Idol recap: The Top 5 take on '60s and Brit Pop; Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh shine

Last night's episode of Idol saw the top five performing '60s hits and Brit pop. For some, it was a swing and a miss; for others -- hot damn! Hollie Cavanagh had an energy on last night's show that leads the pack this week. She's no Tina Turner , but "River Deep Mountain High" may have been her strongest performance yet. There was something in the way she sang and worked the stage, letting her personality shine through, all the while being vocally on-key. Cavanagh also sang "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis . [jump]

Phillip Phillips did "The Letter" by The Box Tops -- he made it his own, added a more songwriter element. Did it work? The judges thought so, but we disagree. The lack of melody was disinteresting and made it hard to connect with the song. Yet Phillips will sail through to the next round if only because he's already established such a strong fan base. Phillips also sang "Time Of The Season," and had a much more interesting showing.

Skylar Laine took on "Fortunate Son" by Credence Clearwater Revival. Never have we seen Laine have so much fun on stage, and it was infectious. While Cavanagh 's performance may have been the biggest surprise of the night, Laine's was more memorable for engagement alone. She also sang "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me."

Then we have Jessica Sanchez, singing "Proud Mary," also Tina Turner style. Sanchez tried out her dance moves, and they may not have competed with Turner's, but they were fun and a new take on Sanchez's expected performance approach. Sanchez may still seem uncomfortable with showing personality on stage, but at least she's trying. She sang "You Are So Beautiful" as her Brit pop selection.

Finally, Joshua Ledet performed "To Love Somebody" and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" by The Temptations . The latter was the perfect choice for Ledet's performance style, old-school and classic. However, where Skylar Laine, Hollie Cavanagh and even Jessica Sanchez worked the stage, Ledet remained relatively stationary by comparison. It was a strong vocal showing, but Ledet took no risks whatsoever. At this point in the competition, that's what it's about -- and that's what will place him in the bottom three during tonight's results show.

Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Lamz
Contact: Cory Lamz