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‘American Idol’ top 6 results recap: are we experienced?

Hollie Cavanagh escaped elimination tonight. CREDIT: Michael Becker/FOX

Hollie Cavanagh escaped elimination tonight. CREDIT: Michael Becker/FOX

Elise Testone going home

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After two surprise eliminations, the woman who was near the bottom five times before finally found herself out completely on “Idol” tonight: Elise Testone.

The oldest contestant remaining at age 28, the New Jersey native and South Carolina resident clearly knows her own voice and understands what she likes. I enjoyed her when she channeled Stevie Nicks.

But experience also meant she didn’t particularly enjoy the judging process, questioning them at times and making faces at other times. I also found her stage presence a bit remote, her vocal stylings a bit mechanical, like she wanted to show off without entertaining us.

Last night, she did an adequate job with her Queen song, then did a self-indulgent Jimi Hendrix tune that felt more fussy than inspirational. Others were equally self indulgent (notably Phillip Phillips and Joshua Ledet) and they got away with it.

The past two lowest vote getters, Jessica Sanchez (saved) and Colton Dixon (not), made me question who would be in the bottom three. I didn’t even pick Elise. Instead, I chose Phillip, Joshua and Hollie Cavanagh, who was indeed in the bottom two and has been in the bottom three frequently.

Skylar Laine, who has been in the bottom three once before, had the third fewest votes – or fourth most. (Ryan Seacrest noted there were 58 million votes logged, ten million more than the top 6 a year ago, despite the 25% drop in ratings, which he didn’t mention.)

I didn’t get the impression there was a lot of shock or awe when she departed. But she was classy as she sang some Led Zeppelin and gave all the judges acknowledgment. The other five survivors didn’t seem all that upset, did they?

Here were Jimmy Iovine’s thoughts. He was much more into Joshua than I was and much less so with Skylar.

Jessica: “Jessica singing Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was a plain old mistake. Then to add to it, the three faces of Jessica. It actually scared me. That was less Queen and more Stephen King. But ‘Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross was magnificent… she sang it with brilliantly. She understood her words and her audience. Clever plus real talent, that’s double the vote.”

Elise: “She picked the wrong Queen song. A monotone stadium anthem. It comes off clubby. It didn’t move me. I didn’t want to see it again. Elise chose Jimi Hendrix ‘Bold as Love.’ To me, that’s double down on bad choice for the night. It was a musical piece with a very integrated soulful blues vocal. One without the other, it falls apart. That’s what we got. She’s a great singer who made bad choices.”

Hollie: “I wonder if Hollie choosing ‘Save Me’ by Queen was a subconscious plea to the public. [I thought that, too!]  She did a very good job. This was a hard one. Freddy Mercury is tough. He is so unique… she tripped up at the very end… Hollie singing ‘The Climb’ was a good choice. She caught the emotion in that song. I hope it’s not too little too late.”

Joshua: “I was really impressed with Joshua last night with ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ That Gary U.S. Bonds feel with Sam Cooke singing a Queen song showed he can interpret. He can cross over to pop. Then he switches over to ‘Ready for Love.’ Emotional, restrained and just moved us all to where we wanted us. He showed with those two songs, delivering with that type of intelligence, he could make the finals.”

Skylar: “I think Skylar did a very very competent job on ‘The Show Must Go On.’ She sang it more like a pop song… Now on her second song, ‘Tattoos on this Town’ was a little self indulgent… If you are going to do a song for one town, it has to be a strong enough song to appeal to the entire country. I don’t think that song cut the mustard.”

Phillip: “Ryan isn’t the only one not feeling well this week. Phillip is really having a rough time. It’s starting to show. With him not feeling well, he’s not able to pull off that character in ‘Fat Bottomed Girls.’ Watch Jack Black and Casey do it last year, they exploded that song when they did it. I don’t think we got that tonight. It was missing something… his second song was Dave Matthews ‘The Stone.’ … I’m very curious what the audience feels about this. What he did left an opening for someone other than Phillip to be in the final.”

- The “Idols Live” tour comes to Gwinnett Arena August 5. Tickets go on sale May 11 at 10 a.m. I’ll provide more details later.

- Harvey Levin of TMZ trained the top 6 about the media. They teased Philip Phillips about his aw-shucks nice guy routine, saying he should own it when J. Lo calls him sexy.  “One name; Casper Smart,” one of the TMZ dudes said, noting J. Lo’s much younger beau. “Thank you man,” Phillips said. They then teased Skylar about her “relationship” with Colton. She insisted that they are just friends. Then Joshua’s nickname “Mantasia” gets teased because there’s a strip club in New York named that.

