by Hilton Hater at . Comments

There were no bell bottoms om stage. And we didn't notice a single civil rights protest.

But the American Idol finalists still took us back to the 1960s last night for their first round of performances. Who stood out? Joshua Ledet. Who might be in trouble? We're afraid to say, but Skylar Laine. Decide for yourself now as you watch the opening quintet of covers and then vote on your favorite...

Sauntering to the stage with her backup singers, Hollie Cavanagh went up tempo with "River Deep Mountain High.

Phillip Phillips pulled out his guitar once again and wrote "The Letter" to fans.

How about a little CCR from Skylar Laine? Not our favorite performance of hers, but perhaps you were rocking along to "Fortunate Son."

Jessica Sanchez showed off her range once again with "Proud Mary." But the moving around the stage and fussing with her hair was a bit distracting.

Joshua Ledet "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" and we ain't too proud to say: incredible job here.

WHICH 1960S COVER WAS YOUR FAVORITE?

 

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We are down to the final five.

With the elimination of Elise Testone this week, American Idol kicked off its home stretch on season 11, meaning this is an ideal time to line up the remaining contestants in a Power Poll and ask readers who they think will win.

  • Joshua Ledet Photo
  • Phillip Phillips on Stage
  • Jessica Sanchez Picture
  • Skylar Laine Photo
  • Hollie Cavanagh Photo

5. Hollie Cavanaugh: She's made a living in the bottom three for weeks now. A perfectly strong voice, deserving of a place in the top five, but next Thursday night should be it for her. Lacks a personality or anything distinct to go with the vocals.

4. Joshua Ledet: We rank him fourth, but wouldn't object to him winning the whole thing. The talent is there, but, to many, so is some yelling and a bit of over-acting. But if you like theatrics, Ledet is your man.

3. Jessica Sanchez: Responsible for the single best performance of the season, her cover of Whitney's "I Will Always Love You." Has a lot of Pia Toscano in her. We mean that as a big compliment.

2. Phillip Phillips: He just can't win, people. Seriously, it would make like five straight handsome white guys who play guitars. The talent is there, the consistency is there, and we feel bad holding David Cook and Kris Allen against Phillip. But we need a change.

1. Skylar Laine: And let's hope Laine benefits from that change. She's fun, she's eccentric, she has her own sound. Her cover of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" is what American Idol is all about.

WHO DO YOU WANT TO WIN?

 

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The top six on American Idol were given two tasks on last night's performance show:

  1. Cover a Queen classic.
  2. Cover any song your heart your heart desires.

The latter option led to tracks made famous by artists such as Jim Hendrix, Miley Cyrus and Dave Matthews. Who came out on top? Whose second round performance makes him/her deserving of your vote? Watch them all now and then cast it...

Jessica Sanchez initiated the second round of performances with a take on Luther Vandross. She just wants to "Dance With My Father," people.

Skylar Laine then followed up a terrific version of "The Show Must Go On" with a flawless cover of "Tattoos on This Town." She's our favorite at this point.

Hollie Cavanagh didn't reach far back for her selection, honoring Miley Cyrus with the following rendition of "The Climb."

Joshua Ledet made India Arie proud with a lovely performance of "Ready For Love."

Elise Testone making like Hendrix? The finalist actually pulled it off well with this cover of  "Bold As Love."

And, finally, in the least surprising choice of the night, Phillip Phillips emulated Dave Matthews with "The Stone."

WHICH PERFORMANCE DID YOU LIKE BEST?

 

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

With an ailing Ryan Seacrest at the helm, and with the challenge in front of them to cover a band whose prime started and ended long before any of them were born, the American Idol final six took to the stage last night.

For their first song of the evening, Phillip, Skylar and company were asked to cover a classic by Queen. Who deserves to stick around? Watch all the initial round of performances now and then cast your vote...

Jessica Sanchez kicked things off with the song made famous by Wayne's World, "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Skylar Laine then sent the kind of message that's been relayed to injured athletes and actors for generations: "The Show Must Go On."

As usual, Joshua Ledet proceeded to soulfully slow things down with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."

Elise Testone? She wants it all! And she wants it now! Watch her rendition of... "I Want It All."

Phillip Phillips didn't need his guitar for this version of "Fat-Bottomed Girls." What do you think?

Hollie Cavanagh closed this round with what appeared to be a plea to viewers across the land: "Save Me."

WHICH QUEEN COVER DID YOU LIKE BEST?

 
 

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Seven finalists. 14 performances.

On last night's American Idol, the remaining contestants sang a pair of tracks each: first, they covered a "Now" single from the year 2000 and beyond. Then, they went with a soul-based "Then" song, tackling artists such as Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. Relive the latter half of the evening below and then vote on your favorite...

