And, judging from the performances we saw last night, that should be one heck of a summer tour.
Idol has assembled a deep and talented cast. And if they sounded that good singing Billy Joel, imagine how good they could do if allowed to stick to the genre they sing best and allowed to pick more current songs.
By the way, did you hear that executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is taking suggestions for more modern themes? And he was getting suggestions, by the dozens, this afternoon. Here’s a look at my favorites submitted by fans of the show.
Oh, and if you want to check out a photo gallery from last night’s show, head here. There should be plenty of time to do so during tonight’s commercial breaks.
I’ll post another photo gallery tomorrow morning featuring tonight’s guest stars. They include Haley Reinhart — hooray for Haley — who returns to sing her first single, “Free.”
But, of course, the main bit of business tonight is cutting the field of singers down to nine. Heejan Han was easily the worst singer again last night, but he also turned in a fun performance that seemed to be a hit with nearly everyone in the audience.
My guess is that Idol voters send Erika Van Pelt and her new do off into the sunset.
But take heart, Erika fans. I’ve predicted her demise two straight weeks, and it hasn’t happened yet.
We start off with a group performance of “The Longest Time.” Wow, sappy, subpar vocals. I sure hope this number doesn’t make the tour. Hey, Nigel, start splitting the cast up into duets and threesomes like last year. Those were some great performances.
Results time. The winners move into a “big mansion,” Ryan says.
Hollie Cavanagh: Jimmy says you can’t get two individuals different than Hollie and Billy Joel. He says she might have seemed like a sweet diva caught in the headlights, but should be saved by her previous performances. Hollie is safe.
Skylar Laine: Jimmy says Skylar is a real pro. He says she needs to grow and do it now to win the competition. Instead, she seems to be stalling or slipping backward. Skylar is safe.
Elise Testone: Jimmy says he was worried about the song choice, but he says she showed more confidence than he’d seen from her all season. Heck, Jimmy says Elise gave him “goosies.” Elise is also safe.
Now a musical interlude from Lana Del Ray. Hmm, pretty song, but something short of a sensation. And I would still rather hear a former Idol in that spot.
Meanwhile, looking ahead, the results we’ve heard so far probably mean there are two guys and Erika Van Pelt in the bottom three. No way Jessica Sanchez is.
Deandre Brackensick: Jimmy says he told Deandre to have a good time with the song, but not go crazy on stage. He says it wasn’t Deandre’s best performance and predicts it will hurt him. Deandre is in the bottom three.
Joshua Ledet: Jimmy says he thought Joshua oversang the song. And he says he doesn’t think he understood the song. He’ll have to do better to win American Idol, Jimmy says. Joshua is safe.
Jessica Sanchez: Jimmy compliments Jessica on doing a great job, taking a simple song and expanding it. A’s across the board, Jimmy says. Jessica is safe.
Up next, Haley Reinhart. I still say her story was one of the best ever on Idol, and that she should have made last year’s finale. When the final 13 started, it looked like she’d be gone in a heartbeat. But she kept getting better and better and wound up third.
And now she’s about to release a debut album. Her single, “Free” came out Tuesday. Check out the hair. Finally, they release Haley from her cage. And she looks and sounds great of course. And pre-orders are being taken for her album.
Colton Dixon: Jimmy says Colton had an advantage this week, and did an outstanding job. He says Colton might be the third horse in the Idol race, joining Jessica and Joshua. Colton is safe.
Erika Van Pelt: Jimmy says Erika’s singing should put her at the top of the batch. And he calls her incredibly brave for changing her look one day and getting up in front of 20 million people the next. Erika is in the bottom 3.
Heejun Han: Jimmy calls Heejun’s performance a stunt gone wrong, 4 minutes of a straight to video Adam Sandler movie. And he thinks it will bite him. Heejun is in the bottom 3.
Phillip Phillips: Jimmy says Phillip should take all the advice he can get, even from the stylists. Phillip is safe.
Ryan sends Deandre to safety.
And Erika will have to sing for the save. I think I predicted this result.
Erika launches into “I Believe.” And she’s going to do a great job on the song, but the judges would be silly to use the save, because she’s just going to wind up in the same position in a week or two.
And the judges decline to use their save. Erika Van Pelt heads home on American Idol.