‘American Idol’ Recap: Kelly Clarkson to Lady Gaga, the Top 7 Contestants Sing Hits from 2010 to Today

By ABC News

Apr 12, 2012 12:41am

‘American Idol’ Recap: Top Seven Contestants Sing Hits from 2010 to Today

“American Idol”‘s top seven contestants performed songs released from 2010 to now on Wednesday night’s show. The performances began after the contestants got some wardrobe coaching from Tommy Hilfiger at the top of the broadcast. Judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez took their seats in front of the stage and offered their thoughts as always. Mentor Jimmy Iovine brought in Akon to help the ‘Idol’ hopefuls in rehearsals. Here’s what happened:

Skylar Laine chose to sing Kellie Pickler’s song “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You,” and Jimmy said she owned it in the mentoring session. Skylar played acoustic guitar during the performance but still delivered big vocals on the chorus. Randy said this is the kind of music Skylar should be making and called it “crazy hot.” Jennifer said Skylar sang with perfect pitch from her soul, and Steven said she “delivered the goods” after admitting he was enamored by the female contestants this season.

Colton Dixon went with “Love the Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey, which fans will recognize from when Rihanna did it with Eminem. Jimmy told Colton he was behind Phillip in the competition at this point, so Colton needed to step up his game a bit. For the moody performance, Colton played a big, white grand piano backed up by a string section. Jennifer praised Colton’s signature approach to every song he sings. Steven called Colton a “rare talent” and said he couldn’t wait to hear him sing original songs some day. Randy liked Colton’s subtle performance this week.

Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone teamed up for another duet this week — Gotye’s current hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Phillip wasn’t so sure about the song, but he went along with it because Elise loved it. Steven is a big fan of that song right now, and he said Phillip and Elise nailed it. Jennifer loved the feel they brought to the song, and Randy said Elise did a better job on the song than Phillip did.

Jessica Sanchez sang Jazmine Sullivan’s somewhat obscure song “Stuttering,” and Akon was really impressed with Jessica’s control. Jessica wore a flashy silver top as she delivered the first part of the song sitting on a grand piano. This week’s performance definitely built on Jessica’s soulful delivery of Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams” a few weeks ago. Randy said Jessica set the bar really high this week and called the performance “superb.” Jennifer loved how Jessica really dug into the lyrics of the song, and Steven said he forgets where he is every time Jessica sings.

Joshua Ledet celebrated his 20th birthday earlier this week and got a b-day shout out from former ‘Idol’ champ Fantasia. He picked up the tempo this week with Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby” backed up by a horn section and a Tina Turner-style dancer at the top of the stairs onstage. The judges gave Joshua’s high energy performance a standing ovation. Steven said Joshua can sell a song like a work of art and told him to get that back up dancer’s phone number. Jennifer said Joshua’s performances take control of the audience, and Randy called it an unbelievable, in-the-zone performance.

Colton and Skylar did nothing to dispel those pesky rumors that they’re a couple with their performance of Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson’s “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” Colton said he wouldn’t date Skylar since she owns a gun. Steven said they made love to each other singing that song and praised their harmonies. Jennifer said they did a nice job with that difficult song, but Randy said it was just OK.

Hollie Cavanagh went with “Perfect” by Pink for this week’s performance, and Jimmy told her she had some work to do before she could be considered a professional singer. Hollie performed most of the song seated on a stool next to an acoustic guitar, and her version was a bit more mellow than Pink sang it. She capped it off with a really big note at the end. Jennifer said Hollie sang beautifully, and Steven said it wasn’t perfect for him tonight. Randy thought Hollie redeemed herself this week, but none of the judges were jumping and down over it.

Phillip Phillips returned for his solo turn on “Give a Little More” by Maroon 5, and Jimmy and Akon helped Phillip come up with a more intimate arrangement. Phillip was joined by a saxophone player onstage during the performance. Steven loved how Phillip has evolved over the course of the show to sing more melody. Steven and Jennifer both agreed that Phillip came off as a cross between Steve McQueen and Johnny Cash. Jennifer felt this week’s performance was a little underwhelming. Randy also felt that Phillip is starting to repeat himself.

Hollie, Jessica and Joshua teamed up for a trio performance of Kelly Clarkson’s latest hit “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” Jennifer said seeing these three singing together made her proud. Randy gave the edge to Josh on who sounded best, but he thought they all sounded good together.

Elise Testone closed out the show with Lady Gaga’s “You and I” after getting a video shout out from one of her favorite actors Jason Segel. Jimmy and Akon killed her plan to play drums on the song and told her to just sing the tune. Elise started the song off playing piano, and it was a big improvement over last week when she found herself in the bottom three. Randy said it was the perfect song for her right now. Jennifer loved how Elise let go yet kept control at the same time. Steven said it was “genius.”

“American Idol” returns with results Thursday night at 8:00 Eastern time on Fox. ‘Idol’ alums James Durbin and Jennifer Hudson are also set to perform.

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