Jessica Sanchez takes on Beyonce, because she sees her as an amazing performer and vocalist. As a kid she tried to do her moves, but she realizes now she can’t do them. Stevie thinks it’s great that she slows down Sweet Dreams, turning it into a ballad. She calls Jessica a good student and encourages her just to take her time, like a closure thing, but if she doesn’t love it, not to do it. Stevie tells Jimmy she thinks Jessica is probably thinking of him when she sings Sweet Dreams, and he figures that’s what Stevie thinks of him. She adds that it could be the beautiful nightmares mentioned in the song.
This song is amazing slowed down. Jessica sings it accompanied by a harp. She was right that she couldn’t emulate Beyonce. It wasn’t ever going to work. But she took on this song and changed it into something just for her. She definitely made it her own.
J-Lo tells Jessica thinks if she were Beyonce she’d be deciding she needs to do that at her next concert, slow that song down. It was a really beautiful rendition, gorgeous, and she did a beautiful job on it. There was a part everyone thought she would sing on forever, but she didn’t and that was great, as you always want to leave them wanting more. Steven calls it a great performance and beautiful dress. He thinks she’s a star no matter what. She did it again tonight, and he thinks she really knows her notes, holding it back a little bit. The show pushes them to their limits, and he knows she still has more great in her yet.
Randy says it all the time, and he doesn’t know if anyone believes him, but stars are truly born. The maturity Jessica has as a singer at this age, he looked at Jennifer and asked where you learn something like that. She has this unbelievable talent, and he looks forward to hearing her every night. He thinks she’s one of the best singers he’s heard in many many years. He loves the resolve she used turning the song around and not going for the big notes, as she’s done that before.
It’s the next trio, Deandre, Joshua Ledet, and Heejun, taking on Michael Jackson. Deandre starts it off singing, but they each take a turn on soloing on The Lady In My Life. This leads into Rock With You, which feeds into PYT (Pretty Young Thing. These three sound great, but not necessarily in a collaboration together, as they are such distinctly different stylists. They still sound separate, not together.
Jennifer tells the three guys it was perfect, and she felt like they all had the perfect parts with the songs. Watching them, though, she has to say she thinks it’s a good thing they’re not here for So You Think You Can Dance, which makes them crack up. Ryan jokes that it’s a new group called Three Directions.
Phillip is choosing to sing Still Rainin’ by Johnny Lang. Jimmy questions him on it, asking why this particular artist and song. He responds something about his voice, but I can’t make out what he calls it. Stevie adds in he’s also a spectacular guitar player. She thinks Phil is going to be very famous, because he has a certain magic and you cannot deny it. She tells him that had he been Lindsay Buckingham’s and her friend in 1975, Mick Fleetwood would have said he wanted all three of them for his band, because he’s that good. W-O-W. Last but not least, she thinks he’s gorgeous, like Lindsay. Jimmy’s feelings get a little hurt, so she has to tell him he was too and still is. She signs Phil’s music, “Love that you are you.”
There really isn’t anything more to say about Phil on this. It’s all been said by Stevie. Jimmy may have questioned his song choice, but it is 100% Phillip Phillips. It’s so bluesy, but rock at the same time, and for the first time ever, I don’t feel like he’s holding something back. I think he’s letting it all out there this time for us and it’s divine, which is why he gets another standing O from the judges.
Jennifer tells Phil that it’s funny, as she feels they’re standing up too much tonight. It’s crazy. When he sings, and when he talks to Ryan, he’s always saying he wants the music to come first and wants it to speak for itself. She feels that when she’s performing, like he wants them to experience it with him. He knows the secret, which is that it’s the best thing in the world and makes everything go away. He can be in the moment and present, and he does that when he sings.
Steven feels the same way, feeling like Phil owns every song he sings, and it’s in his body and soul. He disagrees with me a little, thinking that person is still in him trying to claw their way out. Randy is a big Johnny Lang fan, and he’s also a friend of his. He’s sure he’s proud right now, and he’s happy to hear him. This competition has every flavor, and he loves every time he comes out. He loves the individuality and artist that he is. To him, being an artist today is about being an individual, and he’s got that. He has big things in front of him. No more pawn shop I’m thinking.
Joshua is singing Without You by Mariah Carey. The chance to do that is ridiculous to him. Jimmy thinks this is one of the most challenging songs in all of pop music. It’s a great idea, but Joshua needs to take off with it, because it’s a guy who is singing this version. Stevie says he’s hitting the notes, but she wants him to go up a little on his body. She wants it to look effortless and convince everyone that he cannot make it without this person. Jimmy notes the chorus is a magic trick, and he has to pull the trick off. Joshua hopes he can pull the rabbit out of the hat.
Joshua seems much different than we know him, as he’s not turning this into a revival meeting. There’s no big chorus backing him. It’s all Joshua. He gets big on the chorus and he starts to sell it. It’s just okay, until he hits the desperation of the song right before the second chorus. He even starts to cry at the end and has to wipe his nose, and that’s fantastic that he takes it there. There go the judges, standing again.
Randy tells Joshua it was Mariah’s birthday the other day and he was talking to her. He knows she’d be proud of Joshua right now. He always tells everyone not to sing these big songs, but he has that giant voice. When he has a voice that big he needs to sing big songs. He loves him and thinks it was flawless. What he did tonight, that Randy loved more than all Joshua’s other performances, is that it got emotional and that’s what the audience wants. Amen Brother.
Steven doesn’t know what’s going on tonight, but everyone is pushing themselves beyond their limits. They are all so new and young in their voices. But he pushed himself so far, he had an emotional breakdown. That’s beautiful and what someone like Steven wants to see someone else do. Jennifer likes his smile, and he tells her it’s for her. She warns him not to make her cry now. He’s a phenom and an absolute angel from heaven. The voice is a Godsend. Everyone is pushing each other this year, and he is something special.
Joshua tells Ryan he got emotional thinking the trouble he’s been through and that he could possibly help someone else. Ryan asks Randy when the last time was that they had a show this emotional. Randy is so proud of everyone and calls it a redemption. Colton threw down the gauntlet and everyone is picking it up.