Melinda says she’s an old town Motown girl at heart, and people like Diana are just huge to her. As she meets her, she tells her she is such a big fan, and Diana returns the favor, saying she’d heard so much about Melinda, and assures her it’s all good. Melinda is singing Home, and says she thinks about her world changing. Diana tells her she thinks the audience will start to feel it, and admits to getting goosebumps herself. Melinda is excited, saying she assumes goosebumps are good. Diana feels whether she wins or not, she will continue to persevere.
As Melinda sings Home, I was thinking from the start I wasn’t sure if I would like it as much as Kimberley Locke’s version on American Idol in season two. Yet, while Kimberley’s definitely had a more emotional pull on it, Melinda’s is masterful at times. She knows exactly where to slow down, add power, etc. She gave me chills, and is proving to be the consummate performer. Melinda seems absolutely taken aback as the huge crowd cheers for her.
Randy says he’s not sure if it was his favorite performance of hers, but it was still really, really strong, and he’s now scoring it girls 1, guys 0. Paula is crying, saying watching her, she feels her, and knows she’s feeling so much joy, and it’s exciting. She feels like one big goosebump. This is it for Melinda, and she’s sailing through. Simon struggles to get his composure, as he’s laughing at Paula crying and wiping her nose. He asks Melinda why she’s crying, and she says she’s never heard anything like that before. He goes on to tell her she made a very boring song fantastic, and that she reminds him of a young Gladys Knight. As Ryan calls it a sensory overload, he asks Melinda what she felt singing the song, and she laughs and says she doesn’t remember. Paula is asked what Melinda is feeling, and she says “like she had an out-of-body experience.”
Diana’s first impression of Chris Sligh, is that he’s a little bit nervous. At the same time, he’s saying he doesn’t have a nervous bone in his body. When they meet, he notes that they have similar hair, yet he can’t get his to go out so much. She tells him he needs to tease. He shows her what he’s doing with Endless Love, and says he put a different feel in it. The song doesn’t sound modern, so he changed some chords around. She comments after that the music is about going to the heart, and it’s important to find the melody and hold onto it. If he finds the hook in it, she thinks it will sell the song.
As Chris sings it, it’s clear he chucked her advice to the wind and did it his way, and it definitely loses something for him and for the song. Although, really, in this genre what else was he going to do. He’s also singing sans spectacles. Randy notes the whole no glasses look, and says the bad part of this was it sounded like Coldplay or Speed of Sound. He feels the change in melody was a weird thing to do to Endless Love, and advises him to worry about sound and just singing his heart out. Chris has a good voice, but that was a mess for Randy. Paula says the song is so recognizable as a beautiful love song, and sometimes she worries he’s trying too had to be ultra hip and cool. He needs to listen to the melody and lyrics. He has such a nice voice, and needs to worry less about trying to fit into some type of contemporary thing.
Simon comes right out and says Chris murdered the arrangement, and he thinks he turned a beautiful song into a complete and utter drone. He thought it was unemotional and uninspiring. He also advises Chris to keep his glasses on, as that’s him. Well, I agree. He wasn’t the same Chris tonight, one way or the other. Ryan asks a very leading question, wondering if Chris ever thought he’d be onstage singing a Diana Ross song. Chris isn’t falling for it this time, and says no, but he has a lot of respect for her and he just went with his gut, feeling like he had a good arrangement. He respects the judges’ opinions, and thinks the negativity had more to do with the arrangement than his vocal. He hopes to do something arranged much better next week if American allows him to come back. Smart move, Chris. Meanwhile, someone is in the audience, with a “Fro Patrol” sign.
Gina Glocksen admits to being starstruck, saying that a one-on-one with Diana is just crazy. She’s a legend. She’s singing Love Child, and says there’s a story behind it, as her parents have a movie of her singing this at 4 years old. Diana believes Gina has an incredible vocal ability, but reminds her of her pronunciation. She would like her to pronunciate every word. Umm, Miss Ross, I know you’re a legend, and I mean no disrespect, but that’s not a real word. Singing tonight, she’s good, but still mumbling some of the lyrics. It’s not wowing like last week, but again, perhaps it was difficult in this genre, like it was with Chris.
Randy says again that it wasn’t his favorite performance. He’s a Gina fan, but it was pitchy in spots, and didn’t feel exciting, only boring to him. Paula says it’s such an exciting song, a “feel good, you can’t help yourself, want to get up” type of thing, and she feels Gina is much better than she did tonight. At times she felt Gina was shouting and her enunciation (that’s the word you were looking for, Miss Ross) and pitch were off. Simon calls it okay, and says it’s one of those performances you can’t say too much about. It wasn’t terrible or fantastic, and she probably did choose the right song for her. It’s good she kept her rocker image, yet the song was a little bit forgettable and a middle-of-the-pack type of thing. I have to agree with that. She tells Ryan it felt good being on the huge stage for the first time. She still feels at home, and it’s just that the home is a little bit bigger.