'American Idol': The Top 8 Take On the 80s

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Not ONE New Wave or Alternative song. What the WHAT? Sigh. It's like *my* 1980s didn't even exist with this crowd.

Jimmy Iovine brought Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal to co-mentor, and while I was going to protest that they weren't actually in the music scene in the 80s, I liked them, so I'm going to shut up about it now.

Last week they did trios, because 9 is divisible by 3. This week they're doing duets. Because 8…isn't.

So, let's dig in.

1. Deandre sang I Like It by DeBarge

He is definitely finding more comfort on stage and with his vocals. He needs to stop flipping his hair around, but he brought the range; he brought some swagger, and he seems to be on an upward trajectory…because, let's face it, he never stopped being pretty. I think he's safe.

2. Elise sang I Wanna Know What Love Is by Foreigner

Oh noes. After such an *incredible* week last week singing Zep, she fell off a click singing this treacly power ballad. How I WISH she had actually song her first choice Hallelujah, if for no other reason but that she credited the actual composer, Leonard Cohen. Granted, I'm not a huge fan of the Foreigner song to begin with, but I also wasn't a big fan of that performance. It was too rough. And it just seemed desperate, but not deep. Definitely right back at risk unfortunately. I hope last week is enough to carry her through.

Duet #1: Colton and Skylar sang Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

This was super-weird. My first question: Why are they singing to the camera instead of each other? They both can sing, no doubt, so there were some really nice tuneful harmonies. But, isn't it a love song? No. Chemistry. At. All.

3. Phillip sang That's All by Genesis

Phillip was climbing his way into my heart, but he lost his grip on this one. It was a pitchy and poor performance. The grimacing didn't help. He seemed nearly as uncomfortable in performance as he as in his rehearsal. Oughta be at risk, but he is also a cute boy, so who knows?

Duet #2: Hollie and DeAndre sang I'm So Excited by The Pointer Sisters 

This was super-cheesy. And most definitely represented the "Up With People" version of the song, with no actual sexual excitement allowed. 

4. Joshua sang If You Don't Know Me By Now by Simply Red (or Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, but who's counting?)

OK, Joshua did a nice job on this, meaning this time? I bought it. He actually seemed like a mature man singing about what the song is actually about, and not just gratuitously turning it into a gospelized version without actual secular meaning. He should be safe.

5. Jessica sang How Will I Know by Whitney Houston

Here is my request: Jessica, can you please stop talking about your alter ego? That is all. When you are Beyonce-level…in either fame, fortune or talent…maybe, and then only MAYBE, can you decide you have a spunky alter ego. That aside, I didn't love this. She hit some amazing notes, but she also hit some flat notes. I did not think it was her best. That doesn't mean I think she won't be safe, but blurg. That's all I'm saying.

Duet #3: Phillip and Elise sang Stop Draggin' My Heart by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks

This was super-rough. Because as we've already learned: Phillip is not a great harmony singer. I hope Elise's strong performance, which carried this, also carries her through her bad solo performance.

6. Hollie sang Flashdance (What a Feelin') by Irene Cara

Meh. I was soooo bored. She can definitely sing, but she was pitchy (probably because she was out of breath from running around aimlessly and with no purpose). I think she signed her walking papers with this one.

Duet #4: Joshua and Jessica sang I Knew You Were Waiting by George Michael and Aretha Franklin

It sounded fine, but what a boring song. Sorry. I know everyone thought this was "how it is DONE", but I was playing Words with Friends after a while.

7. Colton sang Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper


I have a special affinity for this song. I love the original Cyndi Lauper version and video. I love the Tuck & Patti version. I sang it in my own cabaret act in NYC and sang it at my brother's wedding. Let's just say, I'm attached and opinionated about it. And I liked Colton's version. Or should I say Quietdrive's version? And props to him for crediting the band who did the arrangement. I went and bought the single today.

8. Skylar sang Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler and Gary Morris most notably

Have I mentioned how much I hate the karaoke-X-Factor video stuff they've been doing this year? Well, a lot. Especially when they just get out of control. I mean at the end of this an eagle came out from the video screen and grabbed Skylar in its talons and flew away with her. Right? This was nice. If Simon would have been there he would have told her she was dressing and singing like someone twice her age. But she can sing. And she knows how to connect to her material.

Bottom Line for the Bottom Three

I think it can only be: Elise, Hollie and Phillip with Hollie going home.

Can you see another scenario?

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