Instagram

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bye Heejun

I was pretty sure I knew who got sent home before I started watching tonight-seeing "Bye Heejun" as a trending topic on Twitter was kind of a giveaway. You'd think I would know to avoid Twitter, and sometimes I do, but maybe I've given up on trying to fight spoilers. Sigh.

Another "spoiler" I read was a headline that said something like NICKI MINAJ STARTS FEUD WITH JENNIFER LOPEZ! I was highly disappointed when I saw the incident for myself and realized it was nothing like that at all. But do you think when J-Lo told Nicki that there wasn't room for both of them, she was referring to their diva egos or their behinds?

But anyway, about the results. Guess who wasn't surprised at Skylar being in the Bottom 3? <--- This girl (that arrow thing doesn't work so well in this scenario does it)! I couldn't possibly actually be happy about that though since I like Skylar and she didn't deserve it. But seriously- I would be doing so much better in my American Idol pool if we could get points for naming the Bottom 3 instead of just who goes home each week. Dang it.

I also should have learned the lesson that I need to set my DVR to record these results show an extra minute or two. Since I didn't, I missed Heejun's send-off. I am really bummed that I missed the end (well, probably/hopefully not in real life) of the Heejun-and-Phillip bromance we have come to know and love.

via EW

So, bye Heejun- I'm sure it's not the last time we'll see you on TV.

P.S. To my dear Anna: ask and you shall receive.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Idol recap: Top 9

There were FIVE standing ovations from the judges tonight. They are pretty liberal with the standing ovations this season, aren't they? Simon Cowell would never stand (pun actually unintended) for this!!!

COULD BE IN TROUBLE
  • Hollie Cavanagh ("Jesus Take the Wheel")
    The judges gave her mixed reviews, and I agreed with parts of what all three said. I agreed with Randy that Carrie Underwood songs should be avoided on this stage, I agreed with Steven Tyler that I wish she picked another song, but mostly, I agreed with J-Lo that this is the first time Hollie truly connected with her song and that was more important than her singing the song perfectly. However, another week, another ballad. Time to shake things up, Hollie!
  • DeAndre Brackensick ("Sometimes I Cry")
    I don't mean to take anything away from this performance- the kid has a beautiful voice and sang- as Randy would say, but surprisingly actually didn't this time- the "I don't know what" out of that song, but was it a performance that gets people to pick up their phones and vote? I'm not convinced. If Colton is the most relevant contestant this season, then DeAndre would have to be the anti-Colton.
  • Heejun Han ("A Song For You")
    A standing ovation from the judges was definitely unnecessary, but Heejun gave his best performance of the season tonight. I am pleased and impressed that he decided to show that he is in fact serious about this opportunity. But will America like serious Heejun as much as they liked funny Heejun? And does he deserve to have his stay extended longer than anyone else's?

THEY WERE ALL SO GOOD, I CAN'T PICK ONE 'BEST OF THE NIGHT'
  • Jessica Sanchez ("Sweet Dreams")
    Hey, looks like FOX found another use for those red doors from So You Think You Can Dance's Top 10 guys last year! She showed beautiful restraint in this performance and I loved that she slowed it down.
  • Skylar Laine ("Gunpowder and Lead")
    Skylar is the most entertaining, most consistent contestant this season. I'm concerned that Steven Tyler doesn't understand what "over-the-top" actually means, since his critique of Skylar marked at least the second time he's used the phrase this season as a compliment. But I'm more concerned that she might be accidentally forgotten this week between going second and being one of the few NOT to receive a standing ovation.
  • Colton Dixon ("Everything")
    Colton delivered a powerful, emotional performance of yet another song I have never heard before. I look forward to hearing him on the radio.



  • Phillip Phillips ("Still Rainin'")
    Stevie Nicks paid Phillip the most epic of compliments- "Had you been Lindsay's and my friend in 1975, Mick Fleetwood would have said, 'I want all three of you in Fleetwood Mac.'" Now how on Earth do you respond to something like that?!



