American Idol: The Entertainer(s)

We all know that American Idol appeals mostly to teens – or at least that’s who votes, anyway – so who better to pay tribute to than Billy Joel? They all know his tunes! I mean, I LOVE Billy Joel. But these theme nights on Idol are getting a little old, and I’m at the point where I feel like I’ve heard every Billy Joel song covered more than once on the Idol stage. You know it’s a bad sign when I’m not excited about a theme night for a singer I actually really like.

DeAndre Brackensick – “Only The Good Die Young”

Oh man. From the moment I heard what song DeAndre was singing I knew it would be terrible. I love this song, but coming out of DeAndre it was sickeningly sappy, cheesy and teenybopper-ish. Not that Billy Joel is exactly a badass, but there is zero grit to DeAndre’s voice. I absolutely could not buy the idea of him trying to corrupt some young gal. Coming out of this guy, it’s like he really wants to hold hands.

Erika Van Pelt – “New York State of Mind”

Whoa – what a makeover on Erika! Craziness. I think she looks great. I know Idol voters aren’t really responding to Erika, but I think she’s got a really strong voice. I enjoyed her performance a lot. It was mellow, but it suited her and I liked that she tried to change the song up.

Joshua Ledet – “She’s Got a Way”

This theme night was going to be tough for Joshua, and he’d never even heard the song he chose before. I didn’t love his performance, but I thought Joshua did OK with a song that doesn’t really suit him. This guy is definitely a church singer.

Skylar Laine – “Shameless”

I’m glad Diddy (that’s what he’s called these days, right?) told Skylar to tone down her performance, because she’s much better when she goes soft and loud rather than belting out the whole thing. I’m not familiar with this song, but I enjoyed it. I don’t think Skylar will win this thing, but I can see her landing in the top five.

Elise Testone – “Vienna”

Not a lot of people know this song, so I understand why Jimmy and Diddy weren’t big on the idea of Elise singing it. ButI know it, and I love it! I felt like it was a good showcase for Elise’s style, even if it’s an unfamiliar tune. I still think teenage American girls won’t vote for Elise because they’re too busy looking at DeAndre’s hair, but I dig her.

Phillip Phillips – “Movin’ Out”

Are we all in love with Phillip Phillips yet? I am. He really is the new David Cook, isn’t he? I loved his take on this song. I’m worried that this schtick might get old within a couple more weeks, but for now I’m still a fan.

Hollie Cavanagh – “Honesty”

This is my jam! OK, not exactly. But I really love this Billy Joel song. It’s one of my favorite ballads of his, and Hollie is a ballads kind of girl. Did anyone else think that Hollie looked even older than usual after Tommy Hilfiger said she was being dressed too old for her age? It was weird. Anyway, I thought she killed her performance despite some pitch problems in the beginning. Fantastic – emotionally and vocally.

Heejun Han – “My Life”

Oh. My. God. The bit with the piano? Incredibly awkward. The entire performance? PAINFUL. I’m glad Heejun tried to mix it up by choosing a fast song, but he cannot pull off “My Life”. Oh, honey, no. No one is worried, no one is telling you it’s time to come home. Oh man. You know you’re bad when Randy’s telling you “at least you had fun”. Also, did Heejun seriously tell Tommy Hilfiger he wanted to look like Michael Bolton?

Jessica Sanchez – “Everybody Has A Dream”

I don’t know this song, and I think there’s likely a reason for that. Jessica is a freakin’ amazing singer, but this song was kind of cheesy. Anyway, that aside – girlfriend is amazing. She’s like a tiny, young Jennifer Hudson. She’s way too good for this show. Someone give her a record deal, a Disney show, and a teen rom-com ASAP.

Colton Dixon – “Piano Man”

This song is a crowd pleaser, and Colton is a great performer. So just from the tiny clip of his rehearsal, I knew it would be great. And he’s good, but I thought he was intentionally cracking his voice too much in the first half. The second half was splendid. Overall? One of my favorites of the night.

So what did y’all think? A good night? Do you wish people have left well enough alone with Billy Joel’s melodies? How many of these kids do you think had heard of Billy Joel before last week – three? four?

And now, my rankings. I think this is Heejun’s week to go home. *fingers crossed*

  1. Jessica Sanchez (Last week #4)
  2. Colton Dixon (Last week #2)
  3. Phillip Phillips (Last week #5)
  4. Elise Testone (Last week #7)
  5. Hollie Cavanagh (Last week #3)
  6. Erika Van Pelt (Last week #8)
  7. Skylar Laine (Last week #6)
  8. Joshua Ledet (Last week #1)
  9. DeAndre Brackensick (Last week #9)
  10. Heejun Han (Last week #10)
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About Jill

Pop culture junkie and TV aficionado. I write sharp and snarky TV recaps at www.couchtimewithjill.com
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8 Responses to American Idol: The Entertainer(s)

  1. Vance says:

    Teens don’t dominate voting. Cougars do.

    • Jill says:

      I disagree. I’ve read multiple times how most Idol voters are tween and teen girls, and they vote multiple times – like, 500 times – via text message. Older women vote too, but via phone where they only get a few votes in due to busy signals. So young girls dominate who stays and who goes.

  2. Salley says:

    Sorry but the only thing Phillip Phillips has in common with David Cook is the way he changes songs up. P2 is more Dave Matthews than Cook.

  3. Greg says:

    I agree with Salley about P2 being like Dave Mathews. Even the way he holds his guitar and facial expressions. Watch a DMB video. Jessica is my number one pic. If she gets voted off, it’s because she IS too good for the show. At the end of her song last night, her facial expression reminded me of the late, great Whitney. Take a look.

  4. Jill says:

    Sorry, I should have been clearer – that’s why I think he’s similar to David Cook. What he did with that song seemed like something Cook would do.

    Vocally, yeah, very Dave Matthews. Which could get old for me.

  5. Laurien says:

    Really? HeeJun is still around and Erika got the boot? Are you kidding me? He doesn’t belong on American Idol anymore than I do. It must be that all the asians are voting for him. He clearly communicated that he thinks it is all a joke. I don’t believe for a minute he still wants to be there only he’s too much of a coward to quit.

  6. cigar says:

    HeeJun must go. He should have never went to Hollywood. Poor judging, especially J-Lo. We need Simon. I won’t spend money to see the tour show….HeeJun isn’t worth it. The judges have ruined this year’s contest.

  7. Jill says:

    Those results were disappointing. Who is Vote For The Worst Supporting?

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