American Idol Top 4 Tackle 'California' and Songs They Wish They Wrote: Who Were Your Faves?

idol top 4This week’s American Idol performance show was a little like a Michael Bay action movie. There were explosions (courtesy of Jessica Sanchez). There were laws of nature and logic being defied (hi, Joshua Ledet). There was a sly, winking heatthrob and a damsel tied to the train tracks (played by Phillip Phillips and Hollie Cavanagh), as well an unspeakable villain — code name: Dr. Yo! — hellbent on leading everyone and everything on a path to ultimate destruction.

RELATED | American Idol: What Should the Top 4 Cover for California Dreamin’ Week?

I’ll post a full recap of the proceedings on Thursday right here at, but until then, here are just a few pithy thoughts on the evening’s performances.

California Dreamin’ 
Phillip Phillips: Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” | Perfectly fine, in the same way your bowl of breakfast cereal was on Jan. 14, 2012. In other words, you won’t remember it in three weeks — except for maybe the awful “surfin’ safari” backdrop.

Hollie Cavanagh: Journey’s “Faithfully” | I’m not sure Hollie revealing that she needed famed choreography duo NappyTabs to explain the meaning of the song to her will do her any favor with Idol voters. Plus, her voice seemed just a wee bit tremulous for the opening two-thirds, no?

Joshua Ledet: Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” | I’m not sure why the judges didn’t call him out, but I felt like Joshua allowed his emotions to overtake the performance, and as a result, his voice closed up like the branch of your credit union on a Sunday afternoon. Not his best work, and possibly his worst of the season?

Jessica Sanchez: Etta James’ “Steal Away” | Go on with your bad self, Bebe Chez! I’m not sure where Jimmy was to keep an eye out for “age appropriateness” of this 16-year-old’s song choices, but the vocal was pretty stellar.

RELATED | American Idol Top 5 Results Recap: She Ain’t No Fortunate One

Joshua & Phillip: Maroon 5’s “This Love” | Ridiculous fun. Also: Proof that Joshua can really handle contemporary material.

Hollie & Jessica: The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame” | Of course Randy hated it: No one on stage had a Y chromosome! Me? I thought it was really good.

The Song I Wish I Wrote
Phillip Phillips: Damien Rice’s “Volcano” | Talk about the right song and performance at the right time! Phillip’s stripped-down arrangement and whispering intensity really stood out in a field of power belters. This had shades of Kris Allen’s “Falling Slowly,” so in other words, I loved it.

Hollie Cavanagh: Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” | I’m going to have to watch back a second time, but I felt like Hollie might’ve lost her spot on the bridge, and everything that came after it was being chased by a beast born from the marriage of panic and insecurity.

Joshua Ledet: James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” | If I knew any language other than English, I’d be using it to try to describe a performance that I’d easily rank in the Top 10 best in American Idol history.

Jessica Sanchez: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” (from Dreamgirls) | By bringing note perfection and gale force delivery to the pimp slot, Jessica pretty much assured us she is not going anywhere on Thursday’s results show. Now you and you and you, you’re gonna love her, even if she did perform like somebody glued her stilettos to the floor.

What were your favorite performances from Top 4 night? Take our poll, then sound off below. And for all my reality TV recaps and news, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. junebug says:

    It’s anybody’s game. I thought they all were amazing last night. My favorite has been out for while, but last night the final four showed why they belong there. I have no idea who will win.

  2. AmericanIdol says:

    I’m soooo sick of the Judges trying to influence everyones vote by giving Joshua and Jessica standing ovations that weren’t well deserved. I don’t understand why they criticized Hollie for singing a song that was too “mature” for her but yet they didn’t criticize Jessica for her song being to mature and she’s 16, two years younger than Hollie…weird.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I mentioned that elsewhere here. Don’t get it. My husband watches the show with me and he even said, “Uh, are these the younger songs for Jessica? WTH??????”

    • jaxguy says:

      An eleven year old won the first season of America’s Got Talent for the same song. And she was brilliant. That’s an empty statement. To deny that Jessica was great last night is a sad commentary. You don’t have to like them but if you didn’t hear how good they were I’m sad for you.

      • tarc says:

        All four of the girls song choices weren’t appropriate for them. Hollie didn’t do a good job, and Jessica fell short twice by trying songs she doesn’t have the vocal maturity or emotional range to sing well. She kills it when she picks younger songs, but these diva ballads are not a winning strategy.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        jaxguy – my point wasn’t Jessica’s ability. The girl can sing her tush off, there’s no denying that. We were just a bit perplexed because last week Jimmy Iovine went on rant (last week) about Jessica singing songs that were “too old” for her. So, what does she sing last night? Two songs that are absolutely too old for her. I personally liked the Etta James song even though it was really too old for a 16 year old. I’m not discounting Jessica’s talent at all. It just seemed odd that after all of Iovine’s ranting we get those two songs. Plus, the judges criticized Hollie for her choices but said nothing to Jessica.

    • Sandi says:

      I am so over being polite to this kind of commentary. What the heck do you expect Jessica to sing that you would not deem too mature for her? Renditions of the Mickey Mouse Club faves? She cannot help being sixteen. She cannot help that the overwhelming majority of popular songs are about relationships and mature subject matter. It would be ridiculous to expect the girl to limit herself each week to the extremely small amount of songs that a consensus of people would deem appropriate for a young girl.

