4

American Idol recap: Phillip Phillips will sail through to the final, but who will join him?

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

It's down to the wire now. Last night's performances will determine which of the three remaining Idol contestants will make it through to the final and ultimately win the entire competition, which, with the elimination of Hollie Cavanagh last week, is anyone's game at this point. The contestants each sang three songs: one chosen by the judges, one by Jimmy Iovine -- this season's mentor -- one personal choice.

Randy Jackson chose "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James for Joshua Ledet. It was easily Ledet's best performance showcasing his talent as well as his personality, a first for the contestant this season.

For his personal choice, Ledet sang John Lennon's "Imagine." Like whenever anyone sings a Beatles or Lennon song, it just didn't quite compare to the original. Ledet might as well have sung "Rolling In The Deep," frankly. Ledet oversang Jimmy Iovine's choice for him, "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. There were too many vocal runs, too much belting, too much Aguilera song and dance.

Jennifer Lopez chose Mariah Carey's "My All" for Jessica Sanchez, another strong performance and an even better song choice by a judge. Sanchez showcased her upper range, even her falsetto for this song, now proving Sanchez can sing Mariah, Whitney and likely any other diva out there.

For Sanchez's second song, she chose "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith -- while largely an appeal to Steven Tyler, she again used the opportunity to showcase a different part of her range and voice, this time what we are most familiar with. This song, though, was less about her vocals and more about her "Idol moment" with the cameras and audience -- you know, that one, spine-tingling moment in which the contestant connects with you in a way inexplicable. She had that with "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing." Sanchez's final song, "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5, was spot-on, but an anticlimactic choice as her last song.

Then there's Phillip Phillips. In past performances, we've criticized him for being too same-y, too predictably Phillip Phillips -- as if the guitar-playing and constipated singing face is all he can offer during any performance. Of all the contestants on last night's episode, Phillips smartly used his song choices to his advantage. His first, a selection by Steven Tyler, was "Beggin'" by Madcon. He performed the song as a blast of rock. His voice was strong, as was his guitar-playing, and this was perhaps the first time he's seemed so confident on stage.

For Phillips' personal choice, he played guitar and sang a more relaxed version of "Disease" by Matchbox 20, decorated by the sounds of a guest saxophone. His final song was Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight" -- no guitar, just Phillips looking nervous (note his left hand tic) and connecting with the song. It was something neither Sanchez nor Ledet was able to do as effectively last night. Phillips will be in the final two, no question.



Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music


Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.