Thursday, May 24, 2012

Season 11 Finale: The Winner Is Crowned

Welcome back. Well tonight is the night. Before we get too far into the recap I wanted to Thank everyone that has read this blog. I hope you enjoyed it and will come back next year for our next season of I'dol Be The Judge. 

Now getting back to this recap. As a tribute to the season we wanted to include a review of the Top 13, their best performances and what we thought about them at the time. We also have included some awards that we want to give to several contestants or moments along the way. We will also put how we did with our predictions for the season. Below this tribute to the season will be our regular recap for the show.Enjoy this tribute to Season 11 and our final recap of the season:

Awards For The Season:
Best Performance:
I Will Always Love You-Jessica Sanchez
Runner Up: It's A Man's Man's Man's World-Joshua Ledet

Worst Performance:
My Life-Heejun Han

Most Shocking Moment
Jessica Sanchez Elimination at Top 7 Week 

Least Shocking Moment
Jessica Sanchez's Save at Top 7 Week

Most Shocking Elimination
Jessica Sanchez
Runner Up: Colton Dixon

Most Impressive Run
Hollie Cavanagh [Bottom 3 or 2 Five Times(4th Place Finish)]
Runner Up: Elise Testone [Bottom 3 or 2 Six Times(6th Place Finish)]

Contestants Recap:
13th Place
Jeremy Rosado
Best Performance: Gravity [Top 25 Week]
Season Grades: B-

12th Place/Disqualified
Jermaine Jones
Best Performance: Dance With My Father[Top 25 Week]
Season Grades: C+

11th Place
Shannon Magrane
Best Performance: One Sweet Day[Top 11 Week]
Season Grades: D+, B
10th Place
Erika Van Pelt
Best Performance: Edge of Glory [Top 25 Week: Wild Card Sing-off]
Season Grades: B-, B, B

9th Place
Heejun Han
 Best Performance: A Song For You[Top 9 Week]
Season Grades: B-, B-, D+, B

8th Place
DeAndre Brackensick
Best Performance: Master Blaster [Top 13 Week]
Season Grades: B+, C+, C+, B-, B+

7th Place
Colton Dixon
Best Performance: Piano Man[Top 10 Week]
Season Grades: B, B, A-, A-, B, B+, B-

6th Place
Elise Testone
Best Performance: A Whole Lotta Love [Top 9 Week]
Season Grades: B-, B, A-, A, A, B+, B, A-, B+

5th Place
Skylar Laine
Best Performance: Wind Beneath My Wings[Top 8 Week]
Season Grades: B, B, B-, B+, B+, A-, B+, A-, B+, A-, B+

4th Place
Hollie Cavanagh
 Best Performance: River Deep Mountain High[Top 5 Week]
Season Grades: A-, A-, B-, B, B, B, B+, B, A-, A-, B+, C+, C+

3rd Place
Joshua Ledet
Best Performance: It's A Man's Man's Man's World[Top 4 Week]
Season Grades: B+, A, B-, B+, A-, A-, A-, B+, A, A-, A, B+, A, B+, A-, B+

2nd/1st Place
 Phillip Phillips
Best Performance: We Got Tonight [Top 3 Week]
Season Grades: A, B+, B-, B+, B, A-, B, B, B+, B, B-, A-, B+, B, A-, A

2nd/1st Place
Jessica Sanchez
Best Performance: I Will Always Love You[Top 13 Week]
Season Grades: A+, B+, A, A-, B+, A-, B+, B+, A-, B+, A, A-, A, B+, A-, A-

Our Season Predictions:
Bottom 3 Predictions

Going Home Predictions

Tonight's Recap:
Hopefully you enjoyed the review of Season 11. Now onto tonight's show, let's get to it:

Top 12 Perform
They perform Runaway Baby from Bruno Mars. Everyone is there except Jessica, Phillip and obviously the disqualified Jermaine Jones. This song was performed in the season by Joshua Ledet and it was one of my favorites of his because it was so different then his usual shtick. They are all dressed in white and seem to be having fun. Joshua tried to do a split and almost fell and then was shown up by some random dancers. I guess it moved into Nigel Lythgoe's other show "So You Think You Can Dance". They did a good job with it, nice way to start the show.

New World Record
132 Million Votes were cast for Jessica and Phillip last night. That includes phone, text and Internet. Obviously the more ways for people to vote the more votes the show will get. But it's still quite impressive.

Phillip & John Fogerty Perform
It's pretty cool that Phillip gets to sing with John Fogerty from Creedance Clearwater Revival. I kinda thought that they would get Dave Matthews to perform with Phillip, but given how similar their voices are no actual side-by-side comparison is really needed.  This was pretty cool. They sing CCR's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain". They then sing "Bad Moon Rising". Their voices blend pretty well together. Good stuff.

Auditions Clip Package
We get to see clips of some of the "craziest" moments from the audition rounds. Some bad contestants, some "unexpected" moments from the judges, some bloopers. It doesn't seem that long ago but it kinda was. Ryan got punched, some guy asked who Ryan was, some guy broke a light, Ryan got stuck in a door. Seeing some of Steven's antics reminds me how much he shines during those rounds and how he goes backwards during the Live rounds.