      As for Hollie, it wasn’t that the song’s subject matter was too mature for her so it was inappropriate. It was that the song’s subject matter was too mature for her and she did not connect with it. When Bonnie Raitt (who, in my opinion, is one of the most unbelievable artists EVER) sings, it touches your heart. You believe every word and hear the sincerity in her voice. It just wasn’t happening with Hollie. Has she ever been in a long-term relationship where she finally had to realize that the guy is never going to feel about her the way that she feels about him. Has she ever struggled for months or years with this and then finally resigned herself to giving him up but she’s going to spend one more intimate night with him because she can’t help herself? Heck no! And that’s why she couldn’t connect with that song.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Sandi- it’s the irony of Jimmy Iovine saying Jessica needed to sing “younger” songs – and we get Etta James and a 30 year old show tune. Plus, Jessica gravitates to those awful big diva numbers. Actually, “Steal Away” isn’t a big diva number but she managed to make it one.
        It reminded me of Season 9 when the judges were on a “Sing something YOUNG” kick one night. “You’re so young. We want you to be young. We want you to have fun”.

        then Ryan announces next week’s theme – “The Rolling Stones”. Because nothing says young and fun like suicide right on stage and taking uppers to get through the day.

  3. AliAle says:

    Freakin’ Joshua Smokin’ Ledet… I’m not used to seeing a 19 year old guy slay a song in that manner. He’s just got a tremendous voice and an incredible stage presence (he totally rocked that outfit btw… as he normally does).

    Just as I was getting tired of P2’s antics he pulls that gem of a Damien Rice song and delivers it in that nice smooth tone of his. It really doesn’t matter that he’s the weakest vocalist remaining… for me he’s a pleasure to listen to when he delivers like he did tonight.

    And Jessica’s final song? That’a a WOW moment if I ever saw one.

    This is the Top 3 if America saw what I’ve seen last evening.

    • TiaGata says:

      I concur.

      My thoughts are below somewhere, but Joshua, Phillip, and Jessica, were the best last night, but from what I am hearing (because I don’t listen) the judges talked bad to Hollie, so the power voters are going to vote because it’s just not possible that she REALLY was the weakest last night. If the show could end tonight, the 4 remaining were good enough, but just like Allison from S8, she deserved to be in the F3 over Danny Gokey, but it just didn’t happen. (Now saying Holly belongs in the F3, because last night she really didn’t deliver, and Allison delivered every performance, plus that is when she sang “Cry Baby” and made me cry.)

      I kept digressing, but in conclusion – Hollie was the weakest last night.

  4. nikkiqm says:


  5. ClickMe says:

    Hoping for P2 and either Josh or Jess for the final…
    Maybe I want Jessica more since a male vs female final would be more fun to watch!
    But all top 10 deserve a recording contract since they are quite diverse musically.

  6. Nate says:

    Hollie didn’t do that well, which means she’ll be safe for another week. But I predict that she’ll be in the bottom 2 with Jessica and that Jessica will be sent home (you do too well compared to a previous week, you get eliminated).

    • Jane says:

      I hope your prediction is wrong. Based on last night, Hollie should be eliminated and Jess should win. Based on the whole season, Hollie should be eliminated and Jess should win. It would be very depressing if Hollie is safe and Jess is eliminated.

  7. nikkiqm says:

    Tarc you drive me insane. Yes Phil’s second performance was good, best I’ve heard him but vocally he is extremely limited. Just listen to him during the duets and group numbers, he sounds so much weaker vocally than the other three. He admitted himself that his bro in-law thought Time of the Season wasn’t good, a song you defended him on relentlessly last week. I know you want to nit pick at Jessica and say she’s not mature enough to sing certain songs but can we be honest for once, her second performance was excellent and had a lot of feeling behind it. Listening to her and Joshua and Hollie’s voice compared to Phil’s just says it all. I admit Phil had his best performance in a while but it still didn’t touch either three contestants left when it comes to vocals. This is suppose to be about singing. But its not and its inevitable that Phil will win because watching last night the moment he walks on stage no matter what kind of performance he does all the teeny bopper girls in the audience start screaming. Vocally though Jessica and Joshua won the night and deserved there standing O’s.

    • Marsaili says:

      No, it’s supposed to be about having the whole package. As much as you say Tarc or others dismiss Jessica for being too young for many of her songs (she is) you continually dismiss Phillip and try to compare his vocals to Jessica and Joshua when that isn’t possible nor fair. Just because someone can do runs, doesn’t automatically mean they are a better vocalist. There are plenty of singers who don’t sing like that and are better than Jessica and Joshua. Yes, Jessica is a better “Singer”than Phillip. But Phillip has experience, his OWN vocal styling and his ability to FEEL the songs. And maturity. And a total different style that isn’t comparable to Jessica or Joshua. To try and compare is not fair–the contest is about the over all performance for that contestant.

      • nikkiqm says:

        I agree we should judge based on performance as well and its my opinion that Phils performances have been bland and the same for weeks. Last night was the exception and I give him credit for that. But for Tarc to say that Jessica didn’t have enough emotion on her 2nd song is ridiculous, even you who are not Jessica’s biggest fan think she had emotion in that song. I argue that she’s had many great emotional performances, “I will always love you”, “Stuttering”, and “You are so beautiful” were all songs I found she emotionally connected with. I just dislike that Tarc always blindly defends Phil and can never admit when Jessica nailed it. I don’t like Phil vocally or performance wise but can admit his 2nd performance was great for him.

        • jaxguy says:

          By the way TARC is in love with Phil. I think it’s a serious relationship. He could CRAP on stage and TARC would LOVE it.

