American Idol Top 3 Performance Night Recap: Feeling Right at Home(town)

phillip phillips jessica sanchez joshua ledetWe’ve reached that point in the American Idol season — after 37 episodes, hundreds of magnificently awful images in the backdrop oval, and what feels like 73 hours of nonsense critiques from Tweedle-Huh, Tweedle-Abs, and Tweedle-Yo — where I start hunting for conspriracy theories with the vigorousness of Skylar Laine tracking an eight-point buck in the woods. (Run, Bambi, run!) And this week’s Top 3 performance episode had ’em in spades:

* There was Ryan Seacrest’s intro, touting Phillip Phillips and his hometown of LEEsburg, GA, which might’ve been a not-so-subtle reminder of the last growly-voiced, guitar-playing, untucked-shirt-wearing Idol winner Lee DeWyze, who hasn’t had a particularly noteworthy post-Idol run.

* There were Jimmy’s song choices for Jessica (“I’ll Be There”…in the finale?); Joshua (with the impassioned line “I choose to win!”); and Phillip (who had to sing the refrain, “We’ve got tonight. Who needs tomorrow?” Um, only a contestant who wants to perform at the Nokia next Tuesday).

* There were spangled shoulders on Joshua’s last shirt, spangled pockets on Jessica’s last jacket, but not a single spangle for Phillip Phillips (J.Lo: “Unless you count the twinkle in his eyes!)

* We had standing ovations from the judges for Joshua and Phillip, but none for Jessica.

* We had Jessica’s hometown-visit package including a trip to an empty stadium.

* Then again, Joshua wound up with the deadly leadoff performance slot.

* And after one round of performances, Steven predicted Jessica would win it all.

So who’s a lock for next Tuesday’s finale, and whose dream is destined to fall a week short of Nokia glory? It might boil down to this question: Will voters reward Jessica’s season of high-level performances punctuated by a single lackluster night, or will they choose Phillip, a contestant who’s had a decidedly bumpier Idol run but benefitted from a stellar final impression? Then again, maybe it’s premature for me to assume Joshua’s got a lock on a Top 2 berth: It’s possible that the Idol audience wasn’t quite ready to be dragged to church on a Wednesday evening, even if mandatory attendance allowed them to simultaneously experience a baptism, an exorcism, and the holy union of Gospel, soul, and soap-opera theme songs.

If I had to predict who will make the Top 2: Joshua and Phillip. As for who should, well, that’s a trickier question. Phillip’s show-closing performance was a real stunner, while Jessica had her worst night of the entire season, but since I subscribe to the idea that one night or one performance does not an Idol make (or break), I’d go with Joshua and Skylar Jessica.

But enough prognosticating! Let’s take a deep dive into the performances.

Judges’ Choice
Joshua Ledet: Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” (picked by Randy) | On paper, I suppose it made sense to choose an old-soul classic for Joshua. Or, at least it required the least amount of mental strain for the judge who can’t tell his Marvin Gaye from his Al Green. But in practice, making Joshua cover “I’d Rather Go Blind” was the equivalent of getting Michael Phelps to show up for a teaching exhibition and limiting him to swimming the width, not the length, of the pool. Indeed, at the exact moment the judges should’ve been looking to stetch the idea of what Joshua can do as an artist — hadn’t Randy mentioned Terence Trent D’Arby’s music as a potential career template just a few weeks back? — they asked him to color within the lines of prior performances like “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” And of course, it didn’t help that Joshua sang the first verse with Etta James’ chosen pronouns — “when I saw you and her talking” — and then later switched his romantic rival to a “him” (almost as if he’d never truly inhabited the song, but was rather just imitating the original). Yeah, he hit all the notes. And yeah, the outfit — black jacket with white stitching and red button holes, gray vest, red shirt, red rose accessory — was stupendous. But the damp gray cloak of expectedness kept this number from truly taking off.

Jessica Sanchez: Mariah Carey’s “My All” (picked by J.Lo) | “Oooh! It’s hard!” giggled J.Lo, as if she’d just realized the degree of difficulty of Mariah Carey’s roller coaster ballad after Jessica had sung her final note. But in all seriousness, what was the point of assigning a 16-year-old contestant a song that she’d have to “get through” (as J.Lo put it) rather than one that could point her out as a potentially relevant recording artist who might help purge the airwaves of tinny-voiced divas like Ke$ha and Rihanna and, er, J.Lo herself? (Ohhhhh, I get it now.) Everything here seemed to work against Jessica: The constricting fru-fru purple gown, the platform that kept her confined to a three-foot radius, a melody that was all airy tenderness and no meaty growl, lyrical content that placed the bubbly teenager in the position of wanting to feel her body pressed against her lover (eww), and a backdrop that featured Jessica’s blown-up head singing down onto her tiny frame. Yet, alas, the biggest problem was the fact that Jessica seemed to be just under the melody for most of the performance — a jarring misstep for a vocalist who’s been thisclose to spotless all season. She may have given her all, but in this case, her all just wasn’t enough.

Phillip Phillips: The Four Seasons’/Madcon’s “Beggin” | Urgh. J.Lo really needs to stop giggling during her critiques. Especially when she’s critiquing Phillip as if she’s the just-out-of-college 12th-grade English teacher and he’s the sort-of brainy quarterback who’s too cool to treat his essays with complete and total seriousness. J.Lo’s whole point — that Phillip is “funny” because he “can’t help” messing with melodies, even ones as earwormy as “Beggin'” — ignored the fact that the overall performance would’ve been a-okay during, say, Top 11 week, but felt a little lackluster just seven days before the finale. Phillip’s greatest asset is the way he feeds off the musicians behind him, and vice-versa. The drummer on “Beggin'” was such a complete and total beast — just wailing away to the rhythm — that it was hard not to fall into the groove along with him. But Phillip’s vocal itself — particularly in the echo-y intro and again toward the end of the number — came off a little winded and withering. In other words, I didn’t not enjoy “Beggin,” but I also don’t think I’ll remember it a couple of months from now.

Contestant’s Choice
Joshua Ledet: John Lennon’s “Imagine” | Joshua’s hometown visit finally showed off his dormant sense of humor — I giggled at his “They are really acting like I’m Barack Obama!” and that “this is crazy!” dance move — and I’ll admit I teared up watching the congregation of his dad’s tiny church weep for joy at their hometown boy’s successes. But it was his stop at the Burton Coloseum — sold out for the first time with a veritable sea of human beings — that drove home just much power Joshua holds in his vocal cords. With the right material and production, maybe this fella could bring old-school vocal stylings to modern radio? For that to happen, though, he’ll need better arrangements than the one he got for “Imagine.” The Lite FM strings and the shoop-shoop cheeriness of the background singers as they echoed the “join us” lyric really detracted from what was otherwise a restrained and lovely vocal from the Talented Mr. Ledet. As Steven noted, it was “Another ‘thank you, God’ moment.” But I do wonder if J.Lo felt the burn when Randy, praising Joshua’s choice of a lyric that held a lot of meaning for him, opined that today’s charts feature “a lot of people singing a lot of things they have no attachment to.” After all, does anyone really think J.Lo singing “Brazil, Morocco, London to Ibiza/ Straight to LA, New York, Vegas to Africa/ Dance the night away/ Live your life and stay young on the floor” is anything more than a series of syllables that happen to fit a groove that makes her booty move?

Jessica Sanchez: Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” | When Jessica described herself as a homeschooled dork, then giggled about the fact that she had guys chasing her car and handing her phone numbers durng her hometown parade, we got a glimpse of the real-life teenager behind the Terminator-like singing machine who’s been exploding our TV screens with her monster voice for the last three months. Unfortunately, her “Contestant’s Choice” pick felt like it came from a kid whose only exposure to music was from watching American Idol. Why else would Jessica choose a song that’s been previously tackled by Josh Gracin, Lindsey Cardinale, Antonella Barba, David Cook, Allison Iraheta, and Aaron Kelly? A song that neither tapped into her youthful energy nor gave her a real chance to flex the stunning brute force of her instrument. By the time she hit the bridge, it felt like Jessica had given up trying to convince herself she was interested in getting to the end of this sappy Aerosmith ballad, and unfortunately, the feeling was contageous. J.Lo’s muted praise — “really, really good job, baby” — told the tale, but at least Jessica’s pantusit and necklace from the Modern-hontas Collection were pretty awesome.

Phillip Phillips: Matchbox 20’s “Disease” | Phillip — or should I say Phillip’s dad — wins the award for most emotional hometown visit. When Papa Phillips hugged his son and talked about the hardship of just catching glimpses of his son, not being able to actually put his hands on him the last few months, I had to reach for the Kleenex again. (What good is the hometown visits episode without tears, yes?) And then we had Phillip turning on the waterworks, too, overwhelmed by the response of fans at a local parade. None of that passion seemed to find its way, however, into Phillip’s pedestrian rendition of “Disease,” in which the contestant and the sexy lady saxophonist sat on crates, jammed out with a bongo drummer, and compressed the song’s melody into the three-note stew that’s become the all-too-common daily special at the P2 Diner. You know Phillip had a tough performance when even J.Lo had to break out the “hi, sweetie” treatment — and not in a flirty way, either!

Jimmy’s Choice
Joshua Ledet: Mary J. Blige’s “No! More! DRAMA!” | The image of Season 11 finalists Hollie Cavanagh and Shannon Magrane in the audience — throwing Gospel hands, laughing, and weeping at the end of Joshua’s number — conveyed everything about Joshua’s insanely good performance that I can’t put into words. Was it flawless? Not really. The opening verse felt almost tentative, with Joshua bouncing up and down, maybe fearful of what would happen if he exorcized his inner demons right there on the Idol stage. Was it executed the way he’d planned? I’m guessing not, since Joshua’s ear monitor took flight around the time he tore his jacket off and hurled it to the floor. But damned if Joshua didn’t somehow didn’t give us all a spiritual experience. I’ve always thought Mary J. Blige’s “Young and the Restless Theme”-sampling ditty was one of the greatest self-empowerment anthems ever written — honestly, if you’re a magnet for bad relationships and career setbacks, give those lyrics a listen, then heed ’em, brothers and sisters! — and with his gutteral wail, Joshua simultaneously conveyed the joy of letting go of drama, and the pain of leaving it all behind. When Mr. Ledet ad-libbed toward the end and asked, “Do I have anybody in this place, that can say they don’t want no more drama?” I had a hand in the air and tears in my eyes. And if that’s not enough to get him to the finale, then to hell with next Tuesday night.

