Results Recap: Who’s on the rise, who’s on the decline

Well, Erika Van Pelt, her new hairdo and her new look lasted all of one week on American Idol.

I won’t blame the hairdo, though I’d love to see Tommy Hilfiger eliminated from Idol.

I certainly won’t blame Erika’s singing.

The blame lies with Idol trends she couldn’t control — the preference for young contestants and the preference for male contestants.

I’ll trot this fact out one more time:  Since Season 6, only one gal 24 or older (Naima Adedapo) had made the Idol finals before Erika (26) and Elise Testone (28) accomplished the feat this year, in Season 11.

That’s not  a very good track record for what Idol would consider older female contestants.

And as great as Erika sounded on her save-me song – and she did sound great — the judges were wise to hold onto their sole save.

Because they and Erika probably would have been right back in the same spot next week.

On with the recap:

Stock rising:  Elise Testone, at least for a week, avoided the bottom three.  She’ll probably need stellar performances every week to continue doing so, but she’s already shown she’s capable of that.  And having Erika out of the competiion might actually swing some votes her way.

Shrewd attitudes:  Regardless of what Jimmy Iovine said, I think Phillip Philiips and Colton Dixon handled Tommy Hilfiger’s advice perfectly.  They ignored it.  And their fans probably admire them for doing so.  I doubt Phillip’s fans would have loved seeing him decked out in some snazzy, colorful outfit Tommy selected.  But I bet they’ll respect him for saying he just wants to be himself and let his music do the talking.  And why, oh why, would Colton change his hairstyle?  It gives him a unique look.   And Jimmy just proclaimed him one of the top three contestants, along with Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez.

Stock sinking:  Wow, Heejun Han landed in the bottom three.  After looking like an early favorite — because of his character more than his singing — he might not last nearly as long on this show as I expected.  His vocals have been the worst among the finalists the last two weeks, but I figured his “crazy” performance Wednesday night would rally his fans.  It sure didn’t do much for Jimmy, who called it a “stunt gone wrong.”  Hang on tight, folks.  Heejun is promising more “crazy” next week.

Very, very lucky:  Hollie Cavanagh had a rough week, but avoided the bottom three.  Here’s hoping the next theme fits her better or allows her more flexibility to do what she does best.  I still think she’s among the best three or four singers — note I said singers, not musicians — on the show.

Deserved his fate:  Deandre Brackensick also landed in the bottom three Wednesday night.  Honestly, he still needs to prove he belongs.  After three weeks, nearly every other contestant remaining has turned in at least one memorable performance.  Deandre has not.  It’s comforting to know a good head of hair won’t carry him all the way into the Idol finals, even on a show where cute young guys are preferred.

Coming tomorrow:  A photo gallery from the results show plus an exit interview with Erika Van Pelt.

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