Just six contestants remain on American Idol this week, all vying for your votes. This, of course, begs the question: who of the six will rise to the occasion for the legendary songs of Queen?
Ryan gravely introduces the singers and the judges. His hair is teased a good four inches above his head, like he's trying to become taller than little Jessica this week with just his hair. "One of these contestants will become. Muuusic. Royalty." Ryan says.
To get things started, Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor perform a medley with the contestants. It's much better than a typical group number, but it's still an Idol group number. Jessica is first in tonight's lineup, choosing "Bohemian Rhapsody" for her first song (the second set of the night will basically be a free-for-all). It's a horrible choice of song for so many reasons - not the least of which is how disjointed it is to cut a song like that down to a minute and a half. "Look, I actually loved it," Randy says. "Channel a little Tina Turner."
Skylar says that she hopes she'll be able to sing one of her own songs on the show. Um, you know what show you're on, right? At any rate, her Queen song is "The Show Must Go On." One of my favorite performances of Skylar's was the night she sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" because it was something so different for her, and I like this one, too - it's really good for the singers to keep things fresh once in awhile. "Everybody's sung right out of the box, right out of the car," Steven says. Yeah, I don't know either, but he also tells her it was fabulous.
It took me years to master this tambourine
Joshua takes on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and if last week seemed like the songs were written for him, this week was the opposite. He looks and sounds out of his comfort zone. For some reason I can't really fathom, the judges go wild over it just like they do for everything he does. Some weeks it's deserved, but this week, I don't get it.
"I Want It All" is Elise's choice. She's got the voice for this week, for sure, but I'm distracted by her awful tambourine playing. It's like she forgot how to play it after about thirty seconds. The tambourine. Still, she could've sung just about any song from the Queen songbook and done well. "That style of song is so right for you," Randy says. Elise, as usual, decides to deliver a personal monologue after the judges talk, but Ryan keeps things moving by cutting her off when she takes a breath. Everyone's favorite host reportedly just signed on for another two years with Idol for $30 million, and it's totally due to moves like that. You go, Ryan.
Phil Phillips chooses "Fat Bottomed Girls." He tries to do his usual take, which to be honest I usually really enjoy, but it's totally not working for him. I'm not sure he can hear the music - he seems to be hanging just under all the notes, but it's an A for a forehead-vein effort. "I love watching you get out of breath," Steven says, and surprisingly it's not as creepy as it could be...just confusing.
Hollie will close out tonight's show, but her first song is "Save Me." Hollie could stand to change things up once in awhile. I can't think of a week when she hasn't gone for the big ballad, and even though she delivers a decent performance it's a little tiring to keep hearing her do the same things.
We go back around to Jessica, who chooses Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father" because her father, an Iraq veteran, is next going to be stationed in Singapore. "I'm a daddy's girl," she says. This is the kind of song that best fits her - a song with strings and a big chorus and unabashed sentamentality. "You know what was wrong with it?" Randy asks. "Absolutely nothing!"
Skylar's choice is Jason Aldean's "Tattoos On This Town." It's back to her normal fare: very country and very earnest, but Skylar's growing on me and I think she'd do very well in the country industry. "What are we judging?" Jennifer says incredulously. In J-Lo's case, the answer is almost always and has always been nothing at all, but I have to agree with her for once: there wasn't much wrong with this one.
Joshua tackles India.Arie's "Ready for Love." It's different enough from his usual choices to stand out, but not different enough that it sounds uncomfortable like his earlier performance did. The song isn't particularly exciting; it's just solid. "That was transcendent," J-Lo says, but then adds: "You snap us into reality."
Elise'll be singing Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love." Just try being a less contrived version yourself, Elise, just once. Anyway, as usual, she sings it well.
Phil Phillips will perform the show's first Dave Matthews Band performance in its decade-plus history with "The Stone." It's obvious that Philip is influenced by Dave Matthews, and I feel like this is what he's been waiting to do the whole season. "What you just did is - you showed your true colors," Randy tells him. "I love it, man."
Hollie chooses a song that she'll have no trouble topping the vocals for - Miley Cyrus' "The Climb." Indeed, she sings it exceptionally well - it was her audition song and you can totally tell that she used to belt this one out in her room, so it's one of the few times that she's seemed comfortable on stage. "Perfect!" Steven says.
Voting lines are open for the next two hours, so get in your votes for your favorites! Don't forget to tune in tomorrow to find out who's headed home - plus a performance from the one and only Katy Perry.