Joshua Ledet & Fantasia Performs
He is back with this Elton John classic "Take Me To The Pilot". I wonder if this would have been Joshua's choice if he made it to the finale. Joshua gets to sing with one of his favorite Idols, Fantasia Barrino. She looks like a completely different person. Her hair is long, her voice sounds deeper, but she still has her Fantasia bounce. It's cool that he gets to sing with his Idol. Their energy together is just off the hook. Joshua just tears down the house with this performance. It reminds us how much we missed not seeing him in the finale. They go a little long and American Idol has to cut them off, that's how into the performance they were.

Jimmy Iovine's Bloopers
He messes up Jennifer Lopez's name a ton of times. He mixes up Jennifer with Jessica. He claims it was due to his daughter's name being Jessica.

Ladies of The Top 12 & Chaka Khan
Erika Van Pelt has gone back to her blonde roots(no pun intended). It's nice to see Elise but really nice to hear her. Also fun to see Shannon, Skylar and Hollie. They sing a compilation of Chaka Khan's songs, "Ain't Nobody Love Me Better" and "Through The Fire". Jessica then comes on stage and joins the other girls along with Chaka Khan to perform "I'm Every Woman". She looks great. All the ladies look and sound pretty great. At the end of the performance Jennifer Lopez is missing from the judge's table. Hmm.

Ford Music Video
Ford created a tribute to all the members of the Top 12. We learn that both Phillip and Jessica's mentors, Phillip's brother in-law, and a family friend of Jessica got to get tickets to the American Idol finale. They also both get new Ford Escape cars. Then both Jessica and Phillip get the 2013 Ford Fusion. Thus ends the tortuous Ford Music Videos for Season 11.

Rihanna Performs
Singing her new single "Where Have You Been" Rihanna performs along with a pretty extravagant stage. She is wearing a pretty scantily clad dress. Looks good, sounds good and the performance is very cool.

Skylar Laine & Reba McEntire Performs
Skylar returns on stage with Reba McEntire singing "Turn On The Radio". This was a pretty perfect duet. I always loved Skylar's energy and performance skills and tonight was no different. Jennifer Lopez is still M.I.A. Hmm.

The World of Steven Tyler
We get to see Steven Tyler's dressing room.  We see he has strange animals(mainly sloths), he has tons of pictures, we see he has some Playboy bunnies in there, his sister is making out with some dude, we see a piano that Steven supposedly wrote "Dream On" on.Weird, but sorta typical Steven Tyler at this point.

Jessica Performs
It's crazy to think but Jessica first sang "I Will Always Love You" during Top 13 week and now she is performing it again at the finale. That was probably her best performance it's crazy to think that was only the beginning. She sings the song beautifully again, I'm glad that they decided that she should sing it once more. Jessica doesn't get a duet partner, but with this song, and this version, she doesn't need one.

Guys of Top 12 & Neil Diamond
The men of the Top 12 sing a Neil Diamond medley. They begin with "America", and Heejun sounds pretty awful. They then sing "Cracklin Rosie" and Jeremy and DeAndre sound really good on it. They then sing "I'm A Believer". Joshua kills this one. Then Neil Diamond comes on stage and sings his most popular, maybe most famous song "Sweet Caroline. Dude looks pretty good  and his voice is just as good as it has ever been. They haven't done a Neil Diamond week since Season 7 maybe it's time they reinstate one next year. Jennifer Lopez is still missing from the judge's table. What's up?

Homage to Randy Jackson
They show clips of how trite and predictable and repetitive Randy Jackson is with his comments. One of his most famous/repetitive lines is "You're So Good You Can Sing The Phone Book" so they had members of the Top 12 actually sing part of the phone book. I think my favorite part was when DeAndre used his falsetto singing some random phone number. Clever.  They wanted this clip package to be funny and it was but it also was sad for Randy that he says that line a lot. Joshua definitely goes to church with this one, but this time he was supposed to on purpose.

Jennifer Lopez Performs
Well now we know how long it takes for Jennifer Lopez to get ready to perform. She missed at least 7 segments getting ready. Either way, she performs two songs "Going In" and "Follow The Leader". She looks great and her performance is fun and energized. She has a concert with Enrique Iglesias to sell so she made her performance pretty fun.

Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo
They are American Idol's first couple. Diana was runner-up in Season 3, and Ace was on Season 5 and they met a few years later. Ryan asks Diana and Ace to join him up on stage and she looks shocked to be going up there but Ace is on a mission. Ace proposes to Dianna and with the lights dim and the Idol results music turned up Diana accepts. Maybe next season finale we will see the first Idol wedding. Ya never know with this show. Cute.

Hollie & Jordin Sparks Performs
Hollie sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" which is a huge song. This was one of Jordin's biggest moments/performances during her Season 6 American Idol season. It's nice to hear the two of them together, they both have powerhouse voices and they both deliver a powerhouse performance.

Top 12 Guys Perform A Bee Gees Tribute 
Robin Gibb passed away last weekend and Idol decided to do this little tribute for him. The guys sound great. They sing "How Deep Is Your Love", "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart", and "To Love Somebody". Sad to hear of his passing but this was very well done tribute to and for him.

Jessica and Jennifer Holliday Perform
Before Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for singing "I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" Jennifer Holliday made this song what it was. Seeing the Jessica and Jennifer together was just awesome. They threw it down. They threw it down hard. Jennifer Holliday killed it and Jessica was just as brilliant as well. One of the best finale duets/performances I've ever seen and that's saying something given how long I have watched this show.  The way Jessica and Jennifer finished that song was just unbelievable. Wow. Just Wow!

