The Idol train keeps chugging along with Philip Lim in the back coach listening in on the songs and gossip
I WAS wondering if it was Hollie Cavanagh’s turn to leave but Colton Dixon beat her to the Exit Door. The latter was the young girls’ favourite for many weeks but last week, wasn’t one of them, and it proved fatal at this stage of the competition.
If the 20-year-old singer from Murfreesboro, Tennessee wasn’t so confident about his chances, he might have seen the outcome coming half a kilometre away.
Last week, the Top 7 had to sing one post-millennium hit and one song from the Soul era. That meant one popular hit between the years 2000 and 2012, and a number from the Soul Train, a popular TV series that lasted for 35 years.
Colton’s first song was Bad Romance by Lady Gaga which I thought was reasonably average. His second number, September, by Earth, Wind and Fire didn’t have enough sauce on his gravy train.
I hadn’t thought Colton’s run would end abruptly. I had considered the strong following he had, up till last week. After the shock of finding Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Elise Testone in the bottom three that horrendous week, anything was possible.
It must have given Colton’s heart a big jolt to find out that he had been thrown out by the seat of his pants from the Idol saloon. Together with Colton in bottom three were Elise and Hollie.
In my mind, it was a toss-up between Hollie and Elise. I liked Hollie very much but it was becoming rather apparent in recent weeks that her nerves were showing.
But she can sing at my weekend party any time. As for Elise, it was just too bad that she was practically making it a career holidaying in bottom three.
I think it was voice coach Jimmy Iovine who said Elise seemed to be “having a hotel stay at bottom three”. Honestly, Elise is not that bad a singer. In fact, she’s pretty good. Her vocals are uniquely memorable. Perhaps it could be her age. The younger voters cannot identify with her. Elise seems to be so adult in the company of mainly post-teenagers.
Elise is the kind of singer I would like to listen to in a nightclub. Her vocals are soothing and she embraces your soul while she croons into your heart.
I wouldn’t worry too much if she leaves next week. I believe she has proven to a lot of people that she can sing the socks off anyone’s feet.
As for Jessica, the network producers and judges seemed almost apologetic that she was given an unnecessary dose of humiliation the week before.
Generally, it was bad for the image of American Idol that some of the best singers are always bashed at the most inappropriate times of the competition.
Last week, Jessica sang Fallin’ by Alicia Keys as her first number, and followed up with Try a Little Tenderness. Both songs were sung on an elevated level of professionalism by that 16-year-old.
Steven Tyler was so moved that he exclaimed “Good God almighty. Bless my soul. You’ve done it again.”
Most career singers in the US music industry right now can’t hold a candle to Jessica’s voice. But then, as most recording artistes would like to add, it is the whole package that matters in the end.
We shall have to see about that in Jessica’s case.
Phillip Phillips is one of the most unpretentious guys in Season 11. Several weeks ago, I recall, he said that he wasn’t out there to be popular. He also wasn’t into shaking fans’ hands during his performance.
He just wanted to have a good time on stage. I think America took note of his honest opinion and took him into their hearts. Quietly, in his own inimitable way, Phillip is slowly plodding towards the finishing line.
He delivered U Got It Bad by Usher as his first number. That got him a standing ovation. His second song, In The Midnight Hour, was performed in such a typical Phillip manner that Steven commented that “everybody loves Phillip because of who he is deep inside”.
Steven added that Phillip was “brilliantly awkward”. That wasn’t the finest description in the English language but for American Idol that was sufficient.
Joshua pulled out all stops so as not to end up in bottom three again. He did it. His first song, I Believe, by his idol, Fantasia, was short of brilliant but it was his second number that rocked my soul.
A Change Is Gonna Come by the legendary Sam Cooke brought me to my feet as well as a standing ovation by the three judges. That second number, I remember distinctly, was also the theme song for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 when he was on his way to the White House.
It is a stirring number performed superbly by Joshua and he must have triggered a flood of tears in the eyes of many.
This week, the Top 6 will have to contend with Songs Of Queen. To add to the Idol musical, Katy Perry will be making an appearance on results night. This is the second time that Queen has made it to the American Idol competition. Its first appearance was in Season 5.
American Idol is aired on Star World (Astro Channel 711) & STAR World HD (Astro Channel 722) every Thursday and Friday at 6pm (live) with repeats at 8pm.