Hollie Cavanagh for hour number-two started with "Son Of A Preacher Man," one of our favorite singles from that era.

Up next, Colton Dixon went from Lady Gaga to Earth, Wine and Fire, sitting behind a piano for a version of "September."

Elise Testone then got us into the mood via the Marvin Gaye classic "Let's Get It On." Will it help her move on?

Phillip Phillips proceeded to show off his versatility, following an Usher cover with a rendition of "Midnight Hour."

From there, Jessica Sanchez made a plea to "Try A Little Tenderness," as she hopes to avoid another placement in the bottom three. The judges, of course, are all out of saves.

Skylar Laine, who also did Lady Gaga proud with her first performance, then lamented how she "Heard It Through the Grapevine." We adore her.

Finally, Joshua Ledet took us home by telling the world that "A Change is Gonna Come."

Which of these performances did you like best?

 

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Following the judges' save of Jessica Sanchez last night, the top 7 finalists on American Idol returned to the stage last night, singing two tracks apiece: a "Now" hit from 2000 and beyond; and a "Then" soul cover.

Which contestant impressed you most with his/her first performance? Watch, listen and vote below...

Hollie Cavanagh took quite a risk to opening the evening, belting out a version of 2011's biggest hit, Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."

Colton Dixon then went all gaga on viewers. Lady Gaga, that is! Check out his version of "Bad Romance" now.

Elise Testone proceeded to give us the first Alicia Keys rendition of the night, taking on the heartfelt ballad "No One."

Phillips Phillips may not remind many of Usher, but he did that Atlanta native proud with a take on "U Got It Bad," remaining one of the season 11 favorites.

Jessica Sanchez, taking advantage of her second life on the show, also took on Keys, this time via the hit single "Fallin."

It was then back to Gaga for Skylar Laine, who made it very clear to the audience: folks, she was "Born This Way."

Joshua Ledet closed the first half of the evening with "I Believe," an appropriate choice for someone known as "Mantasia," wouldn't you say?

Seven performances down, seven to go. Which of the "Now" selections did you like best?

 

by Free Britney at . Comments

The American Idol Top Seven performed songs from the last three years last night, and drew mostly praise from the three judges for their contemporary covers.

A couple of singers were still a bit underwhelming, though, making for what should be an interesting, unpredictable results show Thursday evening.

How did Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh, Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone do? Let's find out ...

Elise Testone has been a bottom three mainstay, but the judges are rooting for her after a rousing performance of Lady Gaga's "You and I."

How hard are they pulling for her?

"That was the perfect song for you," said Randy Jackson, who declared Elise "back" and urged voters to finally recognize her talent. So pretty hard.

Skylar Laine opened the show with Kellie Pickler's "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You," earning praise for per perfect pitch throughout.

Randy said, "You're going to have a hit with a song like that."

Continue Reading...

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

You know what they say: if at first you succeed historically well at covering a late legend, try, try again.

That's exactly the advice Jessica Sanchez took on American Idol this week, as she followed up her version of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" from last month with a take here on the more upbeat "How Will I Know?"

Was it on par with Jessica's initial Whitney performance? No. But that would have been nearly impossible to match. The judges were clearly impressed, with Jennifer Lopez expressing shock over such a big voice emanating from such a small body.

Where do you stand on Jessica Sanchez? Enough Whitney or more Whitney? Watch and react now:

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Jessica Sanchez went all Beyonce on American Idol judges and viewers last night.

No, she didn't ask a man to put a ring on it. And she may be crazy in love with someone, but that wasn't Jessica's performance focus.

Instead, this singer went the ballad route again and gave us a beautiful rendition of "Sweet Dreams." Steven Tyler told Sanchez she really "knows her notes," while Randy Jackson referred to her as a naturally born star. What did you think of this cover?

And where would you say Sanchez stands overall? How does she match up with other top performers from this week, including Joshua Ledet or Elise Testone?

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Simply put, the girls ruled Billy Joel night on American Idol.

It was a ballad heavy evening, after all, which played well into the wheelhouses of such finalists as Elise Testone (and her version of "Vienna") and, as you can see below, Jessica Sanchez.

The contestant fought through some early critiques from guest mentor Diddy, who rightfully said she was initially oversinging the track, to knock a rendition of "Everybody Has a Dream" out of the proverbial park. Steven said it best in telling Jessica she "was at the front of the line when God gave out vocal cords"

See what we mean now:

Jessica Sanchez Biography

Jessica Sanchez Photo Jessica Sanchez has advanced to the finals on season 11 of American Idol. A Filipino-American, Sanchez appeared on America's Got Talent... More »
Full Name
Jessica Sanchez
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