Aerosmith Performs
It took 2 years but Aerosmith finally performs together on the Idol stage.  They first sing their new single "Legendary Child" and it's just classic/perfect Aerosmith. It's everything you want in an Aerosmith song. Sometimes you take for granted Steven Tyler's talent because he's not the best judge in the world but then he performs and you remember that he is a legend and you almost forgive some of his nonsense throughout the season. They then go on and sing "Walk this Way". When you see Aerosmith you want them to sing this song, it's just one of their best songs ever.

Jessica & Phillip Perform
They both sing "Love Lift Us Up". I remember Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood sang this duet in Season 4 during the finale. There are a million songs out there so it's interesting that they chose to re-do a song. I know it's been 7 years since then but it's just the principle of the thing. They both do sound good together though. Their voices blend quite well.

Final Results

Winner of American Idol Season 11
Phillip Phillips

Final Thoughts

*As I said last night whoever won this season deserved it. This was one of the strongest seasons ever. There were several legitimate contenders. So Congratulations to Phillip Phillips. Jessica Sanchez will also have a big career and deserves so much credit for getting to this point. I look forward to hearing her on the radio.

*It is crazy that this is the 5th season in a row that a white male has won American Idol. I don't know what that means in terms of voting, who's voting, how people vote, how many times they vote, but that's something that will either be figured out next season or just is how it is and we'll have to deal with it. Stay tuned for any changes American Idol does over the next year.

*I think Jennifer & Steven did a much better job in their second season. I still believe they need to be more consistent, more critical, especially in the early parts of the live rounds, but they both did a better job than they did last season. We'll see what happens with Jennifer coming back or not. Randy definitely needs to step his game up. He disappointed me this season with his comments, or lack therof. He's been here for 11 years it's time he figures this stuff out.

*I was very impressed with Ryan Seacrest this season. After watching several other singing competitions Ryan is one of if not the best host for this kind of job. He may be corny or even frustrating at times but he runs a good show, keeps everything pretty smoothly and is a professional. Nice job by him.

*2 last notes. Jessica is the first contestant ever to be "saved" to get to the finale. Phillip is now added to the list of American Idol winners never to have been in the Bottom 3 or 2. Huge testament to both of them.

Well there ya have it. Phillip Phillips is the new American Idol. Congratulations to him again. I hope everyone has enjoyed I'dol Be The Judge this season. We had fun doing it. Please check back in with us from time to time over the Summer and Fall as we prepare for Season 12 of American Idol which will debut in January 2013. Wow. So hopefully see you soon. Below we have posted Phillip Phillip's winning performance and song. Enjoy! So for the last time this season, see ya!

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!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Top 3 Results

Well tonight is the night we learn which of the remaining 3 contestants will make next week's finale. We predicted Jessica Sanchez going home tonight. That pick is based more on the judges' over-love for the 2 guys then because Jessica did anything really bad. Honestly all 3 have had big moments, they've had bad moments, and moments in between yet all still made it to this point, so it's a huge testament to each of them. A lot of performances and filler to get to tonight  and I'm not even getting into the Jennifer Lopez leaving the show rumors, so let's get to it:

Top 3 Perform
The 3 remaining contestants sing The Beatles' "Gotta Get You Into My Life". Their 3 voices don't blend particularly well on this one, but individually they sound pretty good.

Ford Music Video
Don't care. Moving on.

Results Review 1
Joshua Ledet
Jimmy Iovine's Comments
Had a good night, not his best night. Thought the judges were generous with his voice on the first performance, didn't deserve a standing ovation. Is the most exciting showman left in the competition. During 'Imagine' he overcompensated with rifts and runs and it didn't work. The song rests in it's subtly and he over did it. On his third performance he was still missing something. The song didn't give him enough melody and he needs melody. Joshua deserves to be in the finale.

Lisa Marie Presley Performs
Ya know I forgot that she sings. But in all honestly I haven't seen her in awhile. She sounds good. I was a little bored but I am sure she has her fans that appreciate her voice and style and all that.

Results Review 2
Jessica Sanchez
Jimmy Iovine's Comments
Jessica's first song didn't come together enough, not enough to win the competition despite Steven's prediction. The judges feel that it all came together in the second performance but it didn't again. She needs to have the most magical moments she's had thus far to get to and win the finale. On the third performance the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" she didn't pull it off because she had to be two parts, she had to be Michael and Jermaine Jackson, and because it made it more difficult it came out awkwardly and it might hurt her. Jessica is worthy to sing on the Grammys, if she gets to the finale it's all about the song.

Adam Lambert Performs
 Adam sounds nice tonight, he was also wearing some neon-glow in the dark clothes and leather pants, so that was 'neat'. He's very cool and easily one of the most famous Idols to never won Idol and even more than some Idols who have won Idol.

Results Review 3
Phillip Phillips
Jimmy Iovine's Comments
The first performance was entertaining it was fun. At this point he is becoming more and more original, it didn't steal the show but it was great, no harm no foul. The second performance was risky and he deserves credit, but it was such a snoozefest. That song was not strong enough to sing at this point in the competition. Phillip won the night with that last performance. His best performance from the entire competition. He hit notes that no one knew he could hit. He was flawless. Genuinely knocked out. There was depth to his performance that hasn't been felt all season long.

