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Randy Jackson liked it too. So did Steven Tyler.
Sadly for Brackensick, he of the flowing locks and the high falsetto, Interscope Geffen A&M head Jimmy Iovine did not.
When it was time for Brackensick to sing for his life, the one Tyler deemed “the male Naima” reprised his reggae-flavored version of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster.” Despite Lopez’s pleas, the save was once again not utilized.
Undeterred, Lopez offered words of praise to the 17-year old performer. “You’re an amazing performer. I stand by that,” she said.
Which brings us to our original theory that perhaps the judges are holding out to save Elise Testone, who came perilously close to elimination after a performance Iovine described as a “classic choke.”
Ouch. Iovine was particularly brutal on an evening that featured the premiere of Lopez’s new video “Dance Again,” (pairing her up once more with Pitbull and some steamy moves with backup dancer/boyfriend Casper Smart-that dance with Marc Anthony in last season’s finale seems sooooo long ago, doesn’t it?) and the sunshine of the ever so positive Kellie Pickler, who performed “Where’s Tammy Wynette?” off her latest album, 100 Proof.
Pickler offered words of hope early on, noting “I think everyone this season is going to get a record deal.”
If Iovine’s comments are any indication, a shoo-in for a deal is his new favorite “powerhouse” singer Skylar Laine, who Iovine combined vocals and performance showmanship that shows that she’s “got to have it” (Ok, that’s Jackson’s new catch phrase, but at least he’s resting his oft-repeated “in it to win it”).
The evening also featured The Wanted, singing their hit, “Glad You Came,” showing they got ‘the right stuff” and riding the boy band wave spearheaded by Big Time Rush and One Direction. However, it was ’80s night. Perhaps New Kids on the Block should have gotten a nod (THR Music Editor Shirley Halperin was jonesing for some Duran Duran last night, and we agree-that snippet of Tears for Fears’ “Shout” just wasn’t enough).
In a new twist, host Ryan Seacrest said that the bottom three would be broken down by duet partners. Iovine hinted that Brackensick would be sent home early in the show, correctly predicting that Brackensick and partner Hollie Cavanagh on The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” had nothing to be excited about. He said both singers would be fighting it out in the bottom three.
“She might be fighting with DeAndre for who is packing,” he hinted after his lackluster review of Cavanah’s rendition of Irene Cara’s “Flashdance (What a Feeling).”
However, the bottom three weren’t the only ones who faced the wrath of Iovine. Phillip Phillips nonchalant “I gotta be me” routine is wearing thin on Iovine, who made a scathing comment directed at both Phillips and perhaps the judges, who praised Phillips’ version of Genesis’ “That’s All.”
“It’s so hard to push yourself when everybody is telling you you’re great,” Iovine said.
In other Idol drama, poor Joshua Ledet was under the bright lights at a time when he was not feeling so hot. Ledet was suffering from a mysterious illness that made the singer feel faint, prompting Seacrest to attempt to land another job as the Idol medical assistant. He just seemed so doctor like, doing his best Marcus Welby, M.D. impression with the whole “if you need anything, let me know” routine.
Ledet did get something to cheer him up: a tweet from a teacher and his students in Vietnam wishing him good luck on his Idol journey. According to Seacrest, the show is encouraging more video tweets, and it’s a savvy move. More audience involvement is a good thing-it’s something former judge Ellen DeGeneres has done on Ellen for years with great success.
Left standing were: Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine, Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, and Elise Testone.
As for the rest of Iovine’s comments, here is how it went down:
Joshua Ledet: Iovine said his version of Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” put him “in his sweet spot right now,” and that Ledet looked “very comfortable and looked like a pro. He declared “10s all around” for Ledet.
Jessica Sanchez: Iovine felt she sang Whitney Houston‘s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” “beautifully with emotion,” but warned that “she needs bigger songs and more powerful songs.” He added that Joshua won this week because “he picked a better song.”
Skylar Laine: “I am so happy we talked her out of “9 to 5” he said of Laine’s swith to Bette Midler‘s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” declaring that she is just as much a powerhouse as Cavanagh and Sanchez. “Last night she proved it to me,” he said. “She went from the bottom to the top. If she continues this, she can win the whole thing.”
Colton Dixon: Iovine disagreed with the judges once more on Dixon’s take of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Iovine said Dixon was “good, not great. Just like sports, you don’t have to be the best team, you just have to be the better team. Last night, he wasn’t.”
Hollie Cavanagh: On the aforementioned “Flashdance (What A Feeling)” Iovine said, “Hollie’s problem is she is approaching this like a high school performance. He called the performance “stiff,” and asked “where’s the feeling?”
DeAndre Brackensick: In his most direct hit of the night, Iovine took the judges to task on their praise of Brackensick’s DeBarge selection, saying “No Jennifer, No Randy, No Steven. DeAndre was not great.” He called Brackensick the “weakest of the boys,” and said barring a save from Lopez, he “could be going.”
Phillip Phillips: Again, Iovine let it rip, this time saying that Phillips’ latest Phil Collins cover was his “worst performance of the season.”
Elise Testone: Iovine stood by Testone’s original peformance’s of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” saying: “I assure you, Steven, this was the right song.” He put the blame on Testone, not the tune. “She hit the stage and did not sing it incredible,” calling it, “an old-fashioned choke.”
Maybe next week’s guest performers — Jennifer Hudson with Ne-yo and Rick Ross and season 10 alum James Durbin — can school the top 7.
So what do you think, Worshippers? Did America get it right? Who are they going to save this season?
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