'American Idol' Recap: Jessica Shines & No One Flops
'American Idol' Recap: Jessica Shines & No One Flops

5. Jessica Sanchez - "Steal Away"

I was a bit worried for Jessica when I heard she was singing Etta James, but she pulled through nicely. What worked with this performance? It wasn't flashy, and was certainly unmemorable, but it was still solid. I can't really find many faults with her, because she sang the song the way it should be sung. "Steal Away" is just not a song that you really wow folks with, especially at this point of the competition, which is why my feelings toward it are merely lukewarm.

6. Phillip Phillips - "Have You Ever Seen the Rain"

Am I the only one that's noticing a recurring trend with Phillip? When he's got his guitar, he tends to be at his best. Without it, he just seems so out-of-place and uncomfortable. It's kind of like Crystal Bowersox two years ago, although she pulled off the sans-guitar performances much more nicely. With Phillip, there's nothing to focus on but his voice, and there's rarely anything too flashy when that happens. He wasn't bad, but I also feel like I could have heard the same vocal at my local karaoke night.

7. Joshua Ledet - "You Raise Me Up"

Joshua singing a song that's gotten the gospel treatment a hundred times over already -- what could go wrong, right? I can't call this bad, but Joshua has shone quite a bit on slower-tempo songs, and this song's kind of in his wheelhouse, so the fact that he didn't slay it, like many would have expected, is troubling. By the end, I just wanted a little more, which I know he's more than capable of giving. Joshua's been anything but boring this year, but this song probably ranks as his closest to that distinction.

8. Hollie Cavanagh - "I Can't Make You Love Me"

Aside from the fact that she just got flat-out out-performed Wednesday night, this is the performance that might have been the nail in Hollie's coffin. The Bonnie Raitt tune was something she probably should have really owned, but Hollie made the mistake of focusing too much on showing emotion and passion, and too little on her overall vocal. In the end, she sacrificed vocal power bringing the song to the stage, and I think it'll cost her.

Elimination prediction: It's gotta be Hollie. Only pure luck can save you after being outdone by your peers like she was Wednesday night. She's had a great and unexpected run, but I think this will be the last week we see her.

Who was the best and worst of the top four? Who will be going home in the next elimination? Was the Joshua-Jessica one-two punch at show's end one of the best combos in "Idol" history? Sound off in the comments!

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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