What a week it has been for American Idol. Earlier this week, the Top 12 became the Top 11 after Jermaine Jones was disqualified from the competition. Additional pressure was added to the remaining contestants, as they were now performing this week to advance to the Top 10 and secure a coveted slot on the Idol summer tour.
On Wednesday night, the contestants performed songs from the year they were born. Fun fact: The majority of this season's contestants were born in the early nineties. Anyone else feel old or is it just me?
Phillip Phillips kicked off the night performing a song from 1991, “Hard to Handle” by The Black Crowes. Personally, my favorite Idol rendition of this song was performed during the Idol summer tour in 2009 by season eight’s Matt Giraud. I was looking for Phillip to just bring it. Sans guitar, he wound up carving out quite the rockin’ moment for himself. He had great interaction with the band, and even though he hung onto the mic stand throughout his performance, it was kind of an endearing sort of stage presence. Also, I like that he knows what songs work with his vocal tone and play to his strengths. Phillip is a contestant that I look forward to hearing what he's going to do each week.
Another great performance came from Elise Testone, who bounced back from last week with a performance of Tina Turner’s 1983 cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” She sounded fantastic. The bluesy quality to her voice worked so well on this song; I thought her performance was so soulful and so much better than last week.
Hollie Cavanagh impressed me this week once again with her performance of Celine Dion’s 1993 hit, “The Power of Love.” Her last note was a little iffy, but overall I thought she pulled off the song. Tackling Celine is no small feat, however, it may be time to move away from the ballads and sing something, at the very least, mid-tempo.
This season’s rocker Colton Dixon went with a White Lion song from 1991, “Broken Heart” Wednesday night. Yeah, nobody’s ever heard of the song and it didn’t matter, because Colton had another strong vocal performance. The big, soaring note he hit about three-fourth’s way through the song was pitch-perfect.
Another standout was Skylar Laine’s performance of Bonnie Raitt’s 1994 tune, “Love Sneakin’ Up on You.” She was full of personality, had great stage presence, and rocked that song like it was her own.