Last night on American Idol, our final four contestants hit the stage trying to earn a spot in the Top Three and those coveted trips home with Idol crew in pursuit.  Who took the stage and owned the night?  Who fell short and possibly faces elimination tonight on the results show?  WBKR's Idol expert Steve Thompson shares his thoughts and ranks the performers.  Take a look!

This morning, Steve, Moon and I chatted about the highlights and the lowlights from last night's show.  Listen!


From Idol expert Steve Thompson:

  • When I was but a wee pup, certain college basketball teams engaged in what was jokingly called the Four Corners Offense. Basically, an unevenly matched team would literally hold the ball and try to force the better team's hand for the rest of the game. Frankly, that's what Idol felt like tonight.
  • I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what happened to our country contender Skylar Laine last week. Does it take a week for the audience to catch up with all the criticisms hurled at the contestants? I felt like Skylar was in danger of being voted off the week Elise left and after a better week-- there she goes.
  • I'm bored by this final four and I'm not sure what the problem is-- but the Fox honchos think some of the judges need to be jettisoned into a million suns. Funny how we have all this consternation over the (still) #1 musical competition show on television.
  • Goin' Back to Cali


  • 04. Phil Phillips sang Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Love the song and despise the singer. I rather doubt John Fogerty will be tweeting anything positive about this one tonight. I'm not even sure if Phil could hope to grasp the concept of this song let alone get the melody right.
  • 03. Joshua Ledet sang You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban. Seriously? Another nice song going the bombast route by way of the intersection of Melisma and Overkill. Josh Groban doesn't sing this song like he's Jimmy Cagney in the movie Public Enemy, so why should Joshua? (Historical note: Cagney didn't literally sing in that movie, he just had one of the most explosive deaths in cinema at that time.) Messy, but it probably appealed to his fanbase.
  • 02. Hollie Cavanagh sang Faithfully by Journey. I'd like to go on record and say that as long as Glee remains a hit show on FOX, let there be no recycling of Journey songs on Idol. Hollie sang it well-- many reviewers are currently saying round one was neck and neck with Hollie and Jessica.
  • 01. Jessica Sanchez sang Steal Away by Etta James. Cool song choice. I'm not sure how many voters might recognize the song (if at all) but I thought Jessica did a very nice version of it. Probably just a fraction higher than Hollie in this round with the two guys bringing up the rear.
  • I'd Like to Write the Songs the Whole World Sings


  • 04. Hollie Cavanagh sang I Can't Make You Love Me. I love her voice and I love this song, but the fates collided and we had a bit of a lost connection. I think the emotion of the moment may have completely overwhelmed her-- which may have left the audience underwhelmed.
  • 03. Phil Phillips sang Volcano. Maybe Phil needs this kind of category all the time. This was so much better than his first song it was hard to believe he was the same person. This is the kind of song that can usually propel you to the top except that this is a bad week to have a good performance when at least two were better.
  • 02. Joshua Ledet sang It's a Man's World. Yeah, I realize that this song has been overdone in the past few years from different singing competitions to its use in commercials, but this was excellent. Even though I'm not a fan of his kind of singing I have to give this kid props for a very entertaining performance.
  • 01. Jessica Sanchez sang And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going. After this performance, I sincerely doubt she'll be going anywhere. This was knocked out of the park with a ferocity not seen since Mark McGwire was on steroids. Without a doubt, her best performance of the year.
  • So where do we go from here? Hollie and Jessica were neck and neck in round one while I felt Hollie jumped the rails in round two. Using that as a guide, Jessica should be safe and so should Joshua. It all comes down to Phil. Phil bombed on the CCR song and sang the second song rather well-- but was that a song that most of the voters knew? (If you're my age that answer may have been No.) I wouldn't be shocked at any result as close as these four seem to be in the voting-- but I still think Phil may be in the most trouble because his worst song of the two was the worst of the night.
  • As always, we'll see Thursday night.

@May 9, 2012 Stephen W Thompson