga.  She does a good job and JHO is psyched, she loves her version and calls Skylar a “fighter”, Steven says she is giving the other girls a run for their money, DAWG also likes her crossover appeal and calls her “amazing, dude”.

Her second song is a Marvin Gaye classic “Heard it Through the Grapevine”, she puts her own country flair on it.  DAWG notes that she and Phillip have no problem connecting with the audience.  He calls it the “Skylar Laine Rock and Roll Country Party”.  JHO loves her spunkiness and Steven calls her “a wild horse that refuses to be tamed.”

“I Believe” by Fantasia will be sung by Mantasia.  Jimmy grills him about why he was in the bottom three and tells him to dig deep and sing his butt off.  He’s dressed like a straight up pimp and he delivers a standard Josh performance.  He gets the standard standing O and DAWG calls him one of the most gifted singers ever on the show.  He sees the mark of true growth by Josh’s restraint.  JHO said he leaves it all on the stage and she feels blessed to get to watch him.  Steven says he could sing the phone book, he is so good there’s just nothing to say anymore.  OHRS starts prompting Josh and asks him if singing Fantasia’s victory song was “foreshadowing” of his own victory and Josh awkwardly doesn’t answer him.  That’s the one thing Josh struggles with and if he wins, I am not sure how he will handle all the questions and attention.  Someone get this kid some media training, STAT.

Mantasia goes for round two with “A Change is Gonna Come”.  As always, love him and of course he gets a “slow on the take” standing O.  I think the judges have stood up so many times for him, they forget to.  Steven liked his restraint in the beginning and it really made it pop.  JHO says she still wants more and begs America to vote for him.  DAWG said the song was perfect and liked the way he let it “marinate”.  Joshua cops to staring at JHO’s abs the whole time he was singing.

Time for results…OHRS emerges from his hyperbaric chamber and descends the Hasbro’s slippery steps.  We start the night with an excruciatingly cheezy group number of “Dancin’ in the Street”.  Thank goodness for DVR and fast forward.

Besties, Mantasia and Hollie are up first.  Jimmy commented that Josh stayed in his “sweet spot” and Hollie also came out of her shell, but does predict that Hollie may be in the bottom three.  OHRS discusses how Josh almost didn’t come to Hollywood because he was afraid to fly, could it be “foreshadowing” again?  It seems like there is always some “twist of fate” story with some of our past winners.  They try out on a fluke or didn’t even intend to audition.  At any rate, Josh is safe and little Hollie is sent to the stools of death.

Skylar and Elise are called center stage and Jimmy felt Skylar delivered, but Elise fell flat.  He predicts Elise will return to her vacation home in the bottom three.  OHRS discusses how hard the judges are on Elise and she gets a moment to vent before he sends her to the stools of death, but not without another hug first.  Skylar is sent to safety.  OHRS seems to like Elise, she is the only one he hugs.  Maybe because they are close in hyperbaric age.

Dave Matthews, Colton, and BB Chez are called up.  We are treated to some back stage footage of Phillip’s reaction to JHO thinking he is sexy.  He says “hey what’s your number, does your daddy let you date?”  With JHO it’s more like “does your son let you date?”  No, Phillip, Casper the friendly ghost does not let JHO date.  Jimmy comments about Jessica singing songs that are too old for her and that could be why the audience is not connecting.  He thought Phillip and Colton came out on opposite sides.  Jessica is sent to safety along with Phillip and Colton is not safe.  He brings up Hollie and Elise and we have the bottom three.  OHRS takes Elise’s hand and walks her towards the stools of death in another lame fake out.  Annnnd…she gets another hug from OHRS and she is safe!  He is such a germophobe and he doesn’t touch anybody, this is amazing.  OHRS announces that Hollie is safe and the one going home is COLTON.

Yes, really.

I can’t say that I’m surprised or disappointed, I was not a big fan of his.  His performance last night was not great and I find him to be too big for his skinny rocker jeans.  Colton takes a moment to apologize to the audience because he was not himself last night and when he makes a record he will take the judges advice.  In a completely histrionic Colton moment, he gets on his knees to sing his last song on the Idol stage.  He is what Simon Cowell would call “highly affected.”

It Just Kinda Laid There

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.

