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

American Idol, Apr. 5 – Outlook for Remaining Top 7

I have to admit to being really surprised that the American Idol judges didn’t save Deandre Brackensick last week. They always liked him so much and really seemed to think he was coming into his own. It seemed a little cutthroat and makes me wonder who they are waiting to use the save on, as they only have it for a couple more weeks.

True, Jennifer Lopez admitted her one vote wasn’t enough to save Deandre, meaning Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson voted no. They can only use it up until final 5. The problem is they have such a strong group this year and there are people in the group like Deandre who made it close last year, but became finalists this year.

Who would Randy and Steven use it on? Would they have saved Elise Testone? She did have a bad week, and usually performs much better, yet she’s appeared in the bottom three before, meaning even if the judges do save her, she won’t make it to the final two anyway. What about Hollie Cavanagh? She’s had more than her share of weak performances. Jennifer really likes her, but I don’t think even she would vote to save her, and I think she might have preferred to see her go over Deandre last week.

Here’s a look at what the top 7 have to do to stay out of the bottom three next week and warrant the judges using the save on them if they end up there anyway.

Hollie Cavanagh – Jimmy Iovine can dish out those insults when he wants to, and he really laid it out to Hollie. He compared her to a high school performer, and said she didn’t even have a good high school performance this week. He’s right; but it’s blunt. I don’t think there’s a way to turn it around anymore for her. I think she’s had too many bad performances where they were either lacking feeling or just not all around good. She might make it another one or two weeks, but I’d be shocked to see her standing as one of the final four.

Colton Dixon – Jimmy Iovine doesn’t seem to be a big fan of Colton, and I think that complicates his opinion of him. You can hear the screams when he takes the stage. He has a big female following. Jimmy remarked last week that he was only third or fourth out of eight performers. Well, it was enough to keep him safe. If he follows it with a good couple of performances, he’ll make it to final four. The best thing about Colton is he knows who he is as a performer, and he won’t change because Jimmy criticizes him. He won’t go hom before final 5 and is a dark horse for final two.

Skylar Laine – They got her out of the fun country songs this week, convinced her not to do 9 to 5, and got her to do Wind Beneath My Wings. And even more than having the chops to pull of that song, she also understood the emotions of the song and pulled that off as well. That girl kept herself safe for another few weeks. She can come back and do something light and fun this week, but needs to find something she can insert a great note or two into, just enough so that the fans remember that amazing voice she’s hiding in the drawl of the country songs. If she does, she’s probably for final five and a dark horse for being there at the end.

Joshua Ledet – Joshua was great yet again last week … until he started not feeling well. He’s got everyone loving him and has shown many different facets of his talent, so much so that there really isn’t much more praise that can be heaped on him. He is definitely good until final four, but if he starts phoning it in, he won’t be. I can’t see him doing that, though, as he seems to just not be able to control that music that flows from him.

Phillip Phillips – Jimmy is back and forth with this guy, and I don’t entirely get it. I know he’s trying to give him some tough love to push him, but you can’t do that to Phillip. He is who he is. Like Joshua, he has music that pours out of him, and he just wants to perform it. He needs to in fact. He’s way more intersted in doing that than making people like him. Because of that, he’s not about to change. He would rather be voted out than change who he is. Regardless, he doesn’t need to worry about it until final four.

Jessica Sanchez – Jimmy puts a lot of focus on Jessica and Joshua’s power vocals. It’s not all about the power, though. What maks them good is knowing when they can put the power in and when they need to pull back. What’s holding us back from her, though, and what could stop her from not making it past final four is that we don’t know anything about her. As fans we need to connect with her. We can appreciate the amazing vocalist that she is, but she needs to have more facets to herself than just being technically good.

Elise Testone – Elise is probably the best all-around performer in the competition. She’s a vocal coach. She has had some great rocking performances, some great vocals, picks great songs, etc. For some reason, though, she doesn’t connect with this audience. Regardless, she can still get a record contract out of this if she continues to show all the facets of her performances and doesn’t just worry about trying to win the show. That’s what she should conentrate on now. Kellie Pickler also didn’t connect with the fans of the show much and went out in sixth place, but is on her third album. You don’t have to win or connect with the fans; you just have to show them who you are as a performer.

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