May 17, 2012


With internet rumors swirling that Jennifer Lopez will be leaving American Idol at the end of Season 11, tonight’s performance show will feature the remaining three contestants returning home for “Homecoming Week.” Tonight each contestant will perform three songs.The first song will be picked by the American Idol judges. The second song will be the contestant’s choice and the third song will be picked by American Idol mentor, Jimmy Iovine.

The final performance show of the season will be next Tuesday, May 22nd and the winner of Season 11 will be announced on the following day, Wednesday May 23rd. Here’s a recap of the Top 3’s performances.

Joshua Ledet: Picking up where he left off last week Joshua sings a terrific version of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind.” It was a great song choice by the American Idol judges. Joshua is on a mission to get into the finals and with that performance, he is off to a good start. For his second song (Contestant’s choice), Joshua picked John Lennon’s “Imagine.” While the judges all liked his performance, I thought it lacked emotion and did nothing to show off the strength of his voice. I thought it was a bad song choice and an equally poor performance. For his last song, Jimmy Iovine picked Mary J. Blige’s hit “No More Drama.” Joshua needs a strong performance to ensure his spot in the finals and he delivers. His performance was electric. Over the last four weeks his performances have been outstanding and this performance should ensure his spot in the final.

Jessica Sanchez: for her opening song the American Idol judges pick Mariah Carey’s “My All.” It s a beautiful song and Jessica does a great job on her version of the song. This is truly one of Jessica’s better performances and it comes at the right time, immediately after a strong performance by Joshua. The judges all loved her performance and in an unrestrained moment of exuberance, Steven Tyler picks Jessica Sanchez as the next American Idol winner!  Hold on there Steven, while I thought it was a very good performance with two songs left to sing she still has a lot of work to do to earn her spot in the season finale. For her second song, Jessica picked Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing.” I didn’t like the arrangement and the ending was so bad it ruined the entire performance. The judges disagreed with my assessment. In fact Steven Tyler said, “You just took a great song and made it greater.” Like Joshua, Jessica now needs a strong performance to ensure a spot in the finals. For her third and final song Jimmy Iovine picks The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” Steven and Jennifer Lopez both liked the performance but Randy said “I liked it OK, I didn’t love it. We’re at the end here, there was never a moment. It needed a moment”. I agree with Randy, it was just ok. There was nothing memorable about the performance. After a great start, in my mind, Jessica failed to deliver on her next two performances and that could cost her dearly tomorrow night.

Phil Phillips: After strong opening round performances by Joshua and Jessica the pressure is clearly on for Phillip to deliver a strong performance. When the judges pick Madcon’s “Beggin”, for Phil I am more than a little worried. Not everyone is familiar with that song, but Phil delivers. It turns out to be the perfect song choice and one of his better performances in the contest. The judges all love it. Jennifer Lopez said “You catch a groove in a song that is all yours and you just ride that all the way home. It was great. After two poor second round performances by Jessica and Joshua, Phil now has a chance to take a stranglehold on the competition. For his second song Phil picks Matchbox Twenty’s “Disease.” While he does a good job it is a safe song choice and not the song that you want to sing when you are trying to lock up a spot in the finals. Phil is now in the position where he must deliver a great performance or risk being sent home. For his third and final song, Jimmy Iovine picks Bob Segers’s “Why Don’t You Stay”. Backed by an orchestra, Phil delivers the best performance of the night and maybe the best performance of the season. Randy Jackson said “It was the perfect song at the perfect time and your best performance on the show ever.” With this performance, I believe that Phil won the night and earned his spot in the final show.

I think the American Idol Judges and Jimmy Iovine did a great job on the song choices and the only choice I didn’t like out of the six songs they selected was the Jimmy Iovine pick for Jessica Sanchez of The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.” For her final song, Jessica definitely needed a moment and this song choice and her performance didn’t provide that. I thought the contestant song choices were bad and the second round performances by all three contestants were the weakest of the three rounds. Overall, I think Joshua Ledet and Phil Phillips both had big nights and that Phils’ performance of Bob Seeger’s “Why Don’t You Stray” was the best performance of the night. I would buy that single right now. I think Jessica is in trouble. Her first song was terrific but her last two performances were average at best. Timing in life is everything, and despite being at the top of my American Idol rankings for weeks, I believe that Jessica is going to be eliminated this evening. Season 8’s Adam Lambert and Lisa Marie Presley will be performing in tonight’s “Top 3” results show. I can’t wait to see the results.