American Idol Finalists Take on Queen Classics
American Idol launched into its broadcast tonight with a tribute to Queen and its late, legendary frontman Freddie Mercury. It also began with Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor giving advice to the six remaining contestants. The duo later performed a medley of the band’s hits with the ‘Idol’ singers as well.
Jessica Sanchez was first to tackle Queen for her first performance this week, and was given possibly the most difficult song on the planet to sing — ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ After a hacked up version of the song consisting only of a beginning verse and the outro, the result was not only disappointing, but purely awful. Sanchez is a talented singer, and of course the judges sang her praises, but the deconstruction of the song itself was nothing but a cheap shortcut.
Idol host Ryan Seacrest greeted us after the commercial with his Vanilla Ice pompadour to introduce Skylar Laine’s performance of ‘The Show Must Go On.’ Laine put her own country spin on the track, giving the crowd and judges exactly what they wanted from her.
Joshua Ledet brought soul to the Idol stage with his rendition of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ It’s refreshing to really hear a singer wail on this show. Ledet proves each week that he’s a born performer in the vein of Sam Cooke or Wilson Pickett.
Elise Testone was next with ‘I Want It All.’ Testone is in her element when she gets to sing raspy classic rock. Her performance however was masked by a choir of singers, which basically destroys the intention of the show.
We got to hear ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ a second time with a performance by Phillip Phillips. We get it dude, you’re charming, but if one was to ever compare American Idol to barroom karaoke, this would be Exhibit A. There was however a nice change of pace to the show as judge Randy Jackson only gave Phillips a good review instead of the verbal lube job given to every other contestant up until that point.
Holly Cavanagh sang ‘Save Me’ in her usual heartfelt style. Afterwards, judge Jennifer Lopez criticized Cavanagh for getting emotional during her performance, only to advise her to show some emotion in future performances. Lopez then ranted about herself for a while, with Randy Jackson responding, “Jennifer, that was very well said.”
Despite the standout voices that some of the Idol contestants possess, this tribute to Queen seems as if it was doomed from the start. Simply put, the onstage talent paled in comparison to that of Freddie Mercury. Of course when it comes to American Idol, besides ratings and product placement, nothing really matters.