Philip Phillips is a strong favorite to win the 11th season of American Idol. For Top 9 week, he sang Jonny Lang’s “Still Rainin.” Philip got a standing ovation from the judges, but 4 other contestants also got a standing ovation, so the praise was somewhat over the top on this night.
My only criticism of Philip is that he starts to sound a bit too repetitive. I wouldn’t exactly call him a one-trick pony. That is a stretch. But I’d still like to see a bit more versatility or different kinds of performances. He has one of the coolest styles on the show, but Phillips sort of reminds me of Lee DeWyze at times when he holds out a long note as if that were even that impressive.
Nonetheless, he is still in my Top 3 or 4 and likely going to win the competition unless Jessica or Colton can somehow edge him out in the voting.
The official YouTube video below has Philip singing “Still Rainin” in the Top 9, which took place on March 28, 2012.
Normally, I hate to see a TV singing contestant take a lively, upbeat song and turn it into a ballad. That usually results in a boring performance. The difference here is that Jessica Sanchez can actually sing. In particular, she uses her power to add extra elements to a song that are usually lacking in other covers of this type.
Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams” was probably not her best performance of American Idol 11. But it was another solid performance that will easily get her to the Top 8.
I’d still like to see her tackle and master an upbeat song (“Turn the Beat Around” was just okay). But she should have plenty of time for that because Sanchez is not going home anytime soon.
Check out her “Sweet Dreams” performance below in the official YouTube video posted by American Idol:
DeAndre Brackensick has had trouble building a fanbase on American Idol 11. But the judges gave him solid remarks for his Top 9 performance of Eric Benet’s “Sometimes I Cry.” I had a mixed reaction. The vocal control was not that great. DeAndre just happens to have a high voice, and his falsetto is nice. But that is not the defining element of a great singer.
Falsetto is a tool, not a singing style. It’s DeAndre’s style that needs improvement. Nonetheless, this Top 9 performance of “Sometimes I Cry” was one of his best of the season.
Check out DeAndre’s Top 9 performance with the official YouTube video that follows:
Hollie Cavanagh has done very well in terms of votes leading up to the Top 9 week of American Idol 11. She has avoided the bottom 3 and has mostly been considered probably the 2nd favorite girl behind Jessica Sanchez.
Hollie chose “Jesus Take the Wheel” for her Top 9 performance. Parts of this were great, but parts of it just didn’t click. On a very good night of Idol performances, Hollie got some of the more lukewarm judges’ comments. The conventional wisdom is that she might be in trouble for the first time during the Top 9 elimination show.
Check out Hollie’s official YouTube video of Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take The Wheel” on March 28, 2012.
Heejun Han had two bad weeks in the Top 11 and Top 10 of American Idol 11. He bounced back big in a positive way with his Top 9 performance of “A Song For You.” Han said he decided to take the contest seriously after having pretty much become the clown of the show.
After landing in the bottom 2 in the Top 10 (Erika Van Pelt was eliminated), Heejun did the best he could to start rising in the ranks again. Time will tell if he can regain the popularity he had a few weeks ago.
Check out the official YouTube video of Heejun’s “A Song For You.” from March 28, 2012.
Philip Phillips, Elise Testone and Colton Dixon delivered a Fleetwood Mac medley during Top 9 week on American Idol 11. This was the first time contestants did any kind of group performance on the actual performance show. In the past, group performances only took place on the results show.
On this night, I felt that these three had the best group performance, which is not surprising since Philip and Colton are likely in the Top 3 in the entire contest.
The songs performed included “Landslide,” “Don’t Stop,” and “Edge of Seventeen.”
Below, you can see the official YouTube video of this performance:
So far, Skylar Laine has avoided the bottom 3 on American Idol 11. For this performance, she went 2nd in the Top 9 and got so-so feedback from the judges. Skylar is in some trouble of being in the bottom 3 this week.
She sang Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” and did a good job. However, the judges more or less said that she could be more consistent throughout the song. This was also a very good night of performances overall, so just doing okay may not be enough.