I don’t know about you, but I’m still recovering from the heartache of last week’s elimination show. It was bad enough Elise went home, but for Elise to go home after that gag-tastic TMZ segment, after Stefano proved once and for all that you don’t have to be talentless to make bad music, and after America officially dashed any hope I was holding on to of seeing a lady take the Idol Title (by sending Skylar Laine to the bottom 3 on her best night yet whilst saving Bobby Newport after… well, another week that was identical in every way to every other week of the competition thus far)… it was pretty excruciating all around. On the upside, I finally got around to downloading some of this season’s studio recordings, and can we talk for a second about how totally BAD ASS Elise’s Bold as Love recording is? I mean, all of her recordings are stellar, and they make me even more excited to buy her album, but Bold as Love… DAAAAAANG!
But anyway, enough with the moping, let’s talk about what happened when our ladies took on Queen:
#3: Jessica Sanchez
There’s this thing judges say on Idol with really good contestants – they say that they can sing anything. This week, for me, Jessica Sanchez singlehandedly disproved that theory. First, of all of the songs in the Queen repertoire, whyyyyyy would anyone think it’s a good idea to give her BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY? WHYYY??? I literally can’t think of any Queen song, maybe any song in the entire world that is a worse fit for Jessica. Yall know I love this girl, right? I love Jessica and I love Bohemian Rhapsody, but they go together about as well as whipped cream and ketchup. Ugh, and as if it wasn’t bad enough, the shortened arrangement was almost as laughably awful an homage to Queen as the backdrop of HER OWN CREEPY DISEMBODIED SINGING HEADS. To her credit I really don’t think she could possibly have done better with what she was given, but… COME ON!
Her second song, again, was sung beautifully, but Dance With My Father? Really? That song is like corn covered in corn syrup then rolled in corn starch. Add to that the godawful backdrop of the father holding his baby daughter and it was a little 1-800-TOO-MUCH. The shout-out to her daddy in the army was sweet but felt seriously contrived. Is that overly cynical? Or do I just know this show really well?
I’m hoping this week was a fluke, but the sudden backwards slip coupled with overpraising from the judges and the momentum building in her competitors’ camps makes me wonder if she isn’t next on the chopping block.
#2: Hollie Cavanagh
Ok, so everything I said last week still stands, but I also had an epiphany watching her do The Climb this week that, if I can telepathically communicate it with Hollie, could be a total game-changer for the pint-sized BriTexan. See, The Climb was awesome. Those of us who remember her from last season knew it would be, right? But it was even better than I hoped, for the first time everything came together for her – it was a complete performance – and as I watched her up there I couldn’t help wondering why. What is it about that song that turns Hollie Cavanagh from an impressive vocal spectacle into a compelling artist? That’s when it hit me: Hollie Cavanagh is a country artist. Here’s this girl that they’ve been branding as a Mariah/Celine-like pop diva when in fact she’s this little country diva. I probably should’ve put it together when before this both of my favorite performances of hers were Carrie songs, but for some reason this was the one that let me see it. Behold:
Her Queen performance was a little hard to get into because of pitch issues, but I think I still enjoyed it more than the judges did. The thing is, Hollie’s instrument is so powerful, it’s like this race car speeding along at 300mph. Bobby Newport over there in his daddy’s pick-up truck can swerve all over the road and it doesn’t matter because he’s not breaking 20mph, but if Hollie swerves even a little she’s likely to run right off the road, which she did a bit with Save Me. It wasn’t horribly off-key, but she missed the mark enough that it was kind of ruined. That having been said, I didn’t totally hate the performance. I appreciated the slightly obscure song choice (she and Elise were the only two to pick songs that weren’t covered the last time Idol did Queen in season 5) and I appreciated the passion. Although the words “save me, save me, save me, I’m naked and I’m far from home” struck me as slightly… uncomfortable? unfortunate? …I was pleased to see some genuine passion, and I might have even been a little moved by it. Maybe. A little.
#1: Skylar Laine
When Skylar was standing next to Bobby Newport on Wednesday’s results show, knowing one was in the top 3 and the other in the bottom, it occurred to me that whichever of the two of them was safe was most likely going to win this whole thing. Since Colton’s ouster I’ve been saying that it’s going to come down to these two, and really if Skylar was going to wind up in the bottom of the pack after two of her personal best performances, one of which I dare say was among the best performances of the entire season, she doesn’t have the fan-base she needs to win this thing. Furthermore, if this week’s lame-ass showing wasn’t enough to break Bobby Newport into the bottom, nothing ever will be. I swear to god, last week after Elise failed to get any props for the artistic licence she took with I Want It All, I literally said “Watch, now Stupid McStupidface is going to come out, probably sing Fat Bottomed Girls because that’ll be really easy to make it sound EXACTLY LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE HE’S DONE and the judges are gonna be like “Woah man, you’re such a musical genius.”” and then you know what happened? EXACTLY THAT. EXACTLY. And as much as I would like to chalk it up to my being a genius/magic, the reality is that the guy is just THAT predictable. I’m bored and I’m annoyed and I’m about to be pissed when he walks away with this thing.
Ok, I’m done being a jerk, on to what matters: ma girl Skylar. The opening medley with Queen made it clear from the get-go that Elise and Skylar were going to be the strongest of the night, but holy balls was I totally unprepared for Skylar Laine to quite literally rock my face off. Just watch:
How freaking hot was that?? Is there ANYTHING this girl can’t do? Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye, Bette Midler, Queen, she’s a BEAST! I have no words for this performance, it was just sick. I just can’t. I can’t. Next:
Okay, so this one was a little more controversial, but even though it wasn’t as exciting as The Show Must Go On, I was grinning like a fool from start to finish watching it. What I love about this is that it didn’t feel like an American Idol performance, it felt like a real world performance. Unless I’m seriously mistaken, I believe that when (I said WHEN) Skylar comes back next season to play us a song from her new album on one of the results shows, it’s going to sound like this. She’s so ready, man, she’s ready to go out there and make an album of her own original music and just blow the f up. And yes it’s partly a style preference thing, but I would so rather have her up there than 90% of the pop spectacles that have graced the stage this season alone.
Until next time