        • Marsaili says:

          I can respect that—however, I do think that comparing Jessica and Phillip is just wrong. They have nothing that can be compared—they are so totally different as artists. I agree that Jessica has had her great moments throughout the season—for me “I Will Always Love You”, “You Are So Beautiful” and while I do think she had a moment with the Dream Girls song—I thought it was too screamy for my taste–especially after she was totally screamy on the first song, too. For me, Phillip has had moments every week—his type of music appeals to me—so I just get it where other people might not. Last week was certainly his weakest and he even admitted that Time of the Season was rough. Having said all that—I want Joshua to win. :-D

          • Joe says:

            Well your boy Tarc is the one who is comparing them. His vendetta against Jessica is sickening. She sang beautifully the past 4 songs she did on the show. Phil covered Damien Rice well and Tarc is brow beating people all over the boards. His other songs were horrid. Even he admitted last week he stunk. His family told him he stunk. But Tarc goes on and on how sophisticated his ear is to hear the genius in Phillip’s every syllable. The funny thing to me is if Phillip ever met Tarc, he’d probably run away screaming with a request for a restraining order firmly in his hand.
            Would anyone be surprised if Tarc is one day arrested for wearing Phillip’s pajamas in his house while Phillip is on tour? It puts the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again indeed.

          • Marsaili says:

            Well, your whole reply is so rude and nasty it doesn’t even deserve a reply. But, I gave you one, anyway. Jessica did great on her second song–the first song did nothing for me. Last week, she killed it on You Are So Beautiful—her first song did nothing for me. Phillip killed it on his second song last night—his first song was good. Last week he didn’t do well on his second song—he killed it on his first song for me. I’m sick and tired of people shoving Jessica down people’s faces. She doesn’t deserve that and I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate that, either. I like her, I think when she is MATURE and GROWN and EXPERIENCED she could be the next Mariah or Whitney or Beyonce. She isn’t there yet. I am also sick and tired of people stating that Phillip has no talent, comparing his singing to Jessica and Joshua, refusing to accept that people love his music. There is no reason to pit one contestant against another—they ALL are terrific, they ALL have a great future ahead of them and they ALL deserve to be in the top 2 up until last night. I’m happy with whomever wins—I like them all that much. But, after it’s all said and done, Phillip’s album will be on my iTunes–guaranteed. Joshua’s probably will be as well. As for the girls, Hollie has a better chance of enticing me to buy her album than Jessica because I don’t care for Jessica’s kind of music.
            Having said all that……Joe, you are nothing better than a troll.

          • tarc says:

            We established that Joe is a pretty sick human being last week. I think he’s off his meds, and I’ve reported him to the admins.

        • tarc says:

          That would be for several reasons; 1) you can’t judge singing in different styles by the same standards (if so, most of the successful singers that have a current career wouldn’t be singers in your estimation); 2) Phillip’s performance have been good or great (as the voters and a ton of comments concurr); and 3) there are tons of people all over, including on this list that acknowledge Jessica’s lack of emotional maturity dimishes her performance when she picks songs too old for her. I credit all of the contestants when they do a great job (Hollie, Jessica, and Joshua) – and my posts reflect this. I’m also critical of Phil when he sucked – and again, TVL provides the documentation. Saying that I ‘blindly’ do anything is simply silly. You simply disagree… and I don’t care one way or the other.

      • jaxguy says:

        I can only say OMG. Go to a coffee shop and you can see the WHOLE package that Phil gives you. Any coffee shop. You will probably find a way better one too!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Have you listened to Top 40 radio lately? Or whatever they call it these days. There are only about four people on there that can actually sing. P2 is MUCH better than most of what’s on the “Hits” stations.

      • nikkiqm says:

        I agree with you about top 40 radio Darcy and that’s why I seldom listen to it. Phil isn’t bad but for me in a season that contains such stellar vocalist and performers I’d just love to see the best win. Last year it was Hailey and I was do bummed when she was voted off. I just hope the same error doesn’t happen again. Scotty is a decent singer and performer much like Phil but Hailey should have won. And this year Jess and Josh deserve the win. In my opinion anyways. There will always be those who disagree.

      • junebug says:

        I have thought this for years. I remember older people saying that about my music back in the day. I don’t know if that’s what it is or not. It’s not just the singing. A lot of the songs don’t even have actual instruments. It’s all computer stuff.

    • TC says:

      Thank you nikkiqm!!!!!!!

  8. TiaGata says:

    OMG – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Joshua. I really appreciate how he has grown vocally since the beginning of the season. I believe that the time he spends with the vocal coaches is well received, he is learning technique and restraint, and he delivered the hell out of both songs, but “It’s a Mans, Mans, Mans World,” was so darn good, I have watched/listened to it at least 7 times, and that is before I came to work this a.m., (which I had to be here at 6:00 a.m. pst).

    My second favorite was Phil Phillips – I am so into him for some reason, I get his sexy too. No he don’t have the pretty vocals, but he has an “it” factor. I listen to him sing, and the best part is usually I don’t know the song he’s singing, so I am hearing it for the 1st time PP way, and it works for me. Although there are those that think he’s terrible, really he isn’t if you don’t know the song he’s singing.

    Jessica – I know everybody thing AIATY was a smash, but on re-listening to it a couple of times, it really wasn’t that stellar. For me the best rendition of the song came during “Dreamgirls” when Jennifer sang it, it hasn’t been done justice since. Not to discount Jessica, but it wasn’t better than what Joshua had just done before her.

    For me tonight Hollie was the weakest, I love her but for some reason this week sorta swallowed her. I still love her, but she didn’t bring it for me.

    I don’t listen to the judges after the performances, if I am watching live, then I will mute, if I have it recorded, I fast forward. My opinions are based on what I heard. Last night was my first time voting this season, and I didn’t split my votes, they all went to JOSHUA.

  9. Voting for the J's says:

    I have listened to Jessica’s I Am Telling You, just the audio without watching the video, for the fourth time, the girl tore this song up. However when I WATCHED the performance last night it seemed strange with her just standing there, not moving. If she could have put some visual animation to emote that vocal, this could have been the performance to mark the season.

