‘Idol’ Top 5 Recap: Is Joshua Ledet Really The Man To Beat?
One of the best EVER?
One of the best EVER?
Um, this might have been a bit much, don't you think?
Yes, Joshua is amazing. He's certainly one of this season's biggest talents, and he very well could win this thing. If he did win, I certainly wouldn't be mad. But the aggressive pimping of Joshua has grown tiresome, especially on a season when several other fantastic singers do still have a decent shot at the title--and frankly, this favoritism could actually backfire on Joshua.
You see, the "Idol" producers and judges pretty much always muck it up when they tell the viewers whom to vote for. That's how they ended up with Taylor Hicks instead of their obvious pick, Chris Daughtry, in Season 5. That's why their mega-pimped frontrunner Adam Lambert lost in Season 8. That's why only one female contestant made the top five in Season 9, despite all the hype about that being a "girls' season." Overpraise was also the reason why Jessica Sanchez almost got sent home this year. So if the "Idol" powers-that-be really want so badly for Joshua to win (and I can definitely understand why they do), it might be wise for them to dial it down a bit, to avoid a Ledet backlash, and let viewers make up their own minds. And then the producers might actually get the result they've wanted all along.
Anyway, one more little gripe before getting on to the recapping: Wednesday was supposed to be '60s/Britpop Night, which would have been bloody brilliant if that were true. The Anglophile in me rejoiced at the prospect of Pulp's Jarvis Cocker mentoring and Skylar Laine doing some feisty Elastica. But it turned out that in Idol-land, "Britpop" doesn't mean Oasis and Blur; it means, er, Leona Lewis and Joe Cocker. Nigel Lythgoe, your U.K. passport should be revoked! (If you want to know what songs I would have chosen, this archived article is good for starters.)
Here's how Joshua and his still-formidable opponents did Wednesday night...
So Hollie went first, in the "death spot." And for her '60s song, she did "River Deep Mountain High," the song Pia Toscano did when she got eliminated last year. And Hollie started her song standing in the audience, something Kris Allen said, in a recent Yahoo! interview, no contestant should ever do. So she's a goner this week, right? Well, possibly; Hollie has had a target on her back for weeks now. But this was hardly the performance of a loser. Hollie really stepped it up during this number, brimming with a certain confidence that few singers would be able to maintain after being in the bottom three and getting torn apart by the judges week after week. "You just showed me ya got it in ya! Thank you, Lord!" howled Steven. "It was nice to see you could lead a bigger production. I could really feel you attacking the song. It was a different kind of Hollie up there!" said Jennifer. "I loved it too!" said an uncharacteristically kind Randy. I'm just glad Hollie wasn't wearing a L.A.M.B. onesie diaper like poor Pia did last season. Because of that thankful avoidance of a fashion faux pas, Hollie might survive after all.
For her "Britpop" song (whatever), Hollie, who is actually a Brit herself, somewhat predictably but wisely did Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love"--which is probably exactly the type of music she'd record in the real world after "Idol." It was a sedate, seated performance, but she did a wonderful job, letting her perfect, pristine vocals be the focus. And it was the ideal foil to her more flamboyant first performance. Steven shockingly confessed that he didn't know the song (maybe he was just trying to demonstrate loyalty to "Idol" by feigning ignorance regarding an "X Factor U.K." winner?), but he still said, "I loved it, I loved it, I loved it!" Randy, however, dared to mention both "The X Factor" and the forbidden name of Simon Cowell (I'm sure Nigel was thrilled), before telling Hollie, "You are peaking at the right time." And Jennifer said, "I think you surprised even yourself. That was amazing. We believe in you; we have always believed in you. You belong here." Will Hollie get to belong on the show for another week? Maaaaybe. We shall see.