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American Idol, Mar. 22 – Outlook for Remaining Top 8

Hopefully Heejun Han is thinking the past few days that he went out on a good note. He had a few bad weeks, and really did deserve to go last week, but this week he didn’t. He saw the error of his ways and fixed it to launch a comeback. Sadly, it wasn’t enough.

It’s easy to see how someone goes in the wrong direction, though. Since the beginning, Heejun has gotten the funny edit. It seems that’s all we were shown of his time in Hollywood. Then when he was chosen as a semifinalist we were a little surprised that he actually did have some talent, because we weren’t seeing it really until then.

After singing some ballads in the first few live shows, Heejun was told to mix it up and that he couldn’t just do ballads. He did that and got nutty last week to work into that comedic side of his personality and got totally trashed for not taking the show serious enough. There was a line he was missing between funny and talent. We liked the funny guy, but need to see his talent always. It just doesn’t always need to be a ballad. But that in no way means to take any performance that lightly.

That said, he put it all back together this week. He kept some humor about himself, but threw every bit of his emotion into his performance. You could literally see it on his face. He realized he was letting down those kids he works with back home, as well as himself. He put it all on the line, and received a standing ovation from the judges Sadly, it wasn’t enough to win over the voting public, who were surely still remembering last week, but it was a great note to go out on for him.

Here’s a look at what the top 8 have to do to stay next week and possibly make it to the end to avoid making mistakes like Heejun, necessitating a comeback that was just a little too late.

Deandre Brackensick – Deandre finally chose a song that matched up with his voice and style perfectly. I’m not really into that notion of a song sung entirely in falsetto, but I have to admit he does it good. And out of that, he had the original singer, Eric Benet, come and meet him onstage and compliment him. I agree with Jimmy Iovine that there’s still something missing, though, and if Deandre wants to make it to the end, he needs to figure it out, as the guys who are left in the competition had it figured out when they started.

Hollie Cavanagh – Jimmy and the American Idol fans seem to finally be on the same page as me regarding Hollie. While she’s technically a terrific singer, she doesn’t connect emotionally to her music, but that’s something that has to do with age and maturity moree than anything else. And choosing big emotional songs just makes that element a glaring omission. Additionally, she’s going to be continually compared to Jessica, who has surpassed her in getting that part of it figured out. I don’t see her making it much further. However, Jennifer Lopez likes her a lot, so the judges might choose to use the save on her.

Colton Dixon – I completely disagree with Jimmy regarding Colton. He thought he made a big mistake in breaking down emotionally at the end of his song and thinks it hurt him. I so disagree, and I’m pretty sure Jennifer Lopez does as well. That’s what makes people connect to Colton. It humanizes him. I think he probably gained fans with it. So far, I don’t see him doing many things wrong.

Skylar Laine – She made her first appearance in the bottom three this week. What did she do wrong? Not much at all. It’s just that everyone else was that good. However, she showed in the very beginning of the competition she could do non-country as well as country. She needs to return to that so that fans keep remembering she isn’t just country. Jimmy’s right that she needs to do some songs with more melody. That might keep her out of the bottom three next week.

Joshua Ledet – Joshua was great this week, as always. He found a way to still exploit his vocal gifts, yet didn’t take it to church too much. And that would have been easy to do with the theme of the Idol’s idols. He also took some crap from Jimmy for getting emotional. It’s not such a bad thing. The only person that landed in the bottom three and got emotional was Heejun, and for him bottom three was decided last week not this week. Joshua is still on track to make it to the end.

Phillip Phillips – Not only does Jimmy like him, he knows Stevie Nicks does as well, and he commented that Stevie is rarely wrong about someone. She gave Phil the ultimate comment by saying if he’d been their friend in the 70s, he would have been invited to be part of Fleetwood Mac. Jimmy thinks we’re all witnessing an American Idol, and I have to agree. We haven’t had a guy like him yet, and in season 11, we want something different.

Jessica Sanchez – The key difference between Jessica and Hollie is that Jessica has such an old soul to her that she seems to understand the older songs that she sings. They don’t seem weird on her, and as Jimmy said, she can easily breeze through songs that people in the business for twenty years couldn’t do. I don’t know if I have ever seen someone her age with that much talent also know what to do with it. Jimmy’s worried, noting that a girl hasn’t won this show since Jordin Sparks. He knows the young girls are voting, and they’re voting for the young guys, but that’s the fanbase of the show and you really can’t change that.

Elise Testone – I was simply amazed this week with Elise’s rendition of Whole Lotta Love. She proved that the older gals aren’t going to bow out gracefully. She’s here for the long haul. Jimmy thinks she’s at the right age, because Stevie was 26 when she first became successful and Annie Lennox was around the same age as well. Next week is 80s week, and he thinks she’ll benefit. I agree. She’s good for the next few weeks, and this performance could carry her much longer. She’s a vocal coach and could sing like Jessica, but Jessica could never do what Elise did this week.Don’t miss a single recap of this show or others. Check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.