Gotta Have It or Make It Stop?

It’s the top eight performing hits from the 80’s and OHRS treats us to an old 80’s photo of the DAWG, which is tragic.  Although at the time it was “Fly” as the DAWG would have us believe.  Not the actual photo, but you get the gist:

Milli Vanilli is up first with “I Like It” by DeBarge.  Gwen Stefani is the mentor this week and she thinks he looks scared while he sings.  Jimmy hopes he can conquer the nerves and pre-predicts he will be in the bottom three.  Man, Jimmy has some ballz on him, counting the poor kid out before he even begins.  DeAndre delivers his melodic performance and it’s a bit better than last week and he shows a little more range then just the cat-shrilly high notes.  He gives a final hair flip before JHO digs in and says she liked it A LOT, translation = DeAndre is her type.  She enjoyed the hair up there and Steven found it captivating and said he forgot where he was.  That wasn’t due to the performance Steven, that’s brain damage.  DAWG thought it was one of his best performances.

Elise is going to take the stage with “I Wanna Know What Love Is” by Foreigner.  Gwen says her voice is “sick” and this could be a magic moment for Elise.  Steven weaves back and forth while listening to the performance, with no rhythm whatsoever.  Elise gets her moment at the end with the explosive chorus, but this is not my favorite performance of hers.  Steven agreed it wasn’t the right song and not her best, JHO gives her the “you look beautiful” kiss of death, and DAWG called it one of the greatest songs ever, but she was pitchy the whole song and out of tune everywhere.  I concur.  The only thing worse than her performance was the images of pocket watches floating around behind her.

Contestants will be paired for duet interludes this evening and Colton and Skylar are up first with “Islands in the Stream”.  Colton finally went with all one color on his hair.  To call this performance cheezy would be an understatement.  Colton looks like he is in pain and the corny backdrop and smoke machine are not helping.  I found it painful to watch.  DAWG and JHO enjoyed it, Steven said they were a “match made in heaven”.  OHRS eluded to “dating” rumors, but the only thing Colton has a special relationship with is his hair.

Dave Matthews is next with “That’s All” by Genesis.  He takes the stage in his favorite color, bong water grey, and delivers an equally dull performance with help from his brother on guitar.  Steven loves him, JHO thought it was a bit off at first, but ended up great.  DAWG dives in and thought it was great too.

Hollie and DeAndre perform their duet “I’m So Excited”.  If all else fails, they can probably get jobs on a Disney Cruise Ship.  OY.  This was even more painful to watch than the previous duet and you can almost tell they feel silly.  Steven enjoyed it and liked to see Hollie “let go”, JHO thought it was great, DAWG said “very very very very nice”.

Mantasia will sing “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red.  Gwen and Jimmy help him with the arrangement and Jimmy is confident.  His performance garners a standing O and the DAWG yells out “CRAZY” repeatedly.  JHO says “ask and you shall receive” as she asked for more “powerhouse” right before his performance.  She calls it “spectacular”, Steven said “over the top” and he is in awe of his ability at such a young age, DAWG says it was mature and “so in the zone”.  “Do you gotta have it?” is DAWG’s new catch phrase and Joshua has gotta have it!

BB Chez is up with “How Will I Know” by Whitney.  Gwen coaches her a bit on her movement and dissuades her from using “typical lounge singer moves”.  With that being said, Jessica starts the number amidst a group of awkward looking teens clapping off beat.  I’m not sure I really liked this, I am glad she did something up tempo, but I think it’s a bit pitchy, DAWG.  Furthermore, the background photos that are flashing behind her are of some sort of ancient relic…wait, they are cassette tapes.  Her choreography was also way too literal.  JHO looks a bit uneasy, but pours on the praise and Steven says she is “fantastic”, and the DAWG felt Jessica’s maturity.  She’s gotta have it too!

Dave Matthews and Elise sing “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” for their duet.  DAWG welcomes Elise back and says “that was HOT!”  JHO and Steven also enjoyed it and it was the best duet so far.

