Speaking of tonight - it's the girls vs. the boys, in more ways than one. Mary J. Blige is working with Jimmy Iovine on the song selections in rehearsal, with the girls singing Whitney Houston songs and the boys singing Stevie Wonder songs. But that's not all: Tomorrow they will take the lowest ranking boy and the lowest ranking girl, and then the judges will decide which one to save.
JOSHUA: "I Wish" - He's got a "Pee Wee Hermann as performed by Flip Wilson" thing going on in his movement. Wanting him to break out into the Tequila song/dance. Maybe that's what he means by out of his comfort zone? I really like his voice and he has soul - but that wasn't memorable for me by the end of the night I'm guessing.
ELISE: "I'm Your Baby Tonight" - The girl who was on fire? Jimmy picked the right song for her for sure. Great performance all the way around - her voice has such an interesting timber to it. My only complaint with her is that I think her voice gives off a "knowing, shrewd" quality that is very cool and interesting, and I don't see that as much in her facial expressions - they seem a little lackluster.
JERMAINE: "Knocks Me Off My Feet" - He's gained confidence even after one week. The first verse and chorus were killer, but by the time he was singing "I don't want to bore you with this…" I was.. well… a bit bored, until that last run at the end of the song. Then he had me back.
ERIKA: "I Believe in You and Me" - That was a great performance all the way around. I enjoyed this so much more than her offering last week, and i think it confirms the judges' choice to keep her over Jen last week. Honest. Beautiful.
COLTON: "Lately" - He's sharp and flat all at the same time. I didn't think that was possible. I know that this guy has his fans, but I just don't get it. Kind of reminds me of how I felt about David Cook, but I guess there's a market for that since Cook won American Idol back in the day and now sells at least hundreds of CDs.
SHANNON: "I Have Nothing" - Sandy from Grease wants her leather back. She may have had it in rehearsal, but this one got away from her a little bit. It's a combo of being too young to have experienced what this song is communicating, plus the difficulty of the song just swallowing her up. It's too bad, because she doesn't deserve to have that handed to her. She shouldn't have tried to do that without a microphone stand.
DEANDRE: "Master Blaster" - Is he saying actual words or just scatting? Bob Marley-Mumble? This was completely boring for me and didn't show off what was/is great about his voice, which is too bad - I can't imagine him staying out of trouble tomorrow night.
SKYLAR: "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" - Is tonight's wardrobe sponsored by the Jacket Coalition? She successfully managed to turn this song into a country story-song. Wow. She has such charisma, and I think she could win it all. Fire!
HEEJUN: "All Is Fair" - He'd better have some money notes toward the end here or he's going to lose his mojo with this slow number. Last note was just a touch flat. I still like him a lot, but that song wasn't doing him any favors in my opinion.
HOLLIE: "All The Man That I Need" - I think this arrangement is making her seem less impressive than she is. Until that last note, ironically, when the band stopped. She's got an amazing instrument, I just wish that the pacing of the song wasn't so milquetoast.
JEREMY: "Ribbons In The Sky" - The verses are suffering from mumble-land like Deandre. It's not great for me, but I get his appeal for sure. I think the fact that Deandre and Jermaine went with uptempo numbers might save this kid for one more week.
JESSICA: "I Will Always Love You" - If anyone could do this, it's her. Such control and so volatile at the same time. Bam - she's fantastic. Now she has to stop doing that thing with her fingers. Well deserved standing ovation.
PHILLIP: "Superstition" - To be fair to the other competitors, I couldn't understand a word he said except the word superstitious. But I didn't care. That was hawt. That was a spectacle, which is surprising considering that his mode is more like "contained" fireworks. It was great to see him bring along a band to come with him on his vibe.
Randy gave his first good note in the history of the show when he said that Elise was "boxing" with the song. Dead on. And helpful. And it didn't have "dog" or "come on" in it at all.
I'm not comfortable with JLo's constantly saying "goosies."
I feel like Steven Tyler is gonna do that thing where you put your elbow on the table and it gives out on you and you fall over.
Okay, I don't know what's going on over at The Voice, but nothing in X Factor first season could compare to tonight's performance by Jessica Sanchez. Seriously. American Idol ain't going anywhere my friends.