Last night was "80's Night" on American Idol and our remaining 8 contestants battled it out at the mic for your votes.  They took on Cyndi Lauper, Genesis, DeBarge, Simply Red and more.  But it was Idol's resident country gal who went back through the 80's catalog and scooped up a song that hit the charts twice in the decade:  once by country star Gary Morris, the second by movie star Bette Midler.  Yep!  As our Idol expert, Steve Thompson, explains, Skylar Laine KILLED "Wind Beneath My Wings!" and put herself square in contention for the title! 

From Steve Thompson:
  • I'm fairly certain I was aware of music in the 80s.  Granted, the 60s and 70s were always my favorite musical decades-- but I think the 80s were decent.  Unfortunately, I couldn't point to too many of tonight's selections as examples of great music.
  • These kids may be too young to understand the problem.  Or perhaps there were songs Idol couldn't clear.  You can't tell me that the decade of The Police, r.e.m. and the first decade of U2 didn't have better songs to choose from.  Heck, if Mick Hudnall was as good as he was advertised in the 80s you'd think either he or Simply Red would still be around.  The hope of hearing something by Kate Bush never came to fruition.  The whole night cried out for a Dire Straits cover.
  • Oh, well...
  • Here are my choices from worst to first.  Many of these singers are very close in ability and fans, so it will be interesting to see who the producers claim are in the bottom three.
  • 08.  DeAndre Brackensick sang I Like it by DeBarge.  I didn't.  To be fair, I never liked this song when DeBarge sang it, so maybe I carry a latent prejudice against the song.  Doubtful, but I'm trying to be fair.  He goes first (always a negative) and sings a song I would bet that many folks alive in the 80s may not even remember.  (If you had Steven Tyler's problems during the 80s?  Understandable.)  Given how many of the members of the DeBarge family ended up in rehab and prison and the graveyard...
  • 07. Hollie Cavanaugh sang Flashdance by Irene Cara.  I love the fact that Hollie tried to sing something more upbeat, but to what avail?  I'm afraid this interpretation may have shot her chances in the foot (unless DeAndre is the one who suffers the most.)  Ironically, Hollie sounded better on her duet with DeAndre than she did on this song.
  • 06.  Joshua Ledet sang If You Don't Know Me By Now by Simply Red.  I'm sorry, I can't stand the melodramatic singing on this one.  I love this song-- but this was so over the top and disrespectful to the memory of the original I kept thinking I was Clark Kent exposed to red kryptonite.  No worries.  If he wins Idol that will probably do more to bury the franchise than Lee DeWyze.
  • 05.  Elise Testone sang I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner.  I found no fault with this other than it was a safe choice in my opinion.  I was hoping for a rock song and not a ballad.  I felt like the judges tried to throw her under the bus simply because all the polls had her ahead of the ones the judges would prefer.  They're trying to Reinhart her-- in other words.  To her credit, her Stevie Nicks to Phil's Tom Petty was outstanding.
  • 04.  Jessica Sanchez sang How Will I Know by Whitney Houston.  Congratulations to Jessica for finding an upbeat song to sing that didn't cause us to have to sit through another dreary ballad.  I think Jessica is one of the four who are in absolutely no trouble tonight.
  • 03.  Phil Phillips sang That's All by Genesis.  I would've preferred either Home by the Sea or Mama, but this was a good choice for Phil to sing.  I'm still not all-in where Phil is concerned, but he may be in the finals before I feel comfortable with him as a winner.  He should be safe for another week as well.
  • 02.  Colton Dixon sang Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.  Somewhat ironic that this song was covered by Phil Collins in the 90s yet the experts seemed perplexed about a man singing the song.  (The Philadelphia rock group known as The Hooters did a fine version of this song as well.)  I think Colton sang much better tonight (his duet with Skylar was neat.)
  • 01.  Skylar Laine sang The Wind Beneath My Wings by Gary Morris.  Bette Midler stole this song from country music and Skylar decided to steal it back.  This was the best I've heard Skylar sing and I think it's fitting that the one previous Idol contestant she reminds me most of (Kellie Pickler) will be performing Thursday night.
  • I think any of the bottom four could be in trouble tonight.  I suspect the judges save may have to be used if Hollie or Joshua has their name called.
  • We'll see, won't we?

@April 4, 2012  Stephen W Thompson

Take a listen to Steve's review with Moon and me from this morning's WBKR Waking Crew!