Tonight’s show will be split into two rounds. The first, California Dreaming, will feature songs from artists that are from California, or songs that are about California. The second round will feature songs that the contestants wish that they had written, aka, songs that personally inspire them.
Oh, yeah. Don’t forget the inevitable clips of each of the four’s journey to get here. They have to fill 2 hours of broadcasting, you know. And duets. And a group sing.
Leading off is Phillip Phillips, with CCR’s Have You Ever Seen The Rain? Let me start by saying that I absolutely love this song, so it pleased me to see him drop the guitar, use the melody, and still make it his own. Definitely a different vibe without his guitar, too.
Steven said that he’s the proof that the road to success is under construction. Huh? J-Lo liked the Joe Cocker quality he brought to the song, and thought that he was perfect for it. Randy thought it started a little rough, until he smiled and got into the fun of it, and that it was perfect from that point on.
Hollie Cavanaugh took on Journey’s Faithfully. This was a good song choice for her, and she seemed to find an emotional connection for once. Of course, it turns out that she had to have the meaning of the song explained to her. Sad.
Steven has enjoyed watching her blossom and her creativity come around. He thought her song choice was over the top and beautiful. J-Lo was verklempt, either by the song or the video clips. She admitted to being emotional about watching Hollie grow, and thought it was very beautiful. Randy thought that she was peaking at the right time in the competition, and that she was right in the zone. Blah blah Steven Perry, playing the song countless times when he was with Journey, blah blah. (We hear this any time someone does a Journey song).
Joshua Ledet sang Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up. The only thing they have in common is their first names. I didn’t think Joshua’s voice suited this song at all, and vice versa. Of course, any excuse to bring out a choir. (And I couldn’t help but compare this to Chris Mann slaying the same song on The Voice. But I digress).
Steven thought he sang his little tush off. J-Lo thought the competition would be getting interesting now, and loved the drama of the raised platform. Randy was extremely happy that he auditioned again this year, and said he was an amazing artist with a great career ahead of him.
Jessica Sanchez sang Steal Away by Etta James. Yhis song was waaaaaayyyyy too old for her. As usual. I didn’t like it.
Steven loved it (of course he did), and thought that she had nailed it. He liked that she showed the other side of her voice. J-Lo thought it was crazy. Randy loved the vibe of blues/soul at 16.
Duet time, with Phillip and Joshua singing Maroon 5′s This Love. They seemed much more comfortable with their duet this week, and seemed to have fun. And I had fun watching Joshua try to be convincing with the lyrics. Try. Phillip had no problem on that score.
Steven thought it was the perfect song for them, J-Lo thought it was the perfect song given how different they are, and Randy thought they sounded amazing.
Randy thought it was strange, and he didn’t like it, saying they didn’t get the best of either one. J-Lo thought it showed the sweetness and power of both. Steven said they weren’t as good as the guys.
Group sing time, with Foreigner’s Waiting For a Girl Like You. Love the song, hate group sings.
Round Two started with Ryan asking Phillip about his health. Phillip said he’s doing OK. Phillip sang Volcano by Damien Rice. WOW!!!!! I love this guy. It was a beautiful, tender song, accompanied by a cello and a singer. Simple, beautiful, perfection. Sigh.
Steven said he heard the musician, and thought his voice and character were beautiful. And it was beautiful. J-Lo said that very few people could have pulled that off on this type of show, and that it was one of the most beautiful, poignant moments she had ever seen. Randy said that dude, this is what it’s all about. He thought it was amazing, and one of his best performances all season.
Hollie sang Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me. And I didn’t. (Wait…deja vu. I had the same comment when this was performed on another show). I just wasn’t feeling it, and I don’t think she did either; back to Stepford Hollie.
Steven thought it felt a little short of the dynamic range. Just say boring, Steven. J-Lo said it’s hard to interpret a heartbreak song if you haven’t felt it, and that it didn’t happen. Randy thought it was a great song, but didn’t suit her voice, and she had no “moments”. He thought it was the wrong choice at the wrong time. Ouch all around!
Joshua sang James Brown’s It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World. This was a good choice for him, but honestly, I’ve heard it performed better. And recently, on another show. By a woman.
Standing ovation from the judges. Please tell me they were just stretching their legs. Steven said that no man or woman has ever sung it with that compassion ever. J-Lo thought it was sickening, and that everyone had thought they had heard everything that Joshua could do, and they were wrong. Randy thought he had delivered tonight, and gave one of the best performances on any singing show.
OK, I feel compelled to interject here. I think Joshua is a one-note wonder. He screeches, and is most comfortable surrounded by a choir. They give him standing ovation after standing ovation, but that’s easy when he follows Stepford Hollie, who is beautiful, but emotionally- challenged in her songs. And where is Phillip’s standing ovation? They heap him with praise (well-deserved), but won’t stand for him. And kids, except for Phillip, these are the songs that inspire you? Really? OK, enough with the rant.
Jessica closed out the show with Jennifer Holliday’s And I’m Telling You I’m Not Leaving. I guess she told us. This song was in her element, or wheelhouse. Whatever.
Another standing ovation. Steven said it was another winning performance, just over the top. He congratulated her on getting out of herself. J-Lo thought it was crazy, and had nothing to say, other than her vocal ability is not something you see all the time. (Yes, she can sing. But she is NOT a dynamic PERFORMER!) Randy said she was really in it to win it, along with Joshua and Phillip (poor Hollie). He thought she slayed it.
At this point, it’s anybody’s guess, but I would say we’ll be saying good-bye to Hollie.