Last night on ‘American Idol’ we reached the performance finale: the time when Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Philips, the only two remaining contestants, would try to do all they could to impress the American public for their votes.
How did they do? Did they bring their A game to the American Idol season 11 finale? Producer Nigel Lythgoe’s favorite is out (that was Joshua Ledet) but is your favorite Idol contestant still hanging on in there?
Last night Jessica and Phillip had to sing three songs: their favorite song of the season; a song chosen for them by ‘Idol’ creator Simon Fuller and his or her individual “new” single which would be released as the winner’s song.
So who would triumph? My particular favorite, Phillip, had never been in the bottom two whilst Jessica was almost eliminated in the sixth week, but the judges saved her. That probably has nothing to do with the eventual result, especially since Phillip’s song choices can sometimes be a little obscure, and that counts. Still, it’s kept him out of the Bottom 2 so far…
Before I tie myself in knots as I really have no idea which way to call this final, let’s get on with the final performance recap of this season. It’s a quick one as at this stage, as usual, the judges’ comments were full of empty platitudes that don’t separate the two contestants, just in case they are wrong!
In Round 1, Jessica Sanchez singing ‘I Got Nothing’ by Whitney Houston and Phillip Phillips singing ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King. In my opinion Jessica looked and sounded really nervous and this wasn’t anywhere near as good as her showstopper moment earlier in the season with her previous Whitney song. Phillip, in contrast, gave a laid back and cool performance, sitting on a stool. Shades of last year’s winner Scotty’s coolness for me here. But then I’m weird, I know.
But what did the judges think? Jennifer said, “this is a tough one because it is a battle of the opposites. At the end of the day America has a tough job.” Randy said, “the winner of round one is Jessica.” Wrong! Steven didn’t have a chance to say anything.
On Round 2, Jessica Sanchez performed ‘The Prayer’ by Celine Dion and Phillip Phillips sang Movin’ Out’ by Billy Joel. Oh here we go with the strange song choices for Phillip. Judge Jennifer Lopez picked him out as the winner of this round, though. He was great on the melody and I really liked it. But Jessica fully deserved her standing ovation. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her sing better than this.
Round 3 allowed us to see what would be the winner’s single. First up was Jessica Sanchez singing ‘Change Nothing.’ I would definitely change something: the song! Randy admitted it wasn’t a great song but that Jessica made something of it with her ‘ Beyonce swag.’ Jennifer said she brought the song to life, so is it too cruel to say that some things are better off dead? Jennifer said she sang it well but admitted that a pop single was not what we would have expected from Jennifer. Steven said, “I know how good you can sing, but it was not the proper song for you.”
Phillip Phillips fared an awful lot better with his winner’s single, ‘Home.’ Randy loved it and called him ‘a true artist… brilliant genius.” Wow! This song really suited Phillip as Jennifer pointed out. Steven said, “by virtue of your sound and style, you were perfect tonight, you are the man.”
I was so excited at this point as Phillip got a standing ovation and Scotty McCreery performing ‘Please Remember Me.’ Oh I do, I do! And I’m making the most of it as this is probably the last time I can legitimately remind you of Scotty
So who will we remember from THIS year’s ‘American Idol’ finale? Jessica Sanchez or Phillip Phillips? For my money, Phillip stole it with the winner’s single and the fact he’s never been in the bottom 2, but what do you think?