Final Results
First Safe?
Jessica Sanchez

Last Safe?
Phillip Phillips

Going Home?
Joshua Ledet

Final Thoughts:

*Not gonna lie, I am pretty shocked. I thought it was 2 man finale this season. The fact that Jessica was saved by the judges only a few short weeks ago, and Joshua is the king of judges standing ovations was completely shocking. Phillip being safe was no shock at all. There was nothing overly bad about Joshua last night, he did nothing extremly wrong , he was the same kind of guy. His performances did lack a little something like we noted and then Jimmy noted as well. I just think the power of Jessica and Phillip's fans overtook Joshua's fans just enough. Joshua will have a nice solid career, I have no doubt in that.

 *I think Jessica got through because her fan base is huge and she sang solidly last night. I think when it came down to Phillip and Joshua, Phillip had the last song of the night and killed it. Joshua went first and his last song was his weakest. Sometimes it's not how you sing, but when you sing. All 3 of them have tons of fans and each sang beautifully, I think it was extremely close so little things like placement on the show might have pushed Phillip over the edge and thus sent Joshua packing. 

*So for the 3rd straight year in a row it will be a male and a female duking it out in the finale. Phillip has had an incredible run, having never been near the Bottom 3 or 2. He's had tons of standing ovations, and his fan support by the females especially seems incredible. Jessica was actually voted off the show, but despite that one week she never was Bottom 3 or 2 again. She's had huge moments and then some just decent ones. I know for a fact that her interaction with social media, especially Twitter is huge, so her fanbase has really helped her these past number of weeks.

*I think next week is all about song choice and having big moments. If Phillip picks songs like "Disease" he'll lose. If he picks songs like "We've Got Tonight", he'll win. Same goes with Jessica. If she picks unknown songs or songs that don't showcase her talent and give her a big moment then she'll lose. If she sings songs like "I Will Always Love You" or "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" she'll win. This all comes down to how and what they sing.Should be some fun and interesting performances next week.

Well that's it. Next week's episode is on Tuesday night so check back in with us right after the show. Below we have posted our favorite Phillip and Jessica's best performances to date.  So enjoy and we'll see you next week. Until next time, see ya!

Top 3 Perform: Contestant/Judge's/Jimmy's Choice

Welcome back! Well we are almost there. So close. One week left until the finale. But before we get there we have tonight to get to. Jessica, Joshua and Phillip are 3 very deserving contestants so tonight should be fun. Each contestant will sing 3 songs. 1 song will be Judge's Choice, 1 song will be Jimmy Iovine's Choice and 1 song will be the Contestant's Choice. We'll also get a peek at their hometown visits. Lots to get to tonight so as we always do, let's get to it:

Performance 1: Judge's Choice:

Joshua Ledet(I'd Rather Go Blind)
This Etta James classic was Randy's choice for Joshua. It was actually an appropriate and good choice by Randy for Joshua. It allowed him to do a lot with it and push it further when he needed to. He really got into the performance and those last few notes were killer. The way he said "baby" was crazy. The judges give him the first standing ovation of the night.
Steven=Another Joshua moment. It's a dream come true. Sang like an American Idol tonight.
Jennifer=Is such a throwback. He killed it and brought down the house again.
Randy=A classic stylist. Another amazing performance tonight.

Jessica Sanchez(My All)
This Mariah Carey song was Jennifer's choice for Jessica. Singing Mariah Carey is difficult it's been tried and not done well countless times on Idol, so it was a challenge. Jennifer explained that the song would show a different kind of tenderness to Jessica's voice and that's exactly what happened. The song was difficult, but she went where she had to. It got soft at points, it had runs, it was simple but complex in the same way. You could almost see the relief in Jessica when she finished the song, glad to be done with it.
Randy=That was absolutely beautiful. The perfect choice for her. They always say should never sing Mariah because it's so difficult, but it's one of the best times a Mariah song has been song on TV ever.
Jennifer=A hard song. But did it so beautifully. Used her tenderness in the perfect spots. Proved she could get through such a difficult song.
Steven=When you sing you make people hang on every note. Get used to encores. So over the top.

Phillip Phillips(Beggin')
This  Madcon song was Steven's choice for Phillip. I was not familiar with this song, but it was definitely in Phillip's lane. Steven said that the song allows him to stay in the melody but it doesn't seem like he did. His voice sounded better than it did last week for sure. It was a fun performance, and he did a few things with the melody and tempo which were really nice. The song and his voice went soft and then at times he really got into it with the band.
Jennifer=Made the song all yours. It was great.
Steven=Beautiful to watch his whole self unfold. Hoping that he writes his own stuff because he could be the next Bruce Springsteen.
Randy=Just at the Phil Phillips concert. So in the zone. And have been since Day 1. Another incredible performance.