  • Joshua Ledet ("Without You")
    This performance didn't seem like it would be particularly noteworthy... until he reached the second half of the song. Oh man.
  • Elise Testone ("Whole Lotta Love")
    I'm going to contradict myself here in just a moment. As a biased Glambert fan, I still favor his rendition of this song. Having said that, if Elise's album is filled with songs like this, I'll definitely be listening to it.

THE MEDLEYS

  • Colton/Elise/Phillip (Fleetwood Mac): A
  • DeAndre/Heejun/Joshua (Michael Jackson): B+
  • Hollie/Skylar/Jessica (Madonna): B

Agreed.

MENTOR GRADE
I love Stevie Nicks... but she loved everyone just a little too much to be the most effective of mentors. B+.

WHO SHOULD GO HOME
Heejun. I'd miss him but he's simply the weakest singer remaining.

WHO WILL GO HOME
I think Heejun may end up in the Bottom 3 again along with DeAndre and in the surprise of the night, an overlooked Skylar (thanks to poor positioning and ho-hum critiques from the judges). DeAndre goes home.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Idol recap: Top 10

I must be getting old. I'm really concerned about how many of the contestants weren't very familiar with Billy Joel's songs. Also, we're already at a point where I'm not ready to see any of these contestants go home, and I don't think that has ever happened with 10 whole singers left. This is getting hard.

HOW MUCH LONGER CAN HE LAST?
  • Heejun Han ("My Life")
    My favorite Diddy quip of the night came here: "I don't know if he's an actor, or a con man, or I don't even know if he's really Asian, he might be black... I'm keeping my eye on him." You know, he's right. Heejun could actually be the greatest prank Uncle Nigel has ever pulled on us. And I don't even care! Having said that, I can understand the point of view that he's being disrespectful to the competition by seeming like he's not taking it very seriously- but he's entertaining, and he's playing to his strengths to get votes. Nothing wrong with that.

COULD BE IN TROUBLE
  • DeAndre Brackensick ("Only the Good Die Young")
    I enjoyed the slightly grittier vocals Deandre showed in this performance... but I'm not sure he really understood what this song actually means (and if he did, I doubt he would have selected it). If the disconnection weren't enough, going first might have sealed his fate.
  • Hollie Cavanagh ("Honesty")
    Holllie slipped a little this week, and even though I put her in this category, I'd actually be in shock if she ends up in the bottom three. However, the judges' comments to her are exactly why Hollie needs Uncle Nigel to bring her an actual mentor- someone else who has a big voice- one of these weeks, and soon.  I do think it's time for her to shake things up a bit or she just might have a date with the bottom three next week.
  • Erika Van Pelt ("New York State of Mind")
    Girlfriend SHOULDN'T be in trouble, but I think it's too late in the game for her to find a way out of the bottom three until the day she goes home. While I agree that EVP was in need of a new hairstyle, I'm not sure dying her hair black and giving her a pixie cut is exactly what I would have picked out for her. She's unrecognizable! But more importantly, she finally sounded amazing. I hope Red Sox Nation forgives her for picking this song and votes her through till next week.

DOOMED BY HIS OWN GREATNESS
  • Joshua Ledet ("She's Got A Way")
    When you're this good, coming off an incredible performance the week before, it's almost impossible not to disappoint. Having said that, his early slot and the judges' lukewarm feedback worry me that he'll accidentally end up in the bottom three.

DOOMED BY HER EARLY GRUMPINESS
  • Elise Testone ("Vienna")
    Elise got a standing ovation from the judges, but will it be enough? She was fantastic, but whether America is over her baditude from a couple weeks ago will remain to be seen.

UNDOUBTEDLY SAFE
  • Skylar Paine ("Shameless")
    In an attempt to sound relevant, Randy Jackson instead made himself look even more ignorant by asking Skylar if she was influenced by Brad Paisley's rendition of "Shameless." Umm, Randy? Wrong country star. Try Garth Brooks. Not even close. (P.S. Skylar was good).
  • Phillip Phillips ("Movin' Out")
    Tommy Hilfiger told him not to wear gray, but he wore gray. Jimmy and Diddy didn't want him to play his guitar, but he played his guitar. And he rocked. Well played, Phillip Phillips, well played.
  • Jessica Sanchez ("Everybody Has a Dream")
    How GOOD is she!? Another standing ovation. Steven Tyler told her that she's gone way past his judging, and that might be the best thing he has ever said.

