Hollie Cavanagh performed Journey‘s 1983 smash hit ballad ‘Faithfully’ on ‘American Idol‘ tonight, and though she tried gamely, it seemed some of the song’s vocal range and urgency eluded her.

The performance opened with Cavanagh standing in front of a desert highway scene projected upon a giant video screen. The mood was set perfectly for a dramatic delivery of the song’s opening “Highway run / Into the midnight sun / Wheels go round and round / You’re on my mind” lyric. Unfortunately the young singer faltered in a couple of places, and the spare instrumental accompaniment made it all the more obvious.

As the song proceeded, Cavanagh stayed in a rather safe vocal range, never getting too high or too low and as a result never really delivering any emotion or drama into the normally irresistible song. Now, we’re not saying it was terrible, and we really thought that for once we’d be in sync with Steven Tyler and the rest of the judges.


Randy Jackson and his diamond-studded ‘YO’ pin happily declared “You’re peaking at the right time,” before turning to Jennifer Lopez and shouting — twice — “Holly wants to have the whole thing, dog!” As for J. Lo, she said the performance “got me a little bit emotional, to see how far you’ve come.”

Surely, Tyler will see things a bit more like we do, right? Well, maybe not, he seems under her spell as well: “Holly I watched you two years ago, you were so young and it was so hard to tell what was going on. Creativity is a very delicate flower, you can make it bloom with positive affirmations, and that’s what you’ve done.”