American Idol Top 10 Recap: Hollie Cavanagh, Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips take on Billy Joel

Jane Lasky's picture

When the American Idol 2012 top 10 came back to perform after last week's drama when Jermaine Jones was eliminated by the producers because of an active criminal record, all had to reground and get ready to sing from the amazing songbook of veteran musician Billy Joel.

So, Hollie Cavanagh, Phillip Phillips, Heejun Han, Erika Van Pelt, Elise Testone, DeAndre Brackensick, Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon grappled with various tunes from veteran musician Billy Joe multi-faceted song book.

There to help the AI top 10 were P Diddy as guest mentor and, of course, Jimmy Iovine, who assisted in making each song the best it could be. Designer Tommy Hilfiger was there to reinvent each of the American Idol contestant's performance looks before each of these talents came out to warble The Piano Man's tunes.

Up first to sing and then be judged was DeAndre Brackensick who took on Only The Good Die Young. He did so after being told by Tommy Hilfiger that he should tone down his wild hairdo and after Jimmy Iovine told him to put on a grin.

Second to take the American Idol stage was Erika Van Pelt, who chose New York State of Mind, a Billy Joel anthem. Erika was rather radically changed from the Erika of yore because after Mister Hilfiger asked what she wanted to look like and she said the pop star, Pink, well he was all over it, switching up this talent's hair from its former blonde locks to a short style that was turned into what can be described as purple on black. As for P Diddy, well he wanted this gritty singer to get even more gritty by toning down and getting really raw.

The third contestant to use his pipes to croon a Billy Joel tune is arguably last week's best contestant, Joshua Ledet. He was instructed to put on a tux by Hilfiger, which is not something this young guy was sure was a sartorial statement he wanted to go with. But then again he was singing a song--She's Got A Way--that he never heard before in his life, either.

Skylar Lane took the American Idol top 10 contestant number four spot, up on the AI stage to sing Shameless. P Diddy urged her to stop over thinking the song which she did to great effect.

As for Elise Testone, who has consistently been in the bottom three, she had to up her game with the tune Vienna. She tried, but whether she succeeded was up in the air after she took in what the AI critics had to say. Many fans are saying she nailed her song.

Meanwhile, number 6 to sing was rocker Phillip Phillips who warbled the Billy Joel tune, Movin' Out. Despite the fact that both P Diddy and Tommy Hilfiger wanted to reinvent this very strong individual, Phil, who is odds on the one to win AI for this season, stuck to what he knows best: Being an original. And so, as he took the stage and belted out his requisite tune, he was as good a Phillip Phillips as ever.

One of the fan favorites, Hollie Cavanagh, sparkled in position number seven with Honesty while wearing a midriff baring sweater suit to try and grow a younger image, something she's been hoping to do for a couple of weeks now. This British contestant was complimented by Steven Tyler for this switch up from her usual attire but she wasn't getting as many effusive reviews about how she sang on Wednesday as is typical of this big talent. In fact, Hollie received lots of constructive criticism, which she acknowledged and she said she appreciated.

Up next was Heejum Han, the colorful Korean contestant who had My Life as this week's assignment. He looked rather dapper in a formal tuxedo as he started to croon, but quickly told the piano player he "wants to dance," and then dumped the penguin suit jacket to really rock out.

Jessica Sanchez followed Han with Everyone Has A Dream. During rehearsal, P Diddy warned this belter that "less is more" and the 16-year-old San Diegan took that to heart, providing a stellar performance. All three judges--Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler--awarded this talented girl with a standing ovation.

That said, Colton Dixon was in the money spot as last singer up. After he trained his pipes to warble the Billy Joel anthem, Piano Man, he came on stage to actually play the piano and thus became AI's resident piano man for the evening. What a great way to pay homage to such a prolific and much beloved musician on the night when the writer who penned The Entertainer was on show in LA. and was being entertained by his own songs.

And so the American Idol top 10 took on Billy Joel with varying results. With that said, who will make the cut on Thurday's results show is anyone's guess as viewers make their decisions as to who should be voted off and who should stay put on the popular TV talent show.

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