Performance 2:  Contestant's Choice:

Joshua (Imagine)
We see a glimpse of Joshua in Louisiana. He got to go back to his church. He got to visit his family. He sang in a sold out arena. All good stuff. Joshua decided on this John Lennon classic. I kinda liked the simplicity of Joshua's performance, at least in the beginning. It was just him and the piano and I enjoyed that, just focus on his voice. The song has been done on this show and every single singing competition show countless times by tons of people, but Joshua sang it just as well as the best singers that have attempted it. Plus, that last note was really good. He made a few changes to the tempo and phrasing but did just enough to keep it true to the original and make it his own.
Steven=Revel in the fact that he's able to make every performance better and better. So fine. So good.
Joshua=Pulled back in control. Preaching while he's singing. Has an incredible voice and the way he is able to dig deep into the performance makes him really special. Takes courage and vulnerability and he did it.
Randy=Loves that every word means something to him. He digs deep to the lyric and meaning. People feel everything that he does. Loved that he pulled back but still gave a big Joshua moment at the end.

Jessica (I Don't Want To Miss A Thing)
We see a glimpse of Jessica in San Diego. She got to take a helicopter to her hometown and actually landed in the San Diego Padres stadium. Very cool. She got a huge welcome by her fans. She got to see her family, and you remember that she's just 16. You can almost forget because her voice is so much older than her age. She got a parade and she got to perform in front of her fans. Really nice. Jessica chose this Aerosmith classic. Ballsy given who she's performing in front or, but it's a cool choice. She does her own take, and she kinda has to since she's not Steven Tyler. She does a very solid performance. She hits the high louder notes and then gets very soft, very controlled. The end was different and really cool. Steven stands up for Jessica.
Steven=Took a great song and made it greater. Beautiful.
Jennifer=That was a big deal. It was amazing. That last note at the end sent everyone to the heavens.
Randy=Has chosen some big songs. Started a little slow but towards the middle it really came together and the last note really delivered.

We see Phillip in Georgia. He's greeted right away by a ton of female fans. He gets to eat at his favorite restaurant but he finally gets to see his father, the original, Phillip Phillips Sr. Phillip and his Dad get pretty emotional. Then Phillip gets to see the rest of his family then gets to do the parade and concert for his fans. Phillip chose this Matchbox 20 song. It was a cool song choice, but it didn't allow him a big moment. It was a very well done vocal though. I liked the saxophone and bongos, along with Phillip's acoustic guitar. After seeing Jessica and Joshua's second performances this one was a little understated, especially for a Final 3 performance, but still very solid.
Jennifer=An easy flowing performance. The song didn't give him a "Wow" performance that is needed. We'll see what ya got next. It was good.
Steven=Wasn't over the top. But it's who he is. Didn't knock the ball out of the park.
Randy=Didn't like it either. Such a subdued moment. He could do this in his sleep. More of a moment and risk was needed. Just OK.

Performance 3: Jimmy Iovine's Choice:

Joshua(No More Drama)
Jimmy chose this Mary J. Blige song. Jimmy thinks that this song allows him a big moment. He thinks this song will allow him to go to Church like Mary J. Blige can and has done with this song. I think this was a great song choice but I felt that Joshua was battling it a little. He sounded like he was trying to catch up to the tempo and melody throughout. He didn't seem comfortable with it. There were some moments that he was able to go to where he usually is but he wasn't there consistently. The last part of the song really was in Joshua's lane and style and I loved how he got into it. It was just a bit uneven at points.
Randy=At this point it doesn't matter what he does and can sing he laid it all out there. Is just a natural performer. An amazing singer, an amazing performer and has true star quality.
Jennifer=Has the magic of doing what he needs to and letting it all go. Out of this world.
Steven=Was just beautiful. Over the top, just over the top.

Jessica(I'll Be There)
Jimmy chose this Jackson 5 song. Jimmy wanted a song that would appeal to the older audience and the younger audience at the same time. The Jackson 5 appealed to the older audience but were fresh and young, the same can be true of Jessica. This was a really beautiful vocal. She hit some crazy high and beautiful notes and then got really tender. It wasn't over the top, it was subdued but incredibly solid.
Steven=Perfect song, nailed it. Gorgeous.
Jennifer=It was a perfect song choice. Killed it so hard, especially at the end.
Randy=I liked it OK. Didn't love it. There was never a moment moment. Wish she did more the Mariah Carey version which allows more moments. But it was OK, not OMG.

Phillip(We Got Tonight)
Jimmy chose this Bob Seger song for Phillip. Jimmy thinks this song will reach both the female and male audience. This song doesn't really allow an acoustic guitar so Phillip goes without one. This song really focuses on his vocal. The vocals were really on par with some of his better performances of the season. The judges give him a standing ovation.
Randy=The perfect song at the perfect time. His best performance on the show ever. Had a giant moment. Sang the melody. In It To Win It.
Jennifer=Really really sweet. Beautiful.
Steven=No other word but beautiful. Sang like he just didn't care. Showed he has so much passion all up in him. Nailed it.

Going Home?
Jessica.  She sang as well or better than she ever has but the judges were crazy in love with the 2 boys tonight giving both of them standing ovations and none for her. The guys did have a great night as did Jessica but it just seems that she is most likely going home.

Final Thoughts
*It's gonna be tough for Jessica to not be sent home. She got no big love from the judges tonight and her last performance got negative feedback from Randy. It appears just from the past few weeks and tonight that Jessica's time on the show might be over. So we might be seeing the first 2 male finale since Kris Allen versus Adam Lambert in Season 8.

*This was easily one of the best Final 3 nights ever. I'd definitely rank it in the Top 2 or 3 best penultimate episodes. All 3 contestants were very solid, they each had great moments. It should be interesting to see who comes so close but yet so far.

