'American Idol' Recap – 5/3/2012 – Top 4 Revealed

Last week’s ‘American Idol’ theme was British Pop and the ‘60s. The Thursday night results show on May 3rdopened with a video montage of the top five at a photo shoot, as well as clips of each contestant telling how their lives have been forever changed because of this competition. I loved that they did this because it shows just how big of an impact this competition has on so many people. It gives amazingly talented singers, many who would not normally have a chance to get their names out there, a chance to show the world what they can do.

Joshua and Phillip after their “awkward” duet.

This week was a little different. First, instead of the usual group performance on Thursday night, that was done Wednesday night (to an Adele song). Second, instead of having a bottom three, they had a bottom two. They also had a kind of “girls vs. boys” thing on Wednesday night. Joshua and Phillip sang The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” They both said that they were dreading the performance and felt very awkward. The judges told them they needed to let loose a little and just sing to the girls in the audience, instead of letting the awkwardness get the best of them. The girls sang Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher.” Their performance went over much better. They really got into it, and at the end Randy yelled “girl power!”

With the group performance already out of the way, Ryan wasted no time Thursday night and went straight to results. First up was Joshua. He has recently become one of my favorites, and at times I think that in the end it will come down to him and Jessica. They both have such powerful and beautiful voices. Wednesday night Joshua sang “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by the Temptations and “To Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees. As usual, the judges all agreed that he did a wonderful job. Jennifer told Jimmy “you better not mess this up!” Jimmy said that with Joshua’s second song, the sky opened. For those of you who didn’t see the performance show last week, here’s the story behind Joshua’s second song: he had never heard the song before. Jimmy and guest mentor Little Steven Van Zandt from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band suggested it to him and he went off on his own to learn it. He came back 15 minutes later and blew them away with how well he had learned it in such a short amount of time. As Jimmy said, he sounded like he had been singing the song for many years. Before Ryan told Joshua whether he was in the top or bottom that week, he asked him what kind of album he sees himself making. Joshua replied with “something that has a message every time and can touch peoples’ lives.” Ryan then went on to tell Joshua that he was safe in the top.

Hollie in the Ford music video for “Dream Life.”
Before they showed the week’s Ford music video, Ryan mentioned something that will make all you Twitter users out there very happy. He said that if you tweet using #IdolBackstage you can unlock an exclusive behind the scenes video only available at americanidol.com. They need 10,000 tweets to unlock it, so get tweeting!

The Ford video of the week was done to Colbie Caillat’s “Dream Life.” It had each of the contestants dressed in fairytale type clothing, and basically living their own fairytales or “dream lives.” I thought it was a really cute video.

Coldplay performing “Paradise.”

Next up was Coldplay! They actually performed twice that night. First they played their very popular song “Paradise.” It was an absolutely amazing performance, filled with wonderful special effects. The walls, big screen, and piano were all covered in graffiti/glow-in-the-dark type writing and doodles. From what I could tell, it looked like different ideas of what paradise is to different people. It was really cool looking. The crowd also had glow sticks that they waved around throughout the performance.

After Coldplay, Hollie and Phillip received their results. Jennifer said that she could really feel Hollie attacking her first song, which was Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High.” Randy and Steven also agreed. Her second song was “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis. All three judges agreed that she is a fighter; and although she has, as Randy said “been in the doghouse” all season, she completely deserves to be where she is. Jimmy said that her first song was the most believable he has seen her on the show. He thought that if they were to give her “Bleeding Love” for her first single, it would be a hit. However, he didn’t think it was magical. He said that she seems to have gotten a sudden boost of confidence lately. As for Phillip, Jennifer said that she always wants to get up on her feet when he is done. Steven said that he missed the melody in Phillip’s first song (The Box Tops’ “TheLetter”), but he got away with it. His second song, the Zombies’ “Time of the Season,” was more laid back and relaxed. Randy loved it because he made it his own, as he always does. The other judges were glad he chose that song, and thought that he sang it well. Jimmy said that Phillip should be commended for his strong personality and strong character. However, he thought that both of the songs were really bland. He said that Phillip has been coasting and needs to change something. He also said that he should be in the bottom, but probably won’t be. In the end, Hollie was in the bottom two and Phillip was safe in the top three.

