Gina Glocksen says this is a huge emotional day for her, as Gwen is such an inspiration for her. Gwen thinks Gina’s song choice, I’ll Stand By You, by The Pretenders, is a good one for her voice. She’s been watching Gina, and thinks it’s all about the lyrics. She does a good job keeping it in control, and she’d like to see her just stand there and get emotional. Seeing her get down and dirty with her emotions reminds me of Jordin Sparks last week, and she’s just mesmerizing. It’s not her best vocal, but I am so digging this. It’s that middle ground she’d been missing on how to get that “big thing” we’re looking for. We don’t need to total rocker chick, and we don’t need the power vocals. We just need Gina putting everything she has into something.
Randy thinks this must be boot night as Gina is wearing another fly pair of boots. He thinks this is one of her best performances ever and what she has to do. He said a few weeks back that she has this big old voice and just needs to believe in herself. Paula loves the fact Gina is improving each week and coming into her own as an artist. She looks fantastic, and she thinks the song was really great for showing some vulnerability, plus it allowed her to soar with the vocals. She thinks it really was one of her best so far. Simon says it wasn’t one of Gina’s best, it was her best. He says this is all about knowing who she is and choosing the right song. The transformation from three or four weeks ago to tonight is for Simon “chalk and cheese.” Must be a British saying. He says so far tonight it’s the best. Gina is literally in tears as she absorbs Simon’s critique.
Sanjaya Malakar who is becoming well-known for being bad, when he really isn’t that bad, is going o sing Bathwater by No Doubt. Gwen thinks he must have gotten nervous as he forgot some of the words when singing it for her. She thinks it will be real difficult for him as it’s a hard song, but he chose it. Well, that’s not a good start. Sanjaya comes out onstage tonight, and all I can think to type up in my notes is “What the bloody hell?” He is wearing a fake mohawk, or faux hawk, if you will. Vocally it’s not bad, but he’s bounced back into worrying more what everyone is thinking about him than about his vocal. Then again, he was parodied this week on Saturday Night Live, so he’s officially made the big time.
Randy, too, is speechless at first, and says he kind of likes the mohawk. At the end of the song, it reminded him of one long note. He says Sanjaya can actually sing, if he’d just go and put it out there. “C’mon, Man.” Paula agrees that if he had the gumption and the ability to just totally go for it, it would fit the wackiness of the faux hawk. To watch him onstage and not go for it, it’s like, “C’mon, Man.” Simon presumes there was no mirror in Sanjaya’s dressing room. SNL success getting to his head, Sanjaya says Simon is just jealous he couldn’t pull it off, and Simon has to agree to that. Simon knows it doesn’t even matter anymore what they say, as Sanjaya’s just in his own universe. “If people like you, good luck.” Sanjaya notes for Ryan his hair is actually in seven small pony tails, seven for good luck. He thought it would be fun to do.
Haley chose one of Gwen’s favorite songs of all time, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper. She feels Haley is starting off on it really great, but then she started doing this other kind of melody, and Gwen finds it unnecessary for this song. If she goes back and tones it down, Gwen thinks people will really want to hear it. Singing tonight, she sounds pretty good, but her pitchiness that always shows up in the slower songs is present. She has one good glory note, but on American Idol you have to do more than that.
Randy says it started out a little rough, but got better towards the end. He wasn’t jumping up and down, and it was just a’ight. It didn’t really grab him, and someone from the audience yells out, as they continue to do throughout the judges’ comments. Paula agrees with Gwen that it’s one of those beautiful songs that requires nothing but just singing the melody and being vulnerable. It had a kind of adult contemporary feel instead of something younger which it should have been. Simon asks Haley how she thinks she did, and she says she thinks she did well, Simon thinks it was sweet, but forgettable. He thinks there are thousands of girls all over that would be able to sing the song the same, making there nothing to remember this by.
Phil Stacey takes a viewer question wondering how it feels to go from an unknown to a household name in a matter of weeks. He says he’s so busy, he never gets a chance to notice how much impact this is all having on the country. People he knows, such as his friends and family, send him magazine clippings with his picture, and it’s exciting. Ryan wants to know if he’s doing it for the money, and he jokingly says absolutely.
Gwen is pleasantly surprised with Phil as he sings Every Breath You Takeby the Police for her. She didn’t know it was going to be that good. Like with the others, she doesn’t think he needs to do anything extra. When he sticks to the melody, he’s really good. As Phil sings it tonight, I have to admit I wondered why Chris Sligh couldn’t have picked this one. At points Phil sounds like Sting, which probably means he’s not doing enough to make it his own. I am so glad he stopped doing ballads. I so prefer this rock genre on him. It’s more exciting.