Last night on American Idol the contestants battled it out to try to earn a coveted spot in the Idol finale next week. With none of the final three backing down, the evening was filled with superior performances and, to make use of the season’s buzz word, plenty of “moments.”
The night kicked off with Joshua Ledet on stage singing Randy Jackson’s song selection, “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. Not surprisingly, he absolutely nailed it and earned high praise and a standing ovation from the judges. Joshua’s own pick for the evening was John Lennon’s “Imagine,” a surprising choice for a young man who seemed to be focused heavily in the R & B genre. His rendition was very good, however, not as well received as the first song. For Joshua’s final song of the night, Jimmy Iovine chose Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama,” which proved to be an excellent choice for Joshua as he knocked it out of the park.
Stuck in the middle this week was Jessica Sanchez, although she didn’t seem to mind. Jennifer Lopez was tasked with picking the first song for the aspiring diva and she selected “My All” by Mariah Carey (hate to say I told you so, but well…read yesterday’s prediction). A very difficult song, indeed, Jessica sang it better than most could, although much of it seemed too low for her voice range. She earned the judges praise, however, with Steven Tyler even going so far as to predict her as a possible winner. Jessica’s own selection for the night was “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Idol’s own Steven Tyler. The Aerosmith front man thanked her for making a good song great, and the other two followed suit with high praise. For Jessica’s last song of the night, Jimmy Iovine selected the Jackson 5 classic “I’ll be There.” One would have expected the young idol contestant to opt for the more powerhouse version of Mariah Carey, however, Jessica stuck to the original, although even Jennifer noted that she “could have used Jermaine” for the lower parts.
The third and final contestant of the night was Phillip Phillips who started his trio of songs with Steven’s choice “Beggin” by MadCon which, no doubt, left thousands of viewers rushing to iTunes to listen to the original. Phillip’s own choice for the night, “Disease” by Matchbox Twenty, left judges less enthusiastic with J.Lo noting it wasn’t a “wow” performance. Phillip’s last song and the final song of the night was Jimmy Iovine’s selection “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger, which truly was the best of the night and arguably his best of the entire season. With so many criticisms regarding his ability to sing the melody of a song, Phillip proved them all wrong with a powerful, yet sensitive (and melody heavy!) performance that left the judges and the audience on their feet.
So, who makes it to the finale and earns a chance to be the next American Idol? With so many surprises this season, it really could be anyone, however, based on voting history and tonight’s performances, I would have to imagine we are going to say goodbye to Jessica Sanchez tonight. The judges’ only save of the season, Jessica has already been voted off once before. In addition, while she bravely took on three powerful singers on last night’s show, she didn’t have the memorable performances that make viewers get up and vote. With such remarkable performances from both Joshua and Phillip, they seem to have a definite edge heading into tonight’s elimination. Fortunately, this means we might get to see more of these amazing two idol hopefuls…Unfortunately, with Joshua and Phillip at the finale, it means more awkward duets for the duo as well. You win some, you lose some, America.
Find out which contestants make it to the finale tonight at 8/7c on Fox.
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