American Idol recap: '80s Night and the Feeling's Right

The Top 8 perform solos and duets; Randy switches his catchphrase from "in it to win it" to "gotta have it"
Ep. 25 | Aired Apr 4, 2012

BABY YOU COULD NEVER LOOK ME IN THE EYE Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips buckle with the weight of the words as they channel Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.


I was about to claim that I was the "biggest fan" of this Elise/Phillip performance, but then I watched it again and realized the contents of the Idol stage's Stock Photography Come To Life Oval (partially pictured, right) would put me to shame.

I'm a sucker for a big ol' cheesy Idol moment, so even though I firmly believe that Skylar Laine's cover of Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" would not have seemed so majestic if she had sung, say, third, I'm still listing her solo first because she worked those vocals -- giving a little, taking a little, and letting her poor rhinestone-studded heart break a little. The swelling finish to the song was a truly satisfying end to the story of this episode.

Clearly the producers put her last because of her bottom three scare last week. Jennifer Lopez, who gets goosies from even thinking about the movie Beaches, outlined the message Skylar wants to send to voters this week: "Do. Not. Count. Me. Out."

"I THINK THIS GIRL WANTS IT, TOO!" bellowed Randy.

Esteemed Colleague Email Interlude:

The Hollywood Hells?

When I think of Joshua Ledet, I just see so much red: Guest mentor Gwen Stefani's red blazer and dark pink lipstick (a killer combo, best of the night, I think this girl wants it too!), the hundreds of red candles flanking Joshua as he stepped out for Simply Red's version of "If You Don't Know Me By Now," and the three enormous bowls of red foodstuff so proudly displayed by his family members back home. My initial impression was "MAN that's a lot of ziti," but why would it be ziti? My educated guess is that it was crawfish.

Anyway, Joshua delivered the same heaping helping of vocal gymnastics we've come to expect from him, and he didn't have to wipe his nose from crying too hard this time. "It wasn't too much over-the-top and it was way over-the-top," said Steven, who would understand such an accomplishment.

The judges flipped out after Joshua's final wail (I love that the band stopped so we could hear him, but I wanted more) and gave him their first standing O of the night. "Crazy! Crazy!" Randy raved. He then launched into the aforementioned regime change. "Jennifer, Steven, Ryan, Ryan -- I think we found someone tonight who's gotta have it! Joshua's gotta have it, America!"

Yo, RYAN! Both of you. Wake up! Why weren't you listening to the Dawg?

NEXT: Elise Testone gets the 'You look beautiful tonight' kiss of death

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