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Judges' Choice

The results show for Stevie Wonder-Whitney Houston week on season 11 of "American Idol" kicked off with big stakes: the bottom guy and bottom girl would face a decision by the judges, who would determine who would stay and who would go.



Jeremy is eliminated
Jeremy and Elise await their fate.



The Top 13 began by singing a Stevie Wonder hit, "As." Unlike previous seasons, they appeared to be singing it live, which meant that it wasn't always pitch perfect but was a lot more fun to watch than a lip-synched performance. [GROUP PERFORMANCE]

For the weekly Ford commercial, the Top 13 stomped around the city as 50-foot versions of themselves to Peter Gabriel's "Big Time." The only one who probably didn't find this unusual was "gentle giant" Jermaine Jones. [FORD COMMERCIAL]

Jessica Sanchez, Elise Testone, and Hollie Cavanaugh were up first for results. Jimmy once more got a chance to give his assessments of each contestant. Jimmy said that Elise got "hit with the Whitney Houston stick," and that she was in trouble. According to Jimmy, Hollie was at an advantage with Whitney and "delivered on the promise." Jimmy said Jessica's performance is probably the best he's seen of anyone on "American Idol," ever. His only concern is that she gets "over confident" from this point on. Jessica and Hollie were safe. Elise was in the bottom three girls.

Then, Heejun Han, Colton Dixon and Jermaine Jones stepped center stage for their results. Jimmy said that if he was making a record with Heejun, the last artist he'd pick would be Stevie Wonder, because it "shows all his flaws." About Colton, Jimmy said that he took great direction, but he's wondering "is he a pop singer, is he a rock singer?" Jimmy thinks that Colton needs to figure it out. And about Jermaine, Jimmy said, "Jermaine had an internal battle between tuning and feel, and I believe he lost both." He took issue with Steven, who had said that the song fit Jermaine like an Armani suit. Jimmy said, "Armani doesn't make suits that big."

Ryan told Colton, "America did not like what they heard... they loved it. You are safe." Then he told Heejun he was safe, and Jermaine was in the bottom three.

After the break, last year's runner-up, Laura Alaina, performed her song "Georgia Peaches," wearing a one-shoulder glittery red shirt with a big flowy right arm arm. She mumbled some of her lyrics, and then predictably, took it to the judges' table, where she sang to Randy (instead of Steven? That's a surprise). She also sat down on the couches with the guys and serenaded them for one chorus. Poor guys. Aside from having a tan now, she hasn't changed much; Skylar could kick her a country mile! [LAURA ALAINA'S PERFORMANCE]

Next to hear results were Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine, and Erika Van Pelt. Jimmy felt that even though Erika was "not made for this song," she'd enhanced it and done a "believable job." About Shannon, Jimmy said, "She has a lot of talent, but she needs a lot more experience." Jimmy said about Skylar, "I like nasal." This was in response to Jennifer, who had said she didn't like that aspect of her singing. Erika joined Elise in the bottom three, to the booing of the crowd. The person who was safe, Ryan said, was Skylar. That made for a bottom three girls of Elise, Erika and Shannon.

The next guys to hear results were Phillip Phillips, DeAndre Brackensick, Joshua Ledet and Jeremy Rosado. Before Jimmy's taped remarks, Ryan mentioned that Phillip had had to go to the doctor today, but Phillip said he was now fine. Jimmy said that Joshua is really good, but he's worried people will get "bored of his voice" after a while. It will be a matter of song choice, he said. About DeAndre, Jimmy said DeAndre was a pleasant surprise, because he relaxed and just did the song. Jimmy liked Phillip's performance but worries the girls might outshine him. Jeremy, though, did not deliver, according to Jimmy, who predicted he'd be in the bottom three, because the girls outperformed him. Phillips was the first to hear he was safe. Jeremy was in the bottom three, as was, incredibly, Joshua.

Before tossing it to commercial, Ryan let both Joshua and Erika know they were safe.

After the break, Mary J. Blige, this week's guest mentor, showed them how it was done by performing her latest single, "Why." She's the quintessential professional, and the contestants would be wise to emulate her singing and performance skills in weeks to come. [MARY J. BLIGE'S PERFORMANCE]

Put on the spot about which of the remaining four should be leaving, Steven said Jeremy but refused to elaborate. Then, ready to deliver final results, Ryan walked right up to Jermaine to get in his face. Jermaine asked him, "What does that card say?"

"Safe," Ryan said.

The girl who safe for another week, Ryan said, was Shannon. Whoa. Ryan brought Elise and Jeremy up to the front and asked Randy, "Did America get this right?" Randy said, "Not exactly right but probably." Over the break the judges would decide who should stay. [RESULTS FOR BOTTOM FOUR]

Jennifer was the one to present the decision, and she seemed unhappy about it. She said, "We've come to the decision that we're going to save Elise." End of the road for Jeremy, who had been one of the judges' wild card picks last week.

After his final montage, Ryan asked Jeremy what he'll miss the most, and he said everything, pretty much. No swan song for him because of the additional drama with the judges' pick. [JUDGES' PICK]

Did the judges get it right? Between the two they were given, definitely. Jeremy is a nice guy, and his tone is beautiful, but he has a lot of growing to do. If he had stayed in the competition, he probably would have continued to deliver competent yet unexciting ballads. He needs to find the passion in his performance.

Elise might not have been comfortable with Whitney Houston, but in the season so far, she's already shown that she has enormous potential. She's going to have to be more careful, though, about how she reacts to criticism: American viewers tend to prefer the finalists be gracious, rather than reacting with irritation. And swearing, like she did in the backstage interview the previous night (it got bleeped) is definitely not going to win her more fans! My best advice to her: don't hang onto bitterness and disappointment, but go forward determined to do your best and, above all, to have fun.

Moral:
The judges don't always decide things based on emotion.



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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
teaberryblue
Mar. 9th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
I am not a big country fan but I love Skylar so much! There is no comparison between her and Lauren.

I also love just how much feedback we're hearing from Jimmy this year.

I got the feeling that the judges were expecting it to be Shannon and Jeremy and that they would have sent Shannon home. Jeremy is a tough one-- he's extremely talented but he has about zero stage presence, which makes it hard to choose him over someone like Elise who is a born performer. And when someone was in America's bottom two two weeks in a row, the judges know that America isn't going to suddenly start voting for him, so sending him home makes sense.

girlfmkitty
Mar. 9th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
I changed the channel with Lauren Alaina came on. *shudders*

I heard Tommy Hilfiger has signed on as wardrobe consultant for Idol. Please, please, please, let him help Erika because, Lord have mercy, an enemy is styling her for sure. WTF did she have on?!
teaberryblue
Mar. 9th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
I DID MY DISHES WHEN LAUREN ALAINA CAME ON.
lawchicky
Mar. 9th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
Not a surprise, but I'd have rather seen Shannon go this week. Her performance was cringeworthy.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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