BEST OF THE NIGHT
  • Colton Dixon ("Piano Man")
    I was ready to swoon as soon as it was clear that Colton would be back at the piano this week, and man, he did not disappoint. I also would buy this single.


MENTOR GRADE
I kept forgetting Diddy was there, so he only gets a C-. However, I am loving the addition of Tommy Hilfiger, who gets an A- in my book.

WHO SHOULD GO HOME
DeAndre Brackensick

WHO WILL GO HOME
I'm afraid that despite excellent performances, EVP and Elise will both find their way back to the stools- but DeAndre will be the one heading home. (I might change my mind... I worry about EVP).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Idol recap: Down to 10

Another contestant was eliminated even with the Jermaine Jones disqualification, which means we are now down to our final 10 singers. And could there be a more deserving group? The bad news is I'm 0-for-2 in my American Idol pool, but the silver lining is that we are 2-for-2 in my American Idol heart. That made more sense in my head, but I think you know what I mean.


I'm not sure how Elise still managed to slip into the bottom three, but it appears that we might still be stuck on the same unfortunate trend (most of the girls getting the boot early) that we've been seeing the last few years. It's a good sign for Phillip and Colton, but I'd still be shocked if Uncle Nigel doesn't have a few tricks up his sleeve to help one of Jessica/Skylar/Hollie become our next champ.

And- double negative alert!- I can't not say it. Any one of these Top 10- you know what, I'll even include Shannon- any of these final 11 contestants are better singers than Demi Lovato. Right!?

Finally, I'll throw in my two cents on the Jermaine Jones incident. Conspiracy theorists believe that Uncle Nigel and co. were aware of his issues with the law the entire time, and with American Idol viewership being threatened for the first time, they decided to turn it into a dramatic storyline twist in an effort to boost ratings. I really don't want to believe it, but unfortunately I'm afraid the conspiracy theorists are right on this time. This isn't the first time something like this has come up (like Season 2's Corey Clark) so you'd have to assume they've stepped up their background researching to avoid more embarrassment. Plus, bringing Jermaine back as a "surprise" was just so inexplicable, it only makes too much sense to believe this disqualification was staged. I'd also guess they were hoping to delay this by another couple weeks, but with his close call last week and the emergence of his awful attitude, they had to speed it up or risk him being actually eliminated. Recording the conversation with Jermaine when he was told he was disqualified seemed particularly distasteful to me too. Why was that necessary? Why embarrass him more? I can't stand the guy, and I'm thrilled he's off the show, but I just don't care for how it all went down.

So that's that. Looking forward to this Top 10 singing some Billy Joel next week!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Idol recap: Top 12- no, Top 11

I'm going to save the Jermaine Jones discussion for another day, as performance nights should be dedicated to the performers (plus, the whole "drama" just kind of disgusts me). Will we even have an elimination tonight? Should Jeremy have been allowed to sing again this week? Did you wish, as I did, that more contestants sang songs that were actually from the year they were born, not songs that were covered in the year they were born? And HOW AWESOME was J-Lo last night??? That's not sarcasm. I seriously loved her.


Moving on...

COULD BE IN TROUBLE
  • Deandre Brackensick ("Endless Love")
    Ditto what J-Lo said about Deandre. He sang it well and it was pretty, but I think it might have been too mature for him- I just don't think a 17-year-old should be singing about eternal love. I wish he stuck with The Lion King song (it could have been a beautiful moment, especially with his hair mimicking Simba's mane).
  • Erika Van Pelt ("Heaven")
    EVP is beginning to frustrate me. WE NEED MORE! GIVE US MORE!!! I'm glad she was finally dressed in something other than an old prom dress and I'm still Team EVP, but she's a lock for the Bottom 3 at the very least.
  • Shannon Magrane ("One Sweet Day")
    I also was terrified for Shannon when they said she was singing this song, but unlike the judges, I'm not sure I ever became comfortable enough to be able to truly enjoy it. I give her props for being brave enough to tackle another big song after her little mishap last week... but I just still don't think she's as great as the judges make her out to be. I really don't think she's ready for this stage.

