I’ll Be There for You. Producer Tricky think James is putting his own spin on it without losing the integrity of the record. Jimmy tells James not to be kissing anyone, because of the three sick kids in the house. Something is obviously in the air tonight, as James has a few rare pitchy moments as well, but nevertheless puts on a good song.
Steven asks what was up with the dolls, then comments, “1989? I have leftover sandwiches underneath my bed older than you.” He warns James to not get too poppy on him. James talks about the great music in ’89 and tells Steven he had some awesome music that year as well, but says he doesn’t want to spoil the Aerosmith until the finale. If he does that, Steven says he’ll come up and sing it with him, and they shake on it. Again, something I’d pay to see.
Jennifer jumps in and says a great singer makes you want to jump in and sing along, and “if you saw me just now acting a fool, singing with you just now, that’s exactly what you do.” Randy mentions the pitchy moments, but says what James always does is figure out how to make it his own. It’s an amazing song, but James found a way to work in his high note, but not overdo it. “Very tastefully done, Dude.” He asks about his boots, and James shows off the custom-made studded leather bandanas.” Ryan wants it confirmed that Steven will perform at some point, and is told, “that man up there has a rich vein of inner crazy. I”ll join him.”
Haley Reinhart was born in 1990, and her mom explains that back then the neighbors would say she was humming, yet she couldn’t even talk yet. Haley’s parents were a lead singer and guitarist in a band. She calls them amazing performers and believes she’s walking through their footsteps. This week she’s singing I’m Your Baby Tonight with help from producer Ron Fair. The song has a challenging pace to it, but she keeps up with it and works in her growl occasionally too.
Jennifer tells Haley she looks beautiful and says when she watches her performing she hears a beautiful voice coming out, but she feels Haley a little tense in her body and always unsure in her momnet. Jennifer advises her to just do what she feels, as that’s always going to come out better than “trying.” Ryan reaches over and dabs and cleans up Haley’s makeup for her.
Randy is confused who Haley is, as she does Fallin’ one week, country then next, then whitney Houston. He thinks it’s telling him she doesn’t know who she is. Plus, it wasn’t great. Steven mentions the Janis Joplin thing Haley does and feels it was there in the end. Her voice is so distinct that they heard it, but they want to hear more of the blues and Joplin thing.
Stefano Langone was born in 1989. His parents remember he’d always respond to any type of music. His grandfather owned music store and Stefano would listen to his father and grandfather playing music. He wasn’t too happy with the 1989 song choices (Milli Vanilli, New Kids on the Block, and Funky Cold Medina), but he did find the Simply Red version of If You Don’t Know Me By Now. Jimmy hangs him out for not knowing the words, saying that’s affecting his delivery. Tonight, Stefano delivers and does it with confidence. Although I did kind of want to hear him him do Funky Cold Medina.
Randy tells Stefano that this song that was originally recorded by Harold Mellvin and the Blue Notes became the best performance of the night so far. He took the song that had the highest degree of difficulty and slayed it like the Olympics. Steven tells him it was beautiful phrasing and he’s going to make Jimmy more famous if at all possible. Jennifer found the song to be a perfect, perfect song for Stefano. The competition is fierce, but she thinks he has a chance if he stays right there and connects to her more/ Stefano goes out and hugs his mom in the audience.