Ryan began the show by paying tribute to the legendary Dick Clark who passed away today at the age of 82 from a massive heart attack.
The theme tonight is the top 7 "now" and "then". Now consists of songs from 2010 to today, and then is motown songs from back in the day.
Hollie Cavanagh sang Rolling in the Deep by Adele-- I agree with all the judges being positive about this performance from Hollie because it was much better than what she's done lately. However, Adele has been a bit overdone lately by singers on reality shows, and I wonder if that special thing about singing an Adele song has worn away. If only Hollie could approach every performance and every song the way that she sang this, she'd be all set.
Colton Dixon sang Bad Romance by Lady Gaga-- Randy compared his performance to being at a Colton Dixon concert. Both Randy and Jennifer agreed that he has consistently been in the zone. Steven loved his outfit, the band, and the arrangement. Colton said that singing "Bad Romance" was out of the box for him. I didn't love that song selection for him, but I cannot deny that it was still a strong performance.
Elise Testone sang No One by Alicia Keys-- Jennifer loved how she came alive with the song. Steven said she sang her "tushy" off, and Randy agreed saying it was a good performance. This was a great song choice for Elise, but I didn't necessarily like the changes she made to the arrangement. This is the type of song that you keep with the original.
Phillip Phillips sang U Got it Bad by Usher-- Praise the Lord for Phillip Phillips! This performance was magical from beginning to end. Steven said we never know what we're gonna get with you, that was great. Jennifer called the performance sexy, and said that it showed his versatility. Randy said you're a true artist, you come up and try to be original every week, but most importantly, you're always you; you're the bomb.
Jessica Sanchez sang Fallin by Alicia Keys-- The judges all praised this performance, calling it brilliant and everything else. But, for some reason, I didn't love that Jessica Sanchez performance, it was very nasal, and parts of it were over exaggerated. I hope she didn't put a nail in her Idol coffin.
Skylar Laine sang Born This Way by Lady Gaga-- Jennifer thought it was the perfect song for her and an amazing performance. Steven said you're giving the other girls in this competition a run for their money. He said she has crossover appeal. Randy agreed with Steven's comment saying that she is ready now. That to me is what you call a superstar performance. I loved it.
Joshua Ledet sang I Believe by Fantasia-- Joshua really got me with that performance, he had me in tears, and Randy is right, he is one of the most gifted singers that has ever been on the show. Wow! Jennifer said you leave it all on the stage every time, I feel blessed you're in this competition and we get to watch you. Steven said, you're just so good, there's nothing to say anymore.
Hollie Cavanagh sang Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield-- Randy said Hollie worked it out with this performance. Jen and Randy agreed that this was better than her first performance. Steven told her to push even more. I actually preferred her other performance to this one.
Colton Dixon sang September by Earth, Wind & Fire-- Steven thinks Colton's voice is more powerful than that song was. Jen liked the arrangement and felt he did make it his own, but she didn't think it came together how it usually does for him. Randy didn't think it was as exciting as it should have been. For me, it was on par with his other performance, it wasn't as good as I've seen him, but it was strong nonetheless.
Elise Testone sang Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye-- Jen wants her to show more emotion, heart, and soul. Steven liked how it showed her versatility but felt that she needed to take it up a notch. Randy didn't think that was the right song for her voice. I agree with all the judges' comments, especially Jennifer's comments about vulnerability
Phillip Phillips sang Wait til the Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett-- Randy said, we feel your emotion every week. Jennifer said she wants to go up and dance with Phillip. She likes that everything he does is spontaneous and from the soul. Steven called him brilliantly awkward and loves his character. Two awesome performances tonight by Phillip; he really tapped into a special place tonight, and I am in love all over again.
Jessica Sanchez sang Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding-- Steven likes that she has stepped out. Jen said we need to keep pushing you, cause vocally, "you it". Randy said it's about emotion, the public connects with the emotion. So, in a nutshell, this young lady has vocal talent written all over her, she's a prodigy essentially, but now where she needs to move forward is with her performance quality because right now, Phillip, Skylar, and Joshua have her beat in that area.
Skylar Laine sang I Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye-- Randy said you and Phillip have no problem just coming out and doing what you do. Jen said we love your spunky-ness. Steven said you're a wild horse that refuses to be tamed, you're something else. I love Skylar and I agree with Ryan saying she is singing like she has plans for the finale. Skylar is just all heart, and she knows fully who she is.
Joshua Ledet sang A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke-- Steven said he has stretched his voice to the limits of soul. Your voice climbs inside people and changes them for the moment. Jen begged America not to send Joshua home. Randy said this song was perfect for you, you held back and then you let it go. I am speechless, there are no words for what Joshua does every week, it's just amazing.
I think Elise and Jessica are in some trouble, I think Skylar, Phillip, and Joshua were stellar, so people need to pick up the phone and vote for those three.