Jessica Sanchez: Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” | As I noted in my post-show item, Jessica’s vocal was as light and pretty as a swarm of butterflies rising from a mountain meadow, but the song didn’t give her the explosive moment of last week’s “And I Am Telling You…” And while Randy always likes to break out the “if you can sing, you can sing anything” blathering, let’s be honest: When you’re trying to claw your way into the finale of America’s most popular singing competition, you need to close your set with a ditty that packs either vocal or emotional heft — not something that’s accompanied by a breezy backdrop of carnival rides, a foreground of infuriating swaybots, and a “good job, baby” critique from J.Lo. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow Randy whole when he complained that Jessica didn’t deliver a “moment moment moment” — but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a point at the center of his layers of verbal idiocy.

Phillip Phillips: Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” | Yeah, he’s given us his naughty “does your daddy let you date” soundbites, and shored-up his bad southern boy appeal on “U Got It Bad” and “Time of the Season,” but to this point in the competition, Phillip has seemed a little reluctant to latch on to the role of Season 11 heartthrob. Fortunately for him, Jimmy had no such qualms, and the mentor’s brilliant choice of “We’ve Got Tonight” allowed Phillip a moment of pure vulnerability, playing a lonely guy, standing in front of a lonely girl, asking her to love him — at least until morning. I do wish the audience had refrained from trying to clap (you know the swaybots had something to do with it), but the flawless, dialed-down arrangement and the gorgeous melody really highlighted the character of Phillip’s creaky voice. If Jessica is a magnificent cruise ship, and Joshua is a luxury yacht, Phillip is a dinged-up sailboat, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a place on the water, if you know what I mean. Had “We’ve Got Tonight” been Phillip’s opening number, it might not have made enough waves to carry him to the finale, but as a show-closing performance, I think it might have sealed Jessica’s fate as a third-place finisher.

Letter Grades
Joshua’s “No More Drama”: A
Phillip’s “We’ve Got Tonight”: A-
Jessica’s “I’ll Be There”: B+
Joshua’s “Imagine”: B+
Joshua’s “I’d Rather Go Blind”: B
Phillip’s “Beggin'”: B
Jessica’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”: C+
Phillip’s “Disease”: C+
Jessica’s “My All”: C+

Now it’s your turn. Hit the comments and share who you think deserves to advance to the finale. And for all my Idol news, interviews, and recaps, 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. Elena says:

    You think Phillip and Jessica should be the final two, Slezak? That’s surprising. I think based on last night it will be Phillip and Joshua since Jessica did have such an underwhelming night of performances. We’ll see what happens.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Sorry, Elena, that was a typo on my part. Fixed it!

      • Elena says:

        Ok, thanks. I was worried there for a second! I would love to see Joshua in the finale and possibly win the whole thing:)

          • deedee says:

            because he’s a freaking phenomenal singer.

          • J. May says:


            Because he is gooood.

          • Marsaili says:

            Joshua nearly always brings me to tears—he didn’t this week and I nearly cried because he didn’t—but he’s been SO good every week, he deserves to win!

          • Faz says:

            He brings me to tears too. Though perhaps for different reasons.

          • deedee says:

            High-sterical, Faz. *groan*

          • Cura says:

            I expected Joshua and Jessica yo the finale!!!!!! What America is doing with this crazy votes Have You see Ledet??? Come on people get the right people on the finale. Ledet has character, personality, voice, expression. Jessica just amazing!!! Phillip performed just one tune very good., That’s all.

        • Cura says:

          YES JOSHUA AND JESSICA!!!!!! THE BEST!!!!! America has not clue what great talent is!!!!!

      • MamaLis says:

        The metaphor about the ships, with Phillip’s “dinged up sailboat” having a place in the water? Lyrically funny and lovely at the same time. Such a mind……!!

      • GeorgeR says:

        Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Talk about Conspiracy Theory!!!!

    • Obviously when cynics talk about frauen, it’s not restricted to gender. Michael is every bit as guilty of pining for his Phillip-love as the trailer-parkers in the south. A bad singer winning is bad for idol and Phillip needs to go! His finale performance was not even passable. It was terrible.

      • Lee says:

        I’m with Punk Skittle. I don’t know what Slezak was thinking. A “show-stopping” performance should happen anytime–at the beginning middle or the pimp-spot. The fact that Slezak said that P2’s Bob Seger performance wouldn’t have had the same impact at the beginning of the show as it did at the end just proves that it wasn’t that great of a performance. I never cared for the song to begin with, and Phillip definitely did not change my mind about it. What was so “touching” or great about Phillip’s performance. I found it to be just as sappy as Skylar’s Against the Wings (or whatever it was called). Let me put all this in another way–Jessica’s And I Am Telling You That I’m Not Going would’ve been a show-stopper at the begtinning of the show just as it was at the end of the show. That’s a sign of a great performance. Unfortunately, I didn’t think Phillip had a great performance with the Bob Seger song.

        And for the record–I didn’t think Jessica’s I’ll Be There was all that bad. I actually liked it more than Phillip’s pick by Jimmy.

        • Jane says:

          I agree w/ you Lee a show stopper performance is through out the entire show not only at the end. And what w/ JLO giving her ( Jessica ) a song and at the end pretending ooooh ! It’s hard but , her rendition is not that bad compare to Phillip Disease. I go w/ Jusha and Jess for the finale.

      • TheBeach says:

        Trailer parks are not confined to the South, Punk.

      • shelbybb says:

        Sorry to take up the time and space to call this dude out but I can’t just let it go.
        We’re here having fun and talking about who might win a tv singing competition and you choose to stoop to a derogatory “Southern trailer parkers” comment. Educate yourself, there are millions of citizens all over the United States who work hard to afford to live in their trailer park home and don’t appreciate you stooping so low as to try and make their home sound less-then. I’m sure you’re writing your rude remarks from your New York city pent house apartment, right?
        Trying to make yourself sound big by sitting behind a computer with a fake name and slamming a whole group of people is so not cool dude.
        Moving on….you’re just the kind of person who’ll just never get it anyway.

        • Marsaili says:

          Seems to me that most of the people saying Joshua didn’t understand the song don’t understand it themselves. John was so not about religion—All we are saying….is give peace a chance…….

        • Owen says:

          I myself grew up in a NORTHERN trailer park..I see nothing insulting in the term…

      • ejones says:

        I agree, I wouldn’t have had Phillip in my top 6 men (his voice is stuck in his throat) and nothing he has done during the live shows has changed my mind. Slezak should consider whether he liked the performance because he liked the song rather than because he liked the singer. At least Scottie last season was worth a top 6 men spot even though nothing he did in the live shows made him a deserved winner.

      • Tess says:

        I am by no means a Phillip fan (I thought he should’ve gone home the week Skylar did…I had been rooting for Elise, Skylar, and Deandre this season)but I thought he had the best night of the 3 by far. Actually liked all of his performances and I hadn’t enjoyed anything by him aside from Volcano last week. I’ve figured he was going to win for several weeks now, but he’s finally given me a reason other than just the “some women think he’s cute” as to why. I’m starting to think he’s not as bad as Lee after all…which shocks me to say.

    • Mary B says:

      Don’t worry Jessica will be in the finale. I just read a post from a kid in the Phillippines on another site who said they are going nuts for her over there. Its all that they talk about and they found a way yo vote for her through skype and FB. He said he didn’t know whether it is legit or not but that they are very loyal and proud people and stand by their own. This kind of upsets me because it is not fair to Phillip or Joshua. I am not against Jessica in the least but I just think this is just not right. My only hope is that idol can block these votes but I don’t know if it is possible.

    • googlecat says:

      typo became a forecast

  2. Luke says:

    I really wanted jessica to win. Well I actually wanted Skyler or Elise but since that didn’t happen I was pro Jess. Now since Jess won’t make it I’m pro joshua.

  3. Eri says:

    I really, really hope that Joshua wins! He’s such an amazing singer, and he deserves it. I realize that Jessica and Phillip may be more marketable, but I love Joshua’s style. I especially like the vintage (and as the judge’s would say, throwback) quality to both is singing and clothing. America could use something different, haha!

    • mrOCD says:

      I don’t care for Joshua’s style but he would be the first worthy winner in a long time if he does win.

      He won’t, ofcourse. Phillip has this in the bag.

    • Lee says:

      I can take Joshua’s “screaming” when there’s other singers (like Jessica and Phillip) who don’t scream like him. (For the record Jessicsa growls–she doesn’t scream. Yes, there is a difference.) But can you actually listen to an album by Joshua that had screaming from start to finish? I sure can’t. I think Joshua would benefit more being in a band with other singers. Maybe he should form a band with Hollie. In any case–since this is a solo competition and not a group competition, I don’t Joshua should win. I’m still hoping Jessica will win. I can picture listening to her music all day long.

      • Frank O'File says:

        Can’t wait for a CD by Josh…so yes, I could listen to his “screaming.” Context and feeling are relevant here.

  4. Sarrah says:

    Randy was such a douche to phillip last night. I didnt love his second performance either but randy’s fake out was uncalled for. P2 took it well though and just laughed it off. I would have been pissed

    • googlecat says:

      I agree, that fake out was done in poor taste. I felt bad for Phillip, good thing he did well on his final song. It might have cost Jessica, my favorite idol, the spot on the finale, but the standing ovation was well deserved after those poorly constructed criticisms on the second song.

    • blingedup says:

      THAT WAS RIDICULOUS. Just awful!

    • Joe Strummer says:

      It was very awkward. The other judges didn’t know what he was getting at and weren’t playing along. Randy — Just critique the contestants to the best of your ability. I know your vocabulary is challenged but just do your best. When you do these types of things it doesn’t make you clever or funny. It makes you out of sync and weird.

      • Leila says:

        He was trying to copy Ryan Seacrest’s fakeouts and failed miserably.

      • TheBeach says:

        Randy gets more ridiculous and his comments more incredulous with each passing show. I like Joshua but Randy’s obvious over-pimping of him is over the top (Steven, this is how the term is used) and has started, for me at least, to have the opposite effect of what Randy wants and that’s unfortunate for Joshua.

    • Josh says:

      I’m not even a Phillip fan and I couldn’t agree more. The way Randy drew out the lead-in to the humiliating ‘punch line’ was horrible. (Hey, I know these guys didn’t like it but you know what? You know what?. Neither did I lololol!) What an idiot. And of course it wasn’t about Phillip at all – it was about Randy – a man who has made a fortune from sitting and yelping incoherent remarks for 11 years. Apparently, he felt vaguely stung by people pointing out the judges’ lack of useful (critical) feedback. So instead of taking to the internet or an interview to respond, he takes it out on a young singer standing alone on national television. I’ve always been one who says these kids need to have thick skins for tough criticism but embarrassing Phillip needlessly was so petty and mean-spirited. I really wish someone would call Randy on his behavior – but I assume he and Jennifer will just strengthen their axis of evil. (God I can’t believe I really miss Paula and Simon.)

