One of the best things about the results shows on "American Idol" -- besides the anticipation of losing another contestant and getting one episode closer to crowning another Idol -- is the guest artists that come on the show. This week it was the Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen (half of the Top 6 finalist's songs came from their songbook) and their newly assembled Queen Extravaganza. There was also Katy Perry and Season 10 finalist Stefano Langone, but they would come later -- musical afterthoughts in the presence the legendary Queen.
The Queen Extravaganza hit the stage with a guy singling lead at a piano that eerily resembled the legendary Freddie Mercury (possibly done with make-up?) when he was healthy. And although his vocals weren't exactly like Mercury's, they were close enough for "Somebody To Love," the song the fan-chosen group performed for the "American Idol" audience. At what looked to be song's end, Brian May and Roger Taylor -- and another singer -- appeared and rocked the theatre for another minute or more.
The Extravaganza will be touring this summer...
Then it was time to get down to business. Host Ryan Seacrest called Jessica Sanchez and Elise Testone to mid-stage. Mentor Jimmy Iovine critiqued the performances, noting that Sanchez' Queen choice of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was simply a "mistake," while her second choice, Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father" was a winner. He panned both of Testone's songs (Queen's "I Want It All" and Jimi Hendrix's "Bold As Love," saying she doubled down on bad song choices. Apparently America felt the same because Testone was sent to the Silver Stools of Uncertainty to await her fate.
Then Seacrest talked to Casey Abrams, who was eliminated on the Top 6 results show a year ago. Advice for the contestants? When on tour, he said, watch out for pranks. Then Seacrest introduced Stefano Langone, who premiered his new song, "I'm On A Roll," which was released Tuesday. It was upbeat, bouncy, and had the obligatory rap break (New Boyz and Rock Mafia) that all songs seem to have to have these days. In short, Langone showed how he got all the way to seventh in Season 10. He could very well have a hit on his hands.
Afterward, it was Joshua Ledet and Hollie Cavanagh to center stage. Iovine wondered if Cavanagh didn't subconsciously choose her Queen number, "Save Me," but she did a "good job." Her second song, Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" he thought was a "good choice" and he hoped it wasn't "too little too late." Ledet got two standing ovations from the judges the night before and Iovine continued the verbal accolades. He said Ledet sung with "intelligence" and could end up in the season finale. America was with Iovine's and Cavanagh went to sit beside Testone.
Katy Perry then performed "Part Of Me," her first song from the deluxe edition of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, which is the original double-platinum Teenage Dream album with seven bonus tracks. "Part of Me" also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Seacrest got Skylar Laine and Phillip Phillips to join him center stage next. Iovine said Laine's "The Show Must Go On" was competent but her rendition of Jason Aldean's "Tattoos On This Town" was "self-indulgent" and "didn't cut the mustard." As for Phillips, Iovine, who has said Phillips would probably be in the finale, found his version of Queen's "Fat-Bottomed Girls" was short of "character." He thought his cover of Dave Matthews' "The Stone" was a mistake. "What he did left an opening for someone other than Phillip to be in the final," he asserted. Perhaps, but America put Laine in the Bottom Three.
Seacrest then called the other two girls over to mid-stage. He told them he was going to make them two and then sent Skylar Laine back to the safety of the couch.
After the break, he read the decision. Out of 58 million votes cast, Elise Testone had the least.
But she should have expected it. She had been there four times previous to the Top 6 results show. Professional oddsmakers (Bovada.com) had her and Cavanagh tied with the worst odds in the competition. Power rankings lists had her and Cavanagh at the bottom of their lists. All in all, it was a great run for her, given the number of times she was nearly sent home.
And if they stay that way, the Top 5 results are not looking promising for Hollie Cavanagh.
At least, Elise Testone went out with her best song. She performed Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," by far her best performance during her run.
(photo credit: mtanne, Creative Commons)