UPDATE: Shannon Magrane is eliminated
Shannon Magrane sings for her life, but the judges decide NOT to use the save.
The American Idol 11 Top 11 performed last night for your votes. Who will go home tonight? Will anyone go home tonight? Ryan Seacrest said a finalist would be “at risk” for elimination tonight, but that’s pretty vague–it could mean anything!
Also, Daughtry and Demi Lovato are set to perform.
I’ll be live blogging the show at Entertainment Weekly. Join us, will you?
Entertainment Weekly Live Blog
The best Top 10 ever? I am so excited for the tour right now! The right three people have left the finals to leave a touring group that doesn’t have a dud among them. I don’t think I have ever said that about any American Idol Top 10.
I really thought Shannon had a few more weeks. Her singing has been a mess of pitch problems and over singing, but she was always so earnest and sweet, I figured she had tweens and moms out there voting for her. When Erika headed to the bottom 3, I murmured to myself, “you better save her ass, judges.”. But there was no need! And thankfully, the trio didn’t waste their one save on Shannon. I thought they might. But wisely, they are saving it—probably to be used on Erika or Elise when they hit bottom in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully there isn’t a trend starting where the girls get picked off one by one…but if it does. USE THE SAVE ON A GIRL, JUDGES C’MON. Matt Giraud, Mike Lynche, Casey Abrams? It’s time to save a GIRL YO.
Speaking of the save—not surprised it’s back. I personally hate to see a finalist sing desperately to be saved, only to be rejected AGAIN. But when there is a save, it’s TV that’s too good to pass up.
Is it going to be Jimmy vs Randy on results night? They were busting each other’s chops pretty bad tonight. Of course, Jimmy is right in every circumstance. Watching Jimmy call out Randy on his nonsense is a thing of beauty.
It was interesting to hear Jimmy break down how Jessica went wrong last night. And I appreciated having the procedure for choosing songs broken down. Although, Jimmy says it’s ultimately up to the contestants, it’s got to be super intimidating when Jimmy Iovine is telling you what to sing.
Heejun looked so nervous—like he was sure he was leaving the competition. I’m glad he’s made the tour, but now he needs to leave in the next week or two. He’s the weakest singer left.
I’m not surprised that Elise and Erika were in the bottom. The judges love Elise, but she’s not connecting to the audience. Erika seems friendly enough, but I don’t think viewers are digging her husky alto as much as the rest of us. I’m just glad they both made the tour. That’s all.
The show opens with a montage of the contestants performing, talking backstage, childhood photos. Words flash on the screen: 11 Finalists. 1 Common Dream. A Lifetime In The Making. They Laid it All On The Line. But Tonight… 1 Dream Will End!
Dun Dun Dun! But will a finalist go home tonight, in light of Jermaine Jones’ sudden disqualification last night? That will remain to be seen.
Ryan announces that tonight the Top 10 will be named. And you know what that means—those lucky finalists will earn a spot on the lucrative summer tour. Ryan reminds us that it’s BRUTAL y’all.
Look at Jennifer Lopez on the cover of this month’s Vogue. And she announces that her new single and video is coming out. It drops March 29. Paul Hunter will be the director. Not her boyfriend!
Tommy Hilfiger is introduced via video. He will begin his stint as Idol “image adviser” next week. He thinks Adam Lambert and Carrie Underwood are examples of Idols who have great style. Hooray for time wasters. Not really.
Ryan announces the return of “The Save”. The judges can use it once to save an eliminated finalist up until the Top 5.
Tonight’s Ford Music video features the tune “Ghost Town”. Deandre, Hollie, Shannon and Jermaine are ghosts. Jermaine, fittingly.
Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone and Joshua Ledet take center stage
- Jimmy on Phillip: “What can I say about Phillip? He went far beyond the call of duty and he gave a new definition of a sick day at American Idol. I’m really proud of him. We’re going to go to work this week and try to make sure next week is great for him. But I’m rooting for Phillip.”
- Jimmy on Skylar: “I have a lot of faith in Skylar. I think she was better than she was last night, actually. The song was not exactly right for her. It didn’t have a big enough melody. I know the judges liked her. I thought she could have done better. We’re going to work really hard for next week. I think she stays.”
