Tonight, instead of a clean, organized recap, I am opting to go with stream-of-consciousness writing. You've been warned. So we start with this: I am drooling over J-Lo's pink blazer. I want it. I don't think I'd wear it with matching pink pants personally, but I seriously love it.
Oh- the show is on Tuesday/Wednesday next week? Good to know.
Round 1, Judges' Choice.
Randy picked Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" for Joshua. And Joshua kicks off the show with a standing ovation. Maybe not his best performance, and I question the necessity of a standing ovation (especially leading off the night) but we're off to a rather enjoyable start.
Oh look! A glimpse of the Top 12. As good as they were, I'm surprised at how many of them I already kind of forgot. Looking at you, Jeremy, EVP, DeAndre, and Shannon. I really had to think long and hard about Shannon's name. In fact, I'm still not 100% confident that was her name but I'm going with it.
Jessica Sanchez with J-Lo's choice, Mariah Carey's "My All." She is showing some beautiful restraint and tenderness, but the lower notes aren't exactly perfect. I think this was another song a little too mature for the 16-year-old. J-Lo might have appreciated her for not doing The Big Part of the song but I found myself waiting for it and missing it when it never came.
Steven Tyler picked a song with a melody for Phillip which is apparently called "Beggin'" by Madcon. Do you think they have the girls in the front row rehearse clapping their hands above their heads in unison before the show? It looks so unnatural. As I've said before- or at least I think I have- it's probably best for American Idol if Phillip Phillip doesn't win. However, it sure looks like he's going to anyway.
ROUND 1 WINNER: Phillip Phillips.
Round 2, Contestant's Choice.
How I love the hometown visits. They overwhelm and amaze me. But Josh doesn't seem fazed one bit! As a rule of thumb, I prepare to cringe whenever anyone who isn't John Lennon takes on "Imagine" but that probably shouldn't apply when someone like Joshua Ledet is singing. Hey, they are both JLs! I'm surprised Anna didn't point that out to me. You could say Josh took "Imagine" to church, which seems a little ironic. I liked it, though.
Oh dear. For how mature she seems when she sings, it is painfully clear that Jessica is still only 16 years old when she speaks. WOW look at how many people showed up for her!!! Cute moment with her brothers. And I can't get over how young her dad must be. "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" was not my favorite Jessica performance- glory note aside (which was a little flat?), she steered clear of any big moments again. She better have an amazing third song. I do get a kick out of how much Steven Tyler likes Jessica- and in a totally non-creepy, supportive kind of way.
That kid with the "you still owe me $10" sign for Phillip is awesome. And how adorable is his dad? I bet he made Anna cry. Speaking of which- the other two just soaked up the attention, but this is a very emotional Phillip we're witnessing here. I'm loving his take on this Matchbox 20 song, however it was a bit of a safe choice. With three songs tonight, I don't blame him one bit. OMG RANDY SHUT UP!!! HOW ANNOYING WAS THAT JUST NOW?!?!
ROUND 2 WINNER: Joshua Ledet.
Round 3, Jimmy's Choice.
Jimmy picks "No More Drama" for Joshua- ugh. I see we're going to get some Mantasia here tonight. Not a huge fan of Mantasia. My favorite moment of this performance was the shot of Hollie, Shannon and Elise totally geeking out about Josh. I can't love this because I hate the song, but I do love Joshua.
Why hasn't anybody told Steven Tyler yet that he isn't exactly using the term "over the top" accurately?
Jessica is sounding absolutely perfect on "I'll Be There." Very pretty. In fact, she sang three very pretty songs, but there was no growling, no attacking. There were no huge moments for Jessica tonight. I'm really not sure she did enough to get into next week's finale, unfortunately. The show needs her there, but I just don't think she got people to pick up the phone for her. And I REALLY HATE to agree with Randy Jackson here but he's completely right that she should have borrowed from Mariah Carey's version and added a few little fancy things here and there. That could have given her a moment. But, alas. No moment.
Bob Seger? This seems promising. <Silence. I am captivated!> Phillip came through. What a smart choice by Jimmy- it let us focus on Phillip's voice, which is actually lovely. It's clear he doesn't love playing the part of The Heartthrob (which makes him even more endearing, no?) but he should thank Jimmy one day for forcing him into it here.
ROUND 3 WINNER: I wouldn't blame those of you who say Joshua here, but my pick is Phillip.
So I guess what I'm saying is... I'm left feeling completely perplexed about Jessica's song choices. How did Uncle Nigel let this happen when he so badly needs her to win? The finale is definitely going to be a boy's show.