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

American Idol, Mar. 15 – Outlook for Remaining Top 10

One week ago we had the American Idol full top 13, and the judges decided to send Jeremy Rosado home instead of Elise Testone. Tuesday night this year’s Idol controversy took place, and the producers sent home Jermaine Jones after not disclosing he had warrants out against him. While you would assume that kept everyone safe this week, that would be a wrong assumption. Idol still sent someone home this week, as the top 13 became the top 12, the top 11, and suddenly the final 10, all within one week.

This meant that as usual, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez (looking gorgeous in gold lamé), and Steven Tyler would get the chance to save whoever was voted out. It was a safe bet it would be a girl, as anyone who is a big fan of this show could tell you. The first bottom threes is usually all female, and the first few voted out are always female. With the guys already down two, a girl getting the least amount of votes was a safe bet.

Sure enough, despite Ryan Seacrest’s dramatic announcements, it was an all-female bottom three. Elise, who performed great last night, was called safe first, followed by Erika van Pelt. This left Shannon Magrane in need of a judges’ save.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be for young Shannon. In the first place, she didn’t sing very well for her save-me song, which is understandable considering the stress. However, it wasn’t about to change anyone’s mind. Secondly, there’s a glut of young ballad singers this year. They’re going to start cancelling each other out. The judges have already decided Jessica Sanchez is the best of them, meaning Shannon’s time was doomed, and Hollie Cavanagh could be next.

Here’s a look at what Hollie and the rest of the top 10 have to do to stay next week and possibly make it to the end.

Deandre Brackensick – Hopefully Deandre learned a very important lesson this week. Jimmy Iovine is there providing help, but he isn’t going to stand by the help he gives you. The judges all tore Deandre up for doing Endless Love that Jimmy and will.i.am told him to do. Jimmy said tonight it was ultimately Deandre’s decision. Next time, Deandre needs to follow his gut and do a song that he knows and likes. He’ll never win with one that doesn’t fill him with passion, even if Jimmy tries to convince him it’s a winner.

Hollie Cavanagh – This young girl has one thing going for her, and that’s the judges’ approval. They all pointed out that she had some pitchy moments in her song, then held her up as one of the best of the night. She did sing really well, but she’s not going to last if she can’t find a way to stand out, She needs to let loose with her personality. See Heejun Han.

Colton Dixon – He’s this year’s rocker, and does a fine job at it, meaning he’ll stick around for awhile. He took a bold chance this week in picking a song that most people wouldn’t know. What made it work is that he knew the song and had passion for it. That’s why he performed it well. We believed the performance. That was better than him singing some soft rock song he couldn’t care less about that Jimmy or will.i.am could have suggested. So far, he’s doing everything right.

Heejun Han – Strictly going by performance only, Heejun really belonged in the bottom three. However, he does a great job in entertaining us each week with his humor. We remember that when it comes to voting. He also happens to have a very good voice, despite not showing it this week. And Jimmy is right about him this time. Heejun needs to break out of the ballad mold and show us something else.

Skylar Laine – She got murdered for her song choice this week, but it was one that was particularly fitting to her. It may not have been very challenging, but she already covered that last week. Next week, though, she needs to step out of the box again to keep showing some depth.

Joshua Ledet – This guy killed it this week. There was no way he was going to wind up in the bottom three again. I’m not sure if I would call it the best ever on Idol like J-Lo did, but it definitely ranks up there among the best ever. And the best praise of all? Percy Sledge called and said he loved Joshua’s version of the song and said he was proud of him. That is high praise right there. If he finds a way to keep on pulling out those performances, he’s golden, but he needs to be careful to not turn it into a revival meeting every week.

Phil Phillips – The guy has kidney stones this week and goes in to meet up with Jimmy and will.i.am hours before surgery … and still killed the song. That’s dedication, and one hell of an artist. He killed the song even more live this week. As long as he keeps being unique and picking perfect songs, he’ll be here until the final few.

Jessica Sanchez – I thought she did a good job on Turn the Beat Around this week, but the judges and Jimmy really took her to task. The way Jimmy explained it, she screamed, and when she did that she lost her breath, and when she did that, she lost her timing. But she’s so good, that when she’s not great, she’s still good. Unless she loses complete confidence, which is possible at her age, she’ll be around for the long haul.

Elise Testone – She did amazing this week and still ended up in the bottom three. What does this girl have to do to avoid being in the bottom? Maybe she needs to show some personality or something, as I don’t think there’s anything she could have done to improve her performance this week. But whatever is the reason, she’s not clicking with the voters.

Erika Van Pelt – See Elise Testone. Erika also keeps showing up in the bottom. Perhaps America has something against older women … that is if you can call the late 20s older. They have more life experiences behind them, and you can hear it in their rich tones. Again, they need to show some personality and hopefully America will see them for the fine performers they are.

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