They warned us to expect the unexpected, and they weren’t kidding! But before America gave us the shocker of the season, the Top 7 performed Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and debuted their new Ford music video (“Great Escape”). We also checked out some tweets of support from Kellie Pickler, Jazmine Sullivan, and Skylar Grey, who loved the contestants’ performances of their songs. Colton received a prom invitation from a fan, and Hollie was invited to a spring formal! Elise, meanwhile, received a pair of handcrafted feather earrings for herself and Steven.
Then it was time for the moment we’d all been waiting for: the results. Ryan called Hollie and Jessica to center stage.
On Wednesday, Hollie sang Pink’s “Perfect,” and Steven and Randy agreed that her performance “wasn’t perfect.” Jessica sang Jazmine Sullivan’s “Stuttering,” and Randy called it “superb” to the highest degree. “You slayed the biggest fish of the night,” he said.
Jimmy described both Hollie and Jessica as “two very good technical singers,” but “Hollie learned a lot of habits making her feel stiff and calculated,” while Jessica was “effortless.”
Dim the lights . . . after the nationwide vote, Ryan sent Hollie to start a group on the right side of the stage, and Jessica was sent to the opposite side of stage.
The two girls hung out there for a while as last year’s Idol finalist James Durbin performed “Higher Than Heaven” from his debut album, “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster.”
Next, Ryan called Phillip and Elise to center stage. On performance night, Elise sang Lady Gaga’s “You and I,” and Jennifer told her that there’s “nobody who can sing like you.” Steven said her performance was “genius,” and Randy admired her “dope vocals.”
Phillip sang Maroon 5′s “Give a Little More,” and Jennifer called it “a little bit underwhelming for the Phillip Phillips that I love.” Randy didn’t know if it was his “greatest.”
Jimmy summed up both Phillip and Elise as two singer-songwriters. “Singer-songwriters are usually character singers,” he explained. “They’re not technical singers. They have character in their voice, they don’t have gigantic range, but they have soul. Lyrics are other part of what they do,” he added, meaning that it can be odd to hear them singing other people’s songs.
“Phillip Phillips is influenced by Dave Matthews, so you end up with Dave Matthews singing a Maroon 5 song,” Jimmy said, predicting, “I believe he will be in the bottom three.”
As for Elise, Jimmy said that her version of “You and I” was “very technically correct,” but he didn’t think that it would be enough for her to pull herself out of the bottom three.
Dim the lights . . . after a nationwide vote, Phillip was sent to join Hollie, and Elise was sent to join Jessica as we heard from former Idol finalist (and Grammy and Oscar winner) Jennifer Hudson, who performed her song “Think Like a Man” with Ne-Yo.
Next, Ryan called Colton and Joshua to center stage. Joshua had performed Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby,” and Randy told him he had “the vocals, the performance . . . you were really in the zone.”
Colton sang the Skylar Grey version of “Love the Way You Lie,” and Jennifer said that she’s “always surprised by his approach to the notes.” Steven added that Colton “could have recorded that right now.”
Jimmy felt that Joshua and Colton both did well, but Joshua “really nailed it.” Colton had a “smaller song,” but it may have worked, because he “needed a poignant moment.”
Dim the lights . . . after a nationwide vote, Joshua was sent to join Jessica and Elise, and Colton was sent to join Hollie and Phillip.
On performance night, Skylar (the last contestant left waiting on the couch) sang Kellie Pickler’s “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You,” and Randy said she “could have a hit with a song like this.”
Jimmy said he was “floored” by her performance, but he added that he fears she could be left behind in this competition. “She is a pro” he said. “She’s a singer-songwriter and a technical singer. She should not be in the bottom three.”
After a nationwide vote, Ryan announced that Skylar was safe. He told her to join Hollie, Phillip, and Colton — meaning that Elise, Jessica, and Joshua were in the bottom three.
“I’m gonna get a new flat-screen — I’m not sure mine’s working,” Jimmy said. “That shouldn’t be the bottom three!” Jimmy, who had predicted that Phillip and Hollie would be standing there along with Elise, wasn’t the only one who was shocked by the results.
“In 11 seasons I’ve never seen this happen,” Randy said. “This is a ridiculous bottom three.” Steven declared that judges were going to “use our [save] card tonight.”
Then Ryan announced that Joshua was safe. And the person at risk of going home was Jessica. Just as Jessica was starting to sing for her life, Randy, Jennifer, and Steven walked onstage to interrupt her.
“We are saving Jessica without any doubt,” Randy said. “This girl is one of the best singers in America. Are you kidding me? Everybody please vote for the best!”
So the judges have used their one save of the season. Can Jessica sing her way out of the bottom three? We’ll find out next week, when the Top 7 perform again!