It was ’80s night on Wednesday’s episode of American Idol. But did it matter that most of the top eight weren’t old enough to even to sing a note when their song choices were popular?
Not if you’re Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez or Skylar Laine.
As the competitors face elimination Thursday night, Ledet, Sanchez and Laine should easily be safeguarded. Ledet (singing Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”) and Sanchez (tackling Whitney Houston‘s “How Will I Know”) brought predictably excellent performances, with judges giving Ledet another standing ovation and praising Sanchez for her “powerhouse vocals.”
But Laine, who was in the bottom three last week, really turned things around. And her performance was all the more remarkable considering she stepped out of her comfort zone (country music) to tackle Bette Midler’s epic ballad “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
Even Jennifer Lopez couldn’t hold back the waterworks. And Randy Jackson proclaimed it as her “performance on the show. Keep that big voice! Be all that you can be!”
But are the rest of the contestants experiencing mid-season fatigue? Each introductory segment showed them pining about the things they miss from home (family, pets, and if you’re Colton Dixon, your face-painting job). And the first hour featured lackluster performances from Deandre Brackensick, who stuck to his trademark falsetto style, and Elise Testone, who was criticized for her take on Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” “I wasn’t sure if that was the right song for you tonight, baby,” Steven Tyler said.
If there is one contestant who seems to be on the way out, it’s Hollie Cavanagh, who was also in the bottom three last week.
After performing “What a Feeling” from the Flashdance soundtrack, Tyler noted that her “pitch was all over the place,” while Lopez thought she appeared too stiff. “You have to let it go,” she said.
But perhaps the most important tell: hardly any of the audience members reacted with roaring boos to the judges’ negative remarks.
Who do you think gave it their all on ’80s night? Tell us in the comments below!