Hollie is up next with “What a Feeling” from Flashdance.  Jimmy actually doesn’t like the song, but he likes Hollie’s version.  Gwen encourages her to bring an edge to it.  They have a technical difficulty and OHRS has to stall a bit, but Hollie is off and running in her sparkly blue flapper dress she borrowed from Dancing With the Stars.  I am afraid the song choice may take her out and she appears completely crestfallen when she is done because she knows she bombed.  Steven said her pitch was all over the place, JHO wants her to let it go, DAWG agrees she is thinking too much and needs to just live it.

The final duet of the night is BB Chez and Mantasia with “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me”.  They get a standing O from the judges as JHO pulls her skirt out of her ass.  DAWG calls them the best singers in the competition and one of the greatest performances on the show, ever.  JHO has visions of the final in her eyes and Steven called it “so over the top, it defies judging”.

Colton picks a winner with “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper.  He puts a rock twist on it and makes it his own, which judges always love.  I wasn’t particularly impressed with the performance, he was singing in a way that Simon Cowell would call “highly affected”.  Steven loved it, but gave more props to the drummer.  JHO said she felt many different things and liked the ending.  DAWG likes that he made it his own, of course, and said the drummer was “ridiculous.”  OHRS asks Colton if the hair was “foil or one-step?”

Skylar rounds out the night with “Wind Beneath My Wings” and Gwen thinks she could have a “wow” moment.  Well at least wardrobe department didn’t put her in something that makes her ass look ridonkulous, and it appears that they have been shopping at Charming Charlie for ginormous earrings.

She garners a standing O for herself and actual tears from JHO because the movie “Beaches” always makes her cry.  DAWG jumps in with “wow, wow, wow” he loves it and calls it her best performance to date.  JHO said her performance told America “do…not…count…me…out!”  Steven thought it was a great song pick for the end of the night and the beginning of a great career.

Overall, I would say it’s more like “make it stop” than “gotta have it”.  Not the best show, but then again the 80’s were not the best decade.  We start the results show with a premiere of JHO’s new video “Dance Again”.  JHO said it has a “good message”.  I suppose, if that message is “I’m a skank in a wind machine”.  It’s basically JHO covered in body glitter, pretending like she is Madonna, a little bit o’ Auto Tune at its finest, a wind machine, and JHO’s current boy toy, Casper the Overly-Friendly Dancer.

Mantasia is not feeling well tonight and is on the verge of passing out, I think OHRS gave him some tainted crawfish.  Jimmy comments that he talked to Joshua about being overly affected and he has improved greatly.  BB Chez is also summoned to the stage, but Jimmy said her performance wasn’t enough.  Mantasia is safe and he gives hugs all around to make sure to knock out the competition with his bird flu virus.  BB Chez also safe.  No surprises here.

Skylar and Colton are up next.  Jimmy said Skylar proved her worth and has potential to win.  Jimmy thought Colton was good, but not great.  OHRS is going to make these two sweat a bit more and he calls Hollie and Milli Vanilli up.  Jimmy did not like Hollie’s performance at all and she may be fighting with DeAndre for who is packing.  Jimmy felt that DeAndre was not great and he needs to grow.  DeAndre is sent to the stools of death and Hollie joins him.  Colton and Skylar are safe.

Elise and Dave Matthews are up to hear their fate.  Jimmy felt that Phillip was good, but it was his worst performance so far on the show.  Elise apparently sang better in rehearsals and Jimmy called it “an old fashioned choke”.  Of the two, Elise goes to the old fashioned stool of death and Phillip gets to take a seat and just be himself in his bong water grey shirt.  In a last minute twist before the commercial break, OHRS sends Hollie back to safety.

The judges give their opinion and JHO said that America got the bottom two half right.  Sort of a slam to Elise considering DeAndre is JHO’s boy toy in training.  Elise is more talented and experienced than he is and DeAndre has a lot of growing to do.  Elise is safe, so at least America did get that half right.  Eat it, JHO!

DeAndre does his Jamaican jam sing for safety along with his hair flips and bouncing curls.  I think we already know that the hair up there is going buh-bye.  The audience is chanting “Save! Save! Save!”, JHO voted to save him, but DAWG and Steven over ruled and the hair up there has been treated with Nair…poof he is gone.

