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‘American Idol’ Recap: Top 8 Tackle the ’80s

Joshua Ledet Skylar Laine
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On tonight’s episode of ‘American Idol,’ the Top 8 tackled the ’80s. While the ’80s is a fun decade, full of excess and larger-than-life-ness, the Idols focused on the ballad side of the spectrum. Again, it was a little snoozy, with slow song after slow song. The producers wisely paired the contestants up for duets that were sprinkled throughout the individual perfs, to add some life and livelihood to the proceedings.

Here is your PopCrush recap on how the Idols had their way with the ’80s.

BOYS:

Deandre Brackensick: The falsetto-voiced wonder sang ‘I Like It‘ by DeBarge, at first seated in the crowd, which clapped along to the melody. He was going for the Prince thing.

Phillip Phillips: He rocked Genesis‘ song ‘That’s All’ with his guitar. He stopped strumming, at Tony Kanal’s suggestion, during the bridge, to connect with the crowd. He’s an original.

Joshua Ledet: The vocal gymnast chose Simply Red’s ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now.’ He turned it into a torch song, beautifully so. He also has that Prince thing going on. He held back and then let loose. Another powerhouse perf.

Colton Dixon: Our favorite Christian rocker with good hair chose Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time.’ He gave it such an unusual makeover, making it faster in some parts and adding dramatic flourishes. Great job, C. Dixon!

GIRLS:

Elise Testone: She tried her hand at Foreigner‘s ‘I Want to Know What Love Is,’ which has a powerful chorus that could’ve been written for her voice. She was a bit out of tune, though.

Jessica Sanchez: In an ep full of snoozy ballads, Sanchez introduced us to her Bebe Chez alter ego and kicked things into high gear with Whitney Houston‘s upbeat ‘How Will I Know.’ She slayed it.

Hollie Cavanagh: The mini-diva is surgically precise and technically flawless with her performances and she turned in a version of ‘What a Feeling,’ the ‘Flashdance’ theme, that sounded like it was from a Broadway musical. She keeps overthinking it … every week.

Skylar Laine: The country rocker wanted to do a ballad, so instead of stomping on stage, she went soft and sensitive for the first time with ‘Wind Beneath My Wings.’ It was a showstopper.

DUETS:

Colton Dixon + Skylar Laine: They melted their voices on ‘Islands in the Stream.’ It was in Laine’s wheelhouse, since it’s a country tune. But they harmonized so well.

Deandre Brackensick + Hollie Cavanagh: They held hands and bounded around to sing The Pointer Sisters’ dance hit ‘I’m So Excited.” It was cute and quite good.

Phillip Phillips + Elise Testone: The resident rockers delivered a flawless but fresh rendition of the Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks duet ‘Stop Dragging My Heart Around.’

Joshua Ledet + Jessica Sanchez: The powerhouse vocalists got soulful (and upbeat) on ‘I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,’ by George Michael and Aretha Franklin. There wasn’t enough stage for these two. Their voices hit the heavens.

Tune in tomorrow night to find out who is sent home. Unless the judges offer up the save, we’ll be down to the Lucky 7 after tomorrow night’s elimination results.

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