    "She should have been told to wait 5 years before auditioning again and then been told in 5 years that there's nothing special about her voice." -- Anna


  • Heejun Han ("Right Here Waiting")
    Yes! Thank you Jimmy & will.i.am- first, for telling Heejun he needs to finish his phrases, and second, for that hilarious discussion about Heejun asking for Fergie's phone number ("he didn't ask if she was married, he asked for her phone number!"). Unfortunately, I can't disagree with the criticism he received.

PRETTY DAMN GOOD
  • Colton Dixon ("Broken Heart")
    If you can't sing original songs, why not sing songs no one has heard before- especially when you sound this good singing them? I vote keep it up. But maybe eat a couple cheeseburgers, Colton? Your legs are about to disappear.
  • Skylar Laine ("Love Sneakin' Up On You")
    This girl knows what she's doing, doesn't she? Good for her to sticking to her guns (not literally, I'm sure she must have a few) about her song choice.
  • Jessica Sanchez ("Turn the Beat Around")
    This is what I think: the judges gave her a little bit of criticism for the sole purpose of riling up the masses so that they remember to vote for her. Come on Steven- you know if she stuck to ballads, you'd be telling her to change things up a little
  • Elise Testone ("Let's Stay Together")
    She's baaack- and with a smile, even! But seriously, I didn't really need the baby-making jokes.

RUNNER-UPS
  • Phillip Phillips ("Hard to Handle")
    You'd never know he was less than a week out of surgery. It also goes to show how much confidence Uncle Nigel has in the guy, having him lead off despite not being 100%.
  • Hollie Cavanagh ("The Power of Love")
    Her last note could have been stronger, but that was probably one of the silly little things not worth mentioning that J-Lo was referring to. She's still green, but if she stays in the competition long enough and keeps improving, she could really be something special by the end of the season.

BEST OF THE NIGHT
  • Joshua Ledet ("When A Man Loves A Woman")
    Preach! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the judges start their standing ovation halfway through the song- not that he didn't deserve it- and nearly lost it at the sight of J-Lo literally jumping up and down with glee. Priceless.


MENTOR GRADE
Will.i.am got off to a good start but ended up as comic relief. I give him a C.

JUST BECAUSE IT NEEDED SHARING
"I bet the people who made Watson could make a Randy Jackson robot. That robot would be much more entertaining because at least when he says the same thing over and over again it would be in a robot voice." -- Anna

WHO SHOULD BE GOING HOME
Shannon Magrane

WHO WILL BE GOING HOME
My best guess for the Bottom 3 is Erika, Deandre and Heejun, with EVP taking the fall (if anyone goes home at all). Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't know it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patty's is just a week from tomorrow- make sure you have your lucky charm!
BUY NOW >>> 
Earrings & Necklace


I made a St. Patty's Day wreath- what do you think?

Idol recap: 13 becomes 12

America got it really, really close... but not quite right.

The bottom four were exactly who they should be: Jermaine, Jeremy, Elise and Shannon. I fully expected Jermaine and Elise to be revealed as the bottom dwellers, partly due to the stank attitudes they both revealed last night. It annoys me- teenagers Jeremy and Shannon are able to handle their criticism so graciously, and they can't?

The most interesting moment, however, was when Jermaine was sent back to safety. Did you notice?? NOT A SINGLE PERSON ON THE COUCH WELCOMED HIM BACK. The other contestants couldn't be bothered to even pretend to like Jermaine- and why would they, the way he whooped his approval at the result, without even a glance in the direction of the other three waiting to hear their fate. It was a stark contrast to the pure unadulterated joy that erupted from the couch when Ryan Seacrest announced that Joshua and Erika would both be back next week.

