I love the 80s! These were my formative years and the music helped to shape me! Let’s see what the contestants bring to the 80s party…plus – I am totally rocking a side ponytail and a neon pink off the shoulder top while taking in tonight’s episode! Just kidding…maybe!
The show opens with Mister Mister’s Broken Wings as they show Heejun’s farewell from the show. The contestants will be singing a solo song as well as guy/girl duets.
DeAndre Brackensick (I Like It) DeBarge – Gwen states that he is the full package but he needs to own it. Shake out the nerves and get it done. When I first heard DeAndre sing he reminded me of El DeBarge. They both have beautiful falsetto’s. This was a great song choice. It has a great groove and he can show off the lows and highs and perform for the crowd. This is definitely one of his better performances. Good job.
Elise Testone (I Want to Know What Love Is) Foreigner – Elise was going to sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Gwen and Tony got gooseys when they heard her sing the Foreigner song, so she went with that one. This is a definitive 80s song – and it fits right in her wheelhouse. I love the rasp that she has in the verses, the chorus is great like Gwen stated, but I really enjoyed how she got right in the pocket during the verses. Nice job.
Skylar and Colton (Islands In The Stream) Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers – this is an odd duo but their voices work surprisingly well together. The thing that makes duets so awesome is the chemistry between the people singing the song, and though their voices fit nicely – there was no chemistry between them.
Phillip Phillips (That’s All) Genesis – Gwen and Tony thought this would be the perfect song for him but he was not fully prepared to perform in rehearsal. It looks like his brother-in-law is actually there on stage with him. This is a good song for him, but he seems less connected to it than he has been to his other songs. I am glad he took the mentor’s suggestion of not playing the guitar during the bridge, that was my favorite bit of the song. Just meh for me.
Hollie and DeAndre (I’m So Excited) Pointer Sisters – this is a weird song, I didn’t even really like it in the 80s…it’s good to see Hollie not sing a ballad, though. So – shock of shocks – they both sound really good on this song. It is good to see her lighten up and her red pumps were amazing!
Joshua Ledet (If You Don’t Know Me By Now) Simply Red – the original was performed by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes in the 70s. This is a wonderful song choice for him. ”The song he chose is really, really good for him,” Gwen Stefani says. Jimmy is with him on the song 100% and threatens to sell “Holy Ghost” t-shirts! He is channeling Teddy Pendergrass (the originator of this song) more than Mick Hucknall of Simply Red, but he is doing the damn thing. This is an absolutely killer performance. Emotions were kept in check and he just did what he was supposed to do.
Jessica Sanchez (How Will I Know) Whitney Houston – more Whitney from Jessica. The last time she did a bit of an up-tempo song, I was disappointed (Turn the Beat Around). Let’s see what she does with this one. ”She’s going to nail it,” Gwen says. “It’s going to be awesome.” Jessica says that her alter ego BB Chez is going to come and perform. Jessica is rocking the side ponytail like me! This song goes a long way to remind us that she is only 16. It is a fun song and she is singing it to death. She redeemed her up-tempo status, and she also gets props for amazing shoes! Great performance.
Elise and Phillip (Stop Dragging My Heart Around) Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty – I am fairly certain I have never heard this song before. After hearing Elise sing with Stevie Nicks last week – I knew it would only be a matter of time before she sang something Stevie sang. Elise shines in this song. She was better than Phillip, she straight up out-sang him.
Hollie Cavanagh (Flashdance: What A Feeling) Irene Cara – this is a weird mix of a song. Starts as a ballad and then adds the up-tempo. After a delay for technical difficulties, she starts the slow bit. She is strong as usual…but as soon as the tempo came up – she lost pitch. She seems to do that a lot. It is pretty frustrating because she has an amazing voice. She brings it together at the end, but too little too late.
Jessica and Joshua (I Knew You Were Waiting) Aretha Franklin/George Michael – these two have chemistry plus! They are singing to each other as well as the audience. This is a big song and these two are doing it! This might be the best performance of the night and it isn’t even judged!
Colton Dixon (Time After Time) Cyndi Lauper – Gwen thought it was a strange song choice until she heard him sing it – then she thought it was great. He takes a very rock approach to the song, leaving the pop ballad behind. The thing that I like about Colton is that you know the kind of artist he is going to be and though he is not the best vocalist in the competition, I can see him selling records and having a nice career.
Skylar Laine (Wind Beneath My Wings) Bette Midler – Skylar was going to sing 9 to 5 (I kind of wish the mentors liked it better) but she and they chose Wind. This song is the cheesiest of cheeses…Skylar will have to do a lot to make me want to listen to this song. She took this song back to the country and she really does an amazing job with it. She blew me away! I like her singing ballads, she should stick a few more in her repertoire.
Tonight was another good night. I think Hollie and Phillip and maybe Elise (though I thought she did a good job tonight) will be in the bottom.
Tomorrow night Kellie Pickler (Season 5) and The Wanted perform.