Down to the ultimate showdown! In this corner... yet another white guy with a guitar. In this corner... the best musical mimic you'll hear this year. Both have trouble showing any sort of personal connection to what they're singing about. Voters, it's time to pick your poison. This... is American Idol!
Round One: Simon Fuller's choice
Round Two: Contestant's favorite rerun from this season
Round Three: The single
Phillip won the coin toss last week, and wasn't dumb enough to squander it. He's going second.
Jessica: "I Have Nothing"
I understand why Fuller chose this, but I wish he hadn't. It's exactly what she doesn't need right now; an opportunity to impersonate Whitney without being particularly relevant to her.
And even on an impersonation front, that fell short of what she's done in the past. (And, as usual, no personal connection at all.) It was a'ight, but she needs a knockout punch.
...maybe. On the other hand, one wonders whether anybody's left undecided at this point. Still, a really good performance could help rally the troops!
Phillip: "Stand By Me"
Phillip's song is Phillip's song. (What, does he have more than one?) This time around, he didn't use the saxophone player.
Randy and J.Lo think Round One went to Jessica.
How are they gonna pad-- oh, it's only one hour tonight! Joy! (Or, technically, Glee!)
(Of course, tomorrow night we're back to two, but I'm actually looking forward to the finale.)
Jason DeRulo presents his new crowdsourced single, "Undefeated."
(Oh, so this is something different from the coronation single. I had misunderstood!)
And midway through the commercial break, we get a Coke commercial featuring the same song. Whee!
Jessica: "The Prayer"
Phillip: "Movin' Out"
I didn't like this rendition the first time around. I've gotta say, I find both of the contestants' choices to be a bit mystifying.
Steven thinks "Jessica took it again."
Randy thinks Round Two was a dead heat.
J.Lo goes for Phillip this round.
Jessica: "Change Nothing"
Randy liked the performance, but criticizes the song. So do J.Lo, giving a lecture on picking the right song. So does Steven. All of this seems bizarre. Did the contestants have any say in choosing the song?
...hmm. Jessica's response implies that they did. Still, it's a safe bet that they were all bad choices. Idol singles always are!
I have to admit that I still like the Beatbox commercial with Jordin Sparks.
Actually, this isn't bad for an insipid Idol single. Scotty McCreery could have had fun with this one.
Round Three goes to Phillip, hands down.
And speak of the devil, here's Scotty, performing "Please Remember Me" as a season montage plays in the background. (I had no idea he'd be here when I wrote the above.)
In the end, I am backing Jessica, as I knew I would. The only reason not to back Jessica is that she doesn't have her own style yet. Well, that shouldn't be surprising. She's 16. Imagine what she might manage down the line.
(I will grant that this is a good argument for her to wait a few years before releasing an album, but that ship has sailed. We might as well claim her as the winner and hope for the best.)