Whole Lotta Love

We are down to the top nine and everyone is dressed in black and white in anticipation of performing songs from their own personal icons.  I am not going to spend much time on the meeting with Tommy Hilfiger in the Authentic Icon boutique.  All they did was stare at him like deer in headlights because he drones on like a math teacher.

Now let’s get to the meat…The legendary Stevie Nicks is our icon this week and OHRS treats us to some vintage footage of Stevie and Jimmy Iovine jammin’ out in the studio.  We love Stevie and we can’t wait to see her work her mentoring magic, even she endorses “Coke”.

Colton Dixon is up first and he is thrilled that Stevie is a fan of him and his hair.  He is going to sing “Everything” by Lifehouse and Jimmy and Stevie call him the third dark horse.  He looks like he is in pain when he sings, judges love it, Steven calls him a “dream come true for a judge on Idol”, he has star quality and he is over the top.  JHO was moved and the DAWG loved his “fly” white coat.  DAWG thinks he is believable and feels his passion, and calls him a “contender for the title”.

Skylar is ready to sing “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert.  Stevie is into it and starts singing along, Jimmy notes that Skylar may be in jeopardy if she doesn’t hit it just right.  Her wardrobe choice is a bit confusing because she is wearing a tablecloth like shirt and a cropped studded leather jacket.  Crowd goes wild for her and JHO loves her energy, Steven calls her “over the top”, which must be his phrase of the evening.  DAWG reminded her to tell the story and likes her range and says he hasn’t seen that since Carrie, which is a compliment coming from the DAWG.  The wardrobe department needs to be put on a “time out”.  Poor choice for Skylar, we will get to Elise and her sparkly bell bottoms later.

Colton, Elise, and Dave Matthews treat us to a Fleetwood Mac medley and Steven calls it “most excellent”.  He says he had dinner with Mick Fleetwood for his birthday last week.  C’mon Steven, you don’t have to name drop, you are too cool for school!

Hey Jun decided to rethink his approach in light of the criticism he received for being the class clown last week.  Jimmy said we got a “He New Jun” this week.  He is going to sing “A Song For You” by Don Hathaway.  He gets a standing O from the judges and Steven said he turned it around, JHO said it was beautiful and moving, and DAWG said JHO hit it on the head and calls him “buttery and beautiful.”  He isn’t a coffee cake, DAWG!

Hollie is up next to sing “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood.  Stevie urges her to connect emotionally and gives her an example of her mother dying.  Stevie became very emotional and whispered words of wisdom to little Hollie.  She does an outstanding job and the judges are chit chatting, but DAWG seems a bit hesitant.  He didn’t think it was perfect, pitchy in the lower parts.  The audience boos and he explains what “constructive criticism” is, air quotes and all.  JHO disagrees and thought it was one of her best.  Steven decides to go somewhere in the middle and wished she had sung a different song.

Milli Vanilli takes the stage next and Stevie and Jimmy laugh because Stevie used to have the same hair do.  He selects the song “Sometimes I Cry” by Eric Benet.  Sidebar:  Eric Benet is probably better known as the ex Mr. Halle Berry.  The perf is a little boring and lackluster for me, not my cup of tea.  However, the judges suck it up and give a standing O.  Steven jumps in first and felt the passion and said he “gave Prince a run for his money”.  JHO thinks he is unique and has a voice you don’t hear every day, she urges America to pick up the phone and vote so that she can hear his voice a few more weeks.  Which is funny, because it implies he will not win.  DAWG says it was “ol’ school throwback R & B” and DeAndre is “back in da’ house!”

Jessica Sanchez is going to take on Beyoncé with “Sweet Dreams”.  Stevie likes that she made it into a ballad and notes that Jessica is a good student.  Jessica is wearing a dress with a mullet, which I am not a fan of, but our little resident powerhouse pulls of the song and she has props!  As she strolls through the five red prop doors, the judges swoon.  JHO loved the rendition and wanted more, Steven thought the dress was beautiful and called the song “delicious”, DAWG feels stars are truly born and compliments her on her maturity and innate talent.  Jessica reveals after the commercial break that she also has an alter ego like Beyoncé and it’s “BB Chez”, who we were introduced to this evening.  MMMMMKAY…

DeAndre, Mantasia, and Hey Jun treat us to a Michael Jackson medley.  JHO thought it was great, but a good think they were not here for “So You Think You Can Dance”.

