Well, for one of the best final threes in the show’s history, American Idol‘s top three performance show sure was a disappointment. It was a whole lot of blah ballads and bad song choices. However, one contestant shouldn’t take any blame for it, and that’s the show’s best singer, Jessica Sanchez. She rose above the crappy song choices that the judges and Jimmy gave her to deliver three very good performances. However, those bad song choices may hurt her in the end as she fights with Phillip and Joshua for a spot in the final two. So, will she make it? Let’s take a look at my rankings and predictions below and see…
American Idol Performance Rankings 5/16/12~
Round 1: Judge’s Pick
1. Joshua- “I’d Rather Go Blind”: despite this being a very obvious choice by babbling blunder Randy Jackson, Joshua sang the heck out of it. It was nothing new or interesting, but the best one in this round which was the worst round of the evening. (Hello, the judges are morons sometimes).
2. Jessica- “My All”: singing the most difficult song of the night which was a # 1 hit for Mariah Carey in 1998, Jessica gave her all. She did a very good job on this monster of a track, but you could tell she was reaching at times. She admitted backstage she would never have chosen it for herself. Hello, she’s smart. And clearly J. Lo is dumb or just a big giant jerk for giving it to her. Why are these judges so against the best singer making the finale? Ugh, I want to smack them. And then they give just decent criticism for this good performance. I mean none of them could do anything close to that vocal. Color me frustrated, but Jessica was a gallant trooper.
3. Phillip- “Beggin’”: singing some song I’d never heard of before by Madcon, Phillip did his usual thing turning the song into a Dave Matthews clone. It was fine, but snore…
Round 2~ Contestant’s Choice
1. Jessica- “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”: singing Aerosmith’s only # 1 song, Jessica absolutely slayed it. Her vocals were wonderful and she gave arguably the best performance of the night on it. Wonderful and she somehow made the song seem relevant almost erasing memories of Steven Tyler & Co’s original Armageddon anthem.
2. Phillip- “Disease”: I actually thought Phillip did better on this one than the judges for once. It was right in his vein and it actually sounded a little NOT like Dave Matthews 2.0. That’s good because I’d rather have him sound like the song’s original singer Rob Thomas (of MatchboxTwenty) anyway.
3. Joshua- “Imagine”: um, holy crap, that was bad. I’m sorry, I don’t know what the judges were thinking liking that. It was the most disconnected and strained version of the song ever. He clearly had no clue what the song was about and over sang it into oblivion. You know it’s bad when it had me thinking about Madonna‘s version of the iconic John Lennon tune from her ReInvention tour where she out sang Joshua tenfold and actually interpreted the lyrics as they were meant to be sung. (Yes, I did just write that sentence).
Round 3~ Jimmy’s Picks (easily the best round)
1. Jessica- “I’ll Be There”: while I wish he had picked something more current for her like Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music”, Jessica still nailed this Jackson 5 treasure. Her vocals were pristine, beautiful and luscious throughout. It was a restrained and lovely performance.
2. Phillip- “We’ve Got Tonight”: while I wasn’t jumping out of my seat like the judges for this one, I did think it was one of P2′s best of the season. I give him props for not singing like himself, sticking with the melody of the song and actually connecting to the true emotion of it. However, I have to say it paled in comparison to Bob Seger’s original and especially my favorite duet of it by Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton.
3. Joshua- “No More Drama”: or more like more contrived drama… Sorry, Mantasia but this was so by the numbers forced and predictable. Not only was he off vocally in the first half of the song, he didn’t really communicate the message of the song. He just took us to church but without delivering any real message. Instead it was just vocal highjinks and jumping around in that terrible scoop neck t-shirt.
Overall Rankin for the Night:
Bottom 2: Jessica & Joshua
Going Home: Joshua
I think Mantasia may finally have over sung for the last time tonight. It’s unfortunate because I would’ve loved to see the vocal acrobatics that a battle between he and Jessica would bring. Unfortunately one of them will be facing off with the season’s likely winner, the cute white guy with a guitar clone of the year Phillip… On the whole, I’m rather disheartened with tonight’s show. I think the judges really screwed the contestants with those bad choices and Jimmy messed up with his pick for Jessica which could hurt her. I hope not. Hopefully her great vocals will mobilize her fan base and she will also pick up Hollie’s leftover fans. We shall see tomorrow night on the results show which also brings the return of another Idol alum who should’ve won his season but was stopped by a cute white guy with a guitar. Yes, I’m talking about Adam Lambert...