Paula tells Jared he’s a good looking guy, and with that kind of song, he doesn’t have to push on, and once she realizes what she said, she starts laughing and says no pun was intended. Simon, declaring this a family show, takes over and says he thinks he knows what Paula was trying to say, but Paula argues he doesn’t. Simon continues, saying he’s glad Jared made the attempt, although it did remind him of the Love Boat, and he’s kind of imagining if they had a cabaret singer on there, if they would have seen something like Jared’s performance, as it was a little corny in parts. Jared thinks it would have been great had it been on Love Boat. Ryan counters he doesn’t even know where to start with this group tonight, yet mentions all the things they’ve all done to the song. He asks to see the face reveal on more time. I think Jared is iffy on if he’ll stay.
AJ Tabaldo is dedicating tonight’s performance to his mom and dad, because they always supported him in everything he did to try and make it. They have been with him at all the auditions and instilled in him to never give up, no matter what anyone says. He was born with this tenacious drive, and they always supported him. By finally being successful with it, he wants to give props back to them. AJ sings Michael Buble’s Feeling Good, with a slow beginning, and then he picks it up. They’re all picking sexy numbers tonight, and I’m feeling I just might need a cocktail with tonight’s show. He shows the strength in his voice at the end.
Randy tells AJ what’s good about his performance is it was so much better than last week. He’s got skills, and Randy calls it kind of nice. Paula first gives props to the band, and then tells AJ it was very nice. She says he has a real, real, real, real, real (did I get the right number of reals?) good voice, and she loved seeing him take the chance and expanding in different areas. It was refreshing. Simon says it was actually nearly very good. There were some tuning problems, but he absolutely did the right thing, and came out and made himself different to stand out. For the first time, they saw a little personality, which is a good thing. Simon thinks he looked strangely comfortable, and when asked why it was strange, Simon says not to go there. Ryan asks AJ about listening to the judges’ comments last week, and he admits he took their constructive criticism, although he does see this as somewhat out of comfort zone, as he’s more of an R&B singer.
Up next is Sanjaya Malakar, and he’s dedicating tonight’s performance to his grandfather, who was really a strong person in his life for the first five years. As the first grandson, his grandfather was always there for him, and Sanjaya was the only one of the grandchildren that really knew him. Unfortunately, he died when Sanjaya was 5, and it was really hard for him. He inherited his wedding ring, and wears it onstage so he can get some confidence and support form a higher place. Sanjaya hopes his grandfather is proud of his performance. He sings Steppin’ Out With My Baby, and he’s dressed right, wearing a hat over his eyes, but with his soft voice, it comes off more like Michael Jackson. He sings way too soft, and I just want to tell him to kick it up. He’s better than last week, but the look and song on a 17 year old doesn’t seem right.
Randy tells Sanjaya he is a nice kid, and he likes him, but the song was really weird for him tonight. It was like a bad talent show, borrowing his dad’s hat. It didn’t work for him, was not good, and weird for him for the second week of performances. Paula tells him he was on pitch, and that at 17, he has an old soul and must like those songs. She loves music from that genre, but finds it odd, but Simon interrupts her asking if she likes Sanjaya or not. She replies she doesn’t like Simon, but she does like Sanjaya. He just needs to pick songs that celebrate his youth.
Simon agrees with Randy and says it was like some ghastly lunch where afterwards the parents ask the children to dress up and sing, and don’t particularly like it. He says that’s how it came over, a little weak and a little weird with absolutely no impact. Halfway through it was nearly in a whisper. Paula asks why Sanjaya sang that song, and he says he wanted to celebrate the great years of music classics, and he was dedicating it to his grandpa. He tells Ryan he did listen to what the judges had to say, and he realizes he needs to step it up and go with his youth. Ryan tells him he’s sure his grandpa is proud of him. He really should go after tonight, but I think the young vote will save him, as my son really liked him tonight.
Ryan asks Chris Sligh for hair tips, and he says they put as much conditioner in his hair as possible, then let it sit. Ryan can’t believe he answered the question. Um, you are talking to Chris Sligh here. Of course he answered it. He hopes he picked the right song, but it’s always a crap shoot. He loves the song and hopes the judges and America will as well. He’s dedicating the song to his wife, Sarah, who is the most wonderful wife he can imagine, and absolutely gorgeous. Most people have no idea how Chris could coerce her to marry him. As an artist, money has not always been so abundance, and when he wanted to quit, it was his wife that said no, as this was his passion, and she didn’t want him to give up. She’s the only one that encouraged him, and he can genuinely say this is the person he’ll be with the rest of his life.
Singing Trouble by Ray LaMontagne, and also by Taylor Hicks last year, I can only say wow, as he’s got some great control and one helluva voice that he’s hiding behind that humor. I just have to say, Honey, let it out. You will be here a looong time. Randy says it’s good to see him return, and he wishes all the guys would have done it like this, although last week he was actually pretty good as well. This week he’s even better, and it shows he’s got that big voice, has skills, and should rely on them more. Randy liked it, and Paula admits she did too, and thought any dedication to that as a wife must have felt good. She warns him, though, to watch his pitch and getting ahead, but other than that, she felt Chris was awesome.