      • TheBeach says:

        Well said! Randy is long past his expiration date. He will live very comfortably for the rest of his life on the millions he has made assaulting my ears and my senses for the past 11 seasons…please retire. (I would say please retire with dignity but I think we are way past that at this point)

      • G-Mom says:

        I miss Paula and Simon too!!! I am a Phillip fan. I love his voice (as I also loved Hollie’s voice)! Sorry to say, but I can’t stand Joshua’s screeching and I don’t like Jessica’s yelling when she sings although they seem like nice kids. Everyone has their own preferences and opinions. I have mine. If Joshua and Jessica are in the final two, this will be the first time in 11 years that I won’t be voting. Of course, I’m not a teenager, so I guess that makes a difference.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Ah, but there’s a good chance JLo won’t be back. And Fox wants changes ‘cuz Idol is losing ratings.

    • tarc says:

      Randy’s a douche to everybody most nights. I fast forward through whatever he says now.

    • shelbybb says:

      The judges (Randy in the lead) just can’t stand the fact that they have no vote anymore so they do all they can do to make America vote the way THEY want them to and that is JESSICA and JOSHUA. They’ve fought for that since day one! But they may get a big surprise tonight – kinda funny really!

  5. MEL31602 says:

    Um you do mean that Josh and Jessica should be the top 2 right? Not Phillip and Jessica?

    • mrOCD says:

      Yes, people, that’s what he means! Wasn’t it obvious that it was a typo? How can anyone with good taste in music not want Joshua to win the whole shebang? ;)

      • DantheMan says:

        A lot of people with good taste want Phillip Phillips to win. We’re tha same people who enjoy alt rock music and not screechy churchy stuff.

        • SOC says:

          Thank you! I love P2 over Joshua and Jessica. I am sure they are stellar on a personal level but I just can’t connect at all to J or J. Joshua is to screechy and holleration for my taste, and cute Jessica has what our family has labeled the “Pia Toscano effect”. Pretty? Yes. Fantastic Singing voice? Yes. On stage Presence? Zero. For me, P2 just has that X-Factor (yeah, I said it). Something about his presentation draws me in, and it just doesn’t happen with J & J.

          • mrOCD says:

            Which just goes to show how subjective all of this is. I have a mighty hard time connecting with any of Phillip’s performances. Possibly because I don’t think he understands what he’s singing about half the time and always looks like he’s more preoccupied with making certain sounds come out of his mouth than truly connecting with the lyrics. Also, his voice is nothing to write home about and he doesn’t really “take me” anywhere when he sings. Neither did Jessica tonight, however, but at least, she has many times before.

          • phil for the win says:

            You are SO right! Phillip just has it! I know he’s another WG, but I think he’s the most artistic and personable WGs that have EVER been on any music shows. Oh, and he’s from Georgia! J and J will really have to do a 180 in a bunch of ways for me to continue with them in their careers.

    • Templar says:

      No. He means Joshua and Phillip.

  6. Kirk Sansom says:

    in consideration of their fans. I predict the same outcome

  7. Karen says:

    He did not say Jessica & Phillip as the final two. He said Jessica would be in third place.

  8. JennyAG says:

    @Michael Slezak.- did you really mean to write that you want a Phillip- Jessica finale, and not a Joshua-Jessica finale? I was shocked when I read that, especially after continuing to read the rest of your article. Sure, Phillip had a great last performance, but you really don’t think Joshua deserves a spot in the finale two? I am shocked! (and a bit sad). I think Joshua has really earned it.

  9. Dave in Alamitos Beach says:

    I think that Jessica has the best voice, Phillip is the most likely to end up on radio, and Joshua is the best live performer. They’ve all got a shot and I guess it’s just what America wants.

  10. TheWorld says:

    I can’t believe you made no mention of Philips Dad having a GUN strapped to him during the hometown visit!! What possible reason could you have to need to have that on, especially with all those kids around. Also, no mention of that weird thigh rub by PP during his performance. So many missed jokes there!

    • JennyAG says:

      Yeah the leg rubbing thing was entirely distracting and I totally didn’t get it.

      • Sarrah says:

        Phil said their pawn shop is in a really bad part of town so they r used to carrying guns for protection

        • mrOCD says:

          So that’s why he was rubbing his thigh? Oh, I get it now.

          I think…?

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          That’s the old “it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6” line of thinking.
          Besides, didn’t everyone see “Deliverance”? ;-)

      • soarin829 says:

        To me, it wasn’t weird or joke-worthy. It was clear the leg-rubbing was a nervous reaction. You could tell he was nervous being so stripped down and vulnerable.

        • deedee says:

          I agree. Seeing him rub his thigh unconsciously tugged at my heart-strings. He seemed so exposed and uncomfortable. Maybe in pain? Whatever, it was touching, and not mock-worthy.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Ah,what a diverse country we have. A lot of people here didn’t know what a “heifer” was, and they don’t seem to know that a lot of people in the South and Midwest carry guns. It’s no big deal. As SNL comedian Darryl Hammond, who is from Dothan, Alabama once said, “One-third of all of the guns in the world are in Alabama. Do not try to rob a bank in Alabama. Three people in line will pull out their guns and shoot you”. :-)

  11. nickseydiva says:

    Michael, you say Phillip and Joshua WILL make it. Then you say Phillip and Jessica SHOULD make it. But in your critique of No. More. Drama. you say “forgettaboutit” if Joshua doesn’t make it to Tuesday. Which leads me to….do you actually think Joshua and Jessica should be the final 2?

    That was my thought until last night. I have never been on the P2 bandwagon, but last night, for-me-for-you, P2 was the best. I enjoyed all 3 of his songs. Joshua just didn’t do it for me on 1 and 2 (only enjoy MJB). Jessica had a really unfortunate night in the song-choice department. Part of me thinks she was firmly tossed under the bus. My All? Really? Of all the Mariah songs, that is the ONE I would never tell someone to attempt. And then the Jackson 5 song…Jessica would have been better off singing the Mariah version. But the worst call was her own…that version of “IDWTMAT” was tragic.

    Last night really pointed out to me how much I love Hollie – it would have been a fun show with her on stage.

    • mrOCD says:

      Very true. Show really suffered without Hollie.

      It’s weird that they all seemed to stop trying after she got eliminated. Hollie’s trembling cover of the Bonnie Raitt classic would feel fit perfectly with the performances this week.

  12. mrOCD says:

    Am I the only who does not understand all the praise for Phillip’s closing number? The guy looked downright petrified. I don’t know if he has a habit of rubbing his thigh whenever he’s not holding a guitar but it was quite distracting (I’m sure his fans will say it was further evidence of his “artistry” as he was just interpreting the song). It also didn’t help that the dude looked like he was trying very hard to hit those notes. In the end, it was just alright, another mediocre cover from him (I’ve stopped keeping count). Seriously, do not get all the effusive praise for it. It didn’t touch his stunning performance of Volcano from last week which is probably the only performance of his that I’ve truly, genuinely loved.

    • Dollo says:

      It’s such a bad song for Phillip or anyone. That said, all of the Jimmy picks were bad. The way,w way overdone No More Drama and the silly I’ll Be There were no better. I think Jimmy might have been having a giggle.

    • Chuck says:

      It was horrible. I absolutely cannot believe he’s getting praised for it. He looked like a scared kid without his blankie. And he can’t hit those notes–and they were Bob Seger notes, not Robert Plant notes. Worst of the night.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I agree. “We’ve Got Tonight” is one of my very favorite songs. I absolutely love Bob Seger. I like P2, but the performance was bland and practically void of emotion. Seger puts a ton of emotion and grit in that song. P2’s performance was so dull it made the Kenny Rogers/Sheena Easton version seem tolerable.
      I can’t help but think what Joshua might have done with that song.

      • Dollo says:

        Joshua? Really? I think we all know what he would have done with that song. And the world shudders with that thought. I will say you are one of the few people who have that as one of their favorite songs — so I guess congratulations are in order.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Thank you! Yes, I love that song and I’m not ashamed to admit it! At least Joshua would have injected some emotion into the song. P2 sounded like he was trying to convince a woman to hang around, order a pizza, and play a couple of rounds of golf with him. Thanks, but no thanks.

          • Dollo says:


            Well, that song is so bad to me, I can’t imagine it done well — certainly Bob Seeger’s version makes my skin crawl (and I don’t dislike him). Joshua would have over-emoted, gone flat, and screeched. But some people like that, I guess.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            That’s okay, Dollo – I get it. Everyone has their personal crosses to bear, LOL. One of my husband’s favorite songs is Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust”. I would rather poke out my eardrums with sharp pencils than listen to that song ever again! I feel the same way about “The Nest” by Jimmie Spheeris – I finally told my husband I wouldn’t marry him if he played the album “Isle of View” one more time.
            I think they need a Bob Seger night on Idol.

          • Templar says:

            DET Good luck trying to get Nigel to spring for any songs anyone really wants to hear. I’d settle for banning any song that’s been performed on Idol 3 times.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Templar – I agree.

      • Jurybox says:

        Dull? I thought the performance was vulnerable – a totally different vibe from the original Seger version which I also love. But P2’s take on it was sexier. (or maybe I was just distracted by the thigh rubbing?)

    • Yeah, it was not good. Can’t believe that passes for singing. And good singing? Ha! What a joke.

    • Joe says:

      He bulldozed over the bridge as fast as he could because he didn’t have the notes. The bridge is supposed to be the emotional peak of that song and it was mostly instrumental due to his vocal limitations. He couldn’t sustain one note. It wasn’t him caught in a moment or naked on stage as his fans try to tell us…he didn’t have the ability to sing that song effectively. The standing O was a scripted coronation to make it look like the judges were going crazy for the eventual winner. He has the votes. Now the show needs to sell to us that they are on the train too otherwise it’s a hollow win. It’s why he got the pimp slot and the final standing O of the night.

      • tewence says:

        YES. although, i think he WAS naked on stage, and it terrified him…cue awkward thigh rubbing. thank you for noticing he can’t sustain a note! sheesh!

