Tonight’s American Idol show will have a dual theme. The first round will feature songs from California-based artists and the second round will feature songs that the contestants wish they had written. I don’t know who is picking these themes but they are getting worse and worse as the contest goes on. A strong night by any one of the four contestants tonight could go a long way to ensuring a spot in the finale.
After tonight’s show there are only two performance shows left and next week’s performance show will feature the remaining three contestants returning home for “Homecoming Week.” The winner of Season 11 will be announced on Wednesday May 23rd. Here’s a recap of the Top 4’s performances.
Phil Phillips: opens up the show with his version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.” While I think his performance was good, it seemed like a safe choice to me. The judges all seemed to like it but for me it was the type of song you sing when you are trying not to lose instead of trying to win. To have a legitimate chance to win this thing, he is going to have to do a lot more with his second song. For his second song, Phil sings a haunting version of Damien Rice’s “Volcano.” This was one of the best performances of Season 11 and clearly shows the type of entertainer that he will be in the future. With this performance, Phil should definitely be going home for “Homecoming Week.”
Hollie Cavanagh: Going into tonight’s show Hollie Cavanagh really has her work cut out for her. Despite strong performances the last two week,s she has consistently been in both the “Bottom 2 and 3”. To remain in the show, she is going to have to be perfect tonight. For her first song, Hollie sings one of my favorite songs, Journey’s “Faithfully.” She definitely starts off slow but half way through she seems to find her comfort zone and ends the song on a high note. Overall it wasn’t great, but it was pretty good. For her second song, Hollie sings Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Hollie picked another great song, but the judges didn’t like her performance. I didn’t think it was that bad, but for some reason they judges just love to beat up on Hollie. They have done it for most of the season so why should tonight be any different.
Joshua Ledet: For his first song Joshua sings a terrific version of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.” It’s a perfect song choice for him and it is definitely one of the best performances of the night. This performance solidifies his position at the top of my rankings. For his second song, Joshua sings James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Guess what…another standing ovation from the judges. This is really getting ridiculous! While I liked his performance, it paled in comparison to the performance of the same song by Juliet Simms on rival singing show, The Voice, last week. Now that was a great performance!!! The American Idol judges have obviously made up their minds and they are doing everything they can to make sure that Joshua is the next American Idol. Unlike the judges, I am not ready to concede the title to Joshua with two performance shows remaining.
Jessica Sanchez: uses that big voice of hers and sings a great version of Etta James’ “Steal Away.” I thought it was a great performance and the judges agreed. She sings so good that sometimes we forget that Jessica is only 16 years old. My only concern is will her young fan base identify with this song and make sure she remains in the contest for another week. For her next song, I think it is imperative that she sings something young and current that her fan base can identify with. For her second song, Jessica sings Jennifer Holliday’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” While it is a great song I believe it was the wrong song choice for her. Someone has to tell this girl that she isn’t 30 years old. Jessica does her best, but in my mind it just wasn’t good enough. If you listen to the Jennifer Hudson version of this song, there is absolutely no comparison. Jennifer sings and Jessica shouts!!! I believe that Jessica did enough to make it to the final three, but if she wants to win this thing she is going to have to go back to singing songs for her age group.
Joshua Ledet had another big night last night with two strong performances. The other three contestants all had good moments but in the end I think it will be an all girl “Bottom 2” and I believe that Hollie’s American Idol journey will finally come to an end one week sort of “Homecoming Week.” Both Jennifer Lopez and Season 7 winner David Cook will be performing in tonight’s “Top 4” results show. I can’t wait to see the results!