- Jimmy on Elise: “Wow. Did I believe Elise last night. She killed this song. She owned it. She knew where it was. As they would say—she knew where the 1 was. There’s a certain resurgence in blue eyed soul going on right now and Elise fits right into that mold. She captivated me with that song last night. She understood every ounce of the emotion—the low part, the mid part, the growl, the subtlety. She got it all. Elise blew my mind last night and I think she’s going to be in it for the long haul. She stays.“
- Jimmy on Joshua: “You don’t sing that song much better than that. I heard Percy Sledge called up and loved it. I recommend all artists on Interscope from today on eat crawfish before they’re going to sing. Last week Jessica had a big moment. This week it was Joshua’s turn. This is turning into a real horse race. I got a feeling there’s going to be a 3rd horse next week.“
Ryan asks Jennifer who the 3rd horse could be. She says, “There so many big voices over there, it could be anything. I think that’s the thing with this year. The competition is very fierce. It’s not just one person out front. Everybody can come, and with the right song, take over that week. I love that.”
Ryan reads the email from Percy Sledge, the original artist who recorded the song in the 60s, praising Joshua’s performance. “Joshua did a wonderful job. He scored a 10 in my book. I loved his interpretation. I’m very proud of him.”
Dim the lights…here we go. “Joshua, pack your bags for the summer tour…you ARE SAFE.” After the vote…Phillip…YOU ARE SAFE. You’re going on the tour! Elise and Skylar are left. One is safe, one is headed to the B3. After the vote…Elise YOU ARE IN THE BOTTOM 3. Skyler is SAFE. She joins Joshua and Phillip on the Stools of Safety. Dazed, Elise walks over to the Chairs of Doom.
Demi Lovato performs her single, “Give Your Heart a Break”. And…she’s pitchy pitchy pitchy. Wow.
After the break, we’re back to the eliminations. So far, Joshua, Phillip and Skylar are in—Elise is in jeopardy.
Colton Dixon, Shannon Magrane, Deandre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez take center stage
- Jimmy on Deandre: “The judges said it was the wrong song for Deandre. Maybe it was. But let me tell you how the songs are chosen. A singer comes in with 3 songs…we listen. If they sound really good right away, we say, let’s move on. If they don’t, we suggest a song. Ultimately, it’s their choice. End of story. Now, In the case of Deandre, he came in with 3 choices. None of which were terribly exciting. So we suggested a few songs, and he chose “Endless Love.” He did a very good job in rehearsal with it. It’s a great song. He did not deliver it on the show. He could be in trouble this week. This isn’t T ball. Not everyone gets a trophy and an orange slice.”
- Jimmy on Colton: “Steven gave him a hard time and said it was the wrong song. I agreed with Steven. Now Steven is going to be tough on this kid—understandably so because he is one of the greatest rock singers of the last 40 years. Now on the other hand, Randy completely confused me. The song doesn’t matter, the song does matter…what kind of show is this? Which one is it? Does the song matter or not. We all know the song matters. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it wrong. I think Colton will end up in the middle of the pack, it’ll be a pass week, and maybe he’ll get an orange slice.”
- Jimmy on Shannon: “When Shannon’s at her best, it’s when she doesn’t push too hard. Unfortunately, I think she pushed too hard last night. When she pushes, she shows her weaknesses. Randy’s right—she has extraordinary potential. And I hope in the weeks to come we can really help her go all the way.”
- Jimmy on Jessica: “Jessica wanted to do an up tempo song. I completely supported her in that. She does not want to be an opera singer from a talent show, and I’m behind her 1000%. Did she pick the right song or the wrong song? That was based on one thing. When Jessica performed, you heard her scream. When she screamed, she lost her breath. When she lost her breath, she lost her rhythm. And when she lost her rhythm, the judges nailed her and they were right. Based on last week’s performance and who she is, she’s not going home anytime soon. If she goes home, we should all go home.”
Randy responds to Jimmy calling him out, “Wait a minute! Jimmy first of all, that’s MY line. What kind of show is this? This is a singing competition; this is unfortunately really not about songs. All of those songs that you chose last night, whether you were right or wrong—if you woulda sung the I don’t know what outta them, you would have no problems. The great singers can sing…what’s the phrase? THE PHONE BOOK. End of story Jimmy!”
Jimmy sits in the audience, laughing. Probably because he still thinks Randy makes no sense. I happen not to believe a good singer can sing the phone book and make it interesting. Songs ALWAYS matter. ALWAYS.
Dim the lights! “Colton…obscure song choice? Unfortunately that has cost you…being away from your family this summer because you are going on the summer tour!” Colton is SAFE. Really! Squeaks Colton. He hugs Ryan awkwardly and heads over to the Stools of Safety. Ryan goes to Deandre, but then tells him to hang for a second. He makes a face. “aw” says a voice from the audience. “Jessica, congratulations. You have made the tour.” Jessica is SAFE. Shannon and Deandre are left. One is safe, one is in the bottom 3. “After the nationwide vote, Deandre, you ARE SAFE my friend. Which means, Shannon, you are in the BOTTOM 3.” Heejun looks so nervous. His hands are clasped in prayer. Shannon heads over to join Elise.
