American Idol 11 Top 8 – What The Critics Say

The American Idol 11 Top 8 performed songs from the 80s. Read my Recap. Now, read what the rest of the blogosphere had to say about the performances.

Includes On the Scene reports.

Live at American Idol: Colton and Skylar Talk Romance Rumors! Plus, Who’s Ready to Be in Bottom Three? – Oh, Ryan Seacrest, you just love to stir the romance-rumor pot any chance you get. Wednesday night’s performance show was on fire with some pretty epic performances, but it was Ryan’s comment of a hot new couple alert between Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine that had everyone in the audience going wild! –  EOnline

‘American Idol': 18 Things You Didn’t See on Wednesday’s Top 8 Show – 2. If you ever wondered how they decide which audience members get key camera time, the answer is simple: executive producer Nigel Lythgoe points his finger. Call it casting-on-the-spot and he’s an expert at it, as evidenced by DeAndre Brackensick’s opening seated among the studio audience. In no time, Lopez is getting her groove on and singing along to DeBarge’s “I Like It.” For his part, Randy Jackson nods in time, then looks to his right and mouths, “not bad.” – Hollywood Reporter

‘American Idol’ recap: ’80s Night and the Feeling’s Right – Randy Jackson really elevated his game last night by changing his verbal framing of an American Idol contestant’s potential and desire to remain in the competition from “[Tiny Teen] is in it to win it!” to “[Tiny Teen]’s gotta have it!” According to Randy, the singers who had to have it tonight were Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, and Skylar Laine. I’d also include Steven Tyler, who rolled into ’80s Night wearing a decidedly ’70s patchwork blouse with big flowers and white bell-bottom pants. – Entertainment Weekly

American Idol Recap: Duets Abound on Eighties Night – We begin by showing a mid-eighties Journey photograph of Randy Jackson: big shoulder pads, boxy Larry Blackmon haircut. Much is made of the fashion faux pas. Ryan asks: “So you looked this way and thought: yeah, I’ll go out like this?” — but will you look at Randy Jackson now, in his glitter-piped jacket and polka-dot blouse? Why are we pretending that now is any better? You know how there are people who secretly deal drugs out of ice-cream trucks? Randy Jackson is dressed like a drug dealer who secretly sells ice cream. – Vulture

‘American Idol’ judges think everyone rocks — except Elise and Hollie – Wednesday was ’80s night on “American Idol.” Host Ryan Seacrest billed it as an evening that would send some of us back to our high-school prom. Maybe, but it sent every contestant besides Elise Testone back to the oldies station, since she’s the only one of the remaining eight singers who is not a child of the 1990s.And that makes it kind of strange that Testone is one of the two singers who did not receive lavish praise from the judges on a night when they seemed predisposed to applaud anyone. – MSN

‘American Idol’ 2012: Top 8 perform songs from the ’80s – It’s ’80s Week on “American Idol” so, naturally, the show’s three judges have come dressed like it’s finals week at Clown School. Steven Tyler is dressed in skinny white pants on which have been painted even skinnier legs. Jennifer Lopez is dressed in tinsel. Randy’s in a red polka dot shirt white tie and black jacket – he needs bigger shoes, though, and tears painted under one eye. If they don’t start tumbling, or riding bareback we’ll be disappointed. – Washington Post

‘American Idol,’ Season 11, Finalists Compete: TV Recap – Two things were clear on tonight’s “American Idol.” First, the top eight didn’t always get the same feedback from the mentors during rehearsals that they did from the judges following their live performances. Second: count nobody out. The crew sang songs from the 80’s, rehearsing with No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal joining Jimmy to help the singers along. To kick the decade off. – Wall Street Journal

Eight Finalists Compete – American Idol contestants cheat the system all the time when it comes to genre nights, often opting for covers in lieu of actually tackling a theme. I adore the drama and the fun of ‘80’s music and was afraid that tonight we’d hear stuff like “The California Raisins’ version of ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’!” but I was very pleased with the musical selections. Not only were actual ‘80’s hits covered, but it seems like they were chosen with the spirit of the era in mind. So, I liked the songs—but how about the performances? – AV Club

