'Then and Now' night on American Idol 2012, which took place on April 18, was a tale of good and not-so-good for finalist Colton Dixon. Though his first round routine drew praise, his second pick wasn't especially well-received, and may leave him in danger entering tonight's elimination.
Colton sat alone on stage for his second performance of the evening, tickling the ivories of a red piano while sitting under a tree. "September" proved to be an interesting song choice for the chameleon-haired Tennessee native. Although he changed up the arrangement enough that it was virtually unrecognizable--the original version was made famous by Earth, Wind and Fire--it lacked his usual vocal punch. Colton can sing just about anything he wants, but something about this particular song felt like a mismatch for his pipes and style. It didn't do much to showcase his range and the delivery felt almost stifled.
The judges were left wanting more. Steven Tyler confirmed that he loves Colton's voice, but added "I think your voice is a lot more powerful than that song" and scolded him for not making a better pick. Jennifer Lopez appreciated how he'd "made it [his] own", but didn't think it was "the perfect performance". Randy Jackson made the tenor of the comments three for three, noting that perhaps he'd gone out of his comfort zone in the wrong direct with Earth, Wind and Fire, and that perhaps a Lil Wayne song would've been better choice.
To his credit, Colton responded well to the hefty dose of criticism sent his way. To see if he survives the axe and once again evades the bottom three, watch the American Idol 2012 top 7 results show tonight on FOX. With the judges' save gone, anyone --including Colton Dixon-- could get the boot.