NOTES: ‘American Idol’ Season 11, Episode 17

– The Top 13 performed, with special mentors Jimmy Iovine and Mary J. Blige. The guys performed Stevie Wonder songs – the girls took on Whitney Houston’s catalog.

– I loved Jimmy and Mary J. because they were both very honest with the contestants.

– It was cool to watch Mary J. explain to a contestant what they should do, and then effortlessly belt out a note or three.

– As far as the judges, I really enjoyed seeing Randy Jackson keep it a little more real and not be afraid to offer criticism, even after his cohorts heaped praise upon a performance.

– In my opinion, Joshua Ledet was the best performer of the evening, again. Obviously Stevie is in his wheelhouse.
– Elise Testone wasn’t bad but wasn’t great. That was a common theme for talented contestants out of their comfort zone.
– Jermaine Jones was good but I still don’t think he’s a good fit for this competition.
– Erika Van Pelt didn’t bring it 100% tonight – again I think most of this was due to artist/song selection.
– Colton Dixon was surprisingly good.
– I really hope Shannon Magrane didn’t ruin her chances with this one performance – she’s a much better singer than that.
– Deandre Brackensick was certainly in his zone but like Jermaine, I don’t think he’s in this for the long haul.
– Whitney Houston took a country song and made it her’s – Skylar Laine near pulled off the flip.
– I figured it out – our expectations are lower for Heejun Han, so when he kills it, we think that much more of him.
– Hollie Cavanagh was great, again.
– JLO cries every time Jeremy Rosado sings. It hasn’t gotten old, yet. And the kid is really, really good.
– Jessica Sanchez was good. Not standing-O good, but good.
– This performance was the most I’ve liked Phillip Phillips yet… but I still didn’t like him much.

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