      • Yo' says:

        I agree. The judges sealed his position in the final and I was quite surprised they did. I was shocked when they stood, but I have noticed how well scripted they have been for a while: no one can say so much nothing about a performance on the spot. The comments have been thought through at length, which is perhaps why they are better this year than other years.

      • FreeHaley says:

        Yeah He is a nice guy and true himself and funny and all that and has had some nice performances but that last week more showed his weakness than any miraculous strength. I don’t see how he gets a claimed performance of the night and an A- here just because managed, barely, to get through, almost, on a melody. Every single other contestant has pulled off that feat many times this season.

        He does have some talents and can be interesting at times and I liked him a lot to start, but he just seems kind of one note and all to win something like this. I would take him over last year’s winner though for sure.

        I mean do we go and did you see he stuck on melody and managed to just sort of get through a simple melody! Anyone else does that and they get a C.

    • George R says:

      YES you are. :)

    • Yo' says:

      I thought he struggled with it some, but I didn’t think he seemed frightened. His eyes were a little expressionless.

    • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

      Ironic someone with your screenname questioning Phillip’s nervous habit…

  13. E says:

    I agree that P2 feels/looks most comfortable when he’s got musicians around him (and he seems to acknowledge their contribution to his performance). I’d like to see him get to the final and (presumably) couple with an existing artist to perform. If he gets the right one, I think it could really be his best moment.

    Jessica struck me as a very young girl all thru last night’s performance (which, of course, she is). Impressive but that’s really it for me.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Someone here posted that P2 should be in a band. I agree.

    • susela says:

      They don’t do the duets on the performance night; as you point out, it could really shift the vote. The final performance show is just one hour, but the final results show will be the extravaganza with all the visiting artists.

      • E says:

        Ah – of course! So, I guess I hope he gets to the final 2 so he can at least perform with someone else. I think behind Hollie, he struggles most in that “alone on the stage” moment. He doesn’t want to “perform” perform, he wants to play good music with heart.

        • noa says:

          usually a few others from the top 10 get to do duets with guest artists. the final 5 for sure. but this time i really hope that Elise will get a great duet as well. they have to! it will probably be the best performance of the night if she does a duet with someone good (Stevie Nicks?? Steven?? or Tweedle-Huh as Slezak called him)

  14. “When Mr. Ledet ad-libbed toward the end and asked, “Do I have anybody in this place, that can say they don’t want no more drama?” I had a hand in the air and tears in my eyes. And if that’s not enough to get him to the finale, then to hell with next Tuesday night.”

    EXACTLY. Amen. Joshua for the win.

  15. blingedup says:

    Meh. I’m really missing Elise and Skylar at this point. I’m giving a half-hearted Phillip FTW at this point.

  16. Amber says:

    I hope sooo much that its Phillip/Joshua finale!! I can’t st and Jessica.
    We’ve Got Tonight was sooo good its not even funny. As was No More Drama. All of Jessica’s were bad

  17. syb says:

    Man, I had almost totally opposite reactions to the performances, although I’d agree on No More Drama. I really loved My All, vocal challenges that didn’t quite live up, and all. Really didn’t care for “We’ve Got Tonight” at all, although I enjoyed Disease. (Didn’t think much of Beggin’.)

    I hope it’s Jess and Josh. I expect Jess and Phil.

  18. BobN says:

    While I really liked Joshua’s restraint on Imagine, I really just don’t get the praise for No More Drama. To me, at least, the last half was just unintelligible, out-of-control caterwauling. On the other hand, while it was clear that Jessica struggled a little with the Mariah Carey song, the tone and lightness were simply fantastic. I am the only one that thought it sounded like Jessica was suffering some sort of vocal strain. I also have to say that PP showed he could actually sing with his version of the Bob Seger song. I hope the final two will be Phil and Jessica. For me, Joshua has become more of a one-trick-pony than Phillip.

    • Joe Strummer says:

      I kept hearing about all this restraint Joshua had on Imagine. If restraint means screaming at the end of the song again I guess he had it.

      This is a subtle song that should NOT be screamed. It’s almost a lullaby. Could you picture John Lennon screaming at the end of this song? And he wrote it so he should know how it should be sung.

      I was actually amazed at how LITTLE restraint Joshua showed on the song.

      • Mary B says:

        Have you heard the studio of Imagine. He goes nuts in the end like all his songs. If you play anyone of his songs at the last minute or so they all sound exactly the same. He totally destroyed the song. He has a beautiful voice but I just can’t handle where goes at the end of his songs. It is so way over the top and not in a good way.

    • TheBeach says:

      Wow “caterwauling”…thanks for the memories, truly. I remember my grandmother yelling at me “Turn down that caterwaulin’ ” when I had Janis Joplin cranked up to the max.

  19. Steve says:

    Yeah. Josh, the son of a preacher, who is about as God Smacked as you can possilby be, really connected with the secular humanist anthem, Imagine. argh.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I found that a bit odd. I believe he said he heard the song on the radio and thought it was pretty – is that what he said? I’m not sure he really listened to the lyrics.
      When I was young I was always walking around the house belting out songs and I had NO CLUE what I was singing. “Hey, Big Spender” was mysteriously one of my favorites, LOL.

      • deedee says:

        For me it was “Paradise By the Dashboard Light”. Had no clue at all what the hell Meatloaf was singing about but I knew every word by heart, lol.

        Yeah, Josh said he heard the song on the radio and picked it because he didn’t know what to choose. This guy just doesn’t know music beyond whatever he’s heard in Church and on country music stations (he said that’s his preferred listening-music if you can believe it). With his outrageous talent, can you imagine what a little education would do for him?

        My conspiracy theory: watch the group number tonight. Whoever sings first or gets highlighted the most is the one who gets the boot later. I’ve noticed this trend many times. Gut feeling tells me it’s our Josh :(. At least we’ll get to see the judges put on their fake “shocked-and-disappointed-in America” faces.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Wow, deedee – your comment about the group number and “whoever sings first or gets highlighted the most is the one who gets the boot later” is EXACTLY what I’ve noticed. Hadn’t posted that because I wasn’t sure if I was imagining things.

          Since Josh is from Louisiana I’m not surprised he likes country. There are a lot of country songs that are well-suited for his voice.
          “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” was popular when I was in college so I knew what it was about – but that’s funny. I have an eight year old niece that walks around the house singing “Bad Romance”. Everyone just ignores her when she gets to the inappropriate parts.

    • Noelbelle says:

      AGGHHHHGHGHGHGHGHGH!!!!!!!!!!!! I SAID THE SAME THING!!!!!! Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who ever listened to the words to that song. Remember a few years ago when David Archuleta sang it? I was like, “WHAT? Isn’t he a Mormon?” And then Cee-Lo sang it and changed the lyrics which nearly stripped the song of its meaning. It’s about imagining a world where there’s no religion and how awesome that would be. It’s all right there in the lyrics.

      • Sebby says:

        Ugh!!!! “Imagine” isn’t an atheist anthem nor is it specifically an anti-religion song. Lennon himself explained many times that its a PEACE anthem. In the song, he is singling out all the things that divide us from being one and living in peace, such as the dividing lines caused by country, possessions and religion—ALL of which are the predominant causes of war and suffering. So considering Joshua has said he wants to sing songs with messages, I can totally understand why he chose this song and have no doubt he knew exactly what he was singing.

        • crayzforIdol says:

          Yes!! Joshua even said that he heard the song and really liked it’s message – that’s why he chose it. It’s not an anti-religion song , it’s about everyone accepting differences and getting along.

  20. Frank O'File says:

    One thing about this season: the producers put the contestants through a ringer, having them learn two or three songs for several weeks to fill up a two hour slot. (This was not true in past years.) I think last night, which was lackluster on the whole, was probably due to exhaustion, plus a lot of vague theme weeks that had them scrambling for songs. That being said, I am a certified, card-holding member of Team Joshua, and will follow him, vote for him, buy his CDs, finals or not.

  21. “Tweedle-Huh, Tweedle-Abs, and Tweedle-Yo”

    This, FTW.

    • Josh says:

      I second that emotion:). Did lol in fact.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      That WAS funny. However, despite some missteps and stupid comments I still think the judging has been better this season than last season.

      • TheBeach says:

        LOL Darcy, that’s like saying would you rather I smash your hand with a hammer or shoot you in the foot?

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          LOL. Last year I felt as though they were shoving Lauren Alaina right down my throat from day one. I feel as though they’re at least offering critiques this season.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          And I don’t see them totally favoring one single contestant.

  22. Becky says:

    Phillip’s last performance sadly reminded me of Lee DeWyze’s “Beautiful” the night of the finale. All it did was show the gap in talent between Phillip and the other two contestants, as Lee’s showed the gap between him and Crystal. Alas, it did not make a bit of difference in the outcome of the season winner, and this performance won’t either. Phil for the win. Sigh.

    • tewence says:

      true. he can do no wrong…i guess if you stick to one genre and 5 or 6 notes, you can’t really eff it up, huh?

      • tarc says:

        I dunno – Phillip had a solid two full octaves in play this week. Not that that matters for pop music. Katy Perry has an actave most weeks, and Britney’s down to three notes that they autotune. Both make millions a year.

        • tewence says:

          which is pitiful. especially katy perry because she actually has a good voice…potential anyways.

          • tarc says:

            It’s not pitiful… it’s the way it is and has always been. Tricks are just tricks, not the core of good singing as judged throughout history. I like Katy Perry, BTW. I criticized her for the first while because she sounded like a tone deaf goat (she and Rhianna) *live*. But to her great credit (probably from a lot of pressure from Lady Gaga, who sounds amazing live), she worked hard on it for a year, and now she sounds pretty good live (and while dancing, which is additionally difficult). I think you need cut all of the Idols a bit of a break because they have so liitle experience. Phillip’s studio recordings are great, and his live is improving in lepas and bounds and is still bringing in the votes. That says something.

          • tewence says:

            they are supposed to be the best of the best. i don’t mind cutting them a break, i can still dislike the way somebody sounds. and again, the way people vote, no matter who the contestant, isn’t always a sign of actual ability…more of an opinion of whether or not they like it. some people LOVE britney spears. i will concede that phillip is a better singer than her.

  23. nikkiqm says:

    It should be a Joshua/Jessica finale. Her worse night may have been last night but it wasn’t as bad as Joshuas worse or Phils worse. I did enjoy Phil last night and he did have the best hometown package but it doesn’t make up for the fact that he wasn’t great all season like Joshua and Jessica. Also Phil never truly stretched his abilities he always keeps it safe. His safe does not compare to Joshua or Jessicas safe. They are just better singers. He has a great vibe and obviously a large fan base but vocally Phil is limited. I predict a Phil/Jess finale they have the most rabid fan base. Too bad for Joshua though.