Dave Matthews is up to sing “Still Rainin” by Johnny Lang.  Steve thinks he has “magic” and she says he would have been asked to join Fleetwood Mac if he was around back then.  Stevie thinks he’s gorgeous and Jimmy says he looks like Lindsey from 1974.  Jimmy gets a bit testy, but Stevie strokes his ego by saying “you were gorgeous, and still are, you had the little Greek body of life, you were darling and still are.”  Jimmy feels better, but I just threw up in my mouth.  Phillip gets the third standing O from the judges, but Steven is a little slow on the take.  JHO says she feels the music, she feels how present he is in the moment.  Steven feels the same way, “but there’s still someone in there tryin’ to climb out.”  DAWG is so happy, he loves Johnny Lang, he’s a friend, he loves the individuality, and gives him “big props”.

Mantasia is going to sing “Without You” by Mariah.  Jimmy says it’s one of the top five hardest songs to sing.  Mantasia makes his way out of the creepy wilderness props and delivers.  He is very emotional at the end of the song and another standing O.  DAWG is name dropping again saying that he just talked to Maria and if she was listening, she would be proud.  He called Mantasia “flawless” and said that he delivered the emotion.  Steven says he pushed beyond his limits and JHO calls him a “phenom” and he is something special.

Hollie, Skylar, and Jessica sing a rather karaoke Madonna medley.  IT’s become painfully evident that the wardrobe department is trying to camouflage Skylar’s junk in da’ trunk, but it appears the outfit choices call more attention to it.  DAWG called it fun and liked Skylar’s “twang”.

Elise is rounding out the night with “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zepplin.  Jimmy said Elise murdered it.  They loved Elise so much, Stevie sang “Dreams” with her and said she would hire Elise in a second.  She delivers a unique performance, which gets the crowd rockin’ and slowly urges the judges out of their seats.  JHO starts screaming “I didn’t wanna get up!”  Is that a backhanded compliment or is she just lazy?  Steven said she pulled it off and JHO called her a “rock star”.  DAWG said something is in the air and everybody is in it to win it.  OHRS points out that Elise and Steven are wearing the same pants.  How cute.  Elise deserves mad props for this because it was a really difficult song to pull off, but she did it perfectly.  Performance of the night, point blank to the period.

Five standing O’s later…who will go home?  OHRS has Aerosmith breaking news, which isn’t really breaking…they are going on the “Global Warming Tour” and Steven wonders if he can say “Ass” on TV.  This results show has really become a giant info-mercial.  OHRS shows off the tweets from the contestant’s icons, which of course are all hearts and flowers.  Milli Vanilli didn’t get a tweet, but since Eric Benet was not busy, he delivered the props in person.

Elise, Dave Matthews, and Hollie are first up to face their fate.  Jimmy gives Elise props and says it was “one of the most transporting things” that can happen.  He thinks she may also do well in the 80’s theme next week.  Phillip impressed Stevie and Jimmy agrees that she is rarely wrong and we are witnessing a big star being born.  Little Hollie did a beautiful job, but Jimmy thinks she lacks experience.  OHRS calls out to “Karen” to dim the lights and he sends Hollie to the stools of death.  Elise and Phillip are safe.

After that nonsense, OHRS calls Colton, Mantasia, and Hey Jun to center stage.  The ever diabolical Jimmy didn’t think Colton was good enough, he thought Mantasia delivered 85% of the song.  The emotion cut off his voice, but he enjoyed Mantasia during the MJ medley.  Hey Jun still doesn’t impress Jimmy.  OHRS cuts up, it should be “harsh tag Jimmy, not hash tag Jimmy”.  With that OHRS sends Hey Jun to the stools of death and Colton and Mantasia are in the clear.  Mantasia also makes his way over to hug Elise who hangs in the balance.  That kid is a class act.

Skylar, Milli Vanilli, and Jessica are summoned for the moment of truth.  Jimmy enjoyed Skylar, but she needs to go for more melodic songs, but he felt she rose to the top during the Madonna medley.  Milli didn’t drive Jimmy wild and he feels there is still something missing.  Jimmy finds Jessica talented beyond her years and he wants to see more girl power.  OHRS sends Skylar to the stools of death and Jessica and DeAndre are safe.

