Jessica Sanchez has wanted to be on the show since she was 5 years old and has been doing mini concerts since then. With how long she’s been doing it, she literally can’t do anything but sing. The show has made her open up a lot more, as she’d never met a bunch of people who share the same passion as her. The people she has met are amazing, and she can’t wait to meet more. She never would have imagined making it this far. It’s insane and a blessing.
Jessica sings Let’s Steal Away and sounds amazing. I do take a little issue with the song choice and lyrics of Jessica. The problem is she has such an old soul and has a voice that needs to do these songs with such intense meaning, but she’s too young for it. And there is absolutely no way she could understand completely what they mean. She might know them, but doesn’t truly understand them as she’s never been in those types of situations, or let’s just hope she hasn’t.
Watching the tape of Jessica singing when she was young, Jennifer is happy to see that the growl was always there in the beginning, but wonders how old she was. Jessica tells her she was 7. No one taught her to do it; she just listened to others and picked it up. Just like Joshua, Jennifer feels she is one of the best singers she’s heard in a long time. The great female singers are her contemporaries. Steven is currently doing an Etta James song himself, Shaky Ground, and Jessica just nailed this. It showed the other side of her voice, and that’s what she’s doing, shaking off the old her and changing.
Randy loved the whole vibe of that, that she’s 16 and singing Etta James, because the blues is such soul and so much heart and is about all that heart and pain. Her vocals are ridiculous, but a true singer can sing the phone book like “that girl.” The song she was singing in the clip at 7 years old will be her second choice later tonight. Jessica clears it up in the dressing room afterwards, saying that regarding her old soul, she’s secretly 6 years old. The best part of that? We finally get to see her personality, and it’s cute! She should show that more often.
Phillip and Joshua come back for another duet, which can’t be any more awkward than last week’s. They’re accompanied by dueling pianos and are singing This Love. Phillip can’t even keep his legs still while he’s singing. It’s not as awkward. It’s also not Joshua’s type of song, but they bring it together really well. It’s much better than the one last week.Phillip is back to trying to contain that thing climbing out of him, although Joshua doesn’t let loose with it like he obviously could.
Steven says simply, “Best song, best vocal, best duet. Perfect. Whoever picked the song was brilliant as it married their voices perfectly. Nigel Lythgoe takes credit for the song choice, and Steven accuses him of taking credit for everything. Jennifer says it was funny for her as they are both so different, but it was perfect, like Avril Lavigne and Usher coming together. Phillip wants it known that in that equation, he’s Usher and Joshua is Avril. You can tell that Phillip is feeling better again this week, aside from his cottonmouth.
Randy agrees it was a great song, and Adam Levine and Maroon 5 sang the “I don’t know what” out of it, but these two brought a little more to it. He liked when Joshua went up and when Phillip did his thing with the “ah ah ah.” He loves all the syncopated stuff. They had fun with it, and despite being worried about it in the beginning, it was amazing. Joshua and Phillip admit they were more comfortable with it this time, although Joshua says he had fun with the other duet too, as Phillip did what he could to keep him laughing. Backstage, the two guys argue over who is Usher and Avril, then mock each other.
The girls now do their duet singing Eternal Flame. They have them singning while riding in swings, which definitely seems a little cheesy. Was this Nigel’s idea as well? We have two girls … let’s put them in swings. Kind of sexist. And Hollie is once again singing off key, although the two harmonize together well.
Randy is honest with this one, admitting that it was a little strange for him. He didn’t like that Hollie stayed in the high voice and Jessica in the low harmony. While he says this, Phillip and Joshua come back out onstage and start swinging. Randy never felt enough from them. He then asks what’s going on with the swingers behind the girls. For him, he just didn’t like the song, as he didn’t get the best of either.
Jennifer didn’t think it was all that bad, as she’s always loved the song and felt they both showed the sweetness and power they have, although she admits the end was a little bumpy. I think she wants to champion the girls regardless. Steven puts it simply that the way Phillip and Joshua sang their song, the girls just didn’t sing theirs. He also has to question how four months in L.A. has turned these four into swingers. Ryan thinks the two swingers are a bromance in the making and that they should now be known as Jillip.
Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman stopped by the Idol mansion, and I certainly hope it wasn’t unannounced. He asks for a tour, and Phillip shows him to the elevator. They go up to the gym, and then the disco floor as they all take a spin under the disco ball. Looking at a poster of the judges and host of tonight’s show, Adam tells them Jennifer kickstarted his career, starring in his first movie, The Wedding Planner. He kisses the poster, then forces Phillip to, saying he doesn’t want to die having not kissed Jennifer Lopez. Of course, he doesn’t miss the opportunity to show them a sneak peak of Rock of Ages. I really want to see this.
Ryan hits up Adam and the star of the film, as well as Ryan’s girlfriend, Julianna Hough, in the audience and asks Adam about working with all the stars of the film, Hough, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, and Tom Cruise. He says he’d heard all of them sing before, except Cruise, and also works in a joke that Julianna and Ryan should meet, as he’s sure they’d be close friends. Tom was the wild card, but if it didn’t work, they’d make it quietly go away, but when he had his first singing lesson, Adam was so excited. He now feels he sang his assless chaps off in the movie. Ryan surprises everyone by telling Julianna he wants to ask her something that’s been on his mind and reaches in his pocket … and pulls out a note he wants her to give to Tom Cruise.
The top four are back out together to sing Waiting for a Girl Like You. They split the chorus into “Girl Like You”/”Guy Like You.” Combine like that in the chorus they sound okay, but it’s another weird song choice like You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling. Nigel hit gold with the guys’ duet this week, but they have to quit letting him pick all these group songs, as this one is just odd. Maybe it’s just me, but the judges seem relieved they don’t have to critique this one.
Phillip is out for non-stool chat with Ryan talking about his health. He’s feeling pretty good tonight and is having fun tonight. If he gets a hometown visit, he wants to jam with the guys back home and eat some El Mayah, Mexican food. It works into a Speedy Gonzalez joke between the two. That’s what happens with live TV, I guess.
Phillip meets with Jimmy Iovine who has been missing from the show so far. Phillip is choosing to sing Volcano for this round, as it’s a hauntingly beautiful song. Jimmy was nervous about Phillip last week, but this week his voice is just in a differently place. He tells Phillip the song is like a bullseye and just what he needs. He compares him to a butterfly, thinking he’s becoming more of himself. He was sounding like another artist until today. It sent a message that he could record something like this and not sound like anybody else.
Onstage tonight, we know it’s a different Phillip as he’s actually wearing a sport coat. It’s indeed a whole different Phillip Phillips. This is the guy we all knew he was. It’s that guy that was climbing to get out of him all this time. He finally came out. I’m not familiar with this song, but I love it, or at least Phillip’s rendition of it.
Steven agrees with Jimmy. He heard the musician that time. He just sang like he really dug the way he sung to himself. He never heard him sing like this before and it was just beautiful. It’s the type of song he could listen to with headphones over and over and over. His voice and character shine, and the cello and girl singing in the back were beautiful. Jennifer knows very few people could pull that off on a show like this and it’s a real testament in who he is and who he wants to be as an artist. For her, after watching the show for many years and now being there, it’s one of the most beautiful moments a contestant has ever had.
Randy tells Phillip it’s what it’s all about. He says every week he loves Phillip because he’s his own guy. It’s a great song, but that right there is one of his best performances of the whole season. Sometimes a little simple statement has a whole volume to it. Phillip looks a little embarrassed like he feels he finally exposed himself or something. Not exposed that way, but you know what I mean.