Since very early on in this American Idol season, it’s seemed very probable that the final three would end up being Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, and Joshua Ledet. Despite the surprises throughout the season, that’s exactly what we’re ending up with.
It almost always turns up that the final two are exactly how it should have been all along. The only season it seems that didn’t happen was the year Chris Daughtry went out in fourth place. Everyone seemed to think afterwards that people were just so worried about who would face him in the final two that they forgot to vote for him. Since then, it’s been more on people’s minds, and they invented the judges’ save, hoping to prevent that, even though it can’t be used that late in the competition anyway.
As much as Hollie Cavanagh’s fans were very vocal in their claims that she belonged in the final two, as much as they enjoyed her, it wasn’t likely. She had been in the bottom two nearly every single week. Regardless of what they think of her talent, she wasn’t connecting with the voters. Some others may think she lasted longer than she should have. But in the end, it doesn’t matter, as the people who are getting to the end are the people most figured would make it there.
It’s not to say Hollie isn’t talented, because she definitely is. But maybe Jennifer Lopez encouraged Hollie’s entrance into the competition one year too soon. She didn’t make it last year, and Jennifer was very vocal that she thought Hollie deserved it after she grew a little more. She thought this year was that necessary growth year.
But a big knock against Hollie’s performances were that she didn’t have the maturity to understand the lyrics she was singing. Another year could have made all the difference for her. You can’t just have a great voice to make it to final two. You have to be able to connect to your music, and Hollie always seemed to pick songs she thought she would sound good on, no matter the content. More than anything else, that’s why she went home tonight.
Each of the final three have the potential to fall into their own traps to not make it to the end. Here’s a look at what they have to do to ensure they make it to the final 2 and the finale.
Joshua Ledet – This guy sings with such ease. It just oozes out of him. But that’s not where his potential problems lie. Again, it has to be more than just the voice. He has the potential to focus on that side of him too much. Jimmy Iovine is right that the whole gospel thing was just too much on You Raise Me Up. It sounded great, but it was just too much, like putting spoonfuls of sugar into your frosted flakes. Less is more.
Yet on the second song, Joshua got it all right. He added all the extra into the song at just the right place. It seemed to put the punctuation on his emotion in the song. That’s what he needs to do. He needs to be careful to not put too much in, and just do it at the right places. At this point we all know he can do it, and we’ll be far more impressed by seeing him use it creatively to bring out just the right emotion out of us, as it does him.
Phillip Phillips – The best thing Phillip has going for him is that he’s truly unique. People want to say he’s just like Dave Matthews, but he’s really not. If you’ll notice, when he sang the Dave Matthews, he didn’t really sound identical to him. They just have a similar style. He can’t “sing normal,” as when he does, it doesn’t go over well. That was the problem with the past few weeks. He stopped being himself and tried to be “normal.”
This week, though, Phillip finally dropped the wall and allowed himself to fully be seen, and sang what was deep in his soul. As much as they keep saying Phillip doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, I don’t buy it. I think the opposite is true. I think he cares too much about what everyone else thinks, and that manifests into that “cool” vibe that makes it appear he doesn’t … until this week when he decided to let us all in to that last song. That’s what he tried all season for us not to see. But he finally realized to get to the end, he had to show it to us.
Jessica Sanchez – Jessica is definitely one talented girl. My big problem with her, though, and it’s now starting to become a bigger problem, is the same thing that was present in David Archuleta. They were both raised to do this. This is what these kids and their parents have spent every waking moment doing, managing this career and working towards this one point. The growl is cute on this 16-year-old, but to see that she’s been doing it since 5 tells us it’s not natural. Someone either taught her to do it or told her early on it was cute when she discovered it on her own.
And now that we know that, it kind of ruins it. It’s no longer something that is going to awe us. It’s reminiscent of when Simon Cowell used to mention “like a kid entertaining for the grownups at a party.” That’s exactly what Jessica has become. She has a gift that has been almost exploited with that growl thing since she was little. It’s time to be effective and wow an audience without it. The outfits, the heels, and the growl do not belong on a 16-year-old girl.
Here’s something to think about when looking at Jessica next week. She has a big similarity to my 15-year-old daughter. They both have the same space in their teeth on the side of their mouths when they smile. My daughter has had that space for the past month. It was created when she had her last baby tooth pulled. She’s missing the adult tooth that is supposed to take its place. The dentist told me it’s the most common teeth to not come in. Some people just never get those teeth. So she had to have the baby tooth pulled. It keeps making me wonder, did Jessica just get her baby tooth pulled as well? Is that really how young she is? Did that girl with the short, tight dress, four-inch heels, and the growl just get her last baby tooth pulled?
If so, whoever is allowing the growl, the outfits, the heels, etc., has to remember she’s barely out of the little girl stage. And she’ll never get that time in her life back again. Let her be a girl and stop forcing her to be a woman just so she can win a competition.