The grand Idol finale takes place a week before the end of the month. Philip Lim feels the ride has reached the top and gets ready for the plunge
ELISE Testone has held her own against the odds for so long that when voter tsunami breached her defences and she finally got her ticket home, there was nothing but admiration for this 28-year-old from South Carolina.
Elise gained a dubious reputation when chief mentor Jimmy Iovine joked that she had a “vacation home” in bottom three.
Together with her in that threesome pit were Hollie Cavanagh and Skylar Laine. Skylar was a surprise entry in that group because she actually performed quite well.
It was a week when the remaining six contestants had to sing one of Queen’s hits and the second number was a personal choice.
Elise went with I Want It All by Marvin Gaye. I thought she performed it rather well. So did the judges. It was a rousing, foot-stomping number which compelled Steven Tyler to say “That was over the top”.
Her second number was Bold As Love by Jimi Hendrix. I am not big on Hendrix because every time I listen to his songs, it is sort of a psychedelic experience. Two of the three judges gave Elise the thumbs-down, mainly because it was an unfamiliar tune to most people.
But Phillip Phillips seemed to be an exception when it comes to uncommon songs. His Queen choice was Fat Bottomed Girls which turned out better than expected.
“The Pride of Georgia”, as host Ryan Seacrest called Phillip, went on to belt out The Stone by Dave Matthews in the second round. It was a totally unfamiliar song for me.
But being Phillip the singer who doesn’t care what others think, he somehow managed to pull it off. Although the judges were ambivalent in their reactions, J.Lo commented: “That was a bit artsy. I get a bit scared when you do that!”
During his second performance, I confess I was distracted by the pretty violinist and sexy female saxophonist who flanked the 21-year-old bloke from Leesburg, Georgia.
At this juncture, it may be of interest to note that Phillip is the only contestant in the current group who has never been in bottom three.
Interestingly, winner of Season 9 Lee DeWyze picked Phillip and Jessica as the two finalists for this season. I concur except that Joshua Ledet will try his best to upset the odds.
When Phillip finished singing, the judges looked a bit indecisive but the young girls at the back all stood up and applauded. Ryan was quick to notice that and he said: “Phillip has a way with the girls.”
Skylar first sang The Show Must Go On. As usual in her own unique country voice, the Mississippi girl put on an exhilarating performance when her bubbly personality could only enhance that Queen song.
Her second song was Tattoos On This Town, a new one for me because I had not heard it before. However, Skylar sang it well and gave the audience and judges a good time in the barn, so to speak.
Randy Jackson was so impressed that he said: “You are fearless, dude!” J.Lo added: “All of a sudden you hit your stride and there you go, you slayed it.”
To my knowledge, the only contestant who received two standing ovations from the three judges last week was Joshua who sang Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
It was a major success with everybody. Joshua always put his heart and soul into every number he sang. This was no exception. His second number, Ready For Love, was even better.
The judges were beside themselves with admiration and perhaps a little awe as well when they all stood up instantly after he had finished his number.
Right now, Joshua is looking pretty good in the eyes of the professionals. But we don’t know how everyone else thinks. That was a week not so long ago when Joshua joined the bottom three.
As for Jessica Sanchez, the girl who can simply do no wrong with practically everyone in the music studio except maybe the all-important voters, her first number was Bohemian Rhapsody.
It was one of those iconic songs by Queen. It had been sung many times by different contestants in previous Idol seasons. Depending on your personal perception, Jessica did a commendable job on the whole. I liked the way she took the lyrics to heart.
Her second song, which she dedicated to her father, was Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross. Her dad is a US navy veteran who has done his tour of duty in Iraq.
Gilbert Sanchez was in the audience on results night. He would soon be shipped out to Singapore as part of his overseas assignment. It was an emotional performance for Jessica but she did it so well that the judges were deeply moved. Frankly, so was I.
Currently, as performances go, Hollie could be a casualty this week. Hollie has been in bottom three thrice. So if one studies the trend, she could be in trouble if she doesn’t put up a stellar performance this week.
Hollie has one of the sweetest smiles among the surviving contestants and she’s as cute as a baby bunny. She is also rather popular on Twitter because a lot of people like her.
So the Top 5 will sing for their lives in a week when there are only four places left. Joshua, Jessica, Phillip, Skylar and Hollie will sing for the millions of votes this week.
Carrie Underwood, Season 4 winner, and British rock band Coldplay will be performing on results night.
WIN: NST/AMERICAN IDOL CONTEST
HERE’S your chance to go to Hollywood!
NST and Fox International Channels are giving away a (4D/3N) trip to Hollywood, Los Angeles for one person (inclusive of return economy flight ticket, airport tax and a twin-share accommodation and not inclusive of meals and other incidentals) as the winner of this contest.
All you have to do is answer the questions and complete the slogan. Remember to include three New Straits Times mastheads (which appears on the top of the front page of the newspaper) with each entry. The winner will be determined by all-correct answers and the most creative slogan. You can send as many contest forms as you want as long as they are the original forms (no photocopies) and include the three mastheads each (again, no photocopies).
Only one winner will be selected and will be notified by phone. He/she is required to travel before Dec 31.