In sharp contrast to last week’s performances where the judges were on their feet more than on their booties, this week’s theme of Songs from the 80′s brought a more middle of the road range of performances, with a whittled-down count of only two Big O’s. This underwhelming theme of so-so, however, leveled the playing field among the contestants, making it even more difficult to discern the good, from the bad, to the just you-look-nice-tonight contestants. After all, at this point, with only eight contestants in the running, they really all should be at least good, shouldn’t they? Let’s begin by recapping the performances, or if you’re just too antsy, read faster or scroll down below to see the results from the ZabaSearch Prediction Engine, our forecast for who will be the most likely to fall from the Top 8 tonight on American Idol.
TOP 8 RECAP & REVIEW
The evening starts off on a (only literally) high note as DeAndre Brackensick takes on I Like It by DeBarge. Filled with DeAndre’s same-old-same-old falsetto, the bottom line is that either you liked it or you did not. We did not, though we know this will likely irk the ranks of DreDreamers out there. The judges also begged to differ, probably under the spell of a hypnotic trance induced by the constant whipping of hair back and forth — even Steven admits it, “Totally captivating,” he says. Clearly, he’s addressing DeAndre’s hairyography.
Our call: DANGER ZabaScore: 0.5
Elise Testone takes the stage and gives us a rock ballad version of I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner. What’s the verdict on this one? Decide for yourself after you hear the judges’ comments. Jennifer says, “You look beautiful tonight,” while the boys dribble on about song choice. What’s the age old unspoken rule of American Idol? If you have nothing good to say, compliment the contestant’s appearance.
Our call: DANGER ZabaScore: 0.3
Up next, simple guy (why waste two names when one is good enough?) Phillip Phillips’ take on the Genesis classic That’s All. We can’t help but to immediately begin to draw comparisons between Phil Squared and Phil Collins — same name (in fact, three times over between the two of them), and that same simple style of dress and knack for good, clean music. Bottom line here — good, clean performance. Steven says, “You just love being who you are.” What exactly does that mean? We are still trying to figure that one out.
Our call: SAFE ZabaScore: 3.1
Enter Joshua Ledet with If You Don’t Know Me By Now by Simply Red. Can this kid sing or what? No doubt, after two amazingly good, up-on-your-feet performances in a row, we know that Josh Ledet is a force to be reckoned with, but probably not on American Idol. Raw talent aside, we think that Joshua lacks that commercial quality that would make him a contender to the end. Josh can sing, but he simply doesn’t have the broad audience appeal that he needs to make it to the end. Throw this guy back in time three or four decades (with American Idol host Dick Clark) and we’d have a winner. Unfortunately, voting takes place present day, so make the most out of what little time you have left, Josh.
Our call: WILDCARD ZabaScore: 1.6
Our call: SAFE ZabaScore: 7.0
Good golly, Miss Hollie, you’ve just landed yourself right smack in the danger zone. After a somewhat dismal performance the previous week and clearly waning popularity among fans, Hollie renders a stiff, detached,, painful-to-watch performance of Irene Cara’s What a Feeling from the movie Flashdance, leaving us more to wonder, where’s the feeling? Sadly, the judges don’t even bother to tell her how nice she looks, and instead they focus on her “not connecting” with the song. What they were really meant was, “Did you even watch the movie?” Clearly, the answer is no, but we will at least give Hollie props for having the wherewithall to stay away from the leg warmers.
Our call: DANGER ZabaScore: 0.1
Colton Dixon arrives, sporting a new hair color as promised and delivering a semi-rocked out version of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time. We are pleased to report that it works! If you can get past the ever present semi-glazed look in Colton’s eyes that always makes us wonder if he’s really paying attention, he is a really good singer, and there is no doubt that he is wildly popular among fans. Good singer and highly commercial — we think Colton has the makings to be a real contender in this gig we call American Idol. (Oh, that and he had a really good drummer last night.)
Our call: SAFE ZabaScore: 5.0
Lastly, Skylar Laine appears in a prom-like display of fuchsia to deliver an emotional version of Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler. We think it was darn good, but it still fell short of brilliant. Overreacting (or just relieved the evening is over), Jennifer is in tears and the judges are on their feet. The rest of us still can’t believe she didn’t choose Nine to Five.
Our call: SAFE, WITH SLIGHT CHANCE OF WILDCARD ZabaScore: 1.8
The Bottom Three
The Wild Cards
Who’s Going Home