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American Idol Recap – Top 4 Performances

We’re getting down to the wire.  So sad that Skylar is gone.  Hollie had better bring it tonight.  Tonight’s themes are megabands and songs that personally inspire you.

Phillip – “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Does anyone else think PhilPhil sounded like Kermit the Frog tonight?  Jennifer didn’t.  Randy thought that after a rough start it was sensational.  I think it matters not what PhilPhil does as he is your American Idol.

Hollie – “Faithfully” – Journey
What a weird song choice.  Such a snoozer the way she sang it.  The judges have obviously been instructed tonight to say only good about the contestants.  Because Randy “who played with Journey” thinks Hollie did them proud.  Come on.   Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Joshua – “You Raise Me Up” – Josh Groban

Jessica – “Steal Away” – Etta James
If Hollie outlasts Jessica, a travesty has been wrought.

Phillip & Joshua – “This Love” – Maroon 5
Why do they keep insisting on putting this odd couple together?  Still, it was way better than Phillip’s individual performance.

Jessica & Hollie – “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles
Um – are they really singing on swings?  I think they are.  Ridiculous.  More ridiculous?  Hollie sounded better on this song than Jessica did on this song.  Best part was when Phillip and Joshua jumped on the swings after the song was over.

All Four – “Waiting For A Girl Like You” – Foreigner
Way less awkward than either duet.  And…maybe Hollie will outlast JChez.

Phillip – “Volcano” – Damien Rice
Thank goodness PhilPhil brought it back.  That was great and makes me feel better again that he is unstoppable.

Hollie – “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt
Really poor song choice and staging.  This is one of the most emotional songs of all time, one of my absolute favorites, and something that Hollie has no business whatsoever choosing.  I actually don’t think it was as bad as the judges said it was, and I think that at least some of the issue came from the overwrought staging with all the strings and candles all over the place.  Why not just Hollie on a stool with a mic?  I think the staging forced it to be more of a production number, and I doubt she was in full control of that choice.  I also thought it was way better than the snoozefest she subjected us to an hour ago.

Joshua – “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” – James Brown
To paraphrase Simon Cowell’s comments after Fantasia’s final performance in season three: “Mantasia, that was your acceptance speech.”  WOW.  I must turn toward hyperbole here.  That was not only Joshua’s best performance this season, it may have been the best Idol performance of all time.

Jessica – “And I Am Telling You” – Jennifer Holiday
Even before the performance started, I give Jessica HUGE credit for crediting Jennifer Holiday for this song, rather than JHud.  I mean, I LOOOOOVE JHud’s version, but unlike the many recent contestants who have sung this song on Idol, Jessica credited the amazing original.  Jessica came on stage hair up and frizzy and dressed like a teeny-bopper, which I thought was a truly unfortunate styling choice.  But she had me completely enthralled with the most amazing and powerful vocal that I really was just fixated on how amazing she can be.  I mean, it should go without saying that this is the best version of this song I have heard outside of JHol and JHud’s versions.  Pretty darned amazing.  And I think it came at the exact moment that she needed it.

My Ranking of Tonight’s Performances:

  1. Joshua – “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
  2. Jessica – “And I Am Telling You”
  3. Joshua – “You Raise Me Up”
  4. Phillip – “Volcano”
  5. Jessica – “Steal Away”
  6. Hollie – “I Can’t Make You Love Me”
  7. All – “Waiting For A Girl Like You”
  8. Phillip & Joshua – “This Love”
  9. Phillip – “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”
  10. Hollie – “Faithfully”
  11. Jessica & Hollie – “Eternal Flame”

Who is Going Home:

No question, PhilPhil deserves to go home this week.  It has become painfully obvious how little he wants it and how thin his voice is compared to these other three.  But that ain’t going to happen.  As if it even mattered, PhilPhil’s second performance was solid enough to secure him safety this week.  All you need to do is listen to how the studio audience reacts to him versus anyone else to know what’s going on here.  I have to believe that the pure, unbridled talent that propelled Fantasia through to the finals will propel Mantasia through this week at the very least.  So that leaves us with JChez and Hollie.  I think either could go.  But given that the judges had little nice to say about Hollie’s final performance and that Jessica’s final performance was a slam dunk, I think the jig may finally be up for Hollie.

You think so too?

Wertheim out.

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