Skylar and Hollie are spared and Hey Jun makes a reprise of last night’s song during his “sing for life”.  Dave Matthews looks on, tearily, wondering who will entertain him in the big, lonely mansion.

The judges huddle together and pretend to “discuss” scarves and halter tops whether or not they will use their one precious save.

We all know it won’t happen, as JHO’s eyeliner runs, OHRS prompts them for an answer.  Steven says “for the record you knew this was coming” as if to soften the blow.  See ya’ funny man!

Those Who Can, Do, Should, and Did

Our top 10 will perform songs from Billy Joel and the Judges all coordinated their outfits in black and white and OHRS finally rocks a tie, a vest, and a pocket square.  He’s just so spiffy, you want to put him in your pocket and take him home.  OHRS asks Steven for his expertise about what the contestants need to know about singing Billy Joel songs, which catches Steven completely off guard.  He was totally day dreaming while he applied a collection of fall-looking flowers on his microphone and arranged his “supplies” on the judges’ desk.  His opinion is this:  if the contestants can’t sing the Billy Joel songs, then they can’t sing.

We start with Tommy Hilfiger giving Milli Vanilli a consultation and then he is off to meet with Jimmy Iovine and none other than special guest, Sean “Diddy” Combs.  Diddy tells him to channel the times that existed when “Only the Good Die Young” was big.  They hope he has fun with the song or he will be D.O.A.  DeAndre gives it his best hop and skip moves, but it’s a bit too bee-boppy for my taste and a bit weak.  I am sure JHO and Steven will say it’s “beautiful”.  He flips his hair around like a Breck girl and jumps around and the audience seems to like it.  JHO tiptoes around with some constructive criticism while DAWG gets right to the point and appreciates the jump and the skip, but it didn’t wow him.  Me neither DAWG, me neither.

EVP is in a “New York State of Mind” this evening.  Diddy advises her to hold back a bit and not over sing it.  Tommy advises her to wear her hair short and so she gets it completely chopped and colored.  The new and improved EVP sports a short black “Sharon Osborne” cut and she belts out the NYC anthem with her soulful voice, however, I felt the perf overall was a bit “old” and mellow for her.  If she was going to be that low-key, she needed to really rip it out at the end.  Wah wah…DAWG did love it, but felt she should have done a run at the end and “wear us out”, JHO agrees and wanted to see her move around and feel the song, Steven thought she was outstanding.  OHRS comments that not since the “Sanjaya-Hawk” have we seen such a transformation and the Twitter feed is all positive.  DAWG seems outraged that OHRS has time to read twitter back stage and our nimble little host states that he was multi-tasking and also eating dinner.

Mantasia consults with Tommy and he suggests a tuxedo.  WTF?  He prepares to sing “She’s Got a Way”, which he has never heard before.  Wow…just wow.  These youngsters are so deprived.  Diddy gives Mantasia a “gut check” and tells him to get his mind on the song and the song on his mind!  WORD!  I have to say I am a bit disappointed in his perf, I always look forward to him and it was a bit lame.  JHO did not want to be negative, but she wasn’t feelin’ it.  Steven comes out from under his rock and says he doesn’t know the song either.  WHAT???  He enjoyed and said Josh “sang the sweat out of that song”.  DAWG felt that the understated Josh felt defeated before he began, DAWG agreed with both judges and called it a “half-half thing”.

Skylar became a bit Diddy-struck when she went into rehearsals.  She selected “Shameless” and she gets a double diva wave from Diddy and Jimmy because it felt forced.  She asks Diddy for an autograph and Jimmy turns away in disgust either over the fact that she was so star-struck or he was pouting because nobody gives a shit about who he is.  Tommy wastes no time going after her look, but lets her keep her “boot idea”.

Sidebar:  I am not really sure why we need Tommy Hilfiger’s commentary here.  This isn’t Project Runway, and he is certainly NO Tim Gunn.

If Tommy’s goal was to make Skylar’s ass look like the Goodyear blimp, well then congrats.  The dress could not be more unflattering.  Her perf is a little flat for my taste and the judges look flat out pissed.  DAWG found it pitchy, but she got better in the middle, not her best.  JHO loved her “attack” and Steven thought she sang it with conviction.  Translation = you bombed.

