American Idol: Hometown Week

American Idol: Hometown Week

Los Angeles : CA : USA | May 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM PDT
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Joshua & Phillip: This Love - Top 4 - AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 11

It's the semifinals on “American Idol” and after making a trip home for praise, parades, and proclamations; the remaining singers – Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, and Phillip Phillips – had to perform three songs for fan votes and judges remarks. This week there was no set theme; the judges chose one song, the singers chose one song, and resident mentor Jimmy Iovine chose one song. The nine eliminated Idols watched on from the audience as the singers performed.

First up was Joshua and Randy chose the Etta James song “I’d Rather Be Blind”. In what has been a frequent occurrence for Josh this season the judges gave Joshua a standing ovation. Steven called it another Joshua moment; adding that out of 70,000 there’s only one “American Idol” and you sang like that tonight. Jennifer called Joshua a throwback who consistently brings down the house. Randy called Joshua a classic with an amazing performance.

For Jessica, Jennifer announced that they chose a sensitive Mariah Carey song – “My All”. Randy said the performance was absolutely beautiful and the perfect song for Jessica; adding that it was one of the best performances of a Mariah Carey song. Jennifer noted that it was a hard song to perform but that Jessica sang it beautifully in her own way. Steven said that when Jessica sings people hang on her every note; and added that he thinks she will be the last one standing.

Lst up for round one was Phillip and his guitar with “Beggin”; Steven revealed that they wanted to hear him perform a song with some melody – Phillip is known for putting his own spin on the songs he performs. Amid a screaming and clapping crowd Jennifer called Phillip funny and said his performance was great. Steven said it was so beautiful to watch Phillip unfold; adding that he hoped Phillip would write his own songs because Phillip could be the New Age “Boss” – Bruce Springsteen. Randy said that they were just at a Phil Phillips concert; adding that Phillip was so in the zone and gave another incredible performance.

Round two kicks off with Joshua and his trip home to Westlake, Louisiana. While talking to Ryan about his trip home, Joshua said he was the first person to sell out the local arena. In the limo Joshua said with all the cop cars they were treating him like Barack Obama. Joshua chose the John Lennon hit “Imagine” for his song choice not because it was some big powerful song; but because of the message relayed in the lyrics. Steven called it a beautiful performance and another thank you God moment; adding that Joshua sings so fine. Jennifer said Joshua has an incredible instrument with performance quality; adding that Joshua digs deep into the meaning of songs when he performs and it makes him special. Randy agreed with Steven and Jennifer; adding that he was glad Joshua chose the song for its meaning because so many people don’t connect with their songs today.

Since she lives so close to Los Angeles, Jessica went home in a helicopter. Jessica chose to perform the Aerosmith hit “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” as the song’s original singer looked on. Steven, who was the only judge to stand up, said Jessica took a great song and made it greater; adding that it was beautiful. Jennifer said it was really great and Randy said that it started out a little slow but Jessica delivered.

On his trip back home, Phillip landed in Georgia at nearly Midnight, but that didn’t stop the crowds from gathering and screaming. His back home concert needed all of outdoor Leesburg to hold the crowds gathered to cheer on Phillip. For his choice Phillip performed “Disease” by Matchbox 20. Jennifer said it was good but wasn’t that wow performance. Steven agreed saying it was a Phillip Phillips performance. Randy made it unanimous saying it was a subdued moment that Phillip could do in his sleep and he wanted more.

Round three the songs were chosen by Jimmy Iovine and for Joshua he chose “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige. Jimmy said that Mary J combines R&B and the church like Joshua does. By the end of the performance the audience was screaming and Joshua’s fellow Idols were on their feet. Randy said that it doesn’t matter what Joshua does he lays it all on the line; adding that people should just get up and vote for Joshua. Jennifer said that Joshua knows what he is doing and then just lets it go; she noted that Joshua lost his ear piece and didn’t skip a beat. Steven called the performance beautiful and that he felt the last 40 years in the music business; adding that the performance was over the top.

Looking to showcase Jessica with a song from a “younger” performer, Jimmy chose the 1970 hit “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5. Steven said it was the perfect song for Jessica and she nailed it. Jennifer said it was a good song choice from Jimmy; adding that at times Jessica even sounded like Michael Jackson. Randy liked it but didn’t love it saying the performance never had a moment – no OMG.

The final performance of the night was Jimmy’s choice for Phillip – “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seeger. Jimmy said that he wanted a song that would appeal to the girls and the guys; plus one that had a melody Phillip would stick with. Phillip ditched the guitar for this performance and simply sang while sitting on a stool; and was rewarded with a standing ovation for his performance. Randy said it was a perfect song choice at the perfect time; adding that it was Phillip’s best performance ever and that Phillip had a giant moment. Jennifer noted that there were about 20 million girls wishing that Phillip was singing just to them; adding that the performance was sweet like a lullaby. Steven said that there was no other word but beautiful; adding that Phillip showed he has passion and he nailed it.

On the Thursday results show before the two finalists are chosen Lisa Marie Presley performs and season eight runner up and Glambert star Adam Lambert returns to the Idol stage to perform.

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Jackson, Tyler, Lopez and Seacrest pose at the party for the finalists of the television show "American Idol" in Los Angeles
Jackson, Tyler, Lopez and Seacrest pose at the party for the finalists of the television show "American Idol" in Los Angeles
Sherrill Fulghum is based in Niagara Falls, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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