American Idol began with a contrived nonsense question…”How do you find the strength to carry on when your friends leave one by one?”  The answer, in case anyone is interested, is by remembering that this is a singing competition the contestants entered solo in order to win the title…not to make friends!

This week’s theme was music from 2010 – today.  The choices were disappointing, as most of their songs I had never heard of!

Skylar began the night with a country song by Kellie Pickler, “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You”.  This Reba McEntire look-alike played the guitar and looked every bit the country singer she’ll be, but it seemed slightly forced to me, and that nasally quality to her voice is ever present and a big turn off.

Cutie Colton sang and also played the piano to Skylar Gray’s “Love the Way You Lie”.  It was nice to hear this version of the song, and his vocals were great, particularly when hitting the higher notes.  The melody of the song was lovely, as was his performance.

Gotye’s mega-hit “Somebody That I Used To Know” was seen as a duet of Elise and Phillip.  This awesome song I love, their duet I did not.  Contrary to the judges opinions, I thought Phillip worked it out well, while Elise, who sang it almost off beat as reggae-ton, didn’t do as well.

Jessica took on Jasmine Sullivan’s “Stuttering”, a song I’ve never heard of, and didn’t care for.  Jessica comes across as a Beyonce wanna-be, but she has the chops to win it.  

Joshua once again brought the house down with Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby”.  Yet another tune I was unfamiliar with, but what an excellent performance.  High energy, jazz rock style; this kid is in it to win it, too.

Colton and Skylar returned for another duet, however, unlike last week, where their voices melded together sweetly, this week it went sour.  They sang Jason Aldean’s and Kelly Clarkson’s “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, making me scream at my television, “NOOOO!”  Skylar over-sang her parts, and Colton got lost in his.

Hollie may have jinxed herself by choosing Pink’s “Perfect”, which unfortunately it wasn’t for the judges.  I see the stiffness they speak of and hope she does well anyway, because despite the annoying accent here and there, the likability factor is stronger than Jessica.  It began with a stripped down start, with just her vocals and a guitarist next to her, and kicked in strong at the end.  By the judges’ reactions, it’s looking like a flight home for Hollie.

Phillip picked Maroon 5’s “Give A Little More”; his take on the song was sexier, intimate, and true to his style.  Foxy Phil did well, but the judges want more out of him.

Hollie, her bestie Joshua and third-wheel Jessica performed as a trio to Kelly Clarkson’s powerful song, “Stronger”.  It might as well have been introduced as Josh and his back-up singers, because he stole the show.

Elise ended the night beginning at the piano, and singing Lady Gaga’s “You and I”.  The judges loved it; I thought it was mostly good, though a bit all over the place.  We’ll see if it’s good enough to keep her out of the bottom three.

Tune in tomorrow to see which of the 7 leave, and if the save option is used…