    • pmet says:

      I think P2 did stretch himself – his range just isn’t the same as a Josh or a Jessica. I thought We’ve Got Tonight was out of his comfort zone (evidence the constant leg rubbing) and he did a really good job. I agree that the finale should be Joshua and Jessica, but I do think Phillip took some chances on the Idol stage.

  24. Jen says:

    Hey Michael, you were not as thorough as usual!!!??? As one poster said…what was up with the P2’s leg rubbing? and why is he such an artist for singing off melody with a 5 note range?? I am confounded by the amount of praise this guy gets. Have you all seen Jessica’s YouTube videos? Some great stuff! She can rap too!!!!

    • tewence says:

      agreed! honestly i think the leg rubbing was because he was terribly nervous. can you imagine singing something THAT bare when you have had the security of the guitar/rock band the whole time? that had to be nervous energy.

  25. kierankramer says:

    You can use the word VIGOR instead of vigorousness.

  26. Manola says: had Phillip in the clear last night, with Joshua & Jessica too close to tell. It looks like, once again, we may have a guy win. I am bored to tears. Jessica may not have had a stellar night, in great part courtesy of JLo & Iovine, but she should be top 2, at least. Phillip should have been eliminated many weeks ago. Quite honestly, at this point he can do no wrong. Hate the fact that he will win. Bleeech…

    • susela says:

      Dialidol also had Skylar on top the week she was voted out. Their results have been woefully off this season, probably because they do not track text or online voting.

    • wendeeloo says:

      Why should she definitely be in the final if she flunked the final test ?- which she did – None of her 3 songs were enough at this point in the game. She was off pitch sometimes and screechy on big notes on others. Sorry – I think the guys deserve to be there.

  27. susela says:

    Joshua’s third song of the night KILLED. But his other two songs were, for me, for you, only alright. That little girl on the “X Factor” did a better job on “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and David Archuletta did a better job with “Imagine.” But wow, that third song. That should get Josh into the finals for sure. Jimmy made some brilliant choices for the singers, except for the colossal error of saddling Jessica with “I’ll Be There.” It’s not only a terrible song, but oddly difficult to sing without sounding like chalk squeaking on a blackboard. He may have cost Jessica the final.

  28. Tim says:

    If Phillip wins they should rename this show to American Coffeehouse Idol.

  29. davey says:

    Letter grades:

    Joshua’s “No More Drama”: B
    Phillip’s “We’ve Got Tonight”: B–
    Jessica’s “I’ll Be There”: B+
    Joshua’s “Imagine”: B-
    Joshua’s “I’d Rather Go Blind”: B
    Phillip’s “Beggin’”: B
    Jessica’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”: B
    Phillip’s “Disease”: C
    Jessica’s “My All”: B-

  30. branlegr says:

    The highlight of the night, err “low”-light, for me was Randy’s fake out against Phillip after “Disease”. My mouth was a gaping hole for, like, 5 seconds.

    As far as performances go…

    I find, in particular, that Joshua’s high notes have become less convincing and have lacked depth since Top 5 week. Makes me think that having to sing more than one song and scream all the time is hurting Joshua. I hope he doesn’t end up getting a vocal nodule or hemorrhage… “No More Drama” was Joshua’s best performance last night, but from an artistic perspective, I think his incessant screaming is comparable to ending every sentence with an exclamation point.

    I don’t like that Jessica was saddled with no upbeat songs…makes me wonder if she’s got a target on her this week. Also, the Mariah Carey song “My All” seemed like it was out of her range, both high and low. I don’t care what the judges say, it was a bad song for her and she didn’t do that great of a job with it. Of her three, “I’ll Be There” was definitely the strongest, for it was the only one in which she had correct pitch and rhythmic interpretation.

    Phillip was my favorite tonight. If I were to give letter grades, I would give A -, B +, and A for his 3 performances, respectively. I would give “We’ve Got Tonight” an A + if not for Phillip molesting himself with his left hand. I can’t remember the last time Phillip sang without a guitar… I’m so happy that he could focus more on the vocal, he just needs to relax that left hand when it’s not doing any guitar stuff. :D

  31. TiaGata says:

    I wasn’t impressed with last nights show at all.

    Jessica 3 ballads – REALLY!!!

    Phillip and Joshua were a tie for me, with Phillip having a slight edge.

    I don’t like “all the drama” so I will have to re-watch Joshua’s performance, because last night I wasn’t in the mood.

    When I tune in next week, if these contestants aren’t singing better songs, I am going to be P.O.’d

    The end.

  32. Sam says:

    I think it’s really unfair for people to always put down Phillip for not having as much vocal “fireworks” or not the craziest voice, but if you can recall David Cook, Kris Allen, even non-idol winner Chris Daughtry don’t have those assets either, yet they’ve gone very far in their careers. Phillip knows he’s not the best singer in this competion, it’s not like he’s going out there and trying to out sing Joshua and Jessica. He blocks it all out and sticks to what he knows best and who he is. He’s got his own style and own thing going, and that’s what’s keeping him in. He’s got an excellent tone of voice and a certain swampy-ness and light raspy-ness to it. He’s earned his spot to number 3 and I think he’s earned it to number 2 as well. He’s there because he’s a great musician not just with his guitar but with his voice, he actually really connects with the song and means every word that comes out of his mouth, he’s got his very own different style, can actually really sing, and has shown a great body of work through out the whole season (Thriller, Superstition, Hard to Handle, Movin’ Out, Still Raining, U Got it Bad, Volcano, and now We’ve Got Tonight). He’s not there because of his “heartthrob” status or because he’s good looking, I think he’s worked very hard for this and deserves to at least be respected for what he had accomplished. All three contestants are different in their own ways, but Phillip’s definitely got this in the bag!

    • Vivi says:

      David Cook, Kris Allen and Daughtry can sing circles around Phillip. Their voices are so much better than Phillip’s, it’s not even funny. Please, do not put his name along that group. Just…no.

    • tewence says:

      i understand where you are coming from, but when i hear jessica and joshua (especially) then hear phillip, i get a little perplexed…it’s like they are in different competitions. phillip definitely has his own thing going, but juxtaposed with the other two it almost makes him look far inferior. i guess i personally don’t see how he is a musician with his voice as he is incredibly limited in it and lacks a certain control that the others have. alas, just my opinion.

      • E says:

        They are completely different types of singers. Idol is a popularity contest and if singers like P2 or Kris Allen win, it’s not because any would say their vocal talent exceeds Joshua’s or Adam Lambert’s, it’s just they had the broadest appeal for the people that vote. Not everyone has the same taste, even among the most talented of performers.

        I’ve watched this show over most of their seasons and I think I only voted for 1 or 2 singers…ever.

        • tewence says:

          i have found this to be problem in the latter seasons of this show…i think the record companies are to blame because they keep telling people what they should like and forcing all these crap pop/dance/whatever artists down their throats. it’s a shame, actually. and while jessica sanchez IS a pop singer, at least she has an amazing voice…that is more than can be said about many successful artists today.

    • mrOCD says:

      No one is lambasting Phillips for not having the “craziest” voice. It’s just that Phillip is pretty mediocre on his own turf. His interpretations always seem one-note, do not seem to capture or truly understand the meaning or tone of the song, his on-stage mannerisms detract from his performances making him feel like an earnest kid trying his damnedest to put on a good show , and he often pushes his voice to reach unpleasant limits. The one exception to this is ‘Volcano’ but that’s just one good cover out of so many. The kid might have raw talent but he’s got a long way to go before he is capable of producing anything truly exceptional. Kris Allen and David Cook weren’t quite your range-y singers either but look at how they delivered distinctive performances week after week and never did I feel they weren’t understanding what they were singing about. I realise this is all quite subjective but apart from Volcano, I’ve never really, truly “believed” a single Phillip Phillips performance.

      • E says:

        I don’t disagree with what you’ve written, although I like P2 better and have enjoyed more of his performances than just Volcano. Interesting comment about not “believing” his performance, I agree there were many that made me wonder if he was just ready exit. At the same time, since I live with a 16yo, I have to say that Jessica’s performances are tough to ‘believe’ as well. Her talent is undeniable, but I think her song selections have been kind of ill-fitted for her…even if her voice could handle them.

        • mrOCD says:

          True, I feel the same way about Jessica, too. I probably prefer her to Phillip, though, because of her undeniable technical talent but come to think of it, she belongs in the same category as Phillip: “talented but need time to grow and mature before I ever voluntarily listen to them”

    • Leila says:

      David, Kris and Chris could hit high notes and didn’t have to resort to the gravelly-loogie in the throat style to pass as a singer.

      • givemeglenn says:

        If you don’t think Phillip can hit the “high” notes, go back and listen to “Volcano”. He hits any notes he chooses to hit WHEN he chooses to hit them. When HE wants to belt out like Joshua and Jessica, he can blow, too (once again, look at the video of his rendition of “Watchtower” from his homecoming concert, and make sure you watch the ENTIRE 7 minutes so you can really see what he can do).

        Phillip’s range is every bit as good as Joshua and Jessica but he uses it in his own style. Watch the video and see for yourself. But I know you haters. Even if you did, which I know you won’t, you’d come back with your insults and still claim Jessica or Joshua is so much better than Phillip and he doesn’t deserve to be in the top 3 much less the finals.

        • Marsaili says:


        • mrOCD says:

          The problem isn’t the range. Not for me. The problem is that everything that Phillip touches is devoid of passion and feeling. It’s all shout and growl and very little feeling. No, I don’t take his on-stage spasms and intentionally gruffed up voice as a substitute for emotion. I just don’t find him very easy to connect with. That’s why Volcano is his best performance imho. He was emulating a true artist, Damien Rice, and for the first time, I ‘bought’ his performance, what he singing about… He felt every word of that song (I would go so far as to call it nuanced) and that really makes you forget about how limited his range is. Heck, it makes you forget about range altogether. When someone puts together a performance that moves you, you stop thinking about the technical aspects altogether. That’s what it’s all about… for me, anyway.

        • Chris says:

          I’m sorry but you are downright DELUSIONAL if you think P2 has the range Joshua and Jessica do. And if i’m going to spend 7 minutes of my life watching “All Along the Watchtower” on YouTube or anywhere else, I’m going to watch the DMB version. P2 will make it to the finals, but not because he deserves to.

        • Vivi says:

          Phil has range similar to Joshua and Jessica? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! C’mon, I know you’re trying to prove a point but you don’t have to fabricate to do so. Geez.