That's it. Hope you enjoyed. Tonight we will learn which 2 contestants will be making the finale next week. So come on back here right after tomorrow night's episode. Take our poll at the end of the blog and let us know who you think should go home. Until next time, see ya!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Top 4 Results

Welcome back! Tonight is a big night, whoever is part of the Top 3 gets to go home and gets a parade and a lot of big ceremonies, so it's a pretty special event getting to that point.We picked the ladies, Jessica and Hollie, into the Bottom 2 (despite our want of Phillip over Jessica), with Hollie going home. As we said last night Hollie has been in this position before and escaped being sent home so ya never know, especially this late in the game. We shall see. Tonight there will be a lot of performances and of course those lovely time wasters so as always let's get to it:

Top 4 Perform
Given that last night had to do with California, the Top 4 appropriately sing the Mamas and Papas famous song "California Dreamin". The Mamas and Papas were also 2 guys and 2 girls so it makes it work even more. They sound pretty decently. It's such a simple song, so they can't go too far wrong.

Ford Music Video
We get some Behind The Scenes footage from the video about them driving around in the new Ford electric car.  Doesn't help take away the fact that it's still a Ford Music Video. Meh. Phillip gets a pass from doing Ford videos due to his health issues, so it's just Jessica, Joshua and Hollie. Again, meh.

Results Review 1
Phillip Phillips
Jimmy Iovine's Comments:
His first performance showed him coming into his own. It was just the beginning of him finding his real self and identity.On his second performance he finally delivered on his potential and promise. Everything just came all together. It was all magnificent.

Hollie Cavanagh
Jimmy Iovine's Comments:
Her first performance was very dramatic and it kinda worked because it's a dramatic song. The second performance was a bad choice in song. She didn't understand enough about the song or the words or the meaning behind the song. She crashed and burned and lost out to the other 3 singers. 

David Cook Performs:
Over the course of the past 11 seasons David Cook is definitely one of my favorite Idols. I rooted for him from early on and was able to watch him win the whole season. Hasn't really happened since he won over 4 years ago. He comes back to the Idol stage pretty frequently and it's always nice to see him. He looks and sounds really great.

Results Review 2
Joshua Ledet
Jimmy Iovine's Comments:
For his first performance he chose a pretty predictable song. It went a little too gospel and it didn't work. I love when he sings gospel but it didn't work with this song. The song let him down. The second performance was just magical. It was just an explosion that doesn't happen on this show. Never seen some things that he did with that performance done on the Idol stage before. Wants to see it again and again.

Jessica Sanchez
Jimmy Iovine's Comments:
For her first performance she did a great job but impersonating an older blues lady wasn't the best way to go. Going back to the growl every time is a trick that can get old and predictable, and should only be pulled out some times. Her second performance she brought all her artillery. Her power, her growl, everything was flawless. She murdered it. Tommy Motolla(the man who first managed Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez's careers) said he was going to her first concert. The whole performance was just shock and awe.

Jennifer Lopez Performs
They move Steven and Randy away from the Judge's Table to make it seem that this performance is Live, but when it was in fact taped a week or so ago. Not saying it was a bad performance, or that she didn't look and sound good, but it was pretty standard. At one point I'm pretty sure she danced with her dancer boyfriend, so that was interesting, given that last year she danced on stage with her former husband Marc Anthony. Curious who'll she be dancing with next year.

Final 4 Results
Safe or Not?
Jessica is SAFE
Joshua is SAFE

Who's Safe? 
Phillip is SAFE

Who's Going Home?
Hollie is Lowest Vote Getter
Final Thoughts?

*Hollie had a really great run. Considering that she was either Bottom 3 or 2 every week for the majority of the season she lasted a long way. I was a Hollie fan in the beginning, then I kinda didn't enjoy her performances, but then I started to like her again. She outlasted a lot of really great talent, so that's a big testament to her abilities.

*I remember last season Scotty McCreery was never in the Bottom 2, except one week late in the season Ryan said, like he did tonight, that he was building the Top 3, rather than saying the Bottom 2. It made people think that Scotty was Bottom 2, but he never really was ever in danger. I think that's what happened tonight with Phillip. Every single week Ryan says that the last 2 or 3 are the Bottom 2 or 3, he didn't do that tonight, so I don't think Phillip was Bottom 2. This was just another way from them to manipulate the audience into voting for him. He doesn't need the help, but he sure is getting the winner's treatment, that's for sure. There's nothing like potentially going home to spur an audience to vote more and more for you.

*It's down to Jessica, Joshua and Phillip. We are guaranteed that at least 1 male will be in the finale. So that makes it 8 years in a row that there hasn't been 2 females in the finale. In fact the 2 female finale has only happened once in the entire 11 year run of the show, in Season 3 with Fantasia and Diana DeGarmo. I honestly don't think it will ever happen again. It at least won't happen this season. Next week is going to be either the 4th time it will be 2 males in the finale, or 6th time it will be one male and one female. We'll know very shortly.Stay tuned.

