Over two days of competition, three American Idol contestants took on Adele -- Eben Franckewitz, Elise Testone and Jen Hirsh. Adele's not easy to sing, as Franckewitz proved two nights ago, but the ladies brought the vocal power last night to do the British soulstress justice.
Testone's take on "One And Only" while playing piano was nice. It was hard to see Testone's personality shine through, as the judges pointed out. But it was a strong performance nonetheless. When compared to Hirsh's performance of the same song, though, it fell a bit flat.
Hirsh's version of "One And Only" made us forget that Testone took on the song, too, because it was more about Hirsh showing us her personality and less about her vocal ability. In a hybridized version of American Idol that is one part competition, one part reality show, showing off her personality could serve Hirsh just as well as singing her heart out.
The two women that will surely get through to the top twelve were Shannon Magrane, the sixteen year old who sung like she was thirty, and Hollie Cavanagh, who gave Christina Aguilera's voice a vocal run for its money on "Reflection" from the Mulan soundtrack. Jennifer Lopez favored both equally, telling Magrane that she gave Lopez "goosies." Lopez paid Cavanagh an even higher compliment: "Going to be one of our front runners. I look forward to letting America see what you do do when you do let your hair down" - yep, you read that right; lots of Lopez "do-do's" in that critique.
Steven Tyler's comments fell off the radar a bit for Haley Johnson, "Some of your runs aren't perfect, but what in life is?" But Randy Jackson was sharply on point. He called out Johnson's performance of "Sweet Dreams" as a "nightmare" and confusing mess.
The judges' favorite of the night was easily Jessica Sanchez, who received a standing ovation from Lopez with her take on "Love You I Do." It sounded a lot like Beyoncé's take on the song, but, even so, Sanchez owned it. "That girl can really sing," Jackson offered up. "One of the best of the last two nights right there."
Tonight the contestant pool will be cut in half, and the Top 12 of American Idol will be revealed. American Idol airs at 7 p.m. on Fox 31.
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