Catch it again here if you missed it, or if you're like me and enjoy the awkwardness- skip ahead to the 1:00 mark:


Given the options, sending Jeremy home was the right choice.

....actually, no. The right choice would have been to bring Johnny Keyser back (I hear you yelling at me to give it up already and move on but I'm choosing to ignore you) instead of Jermaine. He definitely shouldn't get too comfortable. And Elise, learn to turn that frown upside down.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Idol recap: The Top 13!

At the beginning of the show, Ryan Seacrest revealed that for the first time at this point in the competition, the judges will have a little bit of a say in who goes home. They will have the honors of choosing between the male and female with the lowest number of votes. This seems to indicate that the producers are desperate for a female to win this year, or at least give them a better chance by attempting to stop the trend of having all the girls picked off one after another in the early going. While I still think Phillip Phillips has a good shot at the crown, there is a trio of extremely strong ladies who might just be able to take it away from him.

YIKES
  • Shannon Magrane ("I Have Nothing")
    If Shannon nailed this song, I would have started to believe in all her hype- but alas, she did not. To put it politely, she was not good. However, I have a feeling her fans will rally for her and keep her around at least another week. I also give her bonus points on how maturely she handled the gentle criticism she knew she deserved.

    "OH THAT WAS A BAD NOTE." -- Anna
ZZZZZ...
  • Jermaine Jones ("Knocks Me Off My Feet")
    I think I fell asleep for a second. As confused as I am about the return of Jermaine, I may be even more confused by Jimmy Iovine's infatuation with him. Actually, I take that back. I'm mostly confused by the styling decision to dress him in a light pink polo under a red jacket. So... when's Johnny Keyser coming back, guys? This isn't funny anymore.

COULD BE IN TROUBLE
  • Elise Testone ("I'm Your Baby Tonight")
    As uncomfortable as Elise seemed during this performance, she should still thank Jimmy for steering her away from "Greatest Love Of All" because that would definitely have been worse. Unfortunately, she was never able to commit to this new song, which troubles me. I hope it's not a sign of a stinker attitude or lack of professionalism. She was still able to show off the parts of her voice we all fell in love with, so hopefully that will prove to be enough to carry her through to next week, when she'll surely bounce bank.
  • Erika Van Pelt ("I Believe In You and Me")
    I am a big EVP fan and I actually found myself agreeing with J-Lo- Erika hasn't shown us everything she's got yet, and I really hope she doesn't hold out from us any longer or it just might be too late. She gave a solid performance, but I'm worried it wasn't memorable enough for fickle, fickle voters.
  • Jeremy Rosado ("Ribbon in the Sky")
    I really, really wanted to like this after his incredible sing-for-your-life performance last week, but I felt let down. If it weren't for Jermaine's snoozefest, I'd be even more worried for Jeremy.

SHOULD BE SAFE
  • Heejun Han ("All in Love is Fair")
    I do wish he would hold his notes out longer instead of falling off of them at the end of each phrase, but it can't be denied that he has a beautiful tone. I like Anna's idea. Isn't Ryan Seacrest's contract up after this season?
"When he gets voted off, I hope they keep him to host with Ryan." -- Anna
  • Deandre Brackensick ("Master Blaster")
    It was a nice change of pace for Deandre to feature the non-falsetto parts of his voice this week, and I got a kick out of the reggae groove added to this song.

GUYS WHO COULD WIN IF THEY WEREN'T PUSHING GIRLS THIS YEAR
  • Colton Dixon ("Lately")
    Hey Jimmy, I'm pretty sure the rest of America would also prefer to see Colton sing one of his own songs at the piano rather than Stevie Wonder. Maybe we shouldn't have such limiting themes?  Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed Colton's performance, although I couldn't help but wonder what David Cook could have done with this song. I also wonder what the Durbs will claim Colton stole from him this week- his buddy Stefano sang "Lately" last year. Hmmm....
  • Phillip Phillips ("Superstition")
    Didn't he sing this song during his first audition, J-Lo? Yes, yes he did.
He's not alone- several contestants could use some style help, ASAP!

BEST OF THE NIGHT FROM PEOPLE NOT NAMED JESSICA SANCHEZ
  • Joshua Ledet ("I Wish")
    There isn't really much to say about a guy who sings perfectly. Joshua made a good choice in singing an uptempo song this week before anyone had the opportunity to question if he could sing anything other than ballads. However, the flying piano keys in the background made me double check that it was in fact a Diet Squirt I was sipping and not something with an alcohol content.
  • Hollie Cavanagh ("All The Men That I Need")
    Little girl, giant voice- dangerous ring! Did you guys see that thing!? I know she sang "Reflection" last week but even if she hadn't, she'd still remind me of young Christina Aguilera (minus all the crazy riffs). I hope that they bring in a strong mentor for her one of these weeks who can really help her master her powerful voice.
  • Skylar Laine ("Where Do Broken Hearts Go")
    At this point in the competition, there's only one thing I know for sure, and that's that the country music industry will welcome this girl with open arms. The restraint she showed in the first half of the song made her power notes that much stronger. She really doesn't need American Idol; Skylar is ready for the big time.

IN HER OWN CATEGORY
  • Jessica Sanchez ("I Will Always Love You")
    Nobody ever nails this song on this show, but Jessica Sanchez just did. Wow. This deserves to be embed.




MENTOR GRADE
Mary J. Blige surprised me. I gave her a solid B+ to start off the season.

WHO SHOULD BE GOING HOME
Shannon Magrane WITHOUT A DOUBT.

WHO WILL BE GOING HOME
My guess is we'll unfortunately see Erika Van Pelt at the bottom along with Jermaine Jones (with Elise Testone and Jeremy Rocado surviving close calls). The judges will have to give Jermaine the boot.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Unrelated Thoughts: James Durbin, The Walking Dead

I have some thoughts on a couple things that happened over the weekend. The two topics are completely unrelated but neither really have enough substance to warrant individual posts, so... here we are.

First, this story via The Hollywood Reporter.
 
'American Idol's' James Durbin on Season 11's Colton Dixon:
'I Did the Piano Bit' Already
 

Seriously!? So apparently James Durbin thinks he's the first person to ever jump on top of a piano and sing. Unbelievable. And claiming that haircut too, as if it were something to be proud of. I also seem to recall the Durbs being really obnoxious when people dared to suggest he was "borrowing" from Adam Lambert (which he was). You already know I don't like the guy, but this is just a whole new level of idiocy. 

Team Colton

{SPOILER ALERT!}
THE WALKING DEAD'S BIG TWIST

Wow- I did NOT see this one coming. A major character died, and it wasn't the one we were expecting. There are two episodes left in the season and not only am I still waiting for answers, I have new questions. What does Dale's death mean, if anything, for Shane? Will they actually kill off two main characters, or were we all tricked into thinking Shane would be the one dying so that Dale's death would really catch us by surprise? What about this supposed screw-up on AMC's website? AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY, when will we find out what the CDC guy told Rick?!?!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Top 13 Revealed!

This season of American Idol is looking promising, and I am excited. I am as happy as I could possibly be with the group of finalists without being given the power to hand-select all 13 spots myself. The results show left me with only three questions:
  1. I thought it might happen, but it doesn't mean I understand: How did Jermaine get voted in? Did people get confused and think they were voting for Johnny Keyser?

  2. Why did the judges waste a sing-for-your-life opportunity on Brielle over Hallie Day?


  3. Why isn't Jimmy Iovine one of the judges? Every single one of his 5-second evalutions were better than anything the actual judges have ever offered us. On that note...

BEST JIMMY COMPLIMENT
"We desperately need originality on this show. Phil Phillips has that. I'd sign this guy on the spot."

BEST JIMMY BURN

"Chase is a good looking guy, but there are plenty of those on TV right now. To win on this show, you have to bring something fresh, original, and exciting- and I saw none of that."