    Once again, I am not sure what the mentors are doing to help the overall performance because as far as vocally, this girl has skillz that do not come along everyday.

    I must admit this is my first time watching a season of AI in several years but the overall talent level brought me back and I my only qualm is that Skylar did not make the top four instead of Phillip/Hollie. Put Skylar on I Can’t Make You Love Me, and we would have had some mess as far as who to vote off after tonight.

    I admit I had to put in double digit votes in for both Joshua and Jessica last night where as I have not voted but once this entire season.

  10. Word Money G says:

    Well, DialIdol says Joshua’s in last place, but they were way wrong last week.

    But maybe Hollie the bump from Skylar’s fans… Maybe they got energized by the only non-gushing review of the night…. Maybe people see that she has a lot of middle american teenagers who identify with her…

    And maybe everyone thought Joshua was safe so they didn’t vote. (or just listened to his butchering of Josh Groban).

    But I’m convinced it just doesn’t matter. Drop the glitter on P2.

    • deedee says:

      I’m worried about Joshua being last on Dialidol. Yes, he butchered the Groban song, but that shouldn’t be enough to send him home. Still, I’m nervous that Hollies fans rallied to save her. Plus, a couple of people on another board said that when they dialed for Josh, the recording said “thank you for voting for #2” — which is Hollie. Glitch in the system might push Joshua out of the game.

      Is anyone else scared for Josh tonight?

      • TC says:

        I voted for Josh incessantly and always got a “thank you for voting for contestant #3” everytime! If Josh does go down tonight, there is no justice.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Don’t be concerned. Dial Idol always shows him near the bottom, yet have Hollie near the top – and she’s been in the bottom 3 several times. The people who vote for him are not using land-lines. They are texting or voting online.

        • deedee says:

          Interesting. Considering Josh is such an old school R&B type, I’d think more of the old-timers using land lines would be the ones voting for him. Maybe he has some younger texting fans after all!

          I’m still nervous, though. Hollie is lovely, but she really was the weakest of the 4 last night, and – as much as it will break Joshua’s heart to lose his bff – she should go.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            “Old timers using land lines”. LOL.
            I still have two phones in my house with rotary dials, deedee. They are suitable for phone calls and also double as murder weapons. (Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the phone).

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            And by the way, we don’t really use them to make phone calls. They are there because no one can walk off with them and allow the battery to die (especially the black one that dates back to the 40s – you need help to carry that one). But if someone calls us to tell us the house is on fire they ALWAYS ring.

          • deedee says:

            Well, they are stylish collectibles these days, so at least you’re keeping up with the latest fashion.

            Jerry Seinfeld had a brilliant bit about how you can no longer slam the phone down on the person on the other end. :D

  11. Tone says:

    I don’t get the Phillip hype. Top 12 yes! Win the ole’ thing, no. But last night (and I’ll admit I loved his performance of “The Stone”) he really showed what I think he will be doing on his album and I like it! I notice he does really great when he’s not boxed into a “theme” and can pick a song he could actually record. Hopefully he’ll get and stick with a good band. Jessica was the best of the night though. Her second performance was really over the top. And Joshua’s “…Man’s Man’s World”, WOW! Probably one of the maybe three times for him where the standing O was totally appropriate. Yeah I’m hoping that’s our top 3. I like Hollie but she really didn’t push her case for potential Idol winner last night. And last night was more for her the night to do it.

  12. Laura says:

    Has anyone seen Damien Rice’s video for Volcano? PP’s version was a carbon copy, right down to the screen over the microphone. And he didn’t sing it half as well as D.R. does. He has nothing original about him except the ability to hide the fact from people that he can’t sing.

    • Joe says:

      Thank You. And anyone who thinks Idol is going to let him release an album of Dave Matthews/Damien Rice type material is deluding themselves. They’ll have him singing treacly pop so bad it’ll disappear from the radio in months.

      • NedPepper says:

        Yep. Phillip fans should probably NOT want him to win. They always try to mold the winner into a crappy overproduced, lyrically soulless pop star and it NEVER works. Can you imagine what they will do with Phillip? Yeesh. It’s not going to be pretty. Seriously coming in fourth or third will give him a lot more say over the record he makes.

  13. R-Dub says:

    Jessica – Best raw singing talent I’ve ever seen on Idol, period. However, to me when I watch her she’s like a pitch perfect wind-up barbie doll that leaves me feeling either empty or bored, I can’t put my finger on it but I have no desire to vote for her.
    P2 – Most over rated piece of crap WGWG. Yes he’s an okay artist and deserves to be top 10 but that’s all I’d give him. To me it seems like he is singing the same song over and over but it just keeps getting worse.
    Joshua – I don’t even know if I like this guy because the judges make me so sick after every one of his performances. They act like he’s Jesus Christ with a microphone. Sure the kid has talent no doubt but the Jacob Lusk over singing and the constant praising just make me ill.
    Hollie – I’m rooting for this girl all the way. Sick of the judges comments even the mentors try and make her look bad. Too bad she has a self esteem problem because if she came out and had the demeanor of Haley she has the stage presence and voice to win this thing.

    • jaxguy says:

      Just so everyone who bother to read my rants will know. I like Hollie too. My only complaint about Hollie is she misses alot. I thought the judges were drunk or something last night. She was very good. She has had a handful of pitich problems, but the last 2 weeks she’s been really good. I heard a different “I Can’t Make you Love Me.” I loved it. She would fly into the top 3 if it was me. But for some unknown reason, P2 is going to voted in. Can America possible get it wrong again? A giant yes!
      I want to add. Some great iconic singers were discovered in their teens. I won’t name names, because I’m sure many here would find them “boring” or they couldn’t connect or whatever, but Jessica is right up there with the best I’ve ever heard. And I’m an older person who remembers the unnamed people I’m referring to..

