American Idol Journal – Week 12 (Top 2)

Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez

The week all American Idol fans wait for… WEEK 12!  Both contestants have had a long run, but not without some controversy.  Jessica was voted off by the fans at one point.  I will still say, even in retrospect, her place on the stage at this point belonged to someone else.  Phillip Phillips has been the most consistent performer all year.  This is the second year that I felt as if the show’s producers conspired to make sure the finale had the person they really wanted to win.  I sincerely hope that the voting reflects the talent of the night.

Simon Fuller, the shows originator selected the first two songs.

Jessica Sanchez was given I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston to sing as her first of three songs tonight.  She has a wonderful voice by that growling sound that comes from her is over done.  I thought this performance was going fine until she started in with the growl.  It’s tough to do Whitney, so adjusting the tune a bit to suit her vocal style isn’t a bad idea and it gives it a chance to stand on it’s own.  But growling?  It turned it into your basic talent contest performance, at least for me.

Phillip Phillips was given Stand By Me. Phillip tried to tag this song with some of his signature stylings but I don’t think this was such a great selection for him.  I don’t think Phillip is best doing completely laid back songs, at least the ones I’ve heard him perform. When asked, Jennifer Lopez uttered some incomprehensible non-commentary while Randy thought the first round went to Jessica.  Steven wasn’t asked for his opinion… yet.  I thought it was too close to call, and not because both contestants were particularly fantastic.  Both performances just simply didn’t move me.

Next we were treated to the special song being written all season by Jason Derulo, Undefeated.  Maybe it’s me, nothing tonight is exciting me so far and this song is no different.  To be fair, it’s probably just the live performances are not very inspiring because the recorded studio version of this song IS pretty good.

Jessica Sanchez sings, The Prayer.  She chose to sing this again, it helped her make the Top 24 at the beginning of the season.    This song show cases her voice and she didn’t over sing any part of it.  Wonderful job!  Kudos to JChez for the first great song of the night.

Phillip Phillips picked his Billy Joel tune from earlier, Movin’ Out. This is the kind of song that suits Phillip best and I thought he did a wonderful job of it.  His performance contrasts the style of both he and Sanchez, Phillip is completely earthy while Jessica is all glamour.   Steven gave the round, albeit reluctantly to JessicaRandy thought is was even and Jennifer gave it up for Phillip!  She commented that the tune Jessica sang showed her nothing new.  Really?  The whole point was to sing a song they’d done before.

For their final performance in front of the voting public, they sing the songs selected that will be the first release of the American Idol winner!

Jessica Sanchez sang the song selected for her entitled Change Nothing.   I kinda like the words in the early part of the song but not too much beyond that.  Jessica sang off pitches and pretty much yelled through the chorus.  Ouch. Randy didn’t like the song, Jennifer thought a soul song would be better for a first release.  This wouldn’t be the first time the special song was a total fail.  Steven didn’t like the song either.

Phillip Phillips sang Home.  Straight off this was a better selection for Phillip than what Jessica received.  The live performance looked a bit like a cell phone commercial to me.  The judges gave him a standing ovation!  WOW.  I’m shocked.  Randy raved about the performance, Jennifer raved too.  Steven thought he was perfect.  I liked it and heard some of the ‘influences’ in his singing as both Randy and Steven mentioned.  I wouldn’t exactly rave about it however but he was much more solid than Jessica at this point.

No question the final round of singing went to Phillip.  I feel sorry for Jessica, it isn’t fair when someone hands you a song and tells you it is your first hit… when it will never be a hit.

In an unannounced surprise, last years winner, Scotty McCreery sang the final song of the night.  I think he’d have won this season too.

My final prediction is the same as it has been for the entire season… Phillip Phillips in a cake walk.

Thanks for reading this far.