Hollie Cavanagh eliminated from American Idol
Tonight’s American Idol Top 5 results show features performances by Idol alum, David Cook, who will sing his brand new single, “The Last Song I’ll Write For You” and Idol judge, Jennifer Lopez (she taped her performance last week).
I’ll be live blogging all the action at Entertainment Weekly. Join me there, will you? After, I’ll be back with a recap. Watch this space for photos and videos.
Tonight’s Idol results offered no surprises. Hollie Cavanagh went home as everyone predicted. She had a good run. Earlier in the season, as she struggled through her performances, who would have believed she’d make it all the way to 4th place? I didn’t think she was experienced or confident enough to make much headway during the competition. But she surprised everyone near the end, finding a way out of her own head to deliver several memorable performances. I think she’ll always be remembered for the way she literally re-invented Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love.” I can hear her pure, crystalline voice on the radio right now. With some guidance and seasoning, she could have a very bright career in pop music. So good on ya, Hollie. You should be proud.
It was an important night for the Top 4. The 3 contestants who advanced to the Top 3 get to go back to their hometowns, where they will be treated like rock stars. Idol cameras following them as they participate in parades, go back to high school, and perform concerts for a home town crowd. I would imagine it’s the kind of intense, emotional experience that the Idol never forgets. I’m not going to lie. As sappy as the hometown visits are, I really love watching the kids go home to a hero’s welcome.
Yes, much was at stake for the Final 4. The remaining contestants, Phillip Phillips, Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez will head off tomorrow to Leesburg, GA, West Lake LA, and Chula Vista CA, respectively. Historically, the southern, small town visits are the largest and most intense. I hope Jessica’s San Diego area town can drum up enough support for her.
The show begins with the stage set up like a red carpet with girls from the pit lining the sides behind fake velvet ropes. Ryan walks through, greeting them as if he were attending a movie premiere. I have no idea what’s going on until the finalists appear on stage to sing “California Dreaming” by the Mama’s and the Papas. The pit girls are props, just the background singers last week who were lounging around park benches and lamp posts during Skylar Laine’s performance. Please Idol. I beg of you. Leave the cheesy staging to Simon Cowell and Mark Burnett. This sh*t is really creeping me out.
The Idols are sing their leads live, but the background vocals are a too many voices on a backing track that doesn’t really sound like any of them. It’s creepy and generic like when the Glee kids sing a big production number and you can’t pick out any of their voices in the background. It’s really bizarre.
The Ford video is next. This week we get a behind the scenes look as the kids head to downtown LA to shoot a commercial for the new Ford electric car. Once again, Phillip Phillips is missing in action. The trio sing Jennifer Lopez’s “Feeling so Good” as they drive through LA, leaving flowers in their wake.
Next, it’s time for some results! Except, not really. Phil is up first. We get a look at last night, and Jimmy’s reaction. As we get closer to the finish and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Phillip will probably at LEAST come in second, the show is introducing a brand new narrative for our heir apparent. Jimmy maintains that Phillip had some sort of breakthrough this week. Before, he was imitating Dave Matthews, but since, the butterfly has broken out of his cocoon. Phil is finding his own voice. I dunno. He seems the same to me as always. “Volcano” was a really good performance, but he’s had some other standouts, such as the Jonny Lang tune he covered earlier in the competition. My friends, I believe we are witnessing, this week, the birth of the winner’s story arc.
Ryan asks to dim the lights and the scary music begins to play. After 70 million votes….Phil…..the nation has decided…that you will be heading….back to the couch. We’ll find out who is safe a little bit later. Poor Phil. His brain obviously switched off after “back to the couches.” He goes in to hug Ryan. No Phil. Sorry. I’m just behaving like my usual troll self. No results yet. Mean. Phil is like “ah man” before he heads back to the couch.
Holly Cavanagh is next. Jimmy really liked the way she performed “Faithfully”. He felt her big voice and penchant for oversinging worked for the song. But he didn’t like “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” He let the finalists choose their own songs this week, due to the personal nature of the theme. He assumed that Hollie understood the “core of the song.” Ultimately, Jimmy feels Hollie had no clue about what she was singing. He thought she crashed and burned when she hit the big notes in the chorus. Cut back to Hollie, who is upset but keeping it together.