Elise is singing “Vienna” and Jimmy is worried that no one will know the song.  Diddy, however, wants her to go with it and make it special.  Tommy felt Elise was too “layered up” and he salivates over the thought of putting her in a pair of high-waisted bell bottoms.  Elise forgoes the bell bottoms and opts for a flowy maxi-dress.  The performance wasn’t terrible, but I could have done without the accordion player and she may have been better off with a more familiar song.  Judges love love love and they are on their feet.  Steven thought it was brilliant, JHO wants to shake her, hold her, and squeeze her.  DAWG called her “unbelievably talented” and she had the moment of the night.

Dave Matthews is having a meeting of the minds with OHRS about the business picking up at his home-town pawn shop since his fame on the show.  Tommy blatantly tells Phillip that he “needs some help” not to be rude of course.  He plans to sing “Movin’ Out”, but Diddy wants him to do away with the guitar and step out of his comfort zone.  Diddy is into it and gets Phillip groovin’ and signing to the ladies, but that doesn’t seem to be Phillip’s cup of tea.  Tommy noted that grey was the worst color to wear on stage and of course Phillip is in various shades of grey from head to toe and he has the guitar.  He’s clearly going to do his own thing.  Judges are elated and grinning ear to ear, JHO can barely get her words out the crowd is cheering so loud.  She agrees he is being who he is by snubbing the notes from the mentors.  Steven said he took the song and “Phillip Phillip’s-ed it”.  He commends him on the grey and tosses Phil his scarf and tells him to keep being him.  DAWG reiterates his credo of the night “those that can do, should”, and Phillip did it!  The girls in the front row are clamoring and screaming for the scarf, so Phillip throws it out to them.  Phillip seems overall indifferent to the whole image thing and he just wants to be himself.  Good luck in the music industry, my friend.

Little Hollie is up next and she receives a special video message from her brother Luke and his diva DAWG, Shankley.  Tommy hopes to glam her up and make her feel like a star.  Hollie has chosen “Honesty” and Jimmy and Diddy gave her some notes to help her connect to the meaning of the song.  Looks like Hollie found the high-waisted bell bottoms and part of a white tuxedo.  The pants make her look like she is on stilts and she actually looks like she should be welcoming us aboard the Love Boat and what is up with the dandelion?

The image is not very congruent with the song and the emotion she is trying to convey, but overall I enjoyed her vocal performance.  Again, judges look pissed.  Steven said she was pitchy and was over thinking the song, JHO didn’t feel she knew the song well enough, DAWG echoes.

Hey Jun is up next with “My Life” and he asks Jimmy and Diddy how he can handle criticism better.  They suggest he use it as fuel to push him to do better.  Diddy is trying to figure Hey Jun out “is he an actor, or a con man, I don’t know if he’s even Asian, he may be black!”  Thank you Diddy, line of the night.  Tommy thinks Hey Jun was testing him and he gives Hey Jun his best “get the f*ck away from me” look.  Hey Jun decided on the tuxedo and pretends like he lost his way at the beginning of the song and he pulls off the breakaway tux and starts singing his song and running around the stage in his typical Hey Jun comedian antics.  He is really not a singer at all, the kid needs to get a job on a variety show where he can sing, dance, and cut up.  Steven could not look more annoyed if he tried and doesn’t even clap for the class clown.  JHO thought he brought the fun, Steven addresses him as “He Man” and asks him if he’s happy that he “took the piss out of that song”.  He echoes the sentiments of the mentors and tells him that the music business will “kick your ass” and he needs to take it more seriously.  DAWG found it somewhat entertaining and was glad that he had a good time.

Jessica Sanchez is thrilled to meet Tommy and discuss her outfit choice, which he approves of no questions asked.  She is singing “Everybody Has a Dream” and Diddy feels he has a responsibility to be honest with her and he did not believe her and she was over singing it.  Hold back on the tricks, less is more.  She delivers a very good performance in standard Jessica style and gets a standing O from the judges.  Steven has nothing to say except “thank you for lettin’ me hear you sing, baby”.  JHO felt it was a “defining moment” for her and DAWG commends her for having a moment every time she is on stage.

