Tonight was the final night of performances on American Idol, with three rounds of songs to win over your votes. So how did Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez measure up? Find out now!
At the top of the show, they play an overly dramatic video with someone writing "Phillip" and "Jessica" on a piece of parchment. Am I the only one who thinks these artsy films are sort of ridiculous? At any rate, it gives me a chance to reflect before they even start, and I've decided that Phil's probably going to win regardless of how this show goes. It's not that I don't think Jessica is talented - despite looking and dressing much older than her age, she's got a great voice - but the tween girls in the audience go absolutely nuts for Phillip. I mean, out-of-their-minds-full-out-screaming crazy. That's the demographic that'll vote until their texting thumbs fall off, and he's got it pretty well locked down.
Idol creator Simon Fuller picks first for the contestants, and gives Jessica Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." It's not bad, but it's not that good, either. It's just kind of there - much like the judges, who don't seem to get any input tonight as they go straight to Phil.
Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" is Simon Fuller's choice for Phil, and he kind of falls into the same category as Jessica: it's his usual to the point of being kind of neutral. This is one of my favorite songs, but it's missing the oomph. I do love that Phil still didn't really bother to iron his shirt to be on Idol's fancy finale, and as it turns out, the judges get to talk after both performers have performed. Phew, crisis averted. I don't know what I would've done without Jennifer's non-comment commentary. Randy gives the first round to Jessica and the others concur, but nobody on the panel sounds overly excited about it.
The second round will be a song that they've already performed - Jessica chooses "The Prayer," and although I don't specifically remember her singing it, it seems like something she must've gotten good feedback on because it has her signature big notes. This time around, it's good, but both of her performances have been missing something for me tonight.
Phil chooses from Billy Joel week ("Movin' Out"). I like the song, and he does pretty well with it, but I feel like he could've chosen a dozen or so songs that would've better represented what he's done on the show. Either way, it caught attention better than Jessica's; but the judges disagree, with Steven saying that "You don't always have to be a good egg, I always say, hatch or go bad!" (what?) and Randy calling it a tie with J-Lo giving the round to Phil.
The final round of songs is the "Idol song," the one that would be included on their album if they win (although Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" and Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud" are the only two that come to mind without Google). Jessica's is called "Change Nothing" and she sings it well. I actually normally like Idol's sappy finale ballads in a guilty pleasure kind of way, but this song is seriously grating. Like, on a scale of 1 to 10, it's an easy 9.
Phil's song is called "Home" and it's a really fantastic for him. I could totally hear this song on the radio, and if Jessica had any real shot at winning I sort of don't think she does anymore. She's a great vocalist, but, as Randy puts it to Phillip: "Everything about it was perfect - true artist's performance! Brilliant!"
They talk to Phil and Jessica, and when they pan back Scotty McCreery is in the middle of the stage to perform "Please Remember Me" with a montage of the two contestants. Whether you're rooting for Jessica or Phil, don't forget to vote - and don't forget to tune in tomorrow to find out who'll be the 11th American Idol!