They warned us that another shock was going to rock Idol, and they weren’t kidding. After 53 million votes were counted — the most of the season so far — the Top 7 became the Top 6 on Wednesday night.
But first, the contestants performed Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” and they debuted their new Ford music video, “Stars.” Then, Ryan got right to the results, calling Joshua and Hollie to center stage.
On Wednesday, Joshua sang Fantasia’s “I Believe,” and Jennifer said she feels “blessed” that he’s in the competition. Randy called him “one of the most gifted singers that we’ve ever seen on this show.” For his second song, Joshua chose Sam Cooke’s civil rights anthem, “A Change is Gonna Come,” and Steven said his “voice just climbs inside of everybody and changes them for that moment.”
Hollie sang Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” and Steven told her she “finally did what all of America was waiting for you to do,” and he said that she “ruffled her feathers a little.” Jennifer said she “felt every word.” For her second song, Hollie picked “Son of a Preacher Man,” and Randy said she “worked it out.” Jennifer thought it was even better than her first song.
As for Jimmy, he thought Joshua “did himself a lot of good” on Wednesday. “He stayed in his sweet spot. He was very, very comfortable,” Jimmy said, adding that Joshua “could end up in the finale, he’s that good.” As for Hollie, Jimmy said she “came out of her shell,” but he wasn’t sure her “good” performance would keep her out of the bottom three — or get her to the finale.
After 53 million votes were counted, Ryan announced that Joshua was safe, and Hollie was in the bottom three.
The contestants then took a break as former Idol winner Kris Allen returned to sing “The Vision of Love,” his first single from his upcoming album, “Thank You Camellia.” Then, Ryan called Skylar and Elise to center stage.
On performance night, Skylar sang a country version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” and Jennifer told her, “It was perfect for you again.” Randy said she’s “so beyond ready.” For her second song, Skylar chose “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and Steven compared her to “a wild horse who refuses to be tamed.” Randy added that it’s a party every time she comes onstage.
Elise performed “No One” by Alicia Keys, and Steven wasn’t crazy about the song choice, but he called her performance “delicious.” Jennifer said that she got her “first goosies of the night.” For her second song, Elise sang “Let’s Get It On,” and while Steven thought she showed her “versatility,” he thinks she needs to “take it up a notch.” Randy told her that the song “wasn’t really right for your voice.”
As for Jimmy, he noted that Skylar and Elise both sang Marvin Gaye songs, but “Skylar delivered, and Elise fell flat.”
“‘Let’s Get It On’ caused a baby boom,” Jimmy said. “Last night there was no baby boom. Because of that choice of song, I think Elise will be spending time in her vacation home in the bottom three if not going home.” As for Skylar, he called her “the little engine that could get in the finale,” adding, “every week she gets better . . . in my opinion she’s the best performer we’ve got.”
After a nationwide vote, Elise was in the bottom three, and Skylar was safe.
Next, LMFAO gave a colorful performance of “Sorry for Party Rocking” (dancing zebra included), and Ryan paid tribute to his mentor Dick Clark. “His spirit will live on forever, especially in music,” Ryan said fondly.
Next, Ryan called Phillip, Colton, and Jessica to center stage.
On Wednesday, Phillip sang Usher’s “You Got It Bad,” and Steven said it was so good he “felt like a chump.” Jennifer was also impressed, swooning, “That was so sexy.” For his second song, Phillip performed “In the Midnight Hour,” and Randy loved how the audience can “feel his emotion every time.” Steven called it “brilliantly awkward.”
Colton performed Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” and Steven wasn’t sure what he loved more: “your outfit, your band, or this set on Idol.” Randy said he was at a “Colton Dixon concert.” Jennifer called it an “exciting performance,” even though he lost them a bit during some parts. For his second song, Colton chose Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” and Steven said he loves Colton’s voice, but he needs to “find the just right song.” Jennifer wasn’t sure it was “the perfect performance.”
Jessica sang Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’,” and Steven loved how she got “mad” at the song. Jennifer admired the way she “plays with songs, like juggling balls in the air.” For her second song, she performed Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness,” and Jennifer liked how Jessica got a little bit of her alter ego BB Chez in there but said she has to start connecting. “Just the voice is not gonna do it, because when it comes to voice, you it,” she said. Randy agreed, telling her, “Where you grow is connecting emotion with the lyric. You can sing like nobody’s business.”
Jimmy said a “light went on” when he was watching Jessica perform on Wednesday. “This girl is singing songs that are too old for her — people are not going to relate. I should have caught that earlier.” To get in the finale, she has to “go back and make sure she has songs that are appropriate for her age,” he added.
As for Phillip, Jimmy said he “bought” the Usher song completely, but “In the Midnight Hour” was “take it or leave it — just a pass.” However, he predicted that Phillip “should be in the finale.”
Colton, however, got it “completely wrong” on “Bad Romance,” Jimmy said. “The way he looked, positioned himself, moved, sang . . . I was stunned. It was somewhere between 1985, Billy Idol on MTV ‘TRL’ to ‘Spider-Man’ on Broadway. He can come back . . . I think last night was a real problem in order for Colton to be in the finale.”
After a nationwide vote, Jessica and Phillip were safe, but Colton joined Hollie and Elise in the bottom three. Asked if America got it right, Randy said, “I don’t think it was one of Colton’s better nights, but, God, I don’t know.”
But the biggest shock was yet to come. Among the final three, the contestant with the least number of votes was Colton, meaning his Idol journey had come to an end.
Colton had never even been in the bottom three before, so what happened? “You know, I need to apologize,” he said. “I wasn’t myself last night, and I get it, and I appreciate what you told me last night. I’ll take that when I’m making a record.”
“You have a huge career ahead of you,” Randy promised.