MY TOP 5
I was going to try to pick a Top 5, but after Phillip Phillips, I just couldn't narrow it down. Instead, I'll root for Jermaine and Shannon to go home the next two weeks, then hope for the best for everyone else.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Idol: Top 12 Girls

While there were a couple of standout performances last night, overall, I didn't enjoy the girls' show as much as I did the guys on Tuesday night. At least someone reminded the judges that they are- umm- judges, and they kinda sorta remembered how to dish out criticism... even if they still wouldn't admit who they were too soft on the previous night. *coughEBENandCHASEcough*

Unfortunately for a few ladies, history has indicated that good looks don't help them as much as it does the guys.

DOESN'T STAND A CHANCE
  • Baylie Brown ("Amazed")
    "You're very pretty." She's very doomed.
  • Chelsea Sorrell ("Cowboy Casanova")
    She wasn't awful, but all that she accomplished by singing a Carrie Underwood song is that she made it painfully clear that she isn't the next Carrie Underwood.
  • Haley Johnsen ("Sweet Dreams")
    This song and its awful arrangement did Haley no favors whatsoever.

THE BRAT
  • Brielle Von Hugel ("Sitting on the Dock of the Bay")
    If I was going to judge her based purely on her performance, I'd say she did a pretty good job and could possibly be in the running for the Top 13. However, unfortunately for Brielle, I- and all of you- will be judging her based on more than that. She appears to be on the complete opposite end of the niceness spectrum from Jeremy Rosado- and ugh, her mother! If I never see her mother again, it'll be too soon.

I EXPECTED MORE
  • Jen Hirsch ("Your One And Only")
    It's odd that the producers had Jen sing the same song as Elise, who they obviously knew would kill it as they gave her the pimp spot at the end of the show. Is Uncle Nigel mad at Jen for saying the judges made a mistake for cutting someone whose name I already forgot back after the Vegas group round? Maybe it's unfair, but while she gave a solid performance, I was expecting Jen to be one of the strongest of the night and so in that sense she let me down.
  • Hallie Day ("Feeling Good")
    I loved the beginning, but when the end of the song came around, I was extremely disappointed. She also came across as very dry and disconnected, which is something she could not afford to do when she already suffers from being given very little previous TV time.

I DON'T GET IT
  • Shannon Magrane ("Go Light Your World")
    I'm confused. There is SO. MUCH. HYPE. for this girl, and I don't think she really deserves it. Don't get me wrong- Shannon showed some strong vocals, especially for being 16 years old, but I don't think she's nearly as good as the judges make her out to be. But nothing confused me more than Randy Jackson's Lauryn Hill comparison. Just... no.

PRETTY STRONG
  • Erika Van Pelt ("What About Love")
    I've liked Erika since they first showed her, and while I think she showed off her powerful vocals, I couldn't really hear her very well over the background vocals and band. It seemed like they had some sound mixing issues all night long and I worry that it might have sabotaged Erika more than anyone.  
  • Hollie Cavanagh ("Reflection")
    She still looked a little terrified, but showed some killer pipes I didn't expect from the crying, shaking girl who auditioned last season. I'm happy someone (J-Lo) finally made reference to the fact that we saw her during Season 10.

BEST OF THE NIGHT
  • Skylar Laine ("Stay With Me")
    I was beginning to feel a little bored- until Skylar came out and grabbed my attention. She didn't merely "grab" my attention though- she DEMANDED it with strong vocals and amazing energy. She owned that stage.
  • Jessica Sanchez ("I Love You I Do")
    There is no way this girl is really only 16 years old, right?! But in any case, this is how you make up for not getting a whole lot of TV time before your first live appearance and make sure America will remember you.
  • Elise Testone ("Your One and Only")
    I think she can feel safe about her spot in the Top 13- if for some reason America doesn't vote her in, she will definitely be granted a wild card position.


MY TOP 5
  1. Jessica Sanchez
  2. Elise Testone
  3. Skylar Laine
  4. Hollie Cavanagh
  5. Erika Van Pelt (over Jen Hirsch)

MY GUESS FOR AMERICA'S TOP 5 
  1. Jessica Sanchez
  2. Elise Testone
  3. Skylar Laine
  4. Shannon Magrane
  5. Jen Hirsch