With Jermaine Jones and Shannon Magrane leaving the show last week, we’re down to 10. And what a crappy 10 it’s been so far overall. The first two weeks of the American Idol finals have been wildly disappointing. The performances haven’t been all that good and the song choices have been befuddling at times. I hope it gets better this week as the crew is performing the songbook of one William Joel, who you know better as Billy Joel.

Jenny Lo is looking mighty hippy today. And I like it.

Diddy is helping Jimmy Iovine mentor the contestants. Hmmm. Can we get a Diddy and Jenny Lo reunion? Tommy Hilfiger is helping out with the style. To shorten this show, I will be fastforwarding through all the Tommy Hilfiger segments. You probably will be too.

DeAndre Brackensick is hitting leadoff singing Only The Good Die Young. He sounds really generic when he can’t sing in his falsetto. He looked like he was having fun and he let his hair down, figuratively and literally, but it wasn’t super impressive. Steven says it was happy. Jenny Lo says it was good and it showcased who he was. Randall says it didn’t wow him but it was okay.

Erika Van Pelt is singing New York State Of Mind. Diddy tells her to pay respect to the song and hold back and not over-sing. Holy cow, she’s dressed like a chubby Pink with black hair. I don’t think I had a problem with it. But she made the song a bit boring. Even people who don’t like Billy Joel would never say he was boring. Randall loves the short hair and the vocals as well, but he wanted her to show off more at the end. Jenny Lo says she needs to up her performance game to match her vocal game. Steven says she put personality in it and she wore it like beautiful.

Joshua Ledet is singing She’s Got a Way. I think I’m most interested to hear him sing tonight. He has to be flexible if he wants to win this show. I know he needs to put his own stank on it, but it just wasn’t as enjoyable as Joel’s version. It was lacking charm too. He looked to be too worried about getting the song right than just having fun while performing. Jenny Lo says she didn’t feel that he was connected to the lyrics. Steven says he made it come to life and he sang the sweat out of it. Randall says it was a half/half performance and agreed with both Steven and Jenny Lo.

Skylar Laine is singing Shameless. I think Diddy wishes he had a country version of Dream and would put Skylar in that group. The song was a bit boring to me again and I’m not sure if I just don’t see them doing the songs justice, or I’m just not fans of some of them yet. Randall says it wasn’t her best but it was pretty good. Jenny Lo says by the end of the performance she had the entire audience with her. Steven says she breathed life into it even though she was a little pitchy.

Elise Testone is singing Vienna and Jimmy thinks it’s a bad idea to sing a song many people won’t know, especially since she did a good job and was still in the bottom three last week. I now know who Elise reminds me of. None other than Droopy Dog. If I was Arsenio Hall right now, I’d slap my own hand for being a bad host. And Elise would’ve kicked my ass because she gave a pretty darn good performance. It’s my favorite of the night so far. I still don’t dig that raspy voice all that much, but she was original and likable tonight. Steven says the melody was brilliant. Jenny Lo says it was really beautiful. Randall says it was her moment.

Phillip Phillips is performing Moving Out. Diddy is a fantastic at trying to get these kids out of their shells. Phil has his own wacky charm and it generally works. He’s far more like Taylor Hicks in his movements and soul than he is like David Cook. I thought he smoked his performance tonight. Jenny Lo says he is who he is and he has to be who he is. That was Paula-like. Steven says he Phillips Phillips’d it. Randall says it’s one of the best renditions of the song ever.

Hollie Cavanagh is up next with Honesty. My issue with her is that her singing comes off stiff and soulless even though it’s clear she has a nice voice. She was pretty boring and a bit overly dramatic. Steven says it was good, but she was pitchy. Jenny Lo says she needed to nail the notes better. Randall says the choruses were great but the verses were pitchy.

Heejun Han is singing My Life. Yikes, this might have karaoke written all over it. This performance was the most fun and entertaining performance of the whole season. I’m sort of confused and don’t know if it was actually good, but the kid understands how to entertain people. And he reminds me so much of my buddy Albert Mangay (@afilmsnob). Jenny Lo says it was a breath of fresh air. Steven says he should take it a little more seriously. Randall says it was entertaining even though there were still vocal problems.

Jessica Sanchez is next with Everybody Has A Dream. Diddy said that he didn’t believe her when she was singing and Jimmy made her sing it to him. The beginning of the performance was a bit slow to get going, but she knocked it out of the park near the tail end. I still think she’s the most talented vocalist in this game. Steven says thank you for letting him hear hear sing. Jenny Lo says it was her defining song and it defines her as living the dream. Randall says she’s flawless and it was perfect.

Colton Dixon is closing the show with Piano Man. Oof, he has his work cut out for him. Let’s hope he doesn’t dance on the piano. I think the young females will like this version, but it was too whiny and emo for me. If Edward The Vampire could play piano, this is the version he’d sing. Jenny Lo says she would buy his record. Steven says he’s a great musician and great singer. Randall says to stay an individual and he loved it.

I’d say this was probably the best show of the first three weeks of the finals. Part of it is because of the songbook. Part of it is because I think the contestants now have the hang of the live audience and are starting to get into a rhythm.

Top 3
1. Jessica Sanchez
2. Phillip Phillips
3. Elise Testone

Bottom 3
1. DeAndre Brackensick
2. Hollie Cavanagh
3. Erika Van Pelt

Seacrest out!

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