This week the contestants will each sing 3 songs. One chosen by the judges, one they choose and one chosen by Jimmy Iovine.
Joshua Ledet is up first with the judges choice I’d Rather Be Blind - Etta James. I love when Josh sings these torchy type of songs. He gets right in the pocket and makes it his own. I love that he reigns in the melodrama for the majority of the song, saving the whooping and hollering for the end of the song. I like that he built to that strong finish.
*Product placement note – a Kraft commercial following Joshua’s performance featured the Etta James song he just sang…interesting. I can’t imagine that was coincidental. *
Jessica Sanchez is next and Jennifer says they chose Mariah Carey’s My All because there is a tenderness in the song that JLo thinks she will kill. Let’s see if she kills it. I think this is the first Mariah song she has performed in this competition. This song is super tough to sing (I know – I tried and failed one time at karaoke) it requires her to work a lot in her lower register – which is not that strong. She sounds out of breath in the verses, but recovers well in the chorus. This was a nice performance – though not a showstopper. I am sure she has a showstopper in her tonight, so I’m not worried.
Phillip Phillips – the judges choose Beggin’ by Madcon. I really like this song and I am interested in seeing what Phillip does with it. I have a feeling that odd Phillip dance may show up. He slowed this down considerably, but I dig the vibe that he brought to it. Though there was no full out dancing, there was definitely some foot shuffling. Great performance.
Next up the contestants choose their own songs. Each contestant got to go home last week – they each discuss their visits.
Joshua Ledet chooses John Lennon’s Imagine. His interpretation of the song is sweet. He makes a few tweaks with the melody, but with so many other Idol contestants performing this song in the past – I think it was a good idea. This was another solid performance! I wonder if Jimmy is going to choose a more contemporary song for him to sing.
Jessica Sanchez goes home, just a helicopter ride away from Hollywood. She chooses to sing I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing (Aerosmith). Wow – this is a bold choice with Steven sitting there staring at her. Good for her. Even though this is an easier song to see than the Mariah song the judges chose for her, I am not sure it had the same impact and I don’t know if it was the best song choice for her. I am sure the judges will disagree with me.
Phillip Phillips picks Disease by Matchbook 20. I need to apologize to my pal Dori (a HUGE Rob Thomas fan) because I fear I have never heard this song before. I really like his vibe and although I don’t know the song – he had a great delivery. I really like the lady sax player that they have incorporated this season. She’s bringing sax(y) back! Sorry! She does add a nice depth to most of the songs she accompanies.
Final round and Jimmy Iovine is choosing the songs for the contestants. He chose No More Drama (Mary J. Blige) for Joshua Ledet. Jimmy chose this because it has elements of R&B and gospel. Jimmy wants him, “to go off at the end of this song.” Let’s see what he does with it. I think he is going to work the hell out of this song. He has this constant bounce going on – like he can barely contain his energy and when he comes out of his jacket and rips out his ear buds, you know he is feeling it. Thy show his buddy Hollie Cavanagh in the audience and she and Skylar are definitely feeling it. Great performance.
Jimmy chooses I’ll Be There (Jackson 5) for Jessica Sanchez. He chose it because the song would appeal to an older audience but also highlights her youth. This song is great because it really shows off her range. It is a fun song to sing and there aren’t many people who don’t know this one. This was another solid performance but she did not have the stand out moment that I thought she would this evening.
Phillip Phillips – We’ve Got Tonight (Bob Seger). Jimmy chose this to appeal to Phillip’s female and male fans. This is a wonderful song (I especially like the Kenny Rogers/Sheena Easton version) and I think Phillip will kill it. His version is subtle and understated and he is right in the pocket. I am fairly certain this performance has a position locked for him in the finale.
Everyone was solid tonight, but I think that Joshua and Phillip out-shined Miss Sanchez. I think tonight was her last night. Let’s see how America votes. What do you all think?
Lisa Marie Presley and Adam Lambert will perform on tomorrow night’s elimination show.