Published on April 25th, 2012 | by Melody Simpson4
‘American Idol’ Season 11 Review: Top Six Take On Queen And More
The top six opened this week’s American Idol in a very special way. Joined by Brian May and Roger Taylor, original members of the legendary rock group Queen, viewers were treated to a Queen medley to open the show that was all about Queen in its first hour. Whether you know the songs that were featured or not, the night brought a great night of music and tough competition when it came down to voting.
16 year old Jessica Sanchez began the night with great vocals but a not so great performance. As judge, Steven Tyler said so well, “Rock isn’t your forte in any way at all…but I still love your voice.” Sanchez did not appear to even try to rock out which is what every Queen song leads people to doing. So there was definitely a disconnect here. Her second performance, “Dance With My Father” was on point vocally but still wildly boring. Yikes. We shouldn’t get to boring after making it this far! If viewers can forgive her for her very weak first performance and yawn worthy second, because of her magnificent vocals, she has a chance. Otherwise… she could find herself in the bottom three. We’ve seen before that she is not exempt from the bottom three and if there was ever a time we could fairly envision her being there… it is this week.
Sanchez should have taken notes from Skylar Laine who never fails to rock out during a performance. She hit the nail on the head with her performance of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” and did a great job the second time around. Based on this week alone, of all of the female contestants, Laine is the one that definitely does not deserve to be in the bottom three. That said, the bottom three has been awfully welcoming to her in the past and someone has to be in the bottom three… so if America falls short and she does find herself there, she definitely should not be going home. The one that should be worrying is Hollie Cavanagh who struggled with “Save Me” even though she did much better with her second number, Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb.” Will her second song, redemption song be enough? If anyone should be eliminated this week, is it Cavanagh? Especially since she’s cleared up the confusion about her accent. That’s all I really needed out of her at this point. For those of you who missed it, she’s from Texas but has lived in England. No Australia connection whatsoever. Moving on…
28 year old Elise Testone was right at home taking on “I Want It All.” Perhaps that is because she is the only contestant who can really appreciate what it means to be performing with Queen. Lopez confirmed some of my thoughts when she said that this was Testone in her element. It’s such a pleasure to see Testone in her element. Boy does she shine. As Jackson also said, this was one of her best performances to date. Her second song viewers may not have known as well but she did a fabulous job and engaged regardless. It’s wildly exciting to see Testone still in the competition and Testone brought it this week so she really has no place in the bottom three. Of course, there have been many weeks where she had no place in the bottom three and was there anyway, so hopefully the voters came out. There’s “Vote for the Worst” but there’s no “Vote for the Under-Appreciated.” Shame, because she is the most underrated vocalists in the competition this season. But with four females and two males in the game, the odds of having a female American Idol this year are in the ladies’ favor. You hear that Laine and Sanchez?
As for the last two remaining guys… the judges had nothing but good things to say about Joshua Ledet. But Steven Tyler was definitely confused when he said after Ledet’s first performance that Ledet sounded like nobody else. Was he kidding? He obviously hasn’t traveled the gospel music route much huh? “Fat Bottomed Girls” from Phil Phillips was great but his second number, a Dave Matthews number was hit or miss. Judge, Jennifer Lopez brought up a great point to him that there’s a time and place when Phillips can be “artsy” but this is not necessarily that time and he needs to do what the voters want to get him to the finale. Well, the viewers have been behind him all this time… we will have to wait and see the results to find out if Lopez underestimated America’s taste. As for my choices for elimination at this point in the game, Ledet and Cavanagh come to mind. But Sanchez and Testone could find themselves in the bottom three since Sanchez did not shine her brightest and Testone has always been the odd one out. It’s a crucial time. This week, Skylar Laine seems to be the only one that should without a doubt be safe. Otherwise, anything goes. So who are you rooting for?
Stay tuned for thhis week’s results show when Katy Perry will perform her newest single, “Part of Me”; the official touring Queen tribute, The Queen Extravaganza, will perform their classic smash hit “Somebody To Love”; and AMERICAN IDOL Season 10 finalist Stefano Langone will perform his new single, “I’m On A Roll.”
Watch American Idol Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox.
*Photo Credit: Michael Becker / FOX