American Idol 2012: Will Georgia's Phillip Phillips compete in the American Idol finale?

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comMay 16, 2012 

Looks like I might be able to wear my Phillip Phillips T-shirt another week.

Nothing's certain on "American Idol," but the Leesburg, Ga., singer seems like he's at an advantage going into Thursday's results show. Aside from the fact that he's avoided the bottom three all season, he had the coveted last singer spot on Wednesday's performance show.

He closed the show with a cover of Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight" -- a moment judge Randy Jackson called his best performance on "Idol."

On Wednesday's episode of "American Idol," the top three singers -- Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet -- performed three songs each. The show was entertaining enough, but a little too heavy on songs that have been overdone on the "Idol" stage.

Weigh in: Who will compete in the "Idol" finale? Who SHOULD compete in the "Idol" finale?

Here's a full recap of Wednesday's show.

ROUND 1: Judge's choice

Joshua Ledet, "I'd Rather Go Blind": Randy Jackson picked this Etta James song for Joshua. Immediately, I have issues with the song choice. I think it's a little too old-fashioned to secure Joshua votes. Sure, it's a great song...but how many "Idol" voters know an Etta James song other than "At Last"? Overall, the performance is fine -- it just doesn't scream Contemporary Recording Artist. Standing ovation from the judges.

Steven: "This is another Joshua moment."

Jennifer: "You are such a throwback and I love that about you."

Randy: "This fits you so like a glove."

Jessica Sanchez, "My All": Jennifer Lopez picked this Mariah Carey song for Jessica. Hmm. It's not exactly a spectacular performance. Jessica's lower register isn't impressive enough to create a Moment for this song. Plus, the whole thing seems a little too mature for a teenager. Yawn. I'm a little bored. I like it better when Jessica has fun on stage. Again, no major problems, but it's hardly a Moment.

Randy: "That was absolutely beautiful, perfectly the right song for you."

Jennifer: "Hard song...but you did it so beautifully."

Steven: "When you sing, you make people hang on your every note."

Phillip Phillips, "Beggin'": Nice choice, Steven Tyler. This song is either by The Four Seasons or Madcon, depending on your musical tastes. Either way, it's a pretty good performance. Good energy and the contemporary spin that I wanted from the other two performances. Is it the most challenging performance vocally? Um, no. Does it get a little repetitive? Yes. But I'm still a fan.

Jennifer: Loved it

Steven: "It's so beautiful to watch you unfold here...I'm really hoping that you write your own songs."

Randy: "We were just at the Phillip Phillips concert right there...you have been in the zone since day one."

Randy says Joshua has an edge after round one, Jennifer chooses Phillip, Steven says he's on the fence.

ROUND 2: Contestant's choice

Joshua Ledet, "Imagine": We see emotional footage from Joshua's trip home to Louisiana. Now, the performance: This song is a bit overdone on "Idol." There's a huge potential for over-singing, but Joshua surprises me. No gospel choir treatment on this one. It's a good move. I enjoy Joshua's controlled side. He doesn't really add anything new to the song, but in this case that's a good thing.

Steven: "That was beautiful."

Jennifer: "It was a pulled back and controlled performance for you."

Randy: "That was another just stellar performance."

Jessica Sanchez, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing": More emotional homecoming footage, this time in San Diego. Immediately, I'm critical of Jessica's song choice. This tune should be on the Do Not Sing list for "Idol." Jessica delivers a good performance, but she over-sings a good portion of the song. Summary? Good, but not great. Standing ovation from Steven.

Steven: "You just took a great song and made it greater."

Jennifer: "That was amazing."

Randy: "This girl is bold right here tonight."

Phillip Phillips, "Disease": We see footage of Phillip's hometown visit to Leesburg, Ga. Of course I'm partial to this hometown visit because I covered it! And yes...I was on TV! Look closely and you'll see me right up in front at the concert's media section, holding my Flip cam. Anyway, back to the performance. It's a subdued, low-key performance from Phillip. Overall, I'd classify this Matchbox Twenty cover as "fine." Not super memorable, but not horrible, either.

Jennifer: "I didn't feel like it was the wow performance...It was good."

Steven: "I feel the same way she did."

Randy: "I didn't like it, either...I wanted a bigger look from you now."

ROUND 3: JIMMY'S CHOICE

Joshua Ledet, "No More Drama": Props to Jimmy Iovine for choosing a modern song for Joshua. He handles this Mary J. Blige tune pretty well. It starts off a little shaky, but Joshua hits his stride toward the middle of the song. And the end? Well, you probably either love it or hate it. Joshua goes all out with the big notes. It's a little too OTT for me, but I respect it.

Randy: "You have laid everything on this stage that there is to lay."

Jennifer: Loved it

Steven: "That was beautiful."

Jessica Sanchez, "I'll Be There": Jessica doesn't really add anything new to this Jackson 5 song. I'd summarize it as "nice." I wanted to see more emotion. Jessica seems a little disconnected from this one. I don't know...it really does nothing to change my opinion of Jessica in a good or bad way. That's it...not too much else to say.

Steven: "Perfect song, perfect voice. You nailed it."

Jennifer: "Good job, baby."

Randy: "I liked it OK, I didn't love it."

Phillip Phillips, "We've Got Tonight": Phillip takes the stage sans guitar to perform this Bob Seger. He looks significantly more nervous than usual. He delivers a calm, restrained performance. Yes, it has a few minor rough patches. But overall, his vocals really impress me. He actually kind of sounds like Bob Seger. Standing ovation from the judges.

Randy: "Your best performance on this show ever."

Jennifer: "It was really, really sweet."

Steven: "There's no other word but beautiful."

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service