Top 10 – Billy Joel Night

Well lucky for me, I happened to be checking facebook right before my Idol viewing, and low and behold, they had posted the set list! So, let me refresh your memory as to what mine and Mr. Slezak’s picks for the evening, were:

I had a few back ups but for the most part those were the picks that I picked. That’s when I saw the set list…

This told me a couple of things:

1. Slezak and I could both be right about Movin’ Out. 

2. Slezak could still be right about Only the Good Die Young.

3. I could still be right on New York State of Mind, and I’ll call myself half right if Phillip Phillips sings Shameless because that was one of the possible options I had for him, although ultimately choosing Big Shot.

4. In TRUE idol fashion, they were able to pick two songs from an artist I know a LOT about, and have two songs I’m pretty sure I’d never heard. Reading the list I hadn’t heard them for sure – Everybody Has a Dream, and Honesty. The latter sounded somewhat familiar but I needed to hear it first, to know for sure (and when I did, I knew it).

And with that, the Idol watching began!

How does Diddy, get the mentor gig for Billy Joel? Is he in AA or something at the moment? What kind of prior commitments could he be having at the moment? I feel like with his slowly dimming stardom he would’ve been sure to show up for the night. Remember when they did guest judges all the time? He would’ve done that I bet. I don’t know if I just loved Mary J. Blige and Wil.I.am so much but I think Diddy has been the worst mentor to date on the show this season.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention another chapter in the book of “Randy wearing horrible pins” – I heard the last one was some homage to Betty Boop. I can’t decide if this week I think it’s an image of his own face in crystal/diamond/sparkle, or another homage, this time to Fat Albert. That’s my personal guess. A lot of people were wondering what it was though. Seriously! See –

And here’s a close up  (I also think he put it on his opposite lapel, and made it shiny, so as to make it more difficult to photograph, and thusly, more difficult to make fun of)

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t say his shirt was as equally bad as his pin. Lets talk about the music though!

So as for DeAndre Brackensick, I think you should’ve listened to Michael or myself. I don’t think Only the Good Die Young was the song for you. We all know I hate to agree with Randy but he was right this time. This just wasn’t the song. When he can hit those annoying high notes that bother me, why would he pick a song that has none? That just doesn’t make sense to me. None at all. For that, DeAndre will get no votes from me this evening. I would like to say however, that the piano player who played for him, was ah-mazing! While I can appreciate a contestant that knows how to play, I was already hoping we’d see that guy again! He could teach Colton a thing or two.

Now, as for better song choices, Erika Van Pelt, she has got at least a better song choice. While I wanted to Elise to sing New York State of Mind, I could easily see Erika singing it. She’s right though, Red Sox nation will be mad at you. They’ll get over it though, well, if you do it well they would’ve… actually, flip it and reverse that. I just think this performance is somewhat forgettable. Not to say she sang it badly, she just didn’t really sell it for me. I was really surprised that Randy used his first “you could sing the phone book” line, on Erika. That really surprised me. I also have to mention, in the next chapter of “Let’s make Erika look as terrible as possible” they chop all her hair off and dye it black?? I like the cut but not the color, at all. I didn’t like he color before but I just don’t see her with black hair. At least her outfit looked better.

^^ This song was sung by Kimberly Locke in Season 2 and was a contender for Best Idol Performance in the bracket last year (granted, it lost in the first round to Soiban Magnus’ “Paint It Black” – rightfully so)

It took 3 tries but eventually we got a contestant who picked the right song for himself – Joshua Ledet, I thought She’s Got a Way would be a weird song for you, but I thought you did so so well. It wasn’t River of Dreams and I don’t think the gospel choir was necessary, but I thought he sang it so well and while I didn’t like him at all at first, this some is definitely helping me come over to his side. I was surprised with the judges reaction a little too because I thought it was great and usually I’m the one thinking I hate him… maybe that makes sense though. Never can agree, can we judges?

Another really good song choice, well, I thought this prior to her singing, was Skylar Laine’s. I know I said Shameless would be great for Phillip but I think I had it so stuck in my mind for Phillip, that Skylar hadn’t crossed my mind. It’s really quite a good song for a country singer. Now, as for how she sang it… well… I wanted her to sing it better. She got better the longer she was on stage and the less she walked around, but it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. I did really like the idea of this song as a country song though, so I’ll give her points for that. I also didn’t realize Garth or Brad Paisley did this song… that lost a few points just because that means it’s slightly less original than I thought. BUT, she gets points for saying she liked the Garth version rather than Brad Paisley 🙂 Only because I LOVE Garth Brooks! I LOVE HIM!! One quick tip for Skylar though, burn that outfit. It makes your hips look entirely too big!! Tommy Hilfiger what are you doing to these people!

