American Idol 11 – Top 4 – What Do the Critics Say?

The American Idol 11 Top 4 performed songs from California artists, and songs they wish they had written. Read my Recap. Now, read what the rest of the blogosphere had to say about the performances.

‘American Idol’ recap: Nothing Without a Woman or a Girl – Yo summed up American Idol’s Top 4 performance show pretty perfectly right there, but I suppose I can do my part to expand on things. This week, Jessica, Joshua, Phillip, and “even Hollie” — J. Lo, you are EVIL — took on two new random themes. For “California Dreamin’,” they could sing any song by any artist who had ever been aware of the state of California. For “The Song I Wish I Wrote,” they could sing any song. Pretty good themes! I predict next week’s will be “Songs.” Really, there’s no need to confuse us. We get it. They’re singing songs.- EW

“Performance Show” – Last week, after Skylar was kicked off, I decided this was the most boring top four in Idol history, but perhaps I’m just mad because none of my favorites made it to this point. Earlier today, out of fairness, I tried to gauge how the last few seasons stacked up in terms of how interesting the final four was. Let’s see: In Season 10, we had James, Haley, Scotty, and Lauren, none of whom I adored, but looking back, I give credit to James for being entertaining and different, Haley for her voice and stage presence, and, if anything, Scotty for making us all watch in amazement as that weird-looking kid actually went and won everything. I recall Season nine’s top four of Crystal, Lee, Casey, and Michael being painfully dull, but Crystal and Casey at least seemed to bring a little grit to the season, compared to the four well-scrubbed, non-tattooed young folks we see onstage this season. Season eight was my favorite top four in Idol history, as I actively enjoyed watching Adam, Kris, and Allison perform and enjoyed rooting against Danny Gokey perhaps even more. AV Club

Hollie can’t make ‘American Idol’ judges ‘Love’ her – Hollie Cavanagh’s second and final song on Wednesday’s “American Idol” was the Bonnie Raitt classic “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Sadly for the young singer, it proved to be prophetic as far as the judges were concerned. On a night when Phillip Phillips, Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez all received over-the-top praise from Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, Hollie left the panel looking for more. More importantly, on a night when each of the other three contestants finished with arguably their best performances of the season, hers caused Randy to accurately note, “There were no moments for me. It was the wrong choice at the wrong time.” – MSNBC

‘American Idol’ recap: The final four duke it out – I’m still a little damp-eyed from Jessica Sanchez’s final performance on “American Idol” Wednesday night, on which the final four contestants each sang a song either from or about California (yes, somewhat random) as well as a song they wish they’d written themselves, which Ryan Seacrest also classified as songs that inspired them. Sanchez’s take on “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls,” into which she channeled all the emotion stirred up by her near “Idol” ouster a few weeks back, may have inspired us all — or at least anyone who has at any point ever felt underappreciated or overlooked. It was not just beautifully sung and deeply felt; it was moving, galvanizing, electrifying. Breathtaking. – Los Angeles Times

‘American Idol,’ Season 11, ‘California Dreamin’: TV Recap – Tonight’s “American Idol” left us with a few of questions: Can Hollie continue her comeback all the way to the finish? Will Phillip’s performance tonight quiet the critics who say he’s only there because he’s super hot? And finally, what was with Randy Jackson’s jacket? No question about one thing though: Based on tonight’s performances by the final four, this is still anybody’s game. – Wall Street Journal

It’s Joshua Ledet’s world on ‘American Idol,’ but judge Lopez refused to predict a winner – LOS ANGELES — Backstage at “American Idol,” Hollie Cavanagh was bubbly and confident, practicing vocal riffs and giggling with fellow teenage contestant Jessica Sanchez. By the show’s end Wednesday, Cavanagh was the sole finalist to be found wanting by the judges — and possibly by the viewers who decide which singer will exit Thursday. “Sorry, baby,” judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez both told Cavanagh, 18, of McKinney, Texas, after she delivered a version of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” that they found emotionally wanting and unsuited to her big voice. – Washington Post

‘American Idol’ Recap: The Final Four – We’re down to the final four “American Idol” contenders, so close and yet so far (two whole weeks) away from discovering which Coke-swilling, Ford-driving hopeful will take the prize. This week, in addition to a pair of duets and a cringeworthy “Rock of Ages” promotional tie-in performance of “Waiting For a Girl Like You,” our contestants tackled songs (mostly tangentially) inspired by or related to California, and tracks they wish they had written (even though the actual songwriters got little-to-no credit in favor of the recording artists who made them famous). – Huffington Post

