March 21, 2012 07:08 PM by Candace Young
Last week on FOX‘s American Idol, we saw Jermaine Jones given the boot for failing to reveal his criminal warrants, and then the elimination of Shannon Magrane. The remaining Top 10 finalists will perform Billy Joel songs live tonight in an effort to advance to the next round. Diddy is the celebrity mentor, and Tommy Hilfiger is on hand to give style tips. Keep reading for all of the highlights…
Tonight, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest asks judge Steven Tyler about Billy Joel. Steven says if you can’t sing his songs, you can’t sing! The show kicks off with footage of DeAndre meeting with Tommy Hilfiger to establish a ‘look’. They love his hair…
DeAndre Brackensick meets with Jimmy and Diddy to prepare his song choice, Only The Good Die Young. DeAndre hits the stage looking fantastic and having fun. It seems a tad karaoke at the start, but his comfort level grows as the song goes on and he sounds great! Steven says it seemed a little too happy at first, but isn’t that what the world needs? Jennifer Lopez thought he covered all the bases vocally and did a really good job. Randy agrees it was a great way to start the show, but admits it didn’t ‘wow’ him.
New York State Of Mind is the song choice for Erika Van Pelt, who decides to cut her hair like Pink on the advice of Tommy Hilfiger – she also goes brunette – wow! On stage, Erika is accompanied by a pianist and endeavors not to ‘over sing’ the tune as Jimmy and Diddy were worried she might. She delivers a fantastic vocal and is subtle but extremely impressive! Randy tells her he loves the look and the vocals! Jennifer encourages her to unplant her feet and feel what she’s singing about – the vocal was beautiful! Steven agrees she could have put more character into it, but it was outstanding!
Joshua Ledet‘s all black outfit is nixed by Tommy Hilfiger who wants him more polished. He works with Jimmy and Diddy to make the song She’s Got A Way fit his voice which is more soulful than pop. On stage, Joshua’s rendition doesn’t sound like ‘pop’, but it’s amazing sounding nonetheless! Jennifer says she needed to feel that he was connected to the lyrics and what he was saying, though his vocal was incredible. Steven thinks he made the song come to life. Randy says Jennifer is right on one hand, but so is Steven that he ended up making it his own – it’s a half/half thing for him.
Skylar Laine is starstruck when she sees Diddy in practice, but then gets down to rehearsing Shameless. Tommy works with her to bring some ‘punch’ to her look. Skylar starts out perched on the edge of the stage and then begins moving around as she belts out the tune – she sounds terrific! Randy says she got in her comfort zone by mid-song and it was pretty good! Jennifer says she’s fearless and she always has the whole audience with her. Steven tells her she breathes life into songs, and it was good.
Elise Testone is doing a relatively unknown Billy Joel song called Vienna. Diddy and Jimmy encourage her to open up, take the mic off the stand and have fun. Tommy works to rid Elise of some of her layers of clothing and suggests that she’d look great in high-waisted bell bottoms. Elise performs her tune starting out slow and raspy before kicking it up a notch – even bouncing a little bit. Her vocals are incredible! Randy can be heard exclaiming, “Oh my God!” as she does the run at the end. Steven says the melody was fantastic and it was full of heart! Jennifer is so happy for Elise because it was such a beautiful thing – she feels like everyone got to see her personality! Randy says she is unbelievably talented – she had a ‘moment’ tonight!
Phillip Phillips faces Tommy Hilfiger, who thinks he needs style help. Phillip tries to explain that he’s just a simple guy who cares about bringing the music first. Phillip works with Diddy and Jimmy to get into the groove on his tune Movin’ Out. They suggest he ditch his guitar for tonight. Phillip appears on stage with his guitar in his usual clothes and does a totally cool version of the song – it’s nearly unrecognizable, but sounds gritty, groovy, and powerful – he’s riveting! Jennifer loves that he sticks to who he is no matter what and gets a huge response. Steven says it was great – he took that song and made it his own. Steven tosses Phillip his scarf! Randy has a giggle over Phillip ignoring the advice from Jimmy, Diddy, and Tommy Hilfiger, and how it resulted in one of the best renditions of that song ever!
Hollie Cavanaugh meets with Tommy, who would like to see her dress younger, but still glam. She takes notes on the disappointment and anger reflected in the song Honesty from Diddy and Jimmy. Hollie takes the stage in a white pantsuit and silver bustier, and endeavors to deliver raw emotion as she belts it out. Steven says she’s one of their grand singers, but was a little pitchy – it was good. Jennifer says she has one of her favorite voices this season, but it’s distracting when she goes slightly above or below the notes. Randy says she needs to nail each note – she was over-thinking it and needs to let go.
Heejun Han is still recovering from the criticism he received after his last performance and asks Diddy and Jimmy for advice. They tell him to have a thick skin and get angry. Heejun meets Tommy Hilfiger and is a bit lost when it comes to style. Heejun takes the stage in a tux and then rips it off to reveal a t-shirt and bursts into My Life! The first half isn’t very good, but he seems to come into his own for the second half and it’s much more enjoyable. Jennifer says he brought a little fun to tonight, but because he was running around he didn’t hit the vocal the way he might have liked to. Steven says he took the piss out of the song, but at some point he has to take things a little more seriously. Randy was happy to see him have a good time, but acknowledges there were vocal issues.
Jessica Sanchez is more excited to meet Tommy Hilfiger than about singing her Billy Joel song on American Idol this week. Meeting Diddy gets her pretty pumped too. She’s singing Everybody Has A Dream. In rehearsal Diddy tells her she’s over-singing it and advises her to pull back – less is more. Jessica comes out on stage and kills it! The judges and crowd rise to their feet as she finishes. Steven Tyler tells her she’s gone past his judging and thanks her for letting him hear her sing. Jennifer says that was a defining song for her – it’s a beautiful thing! Randy is loving her consistency in having a ‘moment’ every time she gets on stage – it was flawless and perfect!
Colton Dixon will be the last to perform tonight on American Idol. Tommy Hilfiger is impressed with how sure Colton is of his style, but they butt heads over his hair. With Jimmy and Diddy, Colton gets back to the piano, and will sing…Piano Man. On stage, Colton sits at a brilliant red piano to sing. His breaking vocal style lends a very unique quality to the song. Jennifer says she had ‘gooseys’ from the start. Steven says it was stunning. Randy says he liked it and encourages him to stay an individual.
Visit our sister site SheKnows for more breaking news about celebrities and entertainment!
Photos courtesy: FOX