The Week in Idol: Farewell, Milli Falsetti

By Seth Abramovitch

Apr 06, 2012

I think at this point in the season, it’s important to remember just how disposable the product rolling off the American Idol conveyor belt can be. Case in point: The dramatic video that began this week’s competition show, starring, um, some Korean dude named,, shh, wait...actually, let’s swing around back to this later. The point is, we’re in the Idol Hot Zone right now, when the hype grows to the size of a Fox-skinned blimp, and every performance is declared to be THE GREATEST. PERFORMANCE. EVER. IN THE HISTORY. OF SINGING. EVERRRRR. So let’s take a moment to remind ourselves that this is just a TV show, and no, the walls are not tumbling down around us, and no, death is not a preferable fate to having to say goodbye to Deandre Brackensick, whose fluffy ringlets and castrato runs offered all of us a glimpse of what the bellboys might look and sound like in Heaven. Godspeed, Milli Falsetti. We’re better off for having known you.

Now, let’s ask some probing questions and see if we can’t answer them.

Who faces the most risk of going home next?

That would have to be Elise. Granted, the girl’s got a massive set of Testones for even attempting to tackle Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” but her bar-band-singer limitations got the best of her this week. Elise, who in recent weeks has been gushed over by the judging panel, is sort of a cautionary fable about over-praising your children: A little goes a long way; too much, and the next thing you know they’re proudly handing you a self-portrait finger-painted with their own feces and demanding you affix it to the refrigerator door.

What happened to the pretty boys this week?

They stank! That’s what happened. Let’s start with Colton, who covered a Cyndi Lauper classic with a flaccid, mid-tempo, lite-rock arrangement that had me fantasizing that Captain Lou Albano* would suddenly appear from the wings and deliver a debilitating piledriver to this Jesushawked scrunch-smiler. (*Forgive my cryogenically dated references, but this WAS ‘80s Night, was it not?)

The cute can only go so far with Phillip, but after this week, it’s time to call out his one-trick-ponydom for what it is. This one pony is kind of strange! It keeps clutching at its side and making pained faces and hunching over like its about to deliver a baby alien through its stomach. It didn’t help that Genesis’s “That’s All” is a plodding song that really did him no favors.

Next question: Who chose good songs?

Easy. Skylar and Joshua. “Wind Beneath My Wings” was pure, ‘80s cheesetasy, in the best possible sense, and Skylar’s chipmunk grin and bowel-shaking vocals combined for one show-stopping performance. Joshua, meanwhile, chose Simply Red’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” a brilliant song choice for his prodigious vocal talents. He’s 19, so I’m guessing someone guided him to that song. Good on you, Unseen Hand of Idol Song-Choosing God: Your taste is refined, your knowledge of ‘80s pop masterpieces, omniscient. How else to explain the resurrection of “Knew You Were Waiting,” the Aretha Franklin/George Michael duet I had completely forgotten about? The pairing of Joshua, who reminds me of a male Aretha (for real), with Jessica, who is quite obviously patterning a career on Beyonce and actually has the chops to follow through, was an inspired idea. One of the best Idol performances I’ve ever seen, and that’s not just Hot Zone hot air.

Is J-Lo right? Are we looking at a Joshua/Jessica finale?

I am now thinking that yes, the great Lopez Oracle may be onto something. These two strike me as the real deal. Here’s how I measure that: I imagine a major musical awards ceremony, three to five years from now. The Grammys, the American Music Awards, the VMAs. Can I picture them on that stage? Yes, I do believe I can. Can’t picture Colton there, or Elise, or little Hollie (poor thing), or Phillip. But I can see Joshua up there, and I can see Jessica up there. And let’s not forget their ages: These kids are 19 and 16, respectively. Do you know how many hit records those two can pump out between now and the moment they reach Steven Tyler’s age, which is 167? Many, many hit records! Bring it on: I want to see these two go all the way.

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  • BryanEddy Apr 09, 2012

    Phillip is a one trick pony .last week he finally decided to sing on the one beat for once.

    Joshua is the best ,especially for his age.And Jessica is not only great ,she can sing Whitney and still sound like Jessica.and she never once did the Whitney,finger the mic tap.

    The rest are throw under the bus bait. Holly should've gone before Deandre.

    The BACK UP singers deserve more props cause they sounded fantastic .But what would I know about singing talent.

  • AndreaAndreev Apr 07, 2012

    Jessica and Joshua are certainly very talented and I definitely can see them winning the title but I just can't imagine myself buying their respective albums.Jessica especially has the potential to be turned into a mini Beyonce and sing huge chart-topping pop hits,which after hearing for the millionth time I'll inevitably begin to hate.

    Phillip and Elise -I can imagine buying their albums for sure.I hope they record a duet together some day.( I would gladly listen to a Jessica and Joshua duet too.)

    Colton seems too full of himself and is way too preoccupied with his hair.I just don't get why people are so crazy about him.Have you noticed how he was playing to the cameras during his performance on Wednesday.

    Skyler-she is great but I am not a fan of country music.

    Hollie has a great voice and seems like a nice girl but she doesn't seem to be enjoying herself on stage.

