American Idol’s Top 8: “She’s Gotta Have It!”

No, Randy. That is NOT what you yell about a teenage girl. And yet, here we are. Still talking about him and his unfortunate decisions. “Gotta have it” is the new “In It to Win It.” Why? Because this is SEASON ONE-ONE. Oy to the vey. It’s ’80s Night tonight, because, why not? It’s not like 7 of the 8 contestants weren’t even born in that decade.

DeAndre Brackensick – “I Like It” – DeBarge
I’d rather see DeAndre explore upbeat songs over treacly ballads, but DeAndre still has a long way to go to own the stage. Even if the kid is seventeen, would it be too much to ask for an emotional connection to a song?

Elise Testone – “I Want to Know What Love Is” – Foreigner
Those damn clock projections were way distracting, so was the “dramatic” key change, which ultimately had little effect on the song. The whole vibe of it all just didn’t vibe at all. At the very least, Elise is learning how to keep her stank face in check during the judge’s “critiques.”

Skylar Laine & Colton Dixon – “Islands in the Stream” – Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers
As much as I looove me some Skylar, this did not do her any favors. I must say, this was the longest, most uncomfortable, least passionate performance ever… or at least felt like it. It gave me enough time to ponder questions like “Could Colton’s V-neck be any deeper?” and “Could his hair be any less flattering?”

Phillip Phillips – “That’s All” – Genesis
Good ‘ol Eventual Winner Phillip Phillip is cruising on the consistency of his past performances. This performance will only be remembered for his brother-in-law performing onstage with him (cue the awwwws), and certainly not for the flat notes and been-there-sung-that quality. It’s time to change it up, Phillip.

Hollie Cavanagh & DeAndre Brackensick – “I’m So Excited” – The Pointer Sisters
One sad pyrotechnic display after another.

Joshua Ledet – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” – Simply Red
As always, what’s most noteworthy about a Joshua Ledet performance is that he builds a song from the ground up. So by the time Joshua is wailing his lungs out, it’s not unexpected.

Jessica Sanchez – “How Will I Know” – Whitney Houston
I was over the moon when Jessica announced she’d be singing this bright and upbeat number. Bring it, Jessica’s alter ego, BB Chez! Unfortunately, despite mentor Gwen Stefani’s pleadings, the only thing BB Chez brought was lounge singer moves in full force: flexing on “this love is strong”, covering her mouth on “can’t speak,” pointing to her noggin on “thinking of me,” and on and on. Yes, it’s nitpicky, but it annoyed the heck out of me. So here’s a positive: BB Chez’ vocals were as solid as Jessica Sanchez’s.

Elise Testone & Phillip Phillips – “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty
The two lacked a spark of something that existed in last week’s Fleetwood Mac medley. No, I’m not talking about you, Colton. Go finish dyeing your skunkhawk.

Hollie Cavanaugh – “What a Feeling” – Irene Cara
Hollie’s attempts to show off her “fun side” come up empty and hollow. And her lower register of snarls and shouts just didn’t register. Sorry, Hollie.

Jessica Sanchez & Joshua Ledet – “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” – Aretha Franklin & George Michael
Jessica and Joshua brought out the best in each other. This could have been an unrelenting competition of runs, but instead, the two showed a surprising amount of restraint in order to compliment each others’ talents.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

Colton Dixon – “Time After Time” – Cyndi Lauper
Nasal Colton is nasal.

Skylar Laine – “Wind Beneath My Wings” – Bette Midler
Like the atrocious golden eagle graphic, owner of said wings, Skylar simply soared. When she feels that passion, you know it’s true. Thank you for showing America that you not only have a spitfire and winning personality, but you also have pipes.

My bottom 3 prediction: Hollie, DeAndre, Elise

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