"American Idol" Top 13 contestant Elise Testone

"American Idol" Top 13 contestant Elise Testone Credit: Fox

My granddaughter Alex is now five, and it's the fourth season that she's been watching and commenting on "American Idol" with me.  For her first concert, she had a front-row seat at age 2 1/2 during season 8, and it was the Adam Lambert show for her!

She's now taken Adam's picture down from the bulletin board in her room and has developed a more refined opinion -- "girls rule," and her favorite contestant, replacing Season 10's Lauren Alaina, is Elise Testone or, as she puts it, "the girl with the hat (she did don a chapeau for two weeks in a row during the semi-finals).

As for her opinion of the contestants' performances last Wednesday, she was touched that Phillip Phillips' father teared up when reminiscing about his son.  With regard to his performance, she said "he gets a check," meaning that he was good.

She thought that Jessica Sanchez's baby picture reminded her of her friend across the street.  Alex danced around the room to Jessica's rendition of "Turn the Beat Around." She also got a check.

While she thought Heejun Han's baby picture was cute, his performance didn't fare as well.  She said, "x for Heejun, crossed out, shut down."  And as for DeAndre Brackensick, she just walked out of the room when he performed.  Her comments were "boo . . . he's disgusting." (I don't think she likes it when his voice goes into falsetto mode.)

Her comments for Elise Testone were "I'm not going to check her because I like her already."  She also gave Shannon Magrane a check, and she remembered from the tryouts that Shannon's dad was a baseball player (Joe Magrane, who pitched in the 1987 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals).

She laughed at Colton Dixon's baby picture and wanted to know why he had "those things" (ear plugs) in his ears while he was singing and why does his hair stick up in the front. When asked if she liked his performance, she said "I'll have to think about it."

She didn't react much to Erika Van Pelt's performance this week, however, last week when she heard her sing Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me," she said "that's the Weight-Watchers song.” (Jennifer Hudson sings it in the commercial that was played several times during commercial breaks.)

Jermaine Jones' sit-down with the "powers that be" confused her, and she wanted to know what he did.  We explained that he got in trouble with the police.  She said "I don't like him . . . bye, bye.”

Skylar Laine was not a favorite of Alex's in the beginning, but she said "I like her now. I like her song."

Joshua Ledet and Hollie Cavanagh sang ballads, so Alex was bored with their performances. She likes to be able to dance to the music and slow songs don't afford her that opportunity.

Alex has a memory like an elephant, as evidenced by a comment she made when she saw that the guest mentor was will.i.am.  She said, "Hey, that guy is from the Black Eyed Peas."

There were a few nail-biter moments for Alex, as her fave Elise Testone landed in the bottom three for two consecutive weeks, but Alex felt confident that Elise would survive, and she did!  She was also annoyed that three GIRLS were the bottom three, but she said she wouldn't be upset if Erika or Shannon went home.

It's pretty obvious from her comments that Alex is in the "I like girls and I hate boys mode."  While I don't think her favorite will win, there is a pretty good chance that Season 11 will deliver a female victor.

As for the adult POV, the consensus is that we like Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh and Phillip Phillips best.

Next Wednesday, the Top 10 will perform songs from Billy Joel's songbook, quite a hefty challenge IMHO. Season 10 alum Haley Reinhart will perform her single “Free,” and Lana Del Ray will appear via tape performing her single “Video Games.”

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