The theme was "Now and Then". Your stellar Top 7 each sang a song from this century and then returned with a soul ballad from the last millennium. Or as it boiled down to: Alicia Keys vs. Marvin Gaye.
If you came for the vocals, you probably stayed for the clothes. I'm referring to the contestants, like Skylar for instance who seemed dressed from The Hunger Games fashion line. But I'm still trying to figure out what materials Jennifer's dress was made out of. Can a garment be sexy and bulletproof at the same time?
Hollie Cavanagh was up first, and thankfully got the obligatory Adele number taken care of right off the bat. Later in the show, she performed Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man". Funny what the British consider to be soul music.
It was a rough night for Colton Dixon starting with his fender bender accident involving Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance". Not to mention that gaudy vampire coat. It made him remind me more than usual of Corey Feldman. He really hurt himself later covering Earth Wind and Fire.
Elise Testone followed with a dutiful version of Alicia Keys' "No One". But I was distracted by the wind machines which were billowing her tangerine gown around so much it looked like a Stevie Nicks video. She came back with Marvin's "Let's Get It On", proving yet again, that Motown is the place that young white singers go to die.
What got the first standing ovation of the night? What got JLo saying "sexy" like a school girl with a stutter? It was this:
Right, Phillip Phillips III. Doing Usher. Or rather doing Dave Matthews doing Usher. Which Randy felt qualified him as a complete original. Huh? How's that work? By Randy's logic, Frank Caliendo is the most original entertainer ever.
But Randy wasn't finished. He said, "You don't need to listen to anybody. You are Phillip Phillips, and, dude, you are da bomb." So why do you keep yappin', dawg? Phillip ain't listening.
PP came back with a Wilson Pickett jammie.
The judges wrapped Jessica Sanchez in a cocoon of lavish praise before and after she sang "Fallin'". Okay, we get it. She is a once in a lifetime talent and we were crazy to have let her go last week. Except the experience seems to have taken a big chunk of Sanchez's confidence. Her second song, an Otis Redding classic, was curiously wooden. Do we have to vote for her, Randy?
Skylar Laine took on two ungainly songs: "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga and Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."
The judges seem to think she can do no wrong. And Skylar is starting to believe it. JLo twisted herself in Yoda-esque pretzels praising Skylar's choices: "A more perfect song for you does not exist." Well, Skylar reminds me a little of Jo Dee Messina but I don't think she's all that.
Finally Joshua Ledet who apparently after last week's closed circuit mash note was contractually obligated to perform Fantasia. Ooh, how "Now". And then finish the night with what has become Idol's unofficial theme song, Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come".
It's a good thing when Jennifer gets "goosies", right? I'm just afraid that hi-tech fabric she's wearing will mistake them for invasive biological organisms and shut her whole system down.
Predictions: Elise, Colton and Jessica (yes, Jessica) in the bottom three. Elise goes. Don't get comfortable, Jessica. You just have a stay of execution. You're next.