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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 11

'American Idol's Top 8 eleventh-season finalists take the stage, sing

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/05/2012 

American Idol's judges proclaimed the eleventh-season competition too close to call during Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 8 finalists taking the stage and singing songs from the 1980s.

Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson praised nearly all of the remaining finalists after their performances last night, and Lopez and Tyler offered America pretty general advice on whom they should vote for as the performance show wrapped up.

"Judges, stiff competition at this point. If you were at home watching, how would you vote, Randy?" American Idol host Ryan Seacrest asked.

"Man, listen. I think you've got to vote now for who do you think can really win this. I mean, there were some great performances tonight. [Skylar Laine] came up there at the end and she gave a great performance. [Deandre Brackensick] was great. You got some -- of course [Phillip Phillips] and [Joshua Ledet] and [Jessica Sanchez] and [Colton Dixon]. Now look, you've got to vote for who you think can really win," Jackson explained.

"I think you've got to really vote for the full package. The thing is, we have about a whole bunch of them up there. But that's how you think. It's the voice, it's the performance, it's the feeling, it's the look, it's how they make you feel if you like them. All of those things is, I think, why people vote. They should factor in all of those things -- not just one thing," Lopez said.

"And Steven, it got tighter as the night went on," Seacrest noted.

"It did. It's a hard era to sing in today's voices -- very, very hard. So, you gotta vote for whoever makes you feel good and delivers the whole package. That's what you gotta do," Tyler said.

Jackson's comments seemed to single out Hollie Cavanagh and Elise Testone by omission, as he felt the two contestants had delivered less than stellar performances and may be in danger of elimination during tonight's live results show.

Cavanagh received poor feedback from the judges during Wednesday night's show after she sang a rendition of Irene Cara's "Flashdance (What A Feeling)."

"Girl, you always arrive. Your songs are always great at the end, but it took a little slow getting there this time and your pitch was all over the place. I'm so sorry to tell you," Tyler told Cavanagh. "You got it there at the end, but it took awhile to get there."

"You're listening to what everybody's telling you and I see that... At the end of the day, you do have to let it go. It started off and some of the notes felt musical-like. It didn't feel like the pop song that it is, and then with the movement and everything, it just felt like you don't release -- you don't let go. You have to forget what everybody tells you once you get up there. You really do," Lopez explained.

The judges were also not impressed with Testone's performance of "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner.

"It's a tough song to sing... and what technically happened for you, you never quite hit the pitch right, so it was pitchy the whole song until the very end, because you were just underneath the pitch every time... This was not your greatest performance. I think you're much better than this... It was just out of tune everywhere for me," Jackson told Testone.

"I love your style; I love your voice. I'm not sure if that song was the right song for you tonight, baby. But I love your voice. It's hard to take one from the other because it's an 80s song and that's for sure -- 80s songs are 80s songs, but yeah," Tyler said.

Assuming the judges do not opt to use "The Judges' Save," the Idol finalist who received the fewest home-viewer votes following last night's broadcast will be eliminated from the competition during Thursday night's live results show.

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