American Idol 2012 Recap: Season 11 ‘Top 8 Performance’ 4/4/12

 American Idol 2012 Recap: Season 11 'Top 8 Performance' 4/4/12

Tonight American Idol returns to Fox with the Performance Show and our Top 8.  Stand by as we live blog the show with all the up-to-the-minute details.  On last week’s episode Hollie and Heejun were in the bottom two.  Heejun Han who was often joking around and accused of not taking himself seriously was sent home.   If you missed Heejun’s performance you can see his last performance here.   If you missed the performance show you can read our full recap here.

No Doubt’s lead singer Gwen Stefani and bassist Tony Kanal will mentor the eight remaining finalists on American Idoltonight.  This week the contestants will be choosing songs from the 80’s.

American Idol’s musical director Ray Chew tweeted the set list this morning and it includes songs by Cyndi Lauper, Irene Cara, DeBarge and Whitney Houston.  Last week on the American Idol Performance show – 5 contestants were given standing ovations.  I am hoping they can do as well this week!

Left in the competition are: Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips, Elise Testone, Joshua Ledet, Skylar Laine, Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick and Hollie Cavanagh.

Who are you excited to see perform tonight?    Who are your rooting for?  Sound out in the comments and let us know!

We will be live blogging ‘The Performance Show’ with all the up-to-the-minute details at 8 PM EST so make sure to come back to this spot and watch the show with us. Refresh often to get the latest updates!!

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RECAP: Today it was announced that Heejun Han will sing God Bless America tomorrow during Opening Day at Citi Field for the New York Mets. Tonight the top eight are bringing us songs from the 80’s and someone will be voted out tomorrow night, I wonder what will be around the corner for the next rejected hopeful?

1. DeAndre Brackensick is first tonight and Gwen thinks he is the whole package. Jimmy tells him that part of being great is conquering nerves.  DeAndre is singing “I Like It” by Debarge.

Judges Comments: Jennifer said, “I like it a lot, you were really enjoying the crowd, even the way you were moving your hair, it was really natural, you did some beautiful things up there”. Steven said, “Totally captivating, I forgot where I was”. Randy said, “Debarge is saying this kid has arrived, it was perfect, perfect song choice, one of my best performances from you yet”.

2. Elise Testone was going to sing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen but Jimmy had her try another and all the mentors got goosies, Gwen said her voice was sick. Elise is singing “I Want To Know What Love Is” by Foreigner.

Judges Comments: Steven said, “I love your sound and I love your voice, but I don’t know if that was a good song choice for you tonight”. Jennifer said, “You look beautiful tonight, you have a powerhouse voice but I didn’t feel this song, but it was a good performance”. Randy said, “It is a tough song to sing, you never quite hit the pitch right, it was not your greatest performance, it was out of tune every where for me”.

Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine sing a duet, “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. (boring, flat and and an over all very dull performance) Randy said, “It was very sweet nice and great, I enjoyed that”. Jennifer said, “It was perfect, it was beautiful”. Steven said, “A match made in heaven, it was beautiful”.

3. Phillip Phillps is not ready for his song this week but Gwen believes he is going to get there. Tony wants Phillip let go of the guitar to help connect with the audience. Phillip is singing, “That’s All” by Genesis.

Judges Comments: Steven said, “You are just a wild card aren’t you, you love being who you are and it’s making you great every time I hear you”. Jennifer said, “The beginning felt like you weren’t in your comfort zone but you brought it home and it was pretty great”. Randy said, “I love it, it was a great song choice for you, Tony was brilliant having you not use the guitar in the beginning”.

DeAndre Brachensick and Hollie Cavanagh sing a duet, “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters. (yikes! another duet that sucks) Steven said, “That was a beautiful duet. it was beautiful”. Jennifer said, “It was amazing, sounded great, together it was a good job”. Randy said, “Very, very, very nice, you both  can really sing, very impressive.”

4. Joshua Ledet is sometimes too much according to Gwen, Jimmy thinks it just needs to be simpler near the hook. Tony thinks Joshue is so comfortable, it’s going to be good. Joshua is singing, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red but the best version was by Harry Melvin and the Blue Notes.

Judges Comments: Steven said, “Over the top, it was unreal that someone your age can sing like that, but not too much over the top”. Randy said, “It is very rare that I want to stand up from beginning to end, you sang it dude and that is what it is all about. We found someone tonight that’s got to have it”. Jennifer said, “We asked for a power house performance and that is what we got. You held back in the beginning, then let loose, it was spectacular”.

5. Jessica Sanchez is ready to show her alter ego.  Gwen thinks her voice is ridiculous, but wants her to work on her body moves, the mentors think she is going to nail it. Jessica is singing “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston.

Judges Comments: Jennifer said, “That’s two powerhouse vocals in a row. You are such a natural perform, you are so amazing, your vocals, I can’t believe they come out of that body”. Randy said, “You did an amazing job, those are big shoes to fill, I can’t believe the maturity in you”. Steven said, “I don’t think you have ever sang like this, everything you do is beautiful”.

Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone sing a duet,”Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. (finally, a great duo!)  Randy said, “Elise welcome back baby that was hot, that was great, very nice both of you”. Jennifer said, “I got his feeling that you were both in love”. Steven said, “I loved the vocal, it was beautiful, as good as it gets”.

6. Hollie  Cavanagh’s heart started beating really fast when she met Gwen. Jimmy loves this song, Gwen tells Hollie to have confidence, bring an edge into it and don’t feel sorry for herself. Jimmy thinks Hollie sometimes gets too technical. Hollie is singing, “What A Feeling” by Irene Cara.

Judges Comments: Jennifer said, “You are listening to what everyone is telling you, you have to let it go, with the movement it felt like you don’t let go, you have to free fall, you have to feel it from your heart and soul”. Randy said, “You have the talent, your voice is amazing, I think you have to stop thinking and live it”. Steven said, “You always arrive at the end, your pitch was all over the place, I am so sorry”.

Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet sing a duet, “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” by Aretha Franklin and George Michaels. (fabulicious! loved this duet) Randy said, “Two of the greatest singers on this show, you brought your own flavor to it, one of the greatest performances ever on this show”. Jennifer said, “I’m looking and thinking ‘final’ it was amazing”. Steven said, “That performance was over the top it defies judging”.

7. Colton Dixon shocks Gwen with his song choice, but then does the harmony to practice with him. Jimmy loves the song choice, there is no way Colton is out this week. Colton is singing, “Time After Time” by Cindi Lauper.

Judges Comments: Steven said, “You got one those voices that is so good, you could make a record right now”. Jennifer said, “You were in synch with the band, I loved when you hit the big note at the end, I really like it”. Randy said, “What you did tonight, you took these songs and made them your own, you are so current and your drummer is ridiculous”.

8. Skylar Laine is surprised to see that Gwen is her mentor. Gwen thinks she has the really great performance thing about her. At first, Skylar was going to sing 9 to 5, but then she switches it up and Jimmy just flips. Gwen thinks if she brings the emotional and her personality together it really could be a wow moment. Skylar is singing, “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler.

Judges Comments: Steven said, “The beginning of a great career girl”. Jennifer said, “You just told America, don’t count me out. You are great, you can sing with the best of everyone here”. Randy said, “Wow, this was the best performance ever for you”.

That’s it for tonight, Jessica and Joshua were the winners for me tonight, I think Hollie is getting the boot by America. Tomorrow night we will be live blogging the results show, don’t forget to come back to find out who is going home?