Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Season 11 Finale: Top 2 Perform

Welcome back. Well it's been 5 months and we've seen hundreds of performers, watched hundreds of performances, have seen tons of great moments, saw several big shockers, and luckily for our sanity we're finally here. Tonight Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez will perform for their chance to be the next American Idol. Both of them will sing 3 songs. The first song being Simon Fuller's (the shows creator) Choice, the second song is a song they have already performed and the third song will be their potential winning single. Jessica has had probably the strongest run, but Phillip has had one of the most consistent runs with 2 of his best performances coming the last 2 weeks. Should be an interesting showdown.

Tomorrow night's blog will not only be a recap of the actual finale but a tribute to the season as a whole, featuring a review of the contestants that were part of this season, as well as several great and not so great moments that have happened along the way. But tonight it's all about Phillip and Jessica. Phillip won the coin flip and wisely decided to go second. Should be an interesting night, so as we always do, let's get to it:

Performance 1: Simon Fuller's Choice

Jessica Sanchez(I Have Nothing)
This is a powerhouse of a song albeit a little predictable of a choice. Singing Whitney Houston is something that Jessica handled beautifully early on in the Live Rounds with "I Will Always Love You" but it's still a pretty daunting task to tackle another one of her songs. She approaches this song with just as much power and now even a bit more confidence and growth then what she had back then. This was a pretty bold song choice but Jessica rocked it out pretty well. She changed it up a little, but given that everyone knows this song it's tough to change it up too much. She definitely showcased her talents. Very nice first performance.

Phillip Phillips(Stand By Me)
This was also a pretty predictable not overly creative song choice by Simon Fuller. It didn't push Phillip out of his comfort zone. He did nice things with the song. It was typical Phillip Phillips. It was acoustic, it was solid vocals and it allowed him to change the melody up a little bit. This song has been done by so many artists, in so many types of ways. I don't think Phillip did this the best version I've ever heard but he did a really nice job for his first performance of the night.

Judge's Round 1 Review
Jennifer=Battle of the opposites. Tough to compare. America has a tough job. Jessica has such power and beauty. Phillip is a crooner with soul and artistry. America just has to vote for the person that moves them the most.
Judge's Choice Round 1 Winner=Jessica(Randy's Choice)

Jason DeRulo Performs
Since at least the Live rounds began we have heard that we(the American public) got to help Jason DeRulo write this "masterpiece" of a song. It was alright. I don't know. It was kind of a quick song so in all honesty it was kinda tough to hear all the lyrics. That seems like it defeats the whole point of the competition. Either way.

Performance 2: Contestant's Choice

Jessica(The Prayer)
Ryan reminds us that Jessica sang this song to earn a spot in the Top 24. Interesting and very smart choice. She couldn't do something that she killed because you don't want to compare the two, but you also don't want to pick a song that didn't do you any favors. This was a bold and seemingly very smart choice. It allows her to show her soft side and then hit those really high notes. And she hit those high notes for sure tonight. Some of the notes that she hit were just beautiful and that one was killer. Not sure how the judges didn't get a standing ovation on that one.

Phillip (Movin' Out)
I remember Phillip really enjoyed this Billy Joel performance several weeks ago, and even then  I thought it was very good. He really changes the melody and makes it his own.  His intensity this time around is very apparent. This song allows him to hit his gritty high notes when necessary. It ends kind of abruptly, but the performance was very solid. Another nice job by Phillip. He is definitely doing his thing.

Judge's Round 2 Review
Steven=Phillip is doing his thing, but Jessica just keeps winning it.
Judge's Choice Round 2=Steven thinks Jessica won it, Randy thinks it was a dead heat, Jennifer think it was Phillip's round.

Performance 3: Contestant's (Potential) Winning Single

Jessica(Change Nothing)
Not entirely sure of this song. The beginning didn't really do much, it was a little too low, but the middle through the end had points which Jessica could really hit. There was a lot of good but it wasn't an entirely solid song. She sounded great, she seemed incredibly relaxed and cool and did as much as she could with a mediocre song.
Randy=Did not love the song but made the song more than it was. Brought the song to life. But the song was just OK.
Jennifer= Sang the song really well. Has so much soul and it missed that in the song. Everything needs to be you.
Steven=Knows how good you can sing, didn't feel the song was a proper song for her.

This song reminded me of Simon &Garfunkel or something like that. The song was definitely in Phillip's lane. They had a whole bunch of drummers come out. It was a performance that a potential winner would have. It was a total Phillip moment. He chose wisely. The judges give Phillip a standing ovation.
Randy=Love the song, you, the production. Everything was perfect. Loved it. Best performance of the night. Brilliant, genius.
Jennifer=So different. Didn't sound like any other singer or band. A true Phillip Phillips song.
Steven=Made the world his own. Heard a little Paul Simon in his voice tonight. Thinks he is the man.

Scotty McCreery Performs
Singing the song that played over the credits and over the taped packages when contestant's left Scotty McCreery returns to the Idol stage. It's crazy that it's been a year since he won.


Should Be The Winner of American Idol?
Jessica Sanchez. She sang better than Phillip on 2 of the 3 songs. She has had a very strong run and has outperformed Phillip on several occasions throughout the season. Phillip's first song was a little predictable and his second performance was good but not as good as Jessica's second performance.

Will Be The Winner of American Idol?
Phillip Phillips. It's not always how you sing but when you sing. Jessica won the first 2 rounds, but Phillip sang last and had a beautiful performance while Jessica's last performance was disappointing. People have super short memories and Phillip's last performance was an American Idol winner type of performance.

Final Thoughts
*This is gonna be a tough one. Jessica and Phillip both had great moments and not so great moments on the Idol stage tonight. The only difference between the two is that Phillip's weak moment came in the beginning and his best moment came at the end, while Jessica's weakest moment was her last performance, which is in turn her last impression on the voting audience. Whoever told Jessica to pick that last song needs to be fired immediately. That song did Jessica no favors.That could have and might have cost her the competition.

*Phillip had a great run on this show. He has had some really beautiful moments and then some not so great moments. Luckily for Phillip a lot of his best and strongest performances were the last few weeks, including his last performance tonight. He might have won the competition with that incredibly smart last song choice.

*Jessica had a very consistent run on the show. She never was really up or really down, even the week that she was sent home, it wasn't her worst performance.Tonight's last performance was one of her weaker ones because the song was kinda brutal. It's possible that given her age she didn't know that she could say "No". It seemed like she was upset at the song choice herself. All season long her age really hasn't been a detriment or cost her anything, who would have thought that her inexperience and inability to make the tough decisions might have cost her the Idol crown right at the end.

*Whoever wins will be pretty deserving. This was one of the toughest seasons because the talent was pretty exceptional. People that could have won other seasons like Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, Skylar Laine and most recently Joshua Ledet didn't make the finale so that's a huge testament to both Phillip and Jessica.

Come on back here right after the finale tomorrow. Like we mentioned we will be posting a sort of tribute/review of Season 11 as well as a recap of the actual results show where we will learn if Phillip or Jessica will be the next American Idol. Vote in our poll posted below this blog and let us know who you think will be the next American Idol. So until tomorrow, see ya!

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