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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol, Mar. 8 – Outlook for Remaining Final 12

Before we even get into Thursday night’s American Idol results, I have to first take issue with a statement from Jimmy Iovine. He said on the results show that God mass-produces too many singers. He was making a point that Whitney Houston, however, was one-of-a-kind. He doesn’t mass-produce too many. Singing is good. They don’t all have to be on American Idol. Having people who are happy singing isn’t a bad thing. It makes the world a better place.

With that PSA over, we can get to the results. I had a feeling that a guy would be going home tonight. In this special one week only male vs. female, where the judges would decide whether the guy or the girl with the lowest amount of votes would go home, it seemed designed so that we didn’t have the first few finalists voted out being female, as it’s been for the past few seasons.

The bottom three guys were Jeremy Rosado, Jermaine Jones, and surprisingly Joshua Ledet. The bottom three girls were Elise Testone, Shannon Magrane, and surprisingly Erika Van Pelt. Joshua and Erika weren’t sent back to their seats immediately, and eventually Jeremy and Elise were named the bottom two. Elise was originally voted into the top 10, and Jeremy was only there as Jennifer Lopez’s wildcard pick. Two weeks in a row America said they didn’t want Jeremy Rosado there. The judges seemed to reluctantly agree and sent him home.

Here’s a look at what Elise and the rest of the top 12 have to do to stay next week and possibly make it to the end.

Deandre Brackensick – It took a wildcard to get him into the final 13, but his performance kept him here for the final 12. The key was finding a way to be unique. I don’t know if he can do it every week though. He’ll keep hanging around as long as he’s unique. And his his looks don’t hurt him at all.

Hollie Cavanagh – I fear that this young girl won’t be around too long. While she’s an extremely talented singer, her style is too much like Jessica Sanchez, who is winning over the judges already. She needs to do something to stand apart, as people aren’t going to remember her performances next to Jessica’s.

Colton Dixon – Jimmy doesn’t think Colton has found his truth yet. He thinks he needs to figure out whether he’s going to be a pop star or rock star. I disagree with that, as I don’t think you have to choose one or the other. I think Colton knows exactly who he is. And so far, it seems the voters do as well. If he was able to find a way to do this genre, I think he’ll stick around for awhile.

Heejun Han – There is just something so likable about this guy. But it’s not just his affability, as he also has a great voice. Even Mary J. Blige said she didn’t expect that voice to come out of him. Jimmy only saw him as a character last week, but he won him over this week. He definitely has what it takes to last awhile.

Jermaine Jones – The best part of Jermaine’s week wasn’t his singing, although he did good. What was great was that he started to open up and show a little bit more of his personality, despite being in the bottom three. I’m not sure if American knows what to think of the guy Ryan Seacrest has named “The Gentle Giant,” but do think he has a shot at sticking around for awhile if he keeps showing personality.

Skylar Laine – Randy Jackson was right. This week she proved she could sing anything. She’s a Reba-style country singer and took on Whitney this week and did great. Jennifer thought she sounded a little nasally, but Jimmy said he likes nasal. She’s another really likable person, an on top of that, she proved she can sing anything. She just might be there for the long haul.

Joshua Ledet – Joshua landing in the bottom three is a puzzling one, just like Erika Van Pelt. However, unlike her, he was voted into the top 10. For some reason voters liked him a lot then, but not this week. I don’t know if it had so much to do with performance though. He was the first of thirteen to sing. There were other memorable performances after his, and I think he was just forgotten about. However, if he gets a later spot and ends up in the bottom again, he’ll know he has something to work on.

Shannon Magrane – This young girl is a huge talent. The problem came when she was asked to sing Whitney Houston. It’s hard for adults to pull off, let alone a teenage girl. While she has the voice to sing I Have Nothing, I don’t think she has the life experiences to understand the song fully. It’s something that brings a lot of the younger singers down. And for some reason the young girls always try to take on these big songs. If she avoids that in the future, she’ll be fine.

Phil Phillips – Jimmy referred to Phil as a great musician both vocally and instrumentally. He came knowing who he is, and Jimmy knows that’s a definite advantage. However, he’s nervous about him going up againste the girl with the “vocal fireworks.” I don’t think he’ll have to worry about that for quite awhile. People don’t vote for everyone with the vocal fireworks. They’ll weed out that pack, then Phil will need to worry about going up against that. For now, he’s so unique, he’ll stick around.

Jessica Sanchez – Jimmy said it best. She may be one of the best ever on the show, but if she believes her applause too early, it could lead to overconfidence. Let’s hope she’s just as stunning next week and that she didn’t peak too soon. If she continues to be this impressive, she’ll be there at the end.

Elise Testone – Elise blew everyone away with her Adele song last week. but this week she tried to sing Whitney Houston in her own style, and it just didn’t go over well. There’s a right way and wrong way to changing the style of a song to suit you. See Phil Phillips. If she finds a way to go beyond what she does well, she’ll stick around.

Erika Van Pelt – What does this girl have to do to get the votes? She was great last week, yet only got to this week as a wildcard. She was great again this week, and Jimmy, Mary, and all three judges loved her, yet she landed in the bottom three. She must be wondering what she has to do. She’s a favorite of mine, but perhaps she’s not connecting with others. Maybe it’s like Jermaine, and she just needs to find a way to show a different side to her personality. If she doesn’t figure it out quickly though, she won’t stick around.

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