They then get busted for being slobs and Hollie eating cereal in the bathroom. Elise wonders how to not look so mad when she’s not smiling without being fake. They had no solution for that. Jessica admitted to 200 YouTube videos. Then they mock Harvey for his bad dancing in a YouTube video, causing former dancer Nigel Lythgoe to get in the act.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

467 comments Add your comment

MyPatootie

April 26th, 2012
6:54 pm

RoHo, I hope you are right about Joshua and if not, then hopefully it will be Jessica. Then, with either one gone it will leave a “Perfect Five”. I could not choose between any of those 5 left.

MyPatootie

April 26th, 2012
6:59 pm

One more thing I forgot when posting earlier. Was anyone else as surprised as I was at the end of the show last night? When STyler was asked who impressed him most, he said “Skylar”! I about fell out of my chair. I like Skylar, as she is one of my favorites, but never in a million yrs. did I expect that from of all people, Steven Tyler.

JTesla

April 26th, 2012
7:00 pm

I’m thinking Elise goes tonight. “Whatnottosing” has some interesting web ratings of each song, the person who was middle of the pack with no high rated song was Skylar. That could be bad for her, but then she may have picked up some of the Colton vote.

Jenny

April 26th, 2012
7:00 pm

Shoot, we moved? Patootie, I just put two posts there on your country topic… I’ll bring them over here though.

Jenny

April 26th, 2012
7:01 pm

OK, reposting.

Patootie, I have been one to talk about “nasal twang”… but there is actually a lot of country music I LOVE. There is even some twang that I like. Though it does tend to be the older style twang if that makes sense… I adore Hank Jr… Waylon & Willie (Luckenbach, Texas and Amanda are two of my favorite songs EVER)… some George Strait (Amarillo By Morning).

Newer country that I love includes Carrie (of course), Martina McBride, Garth Brooks, Mark Wills, Leann Rimes (Blue in particular), Faith Hill, Tim McGraw (Drugs or Jesus and Red Ragtop in particular). And that is just the tip of the iceberg and listed quickly off the top of my head. :-)

I know I complain about nasal twang, but it’s Skylar’s type of twang, specifically, the beginning of that song last night. I don’t know how to better explain it. ???

Jenny

April 26th, 2012
7:02 pm

And the second one. Editing to add Deana Carter (Strawberry Wine).

Oh, and Patsy Cline (does she count as country? Crazy, etc.) Kenny Rogers. Old old old Crystal Gayle songs (anyone remember “Half the Way”?).

Brooks & Dunn (Neon Moon, My Maria). The Dixie Chicks (Wide Open Spaces). Alabama (in high school, owned every album they had).

Ronnie Milsap (Smoky Mountain Rain). And so much Dolly Parton I can’t count it (Two Doors Down, Jolene, Islands In The Stream, and most especially Hard Candy Christmas… another all time fave.)

I can bet that my blog friends never guessed this about me. But I think I have said that I have very wide and varied musical taste.

Jenny

April 26th, 2012
7:04 pm

And Patootie, I think Steven’s liked Skylar all along. I don’t like her nasal sound, but she does have a very strong voice and has shown us she can hit the big notes. I think he’s always seen that.

Jubie

April 26th, 2012
7:20 pm

The producers should want a winner who can sell shows and music. That will be Skyler or Phillip. Who else in the group would anyone really buy?

JTesla

April 26th, 2012
7:35 pm

They probably do have that concern in the back of their mind Jubie, but the first concern is getting people to watch the television show. They want a winner who can sell shows and music only because it allows them to get more viewers next year. It’s all about the show. In a way it’s kind of like Hell’s Kitchen, the producers of that show don’t care what kind of success the chefs have post show, they care about what kind of ratings they get.

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
7:48 pm

Rodney, enjoy your break. The season is long and full of danger…..well, maybe not danger but it sounded good. ;-)

Jenny

April 26th, 2012
7:51 pm

So Patootie… can you figure out my country preferences? I hope so, cause I can’t. :-) I never know whether to say I “like country” or not. I do love the fact that it still has melodies, and the lyrics tell a story… something much other music is missing these days.

Well, you saw some of my favorites above. And the type of songs I don’t like are:
Any Man Of Mine, Flat on the Floor, Check Yes Or No, Sin Wagon, God Fearin Women Get The Blues, Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not. And almost anything by Brad Paisley.