Well that's it. We've never done it before, but below are our favorite 2 performances from last night. Both Jessica and Joshua had out of this world performances, so we posted both below. We're down to the Top 3. We'll see you right here after next week's episode, so until then see ya!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Top 4 Perform: Songs From Singers or Bands From or About California & Songs I'd Wish I'd Written

Welcome back. We are down to the Final 4. This is easily one of the strongest Top 4s in recent memory. I would almost compare this season's strong Top 4 talent to that of Season 1.  Although Hollie Cavanagh is a stronger performer and singer than Nicki McKibbin, their Journey on American Idol are quite similar, with both of them in the Bottom 3 or 2 consistently. Jessica, Joshua and Phillip are collectively just as strong(maybe even a little stronger) as Season 1's powerhouse of Tamyra Gray, Justin Guarini and eventual winner Kelly Clarkson. It's an interesting debate, post in the comment section the season you believe had the best Top 4.

This week this season's Top 4 will be singing "Songs From Singers or Bands from or about California" and "Songs They Wish They'd Written". They will also be performing a duet and a group performance. Should be pretty packed, so as always, let's get to it:

Solo Performances 1: [Songs From or About California]

Phillip Phillips(Have You Ever Seen The Rain)
No Jimmy Iovine for this part of the show. Phillip goes after this Creedance Clearwater Revival song. His voice seemed strained and a bit froggy. I enjoyed the arrangement of the song, I like the inclusion of the saxophone player. He did a few changes to the melody, but in all honesty it was kinda boring. He was without his guitar which is always nice, but it didn't really hold my attention all the way through.
Steven=Living proof that success is always under construction. [Then J.Lo cut him off]
Jennifer=The vocal quality was perfect for this song. Great way to start the show.
Randy=Started a little rough, but once he hit the first chorus he fell into his old stuff. Sensational from the middle onwards.

Hollie Cavanagh(Faithfully)
The beginning of the song was a little shaky, that's for sure. I thought when she got to the middle of the song she would pick it up but it didn't really happen. Maybe I'm being overly critical but I was kinda bored through this performance as well. Her voice sounded nice, but she didn't really get into it until those high notes right at the end. But I don't think that saved the whole performance. Her big voice for sure helps, but the whole thing dragged a little.
Randy=Peaking at the right time.  Did Steve Perry proud. Right in the zone.
Jennifer=Knowing how far she came is beautiful. Had a lot of confidence. Really very beautiful.
Steven=Seeing her blossom throughout the past 2 years has been wonderful. Perfect song choice tonight. Beautiful.

Joshua Ledet(You Raise Me Up)
When Ryan Seacrest said he was singing this I thought it was kinda predictable. I know he hasn't sung Josh Grobin before, but this song is very Joshua Ledet, not saying it's bad, just a little predictable. The beginning of the song was a little weak, but then the choir came out and he got into it. But it seemed he was a little of it at points, like he was just under where his voice usually is. It didn't go to where he usually goes. The theatrics of the performance, and the ending were pretty superb, but the whole performance as a whole wasn't exactly typical Joshua despite a predictable song choice.
Jennifer=Another great performance. Loved the drama of the whole performance. Keep it consistent to the end.
Steven=Sang his little tush off again. Loves the way he sings.
Randy=Extremely happy he is here. Didn't think he would do what he did with this song, but he did. An amazing performer with a ginormous career in front of him.

Jessica Sanchez(Steal Away)
This is definitely a side of Jessica that hasn't come out much recently. She always sings well but tonight she has her grit, her growl and energy back for sure. This is kinda how we first saw her in Vegas when she sang that Buddy Holly song in the trio. I'm not entirely familiar with the song, but she did a really beautiful job with it. She did a lot with it without doing too much. I'm a little nervous that this wasn't a very well known song, but we'll see what happens.
Jennifer=The growl was in full effect tonight. Some of the things she did in there were one of the best. Just one of the best females out there, in all music, not just this competition.
Steven=Loved it. Nailed it. Showed another side of her voice. Shaking off the old you and changing.
Randy=Loved the whole vibe. Has so much soul and blues in it. The vocals are ridiculous. Can sing the phonebook. Amazing again.

Joshua and Phillip(This Love)
Last week got awkward fast because Joshua wasn't really in the kidding mood with Phillip. Phillip seems like a goofball so when he was playing around with Joshua he didn't much get into it, which made it look and seem awkward. They combine to sing this Maroon 5 song. I love how they ensure that they don't look at each other when they are singing the words. It's kinda funny. It was good. Nothing spectacular. Both Joshua and Phillip sounded better know than they did during their solo performances. Steven thought everything about it was perfect. Jennifer thought it was a cool song choice because it was an unexpected treat. Randy thought they added something to it to make it sound amazing.

Hollie and Jessica(Eternal Flame)
They both are sitting and swinging in these make-shift swings. Really odd, but it didn't take away the fact they sound great. The swinging was just nuts though. A little distracting. I'm sure the person who came up with this idea was pumped but it was a little strange. Thankfully mid song they did get up off of the swings. Their voices do blend nicely, their big voices sound well together. Randy thought it was a little strange, he didn't like the blend of their voices, didn't think they got the best of both of them. Jennifer believes both their sweetness and power came through. Steven thought the boys sang better, but they still sang well.

