home Talent American Idol, Apr. 25 – “Die, Sink, or Swim”

American Idol, Apr. 25 – “Die, Sink, or Swim”

It’s still somewhat of a shock that Colton Dixon went home last week, but those things can happen after a judges’ save. It makes the voters protect the saved person and others that they’re really worried about. But now that someone who was previously thought safe went home, it will most likely be one of those people who have been sitting in the bottom three for several weeks, like Hollie Cavanagh or Elise Testone, going home.

Tonight, in an obvious effort to stretch the show to two hours, even with only six Idols left, Queen will perform live tonight as well. The Idols will be taking on their songs, too, as well as also singing another song of their choice. Elise should be in her element, and Phillip Phillips should be doing good things too. This isn’t up the alley of any of the others, but Joshua Ledet might do some really interesting things.

Original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor sat down wit the Idols to discuss the week. Phillip asks how to take on these iconic Freddie Murphy songs and is told they’re not just big songs, but personal, because Freddie was really shy. Something in that seems like it would really connect with Phillip, but instead Hollie says she feels like that is her problem. Elise asks what they learned the hard way and hears for all the knockbacks you get in your career, you just have to keep faith in yourself. The Idols are told they also need to remember what they are doing is having a conversation with the audience. Queen ends it admitting there’s a generation gap between them and the Idols, but they just need to make the songs their own.

May and Taylor perform alongside the top six on a Queen medley. They start off with Fat-Bottomed Girls, and surprisingly, Jessica Sanchez is really feeling the beat on it. This moves into Another One Bites the Dust, and they all get into this performance, but Phillip really takes it on. Elise, not surprisingly, seems like she was meant to do this. Joshua, as predicted, finds something in it, which is probably surprising to him. This newfound group then takes on We Will Rock You, and Skylar Laine starts to get into it. For the rockers up there, this must be a dream come true for them, singing alongside May and Taylor.

Jessica starts things off singingBohemian Rhapsody, and really, who wouldn’t have predicted this choice for her? And after she had criticism last week of not picking songs she can identify with, I’m not sure if it’s the smartest choice. Sure, she has the killer voice for it, but can she really understand the words. It needs to beyond batting her eyes at the camera. She sounds great, but I can’t help but wish I had heard Elise, the rock goddess and vocal specialist, on this song.

Steven Tyler thinks Freddie Mercury would have been proud to hear Jessica sing that. Rock isn’t her forte, and he’d never say it was, but he still loves her voice and thought she sounded good. Jessica Lopez thought Jessica sounded beautiful, but when it went into the more rock part, and considering Jessica is wearing gold sneakers, she thought she’d be running around, but she didn’t. The vocal was beautiful, but she would have liked a little more rock performance.

Randy Jackson actually loved it because what Jessica did was use restraint. She sang no runs in that, and changed herself. She’s wildly talented and only 16, but as a tip, while her high note sounded beautiful, she needs to channel some Tina Turner, as she’s the rocker with the big voice.

Skylar Laine gets non-stool chat with Ryan and discusses her songwriting. She’s written a lot of songs and hopes to be able to do them on the show. She has one she really loves, A Diamond and a Pistol. She’s written a little while she’s been out he LA., despite the killer schedule.

The Show Must Go On is Skylar’s Queen choice tonight, and it’s a great one for her to pick, as she gets the chancne to show that killer voice she sometimes hides, and also gets to power it out like she likes to do. This is where Jessica missed the mark. She could have picked something like this to show her rock side, but also her vocals. She was trying to forcefeed to us that she can be a rocker, and well, we’re just never going to buy that.

Steven calls this Skylar performance over the top and also says that for everyone up there, they’ve always sung dry and right out of the box into the car, but tonight they all have a little shine in their voice. But Skylar has such a beautiful voice and pitch anyway, and it just enhanced it over the top. For an 18 year old girl it was fabulous. Jessica got goosies and and calls it crazy. The word that comes to mind watching this 18-year-old is that she sees her not only listening, but really articulating the story. It was just powerful.

Randy tells Skylar it was incredible, and he thinks it was one of her better performances to date. He believes her. He was watching her when she was supposed to sing a run, she did, and it was effortless. He tells Ryan this girl here has to have it, and it was phenomenal. She wants the finish line, and he loves it. Skylar says singing the song in the beginning with Queen pumped her up, and she hopes she made them proud.

Joshua takes on Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and he sings with an old time microphone, which is really kind of cool. What he does incredible, is while this isn’t anything in his wheelhouse, he completely crawls into it and wears it like he was born to, even though we know he wasn’t. It’s not rock but it’s not really soul either. It’s just … Joshua. In inspires a judges’ standing O, although Jessica has to be talked into it.

Randy tells Joshua it was unbelievable. Vocals – four checks. Performance – four checks. Character and charisma – four checks. He is so ready, and every time he comes up he reminds him of Sam Cooke, like an old throwback. He tells Little Stevie of Bruce Springsteen’s band, who is in the audience, that Joshua is a “Wilson Pickett – young dude in the making.”

Jessica loves everyone in the competition and has enjoyed being on this long journey with all of them, but she wonders if it’s bad for her to say that the Joshua part is always her favorite part of the show. She always knows she’s going to get an inspired vocal and a great performance on top of that. It’s a surprise every single time. Steven tells Joshua he has a such a classic style, it sounds like no one else. He knows Freddie would love the way he did the two-step. Ryan points out you know it’s connecting when you have security jamming. The one charged with protecting Nigel Lythgoe tonight was bouncing his head, jamming along.

Elise sings I Want It All, and it just has the rocker chick inside of me saying, “Oh yeah.” This is fighting her back to what we saw in her with the Led Zeppelin song. It’s got me jamming along while I type. Even Elise can’t sit still herself, as she has the tambourine in her hand jamming along to her own performance. The tambourine must be a thing from her wedding singer days. I want her to have it all too. So does Jennifer who jams along at the judges’ table.

Steven tells Elise she found her stride, and that’s what they’ve been waiting for her to do. She sang that like the classic song it is, if not even better. He really enjoyed it and calls it over the top. Jennifer says she was in her element, and it was natural and sexy, and she looked and sounded great. It just came together for her. She told her next week she needed to find the right song, and she murdered it.

Randy calls its a night so far and asks who would have thunk it. They’re great songs by Queen to begin with, but performance after performance was great, and this was so right for Elise. The bluesy kind of changes allows her to do her Janis thing in the middle and allowed her enough time to do her runs. She loves the sound of the word and the whole thing, and to him this was one of her best to date. She says she just wanted to be herself, and she has learned on the show that this is all in her wheelhouse. The rock stuff is definitely her, and she wanted to own it and sign with passion. I believe she did.