So your analysis? And it may just be “Jenny has weird musical taste.” And I’m totally fine with that. ;-) Mainly just wanted to say I didn’t mean to be a basher.

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:02 pm

Another one bites the dust.

DanJ

April 26th, 2012
8:03 pm

I won’t buy a CD from Skyler or Phillip but would by one from Elise, Jessica, Joshua and probably Hollie! I hope Skyler or Phillip go home.

Pitchy

April 26th, 2012
8:04 pm

Good evening.

Yummiecake2001

April 26th, 2012
8:04 pm

Since Rodney is off, are you going to comment here?

Yummiecake2001

April 26th, 2012
8:05 pm

Now this is how a Queen song is supposed to be sung!!

Pitchy

April 26th, 2012
8:05 pm

MyPatootie, when STyler was asked which one impressed him the most, I yelled out Skylar. I knew he would say her name. Sure did!

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:05 pm

Yummi, last night we had almost 300 comments here while the live blog was on

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:06 pm

So yes, there will be commenting here. ;-)

Yummiecake2001

April 26th, 2012
8:06 pm

Good Job!!!!

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:07 pm

Fun group. Happy to see Brian and Roger with them

Jenny

April 26th, 2012
8:07 pm

I’m here, hi y’all! Hi Pitchy, been a while!

Yummiecake2001

April 26th, 2012
8:07 pm

Thanks Deidre, wow I wondered why ny comments took such a long time to appear last night!

Carolina

April 26th, 2012
8:08 pm

if they give joshua a standing O they better stand up for those guys!

Jubie

April 26th, 2012
8:08 pm

JLo so hated to stand. LOL

Jenny

April 26th, 2012
8:08 pm

One of the best Queen songs. Couldn’t believe no one picked it last night…

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:09 pm

Just be sure you remember to refresh Yummi. We’re a little old school on the slow blog

Yummiecake2001

April 26th, 2012
8:10 pm

I am glad you are here..as I really look forward to comments and last night would have been hard to take without the humor….

Drei

April 26th, 2012
8:10 pm

Hi peeps! 58M votes were casted! That’s as per AI’s tweet..that is cwayzy!!

Alex

April 26th, 2012
8:11 pm

The new pianist/singer actually bore some resemblence (sight and sound) to the master, Freddie Mercury.

Pitchy

April 26th, 2012
8:12 pm

Hey there, Jenny! Who you think is off tonight???

Yummiecake2001

April 26th, 2012
8:12 pm

Gottcha..thanks

Drei

April 26th, 2012
8:12 pm

So who will be the goner tonight!? My not so wild guess is Elise!

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:12 pm

No Phil in the Ford video again. The guy is having some serious problems

Barbara B

April 26th, 2012
8:14 pm

Would love to never hear Elise yell yeoow again in that squeeky voice!

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:15 pm

Playing with TMZ

Alex

April 26th, 2012
8:15 pm

Ryan started the show saying by the end of the night we would know who we had voted in our top 5. We already do – Jessica was supposed to be gone two weeks ago. :cool:

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:15 pm

Jessica and Elise on stage

Pitchy

April 26th, 2012
8:16 pm

Elise is owning that dress.

Yummiecake2001

April 26th, 2012
8:17 pm

Thank you Jimmy..Haha

Pitchy

April 26th, 2012
8:17 pm

My guess is Elise is going home????

Yummicake 2001

April 26th, 2012
8:19 pm

Jimmy gives such honest & funny comments!

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:20 pm

Jessica is safe!

Elise is bottom 3

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:21 pm

I guess Stefano Langone doesn’t have a last name anymore

Yummicake 2001

April 26th, 2012
8:21 pm

Elise again..no surprise there

Carolina

April 26th, 2012
8:21 pm

I love Elise but I’d rather see her out of the show….she doesn’t get the credit she deserves and it has to be hard on her…..

Alex

April 26th, 2012
8:22 pm

There is an upside to Jessica being safe – there’s a better chance Joshua may go home.

cathy

April 26th, 2012
8:22 pm

What did jimmy say about Elise..I stepped out and missed it.

Deirdre

April 26th, 2012
8:22 pm

Pitchy, I agree, Elise looks good tonight

Angela

April 26th, 2012
8:23 pm

Just getting here. Helped our best friends say goodby to their sweet puppy who would have been 16 tomorrow. Not sure the swelling in my eyelids will allow me to see anything tonight