The April 11 episode of American Idol 2012 featured the top 7 contestants as they sang current songs by big names including Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Bruno Mars. While a few failed to nail their routines, Elise Testone capped off the two-hour show with a rendition of a Lady Gaga tune that earned the judges' praise.
But before Elise got down to business on stage, she called her hometown support "insane" and said that she "couldn't ask for a better fan base".
During her weekly mentoring session, guest Akon is worried that she was "on a road to destruction" as he and Jimmy Iovine shot down her initial plan to start Lady Gaga's "You and I" on the drums. They encouraged her to skip the gimmicks and stick to the singing. Jimmy predicted an escape from the bottom three with a good routine.
Instead of the drums, Elise tickled the ivories during the opening bars of her performance. She delivered the song with her usual gritty vocals, but it lacked that Gaga edge that makes the colorful star's songs really vibrant.
The judges, however, gushed over the 28-year-old's offering. Randy Jackson declared "Elise is back" and called it "the perfect song". Jennifer Lopez praised her for letting go and keeping control at the same time. Steven Tyler loved her "beautiful vocal" and said she'd taken a simple song and made it something "genius".
Elise Testone narrowly escaped the bottom three last week, so she could well be in danger once again. To see how it all plays out, watch the American Idol 2012 top 7 results show April 12 at 8 PM on FOX.