American Idol 3/28/12 Live Blog: Top 9

The top 9 contenders perform their own song choice this episode, and Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) joins the mentoring on Idol.

Colton goes first with Lifehouse’s Everything. I’m not sure if it is my bias for Lifehouse at work of it Colton just did an amazing job, but man did he sound swell! The three judges agree that the sincerity of his performance was outstanding. Jennifer is most agreeable when she says that the simplicity of Colton’s voice is his true edge and that it didn’t need any vocal acrobatics to impress.

Skylar goes for Miranda Lambert’s Gundpowder and Lead next. If Colton brings in pure sentimental energy, Skylar goes all out with country vibes. Jennifer and Steven finds her performance vibrant and Randy agrees with Stevie Nick’s advice to Skylar about embodying a good story teller when doing a country song.

Heejun shows a whole new side of him by singing A Song To You by Ray Charles. It’s quite intriguing when Ryan tells the audience that Heejun changed strategy… and boy did his strategy work! The judges enjoyed his performance and so did the audience. Watch out Idols, the new Heejun is serious, soulful and downright legit.

Breaking the ice is the trio Colton, Elise and Phillip. They give the highly competitive air a break by giving a tribute to Stevie Nicks in a medley of Fleetwood Mac songs.

Adding on the soulful mood is Hollie singing Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel. Rehearsals get a little personal between her and Stevie Nicks. Hollie gets reminded that emotions play a big part in singing. Randy and Steven gets boo-ed for saying that Hollie did okay but JLo says that this is one of her best performance. Steven hits it right on when he says that Hollie’s song choice didn’t do her voice justice and that she should have chosen something that shows her vocal range some more.

Deandre executes an amazing falsetto after singing Sometimes I Cry by Eric Benet. He gets a standing ovation from the three judges (and from me if I were there!). Just when you thought RnB can’t go any better, Deandre just puts the soul in the performance. I’m not really a fan of the falsetto stylistics but you just got to love how Deandre sang his song.

As if the soulful energy on stage wasn’t enough, Jessica goes fora slow ballad rendition of Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams. As always, Jessica’s vocals were beautiful and she once again manages to make the three judges nod in awe.

Deandre, Joshua and Heejun does a Michael Jackson tribute.

Phillip rocks the stage with Johnny Lang’s Still raining and puts up a little rustic atmosphere on stage. That was some good break from the soulful songs that’s been filling the stage! The judges seem to feel the break as well and gives him a standing ovation.

Joshua makes a bold song choice with Mariah Carey’s version of I Can’t Live. He was hitting the notes no one expected any man could reach but then makes an emotional break in the middle of the performance. The judges make another standing ovation and that almost makes up for the mid-song breakdown he almost made.

Hollie, Jessica and Skylar does a Madonna medley.

Elise murders Led Zepellin’s Whole Lotta of Love and seals tonight’s performances. I know it’s a cliche to say that Idol saved the best for last, but hey, they did! Elise sent the roof on fire and earns another standing ovation from the judges. Jennifer Lopez keeps repeating that she didn’t want to stand but she just had to. Stevie Nicks hit it right on when she says that this night might just be Elise’s night.

Stay tuned tomorrow’s review of Idol and finds out who goes home (if anyone goes home at all!) and bids farewell to the Idol stage. Keep it here, on

Photo courtesy of American Idol.