|Jacob Lusk gets stool chat with Ryan, and talks about his career as a spa concierge. He misses the people, but not the job. They do a little role play as Jacob “answers the phone” at the spa, and Ryan pretends to be calling as a stressed-out Idol contestant. Jacob recommends the services in the white room.
Jacob’s idol is R Kelly. When he met Jimmy and Rodney and sang I Believe I Can Fly, he came to it from a different place. He was nine years old when Space Jam came out, and he fell in love with the movie and the song. Jimmy notes Jacob has an incredible gift. Tonight, Jacob puts a weird fake vibrato in, but regardless sings it amazingly.
Steven mentions Jacob’s pure passion and pure music, and says he can’t even judge him, as he’s just that good. He’ll soar beyond his wildest dreams. Jennifer agrees it’s hard to judge him, as he makes them feel so much. People keep asking her who’s going to win, but with performances like the ones they’ve seen this week, it’s anybody’s game.
Randy agrees and says they’re blessed. Jacob has such a signature sound that while people can say that’s Luther, that’s Jacob, Jennifer, that’s Steven, that’s what he in particular has. He went a little sharp, but at the end he was hitting the top notes and was unbelievable. Jacob admits he gave it all he’s got.
Thia’s idol is Michael Jackson, who Randy compared her to last week. She’ll be singing Smile, and producer Ron Fair tells her it’s really Charlie Chaplin’s song, and she then calls it “Charlie Chapman,” obviously having no idea who it is. She calls it a privilege to work with Ron, and while they were working, Jimmy walked in and suggested a more intimate softer beginning. Her voice is as pure as ever, but her timing seems a little off in the beginning. We had this problem lat time this song was sung on this show. It’s not a young person’s song and just seems lost to not have great meaning behind it.
Randy admits he loved the intro, as he heard the Michael in Thia, but then it got a little pitchy in spots, as she got into the jazzy arrangement with the band. All in all it was good, but he loved the beginning more than the end. Steven has to agree. It was a little pitchy in the middle, but she’s so new and young with such a bright future in front of her. Jennifer thought the beginning reminded her of last week and says that’s transcendent, It was interesting to see her move, as they haven’t seen that yet. It doesn’t matter, though, as she sings like an angel. Thia admits she felt better with the song in the beginning. She cries later backstage.
Stefano Langone’s idol is Stevie Wonder. He like the way he’s carried himself throughout his career. He’s singing Lately, because the words tell a story, and that’s what music’s about. He’s working with producer Polow DaDon. They were in the same exact spot with the song. When Polow saw Stefano doing his whole bit, he decided he wanted him to win. Jimmy tells Stefano it’s cool to close your eyes, but the audience wants to connect with him.
It’s a weird arrangement of the song and has Stefano holding back too much until the bridge. He totally rocks it at the end and begins to remind me of the person who first sang it on Idol, RJ Helton, but better. Some guy in his family cheering for him, perhaps his dad, looks like Bruce Willis.
Steven tells Stefano he pulled it off and built it from the beginning to the end like a volcano. The arrangement with double time in the middle was crazy, but he pulled it off beautifully. Stefano had J-Lo dancing for a bit, as she says it’s not easy to do a dance remix of a ballad, but it wasn’t just a remix or a copy, it was really him, and he sounded great. Randy thought it started off rocky. While it’s hard to sing Stevie, he’d be proud of him, as by the middle of the song he was soaring. Stefano felt as a wildcard choice he had to come and let it all out and let America feel his soul.
Karen Rodriguez is singing some Selena, as she’s the one who inspired her to be a singer. Her mom even used to dress her up like Serena when she was little, and she even had Serena Barbie dolls. She worked with producer Jim Johnson, and when he played the track for her, it was different and more edgy, more rock/pop like Beyoncé. Jimmy advises Karen not to over-sing the night before and not talk on the phone to save her voice. She sounds good, but isn’t too exciting.