After the break, Season 7 Idol, David Cook, takes the stage to sing his new song, “The Last Song I’ll Write For You.” I’m not going to lie. I’m not a big fan of the adult contemporary light rock., to say the least. I prefer edgier stuff. It’s not my favorite side of David Cook, but he’s confident and in fine form vocally. So good on David, who is embarking on a new phase of his career, having recently parted ways with his record label, RCA.
Joshua is up next. Jimmy did not like “You Raise Me Up”. Jimmy and I are on the same page! He dismisses the song as graduation and wedding fodder. It might have worked if he had kept it simple, says Jimmy, but ONCE AGAIN Josh trotted out the gospel choir and it didn’t work. Jimmy would try to talk him out of putting songs like that on his album. On the other hand, he LOVED “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Jimmy says Joshua created “a piece of magic rarely seen on the Idol stage.” An explosive and captivating performance, he wants to record a cover for Joshua’s album.
Jessica is next. Jimmy thought Jessica did a great job on the Etta James song, but didn’t think impersonating a great, older jazz/blues singer was a good idea. Jimmy thinks she overdoes the growling and will encourage her to dial it back when she makes HER album. On “And I Am Telling You,” jimmy believes she used all of her vocal artillery in the right way. “She murdered it,” he says. Jimmy’s friend, Tommy Mattola emailed him immediately and said “I’m going to her first concert. This is the real thing.” It was shock and awe, Jimmy adds. Last year, Jimmy knew Scotty was going to win. This year? He hasn’t a clue who is going to make it into the final. “Any one of them with the right song and the right note, can steal the show,” he says.
After the break, Randy and Steven introduce Jennifer Lopez. She filmed her performance last week. But let’s pretend she’s actually taking the stage to perform her new single “Dance Again”. Last year, she gyrated around the stage with her husband, Marc Anthony. This year she and her boy toy Casper Smart get as dirty as they are able on network TV. There’s lots of lip-syncing. That’s called setting an example for the kids! Not really. At the end, Casper plucks confetti out of her hair. “He’s so cute,” she coos.
After the break, the four finalists are lined up on stage. It’s time for some real results. But first, the judges weigh in on the contestants. Steven Tyler says we’ve seen Phillip evolve from “I don’t care” to finding out who he is and still saying “I don’t care.” He means that as a compliment. Jennifer babbles on about Hollie, but I think it had something to do with young singer’s amazing growth. Randy Jackson is glad that they waited a year to put Joshua through. “He’s grown by leaps and bounds since we first saw him,” he says. Randy says his performances are some of the best the show has ever had. ANY show has ever had. Jennifer begs to differ with Jimmy about Jessica’s growl.
The first person headed back to their hometown for a hero’s welcome is…a girl who comes from…Chula Vista CA. Jessica Sanchez is in the Top 3! The next person is…the pride of West Lake LA. Joshua Ledet is ALSO in the Top 3. Hollie and Phillip are left. Gee, I wonder who will advance. Wouldn’t it have been more dramatic to have Hollie and Jessica the last two standing?
After the break, it’s time to complete the Top 3. Ryan reminds us of past Top 4 surprise eliminations. The look on Phil’s face when Ryan utters the word “Daughtry” is priceless. Oh,. I see. We’re being set up to believe Phil could be a shock boot. He may be buying it, but we’re not.
The person who takes the last spot in the Top 3 is…Phillip Phillips. His head sinks down as he holds his knees. Before he heads over to the couch, Hollie gets a big hug. Hollie is all smiles as she watches her goodbye video. She sings out with “The Climb”. While she sings, Hollie walks over to the couch to give her fellow finalists big hugs. Joshua is literally balling his eyes out. Aw. Jennifer and Hollie hug it out and as the credits roll, Hollie and her bestie, Joshua, hug. It’s a hug fest. And we’re out.
- Jessica Sanchez
- Joshua Ledet
- Phillip Phillips