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American Idol, Apr. 11 – “Crawling Into People’s Hearts”

It’s a trio this time, with Joshua, Jessica, and Hollie. They’re singing Stronger. Jessica asks if we’ve seen Hollie and Josh, as they’re like the closest ever, and in fact we see him chasing her around the red room. He admits she’s his best friend on the show, and she’s wearing one of those shirts his family designed supporting him. Jessica calls it strange and stands and gives them a dirty look while they jam without her. She recognizes she’s their third wheel.

Joshua starts the song off, and is joined by Jessica, and finally Hollie. She has weird things hanging off her shirt. It can’t be explained. It’s oddly pitchy between these three. It shouldn’t have been with these three, but it is. Maybe it was a struggle to find a key for all of them; I’m not sure.

J-Lo notes this season of American Idol is definitely the season of the big voice. It makes her proud to see the three of them up there. Interestingly, she doesn’t critique this performance, so we pretty much known what she thinks. Steven suggests they call their group the “Holli-ach-elosh,” or something like that. He calls it beautiful. What Randy loves is that Josh is singing with his high voice, with the big voices of the girls, and that has him giving the edge to the him. Josh points out to Randy he once again has matching socks on. They let them off the hook, but should have nailed them after they did that to the others.

Elise gets non-stool chat with Ryan, and they talk about the Idols having their first day off on Easter Sunday. She went to the movies with her mom to see Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and she started wondering if Jason Segel ever thinks about her the way she does him. Ryan was wondering that too. Jason talks to her through video and tells her he’s a giant fan of hers and sitting at home rooting for her. He hopes to meet her in person someday. Ryan apparently set all that up within minutes with an email, proving he’s the most powerful guy in entertainment these days.

Our last stop for the night is in Kinnelon, New Jersey, Elise’s hometown. Her friend Derek made a tutorial on how to vote for Elise, and it’s definitely cute. She couldn’t ask for a better city to be from, with drinks being named after her even. She can’t wait to go back and hug everyone.

This week, Elise is singing You and I and wants to start the song off playing the drums. She tries that out for Akon and Jimmy, but they think she’s trying too hard for votes. Akon tells her she just needs to kill it. She thinks she let go too much last week. Jimmy says it’s okay to improvise, but when you nail it in rehearsal, stick with it.

Elise starts the song at the piano instead of the drums. She leaves the piano to sing directly to the audience and delivers the song well. She’s a little muted, seemingly afraid to improvise too much until she hits the end when she belts it out. It’s fabulous as she delivers it in a way only she could, that even Lady Gaga couldn’t nail, then ends it tenderly. The judges all have smiles.

Randy tells America that Elise is back. That was the perfect song for her and the perfect time for the vocal She needed a moment and he thinks she got one tonight. He wants america to know she is crazy talented. Jennifer tells her she did exactly what she wanted to do, she let go, but kept control at the same time. That’s when she’s at her best, as there’s no one who can sing like her. There’s a reason she’s last so often, because she’s the closer. Steven notes she took a song so simple and effortless and turned it into genius. She laid a beautiful vocal over it, and it was great.

Randy is asked that with these current songs, if he could see these Idols taking off as artists going in the directions they went tonight. He thinks so, pointing especially Skylar, as she could have a number one like that. He also calls out Elise, Joshua, and Jessica. Jennifer thinks America got to see who they could be in the marketplace, so it was an important week for America and their voting. Steven thinks the songs picked them this time.

Ryan also asks how you score the artists at this point, whether it’s on just these performances or throughout their whole run. Jennifer thinks when it comes down to it everyone just votes for their favorite, and if that Idol has a good week, you’ll vote for hem. The challenge for others, then, is to be so good it has people voting for them instead. Randy points to consistency. Steven thinks it’s about crawling into people’s hearts with their passion.

I’d have to agree with Steven on this. That’s what it comes down to at this point in the season, as well as knowing who they are as artists. That’s why Hollie is in danger, as she’s the one artist left who doesn’t know who she is. Elise is in danger as well, as she just doesn’t connect well with her performances, no matter how good she is. With only three guys left, they might show up in the bottom three, but I think they’re probably safe.

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