    • ClickMe says:

      She looks rather clueless when answering Ryan questions.. and yes.. she has a big lovely voice and all but does not know how to pick songs and seems disconnected! She’s a goner… But who knows.. she might have another week..
      P2 for the win!!

    • SallyinChicago says:

      Could it be that Jessica is Pia 2.0? Look — the girl has been singing those big-a** songs since she was 7. I keep asking — what kind of recording artist is she going to be? Those type of songs don’t go over well in today’s “Rhihanna” world.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Does it matter? Look at Katherine McPhee. That girl can sing, but it took her YEARS to land something like SMASH where we get to see and hear her.

  14. jaxguy says:

    I gave it overnight and re-watched Josh and Jessica. In a year with some great performances those are the two that rise to the top of this season. Jessica’s “I’m Telling You,” was vocally the best performance of the year. Josh was very very close with “It’s a Man’s World.” The only reason I like Jessica the best is there is a purity to her vocals that is genius. I cannot believe she is 16.
    I hate to pollute my praise for Josh and Jess with this but I must. Gina and all the other P2 fans, I relate to him touching you, but what I don’t relate to is how you can praise his singing. It’s average at best. I have several singer/songwriter friends who are a million times better than him. The love for him is a head scratcher. And what is even more amazing is most, let me make it clear MOST not all, of P2 fans can’t stand Joshua and Jessica. This is hateful to say but you have absolutely no taste. Yes I said it. You were brought up on crap music apparently and can’t seem to embrace other genres. And yes I will admit I feel P2 is so way overrated by his fans and the judges it’s amazing. Have they ever been to a local coffee shop? They are filled with P2’s. And just as good or even better. I know I’m being a jerk about this but I’m sick of the over praise of a mediocre middle of the road singer. Maybe, just maybe he’s written some good stuff and that would be ok, but what he’s done on Idol is not good. He ‘s not the worst contestant this year, but not once have I liked him. I didn’t like his audition either.
    Before I get jumped for my blasphemy, I love singer/songwriter coffee shop performers. There’s a lot to like, but P2 is not one of them

    • Marsaili says:

      I’m a HUGE P2 fan and I’m rooting for Joshua to win and I don’t even come close to hating Jessica. I love her voice—I dislike the songs she picks (for her) and I don’t really listen to the music she will sing. I guess I blew your stereotype. Stop acting as if you know people and their motives and thoughts. I disagree with everything you say about P2. You are not right—I am not right (to you) it’s all subjective and the fact that SO many people relate to Phillip and his music shows that your judgments of him are off-base. And anyone who really has the gumption to say that Jessica sucks would be off-base as well. Again, we know you hate Phillip—-we know you love Jessica. Maybe when you can have discussions without putting Phillip down or insulting the people who like him, people might respect your opinion and not think of you as any more than a nasty troll.

      • Robin says:

        Right on! So sick of the hate. I LOVE Phillip…just got my tickets for the Syracuse show!!! I don’t get all the hate! I think they are all great in their own way…just depends on what style music you like. I will be happy with any of them winning…

        • jaxguy says:

          He a mediocre singer. Go to any coffee house in America and you will see him 10 times over. That’s all I’m saying. I know I have better taste than America. They get it wrong every year on Idol. They got it right a couple of times, but usually they pick a bland winner.

          • Marsaili says:

            See! Exactly what I was talking about—you gotta put down anyone who likes Phillip. Wow, you just can’t help yourself, can you?

  15. Lisak says:

    Holly has no subltety or even musicality really .. she has a voice that stays in tune.

    Phillip sold me on his 2nd performance which was fabulous. Until now he was just a cute guy with a 5 note range.

    Jessica does have an amazing voice – but it seems so “schooled” that it says pagent to me and I’m not buying it. Maybe in 5 years.

    I’ll buy tickets to Joshua’s concerts.

    • deedee says:

      I agree with everything you say. P2 sold me on his second song. I could listen to that, no problem. Someone said there was a Sting quality to his voice on Volcano. Very true! He did well, and was my second favourite of the night.

      Thank gawd Joshua redeemed himself with Man’s World – which was one of the best performance I’ve ever seen on Idol. On par with ‘Summertime’ and ‘Billie Jean’ for me. His Groban song was his worst of the season. Yikes!

      Praying Dialidol is wrong again this week.

      • Marie says:

        Worst of the season???? Really?? I hope you meant to say it was HIS worst of the season. Because it really wasn’t all that bad compared to many other performances this season, and I don’t need to start naming them off. Josh’s mediocre is still a lot better than some other’s ‘best’

        • deedee says:

          LOL, Marie, chill. Read more carefully – I wrote “HIS worst of the season”. I adore Joshua. His musicality astounds me.

  16. Voting for the J's says:

    The first season of AI, the top 4 show provided the first ever shocker. You had Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Tamyra Gray,and Nikki McKibbin. (Joshua, Phillip, Jessica, and Hollie). Everyone knew we were headed to a Kelly vs. Tamyra finale because they were the best vocalist (Joshua vs. Jessica). Nikki had done well to get to the top 4 but she was clearly not in the class of the others (Hollie). Justin had all the teenage girl votes and did well in his genre (Phillip).
    At the end of the top 4 show everyone knew Nikki had not done well and she even brought her baby son up at the end, everyone knew she was gone but the sympathy was high. (I even voted for her once although I voted several times for Tamyra).
    On results night everyone was in shock when Tamyra was sent home (Jessica) and it ended up being an anti-climatic finale with Kelly vs. Justin and we all knew his vocals could not match Ms. Clarkson’s.