Adam Shankman the director of Rock of Ages and Julianne Hough a star of Rock of Ages(also Ryan Seacrest's girlfriend) got to pimp out their new movie. Ya gotta love an advertisement for a movie right in the middle of a competition show. Awesome. I'd get it during a Results Show but it's absurd to do this during the Performance show. Not saying I won't even go see this movie but I don't want to know about it right now.Plus the commercial/trailer for it was pretty long. Then Ryan went and interviewed both Adam and Julianne. It was only saved because Ryan did a kind of fake out marriage proposal with Julianne. That was the only thing that saved the whole segment.

Top 4 Perform
The Top 4 sing Foreigner's "Waiting For A Girl(Guy) Like You". It was fine. They all had their moments. It was competent, the end was kinda cool. I don't know the song so I didn't really get into it, but it was pleasant enough.

Solo Performances 2: [Songs I Wish I'd Written]

Jimmy Iovine is mentoring for this part of the competition. Jimmy thinks Phillip's voice is in a different place this week. Jimmy is thrilled for him and for us. I'll be honest I never heard this song ever before by Damien Rice, so I can't judge if Phillip did anything different with it, but seeing what he's done the past few months I'm sure he did. This song was so much better than his first performance of the night. His voice was right on the money. His voice had so much power and restraint. For the first time he really took his voice to a different place and I went right there with him. My favorite Phillip performance, by far.
Steven=Never heard him sing like that before. Everything just shone. It was beautiful.
Jennifer=Very few people can pull that off, but he did. Showed exactly who he wants to be as an artist. One of the most poignant moments a contestant ever had. Really lovely.
Randy=That was one of his best performances of the entire season. Sometimes a simple statement like that speaks more volumes.
Hollie(I Can Make You Love Me)
Jimmy tells Hollie not to oversing this song and just to feel it, she needs to pull it off otherwise she'll have no chance. Hollie chose this Bonnie Raitt song and she sang it pretty well. Her vocal prowess and power really came through at points. When she got to the middle-end of the song the orchestra pumped up a little and her voice had a nice tone to it. I wish she took it a little further, but still a little better than her first performance.
Steven=Felt a little short in terms of a dynamic range of how she can sing.
Jennifer=Didn't have the hook that she should have. Can see she bought into the emotion, but it made her vocals go off at times.She took the song to literally.
Randy=The song choice was poor. This song didn't allow her to have a moment. Didn't give her anywhere to go. Wrong choice at the wrong time.
Joshua(This is A Man's Man's Man's World)
Jimmy thinks he will kill it. This song allows the performer a great amount of chance to showcase all of their talent. Without hearing a note I knew this was a perfect song choice for Joshua. He is all about the drama and theatrics of the performance and backed by an orchestra and band he did just that. The way that he wasn't into the last performance he was so into this performance. You could just feel his energy on every note. The reason I didn't like the first performance that much was because Joshua is capable of performances like this. He's had some big moments on this show before, but that performance was one of his best. The judges give Joshua the first and very deserved standing ovation of the night.
Steven=Neither man nor woman has song that good with so much passion on this show ever. Never heard anything like that in his life.
Jennifer=People might have thought we'd seen everything he had to give but they hadn't. So much passion. Sickening!
Randy=Delivered to us and America tonight. Greatest song choice, one of the best performances on any singing show. Sends everyone to school.

Jessica(And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going)
This is an epic song for sure. Jimmy thinks that the way she sings this song was as powerful as you could get. If the audience and judges see that then it could be game over. Jessica has never had the pimp/last spot on the show before, so this is a big moment for her. Luckily for us, she pulled it off. She didn't need an orchestra or band or choir behind her, it was just her and her alone. I've heard this song a lot but Jessica sang this song like I'd almost never heard it before. It was so crazy good it's almost hard to put into words. Just unbelievable.The judges give Jessica a much much deserved standing ovation. She hasn't received a ton of them over the course of the season but she deserved it tonight.
Steven=Another winning performance. Just over the top.
Jennifer=That was just a winning performance. Her vocal ability is not something you see all the time. Felt her dig deep. It was a real moment. That was amazing.
Randy=In it to really win it. One of the hardest songs in the world to sing, but she slayed it. She is phenomenal.


Bottom 2
Jessica(Rather put Phillip but he hasn't been near Bottom 3 or 2, so although he should he probably won't)

Going Home
Hollie. I've said Hollie a few times as going home and she never has, but everyone had at least 1 moment tonight but Hollie. Her first performance was just ok and then her second one gave her critical feedback. She's been Bottom 2 or 3 for several weeks in a row. Unless people are really gonna vote for the underdog here I think she's going home tomorrow. 

Final Thoughts

*Jessica and Joshua's final performances were out of this world. If there is anything just those are the Final 2. Phillip also did beautifully on his second performance, but Jessica and Joshua delivered moments that don't come around often. Hollie faltered tonight, and given that she was Bottom 2 last week when she was pretty flawless makes me think she is in some serious danger.

*I know I wrote it before but that long trailer/commercial for Rock of Ages bothered me. I know they do it and have done it before, but they usually do it during Results Show, for them to do it in the middle of the show was just absurd. I know it makes the most sense in terms of pimping out the movie, but doesn't take away the fact that it was incredibly annoying. 

Well that's it. Who do you think deserves to go home? Can Hollie escape again? Will Phillip continue to be the only Idol this season to not be in the Bottom? All those questions and more will be answered tomorrow night. Please check us out tomorrow after the episode. Also take our poll below on who you think had the best night and who should be going home. Until tomorrow, see ya!