Diana says Sanjaya to her is love, and you care about him. He says to have Diana Ross as a mentor, it’s like having Van Gogh teach you how to paint. He tries out Aint No Mountain High Enough for her, and she advises that if he is going to start it right off the bat without any bars to set it up, he needs to be point on. She didn’t feel he was on the beat at the beginning. She asks if he does anything to move around like tap his feet or something, as she wants him to have fun and feel it in his body, and get his soul in there. She knows there’s something in his spirit that is a winning ingredient, and she knows it’s not his hair.
Sanjaya comes out to sing, and while he had Paula hair last week, he has Diana hair this week. He’s trying to cash in on the connection with her and Chris or something. He’s better with this than we’ve seen him so far, and he really is a cute kid. After a corny ending on the song, Randy says he doesn’t even know what to say, except it wasn’t very good. He thanks God for the background singers, as the song was almost un-listenable and really weak. He is looking forward every week to Sanjaya’s hair. He’s tearing down some different ‘dos, and the hair is rocking. He suggests he’d win Hair Idol.
Paula can understand why Diana called Sanjaya pure love, saying he has the sweetest smile that warms people’s hearts. He sang on pitch, but she understands what Diana meant, saying he needs to start off and really grab the audience. With a song like that, you need to let go and explode with the vocals and a reckless abandon. She can’t help but add he looks adorable. Simon starts talking about hearing a wail in Beverly Hills, but Sanjaya and myself both thought he meant whale. Simon meant it would be Diana freaking when she ears the song. The only similarity Simon sees is the hairstyle. Trying to be positive, he asks Sanjaya how old he is, and hearing he’s 17, he tells him he’s very brave. Ryan asks Sanjaya what’s going on in his head, and he tells Simon he means no offense, but he has no idea what he’s talking about. Ryan explains he wasn’t talking marine biology. Sanjaya does feel he should be there next week.
Haley Scarnato handles a viewer question asking where the craziest place is she has ever sung. Haley says it has to be here on American Idol, and this night right now. It’s so intense backstage, and she says everyone is freaking out. Going from the small stage to the big stage, with the lights and a bigger band is so much. She knows she just needs to remember that when she first sets her foot on the stage, she will always be true to her heart.
As Haley tries out Missing You for Diana, she says Haley has more of a recording studio voice than a live audience projection type. She asks Haley what she’s thinking about when she sings that song, and Haley says she’s thinking about her fiance back home. Diana adds she recorded it after Marvin Gaye’s death when she was so brokenhearted. She believes it’s good to have thoughts behind the songs, as the audience hears that and reads it. Haley starts singing it tonight, and I can only say, “Eeewwww,” in the beginning. It’s weird and whispery, although it picks up as she goes along, and it’s at least better than before, until she forgets her words. I know she’s nervous, but …
Randy tells Haley she looks likes she already knows what he’s going to say. He knows she gave it a valiant effort, but forgetting the words, sounding nervous and all pitchy and all over the place … she’s usually better than that, and he’s a little surprised and shocked. Paula starts by saying Haley looks lovely, but she knows she probably doesn’t want to hear that. Like with Brandon, today is a brand new day, and forgetting the words is never a great thing, and combining that with being pitchy … Simon saves the day and says he didn’t think it was that bad, and it makes her cry. To give “Haley” credit (he makes a special point of remembering her name after last week), he thinks they will remember her now. She had real presence up there and he thinks she looks like a star, although her nerves got the best of her halfway through. If she can just hold it together, she may do better than he originally thought.
Haley indicates to Ryan that she feels like she’s going to pass out, and he gives her a stool to sit. He tries to tell her it was a good thing what Simon said, and she says she feels like such a schmuck for messing up her words. She also addresses the judges, especially Simon, and says it means so much to get a good critique, especially now when she messed up the words. Paula tells her that half the time the audience doesn’t notice, so she should never even show that she’s bothered or acknowledge that she screwed up. I like Haley, I really do. I just like many others a lot more.
Phil Stacy tells Diana it’s an honor to sing for her, and says he went up there to meet her without much of a game plan, just wanting to get the song right. When he sings I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, for her, she tells him she liked it, and it brought back memories of when she did the song with Marvng Gaye. One of Phil’s issues is gathering himself and getting in the right mindset, and Diana advises him by saying she just looks at the audience, as they’re really real people with the same feelings he has. He believes now he’s going to start a lot differently with a lot more confidence.