          • FreeHaley says:

            Yeah, I mean you can enjoy his tone and style and love him as a singer but come on saying he has Jessica or Joshua’s range or can do some of the crazy melodic tricks they could or Elise could do or Hollie or Haley, etc. come on. I actually liked him a lot at the start although I slowly grew a little bored with him but even if you didn’t one bit, that’s awesome, but saying he has mad melodic skills and tremendous range, come on.

    • aw says:

      I totally agree! I’ve said this for weeks – I’ve loved Michael and Idol for years but I’m almost done with Michael’s Phillip bashing this year – I can’t remember the last time he was this negative about someone who is NOT terrible – I (and apparently alot of people!) think he is great and one of the most refreshing contestants in ages. I agree with Sam, I love his body of work and he’s made me rediscover or sometimes introduce me to songs instead of melting the Idol jukebox like Jessica or so many of the contestants – a good or even great voice doesnt make an successful artist, take recent case in point of Pia whose album or even single didnt do amazingly regardless of how much how you pimped her! My favourite artists arent the best singers like Celine Dion but the ones who give me something I engage with or feel ..and ‘a dinged up sailboat..a three note stew’ – really? how can that not be bias? and you cant even give straight compliments, they have to be negative criticisms (‘i didnt not enjoy it’) – I havent seen you this horrid and WRONG about any contestant, and especially one who is one of the most original this year (if not in a while, my only other favourite for that reason is David Cook) and the most original one pains me now (and probably most people who appreciate Phillip) to read these recaps – to think, a few seasons ago when the talent dipped I used to sometimes only watch the show to enjoy the recaps. They are all good this year, i don’t know why you have to be give Phillip the JLo-Haley feel. Yes, now you probably understand. Just disappointed.

    • Robin says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s just the start of sour grapes for everyone when their favorite is eliminated. I would love to see him get to next Tuesday, and if he doesn’t win…no big deal! Yes Jess and Josh win the vocal olympics contest, and I would give Josh the stage performer of the season award, but hands down the songs that Phillip has chosen to sing this year are the ones in constant rotation in my Ipod along with Elise’s. That’s the kinda music I would rather hear.

  33. cmkramer87 says:

    Michael, I keep losing track of your contestant critiques because of your mean-spirited attacks on Randy, although I’m glad to see you gave him a little credit. I want to know why you think he’s worse than J-Lo and Steven. I LIKE his roundabout way of speaking the truth–I think most of the time he’s on target, and he’s interesting the way he puts things (kind of like you, dawg). I thought that his “moment, moment, moment” comment was brilliant.

    Really, Michael, how is he any worse that Steven and J-Lo, I ask again? I’m starting to worry that you’re losing your sharp critic’s perspective.

    • Vivi says:

      Um…Randy’s brother, is that you?

      But seriously, I get mad with myself when I have a thought and then seconds later, Randy says it. I do not like agreeing with Randy. It pisses me off. Yeah, from time to time, the man drops knowledge. But the rest of the time, which is at a good 99%, he blabs. Tries to make jokes. Wear horrendously stupid suits that even Craig Sager would wince at. For a man that’s been on this show for a good 11yrs, he should’ve stepped up his game a long time ago. I think that is Michael’s frustration with Randy.

      • cmkramer87 says:

        Hi, Vivi. No, I’m a 48-year-old white woman in South Carolina who’s watched Idol from Day One–I’m not Randy’s brother, LOL!!!


        I simply think Michael is being unfair to Randy. I think Michael should look closer at Randy’s 11-year run. From a long-term perspective, he’s not done too badly with his critiques, IMO, and we have to appreciate that he’s had a lot more time to make terrible mistakes than J-Lo and Steven. I don’t think Steven could last that long, nor J-Lo, without bursting into flame. So can’t we at least respect Randy for his staying power?

        And I love his suits and his personality. I don’t want to make generalizations about the South, but I have to say we tend to appreciate colorful personalities a lot. Randy is warm. He brings a playful dimension to the show that I think Michael can’t appreciate because…

        Michael is getting too serious.

        This happens a lot to critics. And I’m sorry to see it happen to Michael because he’s a brilliant writer and shrewd critic–but he’s holding on too tight.

        Hold on loosely, Michael! Lighten up! Enjoy the brand that is Randy–or at least, stop picking on him more than the other two judges so I can get back to relishing your awesome critiques of the performers.

        • Alice says:

          That would be fine if Randy were just the show’s clown – as he was for most of the first decade, but it’s not so ‘colorful’ when he uses it to bully the contestants. I really wanted to knock his chair over after his treatment of Haley last year and she’s not the only one. I’m from the South to and in my corner of it we value reasonably good manners. And to paraphrase another southern woman (Ellen Degeneres) about people who excuse their nasty remarks w/’just jokin’ — if you think that’s joking you don’t know how to do it right.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            But in all fairness Jennifer wasn’t very nice to Haley, either. Steven actually seemed to tire of the entire charade and did stick up for her a few times.

          • cmkramer87 says:

            Yeah, I thought all the judges’ treatment of Haley (and Elise this year) in general was ridiculous. I agree that Randy was off base with Haley–no doubt! I will give you that. I never said he was perfect–not by a long shot. But he is NO WORSE than the others, and sometimes he is a GOOD judge.

            On another subject, I fundamentally disagree with Michael that Haley is a goddess singer who was Done Wrong. She’s got awesome pipes, and so does Elise, but is there star quality? I’m sorry to say it because I loved their voices, but I don’t think so. There was a hardness of personality in both those cases that didn’t suit the audience. The demographic watching this show wants a “sweetheart.”

            But those two girls got a great platform to show off on, and they should be grateful for the exposure. Bad judging or no, what an opportunity! And America did the voting. Not the judges. Obviously, here on Michael’s blog, the judges have very little influence on the blog commenters. And they have very little on the general public, IMO. People make up their own minds. I give American tweens and whoever else is voting some credit for making their own decisions!

    • Renee says:

      Hai Randy, Hi baby. :) Randy has almost always been little to no value added, he frequently can’t form a coherent sentence, he radiates ignorance (‘great’ MJ, uh Al Green, Sam Cooke – who can tell dif?), and for the last couple of seasons he’s cultivated a spiteful streak. So how is he worse? Steven is Uncle Fuzzy most of the time – and is usually at least encouraging (he’s the best Paula we can manage right now) and JLo is cunning – sometimes cooing and sometimes evil, mostly useless – but she’s not stumbling along extolling and slamming contestants like a bipolar lobotomy victim. Randy Smash!

      • cmkramer87 says:

        I disagree, Renee, that Randy is stupid. Nobody can get as far as he has in the world of show biz and music by being stupid. I think he’s on target a lot more than people give him credit for–it’s easy to make fun of him because he’s a “personality” who hasn’t achieved superstardom–like another personality who’s his own brand, Steven Tyler–so everyone is jumping on Randy.

        I’m disappointed in Michael for leading the fray in that regard. It seems like bullying to me. There’s a lot of mean-spiritedness on Michael’s blog these days that just doesn’t seem funny to me. But maybe that’s because I’ve worked with a lot of people who are dissed on a regular basis, and I see their worth–even though the world doesn’t.

        As for Randy being spiteful, I think he was told to take Simon’s place that way, and occasionally I think he says some really stupid, mean things, too. But again, my point is–how is he worse than the other two? A lot of times, he’s extremely supportive of the performers and gives them great advice. Why doesn’t anyone on this blog notice that?

        Overall, I’m seeing a steady downgrade in objectivity in Michael’s posts that worries me because that kind of snarky talk only attracts people who like to diss others. I miss the days when Michael was more positive, and I’m grateful he chose Melinda to be his critique pal because her view is more “pure” in the sense that she’s not trying to hook an audience the way Michael is–or please an audience that HE’S lured in–whose expectations are pretty much, “Let’s see who we can rip apart.”

        • Yo' says:

          I have actually agreed with Randy the Dissenter a few times this season. But was that a large and full tick hanging off his lapel last night?

      • gailer says:

        Randy hated Jason Castro, but yet he likes P2??? Still don’t get RJ this year.

  34. James Iovine (not Mr blue glasses tho!) says:

    I can’t understand all this love for Jessucka. Hollie has a far better voice, the only thing that let her down was her nerves. Everything Jessucka sings sounds the same. She can only do the big diva-esque songs with an overindulgence of vocal acrobatics. If you were at a Jessucka concert you’d leave after 2 songs, b-o-r-i-n-g! It should have been a Joshua v Hollie finale. Sorry Phillip, you’re cool but you’re just too inconsistent.

    • tewence says:

      i kinda thought hollie sang things that sounded the same week after week as well.

    • I like Hollie but she does not have the range of Jessica. You can see it clearly in I’ll Be There last night, which showed Jessica has more range at each of the high and low end of her range than Phillip does in his entirety. Hollie also is only good when she’s belting. She had no softer moments, like The Prayer that showed she could sing both gently and powerfully.

      • JASon says:

        Am I wrong in thinking all Philip does is change the melody into the same four notes and same exact rhythm no matter what the song!! He is the most one-deimensional, predictable contestant to ever get this far!!! I really liked him in the beginning but he never went away from what he does and I think I’d find his album very boring!!! As long as Joshua makes it. I don’t really care who his competition is.

      • tewence says:

        this is true…hollie did falter on softer songs. although i REALLY like her! such a sweet girl and i think she has huge potential with that tone! i still prefer jessica.

      • Marsaili says:

        Gee, and I wonder if Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen or Melissa Etheridge have the range of Jessica? Geez, RANGE DOESN’T MATTER when you are talking about two totally different genre and styles of singers? And just because someone HAS range, doesn’t automatically make them better than someone who doesn’t. I swear some of you don’t know anything about music.

    • Sandi says:

      “Jessucka”? Really? I hope you’re 12. If you’re a grown-up and do that with the name of a 16 year old, then I hope you have no access to children.

