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13 American Idols Compete — Steve Thompson Weighs In

Each week, WBKR’s American Idol expert Steve Thompson reviews the AI performances. So, without further adieu:

  • This night may go down in history as the night when all six girls received more audience votes than half the guys. Most of our contestants were rather impressive in their attempts to connect with two icons– Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder. I’ve been saying this for years, but these are two singers that amateurs should not try to touch under any circumstances.
  • However, (don’t you just hate it when the writer sets up a proposition then turns around and says ‘however’,) most of these folks did unusually well with these songs. I’m not at all certain how the tweens will vote, but I’ll attempt to put them in order from worst to first.
  • 13. Jeremy Rosado sang Ribbon in the Sky. Maybe it was a sound problem on my television, but it sounded like Jeremy lost his place in the middle of this song. Maybe he was pausing for dramatic effect. Dramatic effect is not usually the route you take with a Stevie Wonder song.
  • 12. Heejun Han sang All in Love is Fair. I still appreciate Heejun’s humor more than his singing ability, but his choice of song just seemed to overwhelm his ability tonight. This song has been done other times on Idol to a much greater effect. This was not a night to have a weak performance.
  • 11. Jermaine Jones sang Knocks Me Off My Feet. Jermaine seems like a nice kid, but I’m just not buying the Barry White 2.0 vibe I’m geting from his voice. I’ve heard him sing much better on previous weeks, so perhaps it was the choice of material that let him down.
  • 10. Shannon Magrane sang I Have Nothing. I’m afraid Shannon’s fate might be in the hands of the judges if she truly is the bottom vote getter of the ladies. Her nerves got the best of her– and after last week’s stunning performance it was quite a letdown. (Very doubtful that anyone in the Magrane house has had nothing– isn’t her dad still employed by MLB?)
  • 09. Elise Testone sang I’m Your Baby Tonight. She’s got one of the best female voices in the competrition, but for some reason she seemed somewhat scattershot in her approach on this one. Hopefully she can survive to a theme better suited for her voice and style.
  • 08. DeAndre Brackensick sang Master Blaster. I’m not crazy about his voice by any stretch of the imagination, but I will say he seemed to have the reggae stylings of the song much better than I anticipated. (Somebody should’ve done Boogie On Reggae Woman– but maybe that’s a group song.)
  • 07. Joshua Ledet sang I Wish. I’ve been impressed with Joshua’s voice since the Hollywood rounds, but he was in the lead off spot tonight and historically that’s a tough way to keep yourself fresh in the minds of the voters. I thought he did a very good job making the song more gospel than r & b.
  • 06. Phil Phillips sang Superstition. This has always been one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs, but I wasn’t as impressed with Phil’s Dave Matthews impression tonight. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s ever going to sing without his guitar.
  • 05. Colton Dixon sang Lately. I felt like Colton was the best of the guys tonight. He was able to simmer down his usual rock vibe and deliver a ballad with the greatest of ease. Frankly, I didn’t know he had it in him. Given his performance last week and tonight, Colton might be better than advertised.
  • 04. Hollie Cavanaugh sang All the Man I Need. This girl is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. I thought she did a sensational vocal on this song and if it wasn’t for the other three ladies ahead of her she would’ve been the best of the evening. She may be in this competition until deep in the heart of May.
  • 03. Erika Van Pelt sang I Believe in You and Me. Not only does this girl belt a song out of the proverbial building, but she also has a killer smile that just seems to dare you not to smile back at her. That may not be very scientific, but don’t overlook the power of charisma.
  • 02. Skylar Laine sang Where Do Broken Hearts Go. For a country girl who never listened to Whitney Houston and never sang any of her songs, Skylar is either disingenuous or incredibly talented. I prefer to think it’s all God-given talent. Very impressive and more evidence that this country girl may go the distance.
  • 01. Jessica Sanchez sang I Will Always Love You. Let’s just give her the title of 2012 Idol winner now. This was as outstanding a version of this song as I’ve ever heard– even better than the Whitney version. I’m not sure what we would call those last three notes of her performance, but I’ll settle for “perfection.”
  • The two folks in the most trouble appear to be Shannon Magrane and Jeremy Rosado. Who will the judges choose?Tune in tonight… Same Idol time, same Idol station.

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