Idol’s Top Three – It’s pretty simple, really.

We lost Hollie Cavanagh last week, which was appropriate.  She had no business being in the top four, let alone the top three.  So we move on with Joshua, Phillip, and Jessica.

And that’s kind of the way I see the remaining three.  Joshua, then Phillip, then Jessica.  And, in my humble opinion (or imho, as the kids like to say), that is exactly how tonight’s show played out.

American Idol likes to make a big deal out of making the top three by sending the contestants home for parades, concerts, visits to old high schools, touching moments with family.  And that’s what we got tonight with Joshua, Phillip, and…well, not quite with Jessica.  Was it just me, or was every interaction Jessica had with her family painfully awkward?  Like Jessica herself, these moments felt completely void of emotion.  It was strange and even a little creepy.  Maybe it was just me, but my “hmm, that’s strange” meter was going crazy.

Anyway, we don’t pick out American Idols by the quality of their home-week visits.  It’s all about showtime, baby!  So let’s get to the show:

ROUND 1; The Producers, er, Judges Choice – The judges (allegedly) picked the songs for round one.  And the contestants mostly responded by delivering wonderful performances.  Here’s how I ranked it:

1.  Joshua Ledet – “I’d Rather Be Blind”   This was so effortless and easy, yet undeniably great.  Joshua delivered a typically strong vocal and an appropriately underplayed performance, busting out just a little toward the end.  He took an Etta James standard and made it relevant today.

2.  Phillip Phillips – “Beggin'”   I almost ranked this above Joshua.  Call it 1A.  Great song choice and a great performance by Phillips.  In terms of song choice, this was the coolest of the night.  His vocal was so uniquely strong, Steven told him he could become a new-age Springsteen.  I don’t know about that, but this was pretty great.  And yes, Madcon recorded this a couple of years ago for Stompin’ The Dance Two Electric Boogaloo, or some movie like that, but let’s call this what it is; a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons song.

3.  Jessica Sanchez – “My All”   It seems like Mariah Carey would be right up Jessica’s musical alley, but she struggled with this song.  The judges, of course, acted like she nailed it.  She didn’t.  Here’s the thing with Jessica; she has the kind of voice that, with a big Mariah/Whitney/Christina type of song, will allow her to do several takes in a studio until she delivers the right vocal that is big and guarantees a hit in today’s pop radio market.  But there’s no real emotion behind it.  For me, this performance was just a’ight.  Nothing better.

ROUND 2; Contestants Choice – Traditionally, this is the weakest round of final three week.  No exception, here.  BUT, this round was particularly maddening because of the way the judges handled their critiques.  I will explain in my rankings…

1.  Phillip Phillips – “Disease”   This was Phillip’s weakest song of the night.  But in this lull of a round, he topped the list.  To help him out, he was again joined by HBSP (hot blonde saxophone player).  I do not like this Matchbox 20 song, but at least Phillip owned it and delivered a solid performance.  The judges chose to point out how underwhelming he was, which I would not have had a problem with had they done the same with the other contestants in this round.  They did not.  Maddening.

2.  Joshua Ledet – “Imagine”   For me, this was forgettable.  Not horrible, just forgettable.  I wasn’t crazy about the song choice for Joshua, but the slightly gospel arrangement made it work a little better.  Still, I’ve always thought this song was horribly overrated (did I just say that out loud?) and the judges overrated this performance as well.  It was just okay.

3.  Jessica Sanchez – “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”   Yawn.  Underwhelming.  Not at all interesting.  No connection to the song.  This was vocally below what we’re used to hearing from Jessica.  It paled horribly to the original version Aerosmith.  This song works on the strength of the emotional delivery, which is why Steven Tyler pulls it off.  Jessica doesn’t have emotional delivery.  She just has a big voice that allows her to sometimes fake emotion.  But not here.  YET, the judges, including Tyler, absolutely gushed.  And it was embarrassing.  This was nowhere near a gush-worthy performance.  This was an opportunity to point out that something was missing and Jessica needs to find it before round three.  Instead, they sent her on her way, believing she can do no wrong.  She did this wrong.

ROUND 3; Jimmy’s Choice – Jimmy nailed all three of his song choices for the contestants.  It was up to the contestants to deliver.  Here’s how they did…

1.  Joshua Ledet – “No More Drama”   I’m not sure why the judges and Jimmy picked songs originally performed by women for Joshua to perform, but it sure worked!  This was powerful and felt like the kind of song he should be recording once his career gets rolling.  Joshua’s passion and showmanship continue to impress.  It’s hard to believe he’s a newbie to the business.

2.  Phillip Phillips – “We’ve Got Tonight”   Wow.  Who knew Phillip could be soft and sweet?  And yes, he sang the melody and sang it well.  Randy called this his best performance of the season.  I’m not sure that’s accurate, but this was great.  And I’m a Bob Seger guy!  I saw him sing this in concert when I was 13!  And Phillip nailed it.

3.  Jessica Sanchez – “I’ll Be There”   Great song choice for Jessica, and I thought she sang this well enough.  But I have to admit to being underwhelmed by her for the third consecutive time tonight.  Finally, Randy spoke truth about Jessica not having a “wow” moment.  Strange that he would point that out on her best song of the night.  Maybe her consistent dullness finally sank in for him.

So, it seems pretty simple to me.  Joshua, then Phillip, then Jessica.  I’m totally good with a Joshua vs. Phillip finale.  In fact, it kind of feels right.  These two have the whole package, ready to ship.  Jessica is sixteen and needs a little time to learn how to add some intangibles to that big voice of hers.  In fact, I think the best thing for her would be NOT to Idol.

So why do I have this nagging feeling that she will be in the finals next week?  Ugh.

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~ by themattmorrisshow on May 17, 2012.

2 Responses to “Idol’s Top Three – It’s pretty simple, really.”

  1. Just have to say IMHO
    Phillip Phillip Phillip !
    Disease wasn’t my favorite , but had his twist so I almost didn’t recognize the original. Absolutely loved his performances tonight. All 3 !!
    Actually I was so excited I almost sent you a note during the show!!! Lol
    Joshua , came in second for me . I agree with Randy’s statement that he is perfect for old time r & b . When he does it right….And that is what he should be singing !
    But he still flows back to gossipal .and I think he wants to stay there.
    Jessica needs more time to find her niche’.

  2. JOSHUA…my guy from the beginning!!

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