  35. Nancy says:

    I have a feeling Philip was feeling sick again last night after reading a report that he will have to have surgery after the show ends and given that Ryan sat with him after judging. Perhaps his decision to sing “Disease” was a hysterically literal way of expressing his current state of mind…

    • deedee says:

      Well, with Idol’s “thuddingly literal” – to quote Slezak – staging this season, it seems highly possible. Nice touch, P2 – being thuddingly literal AND subtle at the same time! ;)

  36. tewence says:

    i must say, if phillip makes it to the finale, we have problems. (and this is MY opinion before any of you bullies unleash your fury). COME ON! they tell him “oh, it’s ok if you don’t sing the melody or the pitch isn’t perfect, you are just doing what you do.” what if the other contestants who are capable of much more than him gave the same performances? they would get slapped with a wet noodle. man…gets on my effing nerves. they watch phillip give the same performance week after week and barely think he does any wrong, but when other, more vocally talented people change it up they get slapped on the wrist?! what gives?! the ONE time he does change it up (“we’ve got tonight”) nothing but the flaws in his voice were showcased. TEACH THE KID HOW TO SING WITHOUT A FROG IN HIS THROAT, THEN WE’LL TALK. here you have someone like joshua, for example, who can perform the MESS out of anything AND match it with his vocal abilities, and they give the same praise to phillip, the one-trick pony. i am baffled by the whole thing. although, props to phillip for being vulnerable enough to cry in his hometown visit…that will get him votes for sure.

    • branlegr says:

      Could you elaborate on Phillip’s vocal flaws, per favore? While I think Phillip has some issues (everyone does), Joshua’s and Jessica’s vocal flaws are both more numerous and more enormous. Especially Joshua’s…

      • tewence says:

        in my opinion, (sorry, i feel like every time i write anything anywhere on the internet, i have to precede it with a disclaimer…people are vicious these days) he doesn’t sing correctly. (i am not expert by any means, though the little experience i have had singing through the years has taught me a little). he can’t support his tone correctly which i think leads to the kermit the frog sound. and i haven’t heard him hold a note for any substantial amount of time. as well i have noticed he ends all of his songs the same…a really shaky last note-ish type thing where he closes his mouth…not sure if that makes any sense, but it seems like it gets away from him. perhaps he is a little out of control of it. as far as jessica goes, the only thing i PERSONALLY see as an issue is that she loses control of runs sometimes. as for joshua, i think people perceive his upper register as screechy…it doesn’t sound that way to me. (i wonder how many of those people also like adam lambert, who sounded WAY worse up there in my opinion)

        • branlegr says:

          He “can’t” support his tone correctly? Vocal support is derived from one’s breath, and Phillip is still breathing as far as I can tell. What you mean to say is that he DOESN’T support his tone correctly, and you’d be correct. In fact, in addition to not drawing significant breath, Phillip also spreads his sound (he opens his mouth horizontally).

          Kermit the frog sound? I think of the kermit the frog sound as being a NASAL sound. Of the three contestants remaining, Joshua is the only one that sings nasally, although he only has a nasal sound sometimes.

          All the problems (breath support, kermit the frog sound, shaky tone due to closing mouth) that you attribute to Phillip are more applicable to Joshua. However, in addition to these problems, Joshua also screams incessantly, uses too much chest voice in his middle and upper range, and has an unnatural, forced vibrato. I will disagree with the “common wisdom” that Joshua’s upper register is screechy: His MIDDLE register is screechy, and his upper register is weak.

          Jessica’s runs are actually her strongest vocal asset. They are not out of control, as pretty much every note in each run is sung in tune. Like Joshua, she uses too much chest voice and has an unnatural, forced vibrato.

          • tewence says:

            sorry i used “can’t” instead of “doesn’t.” i know breathing supports tone, and he doesn’t do it correctly. i apologize for the mis-speak. i told you i am not an expert, so your knowledge doesn’t really change the fact that phillip is not pleasant to listen to in my opinion. kermit the frog sounds like he has a frog in his throat (i’ve often wondered if they purposely did that since he is a frog). also, i personally haven’t seen where phillip can hold a solid, non-shaky note longer than joshua or jessica. again, i’m not an expert. i guess we will be divided about joshua as i don’t hear it as screaming. and what i meant about jessica’s runs are that they are sometimes really quick and seemingly unintentional at times (not that she didn’t mean to sing it, but she didn’t intend to sing it the way she did). i am aware that her runs are in tune. also, having sung in choirs my entire life (different animal than pop music, i know), i don’t see how vibrato would be unnatural. i DO think it can be forced. i would be tempted to believe that jessica’s was influenced by beyonce, as they sound almost identical…even though beyonce can used hers infinitely better than jessica (she’s a 16 year old, so i will cut her some slack).

      • Rocky says:

        No way. PhilPhil has a lot of trouble when he has to reach above his 6 note range. Joshua and Jessica are far and away much better vocalists. You’re watching the next Mariah, or Whitney, or Beyonce in the making. When she comes out of the studio, she is going to blow people away. There is a HUGE difference in the vocals produced in the studio, and what you hear in a nerve wracking live performance. PhilPhil’s best bet is to go into acting or modeling if he wants to have a long career. His singing career will be very short.

        • branlegr says:

          6 note range? Please don’t infuse your responses with hyperbole as it makes you look uncivil.

          And I don’t know what you mean by “nerve wracking live performance.” For someone of Jessica’s caliber (top 3 of American Idol), being able to perform without nervousness is the EXPECTATION, not an excess of expectation.

          And as far as lengths of singing careers go, with Joshua’s incessant screaming, he will have to check in with a vocal health specialist very soon… :/

      • Leila says:

        Phillip has no vocal range and has to force the hoarse, Nickleback sound (I won’t compare to Joe Cocker because while this one has real soul, P2 sings every song with no emotion whatsoever) in order to sound “rock n roll”. The fact that you consider him flawless or at least superior technically to Jessica and Joshua is laughable.

        • branlegr says:

          I don’t find Phillip’s tone to be hoarse. I guess the Nickleback comparison is legitimate, though.

          I don’t consider Phillip to be flawless, and any other week I would not consider Phillip to be better than Jessica or Joshua on a technical level. However, Jessica and Joshua do NOT epitomize good vocal technique. This week, the distinction made was that Jessica and Joshua oversing and Phillip doesn’t.

      • tarc says:

        I don’t like getting negative, but you have a good point. And there are plenty of people around here that don’t seem to be able to comprehend something as simple as ‘good singing’ is not technical perfection, or runs, or range, or whathave you (the Christina Aguilera model). As you point out, she has a stunning voice, with as stunning of issues (like the virtual inability to sing a straight melody). But if you hold that up as ‘great singing’ you certainly and unequivocally eliminate Billie Holliday, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and 80% (or more) of the greatest singers in history. going on about Phillip’s vocals is nonsense – the guy moves people to buy records and vote (and it seems in a superior manner than his competitors). *That’s* singing.

        • branlegr says:

          I will say that I do have a concept of “good singing” much like my Joshua- and Jessica- darlings here on TVLine, it’s just much different. I consider bad singing to consist of singing that sounds/looks painful or constrained. I want to make it clear that I am NOT a Phillip fan, in general. However, to me, Phillips sound seemed the least painful out of the 3 last night.

    • Phillip is graded on the Phillip Phillips scale, like how Tim Urban was graded on the Tim Urban scale. Good job!… given your obvious limitations as a vocalist.

      • tewence says:

        exactly…it is really unfair to the other contestants.

      • JASon says:

        You’re so right. Too bad Simon is gone. He would have pulled the plug on theses shenanigan’s about five weeks ago and Philip would have been in sixth place and Colton would be vying for the finals!!

        • Joe says:

          We had this exact conversation in our house last night. Simon would’ve run Phillip out weeks ago and Skylar and Colton would’ve gone further. We also thought he’d have pushed Jessica to be better and he probably would’ve eaten Hollie alive. I miss that guy on this show. Even on his new show he’s neutered and too nice.

          • Leila says:

            Not sure if Simon would have put P2 in his place. He enabled Lee Dewyze. He would be looking at voting numbers and praising P2 and talking about him making smart choices to have the women voting for him like crazy.

          • Alice says:

            I’ve noticed we all have a tendency to remember Simon as being more on target than he was (I’m guilty of this too). True – he was worlds better than current judges. However, Simon played politics and favorites as well. Off the top of my head, his ott praise for Danny Gokey for most of Season 8, some of his David Cook comments, his bizarre criticism of Carly Smithson singing a song about a bird (Blackbird – you know the Beatles classic lol), etc. Having said all that – I would give all three of the current judges and Ryan (and Nigel of course) to have Simon back – he was interesting and could be very specific and on point when he felt like it. The show is much more predictable and boring without him.

          • Joe says:

            Alice – Great point. I forgot the Carly hate. There was something he just didn’t like about her but she was fantastic. A lot of people chalk up him pushing DeWyze as he was checking out from the show and he didn’t want Ellen to be able to claim Bowersox as her victory since she was firmly behind her from jump street. He did play favorites. There were weeks where Carrie Underwood looked more terrified than Hollie auditioning last season but he kept pushing the narrative that she was the one. He also had no idea what they had in Jennifer Hudson.

          • Tim says:

            Yes, I still watch Carly’s youtubes and think, how did she not win. But then I remember Simon’s constant belittling of her, it had to have an effect on some voters.

          • tarc says:

            Pfft. Talking about what Simon would have done isn’t terribly relevant in light of his outdated prejudices that became all the more evident (and one he specifically lost for X-factor, ahem). Cowell was stuck in the 80’s and his love for female power balladeers, and he pretty much hated (and kept out of the competition) jazz, blues, and anything beyond country-pop. He didn’t have any idea what to do with people like Adam Lambert. A Cowell Idol would have never seen Haley, or Casey, or a huge number of other recent Idol favorites.

    • George R says:

      I actually prefer the Bullies than the Passive Aggressives in these posts

      • tewence says:

        by that comment, it seems you would prefer both…

        i wasn’t trying at all to be passive aggressive (i apologize if that’s the way it seemed…maybe the last sentence sounded that way, my bad). i get really weary of the debating with people on the internet these days.

  37. JASon says:

    MAybe when Joshua sais I saw you and her talking it meant that his lover is a man who is switching back to women or that his lover is a woman who is switching teams to men. Most likely the former.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      JASon – Maybe he forgot how he intended to sing the lyrics.
      sometimes a horse is just a horse.

  38. JASon says:

    So is Joshua anti-religion rebelling against his preacher father. If imagine is an anti-religous song and if Joshua is gay, which has been speculated on, and of course the church doesn’t support the gay lifestyle. Was “Imagine” Joshua’s statement against religion. Another curious coincidence when Archuleta sang the song and skipped the religion verse Randy asked him why he skipped it. Then Randy asked Joshua why he picked the song. Both times Randy tried to call attention to the dubious nature on choosing an anti-religion song on American Idol.

