Tonight the remaining ten AMERICAN IDOL hopefuls tackled the songs of Billy Joel. From Tommy Hilfiger coaching the contestants on their style to Diddy guest coaching on vocals, it was an exciting night for the singers.
First up is Deandre Brackensick, taking on "Only the Good Die Young." It's a showing that's energetic, but nothing special, as Randy says to boos from the crowd. "It didn't wow me, but it was okay," he says.
Erika Van Pelt gets a makeover courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger. Unfortunately, her performance isn't
Erika Van Pelt, before and after; more pictures from tonight's episode can be viewed on page 2.
as much of a surprise as her new, super-short hair - "I'd like to see you move around more," Jennifer says in response to the rather boring rendition of "New York State of Mind."
Joshua Ledet is coming from his strongest week on the show, and hopes to keep his momentum going with "She's Got a Way." While the cheesy graphics don't help - an antique picture frame with sepia-toned images of Joshua is just plain strange - the performance itself is a bit all over the place. "It was kind of a half-half thing for me," Randy tells him.
Skylar Laine chooses "Shameless." It's the first song of the night that doesn't sound like Billy Joel karaoke - but that's mostly because she's covering the Garth Brooks version, and while she does a fair job, she and the other contestants have yet to really stand out on the night. "A little slow in the beginning, maybe a little pitchy, but you still breathe life into a song and that's what matters," Steven says.
Next to hit the stage is Elise Testone with "Vienna." While it's not perfect, it's a smoky rendition and probably the strongest showing of the night. The judges love it, giving a somewhat overdone standing ovation, and Randy enthuses: "This is why you're on the show - you're insanely talented!"
Heejun Han; more pictures from tonight's episode can be viewed on page 2.
Diddy brings out some girls for Philip Phillips to sing "Movin' Out" to in rehearsal in order to get him more confident without a guitar in his performance. He's totally uncomfortable with it - but it does seem to solidify his decision to use the guitar during his performance. "It's not a shield for me," he says, "It's just part of who I am."
Hollie Cavanaugh is also coming off of a strong week. She'll bring "Honesty" to the table, and despite a little blip at the end where her voice halts a bit, it's a good interpretation. "You take on these good songs, and that's great," Jennifer says, "And at the end of the day you have to know every single note in one of those songs."
Heejun Han is in the opposite boat, coming from what was probably his worst week yet. "I try not to make it personal," Diddy tells him. "You're still standing here." "I heard you were here," Heejun deadpans, "So I wanted to meet you. That's the only reason." He chooses "My Life" and gives a surprisingly good performance - it's probably the first time we've seen him let go. Steven Tyler isn't a fan of Heejun's antics, though. "At some point you've got to take it a little more serious," he says.
Jessica Sanchez chooses "Everybody Has a Dream." As the judges constantly remind her, the vibrato is still a little overpowering - but there's something a little mesmerizing about it, and when the chorus joins her it's a definite special moment on the night. "Coaching, style, performing, that was perfection," Randy says.
Colton Dixon will close out the night with "Piano Man," appropriately enough playing the piano. It's one of the few instances where it doesn't seem like the right decision to change the melody so much - the song is so iconic, and Colton's version not different enough, that it detracts. But he's a very good singer, and all of the judges praise the performance.
Check out photos from the night's show below!
Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX