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American Idol – The hopefuls take on their idols

With Stevie Nicks coming on the show at the request of her good friend Jimmy Iovine, how could there not be some pretty spectacular commitments?

- Season 11, Episode 24 - "The Top 9 Perform"

“Sweet dreams. That’s the way you think of me.” — Jimmy Iovine to Stevie Nicks
“Or … a beautiful nightmare.” — Stevie Nicks*

The Idols were given the opportunity to take on their “idols” this week with the legendary Stevie Nicks mentoring. Did Ms. Nicks pull anything out of them to elevate their crafts? By the standing ovations over half the hopefuls received from the judges, I’d say she did pretty damned well:

Colton Dixon “Everything” by Lifehouse
One comment: Dude?  Y o u ‘ v e  s t a r t e d  t h e  e v e n i n g  o f f  a t  a  s n a i l ‘ s  p a c eCripes! Slow it down already! Look: I love a good gospel tune just as much as the next guy, but this was not something to begin the show with, a plodding, ponderous tune that practically put everyone to sleep. *yawn*

Skylar Laine “Gunpowder And Lead” by Miranda Lambert
There are times when Skylar is a bit too drawly, too country. Regardless, she’s still a firecracker when she’s got the right song at her disposal. “Gunpowder And Lead” was the right song at her disposal. The twang came through, but it was toned down in the “up” tempo of the song.

Heejun Han “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway
What did I tell you? I said Heejun was going to come back this week, do a straight-forward performance and knock it out of the park. Sure enough, that’s exactly what he did. Enough said.

Hollie Cavanagh “Jesus Take The Wheel” by Carrie Underwood
Sometimes, projection is the name of the game. And Hollie projected. The ending was flat, but she churned out a worthy version of Underwood’s tune. It played to her strengths and worked.

DeAndre Brackensick “Sometimes I Cry” by Eric Benet
DeAndrea? Just like the song you sang, sometimes I cry, too. But what I really want to say is this: DeAndre has the worst falsetto ever. But … it’s not the worst. Not by a long shot. Neither is it anything remotely near the best. What needs to happen is he simply must stop working it into his repertoire. Because it’s painful. Painful to watch, painful to listen to. And the judges aren’t helping by praising him left and right when he does. What are they mesmerized by when he attempts those falsettos? “Like Prince?” Give me a break. I don’t know what needs to happen to get this kid in the Bottom 3 and make it stick to the point of his elimination, but it will definitely start when the judges discontinue praising his efforts.

Jessica Sanchez “Sweet Dreams” by Beyonce
She did well, better than DeAndre before her. But here’s the thing: Good as everyone said she was? She didn’t get the standing ovation that he did. Think about that …

Phillip Phillips  “Still Rainin'” by Johnny Lang
I do love Johnny Lang. So when I heard Phillip2 was about to launch into this one, I admit to having perked up. Phil had a blast putting this song out there, but I think he had more fun doing it than everyone had hearing it. Still, a solid effort.

Joshua Ledet “Without You” by Maria Carey
Joshua pulled this tune off pretty damned well. He roamed the range and hit the notes and emoted to the point of tears, so much so he could barely finish it. I respect that from a kid like him, where you get so lost in the music that the music takes over in unexpected ways. Again, it wasn’t “When A Man Loves A Woman” but it wasn’t shabby by any means.

Elise Testone “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
Elise shot this one out like she meant it. She was another performer getting lost in the music this evening and giving it all she had to fine effect. Nice version of a tough Zeppelin tune.

Please: Can we send DeAndre and his curls home now?


  • I was thrilled to see Randy wearing a string of Jujubes around his neck to compliment the fake Mardi Gras beads. Depeche Mode, dawg.
  • What were those moves that DeAndre attempted during the trio medley with Heejun and Joshua on “Rock With You” … ?!?!? They were comically spazz-tastic. And level with me: Is there any doubt the guy has more misses than hits when it comes to his performances? For him, this trio of abbreviated tunes buried him further. The guy just cannot hold quarter when it counts. Please … let’s get rid of him.
  • And! If there’s one thing these little medleys do is showcase the better singers from the poorer ones. Case in point: Skylar. On the Madonna tunes with Jessica and Hollie, both girls beat the pants off her when it came to matching up their voices. Fireplug that she is, she can’t leap that hurdle set for her. She’s nowhere near as bad as DeAndre, but her time is short on the show.


“Sweet dreams. That’s the way you think of me.” — Jimmy Iovine to Stevie Nicks
“Or … a beautiful nightmare.” — Stevie Nicks

“I think tonight was like a magical mystery tour of over the top talent and emotion.” — Steven Tyler

* (I cold resist. *heheheheh* Ain’t I a stinker?)

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Photo Credit: Chris Walter

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6 Responses to “American Idol – The hopefuls take on their idols”

March 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Is it just me or can Jessica not annunciate? Her song last night was just a jumbled mess to me.

March 31, 2012 at 6:28 AM

I think it’s just you

March 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

For the most part, I was cheering along with the audience last night. Even DeAndre at least did falsetto where there was supposed to be falsetto, and didn’t shove it into a song just to get it out there. [As he has done too many times in the past.]

Colton’s song was a “niche” song, and totally out of context as the show opener. But where would you have put it? I can see why this guy didn’t want to audition for American Idol this season, and it is definitely a quirky fit.

All that said, he did this song complete justice and is really beginning to shine in his niche. He’s going to capture the Contemporary Christian worship market like no one has since Michael W. Smith if he keeps up like this. I predict best new artist Dove award in 2013 or 2014, depending on how soon he gets his first album out.

March 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I agree. Can we please get rid of DeAndre??? And what you said about Skylar regarding the Madonna tune is true and makes my point that she can sing great in her comfort zone but take her out of it and she loses the talent. Of course, I’d like to see Hollie and Jessica do something besides a ballad also but they were not too bad on Madonna. Still it is hard for 3 young innocent girls to do Madonna. LOL. HeeJun was really good but I am still worried about him. I think he might have to work even harder to win some people over after last week. Of course, I think he is entertaining and makes the show fun and that is important to me. Elise was the best tonight. She did a great job. I am not a Stevie Nicks fan but I have to admit, she did a great job with the kids.

March 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM

So we all agree that DeAndre needs to go and yet he is still here.

Skylar is good at country and I am a country fan but she does that crazy spastic thing that really crates on my nerves. And yes you can do those loud fast paced country songs but you need to try something else too even if it is country there are some ballads in country too. And I realize the twang is her thing but Faith Hill is from Mississippi too and she learned to speak without the twang.

HeJune was going to go sooner or later and I knew the teen girls would keep DeAndre so there you go.

I think Jessica has a beautiful voice but I have to say when taking my notes I totally left her off and at the end of the show was trying to figure out who I was missing. What more can I say?

April 29, 2012 at 5:58 AM

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