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Hollie Cavanaugh fails to ignite on 'Idol'

Hollie Cavanaugh fails to ignite on 'Idol'

April 5th, 2012 by DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer in News

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hollie Cavanaugh didn't give the judges a good feeling on "American Idol."

The demure 18-year-old singer from McKinney, Texas, fizzled Wednesday with her rendition of "Flashdance" by Irene Cara during an evening of 1980s tunes on the Fox talent competition. After her performance, "Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez warned Cavanaugh to stop listening to everyone and "let it go" when she's performing on stage. Steven Tyler was more blunt.

"Your pitch was all over the place," he said. "I'm so sorry to tell you."

The panel also wasn't in love with Elise Testone's take on "I Want to Know What Love Is" from Foreigner. Tyler told the rocker, who impressed with Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" last week, that he didn't think it was the "right song choice," while Randy Jackson informed the 28-year-old teacher from Charleston, S.C., that she was "much better than this."

"It was just out of tune everywhere for me," he said.

There was much more praise for the other finalists, including 20-year-old face painter Colton Dixon of Murfreesboro, Tenn., with Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"; growly 21-year-old pawn shop worker Phillip Phillips of Leesburg, Ga., with Genesis' "That's All"; and 17-year-old student Deandre Brackensick of San Jose, Calif., with DeBarge's "I Like It."

"I like it," Lopez told the curly haired singer. "I like it a lot."

The judges were on their feet for a gospel-infused version of Simply Red's "If You Don't Know Me by Now" from 19-year-old student Joshua Ledet of Westlake, La. They were also pleased with Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" from 16-year-old student Jessica Sanchez of San Diego. The closing take on Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" from Skylar Laine incited a very different kinda of reaction: Lopez was on the verge of tears.

"I wanted to show my full range, and I hope I did tonight," said the 18-year-old country rocker from Brandon, Miss.

Between the individual performances, the eight finalists paired up for male-female duets: Laine and Dixon waded through "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, Brackensick and Cavanaugh took on "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters, and Phillips and Testone bonded for "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.

"I want more of that show," Lopez cooed to Phillips and Testone.

However, it was the vocal sparring between Ledet and Sanchez on "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael that won the most praise from the judges. Jackson claimed it was "one of the greatest performances" he's seen on "Idol," while Lopez not-so-subtly suggested she could see the pair going up against each other in the finale.

The remaining singer with the fewest viewer votes will face elimination Thursday.

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Online:

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