    If I had to make a prediction, I'd say Jessica and Joshua are headed towards the finale(they are delivering great performances every time),probably only Phillip or Colton have a chance to challenge them.

  • BarryDalton Apr 07, 2012

    "I want to see these two go all the way."

    I doubt your dreams will come true. I don't think Joshua swings that way.

  • BarryDalton Apr 07, 2012

    I really enjoyed Colton's performance and his duet was pretty good too. Philip was awesome (though arrogant as hell in his 'i ain't arrigunt' schtick). I'd buy an album of duets from Philip and that big blonde chick, they sounded great together.

    But was it just me or was "Mili Falsetti" pretending to be straight on the elimination show?

  • Clupea Apr 07, 2012

    I have no idea what anyone sees in Colton - yes he has a pretty face but his voice is average at best, his personality is non-existant and and that hair is just awful. Joshua is certainly talented, I just don't like his voice (personal taste, I can't stand Adam Lambert either). Hollie is forgettable and Phillip is boring. I cannot appreciate C&W; but something about Skylar is very attractive. Jessica is a prime reason for not taking children into the competition - the minimum age should be 18 (at least) - in a few years she'll be very very good. I really like Elise's style, it's just a shame she seems to be unable to sing in tune in front of the cameras/audience. The only thing I liked about Deandre was his hair (natural? Really?) so I'm glad he's gone . The only one I'd have liked to see win was Heejun as he had the balls to stick the finger up to the establishment although it was clear they were never going to let him get close to the finale. Top 3? Has to be Jessica, Joshua and Phillip or Colton with Joshua probably taking it from Jessica. If it were my choice rather than the voters, it'd be Elise after some intense voice coaching/therapy to get rid of the nerves, Skylar sticking to C&W; and Jessica with a few very protective adults to keep her safe for a couple of years from the excesses to come.

  • bluemystique Apr 07, 2012

    - Elise and Hollie. Elise because she's older than the others and her type of vibe musically only seems to speak to mainstream America in the forms of Amy Winehouse and Adele. She has the potential to be really great and I love her tone, but she's not mainstream enough for American Idol. And Hollie...because she's just downright forgettable and has no presence whatsoever.

    - I love them both. Philip more than Colton. The best and worst thing about them is their inability to compromise who they are and they're style, vibe, genre whatever. I respect it. I thought Philip did well. Colton, not so much. It was him trying to hard and sort of failing.

    -Maybe it's because it's 80's week and most of the song choices were songs I enjoyed and it was all around a breath a fresh air because even the worst this week were better than previous weeks but I for the most part loved the song choices with the exception of Elise (who should have stuck with Hallelujah.), Hollie, and Jessica (who should stick to ballads). Colton's arrangement of Time after Time just didn't work and the others were sound song choices that made sense.

    -Possibly...but so many factors contribute to who is in the finals and sadly their voices and/or talent isn't always at the top. I think America likes their resident rockers so Colton has a shot. And many people just adore Philip so he could be a shoe in as well.

    I think Hollie should have went home but she'll probably go next week. I was actually a DeAndre fan, but this type of competition wasn't suitable for his type of voice and his genre of music. It isn't Billboard Top 100 music.


  • computerfix3r Apr 07, 2012

    Well, I have been thinking about the base voting blocks for the different singers. Figured that ringlet boy and Joshua probably had about the same base so byby falsetto. I think Elise and Philip are probably sharing the same base which bodes badly for Elise. Kinda think Colton and Hollie are from the same base and right now, either one could go tho probably, Colton will stay longer. Jessica, kinda in a group by herself, tho can see her picking up a bunch of Hollie voters and some fasetto boy's votes. Which leaves Skylar with a base that is not shared with anyone. I can honestly see the final four being Skylar, Philip, Jessica and Joshua, with Joshua going home in the Daughtry position. Skylar going home third, and Jessica winning it all. Of course, I could be wrong.

  • Procrastinator Apr 07, 2012

    I agree with you on Philip and your description of him was spot on. He has one trick, and if you notice his eyes are always closed.

    I thought J-Lo was being a bit double standard-y when she told Holly, that she should follow the advice of the mentors cos of who are where they are. Philip ignored his mentors when they told him to sing without a guitar and what did he get, nothing but appreciation for it. Granted Holly might not have been as good as Philip was, but shouldn't the same rule apply to everyone?

    I think the next to go home might be Elise or Hollie. I hope Hollie will be there for the long run cos she is just plain cute and her voice is amazing!

    Jessica and Joshua are 'powerhouse' singers (like the judges like to mention) and shoudl go all the way through. Colton wasn't that great this week.

  • BarryDalton Apr 07, 2012

    who really cares, but you're wrong on Philip...on this episode he did exactly what the judges told him to do...they didn't tell him not to sing without his guitar, but they told him to stop playing and sing the chorus and he did

  • nexpose Apr 07, 2012

    The next two to go have to be Elise and Holly. Not sure which one first but I can't see what lots of us have called the top 5 to be any different. Depending on their voting block, Joshua, Jessica, Colton, Skylar or Philip can win.

    I agree that Philip is really the same thing all the time. But there's a grouping that likes his "too down to earth" feel. When you think of how Idol has the last two standing, there's usually a truly pure singer and a down to earth singer. After the top 5 we shall see.