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'American Idol' 5/17/12 Recap – Top Two Finalists Revealed

This week of ‘American Idol’ was one that I look forward to the most every season! The top three contestants; Jessica, Joshua and Phillip, all became “hometown heroes” when they journeyed back to where it all began for each of them. For Jessica that was San Diego, California. Joshua’s hometown is Westlake, Louisiana. Last but not least, Phillip returned to his home in Leesburg, Georgia. They all received a very warm welcome home, with thousands of people showing up to see them. Joshua even set a record by being the first person ever to sell out the venue he played in his hometown.

After looking at each contestant’s trip back home, the final three opened Thursday night’s result show with The Beatles’ “Gotta Get You.” This was a great performance. These three finalists are going to go so far. No matter who ends up winning, they all have huge careers ahead of them.

The Ford music video this week was done to the song “Cinema” by Skrillex. This video was done in the form of a silent movie. It also had clips in color though. To me, it kind of showed how film has progressed, with the way it went back and forth from color to black and white. One thing I don’t get though, and didn’t notice at first, was Phillip wasn’t in the video. You only see Jessica and Joshua. I’d say that needs an explanation.

Before they moved on to reviewing Wednesday night’s performances, Ryan asked the top three how they were feeling. They all said they were nervous, but excited to see who will make it. They all feel very blessed to have made it this far in the competition.

Ryan also announced the Jason Derulo song competition they’ve had going on this season! He will be performing on next week’s finale, and you get to help decide the final line in this new song “Undefeated.” Go to americanidol.com to listen to the song and vote!

This week, each contestant performed three songs. The first song was chosen by a judge, followed by a personal choice, and finally a song of Jimmy’s choice.

Joshua performing Wednesday night.

Joshua was first to go over his performances. His first song was “I’d Rather be Blind” by Etta James, chosen by Steven. The judges loved it. I loved it. Randy said that Joshua is “such a classic stylist” and the song fit him like a glove. Steven thought he sang like a winner. Jimmy, however, disagreed. He thought the judges were too generous. In his opinion, Joshua’s performance was very good, but not his best. Overall he gave it an 8. He also said it did not deserve a standing ovation. Speaking of standing ovations, I’m pretty sure Joshua has received more of those this season than anyone ever. I’m so used to seeing the judges give him standing ovations that I honestly can’t remember that last time he DIDN’T get one. Joshua’s second song was John Lennon’s “Imagine.” All I have to say about this was it was SO GOOD. Jimmy said that he is the most exciting showman in the competition. He didn’t love the performance though. The song has brilliant lyrics, but a simple melody. This meant Joshua had to overcompensate with riffs and runs, which didn’t work for Jimmy. He said it was like “putting a Ferrari on a race track and leaving it in first gear.” Joshua’s third and final song was Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama.” Jennifer thought the performance felt very natural, and he knows what he is doing. Randy said that he laid everything on the stage. Jimmy disagreed, and blamed himself for his dissatisfaction in the performance. He said the song needed a big moment, which didn’t come. The song didn’t have enough melody. However, he said that Joshua should 100% be in the finale.

Lisa Marie Presley performing “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”

Before the first big performance of the night, they showed a clip of characters from Ice Age calling Jennifer (voice of Shira) asking for tickets to next week’s finale. This was followed by the top four visiting the recording studio where the new Ice Age movie (in theaters July 13th) was filmed. They got to listen to a clip of a song featuring Jennifer, Drake and Queen Latifah, and then they got to record the song themselves.

Lisa Marie Presley was up next, with her new single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.” I don’t know much about her, but I really enjoyed her performance. This was followed by the first announcement of cities for next season’s auditions. You can check americanidol.com to see which cities have been announced so far.

A review of Jessica’s Wednesday night performances came next. Her first song, chosen by Jennifer, was Mariah Carey’s “My All.” Steven said that he thinks she will

Jessica performing “My All” Wednesday night.

be the last one standing, to which Ryan replied with “did you just predict the winner?” Jimmy didn’t think it was that great though (what’s new?). He said that at this point in the competition everyone needs a big moment, and the song didn’t come together enough for him. Jessica’s song choice was Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.” The judges all thought she made a very bold choice, being that it’s Steven’s big song. Steven actually gave her a standing ovation and said that she “took a great song and made it greater.” This was a HUGE compliment—Jennifer said that Steven never has good things to say when he hears other people sing that song. Jessica’s third song was “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson Five. This performance caused mixed feelings from the judges. They liked it, but didn’t love it. Jennifer thought it was a good choice for Jessica because she thinks that her voice sounds like Michael’s at times. Jimmy said he didn’t think the song choice all the way through, but he thinks she will get into the finale. He also thinks she has enough talent for the Grammy’s.

Adam Lambert was up next, with his new single “Never Close Our Eyes.” I was honestly a little scared for this part of the show. I am a fan of his; I’ve just never really enjoyed actually seeing him perform. I couldn’t tell you what it is about watching him, but something has just always kind of creeped me out.  I actually really enjoyed this performance, though. Aside from the giant eye that kept showing up on the big screen like it was staring at you, it was a really great performance. Adam truly is a great performer. He has this excellent stage presence, and was definitely born to be on stage.

Adam Lambert performing “Never Close Our Eyes.”

Next were the last reviews of the night, looking at Phillip’s performances. His first song was Madcon’s “Beggin’,” chosen by Randy. I personally have never really been a fan of this song, but I loved Phillip’s rendition of it. Steven said that he hopes Phillip writes his own songs, because he could be a “new age boss.” Jimmy thought the performance was entertaining and fun, and Phillip’s sound is becoming more original. His second song was Matchbox 20’s “Disease.” It was a good Phillip performance, but not his best. The judges thought it was too subdued. One thing Jimmy really likes about Phillip is that he is willing to risk everything just to experiment. However, it didn’t work with this song. This song is not strong enough to be sung at this point in the competition. Phillip’s last song was “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger. This was an absolutely beautiful performance. I’ll admit I wasn’t the biggest Phillip fan for most of this season, but lately (especially after this week) he has become one of my favorites. This last performance was a great way to end the show. Jennifer commented with “20 million girls out there wish you were singing it to them.” Randy thought it was the best performance on the show ever. He received a standing ovation from all three judges. Jimmy said that Phillip hit notes he didn’t know he could hit. The song has a dark, aching soul type mood. Phillip conveyed this in his performance flawlessly. He dug deep and pulled all that emotion out of himself. As Jimmy put it, there was a cry and depth in his voice that has not been seen before.

Phillip performing Wednesday night.

Finally it was time to reveal the two finalists. Ryan called the top three to center stage. Before he revealed the results he turned to the judges for some comments. Randy wished them all the best of luck and said that they all have big careers ahead of them. Jennifer said it was such a journey watching them from the beginning. Steven admires them for having the courage to have a dream. He then said something I absolutely loved. He said “if you don’t have a dream, there’s no way for you to make one come true.”After nearly 90 million votes, the two finalists who will compete for the title of the new American Idol next week are… Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips! Which means we said goodbye to Joshua Ledet. I don’t know about you, but I was extremely shocked at this. I was certain it was going to be Jessica and Joshua in the finale. We will definitely see much more of him though, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he got signed (or at least a million offers) as soon as he walked off that stage. He closed the show with “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” There was not one person sitting down during his final performance.

Don’t forget to watch next week to see who the winner is; as well as many amazing performances from the top 12, Jason Derulo and more! Also, remember that next week instead of being on Wednesday and Thursday, the show will air on Tuesday and Wednesday!

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