On American Idol 2012 this week, the top 7 remaining contestants performed ‘songs from this decade’, which was probably a sigh of relief for some of them who have spent most of the season singing songs older than they are.

If I have one constant complaint about American Idol, it is how often they make the contestants sing old music that a large portion of the audience under 30 have never heard of and would prefer not to ever hear again. I am sure that has a lot to do with how much less it costs to secure cover rights for those older songs, but it still gets annoying. Anyway, I digress. Onward with our American Idol 2012: Top 7 recap!


Please stop here if you do not enjoy American Idol spoilers and do not want to know what happened on Wednesday night’s episode!

Skylar Laine –  “Didn’t Know How Much I Loved You” by Kelly Pickler

This week, Sklyar Laine was right on her song choice and showed off her voice the way it is meant to be heard. The performance wasn’t so country that it was too niche-oriented and wasn’t so out of the box that it left her floundering. The judges loved it across the board and I thought it was one of Skylar’s best performances. My rating for Skylar: 8 out of 10.

Colton Dixon – “Love the Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey

Colton Dixon is one of my favorites on the show and I really loved this performance personally. It was nice to see Colton’s softer side and I thought his vocals were beautiful. However, I would not call it one of his absolute top performances of the season. The judges also thought it was a great song for Colton, but they did not pile on the praise too heavily. My rating for Colton: 7 out of 10.

Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips – “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye

In the first duet of the night, I was solidly glued to the television for Elise Testone and Phillip Phillips on this Gotye song. In my opinion, it was a killer rendition and they sounded fabulous. The judges also enjoyed it, although they noted that Elise kind of stole the show on the song — which I totally agree with.

Jessica Sanchez – “Stuttering” by Jazmine Sullivan

Normally I expect Jessica Sanchez to knock it out of the park, even though I am not actually a big fan myself. There is no denying the girl has a seriously wicked voice. Tonight, however, she just didn’t quite take over the stage the way she normally does. The obscurity of her song choice combined with a weaker than usual vocal performance left her feeling a bit flat for me. The judges were also a bit hesitant with their praise and did not gush over Jessica as they usually do. My rating for Jessica: 7 out of 10.

Joshua Ledet – “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars

Although I was initially not one of Joshua Ledet’s rabid fans, he has grown on me quite a bit during the last few weeks of American Idol 2012. Tonight he once again blew it out with his rendition of “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars. I was not, perhaps, quite as adoring of the song as the judges were (they were swooning), but I still have to give Joshua high praise for his performance. My rating for Joshua: 8.5 out of 10.

Colton Dixon and Skylar Lane – “Dont You Want To Stay Here A Little While” by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson

After Joshua performed, we had another duet with Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine on “Don’t You Want To Stay Here a Little While” by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson.  Sadly, this duet was not nearly as successful as the first one and both Colton and Skylar failed to shine. They simply had no chemistry together and their voices did not soar and blend together. Instead, they kind of clashed and fell down. The judges were decent to them, but they made it clear it wasn’t what they were hoping to hear. Randy Jackson summed it up best, I think, when he said: “I love you both dearly, I thought that was okay for me.”

Hollie Cavanagh – “Perfect” by Pink

After her performance this week, it will be a miracle if Hollie Cavanagh survives another week on American Idol 2012. While I thought the song choice was decent, the judges were not at all forgiving of Hollie’s stiffness on stage and her wavering pitch in places. On the whole, I actually liked Hollie on this song, but I bet she sounded much better in rehearsals than she did on stage. Hollie, as Jimmy Iovine noted during rehearsals, just lacks something essential sometimes when she sings. Maybe it is experience, maybe it is emotional depth… whatever it is, she really didn’t have it on Wednesday night. My rating for Hollie: 6 out of 10.

Phillip Phillips – “Give a Little More” by Maroon 5

Generally acknowledged top three favorite Phillip Phillips has found himself slipping a bit in recent weeks in the eyes of the judges and American Idol 2012 fans. Unfortunately, this week he did not manage to reverse that backslide. In fact, his performance in this round seemed chaotic, wobbly and predictable. For the first time watching Phillip, I found myself bored and wanting to fast forward through to the next contestant. The judges, it seems, had a similar reaction and were unanimously not thrilled with Philip’s performance Wednesday night. My rating for Phillip Phillips: 6.5 out of 10.

Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cavanagh – “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson

For the last combo performance,  Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Hollie Cavanagh took the stage for another Kelly Clarkson song. The overall performance was actually surprisingly strong with this interesting combination. However, I feel that Hollie faded into the background with powerhouses Jessica and Joshua taking over the stage. The judges gave praise to all, but as Randy Jackson noted, Joshua had a slight edge over the others and came out on top of this three-way.

Elise Testone – “You and I” by Lady Gaga

I admit I am an Elise fan. I have been since the beginning. Every week I bite my nails waiting to see if this will be one of those weeks she is astoundingly good, or one of those weeks where she takes a nosedive into the bottom. Elise is never actually truly bad, but she does have control issues and can have pitch problems, both of which she experienced last week. Elise is lucky to still be around, but I hope her absolutely fabulous performance on Wednesday night will give her the momentum to at least last another week or two. The judges, happily, agreed with me that this was a stellar night for Elise.

That’s the end of our American Idol 2012: Top 7 Week Recap this week. Tune in tomorrow for the American Idol elimination results and find out which contestants will managed to squeeze through to the next round.