March 23rd, 2012 by faye
“American Idol” contender Phillip Phillips did not follow the advice of his mentors from the reality TV contest – and the judges reportedly loved him for it.
The 21-year-old pawn shop worker from Leesburg, Ga., defiantly wore gray after style adviser Tommy Hilfiger said it was too drab. Phillips just shrugged off musical mentor Diddy’s mandate to dance. He then turned out a growling “Movin’ Out” during a Wednesday evening of Billy Joel tunes on “American Idol.” Randy Jackson called it “one of the best renditions of that song ever.”
“You took that song and you Phillip Phillips-ed that,” said Steven Tyler.
Aside from Phillip Phillips, other contestants who impressed the “American Idol” judges included 16-year-old San Diego student Jessica Sanchez with an amazing rendition of “Everybody Has a Dream;” 28-year-old teacher Elise Testone, of Charleston, with a soaring take on “Vienna”; and 20-year-old alt-rocker Colton Dixon of Murfreesboro, with a classic version of “Piano Man.”
“You sing with pure feeling,” Jennifer Lopez told Phillip Phillips. “I had goosies from head to toe the moment you started.”
Deandre Brackensick of San Jose, California, opened “American Idol” with “Only the Good Die Young,” but it was 26-year-old disc jockey Erika Van Pelt of South Kingstown, who got everyone’s attention by debuting a shorter and darker hairstyle during her performance of “New York State of Mind.” Lopez said Van Pelt’s new style gave “a Pat Benatar vibe.”