Randy calls it a great song choice, yet says it’s not his best performance of Stephanie’s. He found it a little bit pitchy, and says she’s brilliant when she sings up tempo, but the ballads seem to get to her, as they are harder with each note having to stay in tune longer. Paula starts with the great news, and says she loves what she’s wearing as it’s contemporary (blue dress and black boots), and she picked the right song, minus a few of the notes that fell off. She wants her to go back to having fun, as her spirit seems to be drifting a little bit. Simon asks Stephanie how she thinks she did, and she thinks she did well. Simon, however, thinks she’s losing her edge, and that it was a little bit “nightclubby” and cabaret. He thinks she’s losing her soul and becoming far too told for herself. He misses her passion and rawness. Stephanie admits to Ryan she wasn’t too familiar with many of the songs and tried to deliver it, yet she will try to go back and sing the fun stuff again. Randy tells her that even on ballads she can still have fun, and should, because she’s 19.
Blake Lewis will be doing the Zombies’ Time of the Season, and Peter likes that he’s trying to make the song contemporary, although if he makes it big, he doesn’t want to be sitting in the front row with Blake spitting while he’s doing his beat boxing. He also tells him not to let the business get in the way of the song, as the beat boxing is a little busy and could mess up the lyrics or phrasing. If he sings it like he did with him, Peter thinks the youngsters and oldsters will like it. Blake does think Peter has some really good advice. I like how the beat boxing fits into it tonight, yet the chorus sounds a little screechy and the verses sound perfect.
Randy says he’s been a huge Blake fan since day one, and this week he feels he put together a “very cool, vibey, edgy massive yo factor version of the song.” For a song 45 years old, he made it really current, and Randy calls it brilliant. Paula thinks Blake has raised the bar and says she felt she was at a concert. She thinks he could release it and put it on a record. Blake introduces Simon by singing his name, “Siiimonnn.” Simon says it was a million times better than last week, and thinks it was because he chose the right song. He found a way, without messing with the melody, to put his own sound on it and sound very contemporary. It’s the strongest performance so far, Simon thinks. Ryan asks for Blake’s secret, and he says putting as much energy and passion into it as he can. Ryan then dances like Blake, sings the same song, and even beat boxes at the end of giving out Blake’s number. Ryan needs to stick to one of his 52 other day jobs.
Lakisha Jones admits this is all very different from what she would regularly sing, and she’s having a hard time deciding between two songs, Diamonds Are Forever because Shirley Bassey sung it, and You’re My World. After Lakisha settles on Diamonds, Lulu realizes Lakisha would do a much more soulful version of the other song. She catches her out in the hallway and tries to convince her to sing You’re the One. As she walks out tonight completely bejeweled, we know which one she’s singing. She’s masterful as always, but I can’t help but wish she had sung the other song as it just seems to be missing something. I wish I could tell you what critiques Lakisha got, but Fox was having major problems during this part. It was coming in and out the entire time.
Phil Stacy sings Tobacco Road by Nashville Teens for Peter, and says he chose this song because it’s fun. Peter thinks Phil chose one of the best ones for him because he can “wail.” There’s a lot of life in the song, so he thinks Phil should stay with it. He goes on to tell Phil he’s never heard it sung as good as he just sung it for him. Tonight as he sings it, he shows some great range. I’ve never liked his low notes, but he does some great bass. Yet, I can’ t help but wonder how Sundance could have done this song. We don’t normally see Phil do upbeat stuf, but he does good with it, and seems to be drawing on his band days to pull it off.
Randy calls it a pretty good performance, yet notes it was pitchy in a couple of spots in the end. As always, he likes Phil’s upper range and his strong falsetto. Paula thinks it was actually a really good choice, and while she does feel there were some parts that were pitchy, the emotion of the song was there, and she liked hearing the various ranges of his voice. Simon, of course, has to be honest, and says he wasn’t crazy about it. He thought it was kind of a third division bar band performance and didn’t find it believable. Simon didn’t hear any grit in Phil’s voice, and feels it was needed to pull it off. Phil’s being outsung by a lot of singers, and Simon thinks he might have a problem tomorrow.
As Simon says this, Phil’s wife is sitting in the audience fuming and shaking her head. At least it isn’t as bad as the looks Leslie’s dad used to give him. Ryan asks Phil how being in the bottom three last week prepared him for tonight, and he says it put a little more attention on him, as he knew he had to bring it to get to the top 10. (Duh!) He picked it because he enjoyed singing it and gets the audience to admit they had fun as well.
Jordin Sparks sits with Ryan and takes a viewer question asking what song best describes her. She feels I’m So Excited by the Pointer Systers. It’s her catchphrase, and she says it all the time, which the other contestants can attest to. Whether she’s doing her hair or getting a mic stand, she says she’s so excited. To test her, Ryan asks how she feels being in the show today, and Jordin answers she’s so excited. He asks how she likes the rainy weather, but Jordin can’t be excited about that as it ruins her hair.