When the American Idol 2012 top 4 performance show aired May 9 on FOX, the hopefuls showed off their vocal talents via songs that they find inspirational. It wasn’t a great round for tiny blonde Hollie Cavanagh, who took heat for both her choice and delivery of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”.
Hollie chose the well-known Bonnie Raitt tune because she loves it, and because “every girl likes to write those love songs”. Jimmy wasn’t impressed with her choice, however. He called Bonnie Raitt one of the most soulful singers of all time, and warned Hollie against oversinging and losing her emotional connection to viewers. He opined that given the strength of competition coming from the other finalists–Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, and Phillip Phillips–she needs to “do magnificent” and not just okay, or she’ll be out.
Hollie looked older than her 18 years in a dark sleeveless top and pants. And she pulled off an emotional rendition of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. She didn’t just sing the words; she felt them, and it was apparent on her face. It wasn’t pitch-perfect and it may well not be enough to secure her a top in the top 3, but it wasn’t bad.
The judges, however, dealt Hollie the harshest criticism of the night. Steven Tyler thought it fell “a little short”. Jennifer Lopez reminded her that she’s trying to “make America love” her and criticized her pick. She noted too much “vibrato” and thought the vocals “went off”. Randy Jackson called it a great song, but didn’t think it was a good pick for her “ginormous” voice. He thought it was “the wrong choice at the wrong time”.
For her part, she said she was feeling it, and that she still loves the song anyway. But will Hollie Cavanagh’s fans be able to rally, despite the judges’ flagrant desire to see her sent packing? Watch the American Idol 2012 top 4 results show tonight on FOX and find out.