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Queen songs send Elise Testone home

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Following a strong showing on Wednesday night by almost all of the Top 6, Elise Testone, one of the best of the Queen-covering bunch, was sent home during last night's results show. She was joined by Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh, only the latter of whom belonged there. Nevertheless, someone had to go home, as each contestant offered their best takes on the great Freddie Mercury. What follows is a recap of Wednesday's performances, providing a bit of insight as to how Testone, Laine and Cavanagh ended up receiving the least number of votes.

The show on Wednesday began with Roger Taylor and Brian May joining all six contestant to set the expectation bar for the night's performances on the Idol stage with a Queen medley -- "Fat Bottomed Girls," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "We Are the Champions." Even so, early in the show, it was clear which contestants would do well with the rock catalogue: Elise Testone and Skylar Laine. Sadly, America disagreed.

Jessica Sanchez finally showed a hint of personality on stage during her take of "Bohemian Rhapsody" -- but really only a hint. Things got a tad weird when pre-recorded clips of Sanchez were shown on the backdrop as her backing chorus for the song. If you thought Sanchez was ice-cold on stage before, her chorus appeared even more chilly -- creepy, even. For their second songs, contestants sang their personal favorites. Sanchez chose to perform "Dance With My Father."

Skylar Laine followed with "The Show Must Go On," a red-hot performance in which Laine's passion was apparent. Near the end, Laine proved exactly why she's still in the top six, turning into a full-fledged, stage-commanding diva. It helped that her vocals were spot on, too. Laine also performed "Tattoos on This Town" as her personal favorite.

Joshua Ledet took on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." While Ledet stuck to the melody in parts, in others he sounded like he was screaming. While Ledet won't be in the bottom two tonight, it was certainly not his strongest performance this season; it was on-par with his performance of Bruno Mars's "The Runaway Song" weeks ago. For his personal choice, Ledet slowed things down with India.Arie's "Ready for Love." That showing was much stronger.

Elise Testone, easily the most comfortable contestant with the demands of Queen's catalogue, performed "I Want It All" from Queen's The Miracle album. With tambourine in hand, she commanded the audience through a lesser-known track. Where other contestants looked a bit uncomfortable singing out of their comfort zone -- Hollie Cavanagh, here's looking at you -- Testone made singing this Queen track look like child's play. Testone also sang Jimi Hendrix's "Bold As Love."

Phillip Phillips's "Fat Bottomed Girls" was good, but he was off at points. His singing face often made him look like he was in pain, and maybe he was -- it's always difficult to tell with Phillips. He looked much more comfortable with guitar in hand for his second song, "The Stone," by the Dave Matthews Band. Perhaps the only criticism for "The Stone" is that Phillips sounded too much like Dave Matthews, as if he were a tribute band.

Hollie Cavanagh took on "Save Me" and came off too uncomfortable. As much as she didn't believe in herself or the song, we didn't believe her either, and that's what ultimately will drive her to the bottom three again. However, she did redeem herself with an age-appropriate version of Miley Cyrus's "The Climb." It was clear Cavanagh believed in herself this time: Just look at the way she dances at the end of her performance.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music


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