Colton is our final performance of the night and Tommy adored him and couldn’t wait to feast his eyes on his hair.  Tommy is concerned that the hair takes away and Colton said “I hate that he immediately discredited it.”  Colton will sing “Piano Man” and Diddy said he wanted to buy the record by the time they were done with rehearsal.  As much as I have not been a Colton fan, I must admit that this was the performance of the night.  He really did a great job with it.  He doesn’t get a standing O, but JHO got goosies and she says “Diddy, [pause] I was going to say Puffy…gave you the biggest compliment when he said he would by that record.”  She almost let the show go by without reminding us that they used to be a couple.  Steven said it was stunning and outrageous and DAWG loves that he is an individual.  He found it sensitive and touching.

Results are in and judges enter the stage.  JHO is wearing a dress so bright, I think I sustained retina damage.  She later refers to it as “Super Pink”, but it’s more like “Pepto Pink”.  OHRS descends the Hasbro’s slippery steps and he has not changed a bit, proving once more that he sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber.  He reminds us that the judges “save” is still in play, but I doubt they will use it this early.  They are saving it in case America gets it wrong and Jessica Sanchez is in danger.  The group number treats us to “The Longest Time” and Elise became the envy of every woman in America by sitting on Steven’s lap while she sang her solo line, which she sealed with a kiss on his cheek.  The contestants are snapping their little fingers frenetically throughout the number, they must be exhausted.

Hollie, Skylar, and Elise face their fate first and Jimmy felt that Hollie was a “Diva in headlights”, Skylar is starting to stall and she’s got to grow fast, and Elise gave Jimmy goosies.  All three are safe and will move into the party mansion.

OHRS takes a moment to acknowledge Steven’s upcoming birthday and as he turns Steven around in his chair to face the stage, the top 10 are there to sing happy birthday along with Steven’s long time partner in grime, guitarist Joe Perry.  Steven looks genuinely excited and touched to see Joe and then genuinely overcome with emotion as JHO hugs him.  I am not terribly surprised at the emotion here, there has been a lot of turmoil between the two long-time band mates and much scuttlebutt over possibly kicking Steven out of the band (pre-Idol) and Steven’s subsequent decision to take the Idol gig without consulting them.  At any rate, there is much love in the room and Steven tears up a bit and the guyliner starts to run, so they get it in check and OHRS moves on with the show.

Milli, Mantasia, and Jessica are up next.  Milli Vanilli was frolicking around too much for Jimmy’s taste, Mantasia let Jimmy down and he went into a Darth Vader thing during the bridge, but our sweet Jessica gets “A’s across the board.”  Jessica is safe and even received an endorsement from Billy Joel himself.  Yes, but did she get an e-mail?  Josh is also safe and DeAndre takes the first stool of death.

Former contestant Haley Reinhart is on stage in a cage to sing her new single “Free”.  I got news, nobody wins from this misery.

In all seriousness, it was actually a great performance and she sounded good.  Hair and makeup just need to tone down the hair and set the makeup gun to “Whore in Training” instead of “Full-Blown Pro at Hollywood and Vine”.

OHRS calls up the last row of peeps, Colton, Phillip, EVP, and Hey Jun.  Colton won Jimmy over and Colton got the e-mail from Billy, Dave Matthews ruffled Jimmy’s feathers a bit by ignoring the advice, EVP was bold and brave and Jimmy thinks she deserves to be the “top of the batch”.  Jimmy agreed that Hey Jun made Steven angry and that Hey Jun disrespected the entire process, it was like four minutes of a bad Adam Sandler movie that goes straight to DVD.  Wow, harsh words from the tin man.  OHRS asks Hey Jun to respond and he explained he was just trying to be who he is.  EVP and Hey Jun are sent to the stools of death.  Colton and Phillip are safe.

JHO reacts to the bottom three and reinforces that they are all wonderful and losing any of them is sad.  DeAndre and Hey Jun are safe.  EVP gets one last chance to blow her guts up, and blow she does.  She gives it her all, but it’s not enough to move the judges to make a save.  One could say Erika pulled a Billy Joel…crash-n-burn.