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

American Idol, Mar. 22 – Outlook for Remaining Top 9

I am pretty sure after she was eliminated, Erika Van Pelt was asking what a girl has to do to get votes on this show. For some reason she just never clicked with the voting audience. Her performance was never once lacking, so it certainly isn’t anything like that. And this week she threw caution to the wind and changed her look dramatically. Apparently it wasn’t her look that was holding her back.

The rocker chicks don’t exactly have a good history on this show though. And for older women it’s even worse. The voters showed that doesn’t help matters at all. Not that she’s old to me, as I’m a good twenty years older than her. Yet, she’s the second oldest in the bunch, with the only one who is older than her being Elise Testone, who is also having a hard time feeling the love from the voters.

Think about it though. In season one, Ryan Starr went out in 7th place, and Nikki McKibbin made it all the way to 3rd. Season two: Kimberly Caldwell went out in 7th and Vanessa Olivarez 12th. Season three: Amy Adams went out in 10th. Season four and five: None. Season six: Gina Glocksen 9th. Season seven: Carly Smithson 6th and Amanda Overmyer 11th. Season eight: Allison Iraheta 8th. Season nine: Crystal Bowersox 2nd and Siobhan Magnus 6th. Season ten: None.

As far as women older than 25? Only Naima Adedapo 26, Melinda Doolittle 29, LaKisha Jones 27, Mandisa 29, and Nadia Turner 27 have made it to the finalist portion of the show. But look at the talent there that was passed up in favor of younger women. Elise Testone should be very concerned.

Here’s a look at what Elise and the rest of the top 9 have to do to stay next week and possibly make it to the end.

Deandre Brackensick – Deandre can’t seem to choose songs that he clicks with. He won’t be there much longer if he can’t figure out how to make us believe him when he sings. Not that that helped Erika at all, but it should help Deandre who definitely has a portion of the young female vote, but I think he shares it with Colton Dixon who seems to have it figured out how to pick songs that match up to him well.

Hollie Cavanagh – Jimmy Iovine nailed it in critiquing her this week. Her strength is in technique, and when that’s off, she loses it. Yet at the same time, she also needs to stop picking songs she thinks her technique will sound good on, yet not caring anything about the content of the song, as she’s not connecting. Clearly, she’s making it through because she’s young, but the young gals who can’t get it figured out start to fall after too many disconnects. She and Deandre might need to compare notes.

Colton Dixon – He’s still doing it all right. He knows who and what he is. He knows what he likes in his hair and when to sing a rock song, and when to go tender at the piano. He clearly has some of the young female vote, and he’s getting the rock vote as well. For a guy who didn’t intend to audition this year, he figured it all out pretty quickly.

Heejun Han – This is the second week in a row he belonged in the bottom three, and this time he hit it. His problem is in his confidence in himself. Instead of giving him Jimmy Iovine and Tommy Hilfiger, they need to get this guy a counselor to get him to see that he’s extremely talented, and if he’d rely on that instead of going for the laugh, he could make it really far. Steven Tyler was right; it’s time to take this thing seriously.

Skylar Laine – She has the country vote wrapped up this year. She showed early on she could sing non-country as well. But she has to keep that in mind and dip past it occasionally, or she won’t make it to the end on pure country. Carrie Underwood and Lauren Alaina figured out that right balance.

Joshua Ledet – I warned last week that he needed to be careful to not turn it into a revival meeting every week. He’s starting to creep into that territory and is starting to be called out on it. The guy has mad talent and is a favorite to make it all the way, but unless he steps out of his wheelhouse, he’s not going to get there.

Phil Phillips – He was not being disrespectful this week to not take the advice. It’s interesting that Colton gets praise for knowing who he is, but not Phillip. Sure it’s nice to wear colors other than grey onscreen, and sure it’s nice when we can see him put down the guitar. But if he’s not comfortable doing these things, it’ll come off on-camera. He’s so uniquely different, let him be already. I would so much rather watch his uniqueness every week than someone fitting the cookie cutter Jimmy keeps trying to shove him into.

Jessica Sanchez – When the judges and Jimmy don’t like her, I do, and when I don’t like her, they do. She got a standing O this week. I thought it was good technically, but didn’t think she was connecting or understanding the song really well. With her voice, she can pull off the older songs, but the subject matter needs to be something somewhat relevant to a teenager, or it just seems weird. She’s got an old soul, but I’d love to see her let loose. Yet when she did that with Turn the Beat Around, the judges trashed her.

Elise Testone – She didn’t take Tommy Hilfiger’s advice to wear bellbottoms, and it’s a good thing she didn’t. She wouldn’t have come off nearly as good that way. She knows who she is. Her song was technically amazing. Randy Jackson was right that there aren’t many singers out there who could pull off that run she had at the end. And she also humanized herself a little pulling two of her students onstage and putting herself in teacher mode for a few minutes. If she keeps doing things like that and sticking to her guns, she might be one of the rare older females to make it to the end.Don’t miss a single recap of this show or others. Check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

 

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