It’s ’80s Night, and we’re treated to a hilarious pic of Randy from back then. He defended the shot by saying the look was fly at the time. Yeah, actually, it was. We will be treated to guy/girl duets, and the guest mentors are Gwen Stefani and bassist Tony Kanal of No Doubt. We’ll also find out what each singer misses most from home.
DeAndre Brackensick misses his car. He sings I Like It by Debarge. Gwen advised he own it and be more confident. He started out in the audience, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m really over his falsetto, though he did sing in his normal voice too. The hair just isn’t enough any more.
Steven found it totally captivating, and said he owned it and was exceptional. J-Lo liked it a lot, and thinks he took the mentors’ advice. She liked his hair movement. Randy liked that he used less falsetto and more natural voice. Meh.
Elise Testone misses her band. She opted for I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner. I love this song, and though she gave Gwen and Tony goosebumps, I thought she was a bit pitchy in the verses. Not her best, especially after blowing everyone away last week.
Steven wasn’t sure that it was the right song choice for her, but loves her voice. J-Lo loved her look, and said it wasn’t right every single moment. Randy said it was a tough song to sing, and that she was pitchy throughout the whole song until the end. He said it wasn’t her greatest performance, and was out of tune everywhere. Ouch. Could last week’s peacock be this week’s feather duster?
Our first duet is Colton and Skylar singing Islands In The Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Nice harmonies, and they seemed really comfortable with each other. Randy thought they did a good job and were very sweet and very nice. J-Lo thought the song was perfect for Skylar and thought they were a perfect fit. Steven called it a match made in heaven.
Phillip Phillips misses jamming with his brother, who ended up playing guitar during his performance of That’s All by Genesis. Tony advised he not play guitar during the bridge and connect with the audience. He got off to a slow start, but hit his stride. This wasn’t my favorite performance of his, but I love him.
Steven called him a wildflower, and praised his individuality. J-Lo said the beginning of the song wasn’t in his comfort zone, but he brought it home at the end. Randy thought it was a great performance, and was glad to see him take Tony’s advice.
Next Duet: Hollie and DeAndre with I’m So Excited from The Pointer Sisters. Hollie seemed stiff, and not at all excited. DeAndre moves better. Steven thought it was a beautiful duet, and liked that Hollie let go a little bit. She did? J-Lo said Hollie needs to let go like that, and that DeAndre looked right at home and sang well. Randy thought it was very nice.
Ryan asked the judges what they thought about the theme so far. Steven thought they were doing the best they could with the music, but reinforced how important song choice is. J-Lo thought DeAndre was slaying it. Randy said they have to sing great, and that they need powerhouses now.
Joshua Ledet misses his family, and sang Simply Red’s If You Don’t Know Me By Now. Once again, the choir started him off, and he maintained a lot of control at the beginning. This was a great song choice for him, and he didn’t annoy me as much as usual.
The judges gave him a standing ovation, and Steven said he was over the top. He liked that Joshua used his natural voice, and wasn’t too much over the top. J-Lo said they got their powerhouse performance, and liked how he held back at the beginning. Randy said it was a mature performance and in the zone. Enter this season’s catchphrase, “Joshua’s gotta have it!”
Jessica Sanchez misses shopping. She, or should we say her alter ego, BB Chez, took on Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know. Gwen told her to move her body uniquely, and not like a lounge singer, since her voice already is what she does. Great voice, she moves around, and she can definitely handle a Whitney song.
Steven thought it was fantastic. J-Lo commented on the two powerhouse vocals in a row. Randy thought she did an amazing, effortless job. She’s gotta have it, too.
Duet: Phillip and Elise on Stop Dragging My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. Their voices suited each other, and it was fun to see Phillip move around without his guitar. Randy welcomed Elise back, and thought they sounded amazing. J-Lo thought they were realistic as a duet, and Steven said it was as good as it gets.
Hollie Cavanagh misses her family, friends and puppy. She chose What a Feeling from the movie ‘Flashdance.’ Gwen told her the song was about confidence (Hollie thought it was a sad song), and told her to bring a tough edge into it. Tony told her to prepare, then free-fall. Jimmy said she needs to bring feeling. She moved around, but still seemed to be thinking too much. And she was pitchy. I don’t think she can move and sing at the same time.
Steven thought it was great at the end, but pitchy. He said she took a while to get there. J-Lo liked that she is listening to everyone’s advice, but said it didn’t seem natural, and that she needs to let go and feel it. (That’s the problem. I don’t think she CAN let go). Randy said she has the talent, but overthinks. He said she’s pitchy when she’s thinking it rather than living it. Ouch.
Last Duet: Jessica and Joshua on I Knew You Were Waiting For Me by Aretha Franklin and George Michaels. Enter the choir. Who was the bigger diva? Actually, it was a good match-up, bringing the judges to a standing ovation. Randy thought they brought their own flavor. J-Lo wondered if we were looking at the final 2. (NO!) Steven said it was so over the top, it was only to be enjoyed. (OK, Steven…is over the top good or bad? Make up your mind!)
Colton Dixon misses face painting. He sang Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time. Gwen thought it was good, and sang harmony with him. He looked great, sounded great, and it was a great song choice. Great!
Steven thought he could do a record right now, and complimented the drummer. J-Lo liked that he was in sync with the band, and thought it was amazing. Randy said he took the song and made it his own, and was so current. He also thought the drummer was “ridiculous.” I love that Colton admitted “totally ripping off” Quietdrive’s version of the song.
Skylar Laine closed the show with Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings. Oh. She misses her friends, family, home cooking and guns. Gwen told her to match her emotion to her personality. The judges had been telling Skylar to find songs with a melody, and she did! Beautiful job from the country diva!
The judges gave her a standing ovation. Steven thought it was the best song for her voice and to end the night. J-Lo, who had cried during the song, said to not count Skylar out, as she showed she can sing with the best of them. Randy kept saying “WOW!”, and loved her look. He said she should keep the big voice, and called it her best performance yet. ” This girl wants it!”
Ryan asked the judges how they would vote. Randy said the voters should go with who they thought could really win this. J-Lo said to vote for the full package of voice, performance, feeling and look. Steven said to go for whomever makes you feel good and delivers the whole package.
My Bottom 3: Hollie, Elise and DeAndre.