'American Idol' Burning Questions: Did Adam Lambert's 'Whole Lotta Love' Inspire Elise Testone? Where Does Skylar Laine Fall in the Madonna Vs. Lady Gaga Debate?
Plus: How did Heejun Han finally realize it's time to get serious? What did Stevie Nicks whisper to Hollie Cavanagh? And now that the Top 9 are sharing a house in the hills, who spends the most time primping in front of the mirror? THR has the answers...
Taking on the songs of their idols, with icon Stevie Nicks to guide them along, American Idol’s season 11 finalists certainly had their work cut out for them. Some, like Colton Dixon, Heejun Han and Jessica Sanchez, stepped up and slayed their performances, while others, like Hollie Cavanagh, floundered a bit. In the end, Wednesday’s show was certainly an emotional affair, and once the tears were dried, the Top 9 came out to meet the press and answer our burning questions.
Was Elise Testone familiar with Adam Lambert’s show-stopping performance of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” on season 8 of Idol? “No,” she said matter-of-factly. “Someone mentioned to me that he did it -- yesterday, I think? But I didn’t know. I didn’t really get to see the show a lot.”
If Wednesday’s theme was “song by a former Idol, what would Colton Dixon have picked? “I would have done Daughtry,” Colton told THR. (No surprise there, the two had dinner recently and tweeted a photo to mark the occasion.) “Probably [the song] ‘Home.’ He has so many good songs, but I connect with ‘Home’ on a spiritual level. I love him. I love what he stands for. He’s an amazing artist.”
Since she took part in the Madonna medley, where does Skylar Laine fall on the “Born This Way” vs. “Express Yourself” debate? As always, the sharp-tongued country girl tells it like it is. “I love Lady Gaga and Madonna so I’m in the middle,” said Skylar. “Both have great songs and I think one of Lady Gaga’s inspirations is Madonna, so if [her song] comes out that way, then that’s how it is. I’ve had people on the internet say, ‘Oh you’re just trying to be Miranda Lambert.’ No, I’m not trying to be her, but she’s my inspiration. That’s the kind of music I want to write and that’s what comes out when I write. If it comes out that way, then it just does.” And if she had to choose a song by a former Idol? Added Skylar: “I would have thought about maybe doing a Crystal Bowersox song and making it really country or a Bucky Covington song.”
Was it extra pressure for Joshua Ledet to sing a Mariah Carey song knowing Randy Jackson manages the pop diva? As it turns out, Joshua didn’t know that Randy’s relationship with Mariah extends beyong the recording studio. “If I would have known that, then I would have definitely been scared. I was scared a little bit because that song was powerful. It was done by this great guy [Harry Nilsson] and then Mariah re-did it and she just sang the socks off of that song. Hollie, my best friend, said to me, ‘Boo, be careful, Randy’s worked with her.’ But I wanted to sing Mariah Carey in that room.”
Now that the Idols have moved into a mansion in the hills together, who spends the most time in front of the mirror? “Colton,” said Hollie and Joshua almost in unison. “Let me tell you what he do,” continues Joshua. “He gets up at six o’clock in the morning, goes in the bathroom and sings for hours. Then I only get like five minutes to get ready because he’s in the bathroom for like an hour.” And singing isn’t the only thing he practices in there. As the two demonstrated, Colton has an array of brooding looks that he’s perfected.
What did Stevie Nicks whisper to Hollie Cavanagh at the end of their mentoring session? “I went in to hug her and she pulled me close and said, ‘If you do that, you’ll be a big star,’” Hollie told THR. “I was in a room full of people and at that moment it felt like just me and Stevie. She has been the best mentor we’ve had so far. She came so prepared and wanting to know about us. I felt so inspired by her.”
Did DeAndre Brackensick receive the biggest compliment of the night when his vocal style was compared to that of Prince? “That was crazy,” he said, still flabbergasted by the comment. “Prince is… You don’t touch Prince, you know? But that was a beautiful compliment. I’m a huge Prince fan and I wish he would clear some of his songs so I could sing some here!”
Which Beyonce dance was a young Jessica Sanchez trying to emulate? All of them, pretty much. Said the 16-year-old with the ginormous pipes: “There are so many. I used to watch all of her videos and try to dance to her stuff. I’m so terrible at it. I will never ever get in front of a camera and try to dance like her ever again.” As for when Jessica’s own alter-ego -- her Be-be Chez to B’s Sasha Fierce -- comes out? “Every time I’m on stage,” she said. “When I sing in front of people, it’s, like, really weird because it ‘s like, ‘Voom, Bebe Chez!’ It really is [an alter ego] because when I get off stage, I’m back to me.”
How did Heejun Han finally come to realize he was letting his fans down? Being in the bottom three, of course. “It had the biggest impact,” he said -- in all seriousness. “But most importantly, there are so many people who have been sending lots of messages saying, ‘We truly believe in you,’ ‘we support you,’ ‘we still love you...’ That made me think, ‘Wow, there are so many people that believe in me and support me, I can’t just let them down like this. It was a turning point I guess.” As for those who equate Heejun to Sanjaya, he sang for them too. “I wanted to shut their mouths for a week. I think I really pulled it off.”