Wednesday, May 16, 2012
AI Season 11 Top 3 Performance- 05/16/12
So, tonight we're going to visit Leesburg, GA, Chula Vista, CA, and Westlake, LA. Ryan says it's to salute their Hometown Heroes. We'll see how salutey they were.
JLo is wearing a cream pantsuit. The jacket is not big enough in the butt, and the pants are cuffed and too short. However, her tousled hair looks good and her smoky eyes shadow is great. She's wearing nude lipstick again, though. Seven in in a black lizzard jacket and necklaces featuring animal teeth and feathers. Randy is in a creamcicle orange jacket with a pocket watch as a lapel pin, over a black and white tee (with Texas on it, I think). He's also wearing kindergarten bead bracelets. Ryan is in a gray suit with a red pocket square, and a tie. Jimmy Iovine is in the audience in a letter jacket, and glasses that look half-full.
#1. Randy chose Etta James' I'd Rather be Blind for Joshua (a song that 12 year old Rachel Crow absolutely killed on The X-Factor. That may well have been the best performance I've ever seen on a singing talent show). Joshua is wearing yet another too-tight jacket, and this one isn't just a smidge too tight, it looks easily two sizes too small. It's black with white top-stitching, red buttons, and a huge red boutonniere (side note: it took me about 6 tries to get the right spelling. Spell check tried to substitute: butterfinger, Robspierre, and, inexplicably, Guitierrez before I stumbled on the correct spelling). I want to take a minute to talk about Joshua's pants- all season, he's worn jackets that are just plain too tight, but at the same time, he wears pants that are poochy in the crotch. I would just assume that all jeans fit that way now (the way they all ride far below the waist), but none of the other guys on the show (or anywhere else) wear pants like that. He's doing it on purpose and I wish he'd stop because it makes me feel creepy that I notice it.
Anyway, the song: it's very very good, until the end where Joshua goes where Joshua usually goes. On the other hand, this is one of those songs that begs for Over The Top, so I'll give him props. The judges all love it, of course.
Hmmm... the same song is playing on a Kraft commercial... coincidence?
#2. JLo chose... well, I don't know the title of the song because she babbled so long trying to build up suspense that Ryan had interrupt and throw it to Jessica. She's wearing a strapless, deep purple satin Jr. Miss gown with ruffles and ruches. She starts out on a pedestal (no support this time, so I assume it's not going to rise above the fog). Whatever this song is, it's quiet and soft, and outside of Jessica's runaway vibrato (she truuly needs to get a handle on that) and more runs than necessary, it's really very pretty. Once again, the judges chose well. This is the best I've liked Jessica since I Will Always Love You.
Do you need me to tell you how the judges feel? I didn't think so.
The Top 12 are in the audience, including that tall girl whose name I do not remember. Phil missed Heejun. Me too.
#3. Phil, in a gray tee and a gray shirt. Steven chose a song that is either called Banging, or Begging. I think maybe it's Begging. It starts out with just Phil and his guitar in a spotlight, then the lights come up and a whole band joins him. There is some complex strumming involved in this song. I don't know it, but it sounds good, with lots of ooohooo-ing, which Phil does very well. This does not strike me as an easy song to play or perform. I think he did really well.
The audience goes wild, and the judges are thrilled.
Round #1 goes to all 3. Or more precisely, it goes to the judges, who, for once, chose perfect songs for each of the kids.
#4. Joshua is wearing a different black jacket, though this one fits a little better, over a blue shirt. He brought back Mardi Gras beads for Ryan, a feather boa for JLo, and sparkly glasses for Randy and Steven from his visit to Westlake, LA.
Hometown Visit: jet, proud family, crawfish boil, many people, Daddy's church, parade, cute niece, costumes, floats, waving dogs, babies, high school gym, stadium, singing, and fireworks.
Joshua's personal song choice is John Lennon's Imagine, which sounds like a mistake to me. And yep, it's a mistake. Joshua is singing in a much higher range than usual, and his vibrato overwhelms everything. It's not horrible, but it's also not amazing. Steven: beautiful, JLo: controlled, Randy: babble
#5. Jessica is in an ugly brown strappy jumpsuit, with a bustier top and very loose legs (it almost looks like a skirt). The cut, style and fit are ugly, but the color itself is also terrible. Her heavy turquoise necklace is pretty though. She says that she was home schooled in Chula Vista, CA, so she didn't have many friends.
Hometown Visit: helicopter, woooooo!, empty audition stadium, very long limo, little brothers, sparsely attended parade (at least in comparison to Joshua's- though that may just be because Californians are not so excited about seeing celebrities), high school (not Jessica's, since she is home schooled), stands not full, navy ship, midshipmen, proud father, autographing, helicopter.
Jessica's personal song choice is Aerosmith's Don't Want to Miss a Thing, which really really feels like a mistake. And yep, a definite mistake. She's oversinging and not connecting at all, and that 2nd to the last note was painful.
Steven stands up but the others don't. JLo praises, but she doesn't really mean it. Randy: fairly, like, whoa, like, faint praise, whoa
Oh Phil, please please please stop making those stupid faces.
#6. Phil has changed to a plain brown shirt.
Hometown Visit: private jet, lots and lots of screaming little girls behind fences, long black limo, family pawn shop, big ladies demanding hugs, very proud pistol-packin' papa, teary-eyed Phil, taxidermied turkey, mama in a horrible top, sisters, big crowd at parade, bigger crowd at stadium, visibly moved Phil.
Phil's personal song choice is Matchbox 20's Disease. Hey, I know this song! His usual sax player is joined by a bongo player (bongoist?). I love the Caribbean beat. I forget to take notes because I am just listening to, and enjoying, the music.
JLo is underwhelmed. Steven also. Randy takes a very long time, and is a total jerk about saying exactly the same thing.
Round #2: Phil, and Phil alone.
#7. Joshua is in a scoop neck black tee shirt under yet another black jacket, this one with a zipper front and spangly shoulders. Jimmy Iovine chose something by Mary J. Blige, but I didn't catch the title. Whatever the song is, the piano intro is exactly the same as the theme song for The Young and the Restless. Boy, this song is doing absolutely nothing for me. Joshua bounces throughout (and I mean constantly- he's getting a real aerobic workout), and by halfway through, he's in full-on Fantasia Mode, shedding his jacket and shouting and going batshit crazy.
Joshua: smug smug smug
Judges: gush gush gush
#8. Jessica is in a red jacket that has very tight knit sleeves and a leather body, with glitter pockets. Under the jacket, she appears to be wearing a peekaboo top made from green striped ruffles. She's also wearing black leather pants, and Moon Boots. Jimmy Iovine has chosen The Jackson 5's I'll Be There for her so that she can appeal to us Old Farts, while still being young. Well... this is better than I expected, though it's decidedly odd.
JLo praises but the praise feels reserved. Steven enjoyed it. Randy says that he wanted a "moment moment moment" (exact quote), but didn't get it.
#9. Phil is in black on black on black. Jimmy Iovine chose Bob Seger's We've Got Tonight for him. Phil sings with a piano backer. He sits on a stool (no guitar), and rubs his hand on his leg the whole time. There's lots of melody here, and the song sounds nice, but it's subdued and there is no growl. I wonder if it's going to be too quiet for the judges.
Whoa- all 3 of them give Phil a Standing O.
Randy loved it. JLo says it was sweet. Steven: bleep bleep bleep
So, winners tonight:
Rnd #1: All 3
Rnd #2: Phil
Rnd #3: Phil, Jessica distant second
My favorite of the night: Phil #2.
But I'm not taking any bets- any one of the 3 could go home tomorrow.