Tonight’s the night! America votes in the Top 10, and the judges will add another 3 with their wildcard choices to make the American Idol Top 13. Over 33 million votes came in for the Top 10. Record producer Jimmy Iovine also weighed in with his opinions on the Top 25.
First up: The guys. Ryan called Chase, Phillip and Jeremy to the front of the stage, and they all fessed up to being very nervous. Jimmy opined that Jeremy has a great voice and wins the award as a nice guy, but he would need more to win. He said that Chase was good-looking, and there were plenty of good-looking guys on TV. He would need to bring something fresh, original and exciting, and he had done none of that. Ouch. Jimmy felt that the show desperately needed originality, and Phillip provided that. He also said that he would sign Philip on the spot. Did America agree?
Yes. Phillip went to the Top 10, while Jeremy and Chase went back to their seats to hope for another chance.
Now on to the ladies. Ryan summoned Jessica, Hollie, Brielle and Hallie. Jimmy said that Hollie was a little girl with a big voice, and she could do real damage with the right material. He agreed with the judges that Brielle had charisma and was a real entertainer, but that she had picked a bad song. (She disagreed). In his opinion, Hallie had her best show so far, and he thought she was poised, restrained and great tone, He wasn’t sure, though, how the votes would go. Jessica, according to Jimmy, has talent from A to Z, and he would sign her that night. He called her the one to beat.
Results: Hollie and Jessica to the Top 10, Brielle and Hallie to hope for a second chance.
Back to the guys; Joshua, Heejun and Adam were about to learn their fate. Jimmy called Joshua the real deal, and said that he looked forward to working with him, but had to avoid becoming Sister Act III. He said that Adam says he’s a big, black woman in a white man’s body, but didn’t manage to pull it off. Heejun confuses him. He thinks Heejun has sort of a good voice, but that the show is American Idol, not American Comedian. Whatevs.
America decided to put Joshua and Heejun into the Top 10, and sent Adam back to sweat it out. The voters like Heejun, Jimmy.
Back to the ladies, with Baylie, Skylar, Shannon and Chelsea. Jimmy thought Skylar blended soul and country, and has a strong presence. Baylie was “out of tune, out of here.” (‘Nuff said). Chelsea, he thought, had a nice voice, but wasn’t original. Jimmy liked Shannon’s voice and poise, but felt she needed help in the styling area, calling her outfit a prom dress.
Proms are in. Shannon and Skylar went to the Top 10. Buh-bye Baylie and Chelsea. Don’t get your hopes up.
The judges said they see Jimmy’s points, but wouldn’t phrase the feedback in quite the same way. I thought his comments were refreshingly blunt and honest, even when I didn’t agree. It’s a tough business. Deal with it. J-Lo also felt that Jimmy needed to come out his little room and hear the music in a larger arena.
Back to the guys, with Aaron, Creighton and Reed about to learn their fates. Jimmy thought Reed was way too kitschy and cabaret, and wouldn’t make it on the show like that. Aaron confused him with his cheesiness, despite what the audience and judges had thought. Creighton had a interesting voice, but got screechy and annoying with his top notes. Jimmy is not a fan.
America apparently agreed, and all 3 were sent back to wait it out.
Back to the ladies, with Elise, Erika, Haley and Jen. Jimmy thought Jen has a really nice voice, but should have stayed away from an Adele song. (I think he thinks everyone should stay away from Adele songs except for Adele). He really likes Erika, and says that she has music in her blood, showing great restraint, which the show needs. Haley, he said, was out of tune for the whole song, which could have been overlooked had she not been so robotic and mimicking. He said the judges like Elise, and that she has lots of character, but needs to be careful to hold on to her voice if she is to make it through the competition.
Elise made it to the Top 10. The others did not.
Back to the guys to wrap up the Top 10. Deandre, Eben, Colton and Jermaine got their feedback compliments of Jimmy. Jimmy said he was glad that the judges had brought Jermaine back, and that he was rooting for him. He thought Deandre had an enormous amount of potential, but was in desperate need of a coach. He thought Eben was a really talented kid with potential, but not ready for prime time. He felt that Idol needed to change the rules so that he could come back and try again. Jimmy deemed Colton to be really talented, but that he shouldn’t do too much too soon. He needs to pace himself, and is one of the best on the show.
Top 10: Colton and Jermaine. Deandre gave us some hairography as he went back to his seat. Please kid, never sing Whip My Hair!
On to the wildcards. 6 contestants will get a shot, and 3 will be selected.
Second chances were given to:
Jen Hirsh, who sang Oh, Darlin‘. Randy likes when they have to sing for their lives. The judges thought she was good.
Jeremy Rosado, who sang I Know You Won’t. He made J-Lo cry (as did he), and impressed the judges again with how nice and real he is.
Brielle Von Hugel almost knocked Ryan down, and then sang Someone Like You. People: no more Adele! Steven thought she was pitchy, and didn’t like it, nor did Randy. J-Lo felt her passion. Her mom is indeed her biggest fan.
Deandre Brackensick got another chance with Georgia On My Mind, and impressed the judges with his dynamic range and fire.
Erika van Pelt was on the Edge of Glory, and impressed Randy. J-Lo loved that she fought through her tears and still delivered, and Steven said she hit it out of the park.
Reed Grimm got the last wildcard spot, and sang Use Me. Randy thought he was different, unique and entertaining.
J-Lo: Jeremy (he cried and fell to his knees, then hugged all the judges, especially J-Lo)
Steven: Deandre, who also fell to the floor and sobbed.
So, the Top 13 are:
Phillip Philips, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, Colton Dixon, Jermaine Jones, Jessica Sanchez, Holli Cavanagh, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Jeremy Rosado and Deandre Brackensick.
Next week, the guys will do music by Stevie Wonder, and the girls will do songs by Whitney Houston. Mary J. Blige will mentor.