Flickr user earsaregood
Update April 26: With only six contestant left, the American Idol competition is getting down to the nitty gritty. Last evening, April 25th, the remaining few were challenged to sing one song by Queen and a second song of the Idolette’s choosing.
Elise hit the ground running, with tambourine in hand, and delivered an incredibly strong cover of Queen's "I Want It All." (above) The judges loved it. For Elise's personal pick, she went with the obscure song "Bold As Love" by Jimi Hendrix. Showing off her rock and jazz vocal abilities with the song was a slick move, but when you're trying to win American Idol, going with something more mainstream is key.
Judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson chided her for picking such an obscure tune, but JLo went out of her way to shush the nay-sayers and told Elise she "slayed it."
Sadly, however, tonight, Thursday, April 26th the CCU alum, Elise Testone received the fewest viewer votes and will not be the next American Idol.
Update April 19, 2012: On Wednesday night, the Idol hopefuls had to perform twice, singing songs from recent and past years.
Elise earned raves from the judges after rasping her way through Alicia Keys' "No One," then drew some critical evaluation for her rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On".
Both performances were strong, but judge Jennifer Lopez may have hit the nail on the head when she explained to Elise that American "isn't connecting" with her because she fails to show a lot of emotion or vulnerability.
You can watch her performance of "No One" above, and "Let's Get It On" below.
Update April 12: For this week's contest, Elise Testone was paired up with Philip Phillips for a cover of the wildly popular "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye feat Kimbra.
While Phillips screamed the entire chorus, Elise handled Kimbra's part of the song with the slyness and beauty that shines through in the original.
The judges ate the duet up and said that the two should do more duets together - eh.
Update March 29, 2012: Elise closed out Wednesday night's American Idol with an unforgettable cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" that rocked the house AND the judges faces off.
Elise worked the crowd and was clearly having fun with her song choice this week. Her energy and passion for the song impressed this week's guest vocal coach Stevie Nicks and garnered a standing ovation and a whole lotta praise from all three of the Idol judges.
The votes will be tallied by this evening's 8 p.m. episode in which the American Idol Top 8 will be announced.
The Sun News' KICKS! also has a write-up about Testone's Idol appearance last night.
Update March 23, 2012: Elise's Wednesday night performance of Billy Joel's "Vienna" won over judges and America - she's safe this week and advances to the Top 9 in the competition.
The next round is March 29.
Update March 15, 2012 - 10:10 p.m. Elise Testone once again survived elimination on Thursday night, though she finished in the bottom three.
Testone is now in the final 10 that return to compete on Thursday, March 22.
Jermaine Jones was eliminated for not disclosing all of his criminal background and Shannon Magrane was the bottom finisher.
Update March 15, 2012: American Idol judges and America were treated to a big heaping spoonful of what Elise Testone is all about last night.
Tasked with performing a song from the year that she was born, Elise went with Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." The soulful jam, which she described as "baby making music," wowed the judges. It was great to see Elise back in her element and back in the good graces of the judges.
Update March 9, 2012: It came down to the wire last night, with Elise and Jeremy Rosado as the last two contestants left on the stage.
Luckily, the judges, who had the final say in who got the axe this week, sent Rosado packing.
Update March 2, 2012: How far will she go? Elise Testone made it to American Idol's Top Ten.
You can read more about the judges' reaction to her performance in this Sun News article.
Update March 1, 2012: If you hadn't already heard the news, Charleston's Elise Testone, a CCU graduate, is one of the remaining 42 contestants on American Idol.
According to the article in yesterday's Post and Courier, Testone, 28, teaches at Music Unlimited in Mount Pleasant and is a 2005 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a degree in music.
Tune into FOX tonight at 8 p.m. to watch Elise and the other American Idol hopefuls when they take the stage in Las Vegas.
First Report February 7, 2012: A CCU graduate and a North Myrtle Beach man show off their skills on two of the nation's top talent-search TV shows.
Elise Testone graduated from Coastal Carolina in 2005 and showed off her singing abilities, making it to “Hollywood Week” in American Idol’s 11th season. Trestone is a New Jersey native living in Charleston and, according to our sister site down in Charleston:
....is a bluesy local singer/songwriter that's coming up in the industry, having already opened for acts such as Snoop Dogg, Nappy Roots, Kevin Costner's band Modern West, and Seven Mary Three.
She not only performs solo--she also plays with three other Charleston groups: The Freeloaders, James Brown Dance Party, and Slanguage.
The Sun News has an interview with Patti Edwards, Testone's voice professor from Coastal Carolina so hop on over and give it a read. You can checkout Elise Testone's music on her MySpace page and read more about her in a Charleston Magazine interview here.
Paul Wilson of North Myrtle Beach had an audition for NBC's America's Got Talent this past Friday, February 3. Wilson performed at the Charlotte Convention Center, showing off his flute playing skills. Wilson makes and sells his own instruments on his website GoldenHawkNativeFlutes.com. No word yet on if Wilson made it to the next round on America's Got Talent but we hope Howard Stern was nice to him.
Head on over to The Sun News to read their write-up on Wilson.