“American Idol” Recap: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow For Erika Van Pelt

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Posted by on 03/23/2012 at 12:07 PM Recaps

The Popdust Files: american idol, haley reinhart, jennifer lopez, joe perry, lana del rey, steven tyler, tv recaps

Who is responsible for the murder of Erika Van Pelt’s Idol career?

Suspects:
Erika Van Pelt: Influenced by P!nk, who has short hair.
Tommy Hilfiger: Suggested a haircut, like P!nk, who has short hair.
Soyon An, Idol Stylist: Nodded her head of long, beautiful hair at this suggestion.
The Hair: Jarred us.  Confused the luscious haired J. Lo.
America: Didn’t vote for Erika Van Pelt
Red Sox Nation: Also didn’t vote for Erika Van Pelt, possibly because the Rhode Islander sang “New York State of Mind.”
Diddy: Was awesome.

Well, we can all rule out Diddy who was awesome, because he’s awesome. In fact, we can’t even really blame the hair, and not just because Randy Jackson and all of Twitter (source: Ryan Seacrest) loved it. I mean, DeAndre Brackensick was in the bottom three and he has the best hair on the planet (source: Ryan Seacrest). This rules out the three suspects whose actions led to the haircut, leaving you, America (which includes Red Sox Nation). But we don’t blame you. You were confused. Why? Because of the true unintentional culprit: Elise Testone.

If you like a cool, on-the-level broad with a big, soulful voice, you’re gonna give your votes to either Erika or Elise. It’s my theory that the reason these girls have been on the bottom is because they’re splitting the cool-on-the-level-big-soulful vote. The “Adele” vote, if you will. Sure, Elise didn’t startle or confuse us by falling prey to the call of Extreme Makeover: Idol Edition, but the reason Erika went home last night was because Elise killed it so hard that it rendered Erika’s performance irrelevant. As punishment for her crime, Elise must serve the community with more crazy sick runs. OR ELSE.

Well, other than that, how was the show?

There was a group number.

In which Elise had to sing and dance on Steven Tyler’s lap and kiss on Steven Tyler’s cheek. She deserves at least top 6 for that. Our top ten took on Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time” (I’d predicted they were going to start the fire) and it was pretty standard group number fare. Cheesy opening choreography. Everybody gets a solo (the way Oprah would have it). One person gets the longest solo (Colton Dixon). One person has to awkwardly interact with a random audience member (Skylar Laine). One person delivers their solo from a smouldering crouched position (Phillip Phillips). One person gets a solo wayyy too low for them (Erika :-/). Also, Colton wore a lady shirt, hee hee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GoqSsKNCn8

Haley Reinhart stopped by.

Haley sang her debut single “Free” from the inside of a birdcage. Is there some sort of metaphor here I’m missing? The cage was lifted after the first chorus when she sings “I want to be/I want you to be/Free?” Huh, there must be something there. Anyhow. Last season’s 3rd placer’s jazzy, piano-driven song was actually quite a nice fit for Billy Joel week. Her red dress was also quite a nice fit (big slit on the right, Jolie style). Her hair and final pose were teasey and sassy. All in all, a success for Reinhart. Ohhhhh I get the birdcage now,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0ESXXwSur8

Lana Del Rey also stopped by.

Proving Idol’s desire for del rey-tings (sorry). I can’t imagine a performer more poorly suited for the Idol stage. A show about great singing and stage presence, of which she has neither. Has anybody noticed she has, like, four voices? One is Default Lana:  Semi-normal, small, weird phrasing. One is Little Girl Lana: Even smaller, babyish phrasing. One is Nico Lana: Deep and airy, foreign phrasing. One is Orca Lana: Orca noises. Well, we got to see all four Lanas, and it was WTF, but not nearly as WTF as SNL (granted, it was prerecorded). All in all, a success for Lana?

So did Joe Perry.

…and his skunk hair. It’s Styler’s (trying it out) birthday this weekend, so he led the audience and the contestants in “Happy Birthday.” In the audience was Steven’s (back to the basics) daughter Liv Tyler, who looked genuinely touched. And she looked normal, which is just, like, how?

There was a bottom three.

Which featured the class clown Heejun Han, the human theremin DeAndre Brackensick, and, of course, the ill-fated Erika. Heejun wore exercise pants to the results show, so he deserved to get schooled by Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine. Jimmy likened Heejun’s hot mess performance of “My Life” to “four minutes of an Adam Sandler movie that goes straight to DVD.” Oooo, Down, boy! Then, he laid out the straight talk: “Interscope has to spend a lot of money on whoever wins the show, and that’s not it.”

And then there were nine.

Jimmy applauded Mr. Hilfiger’s persuasiveness (“How you got a girl the day before a show to cut her hair and sing in front of 20 million people…I’ve never seen that in 40 years in the record business.”) and Erika’s voice (“She deserves to be at the top of the batch.”). So, Erika, you leave Idol with a fan in Jimmy Iovine, 40,000 Twitter followers (and counting), and an upcoming national tour. And a free haircut!

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