So here are my thoughts on tonight's performances, given of course, as always, before I hear about how "over the top" the performances are from the judges… Round 1 is Simon Fuller's choice, Round 2 is their favorite from the season, and then their "new songs." Here we go….
Jessica: "I Have Nothing" - She's coming out fighting - this was an out and out attack on this song, and I think she won the battle. Nice pick and a great performance. Held her own on a tough Whitney song.
Phillip: "Stand By Me" - I have to say that I was kinda bored by this. I wasn't into this arrangement, it was like "easy-listening" 101. I think he could have been successful with the song, if it was really really stripped down, and off-rhythm - haunting, instead of snoring…
Jason Derulo premiered his song called Undefeated, and who cares.
Jessica: "The Prayer" - Is that Michael Jordan conducting the strings? Well, she knows where her success lies. Find a ballad and stick it. Whitney, Celine, she's not messing around. It's good, and it definitely fits within the old school version of what this 'singing competition' used to cater to back in the day. She's having a great night.
Phillip: "Movin' Out" - There's the Phillip we love! He's got that secret smile, and a great take on a classic song. Even the background vocals work for me on this one. But I'm pretty sure he came crashing in on the wrong chord three times at the end of that song.
Jessica: "Change Nothing" - I wonder if this will be a hopeful ballad? Why would they ask her to belt this thing while sitting on a piano? On the high notes she sounds like a tea kettle going off. No good, and it's too bad, because with a better song she could have taken the night.
Phillip: "Home" - This sounds like a Bruce Cockburn track. Or Mumford and Sons. Whatever it is, it sounds about twenty times better than Jessica's song. That is, until the drum corps came through for no apparent reason. I'm waiting for the LMFAO guys to show up next. In bear suits. It was good. So much better than Jessica's original.
JLo gives Jessica advice on how to pick songs?
Giving Jessica feedback about how the song was no good is like telling a Manager at McDonalds that his choice for the secret sauce for a Big Mac lacked originality.
The disparity between the quality of Jessica and Phillip's original songs demands an explanation of that process. In Jessica's interview she intimated that she had some kind of choice in the matter - how much? How many songs were they choosing from? How involved was Jimmy Iovine? This part of the process has undergone so many changes every year, and is so influential on the final vote, that I want to see what's going on behind the curtain. Show us, oh Wizard of Idol!
Who will win? Jessica's only chance in my mind is if she picks up some of the "Balladeer" votes that Joshua left on the table with his exit. We'll see tomorrow night, and I plan on blogging the finale as well… see ya then!