Last night’s theme on American Idol royally rocked. The top 6 had to take on the songs of Queen. After an hour that included some of Queen’s biggest hits as interpreted by Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine, Phillip Phillips, Elist Testone, and Hollie Cavanagh, and even a medley performance alongside Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor (!!!!!!!), the top 6 were then asked to perform any song of their choosing. Double your pleasure, double your favorite’s possibility of blowing their chance at the American Idol title. But the night actually went well. Of course, some did better than other. Joshua, judging by the judges’ complete and utter swoonage, did better than most. Here’s a rundown of how the royal theme went down:
Jessica Sanchez – Bohemian Rhapsody: Totally knew this would be the song Jessica would choose. It’s one of the easier songs to mold for an R&B voice. Jessica served up some nice tender vocals before letting her Sasha Fierce out when the tempo changed. Still, we think she could have given it a little more. Her Sasha — or BB Chez, as she calls her alter ego — could use a little jolt, then things would have been top notch. The judges loved it. “I think Freddie Mercury would have been proud to hear that,” Steven said. Jennifer agreed with us. “You sounded beautiful singing the song…but it needed to have a little more of that rock performance,” she said. “I actually loved it,” Randy said, who loved that Jessica held back with the runs.
Dance With My Father: Luther Vandross’ touching ballad was more in Jessica’s lane than her first song. It allowed her to show off her diva chops and practice her emerging ability to show restraint all at the same time. The results were beautiful. “That may have been the best I’ve ever heard that song sang,” Jennifer told Jessica. Steven said Jessica’s voice “kinda touches on Whitney (Houston), but then you got your own thing going on.” Randy closed the swoon fest by saying, “you are truly amazing to me.”
Skylar Laine – The Show Must Go On: Skylar brings the heat every week, and this week, she was super hot. Her control and delivery of the powerful “The Show Must Go On” was fiery and passionate. “The energy, the passion, the way you sing, the way you hit your notes…that was fabulous,” Steven said. “It was powerful,” Jennifer, who got goosies, said. “That was incredible…it was effortless…that was phenomenal,” Randy gushed.
Tattoos On This Town: Skylar was back in her country element with this Jason Aldean number. It was peppy, fun, and, man, Skylar brings the big note like a pro. “Listen, I am a ginormous fan,” Randy said. “You are fearless.” “You slayed it,” Jennifer said. “You can do no wrong…I’m one of your biggest fans,” Steven closed with.
Joshua Ledet – Crazy Little Thing Called Love: Joshua can slay big ballads. That’s a fact. But upbeat Joshua is no slouch either. His vocals are still fierce when he’s up there working the stage and having fun. This performance was a delight. “That was unbelievable,” said Randy. “Is it bad for me to say the Joshua part of the show is my favorite part of the show?” Jennifer wondered. “So good!” “That was just fantastic,” Steven added.
Ready For Love: How many moments can one contestant make on this show per season? Joshua had another outstanding one with India.Aries’ gorgeous ballad. Josh treated the song so well with his voice; he caressed it in the right places, and dug deep when he needed to. Perfect. We got goosies! Standing O! “I’m just so speechless,” Randy said. “Beautiful! Crazy good!” “That was transcendent,” swooned Jennifer. “I smell the finish line,” Steven predicted.
Elise Testone – I Want It All: Elise whipped out the tambourine to assist with her Rock & Blues rendition of “I Want It All.” This kind of song is exactly what fits her voice and performing style best. She looked at home on stage and sounded awesome. “You found your stride,” Steven said. “That was you in your element,” added Jennifer. Randy agreed. “That was unbelievable as well. That style of song is so right for you…that was one of your best performances to date.”
Bold As Love: Elise, the hippie, bluesy rocker, picking a Jimi Hendrix song? Pretty much perfect. And so was her performance. We’re shocked by how much we enjoyed Elise this week. Who knew! Steven loved the vocals, but warned Elise about picking relatively unknown songs. “I know what Steven’s saying, but I just feel like you slayed that song so hard that it didn’t matter,” Jennifer said. “I’m a huge Hendrix fan, I’m a huge Elise fan,” Randy said, before saying she was “boxing with the song” and over-sang.
Phillip Phillips – Fat Bottom Girls: Love that Phillip put his guitar down again. Don’t love that lack of guitar leaves him open to awkward fidgeting. Besides that, Phillip gave yet another Phillip-like performance. At this point, it’s whatever. He neither wows us or makes us hate him. We’re in the middle with Phillip. But the judges continued to worship at his feet. “It was great, beautiful,” Steven said. “I feel like you give us different flavors,” Jennifer said, saying that his performance didn’t remind her of Dave Matthews as many critics have said. Randy, like us, wasn’t “jumping up and down…but it was good.”
The Stone: Phillip, who many liken to Dave Matthews, decided to take on Matthews. This was light-years ahead of his first performance. His vocals were spot on, and the arrangement was excellent. We’d say it was one of our favorite performances from him all season. “Very entertaning, very off the wall, typical Phillip Phillips,” Steven said. Jennifer feared the song was too obscure and “too artsy” for this point in the competition. Randy disagreed with Jennifer. “I love that you showed this artist side.”
Hollie Cavanagh – Save Me: Hollie finally started building up momentum last week. With such a late in the game gain, she needed to really bring it last night. Did she? Eeeeeeeeeh. She sounded nice, but she was outdone by everybody else. “I love the way you sing a Queen song…I think you did a really good job with it,” Steven said. Jennifer felt her emotions, but said, “I wanna see you enjoy it more…I still feel like you’re thinking.” “I think it was a good performance,” Randy said, but urged her to start taking more chances.
The Climb: With the lecture of Jennifer in the first round surely weighing on her, Hollie roared back with her final performance. She gave a more authentic, vocally epic rendition of Miley Cyrus’ hit ballad, which earned a standing O from the judges. “Now that’s the Hollie Cavanagh we love. Hollie is back!” Randy said. “Now that was stepping it up!” Jennifer said. “Just so beautiful,” Steven added.
Predictions: It’s going to come down to Elise and Hollie. It’s Elise’s time to go. She had a stronger night, but Hollie closed and got the teen vote with that Cyrus number.
Results tonight, with performances by Stefano Langone and Katy Perry!