    Will history repeat itself tonight?

  17. SandraM says:

    If Jessice or Joshua gets booted out tonight, AI will lose viewership not only in season 11 but forever…

    • Steph says:


    • Marsaili says:

      not from me—I can’t control how America votes—I watch because I like seeing people sing. If people leave the show because they don’t like the result, then they are watching for one reason only—and not the right reason. I don’t believe it’ll happen anyway—the last 2 seasons of Idol have brought us some of the best groups of talent EVER—anyone who stops watching the show purely because of the vote will miss out on being introduced to more spectacular singers. And it’ll be their loss.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Sort of, but OTOH if people don’t stop they will continue with totally over the top levels of dirty like they did against Haley last season. That was just wrong and they don’t deserve the ratings.

  18. Steph says:

    Jessica’s performance of And I’m Telling You was amazing.

  19. ChesterA says:

    The results of this poll clearly reflects the audience’s choices…

  20. carol522 says:

    I’m still tingling from Joshua (in a good way). I’m not a Josh Groban fan, but thought Joshua did an excellent job with the song. He held back and sung in a lower key, which might cause some people to think he had pitch problems.

    Now back to listening to Joshua….

  21. For the first time this season Jessica Sanchez actually made me feel something (positive) during a performance. The only problem was I only felt it when the camera was in closeup. It seemed clear to me that she didn’t let that song inhabit her below her shoulders. It wasn’t just that her “stilettos were glued to the floor”, it’s that there was no movement, no energy, and no emotion coming from her body below the level of her shoulders. I thought it made for a very disjointed display when the camera pulled back to show her in full.

    Still, based on last night I’d be delighted to see Jessica and Joshua in the finale. I’ve ultimately decided that Phillip is a bit too one-note, and as much as I’d love to see Hollie and Joshua there (buddies!) after last night I think Holly got thrown to the wolves for good.

  22. RD says:

    I think it’s funny that Joshua and Jessica get all this negative feedback for supposedly ‘screeching’,(I guess it was perfectly fine when James Brown or Janis Joplin did it though),and Phillip get’s nothing but praise for his (very limited range) growling.
    Joshua or Jessica for the win.Either one,I don’t mind.

    • connerc says:

      Kinda goes both ways. Why criticize Phillip because he can only sing a limited kind of song and sounds bad outside his genre, like some of those group numbers he’s been forced to sing. I doubt greats like Bruce Springsteen, or someone like Chris Martin of Coldplay, would sound good when forced out of their genre either. But, I wouldn’t attack their talent level because of it. For me, all four left are extremely talented in their own way and their talent shouldn’t be diminished here.

  23. zaza says:

    The thing that I like about Hollie is that she listens to advice and tries to improve. I’ve noticed that she really has learned to reign herself in, keeping the glory notes in their place and making her voice tender in the right spots. She has a great natural voice, a cute personality, is willing to listen and is eager to learn. If I were a music executive, I would definitely sign her.

    • interested says:

      I totally agree. At least Hollie never did the shouty singing thing that Skylar and Jessica have done.

  24. googlecat says:

    I want Phillip, Jessica and Joshua in the top 3. Haven’t decided yet who I want as top 2.

    But I think the bottom 2 will be Hollie and Joshua.

    Hollie – well, she’s just a regular bottom dweller.

    Joshua – this could be the week when all those standing ovations will backlash, especially since he didn’t get the pimp spot. (If Jessica was 3rd and Joshua was last, then Jessica will be the one in trouble)

    Result: Joshua will go home and Hollie will survive another week with all the sympathy votes going her way because of the negative critique by the judges. Please Lord let me be wrong.

    • NedPepper says:

      If Joshua goes home after that performance…I might do what I did last year and quit watching. Seriously. That would be the biggest travesty in the history of this show. And there’s been quite a few. (Gokey surviving after Dream On….)

  25. HairLikeATeddyBear says:

    Phillip’s 2nd perf was really well done, everything about it. His guitar, his vocals, the simple stage spot-lighting of the cellist (?) and that very beautiful backup singer. Very well done. I felt he really stepped it up this week. While before, I think he himself was surprised how he got this far by looking at his expression during results nights. And Jessica’s 2nd perf was the first time I was moved. She sang sooo ugly – it was sooo good. She literally was trembling after that… like a big purge! Oh well, I just love Joshua. I love his personality, so unassuming and doesn’t seem to buy into all the hype and just wanna perform his heart out for everyone. I don’t know what will happen if Hollie goes tmrw…

  26. Dana says:

    I think all 4 contestants are extremely talented and that it’s all just a matter of personal tastes and preferences. If we all liked the same type of music/singers the world would be boring. I think all 4 deserve a recording contract.

  27. interested says:

    The three best songs were Joshua’s Man’s World and Hollie’s two songs. Jessica sang-shouted her second song. I thought we were past shouty singing when Skylar left. Maybe Jessica was trying to attract Skylar fans.

    Hollie was much better than the judges said. She remains my favorite of the season with Josh as a close second.

    Phil’s CCR song was not top 4 performance worthy. It was just average.

    Joshua’s Man’s World was out of this world.

    To date, no girl has won AI without at least 2 girls in the top 3. By that trend, Jessica “needs” Hollie in the top 3 to win.

  28. Ann VerWiebe says:

    I just want to know how You Lift Me Up is California Dreamin’. Really, this entire season has played fast and loose with themes (not that I’m upset by that – themes have been known to bring down mighty giants).

    • Marsaili says:

      the songs were supposed to be either about California or done by artists who are from California. Josh Grobin is from California.

