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

Here’s what the other Idols think of Joshua. Skylar says he’s crazy and loud. She thinks his real daddy is an alien, as his voice is not of this world. He cracks Elise up, and she never knows what’s goijng to come out of his mouth. He’s always singing. Hollie went into his room the other day, and it looked like his suitcase exploded, along with dirty dishes all over. Joshua, though, throws it back on her. A shot of both rooms says she’s a little worse, which she denies.

Joshua sings Ready for Love, and he seems like he’s on the verge of tears somewhat. He shows some great restraint in this, as he could very easily make it a huge screaming, run thing, but he holds back somewhat. It’s just beautiful and leads to another judges’ standing O.

Randy doesn’t even know what to say anymore, as he’s so speechless. It was another unbelievable performance, specifically the run at the end that was spot on. Joshua is so beyond his age in experience and talent. Anybody trying to figure out how to be a singer or be on the show needs to watch this season. Jennifer just lifts her fists and says “Mm.” She doesn’t even know what to say anymore, as it’s transcendent. He snaps everyone into reality. He makes everyone so present, and it’s such a gift.

Steven is snapped into reality by the way Joshua sings. Then he goes off into another place when he hears him, which is what is supposed to happen. He just hopes the label finds him a bunch of good songs and that he’s off to the moon. He smells the finish line.

What do the other Idols think of Elise? Skylar says the funniest thing about her is that she laughs after everything she says. She and Joshua do an impression of it. Elise is sure they’re saying she laughs after everything she says, then adds in a forced “ha.” Jessica mentions the Mariah Carey moves she does when she’s singing, and that’s backed up by Joshua who calls it weird. Phillip thinks she’s pointing to the notes, like she’s a sniper trying to kill the note, and jokes not in a good way. She thinks it’s cool and to make fun of her all they want … then lalughs.

For her second performance, Elise is taking on Bold As Love, and it’s another of those songs in her wheelhouse. It lacks the excitement of the other, but it’s just one of those nice songs that you just want to listen to and close your eyes. She does some interesting things with a little scatting and going back and forth between screaming and mellow. And .. she does that hand thing, pointing at the notes. It’s soooo Elise. This is what she needs on her album. it lacks a lot of excitement, but is sooooo her.

Steven loves the Janis Joplin in Elise and always has. She touched his heart with a Jimi Hendrix song like that, as he is a child of the ’70s, but she needs to remember to pick songs that people know. She can’t pick the cherries with her back to the tree. She fires back that she thought everybody knew the song. Jennifer knows what Steven is saying, but she just feels like Elise just slayed that song so hard that it didn’t even matter. The things she does and her interpretation get better every time, and she’s one of the best singers there.

Randy is a huge Hendrix fan and huge Elise fan. For him, it wasn’t the right song for this point in the competition, and he feels like she kind of attacked the song. Once again she gets into it with these really simple songs, and what she needs to remember is that Hendrix was singing and playing. So he sung about a twenty-fifth of what she just did. Jennifer notes she loved that part of it, but yet Randy didn’t. He thinks if it had been sung simple more people would have gotten it, but Jennifer disagrees, saying that’s what made it exciting.

What the others have to say about Phillip ought to be really interesting. Elise calls him boring, and Hollie sarcastic. Jessica says he’s really handsome, but when he sings … and this just makes her crack up. Hollie tries to emulate the Phillip singing style, with the movements and everything. They all take a crack at moving like him. Jessica thinks it seems like he’s in dire pain. Elise mentions he’s always complaining about a kidney pain, and Joshua thinks he complains about being sick so that he doesn’t have to go shoot. Phillip says they’re all lying. Elise deadpans that he’s obviously not a rock star. Then laughs.

Phillip finally gets a shot at taking on Dave Matthews, who he’s always compared to. He sings The Stone and takes his time developing this song. He doesn’t seem so much in pain. He’s just doing the simpler melody that Randy has been talking about all night, so he better not slam him for it.

Steven tells him it was very entertaining and very off the wall, “typical Phillip Phillips.” He doesn’t even know what to say about it. It was off the wall and he loved “the time that she was cuttin’ on the fiddle.” He loves that Phillip takes chances like that. He found his niche and that’s great. Jennifer agrees it was a pretty song, but it was a little obscure and too artsy for this time in the competition. Song is so important, as each of them has a shot to win, especially him, so she gets scared when he does that. This is not the time for him to do that. She needs him to do songs to get him on the last show so that he can win.

Randy has to disagree with Jennifer on this one. He was worried because it was Dave Matthews who Phillip is always compared to, but he just showed his true colors once again. He’s Phil Phillips and is an artist and loves it and will never be anything but that. He loved the whole 6/8 of it with the violin and baritone sax. What Randy really appreciates is die, sink, or swim Phil Phillips will always be Phil Phillips. He stands behind who he is, what he is, and where he’s going. Randy is a musician first and that speaks to him one-hundred percent. Ryan points out that backstage Phil ran by Ryan’s girlfriend, Julianna Hough, and she sighed and blushed and said, “Yummy.” Maybe it was always him the ladies were after and not Colton.

The Idols give their impressions of the first ever Liverpool/Texas fusion. If Hollie went home, Skylar would be crying, as she’s her bestie here. Phillip says she’s weird and like a little mouse, talking like she’s from London, but she’s from Texas. Elise didn’t know if Hollie was trying to have an accent or was Australian or what. Joshua has a hard time even understanding her. There’s also a shot back to Colton who is mocking her saying, “blimey.” Phillip tries to emulate it, then says he doesn’t speak Texan.

Hollie takes on The Climb, and it’s good, but this is her audition song. At this point it’s not about doing the songs we know you do well. It’s about trying something else. She should do this one well. It earned her a ticket to Hollywood. I want to see her challenge herself to do something else here. Yet, the judges still give her a standing O.

Randy shouts out that that’s the Hollie Cavanagh that they love. Duh, that’s why you invited her to Hollywood. Hollie is back. It was beautiful and the perfect song for her. Yeah, every time she sings it. Jennifer calls it stepping up. It was perfect for her with the emotion, notes, and everything. Steven adds, “Call me blimey, Sheila. Y’all.” It doesn’t matter what accent she has, as she sings a song like it’s going out of style. Okay, that really wasn’t comments but all cheers. Apparently they had nothing more to say as they said it all the first time she sang it.

Jennifer is still suruprised Colton is gone, and that’s why she was saying what she did to Phillip. Even though you sing a song great, it’s a chance you’re taking. Steven thinks they’ve all earned it and need to do what they do and let America vote. When Phillip speaks his mind and does what he did tonight, that’s what music’s all about and good for him. Randy mentions the public voting, saying that they need to vote for who they want to stay, and it doesn’t just have to be be one person. None of them will mention who they’re worried about, which is good. Steven was most impressed with Skylar.

At some point, I have to agree with Steven that they’ve earned the spot to be there and just need to be themselves. We can’t force anything on them at this point. Hollie isn’t really understanding it, and that’s okay. She’s young. But if you can’t connect to your music yet and just sound really good, we’ll keep you there for awhile, but when the competition gets tighter, we’re going to vote with that connection. And we’re never going to connect with the singers who are trying so hard to be who they think we want them to be. We’re going to vote for the singers who connect and do it by being themselves, the ones that “die, sink, or swim,” are resolving to do it their way.

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