‘American Idol’ Top 11: Birthday-Year Song Performance Recap [VIDEO]

March 15, 2012 7:01 am

American Idol” took us through the years last night. The contestants were assigned to choose a song from their birth year to perform and even got a bit of extra help from Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am, who was featured as this week’s celebrity guest vocal mentor.

Even after a trip to the hospital last Thursday to undergo emergency kidney surgery, Phillip Phillips kicked of the performances for the night. As you can expect, the young singer was very apprehensive going into his performance this week due to his recovery, but he completely redefined what it means to have a sick day on “American Idol” and had a fantastic performance! All three judges agreed that it was a great song choice, including Steven Tyler who was impressed with Phillip’s ability to “pick songs that match [his] song and character.”

Jessica Sanchez wowed Will.i.am during rehearsal with her rendition of Gloria Estefan’s “Turn The Beat Around.” However, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez said her performance was “lagging” behind the beat. Although the judges were giving Jessica a lot of constructive criticism, Randy reassured her that she is one of the greatest talents in the competition.

Heejun Han slowed down the tempo with his performance of Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting.” His overall performance was pitchy, and Randy thought he was “out of breath the whole time.” Heejun was effective in showing his true emotions during this song, which he dedicated to his girlfriend in the audience… and of course Jennifer Lopez.

With the pressure high after being saved by the judges last week, Elise Testone chose to sing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.”   She certainly stepped up to the plate making the performance her own and singing beautifully. Randy even went as far as to shout: “Elise is back!”

DeAndre Brackensick sang “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie. DeAndre struggled through his rehearsals according Will.i.am and “Idol’s” resident vocal coach Jimmy Lovine, who said he has an issue with song selection. After his performance Jennifer  claimed that DeAndre sang “beautifully,” but also said that the mentors steered DeAndre in the wrong direction with their advice. All three judges agreed that it was not a good song choice because the song was too “safe” and “boring.”

After going though several different song choices with Jimmy and Will.i.am, Shannon Magrane ended up choosing Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day.” Shannon had a lot to prove with her performance this week because she was unanimously the worst performer last week. Jennifer admitted that she was terrified for Shannon when she discovered her song choice, but was pleasantly surprised! Ryan even gave the crowd a good laugh when he thanked Shannon for wearing flat shoes on stage.

As one of his biggest fans, Colton Dixon had the sweet opportunity to sit down this past week for dinner with “Idol” alumnus Chris Daughtry, who was in town early for his performance on the show tonight. Daughtry had the same advice as Steven Tyler who thought he made a bad choice in his song selection, while Jennifer commented that Colton looked “pretty” during his performance of “Broken Heart” by White Lion. Randy disagreed with Tyler and thought that Colton rocked the stage and gave a great performance.

Erica Van Pelt sang Bryan Adam’s smash hit “Heaven,” and let’s just say the judges weren’t impressed. “Heaven” is a beautiful song and the judges felt Erica was “messy” and left the audience “wanting more.” Jennifer, Randy, and Steven all agree that Erica has a great voice, but needs to be careful not to alter a classic song too much.

Skylar Laine went “ghetto-country” with her performance of “Love Sneakin’ Up On You” by Bonnie Raitt. Skylar is yet to have a bad performance night on “Idol” because once again she was outstanding. Everyone but Jennifer seemed to be in love with her delivery.

After mentioning to Ryan how much he missed his home state’s crawfish, Joshua Ledet received a surprise on stage courtesy of our host and the great state of Louisiana- a giant bowl of his favorite dish! After all of the excitement Joshua got down to business and sang Michael Bolton’s “When A Man Loves A Woman.” Joshua hands-down had the performance of the evening. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and the judges. Jennifer went as far as to say  his performance was “the best thing I’ve ever seen on ‘American Idol.’”

The best were truly saved for last. Hollie Cavanagh belted Celion Dion’s “The Power Of Love,” and like Joshua, Hollie has  soared above the competition and was the female standout for the evening.

The judges at the end of the show concluded that Joshua Ledet is this week’s “safe” performance, while Heejun was the performance that could be in trouble. Tune in tonight on Fox at 8/7c  for the live results show.


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