Now that the remaining “American Idol” contestants are all going on tour, there’s really very little motivation to keep working hard (see Heejun Han). It’s not like coming in third or whatever will do a whole lot for your career (see: Haley Reinhart). So, to sweeten the deal, all those who made it through to the next round this week would be invited to move into a nine-person mansion.
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!
Unfortunately, one person who really did give it her all last night will be moving back Rhode Island instead: tonight we said goodbye to Erika Van Pelt.
It’s slightly tragic that she was sent home before her comrades in the bottom three: Heejun and DeAndre Brackensick. Both boys had terrible performances last night.
About Heejun’s, Jimmy Iovine had some choice words: “Four minutes of a bad Adam Sandler movie straight to DVD.” Also, Jimmy noted how Heejun seemed to insult Steven Tyler last night, when Steven gave Heejun feedback that he should take this more seriously. Meanwhile, Heejun said he plans to pull an even more ridiculous stunt next week. Before getting his result tonight, Heejun said he was just being himself. “I’m not trying to be a star… I’m really happy with who I am.”
In regards to DeAndre’s painfully sunny rendition of “Only the Good Die Young,” Jimmy suggested that he “don’t go out there and frolic.” His cheesy bopping got on Jimmy’s nerves, and apparently much of America’s.
But Erika was stellar last night. Jimmy called her brave. And she could have saved herself in the “sing for your life” process by repeating last night’s success, but she instead went with her Whitney Houston week pick, “I Believe in You and Me.” I’ve said this before and I’ll say it forever and always: girls, avoid Whitney Houston. You’ll never sound good enough. Thus, the judges sent her packing.
The group sing was Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time,” during which it became clear that several girls have absolutely no rhythm. Hollie trying to snap while step-touching was a sad sight. Jessica and Skylar didn’t look much better.
Lana Del Rey came on and did her weird thing she does, singing “Video Games,” a song that essentially has just six notes. It’s actually a really strange fit for the “Idol” stage, but also a bit refreshing to see someone so restrained compared to the monster balladeers that usually stand in that spot.
But then Haley Reinhart showed up. Last year’s third-placer did some exciting growly jazz things that made her into a minor “Idol” star, but now that she’s been repackaged and repurposed in order to attempt some meager record sales as a pop star, she’s more interesting for her deep orange tan than her single “Free.” If Lana Del Rey had been on “Idol,” she’d be Haley.
The Wrath of Jimmy Iovine
In other news, Jimmy cited Colton Dixon as a possible third “horse” next to Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet—meaning, a possible winner. He also said something transformed in Elise Testone.
But he was harsher on some of the regular favorites. He said Hollie Cavanagh had her worst night, called her a “sweet diva caught in the headlights.” He said Joshua “Darth Vader-ed” the bridge of his song when he dipped low in the notes. (Best new verb ever.) And he said Skylar Laine is so consistently good that she is actually stalling.
Also, responding to Phillip Phillip’s blatant disregard for his advice last night, Jimmy said that in the real world, Phillip can be himself all he wants, but “in this competition, young man, take all the advice you can get.”