US Air Date:
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 (8-9pm)
UK Air Date:
Thursday, May 24, 2012 (8-9pm, ITV2)
It’s down to two…the ultimate battle. Who will win–the girl with the powerful voice or the white guy with guitar? This week, American Idol is live at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Let’s get right into it.
Theme #1: Simon Fuller’s Choice
1. Jessica Sanchez: “I Have Nothing”
It’s no surprise Simon Fuller chose a Whitney song for her, as she has covered the late singer before and can slay it with these power ballads. I’m sure there will be those that say it’s too predictable, but there’s no denying the voice and being able to match the original.
2. Phillip Phillips: “Stand By Me”
This is one of those laid-back songs that suits Phillip well. And P2′s known to change up the melody or arrangement, and many times I feel it doesn’t work for him–And I can say the same again here. Half the time the song was unrecognizable. He needs to know when something like this can and can’t work. If he wins, he could potentially be the most boring of the White Guy with Guitar winners (rivaling Kris Allen).
Round 1 Winner: Jessica Sanchez
Theme #2: Contestants Choice (Reprise of a Previous Song)
1. Jessica Sanchez: “The Prayer”
For her own choice, I’m surprised she didn’t go with “I Will Always Love You,” the number that first made her the frontrunner before P2 took that title. But after Simon Fuller already had her taking on Whitney, it probably wouldn’t have been the best choice. I do love this song (especially since it’s by my favorite singer of all time, Celine Dion), but because of how slow it is, it won’t get her new votes. My favorite moments, though, were the beautiful falsettos near the end.
2. Phillip Phillips: “Movin’ Out”
I don’t remember exactly how he performed “Movin’ Out” the first time around, but tonight’s rendition sounds different; maybe more instrumentals? And I wasn’t on board for most of it; it sounded the same that we’ve always heard from Phillip. But the last little bit was really good when he ampted it up, making his voice louder and infusing some much needed energy.
Round 2 Winner: It’s a draw. Neither one stood out, so there’s no winner here.
Theme #3: Winner’s Single
1. Jessica Sanchez: “Change Nothing”
The winning songs aren’t always the best (think “Do I Make You Proud?” and “No Boundaries”), and this may not have been the best either. The opening was slow, which doesn’t get her anywhere coming off of the slow “The Prayer.” I was trying to listen to the lyrics, but couldn’t understand what it was about. I don’t necessarily mind it was along the lines of pop/ballad, but the feel wasn’t what it should have been. However, I’m glad she was able to belt it out in the latter half. Will Phillip’s single be any better?
2. Phillip Phillips: “Home”
Comparing the two winning songs, if you look at them just as songs in their own right, “Home” was better.” It sounds more natural and not as contrived, even though it had an obvious message. I was bored at first because it was the same old/same old Phillip Phillips. But what got me was the areas near the end when he held out those notes…The sound his voice made here was very intriguing and something new and engaging that we haven’t seen from him.
Round 3 Winner: Phillip Phillips. What took Jessica down in this round was the song, unfortunately. And the song choice here was out of their hands, not of their choosing.
The show closes with last year’s winner, Scotty McCreery, performing this year’s goodbye song, “Please Remember Me.”
Favorite Performances: Phillip Phillips (“Home”) / Jessica Sanchez (“I Have Nothing”)
My Votes: Jessica Sanchez (60 votes)
Winner Prediction: Phillip Phillips
Runner-Up Prediction: Jessica Sanchez
I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but it’s all but guaranteed that Phillip Phillips will win season 11. He had it in the bag weeks ago, in the same way that Scotty McCreery did last year. Obviously, I’m hoping for an upset; if that happens, then the right person (Jess) will win.
You know, the finals this year weren’t all that exciting. There were only two good performances out of the whole night. And most of the tunes were slow and edging on being boring. I guess we’ve had this before in previous seasons–I just want to see the show go back to the high moments of Ruben vs. Clay, Carrie vs. Bo, etc. Those were not only epic battles, but also many fantastic performances were thrown into the mix of the finals. With P2 and Jess, there’s not a lot of excitement going on here (and this is coming from a big Jessica Sanchez fan); in hindsight, I can only wonder now how much more exiting things would’ve been with Joshua Ledet in the Top 2. (At least we’ll be able to see him and his female counterpart, Fantasia, team up and perform a duet during the finale.)
Who was your favorite this week? Who should win…and who will win?
The competition is now over, the votes have been cast, and we now just have to wait to find out the winner. But before we get to that crowning moment, there will be guest performances galore by established artists and the return of Idol alumni. See ya then…