  29. Voting for the J's says:

    After viewing Jessica’s performance of You’re Going to Love Me yet again, I can see she just decided to just go “flat foot and sing” and leave it all out on the floor. It seems like she knows at this stage anyone can be voted off and if tonight is her swan song, she was going let everyone know that she was one of the best this season. I know I voted for her double digit times after last night when I have not voted for her the entire season. (I am one of the fans who just watches and not vote, but I am participating the rest of the way unless it is a Phillip vs Hollie finale, then I may not even watch.) If it is a Jessica vs. Joshua finale, I will vote based on their performances THAT NIGHT, because I would not be upset if either of those two won.

  30. Tricia Whitehead says:

    Why don’t we just all agree on this one thing — this is the best darned Top Four in American Idol history — in music talent show history (I’d have to say the whole Top Ten is the best). Seriously, listen back to the songs on iTunes? You can’t argue with the talent of any of them at this point. We are just all being picky on which performance we liked best.

    P.S. I loved “Eternal Flame” — listening right now on iTunes!

    • SallyinChicago says:

      I wouldn’t say the best top in the history….I think last year was pretty darn good and more rec contracts handed out to those than any others.

      • Tricia Whitehead says:

        Wait and see! I think you’ll see recording contracts from at least 6 of the top 10. And not just contracts, but hit records. I could be wrong though — I thought Kat McPhee should have won her season, but what ever happened to her? :)

    • Marsaili says:

      agreed!!!! I’m off to iTunes now to get my copies of ALL the songs of the night!

  31. wordgirl says:

    I’m hoping for a Josh/P2 finale. Honestly, Phillip is the only one I can visualize as having a hit on the radio. Both Hollie and Jessica are great but all they sing are power ballads and who really buys that kind of music anymore? Joshua is amazing but I feel very scared that Interscope will lead him down the wrong path entirely.He needs to do classic RandB not pop. Phillip has never portrayed himself as anyone other than himself so, in the end, whoever gives him a record deal will know what to do with him plus I think he’ll refuse to put out the crap they usually make the winner use on their albums. At least I can hope for that. I think it’s possible Phillip might have won it all last night.

  32. SallyinChicago says:

    How many Jennifer Hudson songs has Jessica sang? about 4?

  33. Meghan says:

    I don’t understand how people don’t think Steal Away is an age-appropriate song. It is about teenagers who sneak away to be together in the middle of the night because her parents don’t approve. At no other point of one’s life is that going to happen. Jessica did an amazing job.

    • Red in Denver says:

      I think perhaps it’s a thing similar to her dress last week. Middle America viewers, knowing she’s only 16, may be a bit put off by a teenager sneaking out in the middle of the night to be with her lover, in the same way they might be put off by a 16-year old wearing a dress that is short and tight.

      The feedback on these things doesn’t seem to matter, because she continues to sing those types of songs and wear those types of dresses.

      If she wins, I guess we can assume that not many people were put off by it.

  34. sierrarose says:

    Joshua vs. Jessica final would be vocal heaven. I like Phillip but he has been inconsistent over the season as has Holly. If I had to pick a winner, I would say Joshua-when he comes on stage, I stop what I am doing and listen-there is no doubt he is singing from his heart and guts and whatever else he can find. Where did they find this guy and what has his mama been feeding him?

  35. Red in Denver says:

    Of course, it’s hard to KNOW; but it appears to ME that every note, grunt, facial expression, etc. that Jessica puts out there for us is contrived/manufactured for our viewing pleasure. She just seems very phony; although her voice is technically amazing.

    I would much rather see Joshua win. He also has amazing vocal talent, and everything about his performances seems genuine.

  36. Name That Tune says:

    A few thoughts.
    I watch Idol on my home theatre screen. That’s a 300 inch screen in HD. They always do a full on close-up of Jessica when she is singing the big songs. When she is on her game, you can see it in her eyes. She goes someplace special. I don’t know where that is. Don’t know how a 16 year old knows how to do that. Maybe, it’s just what she has to physically do to deliver these performances. But she goes there. And she went there last night with EVERY part of her soul. Those tears rolling down her cheeks after she was done was just her releasing feelings that had to be contained to deliver that kind of vocal.

    If this were the finale, we would be crowning Jessica Sanchez as the winner of Season 11.

    Loved Joshua’s IAMW. He was channeling James Brown (who also knew how to use the scream in his singing). That would have been a season-winning performance, but I give the nod to Jessica. Don’t know what happened on YRMU, but after watching Chris Mann sing that the other night on The Voice, it just didn’t measure up.

    P2 had one ok song, and one song that would be remarkable, but he is up against some pretty stiff competition.

    And Holiie. She took 3 steps back last night. She is a little princess, who reminds me of Julie Andrews. Which means she can have a nice career, maybe do musical theater or Disney. Hey, it took Katherine McPhee years to land SMASH. But she’s not headed to the top of anybody’s charts unless it’s connected with a movie or a play.

  37. yeah says:

    Phil surprised me with Volcano. Good stuff. I’d have to say that Hollie is the one who should go now. Joshua and Jessica should be in the finale. Joshua’s “Man’s World” was fantastic!

  38. angelstorm says:

    I can’t believe that people are saying that Hollie can sing better than Jessica. Now I see why people who can’t really sing all that well end up winning Idol.

    When comparing Hollie and Jessica on their duet, Jessica pretty much stayed in her lower register for all of the song providing the harmonies etc while Hollie took the high register probably because Hollie’s low register is no where near as strong as Jessica’s. I’m not saying Hollie’s a bad singer. She’s not at all – she has her moments. She’s just not as good as Jessica.

