American Idol 11 – Top 9 iTunes Studio Performances (Reviews) (Audio)

Top 9 was a good week for the Idols. Give these Idols a little rope…and for the most part they’ll make good choices.  You hear that Jimmy?  The best far and away? Queen Elise’s “Whole Lotta Love”. I have got SUCH a girl rush on Elise Testone.  I am stanning hard, people.  Also noteworthy: Jessica Sanchez’s pop radio ready “Sweet Dreams”, Deandre Brackensick’s swoonworthy “Sometimes I Cry” and Phil PhillpsJonny Lang cover “Still Rainin”.

Colton Dixon – “Everything” –  If you like Colton’s voice, it’s used to full advantage here, with a slow angsty buildup–perfect for that hitch in his voice–that explodes into a big passionate chorus.  It helps that his vocal is front and center on the recording, as Colton’s live vocals are often swallowed up by the band.  The songwriters obviously wrote the tune with vague references so it could work as a love song for a secular audience. But the “Jesus is my girlfriend” vibe that results is a little weird. –  Download from iTunes

Skylar Laine – “Gunpowder and Lead” – Skyler’s voice is full of character. I can almost imagine her loading up her shotgun as she sings.  The song doesn’t show off her big rangy voice, but I do appreciate the girl’s spunk. –  Download from iTunes

Heejun Han – “A Song For You”  – Yes, Heejun needs voice lessons and work on his English, but he brings so much emotion to the songs he sings, I can’t get mad at him.  “A Song For You” was his perfect swan song.  –  Download from iTunes

Hollie Cavanagh – “Jesus Take the Wheel” – I love Hollie’s pure, crystalline tone, but at this point in her career, she has yet to develop her own, unique style.  Here, she’s Not Carrie singing “Jesus Take The Wheel.”  The performance is highly competent karaoke.  Maybe she should have sat Idol out a few years before auditioning again.  –   Download from iTunes

DeAndre Brackensick – “Sometimes I Cry’  – DeAndre’s falsetto can sound really grating and thin live–especially when he reaches for the high notes. But recorded? This is a damn sweet jam.  I love me a pretty falsetto.  –  Download from iTunes

Jessica Sanchez – Sweet Dreams – Jessica is so pop radio ready IT’S CRAZY.  Jimmy and UMG have got to be already figuring out what kind of record Jessica is going to make when she leaves Idol, whether she wins or not. Gorgeous, mature vocals and a current sound make “Sweet Dreams”  her best recording to date. –   Download from iTunes

Phil Phillips –  Still Rainin’  – What’s great about this song–I finally get the sense of the kind of music Phil was meant to record rather than him doing strange things to songs that leave me unimpressed. Pop success will elude Phil once he’s finished Idol, but if his original songs are good, he could have some success on HAC or maybe even break the AAA barrier. Well, probably not Adult Alternative–not after appearing on Idol. But his music fits there.  Download from iTunes

Joshua Ledet – Without You  –  Oh Joshua. I ‘ m not feeling this. It just ain’t your thang. I hope he picks an R&B song next week, something he really connects to.  When Joshua is on, he’s really on. When he’s not down with the song hes singing–it shows. –  Download from iTunes

Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love”  – OH. MY. GAH. QUEEN ELISE. I bow down to thee.  Elise continues to do crazy things with her voice that y’all probably shouldn’t try at home. But her delivery is so effortless, you might not even notice the level of skill required.  I really dug the little   Middle Eastern interlude she popped into the middle of the song. Awesome.  Download from iTunes

About mj santilli 35015 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!