Daughtry takes the stage to debut his new single, “Outta My Head”. This tune is a bit of an edge compared to his last few singles. Chris and the band are headed out to tour tonight and will begin the tour in Buffalo on the 20th.
Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han and Hollie Cavanagh take center stage
- Jimmy on Hollie: “I gave Hollie straight As last night. She was fantastic. She sang the song with poise again. She shows enormous amount of confidence. I think she’s going to do great in this competition. The only place that was flawed was how she was dressed. They dress her so old. She’s only 18!”
- Jimmy on Heejun: “I truly believe there is going to be an Asian pop music explosion. Whether Heejun is going to lead us into this, I’m not sure. He’s got himself boxed in with the kind of songs that he’s singing. They’re all very same. He needs to find some tempo. I think people are going to get bored and stop voting if he doesn’t do something drastic right now.”
- Jimmy on Erika: “There’s a trap on American Idol and it’s called oversinging. And Erika fell into it last night. One of the judges told Erika to not sing catchy, jerky arrangements. Or to listen to anyone who suggests that they sing catchy, jerky arrangements. Well…some singers in the past, who have listened to my suggestions of catchy, jerky arrangements HAVE DONE VERY WELL! RANDY.” BURN.
Ryan says, “I think you just got called out.” Randy responds, “Yes, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Black Eyed Peas—you are correct. Jimmy has done extremely well. We were just saying—it’s such a beautiful song, why mess with it. It’s great.” Jimmy is laughing, “I love the jacket, Randy!” Oh look, there’s Stefano Langone sitting behind him!
Dim the lights! After the nationwide vote, Hollie, you’re going on the tour! Hollie is SAFE. Hugs hugs! She joins her friends on the Stools of Safety. Skylar and Joshua both give her giant hugs! Erika and Heejun are left. “After the nationwide vote…Erika…you are in the BOTTOM 3 tonight. Heejun is SAFE. Erika tells Heejun she loves him before she head over to join Shannon and Elise on the Stools of Doom. Heejun bows, relieved, then heads over to join his friends. He and his bro Phil hug BIG.
It’s an all girl bottom 3, with Elise, Shannon and Erika. Jennifer’s reaction, “I’m not happy. Especially when someone has a performance like Elise had last night. I don’t think it’s fair.” Steven says, “It’s crazy…I agree. There’s a really thin line between a good song and when somebody just nails it and has a perfect, beautiful voice. It’s hard to find the hen’s teeth. You’ve got to find that just right song, and hit it to America—something that they’re aware of and have heard and is familiar. And I think Elise—you nailed it last night.” Jlo adds, “Great performances should be rewarded.” Randy says, “Very strange, Ryan, very strange this is.”
“I’m going to send one of you three to safety right now,” says Ryan. “And that person is…Elise.” Elise is SAFE! Elise hugs her girls and hurries over to join the rest. It’s down to Shannon Magrane and Erika Van Pelt in the Bottom 2!
After the break, it’s time to find out who will sing for their life. The girls have endured a roller coaster of emotions, only to have it end RIGHT HERE! Says Ryan. DIM THE LIGHTS. “After the nationwide vote…one of them goes on tour, the other at risk of going home tonight. The person going on tour is…ERIKA! YAY. She flips out, because you KNOW she was NOT expecting that. ERIKA IS SAFE!
Shannon is the bottom vote getter, and now must sing for her life. Will the judges use their save? Shannon realizes it’s a big moment. “Put everything you’ve got, your heart and soul into this,” says Ryan. Shannon reprises her song from last night, “One Sweet Day.” It’s even pitchier tonight, with an extra dollop of desperation. Please judges. Don’t waste your save on Shannon. Send her back to high school PLEASE.
The judges decide right away. “Unfortunately we’re not going to use it tonight, Shannon,” says Randy. The camera cuts to Jessica watching, in tears. “Alright,” says Shannon. She’s smiling. “You stood up here fearlessly and gave it your all,” says Ryan.
Shannon’s goodbye video rolls. After, Shannon thanks her fans. “You’ve been so loyal to me, and so honest with me…you three especially. It feels so good standing on this stage.” And…we’re out.
Shannon Magrane sings for her life!
Safe (and going on the summer tour):
- Joshua Ledet
- Phillip Phillips
- Skylar Laine
- Colton Dixon
- Jessica Sanchez
- Deandre Brackensick
- Hollie Cavanagh
- Heejun Han
- Elise Testone
- Erika Van Pelt
- Shannon Magrane
Erika Van Pelt