‘American Idol’ Recap: I Can’t Make You Love Me – It’s the Final Four! In just 14 days we will be watching the season finale and one of these tiny little teenagers will be crowned America’s Most Wanted Idol. But before we can winnow the herd, or separate the wheat from the chaff, we have to get through two hours of performances by the four finalists. That’s a solid half hour of wailing, belting and yowling by each of the contestants, although once you account for commercials, product placements, the judges’ meandering statements, Ryan Seacrest’s shoe color commentary and Jimmy Iovine’s keeping-it-realisms, there’s really only going to be about 12 minutes of singing. – Rolling Stone

‘American Idol’ Recap: Jennifer Lopez Bows Down to Joshua Ledet-

Weeks away from the American Idol finale, there are two heavyweight contenders who seem destined to face off for the crown: Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez, with both carrying off a set of jaw-dropping performances on Wednesday that received standing ovations from the judges’ panel. Meanwhile, Hollie Cavanagh fell flat on a Bonnie Raitt classic and Phillip Phillips coasted by on his “I’m a dreamy, sensitive singer-songwriter” credentials. – Hollywood Reporter

Recap: ‘American Idol’ Top 4 Performances – California Dreamin’ & Songs You Wish You Wrote – Final 4 madness, baby! It’s another multi-theme episode, with Jessica, Joshua, Hollie and Phillip singing songs from the meaningless themes of California Dreamin’ and Songs You Wish You Wrote. Please note that I got the specific phrasing of the second theme from the song spoilers bandleader Ray Chew tweets each week. You don’t need to explain to me that it’s a faulty use of the conditional tense and that it should probably be Songs You Wish You’d Written. Or something. [Seacrest did a better job of articulating the second theme than Ray Chew’s list did.] - Hitfix

  • Anonymous

     I actively enjoyed watching Adam, Kris, and Allison perform and enjoyed rooting against Danny Gokey perhaps even more. 

    so true. s8 was great in that respect… but it’s kind of similar to this year where i enjoy most of what josh, jess, and hollie do, and enjoy rooting against p2. however you wanna stack it, this year has been great.

  • Anonymous

    Funny how last year they pushed for the Country finale… this year the push is for “over the top” R and B….  two of my least favorite types of music. I understand why they don’t want Phillip to win but for this non R and B fan, I am not looking forward to the next few weeks if one of the R and B singers isn’t eliminated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roger-Kramjet/100003524695403 Roger Kramjet

    I am kind of with the AV Club guy… I find this seasons top 4 to be the most boring lot out of any season that I can remember. I really don’t care about any of them. I was bored with the show and despite the judges and others getting excited by the last two peformances I wasnt’ blown away. It felt like meh to me.

  • http://twitter.com/Loretta31 Loretta

    I still say the talent in AI8 was the best eva on Idol. I did so dislike Gokey. It was quite unhealthy but enjoyable. 

    The Kris-Adam finale was so riveting.  Last years was a snoozer and if it is Josh-Jess ear plugs may be required.

  • Anonymous

    I always read your recaps, MJ.  They are excellent and the first place I look in the morning.  I have been meaning to complement you on them for a while now; I like the specifics you give on the performances, especially if I think I missed a little something.  Very, very nice!  Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Jessica is sixteen and quite shy and not cocky as some people tend to
    think. I felt her vulnerability and sensitivity when she was at the verge of
    tears after her rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”. Not
    only tears of pride. Actually seemed more like mixed emotions of relief,
    pressure, exhaustion. I thought she would faint at the end of that song.
    Although she oozes self-confidence when singing onstage, it must be nerve
    wracking every Wednesday evening. American Idol alone is quite a journey for
    young girl. I sense that Hollie is as young and must be undergoing same
    feelings.

  • DragonFly

    Must be nice weather all over the U.S. today bc nothing in those reviews is sparking a feud among fans.  Can only HALF-fault this statement:  “Let’s see: In Season 10, we had James, Haley, Scotty, and Lauren, none of whom I adored (hmpf! to that)….. but looking back, I give credit to James for being entertaining and different,”—(uh, yah!)                Having some fun here.

  • Jae

    Fans of R&b/Pop have had to endure winners outside their prefered genre for years now.  It build character. :)