American Idol's top eight contestants journeyed back to the '80s on Wednesday with songs from the Reagan era, including hits by Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper and Bette Midler. No Doubt's Gwen Stefani was on hand to provide her expert guidance, which bumped contestants Skylar Laine and Joshua Ledet back into the running for America's next pop star.
American Idol said goodbye on Thursday to contestant Erika Van Pelt, who cut and dyed her hair into a jet black pixie for Wednesday's round of Billy Joel tributes. America's voters — and the judges, who declined to save Van Pelt from elimination — were not impressed enough to keep her around.
American Idol mixed Billy Joel hits with Tommy Hilfiger looks on Wednesday night, debuting its first episode in which a fashion icon dresses and dolls up the contestants. Leading the pack this week were Jessica Sanchez's cover of "Everybody Has a Dream," Phil Phillips' "Moving Out," Colton's Dixon's "Piano Man," and Elise Testone's "Vienna," though she took a risk by choosing a more arcane Joel tune.
It's almost two months into the new season of American Idol, which means that fans are already choosing their favorites, and a few hearts across America broke when singer Jermaine Jones, 25, was dismissed from the competition when it was discovered that he had concealed a criminal past, as well as four warrants outstanding for his arrest.
American Idol wasted no time planning its Whitney Houston tribute episode. As soon as voters (and judges) zeroed in on the top 13 last week, it was time to announce that Wednesday's episode would treat us— or subject us, depending on how you look at it — to six women singing Houston's hits and seven men singing Stevie Wonder.
Following a nationwide vote and another tense two-hour results show Thursday night, American Idol is just 13 steps away from naming the next superstar in pop music. With 33 million votes cast, host Ryan Seacrest was once again tasked with breaking a few hearts as he announced who America had chosen, but not before Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine appeared via videotape to breath a little life into the show with some Simon Cowell-esque brutality.
Wednesday night's episode of American Idol — the second live show of the season — proved to be tough on the top 12 female contestants, who sang their hearts out in front of judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.