‘American Idol’ ’80s Night: Totally Rad, or Like, Totally Lame? – Wednesday night was ’80s Night on “American Idol,” and as soon as the cold open was soundtracked by Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings” (accompanied by some captions in squiggly font that looked like John Hughes movie credits), I expected the episode to be totally awesome, dude. “This music is sure to send some of you straight back to your high school prom,” said Ryan Seacrest. “This is the era that brought us stonewashed jeans and neon tube socks.” (Hey, wasn’t it in-house “Idol” style advisor Tommy Hilfiger who brought us that look?) Sadly, none of the top eight contestants wore anything even remotely stonewashed or neon, but Colton Dixon was rocking some newly bleached Limahl-from-Kajagoogoo hair, DeAndre Brackensick’s permy mane was as gloriously Robbie Nevil-esque as ever, and “Idol” producers amusingly unarchived yet another embarrassing Journey-era Randy Jackson photo to fit the evening’s retro-to-the-max theme. – Yahoo Music

‘American Idol’ Recap: Eight Is Enough – Welcome to the most time-killing episode of American Idol yet. While you may have thought yesterday’s two-hour, nine-song performance was as far as this show can stretch, you were wrong. Just accept it and move on with your life, because it’s only going to get worse as we move forward in the competition. Plus, it’s always been the results shows where Idol really shines in its ability to fill an hour of primetime television with absolutely nothing. – Rolling Stone

American Idol Recap: Barenaked ’80s – It’s a tough week to predict who’s going home on American Idol – unless, of course, you’re Randy Jackson. Asked by Ryan Seacrest at the close of Top 8 performance night who was worthy of viewer votes, the “third judge” rattled off the names of Skylar, DeAndre, Phillip, Joshua, Jessica, and Colton — in other words, everyone except Elise and Hollie. But I can’t be too upset with Randy. It’s not like he pulled a basket of rotting rutabagas out from under the judges’ table and began hurling them at the competition’s two remaining blonde gals. – TV Line

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  • DoesMonaKnow

    Thank heavens for J.Lo (not to worry, I’ll hit myself in a minute for typing that), who at least had the cojones to note that there were pitch problems at the beginning Phillip’s second Phil Collins cover in the last few weeks. (Steven and Randy, detecting the presence of a Y chromosome, had no criticisms whatsoever.)

    Heh. It certainly seems that way sometimes. Very good recap from Slezak as usual.

  • Leandro

    “Colton and Skylar Talk Romance Rumors!”
    hehe! right!

  • Anonymous

    I never heard Colton/Skylar rumors, but was that mentioned to help Skylar with votes from Colton fans?

    Notice that no one said anything about Jessica and DeAndre being a couple, even though there was a clip of them holding hands after last week’s show, outside walking past the fans!  Plus the EW photos of their arms around each other, etc.

    TPTB doesn’t want Jessica fans to vote for Dre, although many are already fans of both!  :)

  • Anonymous

    Someone in another thread said there was a report of TPTB changing DeAndre and Hollie’s duet as late as Tuesday, but I don’t know which article.

    Grassy Knoll, anyone?   

  • kesia monteith

    Really? Where is this clip?

  • Loretta

    Dre and Jessica are definitely a couple.  The hand holding, always side by side etc.  

    Well Ryan even said that Hollie & Deandre would sing Boogie Woogie Bugle boy.  So yeah fishy really fishy.  Jimmy wants Hollie and Deandre gone. Why is the question.  So pair them up, oh no they do well so change the song last minute yeah that’s the ticket.  But even with changing the song they did well.

    But why the pairings they selected?  They seemed without rhyme or reason. Deandre and Jessica would have been better suited.  They both have R&B leanings and they would have complimented each other vocally.

    Hollie and Joshua were better suited as they are both belters.  