Carrie Underwood was the other performer on Thursday night’s results show. She sang the title track of her new album, “Blown Away.”

Carrie Underwood performing “Blown Away.”

It was an amazing performance. She looked beautiful as always, in a stunning white dress. She stood at the top of a few stairs for most of the song, while fog worked its way all around the stage. The big screen behind her showed moving clouds and occasionally the land below, as if you were flying through the sky in an airplane. Toward the end Carrie went down the stairs and machines blew confetti and other things all over the stage. She received a well deserved standing ovation from the judges and audience. It was a fantastic performance, and a wonderful song. You can see her on the Blown Away Tour this fall. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 11. This will be a tour you won’t want to miss!

Skylar and Jessica were the last to receive their results. Skylar sang Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” and Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” Randy said that she was born to be on stage.  Steve agreed, saying that she brought her second song into the 21st century. Jimmy said she’s a fighter. He thought she could have understood the lyrics in her second song more, but sang it really alive and it was exciting. While Jennifer thought it was a performance that could win the entire competition, Jimmy disagreed. He thought it was a strange performance, saying “it had Nashville, but it also had Vegas and Broadway” (there were people sitting on a bench, along with some other props). Jimmy also said that Skylar hasn’t had a performance that wins the night in a while, but she doesn’t deserve to be in the bottom. As for Jessica, she caused some controversy this week. Jennifer said she looked so grown up in her first song, Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.” Jennifer loved the performance, while Randy thought it was okay. Her second song was Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.” Steven said that once again she showed America how beautiful her voice is. Randy also loved the performance, saying it was unbelievable. Jimmy said that the second song was beautiful and he loved every part of it. “It took you on a journey,” he said. He had issues with the first song, though. While he believes she is technically the best singer in the competition, the dress she wore (a pretty tight fitting short white dress) was too mature for her. He said that when she first came in she was dressed like a teenager, but the show turned into Burlesque. He said that Hollie’s presentation of Tina Turner won the night, while Jessica’s performance was too racy and too mature for her. He put a lot of the blame on the stylists. During the results, Ryan asked the judges for their opinions on Jimmy’s thoughts and Jessica’s performance of “Proud Mary.” Jennifer said that she has to remind herself that Jessica is 16. She also said that “show business has a whole different standard.” For people in show business, Jessica’s performance and appearance is acceptable. The people voting, however, feel differently. Judging on her singing though, since this is a singing competition, she sang beautifully. The results left Jessica in safety and Skylar in the bottom two.

Coldplay returned next with their second and final performance on the night. This time they played “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.”During the first song, singer Chris Martin was at the piano playing the whole time. For this song he was up and all over the stage, engaging more in the crowd. You could tell he was really getting into the song with the way he was dancing and bouncing around everywhere. Every single time I see Coldplay perform on TV it makes me want to see them in concert so bad. They give some of the best performances I have ever seen, and each and every one of their songs is absolutely amazing. They also have some of the coolest backgrounds and special effects, with all kinds of colors. At the end of their Idol performance, they had confetti falling from the ceiling. The audience loved every minute of it, jumping up and down, singing along, and waving the glow sticks. I think it’s safe to say that both of their performances Thursday night were some of my favorite results show performances this season.

And the person going home is…

Then it was time for the final results. Before he began, Ryan asked each of the judges for their reaction to the bottom two. Randy said that this is the “best top five ever on the show. Big props to everyone.” He also said that both Hollie and Skylar sang their faces off Wednesday night. Jennifer mentioned that so many people come up to her and tell her how much they enjoy Wednesday nights. She said that the top three deserve to be there, but the bottom two not so much. It’s a tossup. Steven agreed, saying “the top five has never been better that this. Thanks for letting us feel your music.” Finally, before Ryan read the results, he said that nearly 60 million votes were cast Wednesday night. He then revealed that the person going home was Skylar.

The show ended with a video of Skylar’s American Idol journey, after which she sang Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead.” She owned the stage with that song, running all over and dancing, as well as giving high-fives to all the fans in the front row. The judges and everyone in the audience gave her a standing ovation. I was very sad to her Skylar go, but I know that this isn’t the last we will see of her. This girl is definitely going places!

So now we have our top four contestants: Hollie Cavanagh, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips. This means there are only three weeks until the finale!

Author: Ariel Walborn

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