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!!!

  • 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?

  • 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.


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


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

Heejun. I'd miss him but he's simply the weakest singer remaining.

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.