    And to those that say that both Joshua and Jessica scream all the time (first of all – Dance with my father ? You are so beautiful ? Anyone? How quickly they forget!) Joshua started off Man’s World beautifully – but by the time he hit a minute and a half in it just started to become a scream fest. There’s a huge difference between Jessica’s growl and Joshua’s scream and the last two songs this week were a prime example of that.

    • deedee says:

      Except that I LOVE Joshua’s “scream”, and don’t care at all for Jessica’s growl. So how do you factor personal taste into your “proof” of … whatever it is you’re trying to prove?

    • Marsaili says:

      Hollie was better on the duet than Jessica—her tone and clarity were beautiful while Jessica sounded too gruff. BUT if you listen to the studio version–they BOTH sound beautiful and the song is lovely!

  39. NedPepper says:

    There’s far too much hostility on this board. Can we all agree we have favorites, but that this a talented group? I know people get passionate about their favorites, but let’s be honest. Three of them can SING and Phillip has a very unique vibe that draws people in. Do we have to cut down someone to praise someone else? Phillip fans are trashing Joshua and Jessica. Hollie fans are trashing Jessica. Joshua and Jessica fans are trashing Phillip. Hell, people are even turning it into a Juliet Simms from the Voice against Joshua. Is it possible to watch the show, like I did last night, and think, “This is a tough call and they all have had great moments?” (And Phillip desperately needed one. Glad he found the guy who has been missing for weeks and finally delivered on that early promise.) I know it feels like an inevitable Phillip win, and that probably irks a lot of you. (It has me.) But it’s not really his fault. It’s the voting system and the fault of the show. It is what it is. But if he can put out a record of stuff that is anywhere close to Damien Rice? That would be something worth paying attention to.

    • wordgirl says:

      well said.

    • connerc says:

      Nice post!

    • deedee says:

      Exactly. The bit about comparing Joshua to a contestant on The Voice is especially bugging me. I don’t watch The Voice, and could not care less about a contestant who’s not even competing with this group. Makes no sense!

      • Name That Tune says:

        Except, we are going to think about other people who have done these songs. Just like thinking about Hollie sing ICMYLM. She’s going to be compared to Reba. It didn’t measure up, mainly because Hollie has no life experience that can put her in a place to FEEL those feelings. Maybe in 10 years, but not now.

        • yeah says:

          Hollie is going to be compared to Reba?! No, that was Skylar.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Of course, I’m sounding like an idiot. I meant Bonnie Raitt. The point remains. Hollie is too young and inexperienced to deliver on that song. Because she fell short, we are only reminded of the aching sense of loss that Bonnie was able to recreate.

          • deedee says:

            Of course, we all make comparisons. But for whatever reason, it seems kind of silly to compare two reality show contestants from different shows. They’re not competing, and yet some people are turning it into a Josh vs. Some Chick I’ve Never Heard Of Because I Don’t Watch The Voice. Anyway, doesn’t matter. In other news, I completely agree with you that Hollie 100% misunderstood the emotional base of the song. She sang it like it was “High School Musical” rather than the lament of a resigned woman. It’s one of my all time favourite songs, and she utterly lost me with her rendition. So, yeah, Bonnie Raitt > Hollie Cavanagh. :D

          • Marsaili says:

            I agree Deedee. For whatever reason, the Voice didn’t resonate with me and I stopped watching—and I really don’t care to compare the kids on Idol with some kids I know nothing about on another show.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Very true. At least no one has called anyone a “doodyhead” yet.

  40. Tara says:

    I re-watched Jessica’s second song and was reminded of little kids singing Ring Around The Rosy with no idea they were singing about the plague. She has no connection to those lyrics and without the connection, it’s just mechanical.

    • deedee says:

      Oooo, that’s good. Perfect analogy.

      • deedee says:

        Actually, it’s not a perfect analogy because in Jessica’s case, she knew what she was *supposed* to be feeling, and tried to act it out. Problem is, because she never had that level of mature experience, her acting came out counterfeit. No doubt she’ll eventually match her emotions with her talent, but for now it’s not there yet.

        • yeah says:

          That’s all Hollie and Jessica need is time and more life experience. I Personally think that Jessica has more potential but they’re both good.

  41. yeah says:

    If I hear Randy say something like “Dude, you could sing the phone book and (insert cliche here)” one more time….

  42. Jessica Sanchez is One of the Best Singers in America!..Vote for the Best! (Randy J)…You just made 40Million people cry!(Steven Tyler)…Fiesty Firecracker!..(JLO)..If she goes home, we should all go home!..(Jimmy Lovine-IDOL coach).. Killer job! You did Luther and me proud(Richard Marx)..Impeccable!..Wow!.(Mary J. Blige)…Swaggernaut!..(Wil.I.Am)..She’s the best singer there..(Mario Lopez-Extra).. I’m honored she chose my song!(Jazmine Sullivan)..She’s unbelievable!!!(Jesse McCartney)..Her “Sweet Dreams” video on my Website!..(Beyonce)…Yes Jessica! That’s it!!(Jennifer Hudson)..You are Fantastic!..(David Hasselhoff).. You’re gonna be huge I promise!..(Brandy)..”Overqualified”..(Akon)..”little soul angel!” (Jennifer Holiday)

    • Marsaili says:

      I wonder why some Jessica fans feel compelled to post the names of famous people who like her—aren’t her performances enough to prove she’s “the best”? When people do that, it makes me NOT want to vote for her because they are shoving her down my throat.

  43. fiona says:

    I don’t understand people saying some of her song choices are “too old for her” I’d rather her sing songs like i am telling you then have her sing “Umbrella” “Toxic” Miley Cyrus, etc. And her clothing being “not age appropriate either” I mean it’s not like she was wearing what J-Lo wore tonight. she wear’s stuff that shows off her figure yet isn’t too slutty