Following that, Tommy Hilfiger was introduced as the incoming style consultant for this season. He pointed to previous contestant Adam Lambert as a style success and promised to transform this year's contestants.
Ryan revealed that the judges will once again get an opportunity to save one of the contestants, which will be in effect until the Top 5.
Erika and Shannon await results
This year's Ford commercial had half the group as paranormal investigators looking into a house "haunted" by the other half, to the song "Ghost Town." At the end, the ghosties left the house and became real.
First called to center stage to hear results were Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone and Joshua Ledet. Again, mentor Jimmy Iovine had recorded his comments about the performances. About Phillip, who had a painful medical procedure this week and rehearsed and performed anyway, Jimmy said, "He went far beyond the call of duty" and he was really proud of him. About Skylar, Jimmy said, "I have a lot of faith in Skylar." He thinks she's better than her performance last night, and he hadn't been excited about the song. He predicted she'd stay. Jimmy said that Elise "killed this song." He said there's a resurgence in "blue-eyed soul" right now and that she's positioned to fit right in. He said that she "blew my mind" and predicted she'd stay. About Joshua, Jimmy said, "You don't sing that song much better than that" and that Percy Sledge had called up and said he loved it.
Ryan paused to read an excerpt from an e-mail from Percy Sledge, where he said that Joshua got a 10 from him. Joshua was the first to be told to "pack your bags... for the summer tour." He was in the Top 10. Phillip was also safe. Either Elise or Skylar was in the bottom three... Elise. Wow. Skylar was safe.
Performing "Give Your Heart a Break," Demi Lovato took the stage. She gets credit in my book for concentrating on the vocals and on the emotion of the song rather than all the flash and dazzle of today's typical pop stars. She did have some problems with pitch, however. [DEMI LOVATO'S PERFORMANCE]
Next to hear results were Colton Dixon, Shannon Magrane, DeAndre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez. About DeAndre, Jimmy said maybe the song wasn't the best choice, but he wanted to explain the selection process. The singer comes in with three songs and if one of them sounds good, they go with it. If they don't sound good, the mentors suggest a song. Jimmy thought that DeAndre did great in rehearsal but did not deliver during the live show. About Colton, Jimmy agreed that the song wasn't the best choice. "Sometimes we get it right; sometimes we get it wrong." He predicted Colton would appear in the middle of the pack. About Shannon, Jimmy said, "Unfortunately, she pushed too hard last night. When she pushes, she shows her weaknesses." About Jessica, Jimmy supported Jessica's choice to sing an upbeat song and pinpointed the problem of her less than stellar performance. He said that when she screamed she lost her breath, which cost her her rhythm. He predicted she'd stick around: "If she goes home, we should all go home."
Starting off with Colton, Ryan said, "Obscure song choice? Unfortunately, my friend, that has cost you... being away from your family this summer." He's going on tour. Ryan loves to mess with Colton. DeAndre looked nervous, especially when Ryan told him to hang on for a second and put Jessica through. Then it was down to DeAndre and Shannon, one of whom was in the bottom three. DeAndre was safe and looked shocked. He gave Shannon a hug. Cut away to Heejun making a prayerful gesture with his hands. Wonder what he was thinking?
Season 5 contestant Chris Daughtry returned with his band Daughtry to perform their latest single, "Outta My Head." His voice is perfectly suited for the sort of rock he and his band perform: with just a little vibrato on the end of his notes. Great performance. Welcome back, Chris. [DAUGHTRY PERFORMANCE]
Next, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han and Hollie Cavanaugh were brought center stage for results. About Hollie, Jimmy said, "I gave Hollie straight A's last night." He predicted she'd do great in the competition, and the only thing he critiqued was the dress: "They dress her so old. She's only 18." About Heejun, Jimmy said, "There's going to be an Asian pop music explosion." He thought that Heejun has boxed himself in with the type of songs he sings and that he needs to do something different or people will get bored. About Erika, Jimmy said, "There's a trap on 'American Idol,' and it's oversinging." He said that she'd sunk into that. And he took issue with Randy calling his arrangement "jerky."
Dim the lights. Time for the news. Hollie learned she was going on the tour; she was safe. Then it was between Heejun and Erika, one of whom would be in the bottom three. Guess who? Yes, Erika. Cutaway to Heejun's mom in the audience practically in tears as she clapped.
Ryan sought the judges' response to the bottom three. Jennifer Lopez said she wasn't happy because of Elise's performance. Steven Tyler agreed and rambled off about the importance of song choice. He agreed that Elise nailed it last night. Ryan said he'd send one to safety right now: Elise.
Finally, it was time to find out who was going on tour and who was at risk of going home. The person going on tour was Erika. All right, America! I was resigned to seeing Erika go because she's too similar to Elise, and sometimes that spells doom. (Ask Jennifer Hudson about the dangers of vote splitting).
Shannon got another chance to sing to save her life, powering through "One Sweet Day" again, and Hollie looked torn up as she watched her. Jessica also looked concerned for her, and Heejun broke down in tears as he watched. I bet she was well loved by the other contestants: she seems like a really nice girl.
Would the judges use their one save on her? Of course not. Randy delivered the news. Watching the good-bye montage in her honor, Shannon laughed along at the funny moments but seemed uncomfortable (which is natural). Ryan gave her one last chance to thank her fans, and she said that "It feels so good standing on this stage." [SHANNON SINGS FOR HER LIFE]
Why was it Shannon's time to go? Viewers were willing to give her a pass for one faltering performance last week, but this week's uneven performance failed to redeem her. She has a lot of potential and a lot of growing to do before she'll truly be ready for the big time.
You can only get so far on potential.