Sweet sweet Elise Testone. My favorite of the night by far. I think Steven Tyler genuinely loves you. There were so many good songs for her to choose this week and I’m with Jimmy on this one – picking a song people don’t know… it’s risky. It does make me angry that there are people that there are people that don’t know Vienna but I have to acknowledge that not everyone knows a solid 90% of Billy Joel’s collection of songs, and this is definitely a less popular song (I know because Zack said he didn’t recognize it, and he recognizes every song written before 1995). Luckily she rocked this song in that super sweet dress that I was so glad she wore in lieu of the bell bottoms. I also liked the sweet mustachioed accordion player she had on stage with her. The only thing I didn’t really like about the song was how she finished it with that little run. I REALLY hope that if she winds up as a potential ouster this week (which would outrage me), that he judges have it in their right mind to save her!

Phillip Phillips was the prime example of why Diddy is a horrible mentor (and why Tommy Hilfiger is a horrible stylist). I just don’t think he got the contestants like the other mentors did. I’m glad that Phil at least didn’t listen to them in that he brought his guitar with him on stage. With his rendition of Movin’ Out, I think the guitar was completely necessary. I didn’t love the back up singers, but that’s a minor critique. There’s just something about Phil, and  I love every last little bit of him. He really is like a more attractive Casey Abrams. They have the same kind of growl but he’s got the look and just a touch more refinement. I loved Randy’s comment too (maybe because it was sans dawgs) but I also loved that he played the guitar, and I’m also glad he wore grey though (sans hideous scarf). Way to know who you are, buddy.

Once Hollie Cavanaugh sang Honestly… Honesty? Is it Honesty or Honestly? Maybe that’s why I didn’t think I knew the song? Either way, when Hollie sang it, I definitely knew the song. I’ll say though, that if last week they dressed her old, this song made her sound old. She’s got to watch being pigeonholed like Pia too because this is her third slow song in a row. She needs to really kick it up a notch. This song was just too slow and too old. I don’t think the judges should be saying she didn’t nail it because she sang the song well, it just wasn’t the right song for her, but hopefully she’ll make it through this week because I think really, this just wasn’t the right theme for her.

Can I just say how much I love Heejun? Where would this show be without Heejun Han this season? Just as the episode is starting to lag again, he just turns it on. His humor, while it can seem off putting and like he’s not taking things seriously, I just love him so much. When he did that fake mess up, I had a moment of terror, but then I loved him that much more! I’m not gonna lie, this song was the most karaoke of his performances to me, but I don’t say this in a bad way, I say this in a “yeah, way to have fun with your performance” way. I would never have thought that My Life would be a good song choice for him but he totally proved me wrong. I didn’t even really notice if he was pitchy or didn’t hit vocals because he put on a good show. I think Steven’s right that the music industry will kick him on his ass if he doesn’t appreciate and is able to take criticism, but I still think I love him. I’m just gonna throw it out there – what would a finale look like featuring Phillip Phillips and Heejun Han?

It took 9 contestants but Diddy finally gave a good piece of advice. I think Jessica Sanchez was really to listen to him and tone it down a little bit on this mystery Billy Joel song Everybody Has a Dream . It’s definitely a song I don’t know but I do like it. It sounds like it could be a Billy Joel song. I think that, like Hollie, this just isn’t Jessica’s category.  And, since I don’t like her – I’m totally ok with that. haha. So bitter, I am. I mean she sang it well, and it was more memorable than Hollie, I just didn’t love it. Maybe it’s the comic in me that loves/d Heejun more? I definitely think Elise still did better her.

And finally, we had Colton. I was thinking before the show, and I think I was right, that Piano Man wasn’t the right song for Colton Dixon. It’s a great song, and he’s right, I was happy to see him back on the piano, but he could’ve picked a better song to play. It’s just too iconic of a song, and he didn’t rock it the way I wanted. He did as well as he could’ve I think given the circumstances of his voice/look/image, but it wasn’t what I wanted.

I’m gonna say that I think the winners of the night for me, were Elise, Phillip, and Joshua. Heejun being a runner up.

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Categories: American Idol, Television | Leave a comment

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