'American Idol' Recap: Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez Shine on 'Modern' Tunes
The night "American Idol" contestants sing modern songs is always an intriguing episode because, hey, the music's relevant for once!
Make no mistake -- I'm not discounting the allure of the past and belting out tunes that older viewers will recognize, but it's always nice to see contestants performing the songs of their generation. Because, remember, whoever wins this competition is going to be thrown into the modern music world head first. It's good to see how they'll stack up.
Or you'll have that awkward moment when half the singers pick a modern song no one knows. Such was Wednesday night. Sigh.
With the theme being songs of the 2010s, the remaining seven contestants hit the stage last night (April 11) after coaching from mentor Jimmy Iovine and guest
6. Phillip Phillips - "Give a Little More"
OK, Phil, the schtick's getting old. There's staying true to yourself, and then there's never leaving your comfort zone. J-Lo echoed my exact sentiments: underwhelming, and we've seen the performance a couple times before. You know the drill if you've been watching -- Phillip takes a song, morphs it to his guitar-pickin' needs (in this case, a Maroon 5 obscurity) and rasps and winces his way through it. I have a bad feeling about him, because I worry he'll go the same route as Lee Dewyze -- winning, but fading into obscurity shortly thereafter.
7. Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Of the group performances, this was the least annoying -- and even it was cringeworthy at times. Along the way, we learned that Jessica Sanchez is in fact human, and that she can still outshine Hollie even when she's not at her best. Even Joshua oversang the thing a bit. It's Kelly Clarkson, brah. No need to go all out.
8. Hollie Cavanagh - "Perfect"
Hollie turned in a very OK performance of the Pink standard, and at this point in the competition, OK isn't cutting it at all. It's a shame, because the young'n generally sounds quite good, with Wednesday being no exception. There's simply no entertainment factor with her. Jessica sings mainly ballads as well, but her performances are often captivating. With Hollie, I'm often caught wondering when it'll be over. Having a good voice doesn't matter if you're not drawing in the listener.
9. Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon - "Don't You Wanna Stay"
This one wasn't Colton's fault per se. The Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson duet was merely outside of his style, surely chalked up to Skylar's country leanings. The main problems with the performance? Producers trying to kindle a romance that just doesn't seem to be there, and Skylar trying to hit some of the bigger notes of the song -- and failing. No performance on "Idol" should cause one to cringe at this point in the competition, but each time she went to hit one of the higher notes, I know I winced.
10. Phillip Phillips, Elise Testone - "Somebody That I Used to Know"
I love this Gotye song, so naturally I was excited to hear it performed on live TV. And then I slowly realized the range Gotye possesses, coming to the conclusion that Phillip was going to struggle. And he did. Big time. He struggled to hit many of the notes on the chorus, and even Elise had similar struggles of her own. Classic example of why this duet thing needs to go. I want Phillip to get out of his comfort zone, but not his vocal range. Neither of them were able to match the quirky, sparse vibe of the original.
Going home tonight: Hollie has been struggling the past few weeks to really find her voice, while Jessica has been leaving her in the dust. It could (and probably will) come down to her and Elise, but based on both last night's and the last few weeks' performances, Hollie's time should be up.
Who should get the boot and who should move on to the top six? Do the duets in between solo performances need to go? Agree or disagree with my rankings? Let us know in the comments below, and tune in to the results show, which will feature performances from "Idol" alums Jennifer Hudson and James Durbin, tonight at 8 p.m. on FOX.