NOTES: ‘American Idol’ Season 11, Episode 21

– Steven Tyler really set the tone and launched the gauntlet down for this one with his claim that if you can’t sing Billy Joel, you can’t sing. Easy there Toxic Brother. I agreed with his assessment that Joel’s songbook is one of America’s best ever, but “Idol” is too diversified, especially this year, to throw all of these artists in just one box.

– I feel that “Idol” is reinventing itself a bit by bringing on Tommy Hilfiger to consult each contestant with their style. This is a new angle for the show and one which can broaden the reach of its audience. The combination of two experienced and successful mentors in Hilfiger and Jimmy Iovine, with added star power like Diddy this week, really adds to the show and brings it up a couple notches from your average talent competition.

– Speaking of the mentors, I agreed with all of them, all night, on everything. What’s different about Hilfiger and Iovine compared to the judges is that they know what mainstream America likes and what they’ll throw disposable income behind.You may not like what they have to say, but chances are they’re both correct.

– JLO wanting to call Diddy, “Puffy” at the end… dead.

– I take back what I said last week about Deandre Brackensick. When he doesn’t start jumping all over the place with his voice, he can do good, and he did well this week.
– I thought Diddy’s advice to Erika Van Pelt, and her reaction, were great. EVP ended up doing a great job with the song, and I love her new hair as well.
– Joshua Ledet started weak and ended strong. I’m over JLO baby-ing him.
– I love how Iovine called out Diddy for liking Skylar Laine because she asked for his autograph. Laine did well, especially at the middle and end of the song.
– Elise Testone had her moment this week. Amazing.
– Sorry, I agreed with all of the mentors, and I still don’t like Phillip Phillips. I think he ruins classic songs.
– Hallie Cavanagh has had better weeks, but she was still good this week. I liked the style advice she received.
– The interaction between Diddy and Heejun Han was priceless. Ultimately, Tyler is right – if Han wants to make a real run in this competition, he needs to take it a little more serious.
– Jessica Sanchez is near-perfection. What more can you say?
– Colton Dixon was good. I don’t say great because with this songbook and that song, he almost had an unfair advantage. But you know I’ve been a fan of his from the get-go.

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