    • deedee says:

      Meh, Randy should have known better than to tell Joshua he was connecting to the meaning of the lyrics. Obviously he was not. I was mad at Joshua for this, but have finally gotten over it, lol. I think he chose the song for the melody, and didn’t get too deep into the actual intention of the lyrics. I’m still mad at him for Churching it up, though. No excuse for this bad arrangement. Do they not have mentors? gah!

    • TiaGata says:

      Maybe Randy is the anti-religious person.

      I never knew what the song was about, because I didn’t really listen to it back then or now. I tell you I don’t know very many of the songs that have been used on AI, I just listen to see how the contestant delivers the vocals. I am a child of the 60s & 70s R&B, and now I am a fan of Hip-Hop/R&B, I know very little pop music.

      Also, after we got more R&B radio stations I really stopped listening to pop music, so I only have a limited view on the artist that sing the majority of the songs that are cleared on AI.

      I did stay up and vote for Joshua because he is my favorite, although I preferred Phillip slightly last night.

    • MA says:

      It’s possible that Joshua (and his family) are open-minded, tolerant religious people who actually understand and appreciate compassion…you know, all those things Jesus was for. Those folks do exist, even in the South. I know some.

    • Leila says:

      Who cares. “Imagine” is a classic, an iconic song loved by people of all faiths or no religion. Enjoying the melody and even the lyrics say nothing about your religious leanings. It’s frigging John Lennon for Christ’s sake.

      • JASon says:

        No ones denying Imagine is a classic or deriding the song. Just intersting that Joshua would choose that song being he’s a preacher’s son!!!

  39. Steph says:

    Jessica did great last night. Her best performance was “My All”. I don’t know why Jimmy picked “I’ll be there” it wasn’t the best choice but she did sing the heck out of it.

  40. john says:

    Is it me or does Jessica seem like a behavioral experiment? Give birth to a kid, put her in front of the TV, put Idol on, have her mimic the contestants, do not let her leave the house (not even for school), try out for Idol, win Idol(?), make an album produced by the Interscope machine, get rich, be in a bad movie with Ben Affleck, make a sex book, get too much plastic surgery, end up on Celebrity Apprentice.
    Sorry. Got carried away.
    It just all seems very Truman Show to me.

    • deedee says:

      Haha, I was going to comment, “Truman Show” before I saw your last line. Brilliant!

    • Leila says:

      As if you can “force” your child into developing a vocal range like that. She was born with it and the parents were rightly amazed and willing to nurture her talent. It would have been bad parenting not to recognize that she was born to sing.

  41. C.J. says:

    Seriously, what am I not getting about Phillip Phillips? Not the guy with a guitar who won’t change his wardrobe thing, not his cuteness factor with the dialing/texting tweens,not the genuinely effective voice. I get all that, to an extent. I mean, what am I missing with his performances? What about “We’ve Got Tonight” was anything more than perfunctory? Adequate? How did it rate a standing O, rapturous praise from the judges, an A- from you, Michael Slezak? I could go in seven different bars in town tonight and here the same vocals

    • JASon says:

      What you’re not getting is that the show knows Philip is going to win!!! The votes have been counted for weeks and Taylor Hicks has already sung. Philip will for sure win!!! What they are doing is trying to make it seem legitimate by overpraising every performance for three weeks when only one of them has been good. Slezak is either A) Taking bribes from the show or B) Drinking the cool aid and has lost his mind!!

      • deedee says:

        I agree that his win is a foregone conclusion and the votes have told the story all along. BUT, as a non-fan, I think Phil has had 2 good weeks, so he has arguably earned his spot in the finals. Plus, because he’s been ok lately, the overpraising hasn’t seemed as ridiculous as when he was delivering clunkers and being told he was an over-the-top-beautiful-phone-book-singing-melody-defying-Springsteen-Matthews-next-big-thing.

    • Leila says:

      I loved the “perfunctory”. Thank you!

    • Mary B says:

      It is only on this site I see so much hatred and nastiness towards Phillip. Even Access Hollywood had pieces of last nights performances and called Phillip the winner of the night. I read other blogs and most loved him but it is just so much anger here. I happen to really like Phillip’s music and thought he was great last night. There is absolutely no reason to be so nasty to any of these contestants. You don’t like their music fine but don’t say they have no talent because that is just wrong.

      • tewence says:

        my personal problem surrounding PP is not as much towards him as it is all of the undue hype.

      • Marsaili says:

        Exactly—that’s what I’ve been trying to say for weeks–but I get blasted by (some of) the Jessica lovers, told I have no ears, no taste, no sense—etc. I love Philip’s music, his raspy voice, his guitar playing, his musicality. It’s ok to love Jessica here, it’s ok to love Joshua here—but anytime someone says they love Phillip they get told it’s because he’s cute and we want to sleep with/ or marry him or we get accused of having no taste. I’m to the point that I’m gonna just start telling those people to freak off—I can like who I want to like and their hate isn’t going to change MY opinion! *hugs* Mary! :-D

  42. JJ says:

    LEEsburg?really captilize Lee in all caps? That was uncalled for..he is nothing like Lee DeWyze. He’s simply Phillip Phillips.

    At least Phillip doesn’t scream like the other two..I hope he wins

  43. Lori says:

    Doesn’t matter who wins when none of them has what it takes to be a star! By this time next year we won’t even remember them…

    • Alice says:

      Sadly, I believe this is true – though Joshua might find a home in gospel music. And if we’re including those gone, Skylar has a good shot at success in Idol-friendly country. (I think she’s far more talented than Scotty and Lauren and they’re both doing well I think.)

      • Suzie says:

        You’re wrong about Skylar. There’s a good reason why she won’t get far in country music. She isn’t the least bit feminine. No matter how assertive Reba could be in a song, she was always feminine. Skylar stomps around like a clumsy horse, wears boots with prom dresses and is known to be butch. that won’t fly in Nashville.

  44. Aaron says:

    I was just thinking that this time last year we had Haley Reinhart’s epic performance of What Is and What Should Never Be and her beautiful cover of Rhiannon. Heck, I even liked Lauren Alaina’s If I Die Young more than 80% of last night’s performances. I could’ve slapped Jimmy for saddling Jessica with that atrocious “I’ll Be There”…did he think this was an 8th grade talent show? Such a bland and anticlimactic song that it makes me wonder if he and the producers have it in for her. Anyways, at this point it doesn’t matter whether it’s Jessica or Joshua in the finale because they will have to settle as runner-up to P2. I predict that Jessica probably has a slight edge with her fanbase and will propel her to next week, but I could be wrong. But I don’t know if I can fathom another season of this show if the same judges and same voting procedure is still there. Five consecutive years of white guy/white guitar winners (I know I sound like a broken record but you have to admit that something is very flawed), when some amazing female vocalists like Allison Iraheta, Haley Reinhart, Carly Smithson, Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus, Elise Testone, and Hollie Cavanagh are thrown to the side and run over? I think the ultimate flaw is that the judges continuously praise middlebrow, minimally talented male artists (cough Phil cough Lee cough Scotty) without giving them any sort of constructive or valid critiques while holding certain talented female singers to a highly unattainable standard. It’s terrible warped.

  45. bethy says:

    Sorry to say this has been one of the few seasons that I have not fully connected with anyone, where I waited week to week to see them………so that being said, Phillip has such an easy and chill way about him and he is more original than the other 2. I would like to see Phillip take the crown this year!!!

  46. Jessica says:

    Last night was great! (with the guys) I’m thankful we have 3 different styles/genres. Out of the home clips I think Joshua should win it all. Jessica is a kid-if she was smart she would of waited 3 years and learned more about life. She shrugs and looks like my 8 year old daughter. She only sings to sings well. P2 keeps getting “the girls the girls” blah blah nonsense. I really like him but a large crowd just doesn’t seem to fit him well, Can’t wait to listen to his album though! Joshua is a true star. He really came out to get a spot in the finale. I love how he feels what he sings. Best of the night with songs and home trip. I really hope to not see Jessica in the finale. She’s went far enough and 3rd place is good for her. It all depends on who is voting and who everyone’s favorite is but as much as i think Phillip is out (not that he deserves that) -I think he has a really big fan base. Jessica is probably in it but maybe the girls voting weed her out (this year I’m not complaining about that). Joshua better be there!

  47. MusicGrrrl says:

    I thought Phillip Phillip’s “Beggin” was the absolute best performance of the night. And from the audience’s extended applause and standing ovation, I don’t think I was the only one who felt that way. That one combined with his closing number not only should put him into the finale, but should give him a huge push to the win. Joshua was on full-tilt screechiness last night, which is a side of his voice so many people (myself included) really hate. A lot of us like Joshua better when he uses his real voice instead of the cat coughing up hairballs screech. Jessica didn’t have a great night last night, but her season overall should put her in the finale.

    • tewence says:

      i find it interesting that you don’t like joshua’s “screechiness” and i love his voice, but you do like phillip (who butchered beggin, i thought) and i don’t like the frog in his throat. i’m really not trying to be mean, just interesting how many different opinions are out there. different strokes (of the left thigh) for different folks! ;)

      • Jessica says:

        This whole season is based on what people seem to like love/hate. The winner will create the same reaction. We already know how these 3 sing and now it’s just who likes what more. Personally I think all 3 are talented. I for one like a little “screechy” What I don’t like is someone trying to convey something to me but can’t b/c they don’t have the maturity or not bringing it out if they do. So that’s my issue with Jessica.

      • tarc says:

        I’m not fond of when Joshua goes schrrech, either. But to give him full credit where credit is due, he’s improved dramatically, specially in the last two weeks. He’s been making other vocal choices that are interesting and not ‘screechy’ or ‘ugly’. His material hasn’t been quite as strong, but his vocals are far easier to listen to. Phillip’s been improving the last couple weeks as well, but Jushua’s done the most work. He’s certainly getting more and more palatable for pop music.

  48. Elizabeth says:

    It should definitely be the guys. Jessica needed to go weeks ago. Girl can sing but I can’t stand her attitude. The two guys are both so humble an down to earth. To me, that’s a critical component for an American IDOL.

    Here’s hoping Phillip wins it all!!

  49. Katie says:

    all of the contestants left are extremely polarizing. People either love them or hate them, there isn’t really much of an in between. It doesnt matter who wins, there will be a lot of angry ppl and alot of happy ppl no matter what.

  50. jw says:

    I think Phillip sealed a win of the whole show with that last performance. Combined with ‘Volcano’ last week and his hometown visit, he picked up some momentum. Joshua has a lot going for him, but there’s still something just off that I can’t put my finger on yet. By the way, first half of ‘No More Drama’ wasn’t enough to hold my attention and I switched the station to see what was going on over at ABC.