Elise Testone Not Emotional Enough on ‘American Idol’ Covering Alicia Keys + Marvin Gaye
Elise Testone found herself in the bottom three once again last week, and this week she seemed more than determined to stake her claim in the competition and get herself off that lower rung. After joking that Testone seems to have a vacation home in the bottom three, Jimmy Iovine encouraged the vocalist to nail it this week.
For her first song, Testone took the stage in a stunning orange gown with a sheer layer that flowed freely in the wind of the onstage fan, along with the hopeful’s blond spirals, which she let loose tonight. Taking on Alicia Keys‘ ‘No One,’ Testone seemed almost somber with the fire in her eyes exposing her utter need to do well.
Singing straight to the judges and her audience and never moving from center stage (perhaps because she didn’t want to step out of the wind?) Testone did bring it tonight, showing just enough restraint and power while adding a bit of her signature growl to the song.
And though she still didn’t have her “Wow! That was perfect!” moment, Testone did get approval and encouragement from all three judges, with Jennifer Lopez pointing out how natural she is on the stage and reminding her to smile since that’s when her “eyes come alive.” Even Randy Jackson was a fan, praising her for sticking to the melody and adding, “This is one that just sings itself.”
For her second performance of the night, Testone had to take on an older, more soulful song, so she chose Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get it On,’ and though she was slinky and hit the low notes and even added the occasional “ow!” for emphasis, the judges just weren’t thrilled.
“You always sound so good, and it’s always hard to critique you for me,” Lopez began. But then she admitted that she just doesn’t see enough emotion from Testone, telling her she wished she would just be more vulnerable and let it out. “It’s about getting really vulnerable, which is really scary,” she said, suggesting that perhaps that’s why America hasn’t quite connected with her. Tyler pushed her to “kick it up a notch,” and Jackson agreed that the song choice just didn’t do it for him.
With mixed reviews tonight, we’ll have to see what America decides when it comes to the sweetly soulful Testone.