This is really turning out to be a great season of American Idol. Even the people who left early on have been really good. I’m beginning to think that this collection of judges are just really good at judging talent. It really is anybody’s show still. There are a few that I know won’t go all the way, but by and large, I think the winner’s spot is still up for grabs between several of the Idols.
The theme tonight is the 80s. To set the mood, Ryan Seacrest shows us a picture of Randy Jackson in the 80s. He responds that it was “fly for the time. ” The top 8 come out ready to take on this genre, and none of them are dressed like Randy. Helping mentor this week are Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal from No Doubt. Additionally the Idols will be sharing what they miss the most from home and will be singing in duets along with their solos.
Deandre Brackensick is up first, and he misses his car and driving. He just got his license before he stared with Idol. He displays his driving talent riding around in circles. This week he’s singing DeBarge’s I Like It, and it fits in really well with his falsetto. Gwen thinks he looks worried sometimes when he sings. She’d like him to be more confident, as she sees him as the full package. Jimmy Iovine tells him that part of being great is conquering nerves. He says no one gets more nervous than Gwen, and she’s incredulous. Deandre says he feels great after singing and just needs to show it. Jimmy predicts he’ll be in the bottom three this week.
Deandre starts singing from the audience, sitting amongst some pretty girls. That’ll help those nerves. Take that Jimmy. He’s not showing his nerves at all. It’s actually the most confident I’ve ever seen him as he sits up there dancing and flipping his curls. He leaves the falsetto to belt it out, too. It’s really the perfect song for him and his style.
Jennifer Lopez says she liked it a lot. She felt Deandre was super-comfortable and it seemed he took everything they said to heart. He was really enjoying the crowd, and it even showed in the way he was moving his hair. It was all very natural, and he sounded amazing and got the crowd going. Steven Tyler tells Deandre he was totally captivating, enough that Steven forgot where he was. He took his voice and the way he used to play with it and owned it. He wore it out today, and it was exceptional.
Randy knows El DeBarge is somewhere saying, “Oh my God, this kid has arrived.” He loved that he used more of his natural voice and not just all falsetto. If he continues to do that, play with it. It was the perfect song for him, and he thinks he could make records like this and become the 2012 version of El DeBarge. Deandre isn’t too worried going first, as he was comfortable, and he knows he brought it.
Elise Testone misses her band, saying they used to rock it out, although she knows her band members are cheering her on. She feels they have molded her into a better musician. She was grappling with a few songs, but is deciding to sing Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. She, of course, applies a rock edge to it, and Gwen tells her her voice is sick. Jimmy asks for the other choice, and she launches into Foreigner’s I Wanna Know What Love Is. Gwen loves the song, and I have to say I think this is the one. Gwen indicates she has a little of J-Lo’s goosies. Tony says he did as well. Gwen thinks the explosive chorus is so her and so 80s. She’s definitely one of Gwen’s favorite singers in the whole contest, and she thinks this song could be a magic moment for her. Can’t be better than last week!
Elise starts singing tonight while sitting on the edge of a large stool. It’s not going to beat her doing Zeppelin last week, It’s good, but she seems to be forcing it a little. Steven rocks it out at the judges’ table while she goes through the song. She pours everything she has into every note. She ends it with one of her classic runs that absolutely no one else could do.
Steven loves Elise’s style and loves her voice, but he’s not sure this was the right song for her. But he loves her voice. It’s hard to take one from the other, as it’s an 80s song. Jennifer tells her she looks beautiful tonight, and she loves the way her look is developing throughout the show. She has a powerhouse voice, which means she can sing anything. She thinks what Steven was referring to is that it wasn’t totally right every moment, but it still sounded beautiful to Jennifer, and she felt her emotion and how much heart she put into it.
For Randy, it’s a tough song to sing, as it’s one of the greatest songs ever. She never really hit the pitch right, so it was pitchy the whole time. He thinks she’s much better than these kinds of songs. With as much stuff she can do with the runs, it’s the easy simple notes and the verse that she needs to just let lay there instead of concentrating on the runs. She tells Ryan she chose this song, as she wanted to do a ballad after doing such a rock song last week.
Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon are the first duet, singing Doll Parton and Kenny Rogers’ Islands in the Stream. He seems to have dyed more of his hair blonde this week. I wouldn’t have put these two together, but they combine really well. I wonder if she has a hard time not blasting it like she seems to like to do.
Randy tells Skylar and Colton that when he looked and saw what song they were singing, he thought it would be definitely interesting for Colton, as it’s not exactly in his wheelhouse. But they did a nice job and it was sweet and nice. Skylar sounded beautiful, and Colton sounded great. He actually enjoyed it. Jennifer calls it perfect. She likes that Skylar knows exactly when to bite into a song and not overdo it. Even though it was a departure for Colton, he was a perfect partner in it. Steven calls it a match made in heaven. He feels it also shows their individuality.
Ryan hints there might be something more going on in that pairing. Skylar says everyone has been asking on Twitter if they’re dating, and then Ryan goes and says that. She says they aren’t dating, and Colton feigns shock that they aren’t. They’re just really good friends.