About LauraBelle

Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol, Feb. 28 – “So Much Variety Already With So Many Flavors”

Phillip Phillips is 21 and from Georgia. He shows his home and his family. He’s really going to miss his whole family, as they all encourage him, even when he’s not asking for it. We get to see the pawn shop again and also Phillip waking up in bed. He doesn’t want to be famous for fame, but wants to be known to make great music.

Phil sings In the Air Tonight with his guitar, and it’s a little different than we’ve seen him before. He was always holding something back that he just couldn’t let out. But this song is subdued anyway, so we don’t get to see that, until he gets to the chorus. Despite it being a slow song, he does that subdued thing and belts it out. I have to say I like this version better than Phil Collins’.

Jennifer says if you don’t know the name Phillip Phillips, you should. Last year they came back from the road and they were talking about some people, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. This year they came back talking about Phillip Phillips. There is no doubt he is one of the best talents they found, and he just proved it right there. Steven thinks he has a crazy kind of voice where he hangs his hat on what notes he decides to growl on. He finally hit his stride with this and made it beautiful. It’s not easy to have a voice like his and make it fit other people’s songs, but tonight he did it.

Randy calls himself one of Phil’s biggest fans. He’s not sure he was jumping up and down about the changes in the melody, but he’s so unique and different, and he reminds him so much of Dave Matthews. He just wishes he would have done more with the reharm. Jennifer tells Phil Randy is just saying to stick with the melody.

Eben Franckewitz is 15 and from Cincinnati. He shows off his house and refers to himself as outgoing and funny, and likes to joke around with people. A typical day for him is waking up and going to school, then coming home to do homework and chores that his mom makes him do. It would be hard to miss everyone if he was going further on the show, but it would be worth it.

Pulling out some Adele, Eben sings Set Fire to the Rain. Looking at his feet, I don’t think this kid is even done growing, and that makes me wonder how his voice will change. He does get a little pitchy with the song, but it has to be noted how ambitious this song choice was. Not everyone can do Adele.

Randy tells Eben he is so mad young and so mad cool, and calm, and collected. He thought he looked like he has been doing it for 100 years and he’s only 15. It wasn’t all perfect, but he brought it home at the end like a real pro. That’s what impressed J-Lo too, because she felt like it went a little unsure in the middle, like he couldn’t hear himself, but it’s something he needs to get used to. Yet he came through in the end, showing her he’s a good performer and is aware of what he’s doing. Steven tells him he has a true, straight, beautiful voice for a 15-year-old boy. The melody was a little pitchy in the middle, but he thinks he just needs to listen to some blues records and shake it off a little.

HeeJun Han is 22 and from New York. He shows his house, his dog, and his mom. She tells him just to dance and does a little performance of her own. He thinks she’s going to kick him in the head when she finds out they’re airing that. He also shows the organization where he volunteers helping kids with special needs. Tonight he’s going to show people that not only can Asian people get a high score on the S.A.T., they can also sing and melt people’s hearts. Oh, I think he did that awhile ago.

HeeJun sings Angel,, and I think he has frames on that have no lenses in them. Wow, this guy can belt it out, and do it when you’re not expecting him to. I believe him that Asian people can sing and melt people’s hearts. But again, he showed me that before.

Jennifer tells HeeJun that his voice is smooth as silk. She’s not sure if the song showed off how beautiful his voice really is, but there’s no denying he can blow. Steven sings “HeeJun, you sure can sing” to the tune of Hey Jude. He’s also not sure if it was the right song, but thinks if they don’t know who he is, they will. Randy agrees with the others, saying he has tender moments and big vocal moments, and is so happy they found HeeJun. HeeJun chose the song because he wants people to know that they have their own angels and that you can find them anywhere you go.

Joshua Ledet (who is already being named Mantasia) is 19 and from Westlake, LA. His family together is definitely loud, and misses the food. He doesn’t even think people in Hollywood know what crawfish is. He begs fellow Louisianan Randy to “help a brother out” and invite him over for dinner.

You Pulled Me Through is Joshua’s song choice tonight, and he chose well. It shows off lots of great stuff with his voice. Steven sways along to the song while he sings, and Randy mimes it from his chair. There is no doubt the judges are in love with their choices this year, and for good reason. This guy is good. He gets a judges’ Standing O, again, for good reason.

Randy asks, “Can I get an A-men up in here,” as the doors in the church are wide open. He loves him, he’s a Louisiana boy, and yeah, they’ll bring some crawfish to everyone there. This is what singing is all about, this is why he loves being on the show. He loves great voices, and he’s definitely one of them. He loves the “Yeah yeah yeah!” Jennifer tells Joshua he’s so amazing, she doesn’t even know what to say to him. She just wants to punch him, as he’s so insanely talented. It is from God. The voice is from another world and from God. He can be a gospel singer or R&B singer and can do whatever he wants. It’s a privilege for her to be sitting there. Steven tells him he’s the voice the world has been waiting to hear. He cannot believe where he just went and came back. That’s what it’s about. A journey and a place to take people with what God gave you.

It’s finally time to see who the show brought back for a second chance. Just as I thought, it’s Jermaine Jones. He’s asked what his reaction was to finding out he was coming back, and he says he was grateful and excited. He thinks the neighbors could hear him screaming. He thought when his mom told him about the phone call that she was playing a crazy joke on him. Jermaine sings Dance With My Father and sings it deeper than Luther Vandross did, but has all the emotion in it that makes it almost worth the buildup. He gets a well-deserved judges’ standing O.

Randy tells “the Gentle Giant” that it was very, very nice. He has such a different voice, and that’s one of the reasons they wanted him on the show. They haven’t ever had a low baritone like that before He’s so unique and different and proved it there. Jennifer appreciates his special voice and special spirit. She’s glad America got to see him tonight to give him a chance. Steven thanks him for proving to him why they asked him to come back. “What a beautiful thing.” His mama comes up onstage to give him a hug.

There are seven guys who I would bring back after tonight, and the others are all ones the judges expressed they wanted back. This means we’re in trouble on Thursday. It’s possible the three extra that the judges vote in will all be guys, but it seems like they’re already counting on bringing seven guys and six girls. This is despite Randy saying on Live! With Kelly recently that it was a girls’ year. Can the girls bring in Wednesday like the guys did tonight?

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