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American Idol, Apr. 4 – The Search for the Total Package

Phillip Phillips misses jamming with his brother-in-law Ben the most. He’s taught him a lot about music and made him a better musician. He can listen to the note that he plays and know what he needs to do, and he finds it awesome that they have that connection. If they got to play on stage together, he’d be grinning ear to ear. He’s singing Genesis’ That’s All, and Gwen thinks it’s perfect for him and that he’ll kill it. However, he wasn’t quite ready with it. Tony suggests he not play the guitar during the bridge and make eye contact with the audience, to make it a more intimate moment. Gwen thinks it’ll be sexy.

Phil seems almost embarrassed as he sings tonight. As the song goes on, though, he gets more and more comfortable. He has that guy trying to escape from him again, too. He finds his comfortable place with it, then does what Tony suggested, and it’s great. I think the girl he’s signing to is really afraid to be “together til the end.” It ends up that he does have his brother-in-law playing guitar alongside him onstage. .

Steven calls Phillip just a wildflower. He loves his individuality, that he brought his “bro” up on stage with him and the way he sang the notes along with him. He just loves being who he is and that transcends and makes him great every time he hears him. Jennifer felt like he wasn’t in his comfort zone in the beginning, and Ben played loud, so she wondered if he was trying to find him. But at the end he picked it up and was the Phillip they love.

Randy loves that the guys are comfortable playing like that together and can tell they’ve played together before. He thought it was a great song choice, and wants to give Tony big props for giving Phillip the idea of what to do in the bridge. Ben speaks and says he couldn’t be more proud of Phillip and the way he’s staying true to himself. They’re all pulling for him back home.

Hollie Cavanagh and Deandre perform the next duet, the Pointer Sisters’ I’m So Excited. While he still has that look of comfort gong on about him, the same can’t be said about her. Nonetheless, she sounds great on the song. She has a stunning voice, and without something so emotional behind her that lacks the necessary emotion, it allows us to hear her voice. Their voices don’t’ blend as well as Skylar and Colton though. As great as her voice is, though, Deandre blows her out.

Steven calls it a beautiful duet and likes that Hollie let go a little bit to get excited. When Jennifer first heard Hollie and Deandre were going to sing this song, she wasn’t sure about it. But she liked to see Hollie move, and she’s sure NappyTab (That would be Napoleon and Tabatha from So You Think You Can Dance fame) has a little bit to do with it. She needs more of that, and to find the soul in everything she does. Deandre sounded right at home.

Randy calls it very, very, very nice. He liked Deandre’s ad libs and Hollie’s power at the end. “Very impressive.” Hollie liked doing the duet to fee off the other person. Deandre just has fun no matter what he’s doing.

Ryan checks in with the judges to see how they think the evening is going so far. Steven says the 80s wasn’t really too good for him and music, partially because he wasn’t all there for it. He loves the idols’ voices, and if they can step outside of that, he thinks they’re winners. For Jennifer, Deandre is standing out tonight so far. He’s like a shining star. Randy agrees about Deandre, and as far as song choice, says if you sing “the I don’t know what” out of a song, what song it is won’t matter. They want to hear a powerhouse performance.

Joshua Ledet says his tears onstage last week were him missing his family. He’s the youngest child and admits he’s spoiled a little bit. His mom backs that up, saying he always got away with a lot. This week he’s singing If You Don’t Know Me By Now by Simply Red. Gwen mentions he has incredible vocal gymnastics and says it’s insane what he can do with his voice, but she thinks sometimes it can be too much. Jimmy tells him to drop the band out and have them come back in after him. Jimmy jokes he’ll sell Holy Ghost t-shirts outside while Joshua sings.

Live tonight, you can almost see Joshua holding back. He knows he can’t put everything he has into it … at least not yet. The band does drop out in the one part, and it’s very effective. And that’s the official start of his gymnastics meet, albeit solo, tonight. It’s obvious the judges want to do a standing O, but feel they shouldn’t after last week. Oops, spoke too soon.

“Lory, Lordy, Lordy. Ask and you shall receive.” Jennifer knows they asked for a powerhouse performance, and that’s what they got. What she loves so much is that he held back in the beginning yet was so comfortable. She could feel it building and it was spectacular. Steven asks how someone could sing like him at his age. It was beautiful the way the chorus nestled him, and then he sat right into it. It wasn’t too much over the top, yet over the top at the same time.

Randy says it’s so rare he wants to stand up beginning to end, and that’s what that song did. It was so mature, and Joshua is so in his zone. He picks up his quote of “Joshua’s gotta have it!” Yet he refrains from saying Joshua is in it to win it.

Before the show, Jessica Sanchez would have considered herself a normal teenager. She used to sit in her room and sing to boxes in front of her mirror. Now it’s cool to sing to people instead. She’s singing Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know. Gwen says Jessica is clearly shockingly good, and it’s crazy how young she is. She advises her to do more unique stuff with her body instead of typical lounge singer. Jessica admits that while Beyonce has her alter ego of Sasha Fierce, she has one too, BeBe Chez. She thinks we’ll see a lot of her tonight.

Jessica starts the song tonight buried deep within the audience. I can see BeBe starting already, including in her hips swaying back and forth. This is where she shines, that she can do the big huge ballads, but can also do these fun songs like someone more her age. She transcends age.

J-Lo notes it was two powerhouse vocals so far. She watches Jessica sometimes and thinks her choices are so natural. She’s such a little girl, but she’s a woman at the same time. Her vocals make everything just go away from her. She listens to her and can’t believe it’s coming out of that little body. It was a really good performance and she kept it moving. Steven hasn’t ever heard her sing where he couldn’t judge her. Her voice is so fantastic and everything she does is beautiful.

Randy throws it out there, like we knew he would, that he had the pleasure of working on the song. He thinks Jessica did an amazing job. It’s huge shoes to fill because she sang so effortlessly, but it’s the same thing she just did. She has to have it too. Ryan also can’t believe she’s as young as she is.

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