  • raya

     It’s in the Hollywood Reporter article above.  DeAndre talks about it.  Though he honestly seemed happy with the change. 

  • too-cool-for-school

    “Why is the question.”

    Because Jimmy is hellbent on ruining our Idol experience by sabotaging some of our favorites? ;)
    For shame, Iovine!!

  • jake santos

    Hey MJ, your Rolling Stone link is incorrect.  That was their article from last week.  

  • Anonymous

    “But why the pairings they selected?  They seemed without rhyme or reason.”

    No they didn’t.

    The less crazy explanation: Colton is the only one who could’ve sung with Skylar and not had it sound insane. Phillip and Elise fit together like a glove. Jessica was always going to sing with either DeAndre and Joshua, it just happened to be Joshua this time. Same explanation for Hollie.

    The grassy knoll, tin-foil explanation: Colton and Skylar were together to drum up excitement and/or further speculation that they were dating. Phillip and Elise are the chosen ones. Hollie and DeAndre are the bussed contestants. Joshua and Jessica are the 2 best singers.

    Both qualify as reasons why each pair was together. Definitely not random. I’m only a part time tin foil hat wearer, but I like to think PP/Elise and Joshua/Jessica are the 4 they’d like to see in a finale and the 2 finale pairings they’d like to see. Or maybe I’m projecting my dream top 4 on TPTB.

  • too-cool-for-school

    HA @ the grassy knoll explanation. Right up my alley! *puts on tin foil hat*

  • Chris

    A lot of times the blatant push of a contestant to the bottom 3 tends to backfire. If Jimmy really wants Dre gone he should just be quiet. That said, I do think Hollie or Dre could be in trouble because Skylar came back swinging last night. Doubt after dropping the Colton rumor and the big finish she didn’t pick up a few votes.

  • Chris

    If they are dating, that’s cute but teen age romances don’t last long. 6 months is a lifetime. Jessica has tweeted some nice words about Dre during rehearsals etc.

  • Sue

    I saw no chemistry between them when they performed their duet, Colton practically ignored her so I doubt there’s any truth to those rumors.

  • Leandro

    I know Nigel like to “leak” rumors about couples to the media ( Stefano/Casey  and Haley, Scotty and Lauren), it may attracts atention of people. But Deandre and Jessica is beyond ridiculous. Same for Colton. Sometimes seems that Nigel works secretly to ditch his own show. 

  • Anonymous

    Skylar & Colton are not dating. She’s had a boyfriend for 3 years according to Taste of Country. Here’s the article: 

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s Hollie’s night to go and that’s not really fair IF you believe Idol is all about nurturing young talent with potential. She’s got the package but has chosen the wrong song every week! She’s cute as a button!
    Not feeling the “Colton Train” at all. The guy just can’t sing but I’ve got to say he has a big fan base so sadly he’ll be in the top three.
    Jessica should win this hands down but remember Adam Lambert???
    Phillip is my favorite. I look forward to seeing him in his own concert and kicking back with a few cold ones. He’s unique, different but maybe “not Idol.”

  • Anonymous

    I agree that sometimes these rumors of couples are ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous when you remember who’s been rumored together (Nadia & Scott Savol, Bo & Carrie, Lee & Crystal, etc.).

    However, last year Casey/Haley & Scotty/Lauren didn’t have a problem with the attention or rumors. In fact, I thought Casey/Haley loved the rumors & acted more “flirty” with each other like when Casey sang his last song on the results show. Everyone knows about Lauren kissing Scotty on the finale. So it’s not like the S10 rumored couples did anything to stop these rumors.

  • Ford31

    oh please I’m positive that Colton has much better taste than that obnoxious Skylar!! She really needs to go back to the backwoods and shoot her gun!!

  • Leandro

    Yeah, next they’re gonna say Joshua is dating Hollie. LMAO;

    The only person that Nigel could “leak” as a credible romance is P2 with one of the girls.