'Idol's' Testone Channels Hendrix, Queen

Local soul singer mostly impresses judges with song picks.

Mount Pleasant resident Elise Testone let her hair down and her passion for singing shine when she sang two raspy songs on Wednesday's "American Idol."

Testone is competing along with five other contestants on the hit FOX singing competition show. This week, the singers were asked to sing one song by Queen and another of their choice. Testone, a fixture on the Charleston live music scene and a local voice coach, chose "I Want it All" by Queen and Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love."

Read more about Testone's time on "American Idol" here.

The first performance of "I Want it All" had all three judges raving about her talent.

"You sang that like the classical song it was, if not even better, tonight," said Steven Tyler.

Jennifer Lopez, another judge on the show, said she was not only impressed with Testone's singing, but the performance as well.

"It was natural, it was sexy-it had everything," she said. "You looked great, you sounded great, the whole thing just came together."

Randy Jackson said he felt it was Testone's best performance in the competition so far, and afterward, Testone told host Ryan Seacrest that it was her intention.

"I just wanted to own it, sing with conviction and passion and just do justice to Freddie (Mercury) and Queen," she said.

However while Jackson was impressed by Testone's first performance, he did not enjoy her rendition of "Bold as Love" as much.

"For me, it wasn't the right song for this time in the competition," he said, telling Testone he felt she "attacked" the simple song and overdid it.

But Jackson's review was peppered with Lopez repeatedly saying "no" in disagreement with his comments.

"I just feel like you slayed that song so hard," she said.

Tyler was impressed with the performance, but cautioned Testone to choose songs that the audience is familiar with for the purpose of the competition.

"You have to do songs that people know," he said. "You can't pick the cherries with your back to the tree."

In between the performances, videos were shown of the other contestants critiquing their fellow competitors. The singers poked fun at Testone for giggling after she talks. Phillip Phillips also brought up how Testone moves her hand in a "Mariah Carey" fashion when she sings.

"It's like she's a sniper trying to kill the notes, and she definitely kills them," he said.

On Thursday, the Top 5 contestants will be revealed as one of the singers will be voted out of the competition. "American Idol" airs at 8 p.m. on FOX.


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