American Idol 11 – Top 10 iTunes Studio Performances (Reviews) (Audio)

This week’s iTunes Studio performance reviews from Moi. My favorites? Why my girls, Erika Van Pelt and Elise Testone. Joshua Ledet and Heejun Han win the you-shoulda-sung-it-live-like-that award. Heejun’s recording especially, was a BIG surprise.

Deandre Brackensick – Only the Good Die Young – Still the wrong song for Deandre. I can’t get past his warbly vibrato and I don’t believe a word he sings. “You may have heard I run with a dangerous crowd.”  Really? Do you drink milk and eat cookies? ‘Cause that’s what I’m getting from your vocal delivery, Deandre.    – Download at iTunes

Erika Van Pelt – New York State of Mind – Oh well. You know–robbed and everything.  Erika’s vocal is rich and gorgeous. Perfection,  if you ask me.  I’m really disappointed “New York State of Mind” will serve as her last Idol studio performance.  I will miss that smokey alto.  YOU SUCK AMERICA. *cries*  –  Download at iTunes

Joshua Ledet – She’s Got A Way – Oh Joshua, honey. Why didn’t you sing “She’s Got A Way”  live the way you did on this recording?  If you are a Joshua fan (like I am) and were disappointed in his unwieldy performance on Wednesday check this out.  The first two verses and the bridge are beautifully understated, when he hits the last verse it’s almost too much–but it works.  Very powerful.  Dang.  –  Download at iTunes

Skylar Laine – Shameless –  Skylar is almost a little too subdued, but she cuts loose nicely at the end of the song. She records beautifully.  Her range is impressive.  Still not sold on this song for her–but much better than her awkward live version  –  Download at iTunes

Elise Testone – Vienna – What I love about Elise is how she makes every syllable count. She does some tricky runs, but it’s so subtle it never feels like too much.  I’m loving her bluesy rock vibe here.  Just beautiful. I hope she’s really doing some Robert Plant next week.  I want to hear Elise really rock out. –  Download at iTunes

Phillip Phillips  – Movin’ Out – I am underwhelmed by Phillip’s version of “Movin’ Out”. Maybe because he has this way of taking songs from all different genres and turning them into exactly the same tune? Reductive! At least that’s the way it feels to me.  Phillip’s arrangement turns the song into a dirge. I’m not feeling it. –  Download at iTunes

Hollie Cavanagh  – Honesty – The song improves instantly without the pitch problems from the live version. But she still sings it uncomprehending.  It’s a lot of empty, pretty singing. But it’s not the fault of the 18 year old singer who had to choose from songs that weren’t right for her –  Download at iTunes

Heejun Han – “My Life” –  Heejun! Wow. This vocal is GOOD.  I’m shocked.  No need to run around the stage like a dancing monkey, Heejun.  If you had stood still and allowed your VOCAL to sell the humor in the song, you could have won the judges over.  He’s got a really nice little rasp in his voice he should take advantage of more.  If he Concentrates on his diction, and stays on pitch, he’ll be golden. –  Download at iTunes

Jessica Sanchez  – “Everybody Has a Dream” – Really. What is there to say? This girl can sang.  She has an amazing amount of control over her voice.  There are some beautiful flourishes here–especially those last couple of notes.  Luckily, in the Billy Joel catalog, she was able to find (or somebody helped her find) the perfect song.  – Download at iTunes

Colton Dixon – “Piano Man” –  Those distracting vocal catches might be a nervous tic for Colton? Because they are hardly present here–the recorded vocal isn’t annoying me as much. But his emo boy take on “Piano Man” isn’t selling me, either. I don’t believe him as the cynical, wizened barfly earning his keep via tip jar. He comes across as too young and innocent. –  Download at iTunes


About mj santilli 35052 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!